Monday, November 13, 2006

Italy 2- Rome, Tuscany, Assisi, Venice, and Mr. Schauberger

Dear Family and Friends,
We are currently in Spain, visiting sacred sites, friends of Icasiana and the places where Kate and Matt were born. We will be in Spain until the first of December after short jaunts to Morocco and Portugal. It is hard to believe we are on the last leg of our trip. We will spend the last 5 weeks scurrying to squeeze the most out of the end of our journey. We will fly from London on December 10th to New York to visit Gabriel’s family and to celebrate Chanukah, then on to Maine to visit Icasiana’s sister and mother, and then on to Dallas to visit Icasiana’s family and to celebrate Christmas. We arrive back into San Francisco on January 1, 2007 after an amazing year of travel and transformation. To get to our most up to date info go to our blog site at: or check our web site at:

Before we tell you about what happened the rest of the time in Italy I want to start with what happened at the end.

Meeting with the grandson of genius inventor Viktor Schauberger
As we left Venice, a wonderful synchronicity occurred. I (Gabriel) had been in contact with Joerg Schauberger, the grandson of Viktor Schauberger. Many of my friends have heard me talk about Viktor Schauberger. He was a genius who made his mark in the earlier half of the 20th century, and what a mark it was, except it was mostly unnoticed. He prophesized the impending ecological (crisis leading to the devastation of the earth’s systems (pollution of water, air and even the aspect of global warming) back then. He developed principles and methods of working with nature instead of against it, to heal the planet. His ideas were way ahead of his time, and possibly ahead of our time still. If his principles and understandings and inventions were utilized today I believe they could change the destructive course we are on.

Synchronicity Plays a Key Role in Our Meeting

Joerg Schauberger. His shirt was designed around 1949. The slogan means "Make the Earth green again", or part of their larger vision, "Make the Earth fertile again"

Joerg Schauberger is the head of the PKS institute (Pythagoras Kepler System) in Bad Ischl, Austria. PKS was founded by Joerg's father, Walter, Viktor's son, around 1970. I would have loved to have seen Vienna, but I was especially compelled to visit this institute and learn more about this man, and how his ideas were being carried on and developed today. I had emailed Joerg earlier in the summer, but our journey was veering away from Northern and Eastern Europe, and now as we prepared to leave Italy, we were looking at the end of the trip, with not enough time to finish our “plans” for Spain and Portugal. We were preparing to take overnight trains to and from Austria, and then rent a car and drive, to spend a few hours at the institute. Then we received an email from Joerg that he would be at a seminar in Italy during the time we wanted to visit him in Austria. As this synchronicity unfolded, when Icasiana and I returned from Venice to the town of Padova, where we had left the van, we set out to find Joerg at his seminar. Amazingly, it was only 10 miles away from where we were. We were honored with being able to meet Joerg Schauberger at his hotel, and he graciously met with us the next morning and shared his life as a Schauberger, and where he intended to take the principles he had grown up with and learned from his grandfather Viktor and his father Walter Schauberger.

How Our World Could Be
I had a number or questions to ask him and was very glad that Icasiana was with me, she has such a gift of bringing out of people what is inside of them. Let me explain some of the principles of Viktor Schauberger that have made such an impression on me and have propelled me to learn more about them and then see how they can be applied in our world today.

First of all, his work is based upon the view that nature is to be studied and then copied, let us work with nature, not against nature. He was a forester in the still primeval (virgin) forests of Austria. He studied the way that the natural cycles of life manifested, and how healthy forests were so vital for the replenishment of water supplies, in the springs, wells, and rivers. He discovered how rivers intrinsically kept themselves vital and alive. For example, he noticed that salmon were able to swim upstream in the streams, and that trout could be still in the water and maintain their position in a fast flowing river. How is this possible? He discovered that there are levitational forces that allow the fish to swim upstream or maintain their position while being still. This phenomenon is dependant upon the temperature, energy and motion of the water. When he poured warm water upstream of the fish, they would flow downstream and would no longer be able to levitate and maintain their position. I found these discoveries fascinating and intrigued about their implications, so I wanted to learn more.

