THE DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATION IN SICILY

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Novel Captures The Day of the Dead Celebration in Sicily

November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily is a thought-provoking story that captivates from beginning to end. The Day of the Dead is an important festival in many cultures, originating 3,000 years ago in Mexico with the Aztecs. Visiting Spaniards in the 1500s adopted the celebration, taking it home to Europe.

It is a day when children receive gifts from those who have died, and they eat special bone-shaped cakes. Cemeteries are packed with visitors placing flowers at gravesites and lighting candles in their tombs, which can look like small houses.

On such a day on the isle of Sicily, Mario Chiaramonte goes to the cemetery to visit the graves of his friends and relatives. As he strolls through the graveyard, he sees some special tombs, including those of a poet, a nobleman, and a Mafia boss. Mario also discovers some truths about living, its goodness and evil, and ultimately comes to see his own life in a different perspective.

Expect romance, adventure, life, death, and a rollicking good read, including this cultural note:

“In some tribes that I visited in Tanzania, the dead were buried in front of the house where they had lived, but before being placed into an underground niche on the side of the pit that had been dug, the dead person was put on a chair in front of his house for a few hours. This way, the relatives and friends could offer condolences to the family.” Such is life … and death.

About the Author: Ettore Grillo was born in 1946 in Enna, Sicily, where he was an attorney for 37 years. This is his fourth work. His previous books are Travels of the Mind, The Vibrations of Words, and A Hidden Sicilian History.

“The cultural heritage behind the fascinating celebration The Day of the Dead is explored in this finely honed novel. We are pleased to be the publisher.”Lynn Eddy, VP of acquisitions, Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

November 2 The Day of the Dead in Sicily
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

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

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FEAR OF DEATH

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It was the fifth time that I had come in touch with death. My grandfather, Biagio, Pietrino, Vincenzo, and my grandmother had all passed away. What had happened to them? Had they disappeared into thin air forever, or were they still alive in another dimension? What will become of me once I am dead?
The terror of my annihilation grips me day and night. What if there is no life after death? What to do? At the mere thought that I will simply be sleeping forever, I fall into desperation. Is it just delusion to believe in life after death? Does the immaterial world exist? I mused upon my fear of death, and finally decided that I had to do something to better understand the topic. In my opinion, human beings put aside the issue of death and life after death, even though it may be the most important subject to learn more about.
Time flies very fast, and sooner or later we will die. We have to leave our possessions to our heirs. We have to part from the people we love, and we have to quit our identity, our name, and our role in society.
I had no other means to do this kind of research except by using my mind and reasoning, and collecting information from learned people and books. I wanted to know whether or not there is some kind of immaterial entity or energy inside our body. Where does the inner energy go when it leaves the body?

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 IDEAS OF AFTERLIFE, GOOD AND EVIL ACCORDING TO AN INDIAN HOMELESS MAN

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“He watched the river and then turned to me. ‘What a beautiful landscape! Once people used to come here and walk along the bank of the river until late at night. Now this river is full of garbage. It flows into another river called Krishna. It is the only river of India flowing eastward before arriving in the Bay of Bengal.’ ‘What is your job?’ I asked. ‘I am a yoga teacher, now! I was rich at one time. Then I lost all my money at the stock market. I just followed the advice of the managers of the bank, but things didn’t go well.’
“I didn’t have any reason to doubt his words. Maybe he was rich at one time. Who knows! It is not unusual to fall from riches to rags. As he said that he was a yoga teacher, I thought he knew something about the relationship between body and soul. So I asked him, ‘Do you think there is life after death?’ ‘After death there is a mutation. It happens because the frequency changes and the wavelength changes, too. Then, resonance takes place according to the whole cosmos. Resonance is everywhere. It can be chaotic or smooth. Human intelligence has to learn to accept the polarity of destruction and creativity, which is one infinite energy. These days women can’t resonate due to the education system. The male scientific mutation dominates the feminine resonance, so we are proceeding toward a global suicide,’ he answered.”

“Did you ask his name, Uncle Salvatore?”
“Yes, I did. ‘My name is Prem. I had my first death experience at the age of eighteen. The second experience came through pranayama, yoga, and long-time vipassana, or cosmic self-love. I was dying during my prayers. My mind stopped slowly, and my body also stopped. No breath, only awareness and cosmic vibrations. Peace, oneness, feeling of being drunk in bliss, freedom, and being in the now and here, no future, no past.’ ‘You said that everything is mutation of wholeness. Trees, animals, stars, the moon, human beings, and so on are mutations. Is wholeness God?’ ‘I don’t use the word God, I use the word godliness. God is a noun, while godliness expresses action, creativity, and quality,’ he answered.
“I wanted to stop the conversation with him. But I continued to talk because I didn’t want to hurt him. So I asked him, ‘Are people with a low intelligence a mutation of godliness?’ ‘They are a mutation of our retarded social system.’ ‘Is our retarded social system a mutation of godliness?’ ‘It is a mutation of the animal kingdom.’ ‘But the animal kingdom is also a mutation of God!’ ‘Look! There are three things: pain, pleasure, and transcendence of both. If there is no pain, there is no pleasure and no transcendence. Godliness means all three: animal, human, and superhuman. Being human means that through the right effort man can transform the inner animal into a superhuman being. If we don’t try to transcend instinct, we are not human beings, yet. We are just animals with contracted hearts or maybe without hearts. We are just robots that act mechanically. Our scientific inventions created by our animal minds are of no avail to go beyond animality.’ ‘Does evil come from godliness?’ ‘Evil means a closed and contracted heart. Good means an open and expanded heart. It depends upon us and our educational system.’”
“This time I agree with him, Uncle Salvatore. His idea about good and evil is unique. Yes, if our heart is closed and contracted, we can be evil, while good is an expression of an open and expanded heart.”

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

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES

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“Once I felt better, I went back to work. I bought a new gas-fired boiler and stayed in that house a few months longer. In the evening I used to stroll in the street with Giuseppe and Umberto. ‘Have you ever heard about near-death experiences when one comes back to life after a deep coma?’ I asked Umberto. ‘Yes, Carl Gustav Jung told of his own near-death experience.’ ‘Some people have reported that they were in the light and felt bliss while they were dying. It is evidence of life after death.’ ‘No, it isn’t. The experience of a near-death happens inside, not in the external world. In other words, you can’t declare the existence of life after death on the basis of your dreams, reasoning, and thoughts which are confined inside yourself. I’ll give you an example. If you imagine or dream a hippogriff, a mythological creature that is half horse and half griffin, it doesn’t mean that hippogriffs really exist. The whole process of imagining or dreaming a hippogriff happens inside yourself. But that creature doesn’t exist in reality. The same goes for near-death experiences. The whole experience happens inside the dying man, not outside him. The paradise he thinks he sees outside him may not exist in reality,’ Umberto answered coldly.
“I was not convinced about his words and retorted that Descartes, a philosopher, proved the existence of God. But Umberto knew the topic well and answered without getting flustered. ‘Yes, you are right, but another philosopher, Emmanuel Kant, confuted Descartes’s theory. In Descartes’s reasoning, as well as in the reasoning of anyone who wants to prove the existence of God and life after death, there is an inexplicable gap between the logical and the ontological field.’ ‘Could you speak more plainly so that I can understand?’ ‘Yes. You can’t extrapolate the reality from an idea or reasoning. It is not correct to reason that as there is a creature, then there must be a creator. In fact, reasoning can never give existence to a being in reality. If you dream of being a rich and powerful man, you will discover that you don’t have those attributes when you wake up. In your dreams your mind creates objects that will disappear when you awake.’

