How are you?

It is quite common to find in ethnographic readings on indigenous peoples how they establish links close with their environment or territory. In issue 34 of the AETG (Spanish Association of Gestalt Therapy) magazine, dedicated to the Mother, there is an article by anthropologist Peter Rawitscher from Berkeley describing the relationship of the people of Sierra Nueva, in Colombia, with their territory and environment.

For these peoples —Kogi, Arhuaco, Wiwa and Kankuamo— territory and environment is the Mother, they work to heal and care for Mother —Nature— and, simultaneously, the human body is the same material and spiritual body of the territory. Thus, land management and well being of the body are part of the same spiritual order. Every action, thought and emotion of the person affects the territory, and, conversely, any characteristic of the territory affects the person.

At one point, he says that at a meeting of the Wiwa was discussed what to do with neighboring peasants that were fishing and carrying out illegal mining activities in the rivers, threatening both the indigenous territory and communities. While some indigenous proposed a denounce, the shaman said, and I quote: ‘We are responsible. We are attracting the problem, thinking evil among ourselves, without respecting the law of origin. We are affecting the Mother, and She is taking us in the form of theft of our territory. We must confess and clean this’. According to the author, they decided to make some personal healing work following the shaman’s instructions and achieved to disappear external problem generated by neighboring farmers.

Inhabitants of Vanuatu, near New Guinea —Photo Jimmy Nelson

This type of look, which shares a common sense of the experience of being affected and be affecting an environment —including people—, a look of care and respect, contrasts sharply with the western look. I do not want to fall into the myth of the noble savage and superstitions that accompany about living closer to nature —a way of saying they live closer than instinctive—, living better with little and be happier than us. Maybe in some ways yes, in others no. Maybe the weight of the group can sometimes be overwhelming for people who compose this type of societies.

Many years ago I was told, and I hope not an urban legend, that the American —I do not know which one concretely— were posed how their decisions could potentially affect the seventh generation of descendants. In our Western societies, where what it prevails and exalts is the individual and the immediate, we are at the other pole, engrossed in ourselves, lost in what happens to me in particular. Lost also mentally, explaining it all in a logical and rational way, running away from any situation that sounds or smells emotional. We are also lost in the game of appear, creating an unquestionable and unwavering picture of me: from the obsession with our physical presence —a monotheistic conception of beauty—, giving the impression that we have everything under control or that things are going very well. What matters is what happens to me, what matters is success. We not see or look beyond our navels.

Often strikes me how little we ask each other how we are, not to look good, but with a real interest in the other. It seems the other exists just to compare us with him, or to solve the own needs. Ironically we feel very alone and one of the diseases most diagnosed is depression.

We Westerners might regain some of that group sense, careful and respectful, and consider how our attitudes, decisions and individual actions affect others and ourselves. Also in our environment. The paradox is that to begin to see the other, we must begin to look at our inside. Although with different eyes.