The Egg Shape of Life
Viktor Schauberger developed many applications for his profound principles. The egg shape is what biological life has created as the perfect form. And he utilizes this principle for example in building compost in this shape as well as using this form to contain water as well as other innovations. Another principle is that life creates energy through an implosive process. At present, our systems of energy creation for electricity and cars, etc. is done through an explosive process. This creates tremendous heat in the environment (adding to global warming), as well as being a highly polluting process. His implosive process of energy creation is envisioned as a non-polluting, cooling one. During his lifetime, Viktor developed machines that worked on creating energy through an implosive processes. In the books I have read, it is suggested that he did build a prototype during the war, but it was destroyed as a result of events of the war. It seems to me that implosive technology is what the future could be for safe, cool and clean forms of energy.

Mystic in the Man
Not only was Viktor an amazing revolutionary, I believe he was a mystic who was able to travel within to the energy behind the forms of life. He was able to delve into the inner nature of water and understand it at a profound level. His insight showed him that the way water moves is crucial for its health. He saw that as water moves in a spiral, vortex motion it increases its vitality, it raises its frequency, it takes on life energy. When the flow of water is interfered with, it may not be able to move in its natural vortical motion, and now, instead of its motion increasing its vitality, it decreases its capacity to carry life. These are my beliefs too as a healer and chiropractor that the spiral motion is the basis of life, of all living forms vis a vis the spiral of DNA. This is why rivers that are put into canals become sick. Amazingly, Schauberger found that when a river is polluted, if it can be allowed to move in its natural way unhindered, it will restore its health and vitality – it would clean its waters. This is an amazing finding that has huge ramifications for how we manage and care for our rivers and waterways; they can be revitalized and brought back to health, as well as lessen the threats of flooding.

Joerg’s Commitment to his Family’s Legacy
Joerg has decided to devote his energy to developing his grandfather’s ideas about water. Water is the basis of life, essential for our survival. Every living species needs access to good, healthy, clean, and vital water. Based upon the principle that water is made more vital by flowing in a vortex motion, he is developing and making products that will create this motion of the water for plumbing in the house, showers, for ponds and rivers to help clean them up. He has also consulting with academics and other governmental bodies in Austria to assist in the management of waterways and farming with instruments that promote life (copper and brass for farm implements, i.e. plows) instead of diminishing soil fertility like steel does.

Joerg was able to clear up a number of questions I had and point out a number of things that I hadn’t been aware of and had never thought of. For example, I had read from Viktor that when he put warm water upstream of the fish, they would not be able to swim upstream or maintain their position in the water as mentioned earlier. I had assumed that this occurred when the warm water flowed to where the fish were. What Joerg elucidated was that actually this phenomenon occurred as soon as the warm water was put in the stream; it did not wait until the water flowed to where the fish were. This seems to indicate that it was not the warm water itself, but a disruption of the energetic dynamic of the water.

There’s a Celebrity in my own Family
Joerg told us a funny story about how he started working with his grandfather’s revolutionary work. He had been working as a radio show host interviewing celebrities. He got to thinking about it, and asked himself why he would be doing this, promoting these celebrities when his own grandfather was a celebrity himself, and bigger than they were for that matter. Why not promote and develop what was his legacy? The irony is that Viktor Schauberger’s work is so revolutionary and so profound, yet so little is known by the world today. Joerg is on a mission to change this.

I believe his ideas should be incorporated into public policy and research. He was a naturalist before the term was invented. He was an ecologist way before Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, and he was green before anyone knew what it was, and Viktor spoke about water and the whole Earth as living organisms long before J. Lovelock or R. Sheldrake published their books on the Gaia-Theory. I would like to see this revolutionary man’s ideas understood by people of the world and utilized for the common good. I encourage you to learn more about Schauberger’s work. His philosophies and processes are elucidated in several books written by Callum Coates that I would recommend. Especially the book: “Living Energies” by Callum Coates. Also, “Living Water” by Mr Olof Alexandersson
You can check these web sites about Viktor Schauberger: (contact info for PKS institute and Joerg Schauberger). Also:
or: (his books and websites) (books about him and a brief bio)

Now let’s get back to what happened before this meeting with Mr. Schauberger.