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

MY MEETING WITH THE INDIAN HOMELESS

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“Uncle Salvatore, can a homeless person be educated? I can’t understand why a learned person becomes homeless.”
“Sometimes life makes a person fall into the worst situation. Benedetto, you can find a golden ring in the garbage by chance. Although he was homeless, Rajan was smart and extraordinary.”…

… “I felt that I had hurt his pride. He winced and answered quietly, ‘I live my life. I do my regular things.’ ‘What things?’ ‘Eating food and sleeping.’ ‘Just eating and sleeping? I don’t think it is enough in life. There are moments of life that you can’t live, such as traveling, dancing, working, drinking a glass of beer at a pub, loving a woman, and so on.’
“My remark was too obvious, so he couldn’t help agreeing with me. ‘Yes, you are right. But I want to focus on a particular job, a search for God. For the sake of my quest, I gave up certain aspects of life.’ ‘How do you lead your search?’ ‘Mostly, studying and learning from the environment and life itself, not from books. The most important aspect of the environment is people. A person’s behavior is different when he works.’ ‘Rajan, I think if you want to study people when they don’t work, you will always meet people like you. There are some groups of people that you can’t analyze. So there will be something missing in your quest.’
“I didn’t feel like continuing to talk about his private life. So I diverted the discussion to another topic. ‘Rajan, have you ever watched a burning corpse?’ ‘Yes, many times. I came here fourteen years ago. I sleep here in the shed provided for the homeless.’ ‘Have you ever asked yourself what will happen after death while watching a burning corpse?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘And what is your conclusion? Does life after death exist?’ I asked him at that time, and still now I ask myself the same question.”
“Uncle Salvatore, still you wonder whether there is life after death or not? You have sifted this topic for a long time! You couldn’t find an answer, and you won’t find it as long as you are alive. After you die, you’ll be able to know the truth!”
“Benedetto, I have to search for an answer while I am alive. When I am dead, I can’t do anything.”
“I hope you can succeed. Now let’s go on.”
“Rajan answered, ‘Man gets many chances to purify his soul during his life. The Christians believe that they will go to heaven. Eastern religions believe that man will become one with God. Does life after death exist? Yes. Life is indestructible from alpha to omega, from beginning to end. No destruction. We are all children of God. He appears in human form to purify himself. He wants to separate good and evil, light and darkness.’
“Uncle Salvatore, God is perfect. He doesn’t need to get purified. It’s the first time that I’ve heard such a completely ridiculous statement. It is absurd what Rajan told you. Don’t you think so?”
“Yes, I do. But Rajan seemed to be sure about his ideas. He said, ‘I believe that God and Satan are the same being. In every man good and evil coexist. The creation was made to separate Satan from God.’ ‘How can you prove this assumption?’ ‘I can’t prove anything. This is just my insight, my intuition. It comes from my inner world.’ ‘How can you know whether your insight is right or not? It may be wrong and lead you astray,’ I said.”
“Uncle Salvatore, only you could lend your ear to that homeless man. Is it possible that God and Satan are the same being? Of course not. They are different.”
“Benedetto, I am open to all ideas. However, I, too, have some doubts about the oneness of God and Satan, or no separation between them. I have read Job’s story in the Bible. God conversed with Satan, as if they were sitting at the same table. They were discussing Job’s destiny!”
“It is interesting! I didn’t know about this passage of the Bible.”
“Rajan kept talking and asked me, ‘In the Bible it is written that God created the stars, the earth, the universe, and everything. Who created Satan? Tell me.’ I answered, ‘Satan was an angel of God. Later he betrayed God.’ ‘There is no mention in the Bible about Satan as an angel that betrayed God.’ ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Yes, I am one hundred percent sure! I have read the Bible, and I can assert that there is no mention about Satan as an angel in the Bible.’
“The long conversation with Rajan made me recall the days I had spent in studying the issue of good and evil. Many times, broaching this difficult topic, I had the insight that good and evil may come from the same source. Anyway, having an open mind and respecting others’ ideas are my strong points.

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