HUMAN ISLANDS

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Everybody has his or her inner world, but it is different from one another.
The same went for my wife. Even though we had been married for a long time, our inner landscapes differed. My wife had the good habit of keeping a diary since her school days. She writes down everything she sees and what happens to her every day. When we compared our writings about Goa, we discovered that we had written and portrayed different things and situations. I had written about human behavior, while she had focused her attention on love. She had noted down the inscriptions that many lovers drew on the moist sand. There were a lot of details in her diary that I hadn’t noticed.

“I am sure,” I said to my wife, “that if we ask each person in Goa to write their impressions, everyone will note down something different. Some will focus their attention on the sun that dives into the ocean, marking the end of the day. Others will talk about the evening star that gleams a few minutes after the sun has set, or they will describe the ebbs and flows and the small fish that come near the shoreline and then dart towards the ocean. Some will focus their attention on the hang gliders that depart from the hill, or about the sky lanterns that fly across the beach at night, while others will tell of the many stray dogs on the beach that seem to be familiar with tourists.
“Why there is such a difference in the way people see places and situations?”
“It happens because we are all different from one another,” my wife answered. “There is a difference, a veil of incommunicability that separates all living creatures. Love and understanding are the bridge that makes communication and dialog possible.”

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

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WHAT IS THE GOAL OF LIFE?

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I remember talking once about an existential subject with one of the workers at my father’s company, who looked well educated.
“What is the goal of your life?” I asked.
“I have given up trying to find a goal in life, otherwise I get lost,” he answered. “I pursue small goals like planning an enjoyable vacation, or saving money to buy a gift for my girlfriend. These are my little aims, and have nothing to do with metaphysical speculations.”
Who knows if the worker was right! As for me, I cannot live without asking myself the why of things. It is probably because of my conditioning from my philosophy teacher.

“I’ll fail you, Vincenzino, unless you start to ask yourself why everything exists and happens. You have to ask yourself why the earth is round, why the moon orbits the earth, and why the planets orbit the sun. If you are on the bus, you have to ask yourself why it is moving. In other words, you have to find an answer to everything that happens.”

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

WALKING ON THE BEACH OF ARAMBOL, GOA (INDIA)

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Many people lay down to get a tan or chatted in the bars in the afternoon. Most tourists were Westerners, many of them from Russia. It seemed to me that they were all leading an existence devoid of goals. They chatted, played on the beach, swam, and took pictures. There were two ladies who enjoyed being photographed close to a bull lying on the beach. Sometimes I asked myself if it was me who was the real outcast, someone who persisted in searching for a goal in life, while life actually has no end.

Over the days, I noticed that not everyone who spent their holiday in Goa was devoid of inner content. In the yoga class there were youngsters who looked very learned in the spiritual field. At the break of day the shore swarmed with people doing meditation, yoga, and other spiritual activities. Some played the flute, others the drum. Others did walking meditation, which is a kind of meditation based on watching one’s own steps. Others did laughing meditation, which is obviously based on laughing. From this I inferred that no one on Earth is devoid of spirituality. Everybody has his or her inner world, but it is different from one another.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

 

THE FEAST OF THE MOST HOLY MARY OF VALVERDE IN ENNA (SICILY)

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On the last Sunday of August at seven o’clock in the morning, the citizens of Enna are  awoken by a 101-gun salute. It announces the beginning of the celebrations in honor of The Most Holy Mary of Valverde, who was the patron saint of Enna until 1412.

At that time, paganism still existed and there were also some Muslim families in Enna. So, a delegation was sent to Venice to buy a new statue that could symbolize the unity of creed of all the citizens of Enna. However, the old celebration in honor of The Most Holy Mary of Valverde didn’t fade away. Every year, three statues are carried in procession: Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Joseph, and Holy Mary with Baby Jesus.
According to some archaeologists, in the same spot where now stands the church of Valverde there was the temple of Demeter. It means the paganism didn’t disappear from the heart of the people of Enna. The name of the divinity has changed over the years, but the devotion to the Mother Goddess is still the same.

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE ARABS IN SICILY

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The Arabs remained in Sicily for two centuries and brought with them good culture in the fields of art and literature. They also improved the agricultural irrigation systems. Likewise, they also brought the new Islamic religion, so that Sicily swarmed with mosques. According to some authors, at the time of the Arab occupation there were more mosques in Palermo than in Istanbul. There were also many mosques in Enna, but they were all converted into Catholic churches after the Normans took the Arabs’ place in Sicily. One of these converted churches in Enna is that of Saint Michael, whose Moresque features are still visible.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

MY REVIEW OF AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER BY J. KRISHNAMURTI

AT THE FEET

When I was a university student, the professor of civil law said, “Don’t take my words as gospel truth! You must check what I say and do your own research.”
Reading At the Feet of the Master, I recalled the words I heard from my professor a long time ago.
In this book J. Krishnamurti answers questions about life, meditation, and the like.
Undoubtedly, he is a great master, but I want to discuss his teachings, instead of accepting them blindly.
A student asks Krishnamurti, “Can you tell us the meaning and purpose of our living?”
The master replies, “What do you mean by life? Does life have a meaning, a purpose? Is not living itself its own purpose, its own meaning? We prefer to run away from ourselves, and that is why we seek the purpose of life away from relationship.”
He may be right, but I think we had better verify what the master, any master, says, living life in our way and searching for the purpose of life!

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

MY MEDITATION

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Saint Francis’s words resounded in my mind quite often. “Purify your heart, mind, body, and actions, and then you’ll see God inside you!”
I thought that meditation would be a good way to purify my heart, mind, and body. I started to research the topic to uncover the path. Most people today focus their attention outward instead of inward. Their main interests are to become rich, famous, have a beautiful partner, and so on. I’m not saying that all these desires are sins. It is normal and plays a prominent role in human society, but if you don’t want to act like a machine and strive to become a spiritual being, it is necessary to focus your attention inward as well.
Meditation means to look inside yourself and see who really you are. Many meditators say that when you find your real nature, all your worries and longings disappear like snow under the sun. Your mind becomes empty and you are an organic whole with the universe. Contrary to what many people think, meditation is not escaping from the world. On the contrary, by mediating we can live a better ordinary life and succeed socially.
Meditation, alertness, and consciousness are nearly synonymous. True meditative people meditate not only within the walls of their home, but also while they are working, playing, eating, dancing, or doing just about anything. In this case, meditation consists of watching oneself performing any action. By watching ourselves while we are living our lives, our actions cease to be automatic or unconscious. We behave as fully conscious people, always aware of what we are doing.
We humans tend to live according to the patterns and paradigms we learned during childhood. Our family and society funnel us towards fixed tracks, which we then follow automatically without ever asking ourselves whether those tracks lead us in the right direction. However, if we want to know more about ourselves, we need to drop conditioning given to us as children. When we meditate we set spirituality before worldly ambitions. In doing so, we go beyond the behavioral models that we were schooled in. We follow a new, authentic way—the way to God.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo