MARY’S WELL IN ZIPPORI (ISRAEL)

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“Hearing his words, I hesitated about going to Nazareth with him or going to see this Mary’s well. The latter alternative prevailed. ‘Yes, I want to visit Mary’s well. Where is it? ‘It’s just three hundred meters away. Cross over that field, and you’ll find it. Good luck! After you see the well, you can take a bus to Nazareth. The bus stop is across the road.’
“I walked in the countryside, but I couldn’t find the well. I asked a man on the way. ‘Yes, it is down there. Some people drink the water of the well, but I’ve never done that,’ he answered.
“After passing by a garbage heap, finally I found the well! I got near to it and was welcomed by the warm greetings of several children. ‘Shalom! Shalom! Shalom!’ they all sang in one voice. ‘Shalom!’ I answered with a big smile.
“The children were splashing in the pool, jumping up and down. Actually, the well was a pool. The water had a bluish hue, which degraded into light blue and ended in whitish colorlessness by the edge where I was standing. At first, I guessed that the light blue color of the water was caused by the reflection of the blue sky. But soon I realized that the pool was too small and shallow to reflect the blue sky. The water didn’t seem to be stirred up by the children who splashed continuously. Its preternatural blue color remained unaltered.
“I took off my shoes and tried to keep my balance while I was walking on uneven, pointed stones. I sat on the edge of the pool and dipped my feet into the cool water. Then I washed my face and my head. There was an ancient wall on one side of the pool. A small blue rivulet fed the pool. I had never found any mark about this Mary’s well on the map. Nevertheless, I visited the well by chance. The sky blue color of the water and its atmosphere enchanted me. When I stepped out of the well, the children performed a Hebraic dance for me. I was happy to see their dance. I waved goodbye to them, smiling. Then I walked to the bus stop.

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

LABYRINTH – TRAVEL – MEDITATION

st-francis-labyrinth-closeup-20075673[2]The symbol of the labyrinth dates back over 4,000 years. It is widespread all over planet Earth. Symbols are the work of a secret geometry and predate human mind. This symbol is related to the idea of travel.
Since ancient times, people used to go on a pilgrimage. In Greece, that to Delphi was renowned.
In the Christian era the pilgrimage par excellence was that to the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. But, in the middle ages it was quite dangerous to go there. So, above all in northern Europe, the real journey to Jerusalem was replaced with a symbolic pilgrimage to a cathedral labyrinth. Pilgrims walked on the labyrinth following a sinuous path up to the center which symbolized Jerusalem. At that time, most cathedrals had a labyrinth inside. Later, they were effaced, because people made fun of them. Nowadays, the only cathedral labyrinth left is that of Chartress Cathedral, in France. But, above all in North America, there are many new labyrinths reproducing that of Chartress Cathedral. We can find them in churches, parks, hospitals, prisons, and schools. There are even labyrinths printed on canvas.
How to walk the labyrinth? Just follow the path. While walking you may focus your attention on your breathing or on your steps. When you arrive at the center, rest there for some minutes and watch yourself. Life is like a labyrinth. It is not straight, but full of twists leading to the center.
A doctor, after creating a labyrinth in a hospital, said that the term disease is a compound word: (dis) (ease). We get sick when we are not at ease. Walking the labyrinth calms our minds and helps get over the dis-ease we are suffering from. It is also a kind of meditation. It cleanses both mind and body to live a different life.
Ettore Grillo, author of
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.ettoregrillocom.wordpress.com
http://www.ettoregrillo.wordpress.com
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

LET’S TALK ABOUT SYMBOLS

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The term, symbol comes from the Greek word sunbolon, which means put together. In ancient times, the sunbolon was an identifying token. It was an object split into two halves. Only the individual who possessed one half of the symbol was allowed to join the group or the tribe that held the other half. These days, the symbol has lost its original function; now, it is just considered as a veiled truth. Esoteric secrets are veiled, but understanding the symbol makes it possible to remove the veil and know the truth. Through the symbol, we can make a synthesis between different levels of existence, spirit and matter, sky and earth, cause and effect, part and whole. The sky is the most widespread symbol in humanity. All religions associate the sky with supernatural. Through the symbol the different parts become one. The symbols are not the creation of the human mind but predate it. You can find the same symbols in different parts of the earth, in populations very far from each other. For instance, the swastika is one of the most ancient and widespread symbols. Hitler borrowed it from ancient cultures. The swastika existed in India, Rome, America, and many countries since time immemorial. It was considered a bearer of good luck, peace, and well-being. Not everybody can easily understand symbols; this faculty belongs to mystics, initiates, and heroes.

