LOOKING FOR WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

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Nobody knows why mental illness occurs. Doctors can treat only the symptoms but not the cause of deviant behavior. But surely, there is something that triggers the mechanism of abnormality. What could that cause be? Do external circumstances or other people give rise to the weakening of mental faculties? Or, in some manner, even without willing it, are we ourselves the ones who cause our disease? Are we already born with our sick brain and mind, or does our illness develop little by little as we live our life? To what degree have outside events affected us, and how much have we ourselves contributed to our disease?

Each one of us is able to know his own mind, not that of others. Supposed knowledge of others’ minds is just the fruit of analogy, since mental and logical processes are the same in all humans.
I intend to set out on a journey through my mind to find out the cause of my anxiety and depression, so others also will be able to do the same by analogy. Let me start my travel from the beginning, that is, from my childhood to my teens.

This is an excerpt from Travels of the Mind 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 AGORAPHOBIA IS

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“Since I was a child, I had suffered from anxiety. It was so much that I couldn’t stand in crowded places. My disease is called agoraphobia. The etymology of the word agoraphobia is from Greek. Agora means square and phobia means fear. So agoraphobia is fear of open spaces and often of any place outside home. The agoraphobic feel comfortable only within their domestic walls. In more serious cases, they can’t leave their home.
“Agoraphobia includes fear of traveling. The world is seen as a minefield. One often feels faint while one is outside home. The more the agoraphobic strive to be normal and at ease, the more this effort of will turns into tension, cold perspiration, and accelerated heartbeats. Apparently, behind agoraphobia there is something related to the relationship with others. Conditioning by religion, society, and family is buried deep in the mind, and it generates a permanent conflict between repression and expression of emotions and feelings. I felt my conflict was unbearable. Accordingly, I fled the external world and withdrew to my home and the office of my haulage company to feel better. I was tortured by a huge ambivalence. On the one hand, I wanted to live my life fully, going out and walking freely on the streets, squares, and crowded places. On the other hand, I felt dizzy outside my home and my office, as if I were about to faint.
“Uncle Salvatore, I didn’t know about your disease. It looks very serious. How did you overcome your agoraphobia?”
“I was helped by the divinity that sent me persons as healers and teachers. Events don’t happen by chance. Our path of life has already been designed by an invisible entity that leads us along the way. An invisible and subtle thread led me to Osho. ‘Please, St. Michael the Archangel, help me and make it possible for me to walk the streets without anxiety and panic attacks!’ I prayed to St. Michael the Archangel when his statue passed by me during the procession on July second.”
“What happened to you afterwards, Uncle Salvatore? Did St. Michael the Archangel answer your prayer?”
“I can just say that from that day on, my life started to change for the better. I met many masters. Little by little, I could get over my anxiety and panic attacks.”

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

LET’S TALK GIBBERISH

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“One evening, after nearly a half hour of singing, something extraordinary happened. The pastor who led the worship first started to stammer and then uttered a series of incomprehensible words or rather sounds. It was gibberish, which lasted for almost ten minutes. His words recalled an unknown dead language. I had never seen anything similar in the Christian world. Long ago, attending Catholic Charismatic Movement meetings, I heard about speaking in tongues. But I had never seen someone who spoke in tongues.
“The pastor seemed to be in a trance. He was perspiring and pale. His wife sat close to him, motionless as a statue, with her gaze turned forward.
“When the ceremony was over, I approached the pastor and asked him, ‘What happened to you?’ ‘I had a fire inside my chest. It is possible to keep it under control, but it is better to let this inner fire out,’ he answered. ‘What kind of fire is it?’ ‘Our church was established in Wales at the beginning of the last century. From there it spread all over the world. It is related to the church of the early Christians. The gift of the Holy Spirit and speaking in unknown languages are described in the Acts of the Apostles.’ ‘What does speaking in tongues mean?’ ‘It means speaking in an unknown language. He who speaks in tongues experiences a special communion with God. To learn about this topic, I recommend you study the Holy Scriptures. At the beginning, there was only one language for all humankind. Then, due to the building of the Tower of Babel, God confused languages. Later, on Pentecost day, the Holy Spirit descended into the Apostles who spoke in an unknown language which everybody was able to understand,’ the pastor said.”
“Did you inquire into the pastor’s gibberish?”
“Yes, I did.”
“What conclusion did you come to?”
“The pastor’s gibberish made me suspicious that it was due to the vibrations of the music and songs which resounded in his heart. He convulsively expressed the so-called communion with God.”
“Do you rule out that the Holy Spirit talked through the pastor’s voice?”
“No, I don’t. But I am still a bit skeptical about it. “A few years later, during one of my travels to India, I had a chance to know another kind of gibberish. This gibberish was a way of giving vent to the innermost thoughts and emotions buried in the depths of the mind. Actually, we hide repressed emotions inside ourselves.
“It is said that the etymology of the word gibberish comes from Gibraltar, a British overseas territory whose inhabitants spoke in a language mixed with English, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, and Hindi whenever they didn’t want foreigners to understand their conversation. Another theory says that the word gibberish comes from the name of the Arabic alchemist Geber who used it as an incomprehensible jargon. At Osho Ashram, in India, gibberish consisted of speaking nonsense words in unknown languages. Its main function was to throw away the garbage inside our mind.”

