The most beautiful lessons I have learned are deposited and well-guarded in the private archives of my consciousness.

I used to be angry, furious, stubborn, firm and unyielding in my atavistic convictions.
My “beliefs.” An entire book could be written about this word, a stupid word that often keeps even the brightest minds on the planet ‘in stand-by,’ and whose mention makes me feel disgust.

I was in that age of passage defined by all as the most beautiful, and well described by the mobility of the lively and restless mercury:  adolescence.  The same passage where most of humanity is today.

In contrast to all who mourn its passing, I am relieved and very happy to have overcome it and perhaps without causing too much damage. One feels idiotically like super-giants who have power over everything and everyone, but who really don’t have the slightest awareness of themselves.

Every day with my super-powers (like an idiot), I went in search of enemies to test myself and increase my personal pride, my stupid stature.

Who were the enemies?

Everyone.

At home, the most terrible and fearful were entrenched—parents, brothers and various relatives; then at school, the irritating and boring teachers and finally, ordinary friends, those with whom you do sports, catechism and you go out with on Sunday because you have nothing better to do.

In short, the enemies for me at that age were everywhere.

Poor humanity, what a bad time is occurring now!

I engraved a motto that said:
“Me against everyone, everyone against me,”
followed by a bloodthirsty:
“Next!”

You can imagine how pleased people were to be near me.
Thinking about this now gives me chills.

War at home, war at school, war with friends, not to mention the terrible internal conflicts that followed one another like the rounds of a machine gun.

And some have the courage to call it a “beautiful age!”  When they say it to me, I turn around and give them a dirty look.

It took some time, a long time, before I felt total disgust with myself, of the me that was full of anger and conflict.

I understood that all the destructive aggressiveness was the fruit of deep suffering, of great pain, and of the terrible feeling of loneliness that burned inside me. I realized that if I didn’t find the courage to descend to the bottom of its roots, I would have been unhappy the rest of my life.

Thus began my research.

I began to do targeted readings to understand myself, the destiny of man, the reason why we are here, the reason for suffering and the meaning of death, where we are headed and what is our role on this planet.

New scenarios opened up for me.

Many questions found answers.

My mind expanded and I with it.

Special encounters and revelators injected drops of light and hope into my life.

Travels suggested by the heart left indelible traces of beauty.

Then came instructive occasions from all sides, even the smile of a child.

But above all the desire for Listening developed in me. Yes, listening, with a capital L, the kind that takes you inside, into contact with the most intimate part of yourself.

I listened in silence.

Having laid down the armour of war, I became more sensitive, open and receptive.
My point of view changed–
from outside to inside
from periphery to center
from war, finally, to peace.

Listening … a true and real cure-all; a just definition would be “panacea for all evils.”  If only we wanted to listen!

In short, beyond the ‘Armageddon’ of the world, I discovered there was another world, more True, more Beautiful, more Just than ours.

Life now seemed different to me, a great adventure, a conquest toward the top, towards higher elevations.

I invested all my resources in cultivating a state of calm, serenity, and focussed attention, useful for acquiring new and stimulating knowledge.

Of course, it wasn’t easy at first, the oscillations were often felt, but then gradually the climate became more and more stable and I was helped a lot by the constant practice of meditation, which regulated the rhythm of my days.

The knowledge of this ancient discipline is essential to penetrate beyond the veil of the known and overcome all the barriers that limit life.

My face, from shadowy, tense and frowning, became more and more smiling.

My miserable life now had meaning, a greater significance, a direction.

To smile then became my new motto.
Incredibly,
I smiled.

People who had known me before, often wondered what had happened to change my nature so radically.

Everyone thought of love.
And in a sense that was true.
I had “fallen in love” with that deep part of myself that I could now see, from which a soulful luminosity reverberated.

I had fallen in love with that light that offered warmth, shelter and healing, that made me feel no longer lonely.

I had fallen in love with its goodness and unconditional love for everything and everyone.
I had fallen in love with its beauty.
I had fallen in love …
with my Soul.

From a distance of many years, I retrace the catastrophic but indispensable period of adolescence, remembering it with a kindly and affectionate smile.

Like the one we express to children when they have caused a mess, but it is useful for their growth.

My insolent, selfish and presumptuous period was finally over,
my first lesson learned,
the voice of the Heart was heard.

Every now and then, mindful of the past and aware of the present, I try to ask myself:

“What will I do when I’m grown up?”