Sans Children, Well Almost

As we left Damanhur, we (the parents) were alone without the older kids. We had taken a leap and entrusted them with our new friend Joan Kolari (from Marin County in California) who lives at Damanhur. We were excited for them because they wanted to stay at Damanhur, and that desire suggested to us they were ready to stretch and learn about themselves in a whole new way.

Well, we were ready to stretch ourselves and enjoy a little honeymoon, albeit with our little baby, Elijah. First though we had to experience the frustration of getting lost and getting stuck in a major traffic jam through Torino (site of the recent winter Olympics). Yes I (Gabriel) was getting very frustrated and convinced that the road signs had all been neglected to be put up on this part of the roads which was leading to my making all wrong turns. It was amusing after awhile as we joked that all roads led to Roma. Well it seemed that way anyway.

New Friends, Ancient Sites and Remarkable Roma

After fits and starts we started to settle into life on the road with the three of us. Well we just had a grand old time. We first went to Rome. We had the good fortune to be hosted by new friends Stefano and Francesca who we were introduced to (through email!) by my old friend John Fusco. They took us in like long lost friends and made us feel so welcome, they even gave us their master bedroom and made us meals and everything. Icasiana especially loved the espresso coffee and the long talks – two of her favorite things. We also had the privilege of spending time with Francesa’s mother, Maria Louisa. She’s a Reiki Master and clairvoyant (sensitive) who we all connected with, especially Elijah and Icasiana felt a strong bond, as if they knew each other before – what a surprise! We considered giving up the rest of the trip and staying here, all right – just kidding.

We took the train into Rome and left the van at their home, we did not want to drive into Rome since we had heard horror stories of theft, vandalism, and maniacal drivers. We walked through the streets and enjoyed the sights and the street theater in some of the plazas. We visited the famous St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel of Michelangelo in the Vatican City, I found myself wondering about the affect of the Church through the ages, of their ways of control and suppression of the people. Icasiana had told me that her uncle, Uncle Jose had studied to become a Jesuit priest. He was sent to the Vatican for his ordination. He was so disgusted and disillusioned by the opulence and wealth of the Church amid the poverty and oppression of the people, that he left Italy and the order, never to return, and never to become a priest.

Coliseum – Power to Incite Repulsion
I was fascinated to see the Coliseum and it did not disappoint us in its capacity to incite feelings of horror and revulsion in us. The ancient games played out here where the gladiators would fight to the death, and where gladiators killed thousands of animals for sport. And in between these events, the slaves and other sundry sorts were fed to the lions, including Christians, all for the viewing pleasure of the spectators in the Coliseum. All of this viewing was paid for by the Senators, key influential politicians of the day as a way to obtain popularity, some things never change. As soon as we got there, both Icasiana and I were sick to our stomachs, and Elijah didn’t stop crying until we left. It sure was fun.

Ancient Etruscan Tombs
While in the area of Rome, Stefano and Francesca took us to the Etruscan ruins. Etruscans were the people that inhabited Italy prior to the Romans or the Italics. Their ancient tombs were similar to the Egyptians; so much of their life was spent erecting these massive underground, stone edifices for their and their descendents’ burials. We visited several of these tombs and found their structures quite amazing. They, like the Egyptians, believed their work in the afterlife was even more important than their current life.

Tuscany Jewels and Jewish History Repeated
After enjoying being with our new friends in Rome we finally pulled away and headed out to Tuscany, to see Siena, San Gimignano, Vinci, and Assisi. Siena had an amazing plaza in the shape of a clam shell. I loved being in the plaza, where all the people came to congregate, partake in meals, and meet friends. While in Sienna we also had the opportunity to visit the ancient Jewish section of town. Here, like in many of the other places we have traveled, the Jews were sequestered into a very small area of town, with walls and gates erected to “keep them in their place.” The synagogue was in excellent condition. We met a nice woman from the United States, Linda Paul, who interpreted the Hebrew in the temple for us. She also mentioned a place we must see when we visit Portugal, Belmonte (beautiful mountain), that holds a very unique history of the Jews. At the Synagogue in Sienna they had a beautiful carved antique chair known as “Elijah’s chair”, a. We thought, “how perfect?”, we’d place our little Elijah on the chair to see how it fit him. He screamed, cried and wriggled himself until we took him off, and then Linda shared with us that this is the chair that Jewish babies are circumcised in. Oh.

