“Minos, the king of Crete, appointed the architect Daedalus to build a labyrinth to hold the Minotaur, a creature half man and half bull that fed on human flesh. Daedalus and his son, Icarus, made a structure full of blind alleys, rooms, and narrow streets. The building was so intricate that even Daedalus and his son were trapped there.
“Theseus, the son of King Aegeus, decided to put an end to the sacrifice of young Athenians that were sent to Crete to feed the Minotaur every year. The hero landed in Crete. He was determined to kill the monster. But, how to get out of the labyrinth after killing the Minotaur? Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos, fell in love with Theseus. She handed him a ball of wool. While Theseus was going through the labyrinth holding one end of the thread in his hand, Ariadne stood at the entrance of the labyrinth and reeled the thread off the ball of wool. At last, Theseus killed the Minotaur. By following Ariadne’s thread, he found his way back out.”
“How fantastic this myth is! Actually, all the Greek myths hide a meaning inside. Somebody calls the Greek myths the psychology of the ancient. Do you know what the myth of Theseus, Ariadne, and the Minotaur symbolizes?”
“Yes, our teacher told us everything about the myth. The labyrinth symbolizes human life on earth. The labyrinth is an open space with no doors or gates. The Minotaur could get out of it and break free, but it didn’t because it was prey to instinct and ignorance, which prevented him from following the right way out.
“We humans are not different from the Minotaur. Like it we are dominated by instinct and ignorance. Just as it happened to that monster, we can’t get out of the labyrinth of worldly, instinctive life. According to the myth, we can’t succeed without Ariadne’s thread, which is a symbol. It means that we need a guide capable of setting us free from instinct, ignorance, and error. Thanks to Ariadne’s thread, we can get out of the state of animals.”
“What’s your thread of Ariadne, Benedetto?”
“My Ariadne’s thread is love and friendship. Without my friends and my lover, I can’t feel like a human. And for you, Uncle Salvatore, what’s your thread of Ariadne?”
“My thread of Ariadne is the vibrations of words. Erez taught me how to behave in life. If I don’t abide by his eighth precept, I’m not different from the Minotaur. Erez made me understand the vibrations of words. Good words are like Ariadne’s thread that guides us out of the labyrinth of instinct. If you backbite somebody, your bad words will come back to you like an echo. They will poison your mind and soul, and then you won’t be able to see things as they are. Good words are at the basis of spiritual life.”
“Everyone has his own thread of Ariadne. But he has to find his thread inside himself.”
This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words – second edition- by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind