THE HOUSE OF LORDS POSTPONES BREXIT

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THE HOUSE OF LORDS POSTPONES BREXIT

The House of Lords dates back to the Middle Ages. Over the time, it has been losing much of its original power, but it is still highly valued by British citizens.

During the republican period ruled by Cromwell, the House of Lords was suppressed. It was reconstituted upon the restoration of the monarchy.

It is considered anachronistic by many. The number of its members is variable.

There are three kinds of people to compose it:

– Lords Spiritual. They are bishops of the Church of England.

– Lords Temporal that sit in the House by hereditary right.

– Lords Temporal that are lifetime members appointed by the queen on proposal of the Prime Minister.

Although the House of Commons has the final say, the Lords have the power to send the law back to parliament for review. That has just happened with regard to Brexit.

Thanks to the prestigious House of Lords, the anti-Europeans have to be patient and wait for a while before claiming victory.

The House of Lords, due to its composition and tradition is unique in the world. It is a powerful break on the excessive politicization of modern society. It is not anachronistic at all. I wish my country had a similar body.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

THE UGLY DUCKLING

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THE UGLY DUCKLING

The story, written by Hans Christian Andersen, is about an ugly duckling that looked different from the chicks of the same brood. He was dark and ugly. The other ducklings didn’t want to play with him. He remained isolated in the corner of the pond, until one day he decided to run away in search of a place where he would be accepted.

Wandering here and there, he joined first a family of geese and then a farmhouse. Both the geese and the farmers considered him ugly and useless.

The ugly duckling spent the winter alone and hungry. With the arrival of spring he landed up in a pond where very beautiful birds were swimming.

He didn’t dare to approach them. It was unthinkable that a so ugly duckling, as he was, would have been accepted by those graceful birds! He kept standing on the edge of the pond until one of those birds glided towards him.

How beautiful you are!” I have never seen such white feathers!” said the swan.

The ugly duckling bent his head incredulous and saw his image reflected on the water. He was a swan as well! His feathers had become white!

A similar allegory can be found in Jalaluddin Rumi’s Mathnawi. Rumi tells his hearers that they are “ducks, being brought up by hens”. They have to realize that their destiny is to swim, not to be chickens.

Both Rumi’s and Andersen’s stories are allegories of life. There is a natural evolutionist process in all living beings. It varies from individual to individual, depending on the happenings of life.

Character and personality may change, like the feathers of the swan. The essence, the innermost being is always the same.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

A BOOK WORTH READING

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A BOOK WORTH READING

During my stay in Arambol, I read The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.

It is the first book written by the author, who was awarded the Nobel prize.

Hemingway tells his life in Paris with his circle of friends.

He went on a trip in Pamplona with his friends for the famous festival of Saint Firmino.

The novel is written in a simple and realistic style with a wealth of details. The reader has the feeling of being present amid the characters of the book.

The events told in the novel happened at the time when the internet didn’t exist. Smoking and drinking alcohol was not considered particularly harmful. The exchanging of messages among friends happened by wire.

The book is a cross-section of the twentieth century society, as a journalist sees it. Actually Ernest Hemingway was a journalist.

Romance, friendship, festivals, bullfights appear and disappear, but the sun will rise again.

Yes, the sun of hope will rise again for everybody. So, life is worth living.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

THE FOG IN ARAMBOL

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THE FOG IN ARAMBOL

At dawn, I went to the beach for my usual jogging. It was a foggy day, and the sun seemed to be unwilling to rise.

As I jogged on the beach, I felt like running amid the clouds. It was as if maya (illusion) mixed reality with dream.

Then, I recalled an experience that happened to the Chinese master, Chuang-tzu.

Last night,” he said, “I dreamed to be a butterfly. Now, I don’t know if I am a man who dreamed to be a butterfly or a butterfly that dreams to be a man.”

I sympathize with him. We cannot be sure if we are living a real life or we are dreaming.

Anyway, how about following the way our heart directs us? It cannot lead us astray.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

A HINDU FESTIVAL

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A HINDU FESTIVAL

Walking on the beach in the evening, I saw a small temple that had a festival atmosphere.

Around the temple there were vendors of flowers, bananas, sweets, and toys. There was also music and drum rolls.

Made curious, I walked to the small temple. There was a statue of a god inside.

What is the name of this god?” I asked an old man who looked like a local.

His name is Someshwar.” He answered.

What does Someshwar mean?”

It means ‘protector of the borders.’ All fishermen, whatever religion they have, worship him, because they go far away in the ocean. They believe that Someshwar protects them from the perils of the sea.”

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Behind the temple there is a tree. I saw somebody put offerings on it. Is it a sacred tree?” I asked.

Not sacred.”

So, why people put garlands of flowers, coconuts, and bananas on its trunk and light candles in front of it?”

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Nobody can see the real God. Anything can become God. If somebody worships a tree and puts offerings on it, other people will follow him and the tree will become holy. All religions are made by followers.” The old man said.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

USEFUL TIPS

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USEFUL TIPS

A few days ago, I heard of a Russian lady who was jogging on the beach of Arambol when about ten dogs surrounded her. One of them, which was a puppy, jumped up to her arm.

Probably, the puppy wanted to play with her, but it scratched her arm with its sharp canine teeth. She washed the very small wound with sea water and kept jogging. Later, the owner of the guesthouse advised her to go to the doctor.

It was a guy from Austria who told me what had happened. He knows India very well.

He said that fifty thousand people die every year because of rabies in India. He said that there are many healthy carrier dogs. They look healthy, like the puppy that bit the Russian lady, but they are rabid.

Actually, rabies is widespread in India. Whenever a street dog bites you or even scratches you with his teeth, don’t hesitate to run to the doctor for the full course of post bite injections: five shots.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo

THE FROG IN THE WELL

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THE FROG IN THE WELL

Once upon a time, a family of frogs lived in a well. Every day they were waked by the sun. The well got light for a short time and then turned dark again. Down there the sun appeared and disappeared soon.

A young frog wanted to know from where the sun came and where it went to.

To solve the mystery, he needed to get out of the well. What to do! The well was narrow and deep. His hind legs were too weak to jump over it. It seemed impossible for him to see daylight. But the young frog was steadfast and optimistic.

Every day he trained for the high jump.

Some day, I will be able to make a very high jump which will take me out of this goddam well.” He said to himself.

By practicing day by day, finally he was able to take a great jump and get out of the well.

Now I will follow the sun to see from where it comes and where it goes to.”

He kept jumping to follow the sun, until at last he returned to the same place where he had started his traveling.

Meanwhile, his families had succeeded in coming out of the well and now they were sitting silently keeping their eyes closed near the well.

He got near his brother and whispered in his ear, “What are you doing here motionless and with closed eyes?”

We are meditating. We are watching inside ourselves. Where have you been?”

I have traveled all over the world to see from where the sun comes and where it goes to.”

Did you discover anything?”

No, I didn’t. I don’t know anything about the sun.”

I know everything about it.”

How is it possible?”

I watch my breathing, then inside myself. Gradually I come to know who I am. You can do the same. Just watch yourself and you’ll find the sun inside you.”

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind

www.sbpra.com/ettoregrillo