Gustavo Rol is a Man who lived in Italy (Turin) during the last century (1903-1994).

«Gustavo Adolfo Rol lives in Turin, he is a sensitive capable of ventures that have nothing normal about them and are impossible to interpret. He is even capable of travelling through time, of talking to entities who have reached the afterlife centuries ago, or of making swoop into a sitting room a goat with his cowbell. A heavy marble bust passed from a fireplace to the centre of the table, without anyone moving». This is how the writer and journalist Enzo Biagi in his book entitled "E tu lo sai?" [And do you know?] described Gustavo Rol's mysterious figure.

Who was he really? He has been defined as a sensitive, a medium, a magician, a spiritualist, a prophet and so on, though he refused to be included in any of these categories. During a report in 1977 regarding paranormality, carried out by the Italian weekly magazine Gente, his response to the journalist Renzo Allegri, who also became the author of Rol's first monograph, was: «Are you sure I am of importance to this report? I am an ordinary man. I have nothing to do with those mediums, healers or spiritualists you are interviewing. My mentality is distant from that world. My modest experiments are part of science. They are things that everyone will be able to achieve in the future».

In a letter sent to the Turin daily newspaper La Stampa, and published on the 3rd September 1978, Rol wrote: «I have always protested about not being a sensitive, a clairvoyant, a medium, a thaumaturge, or anything else of the sort. That of parapsychology is a world of its own, to which I don't belong, even though I have met people who were really worthy and animated by noble intentions. Too much has been written about me, and those who have, can say how I complained about seeing published a wide range of phenomena rather than what I really express in the attempt to give an explanation to these things by investigating how and why certain marvellous events occur».

In reply to a question posed by the journalist Remo Lugli, Rol replied: «I don't think I am a medium in the true sense of the word nor a sensitive. Perhaps I possess natural endowments for a deep and instinctive intuition which I have been aware of ever since I was a young boy».

Dino Buzzati, a well known Italian writer and journalist during the 1900's, knew Rol very well,

and in his book "I misteri d'Italia" [The mysteries of Italy] (Publ: 1978), he mentions several episodes and anecdotes. Rol says: «I'm not a magician. I do not believe in magic. All I am and do, comes from there [and he pointed at the sky], all of us are part of God. And to whoever asks me why I carry out such experiments, I reply: I carry them out just to confirm God's presence».

This is how Buzzati describes Rol: «What is so striking about Rol, is that at the age of sixty two he looks at least ten years younger, with an extraordinary and cheerful vitality. I insist on pointing out how these emanate serenity and happiness. It is like something beneficial that irradiates others. This is the inevitable characteristic, at least according to my experience concerning those men, who, in overcoming themselves, have reached a high spiritual level and consequently an authentic good heartedness. As far as his face is concerned, it is hard to describe it. Some have defined it as the face of a "bon vivant". It is not true. It could resemble more the face of an Indian guru. Then again it could also belong to a surgeon, a bishop or a tender child. We expect to find a frightening and magnetic mask. Not at all. Whatever is behind that forehead, at least at first sight, is not apparent».

Even dr. Massimo Inardi, studious of parapsychology, supplies an interesting description on the publication of the 10th June 1975 of the daily newspaper Il Resto del Carlino: «In standing close to Rol one has the impression of standing in front of a being, whose physical aspect and behaviour, and heart of course, are the only human characteristics possessed by him: all the rest seems to go beyond any earthly conception of the human possibilities».

Federico Fellini, a well known Italian film director winner of 5 Oscars (author of La Dolce Vita), was a great friend of Rol's. In his book "Fare un Film" [The making of a film], he portrays him in the following way: «What Rol does is so marvellous that it becomes normal; in short, there is a limit to astonishment. In fact he calls 'games' all the things he does, at the moment in which you witness them fortunately they don't amaze you, it is when you remember them later on that they assume a disturbing dimension. What is Rol like? Who does he resemble? What does he look like? Describing him is a bit difficult. I saw a man who's ways were courteous, his elegance sober, he could be the

