(12 Sep '09)
The myth of Babel took its roots in a dream: the common dream that men could contribute to something higher than themselves, their shared efforts could lead them to realms other than the usual ones. But in the myth, the attempt was solely based on man’s might, and it hence cut itself from divine grace. Men ceased to understand one another, suddenly facing the limits of their human condition. The endeavor failed.
BABEL is a youth initiative from GreenFriends of France. It proposed a path for reconnecting to Nature to youngsters using concrete projects. The main one was a bee sanctuary : a fully-ecology small temple with bees living inside the walls. From inside, one can see, hear and smell them in security through glasses and nests and meditate with them.
With the blessing of Amma when the BABEL project started in the French Ashram last year, it was grounded on a relationship of understanding of the deep meaning of things, trying to transcend the myth’s shortcomings. Bringing together youths from all walks of life, the BABEL project intended to initiate a shared enquiry of our relationship to Nature and life. It mingled different approaches, providing participants with philosophical discussions, artistic sessions and practical workshops.
BABEL – Bois, Abeilles et Biodiversité pour une Ecologie Local, (in English: wood, bees and biodiversity for a local ecology) is a project managed by youngsters of the GreenFriends organization in France. It also refers to the myth of the BABEL tower which teaches us that both effort and Grace are needed for a project to succeed.
The project is implemented in two ways:
1) Applying the Rameal Chipped Wood method, an ecological technique that restores damaged soils by a natural process like in forests. It is an example of ecosystem management through the life of micro-fauna and flora of the soil.
2) The building of a bee house, a mud and straw eco-house with an eco-green roof and walls inhabited by bee swarms. From inside the house one will be able to experience the presence of bees: to smell, see and hear them with the help of a glass system with micro-infiltration. It will be quite an original therapeutic place to connect with bees and more generally with nature. Another benefit is that the bees will keep the bee house at a comfortable temperature. They need to do this so that their young survive and the house will be warm in winter, cool in summer.
The BABEL project is supported by the ‘Youth in Action Program’ of the European Union.