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

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

A PARANORMAL PHENOMENON

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“When I was a high school student, some schoolmates of mine taught me a sort of game. We drew three circles, all were the same size as a saucer, in the center of a large sheet of paper. In the middle circle, we put a saucer. In the right circle we wrote ‘Yes’ and in the left circle we wrote ‘No.’ Along the borders of the sheet, we wrote the letters of the alphabet from A to Z, spacing them out about five centimeters from each other. After that, we sat around the table and put our forefinger, it didn’t matter if it was the right one or the left one, on the saucer.
Then, we concentrated on the spirit of Tom, Dick, or Harry and said silently to ourselves ‘Spirit of Tom, Dick, or Harry, if you are here, move to the Yes.’ After a little bit of concentration, sometimes the saucer moved from the middle circle to the circle where ‘Yes’ was written. At that time, I suspected that my schoolmates moved the saucer with their fingers to get me scared. We continued to do the experiment for some months.
Sometimes the saucer moved, sometimes it stayed stuck in the middle circle despite our concentration. However, it never moved toward the letters written along the borders of the sheet.
“A few years later, when I entered the university, I introduced the game to some friends of mine. One night, we four students were in the room of a friend from Apulia, whose name I don’t remember, yet I remember his surname, Lastrina. There was also a Corsican called Paul and a student named Marco from Venice. We were all different from one another, both physically and in character.
“Lastrina was lean and constantly moving, as if electric shocks through his body prevented him from standing still. He was an engineering student, extremely shy and educated. In his room, there was a bookcase with hundreds of books. He was possessive about them and seldom allowed his friends to enter his room.
“Paul, like many French, had a snub nose and fair complexion. He was quite stout and tall. His big, black eyes were always overflowing with love. He was incapable of hurting even a fly.
I could never make out what sort of mystery led him to study medicine in Italy, since there were many excellent universities in France. I felt that he wanted to flee his country.
“Marco was a physics student. A little bit shorter than me, with black eyes and hair. Like most Venetians, he loved music. Thanks to him, I started listening to classical music. Whenever he spoke, his marked Venetian accent sounded like a melody. I loved Venetian accents! He was a hilarious fellow. Whenever he told jokes, we screamed with laughter.
“As for me, I was a law student. At that time, I was a bit fat despite an athletic frame. I practiced all kinds of sports, from tennis to soccer, from horse riding to bodybuilding and weightlifting.
“That night, we played the game as usual, but unexpectedly, the saucer started moving easily and quickly through the letters to answer our questions. We raised Ugo Foscolo’s spirit, a famous Italian poet. All of a sudden, Lastrina removed his forefinger from the saucer and stood up. ‘I want to see if it is the spirit that moves the saucer or you three are making a fool of me!’ he said, with an angry and strident voice like that of a scared crow. Then, still standing, he addressed the spirit. ‘Tell me, O Ugo Foscolo’s spirit, what are the initials of your mother’s name and surname!’ Only three of us kept our forefingers on the saucer, which quickly moved towards the letter ‘D’ and then stopped on the letter ‘S.’ My friend from Apulia turned pale and panted. ‘You all knew that!’ he shouted. ‘What?’ we all asked. ‘Ugo Foscolo’s mother was Greek and her name was Diamantina Spathis!’ ‘I didn’t know that. I think none of us knew that name. But now I am the one who wants to ask something to the spirit,’ I said.
“I took off my finger from the saucer and stood up. ‘What are the initials of the name and surname of my maternal grandfather, O spirit?’ Obviously, none of my friends could know the right answer. They lived far from Sicily and had never met me before I came to study at the university. I want to stress that I was out of the chain, standing far from the saucer. Nevertheless, the saucer, without hesitating, went towards the letter ‘F’ and stopped on it. Then, it moved toward the letter ‘R’ and finally stopped on it. Incredible! My grandfather was called Federico Ruvolo! I couldn’t believe it. For the first time in my life, I was observing a paranormal, or rather an immaterial phenomenon with my own eyes. I thought that the game with the saucer was just a game, but it was not like that. The thing was getting serious, too serious. ‘How is it possible?’ I exclaimed, staring into space.
“My Apulian friend was too upset. Since we raised the spirit in his room, he didn’t want to go to bed and asked for an exorcism to be carried out. About half an hour later, he calmed down. We all went back to each one’s room. I, too, was very upset and shaken. All night I ruminated on what had happened. Maybe there was no spirit, no wandering soul! Perhaps, by keeping our concentration on the saucer to get it moved, we triggered a sort of nonverbal communication with one another. In that way, each one could read the others’ minds, I thought.
“The following night we met again, but this time I told my friends, ‘We have to repeat the experiment in a different way. We must not raise any spirit, but only concentrate upon the saucer in order to make it move. That is, through our force of concentration, we will order the saucer to go to the ‘Yes.’ That night, even without evoking a spirit, the saucer moved a little bit. But it couldn’t go toward the letters of the alphabet disposed along the borders of the sheet, nor did it answer any question. Anyway, I was very shaken by these experiments and asked one of the priests in the university to tell me something about evocation. ‘Why does the Catholic Church condemn the raising of spirits?’ ‘It doesn’t want the dead persons’ souls to be disturbed. Moreover, it is not possible to rule out that Satan disguises himself as the raised spirit,’ answered the priest.
“His answer upset me so much that from then on I didn’t play that kind of game anymore. Paul, my Corsican friend, kept conjuring spirits. I was told that he continually asked the raised spirit, ‘Tell me when I shall die! I want you to tell me when I shall die!’ The raised spirit answered, ‘Soon! You will die before long definitely!’
“That very summer, my dear friend Paul was murdered, along with his brother, while they were spending their holidays in Corsica. In the autumn, Paul’s parents came to the university to meet their son’s friends. During lunch, I sat at their table in the refectory. I didn’t feel like asking them about the cause of the double murder. I just asked, ‘Did you have only two children?’ ‘Yes, just two!’ Paul’s father answered…”

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

A MEETING WITH A SAINT

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Travel to Paravati
To return to Sicily, I took the same itinerary as the outward journey: London, Calais, Paris North, Paris Austerlitz, Genoa, and Rome. On my way home, I wanted to visit Paravati, the town where Natuzza Evolo lived. She was the woman the gentleman I had met in Saint Paul’s Basilica recommended me to see.
At Rome Termini Train Station, I found some information about where the town of Paravati was located. The clerk at the information desk couldn’t spot the tiny village easily at first, but he finally did.
“Paravati is not an autonomous town. It is a part of the municipality of Mileto. I advise you to get off at Mileto station. Paravati is not far away from there. You can use the same
international ticket without extra charge because Mileto is on the same railway line that takes you straight to Sicily.”
I got to Mileto station after some hours. Actually more than a station, it looked like a level-crossing keeper’s lodge in the midst of the countryside. I got off and walked on the empty platform. On the opposite railroad, a train, which seemed to ignore that tiny station, sped along. About two hundred meters ahead, there was a small house, so I headed there. Since the door was wide open, I took a little peek inside. There was a man with a red hat on his head. He wore a gray uniform. He was reading a book, reclining on an armchair with his outstretched legs on a console with a monitor and buttons of many colors. On seeing me, he gave a start of surprise. Apparently, few travelers passed through that train station.
“Please come in!” he said with his eyes wide open and full of wonder.
He closed the book, stood up, and held out his hand to me. He looked quite lanky, at first glance. His thick, black beard all around his face seemed to make up for his terribly thinness. His voice was stentorian and with no inflection.
“Is this Mileto station?”
“Yes, it is. Actually, there is not much passenger traffic here. The locals prefer to get off at Vibo Valentia-Pizzo station, and from there, they take a bus to Mileto. Once in a while, a few visitors arrive here, usually to see Natuzza Evolo.”
“That is why I am here. Can I take a bus to Paravati?”
“No, you can’t. There are no buses from here to there.”
“What can I do? I’ve come here just for Natuzza Evolo. Please help me.”
“You can walk. It is not difficult. You have two options: either walking on the road, which will take more time, or taking a shortcut down the hill. Keep in mind that this station will be closed after sunset.”
I opted for the shortcut and climbed up the hill, following the path that he had shown me. After about ten minutes, I caught sight of the first houses of the village. I couldn’t see either cars or people. I had the feeling of having landed in one of the old villages of the American West where the inhabitants lock themselves in their houses after a gun fight! I walked a little through the village and entered a bar. A woman behind the counter offered me a glass of water. I asked her whether it was possible to speak with Natuzza Evolo or not.
She answered that Natuzza lived in a community on the upper part of the town. I walked up to the top of the hill and got to the house where Natuzza was supposed to live. I knocked on the street door and a priest wearing a long cassock opened the door after a few minutes. He looked very kind and smiled all the time. He showed me into a small chapel and asked me to wait. Nevertheless, he didn’t guarantee that Natuzza would come down to see me. She lived on the upper floor, but she was weak, very weak. Because of that, she wasn’t always able to talk with the guests who came to visit her.
I sat on a chair and waited for her to come down. Now and then, I stood up, lounged around the chapel, and had a look at the pictures and books about Natuzza’s life. Along the sides of the chapel, there were cupboards, glass showcases, and desks where some objects related to her miraculous life and some books were exhibited. Sitting and strolling in the chapel, I felt like she was aware of me and was watching me from above.
I picked up one of those books about her life and leafed through the pages. Natuzza Evolo was born in 1924 in Paravati. She had no schooling, so she grew up illiterate. At the age of fourteen, she went to work as a maid.
I read on. One afternoon, after the mistress of the house offered some tea to her guests, Natuzza asked her why she didn’t offer anything to the priest.
“What priest?” asked the lady.
“The man who is standing in the lounge!” answered Natuzza.
“What are you talking about? I can’t see him. Where is he?”
