Travels of the Mind by Ettore Grillo

Travels of the MindReviewed by Chris Phillips

Grillo has written a unique book. By following the physical travels of friends and relatives, finally of his own, he discovers the help he needs to overcome paranoid schizophrenia. Although each of these travels, trips, involve different types of people traveling in different circumstances, they each teach a lesson about how to handle personal difficulties for life.

There are characters aplenty. Grillo, himself, introduces this journey and then finishes his self development by a journey of his own. The major influence in his life is his uncle, Salvatore. Salvatore’s friend, the rich man, Mario, relates his life journey as a vacation in Great Britain, London to be exact. The third trip is Salvatore’s own journey as a volunteer for an aid agency in Africa. The fourth tale, Lorenzo travels to Medujorge for intense martial arts training but it turns into a journey of discovery, lessons learned from an Imman and from the martial arts instructors in Japan.

From each tale and from each trip Grillo learns to overcome the very symptoms his mental illness imposes on his mind and his actions. He hears the lessons, applies them as they are by the teller and then makes the transition with each of those into a better understanding of his own difficulties and how to overcome them.

The unique quality of this that transcends other self-help books is that the author does not release the book until he has achieved the goals of the book himself. This is due to the developmental nature of the recovery on the part of Grillo. For someone like Grillo this is the method that works best. He discovers from these tales how to accomplish this without the use of drugs or psychotherapy. Much can be learned from these travels, both for those with conditions like his and those aware of others, supporting others or even simply wanting to know more about similar conditions.

The plot is piece-meal depending on the particular tale. Five chapters, five tales, five perspectives on how to handle discomfort of the crippling kind and transforming it into living life, often in the very moment when fear, discomfort or confusion are coursing through the mind. The theme is constant; how to overcome what is given in life to live life at its fullest.

Recommended readers for this book would include anyone struggling with neurotic and psychotic conditions. Also, helped are people that wish to improve their own lives and the lives of those close to them. The quality of the writing makes this an easy read.

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