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

BAD THINGS TURN INTO GOOD THINGS

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BAD THINGS TURN INTO GOOD THINGS
On July 10, the new edition of my book, Travels of the Mind was released. Consequently, I asked the person who built my website to update it with the cover of the new book. He didn’t. He didn’t even answer my e-mails.
I was very angry and hesitant about what to do. Finally, I came to the right decision. I didn’t argue with him, instead I decided to build a new website by myself.
Nothing is impossible for determined people. If you have enough faith in yourself, you can even move a mountain!
It took two days to build my website, but finally I did. Furthermore, I enhanced my blog.
The man who refused to update my website was like a teacher to me. I am grateful to him. Thanks to him, I created something that seemed to be impossible to me.
According to Lao Tzu, the author of the most ancient book about Tao, there is a paramount force over heaven and earth, called Tao (the way). Lao Tzu thinks that unfavorable situations are a source of personal growth. In Taoism the sourness and bitterness of life are not caused by life itself, but our minds which don’t know how to transform the unfavorable situations into favorable ones.
You can have a look at my new website and blog: http://www.ettoregrillocom.wordpress.com and http://www.ettoregrillo.wordpress.com.
Nothing is impossible for determined people!
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

MARTIAL ARTS TO STRENGTHEN BODY AND MIND

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Then, we did another variation of the ‘seaweed and the wave.’ Both partners imagined being under the sea. They had to move continually like seaweeds. It wasn’t needed to wait that one touched the other with his hand to draw back and wave sinuously. In other words, one should move regardless of the partner’s action to touch him or not. This exercise made me think that we should live our lives autonomously, regardless of external stimuli. It is important to have a strong and stable mind, which doesn’t depend on the circumstances of life.
A long time ago, I thought that to solve my inner problems I should have a house in the countryside, live in the nature, and breathe fresh air. So, I purchased a plot of land and built a house on it, a big house with many rooms. At the beginning, it seemed that something was about to change in my life. I felt satisfied to have built such a big house. I became very diligent. I improved the soil and planted many young trees and grapevines.
Nevertheless, little by little, I became aware that the new house couldn’t calm my inner discomfort. A few years later, I sold the house and moved to a luxurious apartment in town. There, I felt uncomfortable after one or two years. I wanted to spend my life near the sea, but I didn’t feel like moving again. Instead, I decided to travel somewhere.
In ancient Rome, there was a similar character who moved from one place to another all over the world. He hoped that a new environment would bring him good luck. Coming across him, the Latin poet Horatio said to him, ‘Caelum, non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt.’ It means, ‘They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea.’ Although the place where we live changes, that is, the sky changes, our mind is the same. Therefore, the way to overcome our trouble comes from inside ourselves. We should rely on our inner strength and inner light without expecting any help from others.

Excerpt from Travels of the Mind
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

