eGo-centric VS eCo-centric

As it stands, we have over 7 billion “little things that can make a big difference” walking around on this planet, each with the power to become a tiny tipping point of their own. Indeed, with the power to change the world. But, like Confucius said, “Those who move mountains begin by carrying away small stones.”

The move from EGO to ECO is not so simple. We have to lose a huge number of preconceptions about reality. We have to lose the thing that is often most precious to us, and this is something many of us are not aware is operating within us. This thing is our EGO. It is our EGO that sees the world as separate to us. This means that other people are separate from us, and when they are separate, this can often lead to feelings of fear. The fear comes when we are not confident about ourselves, and we fear of others having what we do not have, because they are superior in some way. EGO is fueled by our insecurities, and when we act from a position of EGO, sometimes all we know how to do is to attack others, bring them down, destroy their reputations and show how we are better.

EGO CENTRIC / “Ego-Logical”

The ego-centric system (from the Greek “ego” – me) has the self for its center, the individual. The ego-centric system is linked to the “personality,” to all the forces in those who use exclusively egotistical means to safeguard their interests and their most material goods.

The ego-centric perspective is immature and adolescent, suffering from a plethora of insecurities, anxieties, and neurosis. Unfortunately, our society is grossly egocentric. It is built upon military aggression, the control and exploitation of nature’s resources, and an entitled sense of national security that ignores the needs of other species, other nations, and even our own future generations.

Make the EGO test:
How many pictures of yourself have you published on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and co? More than 50%? If yes then you should think about it…

ECO CENTRIC

Now enter the ecocentric perspective. It is more difficult to recognize because of the 2000 year enculturation of the egocentric perspective, but it is based upon healthiness on the micro level, empathy and tolerance on the cultural level, and holistic cultivation and interconnectedness on the macro level.

This is the type of perspective that focuses on wellbeing, moderation, and balance. Its method is simple and healthy: discover, open, free, create, and rebirth. It does this over and over, on both micro and macro levels, leaving a cultivated garden of balanced forces and healthy, sustainable reproduction in its wake. It gives slowly, but it’s a meaningful gift.

The eco-centric perspective is about thinking holistically; what deep ecologist Arne Naess calls the “ecological self” or what James Hillman calls “a psyche the size of the earth.” The general principle of the psyche is that the deeper we understand ourselves the more of the world we will be able to identify with.

Holistic

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” expresses the essence of holism, a term coined by the great South African general and statesman Jan Smuts in 1926. Holism generally opposes the Western tendency toward analysis, the breaking down of wholes into parts sometimes to the point that “you can’t see the forest for the trees”. Holism is an important concept in the sciences and social sciences, and especially in medicine. Holistic medicine tries to treat the “whole person” rather than focusing too narrowly on single symptoms. It emphasizes the connections between the mind and the body, avoids the overuse of drugs, and has borrowed such practices from Eastern traditions as acupuncture and yoga.

Ojeme – Volunteer Testimonial 2018

I spent four weeks at PermaTree, and my overall feeling about the experience is very positive : it was a great enlightening and rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to do :

  • Building work : I worked on the big sized greenhouse (I helped to build the roof, the field, the tables and install the taps) and the little bamboo house (I helped to paint the doors, and make the four windows and the doors out of bamboo and wood)
  • Farm work : I planted pineapples and vetiver, I made holes to plant trees, I filled insects traps in citric trees, I created paths so parts of the farm would be more easily accessible, I faced the wrath of the bees and the stubbornness of a horse, I braved the wilderness of the jungle to reach the waterfall, and did one of the main farm work i.e. cutting the 2 to 3 meters-tall grass with a machete (Yago’s hobby ;-))
  • House work : washing the dishes (there can be a lot), cooking, making bread (Yum!), lighting a fire in the oven, feeding the animals (giving food to the dogs is REALLY something !)

Some of the tasks were done under very hot sun, and others under very strong rain, the weather can vary a lot and rapidly ! Sometimes, the work can be hard and tiring, but I was never alone, and working with Cunanchi (the Ecuadorian worker), Yago and Btina has been a real pleasure. Also, talking and sharing our experiences and ideas has been enriching and instructive.

Finally, I must mention the uniqueness of the place that is beyond beautiful : the plants (the trees, the flowers …), the animals (the birds, the insects …) and the vastness (77 ha) of the land (I adored the view from the top of the finca) all of it contribute to make this place a true paradise.