We then traveled on to Assisi. Birthplace of St. Francis.

St. Francis of Assisi
I (Icasiana) have a strong connection to the village of Assisi; this was a place I definitely wanted/needed to visit. As I have an affinity with Mother Mary, I also feel an affinity for St. Francis. Maybe it is because of his special connection with the animals and with nature; what has made such a strong impression on me is his huge heart and his deep conviction in his beliefs.

We arrived in the area of Assisi and quickly found a nice campsite. After dinner we drove up to the town of Assisi. It’s a medieval walled city perched on a mountain. To get there you pass through the road that winds back and forth until you reach the peak. Along the pathways are several churches, monasteries and commercial areas, all neat and well-kept. We arrived at the Chapel of St. Francesco when it was dark, and closed, but the outside lights were shining onto the church and the courtyard below in a very soft and inviting manner. Gabriel and I were both drawn to the church. There are actually two churches, one built on top of the other, but both accessible and used today for services. I found out the next day that the one below had much more of a pull for me, something very special. Both churches were built starting two years after St. Francis’s death. The church below contained the crypt of St. Francis and crypts for four of his very close disciples. We had also learned about the life of St. Francis. He was a son of a wealthy Italian merchant and a beautiful French woman. His father was very disappointed with his son who had his own ideas for his life and had no intention of following in his footsteps to the merchant trade. Francis believed in a different life, so spiritual and so different than his father that when Francis was young his father locked him up in chains under their stairwell. His mother who loved her son and wanted him to live his own life would free him from his shackles. It turns out that Francis denounced his family’s fortune to follow his calling. After his vision with Jesus he met with the Pope and was able to form a very severe and austere order of priests and nuns; the Franciscan Order. These people took a vow of poverty, chastity and charity.

detail inside of the San Francescan church in Assisi

The Message is Love
The following day, while praying in the crypt where St. Francis was buried, I was instructed to visit the small church, just outside of town, where Francis as a young man was visited by Jesus through a crucifix hanging in the church. I was very excited and anticipated some message or vision that would be shown to me while at this Church. Gabriel, my trusted sidekick, took Elijah into the courtyard to schmooze with the pilgrims and visiting people, while I went into the church to meditate. The first message was a simple one, a message directly for me. Jesus told me that I don’t have to come to churches, or sacred sites, or energy spots to have a connection with the divine. I just need to take a moment; still the mind and I will connect to the universal force that is the Creator. I laugh every time I hear this message as I KNOW this to be true, but I tend to do things my own way, even if they are at times more difficult. I’m happy to admit, though, that since that last message, I have been taking the time every day to make this special connection. The second message was for all of us. This was a message about our remembering. Jesus told me how Creator has sent so many messengers, prophets, messiahs and special people to help remind us of our own divinity and our direct connection with the Creator. He even said that most people have mis-interpreted the message of his own suffering and the crucifixion by focusing more on the form than the message. The message, he said, is to remind us of our own power and our capacity to love. Jesus took the form of a man so he could live among us and share God’s message of love. Instead of receiving his simple message, it instead incited fear and resistance among the ruling elite and the religious leaders of the time. In seeking to maintain control over the people, the leaders ignored his message and instead ordered him killed.

In the moments during his suffering and his imminent death, Jesus continued to forgive his tormenters and prayed for their own healing. The compassion he showed demonstrated his love for humankind and his love for our Creator. His main message to me is that focusing on the form of his death and dying, and praying to an image of him crucified on the cross is missing the purpose of his mission, his mission is to spread the message of love. That was the Word, and the Word is love.