“He is standing by the gentleman who is sitting in the armchair. Even though he is dead, I can see him. I can describe him. He is tall with a smiling face. His eyes and hair are black. He has a long nose, a broad brow, and a red birthmark in his cheek. He is laying his arm on his brother’s shoulder. Maybe only I can see him now, but he is present with us.”
On listening to Natuzza, one of the guests gave a start of surprise. Actually, his brother, who was a priest, had passed away a few years before. Natuzza’s description of him was flawless.
The handkerchiefs and bandages exhibited in the chapel showed writing, symbols, and drawings imprinted with Natuzza’s blood. In fact, whenever her sweated blood came in
contact with cloths, bandages, handkerchiefs and so on, it turned into holy drawings, symbols, and prayers, not only in Italian, but also in Latin, Greek, and other languages. The drawings consisted of angels, crowns of thorns, and every kind of holy object. Sometimes, passages from the Bible were written with her blood. Since she was very young, besides talking with the dead, she showed other paranormal abilities, which had been recorded not only in the book I was holding in hand, but also in many other texts corroborated by physicians, experts, and hundreds of witnesses.
I put back the book on the desk and lifted my eyes to one of Natuzza’s pictures. She wore glasses with brown frames. Her look was typically Italian. Black hair framed her beautiful face.
I don’t know why, but I felt that she was an intellectual. Her smile was simple, and her eyes seemed to show the great soul she had inside. After I waited for about an hour, three more persons came to the chapel. After a little while, another small group joined us. We all hoped to talk with Natuzza. The ones who came later lived in the neighboring villages. More than once they had tried to talk to Natuzza, but they hadn’t succeeded. One of the newcomers began to say the rosary, and we all joined in.
It was five hours since I had arrived at Natuzza’s house. I was afraid of missing my train. The thought of spending the night at the level-crossing keeper’s lodge didn’t appeal to me
much. It was located in the countryside, and during the night, it was locked. Nonetheless, I kept waiting. Talking with Natuzza was too important for me!
In the late afternoon, I saw the door of the chapel opening. Unfortunately, it was not Natuzza, but the priest who had welcomed me before.
“I’m sorry! Natuzza can’t come down,” he said. “The state of her health doesn’t allow her to meet you.”
I was very disappointed, but what to do! I said goodbye and rushed to the station. I didn’t go through the countryside shortcut. I feared coming across the shepherd’s watchdogs. So, I ran like the wind down the road, but I got to the level-crossing keeper’s lodge some minutes late. Oh, my! I had missed my train!
“You can take the next one to Vibo Valentia-Pizzo, if you like. That station is much more comfortable than ours. You can take another train to Sicily there.”
I accepted the railroader’s advice. While I was waiting for my train, we exchanged a few words.
“Could you talk with Natuzza?”
“No, I couldn’t!”
“Don’t be disappointed. Although you couldn’t see her, maybe your visit will have an effect on you.”
“How do you know that?”
“I have been attending this station for many years. Some visitors who passed through here said that they benefited from the visit although they couldn’t talk to Natuzza.”
The train arrived and I said goodbye.
On the journey home, I pondered his words. Like in a dream, I saw Natuzza’s very beautiful and warm face talking to me in my mind: I am too weak to assist those who need my help. I don’t have enough strength! I associated Natuzza’s words with my way of living that I used to have before leaving for London. At that time, I got along with only shepherds and sick people. I believed that the life of a true Christian should be based on staying with the poor, sick, old, and outcast. There is no difference between the healthy and the sick, the poor and the rich, because all of them are children of God. Therefore, I can’t find any reason why I should not associate with the sick and outcast, I thought at that time. Natuzza suggested to me how to solve this problem. She showed me the weak spot in my reasoning. Thanks to Natuzza, I realized that my cowardice drove me to surround myself with easy and non-demanding friends and women for the purposes of not being lonely and for having a little sex. What’s the point in staying with the poor, the sick, and the outcast? I went to meet them not because of Christian love, but because I was unsociable! Yes, I was a maladjusted man. I couldn’t socialize with normal people, so I felt it easier to flee society and withdraw among the weak, the poor, and the sick. Natuzza spurred me to live a new life based on pure love and joy.
After that visit to Paravati, my life changed radically, and my guilt complex subsided…
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