I found out about PermaTree through Bridgeo.org, which is a French NGO run by young motivated guys. After guiding me to this mission, they really supported me before my departure.

Ojeme

Recipes – do it yourself

  • Here are the recipes I used to make the several products I brought :
  • Deodorant (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42Htnp8P9Eg):
    • 2 table spoons of arrow root powder
    • 1 table spoon of baking soda
    • 1 table spoon of coconut oil
    • 1 table spoon of shea butter (beurre de karité)
    • A few drops of essential oil (for the scent)
  • Mosquito repellent (http://memedanssesorties.com/3284/repulsif-anti-moustiques-naturel/) :
    • 10 mL of vegetal oil (I used hazelnut oil)
    • 6 mL of essential oil :
      • 3 mL of citronella (I used 2 mL of Java’s citronella)
      • 2 mL of geranium
      • 1 mL of peppermint (because of Violetta, I used 2 mL of eucalyptus citronné instead of peppermint, because “Du fait de la présence de menthone, l’huile essentielle de menthe poivrée n’est pas recommandée aux femmes enceintes, allaitantes et aux enfants de moins de 6 ans, ainsi qu’aux personnes souffrant d’hypertension”)
  • Laundry detergent (Don’t forget to shake it before every use !) :
    • 1L of hot water
    • 30 g of natural olive oil soap (in chips)
    • 1 spoon of baking soda
    • (Optional) A few drops of essential oil (for the scent)


   

Diatom

Lots of ants during this season of the year at the finca PermaTree in Amazonas region of Ecuador. We have started to work with “DS” aka Diatomea which are a major group of microalgae, and are among the most common types of phytoplankton. Diatoms are unicellular, although they can form colonies in the shape of filaments or ribbons, fans, zigzags, or stars.

To get rid of the ants in a natural way without pesticides or chemicals. Diatomaceous earth diatoms have sharp edges that cut and kill insects that have exoskeleton body structure like for example the ants.

We have made various experiments on a duration of over 4 month and so far the Diatom-solution was far better than other alternatives. But. It like most organic / natural solutions it takes longer. Which is not a issues per se – you just have to keep that in mind.

Diatoms

Diatoms are producers within the food chain. A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are enclosed within a cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide) called a frustule. These frustules show a wide diversity in form, but are usually almost bilaterally symmetrical, hence the group name. The symmetry is not perfect since one of the valves is slightly larger than the other, allowing one valve to fit inside the edge of the other. These shells are used by humans as diatomaceous earth, also known as diatomite. Fossil evidence suggests that they originated during, or before, the early Jurassic period.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatoms, and their shells (frustules) as diatomite or diatomaceous earth, are important industrial resources used for fine polishing, liquid filtration. The complex structure of their microscopic shells has been proposed as a material for nanotechnology.

Diatomaceous Earth – often referred to as “DE” or “DS” – is an white salt-like powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. When sprinkled on a bug that has an exoskeleton (ants or fleas) it compromises their waxy coating so that their innards turn into teeny tiny bug jerky. But it doesn’t hurt mammals. We can eat it… We do eat it! It’s in lots of grain based foods, because lots of grains are stored with diatomaceous earth to keep the bugs from eating the grain! 🙂 Simply intelligent.

DE is almost pure silica (with some beneficial trace minerals); under a microscope, it looks like shards of glass (glass is made from silica). On any beetle-type insect that has a carapace, like fleas and cockroaches, the DE works under the shell and punctures the body, which then dehydrates and the insect dies. DE is totally nontoxic. There is no buildup of tolerance like there is to poisons because the method of killing is PHYSICAL, not chemical.

Wood

Termites eat wood to derive the cellulose and nutrients they need to live. Termites have protozoa and bacteria in their gut that allow them to break down the cellulose fibers in wood, which is difficult for other creatures to digest.

Termites

These red ants are termites. Termites are eusocial insects that are classified at the taxonomic rank of infraorder Isoptera, or as epifamily Termitoidae within the cockroach order Blattodea. Termites are among the most successful groups of insects on Earth, colonising most landmasses except Antarctica.

Dead termites. Diatom killed the termites as you can see. But beware this only works in dry environment. We had no success during rainy season outside.