USEFUL TIPS TO CURE PARANOIA AND ANXIETY

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While I was staying in the ashram, I finished writing the first draft of this book and gave a copy of it to Baradeny. After she read a few pages of the draft, she wanted to talk about paranoia and anxiety in the class.
“Paranoia,” she said, “is a compound of two Greek words: para means ‘close,’ ‘near,’ ‘sideways,’ ‘similar,’ ‘resembling’; nus means ‘mind.’ So, we can define paranoia as an artificial mind close to the real one. It looks like a real mind, but it is a false mind. Whenever you let that artificial mind loose, it takes you by the hand, and you are led by it. Then, you stop thinking with your real mind and begin to think with this artificial mind or paranoia. It has the power to lead you into an illusory world. Gradually, you lose contact with the real world.
“What can you do to fight paranoia? What is the method to overcome and eliminate the artificial mind definitely? It’s not difficult. You shouldn’t try to suppress it. If you attack paranoia frontally, as in an open field battle, you will lose and end up strengthening it more and more. Instead, all you have to do is watch paranoia! Yes, just watch and watch this artificial mind. At last, it will fade away, because it can’t exist by itself. It is like a mirage bound to disappear as soon as you realize what it is.”
I tried to keep those words in mind. Whenever my artificial mind allured me into the twists and turns of illusion, I watched it calmly. As I kept watching my artificial mind, it became smaller and smaller like a little shy boy who runs to hide when he notices that a stranger is watching him. As the darkness of the night disappears when the day dawns, my paranoia faded away after my watching, at last.
During a break, Baradeny told us an old Indian story.
“Once upon a time, there was a bee that flitted over the flowers in a meadow. Now and then, it alighted on a flower to suck the nectar. Finally, the bee settled on an extraordinary flower, the most beautiful in the meadow. Its fragrance was intense and attractive enough to spellbind the bee. It didn’t want to leave the flower and lingered inside the corolla, forgetting to go back to its hive. While it was enjoying the nectar, an elephant came unexpectedly. With its trunk, it pulled the flower out and cast it away. Without its roots in the ground, the flower shut itself up immediately. The bee remained trapped inside the petals and couldn’t get out of it. Do you know what the significance of this story is? You ought to strive not to become attached to earthly pleasures too much. Otherwise, you will get trapped, as it happened to the bee.”
Then, Baradeny talked about anxiety.
“We can define anxiety as a kind of self-defense. It is not harmful if it is necessary. Anxiety makes us alert and aware of danger. But when anxiety is excessive, it becomes pathological. Once, I knew a man who couldn’t get out of his house because of his anxiety. Some people fear traveling by airplane, and some can’t drive a car because of fear. In extreme situations, some people can’t even walk in the street. They are much too anxious to do the usual things for others.
“There are many effective methods to treat anxiety, but the best of all is ‘watching yourself.’ In fact, anxiety, just like paranoia, doesn’t have a real basis. It is the fruit of your imagination. Anxiety is like being scared of your own shadow. But anxiety, like a shadow, is just a projection of your mind. If you keep watching yourself without striving to suppress anxiety, you will realize the difference between reality and illusion. Instead of running away from anxiety, watch yourself. You will understand that neither the shadow nor anxiety can hurt you because neither of them can stand alone. They are just projections!
“When I lived in Germany, I had a horse that was frightened by his shadow. The horse didn’t know that the shadow of his body couldn’t threaten him. It was not easy to convince him not to get scared. At last, he understood that his shadow was an image projected by his body. After understanding, he calmed down.
“Therefore, whenever anxiety tries to take over you, take a rest for some minutes and sit silently. Watch your breathing, watch your mind, watch your body, watch your thoughts, and watch your anxiety. Gradually, your mind will be purified, and your anxiety will vanish! You can’t find it anymore because it comes from an impure mind.”

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

 

WHAT IS A PLACEBO?

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Without a doubt, Shikido produces positive effects on the body and mind. In regard to me, it made me more open to others and steadier. Is it possible that these positive effects are due to autosuggestion rather than to the real effectiveness of the discipline? What is autosuggestion? What is the difference between reality and illusion, waking and dreaming, existence and vacuity?
When I was about twenty years old, one night my Belgian friend, Brigitte, gave me an effective pill to sleep peacefully. It worked perfectly, and I slept well all night. The following day, she showed me the capsules that seemed to contain the drug inside. But they were all empty. The pill I had taken was also empty! I didn’t know it. Nonetheless, it was effective to me. Did the same happen with regard to Shikido?
What is the criterion that makes us distinguish between reality and illusion? In pharmacology, the effectiveness of drugs is often tested through a placebo. Without their knowing, a group of patients is given a dose of a placebo drug while another group receives the real drug. Even though the placebo contains nothing effective, it often produces the same effect as the actual drug. Sometimes, so-called magicians, healers, and
clairvoyants provoke a placebo effect in their clients who are really convinced of benefiting from them. Do meditation and prayer produce placebo effects as well?
When I attended secondary school, before a written test, I entered the church and lit a small candle to Saint Joseph. My grandmother told me that, if the flame of the candle was
brilliant, the result of the test would be good, but if it was feeble or flickering, the result would be not good. Almost always what my grandmother said happened to me! Was it a placebo effect?
In ancient times, predictions were sometimes gotten through the observation of the flight of birds or their entrails. In Greece, the Delphian oracle was renowned. It seems that its predictions were infallible. But we can’t know whether it was true or not. For some people, even stigmata are the fruit of autosuggestion.
How to distinguish illusion from reality? Once, a friend of mine gave me his answer on this topic.
“I can state, with absolute certainty, that everything we can touch, see, and hear through our senses is true and real.”
The answer is only partially correct. At that time, I felt that his opinion was materialistic. There are many invisible truths. Senses are connected to the mind, which rules them. We sense things through the filter of the mind. So, how can we be sure that what we see, touch, and listen to corresponds to the absolute, true, and ultimate reality? We can’t know the truth! This is the human condition! From this basis, the path of knowledge has to proceed toward the search for another dimension where we can perceive the ‘source of the universe’ from which reality derives.

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