TRAVEL TO ROME

rome-night-14453025[1]I arrived at Termini Station in Rome. It was the year of the Jubilee. I wanted to follow the instructions that the Catholic Church imposes on the occasion of the Jubilee. Besides doing a good deed, like giving alms, a pilgrim is asked to visit the catacombs and all four patriarchal churches.
Leaving from the side exit of Termini Station, I walked to the Basilica of Saint Mary the Greatest, and then I kept walking on Merulana Street and visited the Basilica of Saint John in Lateran. From there, I took a bus to the catacombs. When I arrived at the Vatican, I headed for the basements. I meditated for a few minutes before the tomb of Pope John XXIII and made an offering for his beatification.
It was already late. To complete my Jubilee, I needed to visit the Church of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. I took the subway and got there in time, a few minutes before the basilica closed.
After having admired the harmonious and austere colonnade outside the church, I went in and stopped briefly to have a look at the splendid mosaics on the ceiling.
While I was admiring the drawings, a gray-haired guy about forty-five years old, with a southern Italian accent, came up to me.
“What about dividing the cost half and half?”
I was surprised by his asking and had a quick look at him to make sure he was a good guy. He wore casual clothes and looked very self-confident. Soon, I recovered from my astonishment.
“What cost?”
“If we insert some coins into the slot of this telescope, we can see the mosaics on the ceiling closer.”
“Yes, of course!”
We inserted the coins and admired those gorgeous mosaics. Then, the stranger told me something about the basilica.
“It stands on a place where it is believed that Saint Paul was buried. This basilica is the biggest after Saint Peter’s. The emperor Constantine erected a small building in this place, but the subsequent emperors demolished it to build a new basilica, which lasted until a disastrous fire. This basilica was rebuilt similar to the one before the fire. Under the altar, there is the tomb of Saint Paul.”
“I would like to confess. Have you seen any priests who hear confession?”
“Yes, I saw one near the door on the way out.”
We walked together toward the priest, but he refused to listen to me because it was too late, and the church was about to be closed. Actually, the priest was tired because he had heard confessions all day long, and for him it was enough! So, my new friend and I went out of the church and walked down the street.
On the way, we talked about the Jubilee, morals, and religions.
“There is too much theology in your mind. You should use your heart not your brain!” the stranger said.
“Maybe you are right.”
“Once, I knew two exceptional persons. One of them was Padre Pio, a Franciscan friar with the stigmata in his hands just like Jesus. He bore the signs of Jesus’s passion for fifty years until his death when the stigmata disappeared, and his hands returned to be normal. He had the ability to read people’s minds. He was able to be present simultaneously in two different, distant places. Another remarkable person is Natuzza Evolo. Like Padre Pio, she can read people’s minds. She lives in Paravati, Calabria.”
We said goodbye, and then, he headed for the subway station. I kept hanging about the area. After about half an hour, I saw him again, sitting on a bench, waiting for his train.
“You are here again! Well! Since we meet again and not by chance, I want to give you this gift.”
He took from his pocket a sheet of paper, a little bit crumpled, with writing on the front and back and handed it to me. Meanwhile, the train arrived. Getting on the train, he waved his hand to me and smiled from ear to ear.
The train left. I have never seen that man again in my life, but the precious sheet of paper is still with me. I sat on a bench and unfolded it. It contained a list of forty-four titles of books. Later, just to be on the safe side, I made some photocopies.
The first book in the list was, The Book of Mirdad; the last, Dogen and Soto Zen.
The listed books range over many subjects: literature, philosophy, meditation, cultures, and religions. There are books about Sufism, Gurdjieff, Saint Augustine, Plato, Osho, and so on. The titles are handwritten, so difficult to decipher. Some are almost impossible to read. Yet, there is a bookseller in my hometown who helped me to read the titles. Finally, we deciphered all the titles except two.
From time to time, I give a copy of the list to some friends of mine. So far, I have read more than half of the listed books. I hope to read all of them before the end of my life.
At Termini Station, I collected my baggage from the checkroom, and I then took a train to Paris.

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