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array(2) { [0]=> int(899) [1]=> int(105) }
array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1719 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(4697) ["post_author"]=> string(3) "420" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-05-06 00:01:51" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-05-05 22:01:51" ["post_content"]=> string(6424) "El Hierro, la isla más alejada de la Península Ibérica y la más pequeña de las Canarias, es un lugar tranquilo. Tan sólo el viento perturba algo la paz que reina en esta tierra. Precisamente por ese viento, El Hierro es un referente en el sector de las energías renovables gracias al Parque Hidroeólico, unas infraestructuras que se estima proporcionarán a sus habitantes la energía necesaria para cubrir la demanda de toda la población en el año 2015. El principal problema de las renovables hoy en día es que su energía no se puede almacenar. Este parque combina las energías del viento y del agua, de tal forma que si la energía proporcionada por sus cinco potentes aerogeneradores disminuyera por falta de viento, los dos grandes embalses que completan la instalación solucionarían el problema. La energía producida por esta central hidroeólica, además, podrá alimentar en un futuro cercano a los coches eléctricos, que el gobierno de la isla quiere que sean los únicos que circulen por sus carreteras. Esta autosuficiencia energética puede ser el primer paso de un modelo exportable. El-Hierro-isla
El Hierro es la isla española más alejada de España —Imagen Unknown Author
La isla también ha sido destino privilegiado y preferido por muchos para practicar el buceo y el senderismo en un ambiente casi solitario. Para otros era casi desconocida, pero las recientes erupciones submarinas de uno de los volcanes que rodean a la isla, y sobre todo las informaciones algo tremendistas de los medios de comunicación, la han puesto en el mapa. También han hecho que el turismo casi selectivo del que disfrutaban los herreños descienda de forma considerable. Para recuperar lo perdido y dinamizar la economía de El Hierro, el Ministerio español de Industria, Energía y Turismo y el Cabildo de la isla han puesto en marcha un Programa de Actuaciones Especiales (PAE), cuya primera iniciativa ha sido la de dotar a la isla de una red Wi-Fi pública y gratuita. Se han colocado 26 puntos de conexión al aire libre, respetando el entorno natural, y aprovechando infraestructuras ya disponibles, porque casi todo el territorio es espacio protegido, Reserva de la Biosfera. Además, según las autoridades, esta red permitirá también realizar tareas de videovigilancia en los bosques, lo que podría evitar incendios. Este acceso Wi-Fi podría ser una simple curiosidad, si no fuera porque sólo es el primer paso para convertir a El Hierro en un ejemplo de sostenibilidad: es decir, conseguir un desarrollo económico sin ayuda exterior y sin la merma de los recursos existentes. En última instancia, el principal objetivo es atraer a visitantes, sí, pero aquellos que busquen un turismo sostenible, que disfruten del medio y lo respeten. Un turismo que es el principal motor económico del territorio, y que, a partir de ahora, por qué no, será ecológico, tecnológico, geológico y volcánico.El Hierro, the island farthest from the Iberian Peninsula and the smallest of the Canary Islands, is a quiet place. Only the wind disturbs some peace that reigns in this land. For that wind, El Hierro is a leader in the renewable energy sector thanks to Hydroeolic Park, infrastructure that will provide the energy demanded for the entire population in 2015. The main problem with renewables today is that its energy can not be stored. This park combines the power of wind and water, so that if the energy provided by its five powerful turbines decreased by lack of wind, the two large reservoirs that complete the installation solved the problem. The energy produced by this plant also can feed in the near future for electric cars, wich the government of the island wants to be the only running on their roads. This energy self-sufficiency can be the first step of an exportable model. El-Hierro-isla
El Hierro is the most remote Spanish island in Spain—Image Unknown Author
The island has also been privileged destination and preferred by many for diving and hiking in an almost solitary. For others it was almost unknown, but recent submarine eruptions of one of the volcanoes that surround the island, and especially something alarmists information media, have put it on the map. They have also made the most selective tourism enjoyed by the islanders down considerably. To recoup their losses and boost the economy of El Hierro, the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism and the Chapter of the island have launched a Special Actions Program, whose first initiative has been to provide the island with a free and public Wi-Fi network. It has been placed 26 connection points outdoors, respecting the natural environment, and using infrastructure already available, because most of the territory is protected area, Biosphere Reserve. Moreover, according to the authorities, this network will also carry out surveillance in the woods, which could prevent fires. This Wi-Fi could be just a curiosity, but is the first step to turn El Hierro in an example of sustainability: that is, achieving economic development without outside help and without the loss of existing resources. The main goal is to attract tourists, but those looking for sustainable tourism, benefiting the environment and respect it. Tourism is the main economic engine of the country, and from now will be ecological, technological, geological and volcanic." ["post_title"]=> string(71) "La isla inteligenteThe smart island" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(16) "the-smart-island" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-09 15:32:20" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-09 14:32:20" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=4697" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1717 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5450) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-12-09 00:01:29" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-12-08 23:01:29" ["post_content"]=> string(1521) "Esta no es una historia sobre la desaparición de los humanos, sino sobre lo que podría suceder en la Tierra si eso pasa. No se ocupa de cómo nos extinguimos, simplemente ya no estamos y todo queda tal cual lo dejamos, sin catástrofes ni acontecimientos traumáticos de ningún tipo. Los televisores permanecen encendidos, funcionan los relojes, las tiendas están llenas de cosas… pero no hay humanos y las cosas empiezan a cambiar rápidamente. 'La vida sin nosotros' es un documental realizado por el equipo de History Channel en el año 2009, en el que se predice qué ocurriría en el futuro si ya no estuviésemos en el planeta, basado en hipótesis de científicos especializados en diferentes áreas como ingeniería, botánica, arqueología, geología o climatología.This is not the story about how humans we could disappear, but rather what would happen on Earth after our demise. It does not deal how we extinguish, simply we are not anymore and all leave it as it is, with no evidence of traumatic events or disasters of any kind. The televisions are on, the clocks work, the shops are full of things... but there are not humans and things start to change quickly. 'Life after people' is a documentary made by the History Channel team in 2009 in which is predicted what would happen in the future if we were no longer on the planet, based on hypotheses of scientists specializing in different fields like engineering, botany, archeology, geology or climatology." 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Experto en sostenibilidad energética y crecimiento económico, Marcel Coderch es ingeniero de telecomunicaciones por la Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya y doctor en ingeniería eléctrica y ciencias informáticas por el MIT —Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts—. Actualmente es profesor en la Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya y en la Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, y desde el año 2006 vicepresidente de la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Telecomunicaciones, organismo público e independiente que regula los mercados españoles de comunicaciones electrónicas y de servicios audiovisuales.'The future will be sustainable or it won’t be'. Energy sustainability and economic growth expert, Marcel Coderch is a Telecommunications Engineer from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT —Massachussetts Institute of Technology—. He currently teaches at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, and since 2006 vice president of the CMT —National Commission of the Telecommunications Market—, an independent public agency which regulates the Spanish markets for electronic communications and audiovisual services." 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Actualmente es también director del Planetario Hayden en el Centro Rose para la Tierra y el Espacio e investigador asociado en el Departamento de Astrofísica del Museo Americano de Historia Natural. Desde el año 2006 es el presentador del programa de televisión de corte educativo-científico NOVA scienceNOW en el canal PBS, y su nombre suena con fuerza para conducir la secuela de la serie de televisión 'Cosmos: un viaje personal', co-creada y presentada originalmente por Carl Sagan. Un redactor de la revista Time le preguntó cuál era el hecho más asombroso que había encontrado en su estudio del Universo, y en este vídeo podemos ver su respuesta.Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist and science writer. Today is also the director of the Hayden Planetarium in the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. Since 2006 is the host of educational and scientific television program NOVA scienceNOW on PBS, and his name sounds hard to drive the sequel to the television series 'Cosmos: a personal journey', co-created and originally filed by Carl Sagan. An editor of Time magazine asked him what was the most amazing fact that he had found in his study of the universe, and in this video we see his response." 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