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Nature teaches us what language cannot. A simple sunset, a full moon rising or a shooting star, instantly re-establishes our deep connection to the Cosmos. It reconciles us with ourselves, inexplicably so. This absence of words is crucial.

Pious lands, the mountains around Catuçaba are adorned with crosses and chapels, places of worship in the middle of nature, often installed where there was already a sense of intensity, a landscape favorable to self-connection. At the top of other hills or at the bottom of a valley, artists who have come to Catuçaba have felt these earthen energies and offered their works, in harmony with the landscape and its inhabitants.

Creating art is a sacred endeavor. Art’s role is to reveal the invisible. On the other side of art lies spirituality, which naturally becomes universal in the great outdoors. In Joseph Campbell’s words, art is Nature’s mirror.

Local religiosity, ancestral wisdom, the sacredness of the trees and lakes, all blend in with art works, projects, objects or films that reinterpret a different facet of these lands’ and their inhabitants’ unique vibe.

Wherever there is beauty and meaning, sacredness becomes tangible and entices us to reconnect with forgotten dimensions of ourselves.

Building our dream world together

Art of living, art of hospitality, art of nurturing, art of loving… The entire underlying storyline of this place is about how to be in the world. This particular way to be, to exist, is imbued with a beauty that gets to our soul, because its rightness connects us to a deep truth we can feel, even though we cannot define it.

When we speak of “art” we really hear “sacred”. Sacredness does not rely on a spirituality limited to certain spaces: if we pay proper attention, we can see it is present in every being, every attitude, every thing that is making sense, that is connected to its environment. Music, dance, singing, hiking in nature, swimming in a lake, an insect on a flower, can be entirely permeated with beauty, and reconnect us to the sacred. Nature itself is a creation that is of divine essence in every aspect: working the soil is a sacred connection, as is eating food, healing our bodies…

On this path of rapid evolution as a species, we feel the need to bring enchantment back into our lives, our homes, our relationships, and our diets – to reestablish the sacred dimension of the world. Our incessant search for places to travel, for other cultures, for art-induced emotions, our thirst for idealism, all suggest a universal quest for a meaningful world. It is that world that we need to recreate, and it is possible to do so, in a simple manner, by rediscovering our essence, our unity. Once we accomplish this reconciliation and attune our world vision, our intentions and our actions will naturally manifest the universe our hearts long for.

Words do not suffice at this point: we need action and engagement. At the time of this book’s publishing – in early 2019 – scientists have alerted the majority of western populations that if we do not radically change direction, if we don’t question the dogmas molding our lives – the frantic pursuit of growth, the search of happiness through material wealth, the unconscious exploitation of natural resources — our human race won’t have a future. Indigenous peoples of the world – who have kept an intimate communication with the Earth – are unanimous and have a more alarming message than any media: we have only five to six years before reaching the point of no return. In response, they are therefore stepping out of their villages and forests, of their benevolent silence to help us and to remind us of our ancestral wisdom and responsibility towards our planet. A widespread awareness is blossoming, a global spiritual awakening.

At the same time, nothing seems to really be changing. We need to recognize and accept that our system is failing: ecologically, socially, politically, morally, philosophically… It falls on us to change it, but not to replace it by a more or less identical system. Like the change we need to invoke for ourselves, the change required is deep and may seem frightening: we need to die in order to be reborn. But nothing is in reality more natural – as it is the true cyclical movement of Nature and the Universe to come back to the Self – then open up to the world.