Rol (on the left) with the former Italian President Giuseppe Saragat (in the middle)

headmaster of a provincial grammar school, one of those who is able to even joke at times with students and pleasantly pretend to be interested in almost frivolous topics of conversation. His behaviour is polite, with a courteous self restraint occasionally contradicted by an indulgence in happiness, during which he speaks with a strong dialect that he purposely exaggerates, like Macario [Italian comic actor], and then tells jokes. I think that the reason for this behaviour () lies in his constant and farsighted concern to play down long waits, fears, dismay that can be felt before his traumatizing prodigies as a magician. Nevertheless all this familiar atmosphere, this joking amongst friends, despite all this lessening, ignoring, laughing to forget and to make himself, above all, forget all that is going on, despite all this his eyes, Rol's eyes, cannot be looked at for too long. They are still and luminous eyes, the eyes of a creature that comes from another planet, the eyes of a character from a science fiction film. When one does 'games' like his , the temptation of pride, of a certain mysterious almightiness, must be really strong. Yet Rol knows how to reject it, every day he re-evaluates himself into an moderately acceptable human. Perhaps because he has faith and believes in God. His often desperate attempts to establish an individual relationship with the terrible forces that live within him, or to try and define a certain conceptual, ideological or religious construction, that would allow him to tame in a partial and tolerable armistice, the stormy magnetic darkness that invades him whilst blocking and wiping out the limits of his personality, have something pathetic but at the same time heroic about them».

Gustavo Rol is considered the greatest "sensitive" of the 20th Century. Though as we have seen, this term does not define him sufficiently. This is because in the present age, at least in the West, the figure of a Spiritual Master does not exist, in the same way as it is difficult to find someone who has obtained that state of illumination or awakening in countries where Spiritual Masters exist. Gustavo Rol belonged to this category of men, hard to find through the ages and today no doubt extinct. One could say that he was one of the last "specimens" that ever lived on earth...

During his long life, lasting 91 years, he came in contact with great historical personalities of the 1900's: Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Federico Fellini, Charles De Gaulle, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Benito Mussolini, Ronald Reagan, Pope Pius XII, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dalì, Giovanni Agnelli, Einaudi, J.F. Kennedy and many more. His role was to show the existence of "possibilities" (as he liked to call these "powers" - which in fact correspond to the siddhis of the Hindu Tradition), that can be attained by every human being and to confirm God's presence within and without man himself. Besides a vast anthology of spontaneous wonders, he codified an original series of experiments which are placed in the metaphysic boundaries where science and religion converge. He often used playing cards, which made some insinuate that he practiced prestidigitation. Nevertheless the majority of the time he did not even touch the cards, as they constituted the first and simplest step accessed

Rol with John Cage

by neophytes during the experimentation "evenings", alternatively they where used as an amusing and dynamic means of warming the environment. This meant that each "simple" experiment was not in itself a disturbing experience. Generally speaking, Rol's possibilities ranged from reading a closed book to time travel (excursions to past and future) experienced by those present at the experiment, from selective clairvoyance (observation of the energy aura which surrounds the human body, useful for the identification of diseases), to endoscopy (the vision of the internal parts of the body). He was able to act dynamically on matter, in other words he could move all kinds of objects at a distance (telekinesis), or materialize and dematerialize them (producing/removing of matter), he could foresee future events (clairvoyance), or read the mind (telepathy). He also had the ability of healing sick people even at a distance (the laying on of hands was one amongst the systems used), or of finding himself in two places at the same time (bi-location), he could pass through solid surfaces (such as walls) or make any object pass through solid surfaces, as well as he could extend or reduce the physical body accordingly. During his experiments - spirits' epiphanies would often occur, which contributed to the dynamics of his experiments. These spirits were no longer those of dead people, in fact Rol strongly argued that dead people were not amongst us. What men call spirits, are no more than the psychic residues left by the deceased at the moment of their death. In fact, the psychic residues are left just as the organic residues are left by the body upon death. This residue has been called by Rol "intelligent spirit", and every Metaphysic Tradition knows what it is about. According to Rol every thing has a spirit, but man's spirit is an intelligent spirit, due to the superior possibilities that its

Rol aged 90
nature has granted him. The relationship between Rol and the spirits had nothing to do with the mediumistic matters, it was instead something which was no different from some Egyptian and Sumeric-Babylonian practices... Finally Rol produced two other types of special phenomena, being the projection at a distance of figures or writing (especially graphite) on any surface, and paintings being painted by themselves, where paintbrushes would move on their own, hovering in the air whilst painting in an extremely rapid way with the aid of the "intelligent spirit" of a long missing painter (Ravier, Picasso, Goya, etc..). Therefore, who was Rol? He was a Spiritual Master whose interior light awakening has allowed him to expand his normal human possibilities. What was his role? To confirm God's presence during an age of great materialism and to demonstrate that the divinity is not unreachable or distant from man, but is instead within his reach whenever he wishes to look for it. Furthermore through Science (the Sacred Science, the Science of Harmony, synthesis of all sciences) he also pointed out the Road to follow: «It is through this that I hoped Science would help me recognize and codify these sensations of mine, that I am sure every man possesses, and it will be Science itself that will reveal these abilities and promote them in all men...».

The thought

Books (italian)