It is amazing after a month of a work-tsunami looking back how valuable experience we have gained in the exploration of a college program as a bi-national exchange in field environmental philosophy. Just to explain a bit, when you ask me with a weird-looking face what the heck is that? basically most of humanists, artists en even scientists in human history owe their most inspiring patterns to nature, finally all of the ones that believe god is nature, somehow make the group we agree with the most.
Authors from all over the world relate about a sublime experience in life, that is not easy to get to, 99% of times humans describe this expression as a cosmic encounter with the infinity of nature, for example, in a moment when climbing feeling thousands of times smaller than an ant in the desert. For a sailor, navigating the storm and surviving it is such an intense feeling of satisfaction that involves just another expression of the sublime. Yogis describe it also, as a union with the exterior and the interior world infinity as well. Our sublime is about the deep-bios immersion.
As a matter of introduction to the subject of inhabitation, we declare ourselves (people) inhabitants of a Biosphere, just as our source of life and mostly a basic need, not the mountain covered by concrete on a motorbike, but the John Muir´s “wilderness solitude”;
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” -John Muir.
In a more time-based context, working with the Omora Project in Cape Horn has after 12 years given fruits of the energy we were working with; and has led us to re-build something that was born at Tracing the Path of Darwin´s Study abroad of University of North Texas and Omora Foundation.
A deep Biotic immersion is when someone go over their 100% beyond our limits of the unknown in nature, not necessarily in a comfortable way, in fact; we believe that making ecotourism a luxury, is ok, but from our biocitizen point of view, it is not possible to reach the sublime, because it takes effort. We are going to give you a ridiculous example but… it is kind of easy if you can afford a heli-tour to get to a glacier, but the psycho-somatic experience to walk 2 days and walk on the glacier for the first time it is something exponentially more powerful in terms of endorphins and “sublime” to get there on our foot.
This is kind of the style we got with Emmet`s visit, we just introduced the ¨vos velo¨ teaching style, something like a ¨guided discovery, let´s put it this way instead, 99% discovery at 90% of the situations guided and 1% at the other 10% of the situations, a specific guidance in terms of dialog. Just “vos” (you) and “velo” (see it, make your decision) is about taking initiative beyond whats “meant to be done”, it is about, now! let´s do it! So it worked, he got the vos velo style very well and our expedition we may say not it was a complete success. A huge success actually. First of all, we had satisfied everyone´s biophilia desire.
We cannot even start selecting the video shots because all of them are so good that it will be a hard work to edit this deep storytelling sessions with destroyed faces by thousands of feet of ascending and transcending. Somehow even writing about it seems impossible to completely express my personal emotion, after 12 full years of guiding I was finally teaching a college student, in Chile, in the Andes, and in Punta de Lobos. It sounds really hard to explain what you do 20 days with a professor, and 6 days with a professor and an intern… Looking for fossils might be the best answer, looking for flowers a bit better and looking for water is probably me most accurate. Yes! thats what it is.
Water is our source of life, by following it we may really follow life cycle, so being in many stages of this limited representation, but anyway, passing by many stages of a single watershed being evaporated by the sea shores that actually oxygenate the sea… and track a coastal range river and try to find where it is born it is definitely a job for a few days, then, Tinguiririca river… oh yeah! try to pronounce it, if you can, then you speak spanish, yes sir! lets go by parts then Tingui-ririca… Easyer? Tin-gui-ri-ri-ca, ok? So we keep going up the river and find agriculture and a food supply for humans depending on a single river, wines being exported to every country, then up the middle course of the river, the andes, going deeper and deeper into the kundalini of the earth, the mer-ka-ba. At night we keep asking ourselves, have we arrived yet? how much further should we go? hydro-electric dams, a surrealistic expression of our dual-relationship of inhabitation.
Because we don’t like dams, but I am writing on an electric machine, so, anyway. we keep going deeper and higher until finally getting to a remote town from another century called Termas del Flaco.
By meaning this, we get to a thousands of different paths in our mind-based highway of environmentalism, because the sublime is not written, the way is not paved, it is raw; so with this sort of hypothesis we get to wat we want to approach, the Punta de Lobos por siempre Conservation Initiative, this way we ambitiously want to archive a public-private collaboration agreement so all of our efforts and also challenges meet and paddle the same direction. Why is it hard to make decisions in Punta de Lobos? because the grays between a wild versus a developed area are thin and change seasonally. In a wild precious area like this, it is meant to be conserved and have an environmental management plan, whether if it is developed al ready, OK, it needs toilets, with administration, trash collection, a visitors center, OK, but… let´s think a bit, what is an acceptable change limit for the ecosystem? now let`s compare it with a common-sense based expectation to have this as a natural protected area? and now compare it to the locals acceptable limit of change to solve certain challenges the beach has resisted decades? there are a lot of possible solutions!
How wild we shall expect Punta de Lobos to be?
From here, next morning raining, and try luck at higher lands, the result, we well keep it for the next post.
By the meantime, we will let you see it in these pics.