Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Bolivia is to pass a law -- called la Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra (The Law of Mother Earth) -- which will grant nature equal rights to humans.
The law -- the first of its kind -- aims to encourage a major shift in attitudes towards conservation and to reduce pollution and exploitation of natural resources. It sees a range of new rights established for nature including the right to life; the right to water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities and the right to be free of pollution.
Bolivia is one of South America's poorest countries and is seeing its rural communities suffer with failing crops due to climatic events such as floods and droughts. Temperatures are set to rise by up to four degrees celsius over the next 100 years, while most of its glaciers are likely to melt within 20 years.
The Bolivian government -- under president Evo Morales -- will establish a ministry of mother earth and commit to give communities the authority to monitor and control the industries and businesses that are polluting the environment.
The belief is that industrial entities can learn from the traditions of indigenous populations who have a deep-rooted respect for the environment. The notion of "Pachamama" or the spiritual entity similar to the idea mother earth, is increasingly being referred to in governmental discussions and documents.
It is not clear at this stage how the somewhat abstract legislation would be implemented. The state will need to be careful to balance the rights of nature with the regulation of industries (such as mining) that contribute a significant chunk of the country's GDP.
Bolivia has been extremely forthright in the global arena and has called for developed countries to contribute one percent of GDP to help poor and vulnerable nations. Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca has been quoted saying that western development has created a "deathly wound to our Pachamama".

Bubbles of Truth
Ever have a moment of clarity pop into your head from out of nowhere?  Ever have the solution to a looming problem unexpectedly slide into your mind?  These are examples of true thought.
You do not reason out any real Truth.  It is given to you, arising from what you would call your subconscious or higher self, like a bubble breaking free from the bottom of a pond.  Immediately, it is snatched and claimed as a byproduct of your own intellection, but it is not.
The arts in general often facilitate the release of these bubbles of Truth, as they give freedom, permission and fluidity to your mind, immersing you, increasing your wonder and dropping your guard.  That is why art is important.  Art may not teach you how to balance your checkbook, but it may help you see how a checkbook may not be necessary.
But that is not the mindset of our ambitious culture of today.  Regardless of this oversight, art is not superfluous.  It is exquisitely functional in ways that science and empirical thinking have yet to approach, much less understand.
Listen to art.  Let it take you places.  As you begin to listen to the song playing within you that no one else seems to hear - that proverbial beat of a different drummer, it may sometimes help to hear the music of others like you who have also passed down this path.
I offer you these words to linger upon.  May you find resonance, and millions of bubbles of Truth break free and float into your awareness.