. How are we spreading this message? Is it through our work, our artistry, our voices, our parenting, our friendships, our deeds? Whatever or however we demonstrate this message, it all supports the message of Samadhi (connectedness) to our universe, our Creator and each other.

Separation and Disconnection – Our Own Cross to Bear
Our suffering, our own “dying on the cross” comes from the feeling of disconnection. Our purpose here on earth may not be clear, our reason for being is not known, and our separation from Creator is immense. All of these moments, or possibly lifetimes, are rooted in fear, not love. If we can only re-member who we are and how we were created in the image of God, our suffering will end. I was elated to be reminded of this message. As I emerged from the church I could hear Elijah’s sweet voice, laughing and cooing –he makes friends with everyone. It helps to have a small child reminding us of our connection to all beings.

Leonardo’s Hometown of Vinci
Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo daVinci was not what we expected. The museum there was very disappointing. We had driven a long way to get to Vinci and thought there would have been a lot more to see. Unfortunately, many of his drawings were on display at the Uffizia Museum in Firenze (Florence). We had waited in the line to get in to the Museum while in Firenze, but our friend Jim Vecchi arrived to meet us and so we decided to spend time with him and his friend Kat instead of waiting in line. When we returned from lunch, we waited in the line again. Just a few minutes before we reached the ticket office, the guards told us that the museum was closed due to a death – well, that was our best interpretation of what was spoken to us in rapid Italian. A bit disappointed, we left Florence to continue our journey.

Our time in Tuscany was short, but oh so sweet.

Venetian Magic
I (Icasiana) had always wanted to go to Venice. My fantasy was to ride a Gondola through the canals with my beloved. I didn’t have a “beloved” at that time so I was sure glad Gabriel decided to marry me and take me to Venice. On our second night at sunset, Gabriel and I had our ride. It was so wonderful, better than what I had imagined it to be. The lights reflecting on the water was magical. As we moved through the water, the rhythm of the boat, and the gentle gliding of the gondolier’s oar left me feeling blissful as I held the hand of my beloved Gabriel. I closed my eyes and reveled in the moment. It was delightful, I will treasure those moments for a lifetime.

The Meaning of “Geto” (pronounced Jeto)
In Venice we were able to visit the Jewish quarters. We spent an entire afternoon in the museum and three of the five synagogues in the Jewish section of Venice. Surprisingly, they were in a more central area of the city. Usually Jews were segregated in the outskirts of a city beginning in the 1200’s of Europe. In Venice, the area where they lived had been the ironworks foundries which were called the geto. The word ghetto comes from this adaptation of the word geto and is the first time in history it was used. The Jewish people had three gates that allowed their passage during the day but they had to wear a yellow hat when out of their Ghetto area At night the gates were shut and locked up, like a prison with guards to ensure they didn’t venture out. As we now know, Hitler was not the first to institute this kind of segregation and persecution; it was practiced in medieval times throughout many areas of Europe that we visited, not to mention ancient Egypt. We saw it here in Italy in towns such as Siena and Venice, we saw it in Greece, (Gabriel’s grandparents lived in the Jewish ghetto of Janina), we heard about it in Portugal, and we would see it later on the trip to Spain, in Segovia.

Synagogues Visited
There were two Sephardic and three Ashkenazi synagogues in Venice. We visited one of the Sephardic and two of the Ashkenazi. They were surprisingly quite ornate. Previously, when I first went to temple with Gabriel I remarked how plain the temple is (coming from a Catholic background, it seemed odd). He had told me that synagogues were plain by intent. There was no worshiping of idols. This was the way of the Jewish people to not be ostentatious in the building of their sacred places. Very different from the churches and cathedrals we had visited. Well, I suppose the Venetian Jews thought differently because these synagogues were quite elaborate and ornate. The marble and the carvings were fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed our time in the ghetto, learning about the Jews of this area. Again, though, all the Jews were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. Out of the hundreds sent, only 6 people returned. Today there is a very small community of 500 Jews in Venice.

That's all for now. We'll write again from Spain. Love to all.

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