The Cambodians believe that demons live in caves: congesting hollows, materializing into whatever forms they please, luring victims into frenzied possession and then death (or, at least, fear-induced cardiac arrest). Visitors entering a cave should never presume that the space is unoccupied, and rather beware of malevolence shadowing where they can’t see, waiting to advance and create war inside the human consciousness.
Should you decide to brave these spaces, you need something brighter than a flashlight. You need a Buddha, gold and grinning, preferably blessed by a monk of respected status. Traditionalist veins of Buddhism in South-East Asia still uphold that a statue alone can hold the spirit of an ancestor, and, of course, the spirit of the Buddha is the most powerful of all.
Even while reclining with his eyes closed, a Buddha can conduct battle against his evil aggressors. The battle always ends the same way, with Buddha…
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