If we want to have a future, we must learn the lessons of the past, says Climent Olm, author of the Terraíndia-Rocaviva magic labyrinth

Mr. Climent Olm started the Terraíndia-Rocaviva project in 1986. It is a labyrinth of paths between Cerdanya and Alt Urgell (Catalonia, Spain), with hundreds of worked rocks. The labyrinth is designed to help people live with more clarity of mind, creativity and satisfaction.

It is a magical territory that has been inhabited since prehistoric times and in the 21st century, it helps visitors, children and adults to reactivate their innate potential and take a necessary step forward in personal and collective evolution.

The place is the perfect setting for many activities, such as painting freely on the reliefs and sculptures. The Rocaviva (www.terraindia.cat) provides school chalks and a sprayer. It allows each person to display their creativity in an unprecedented way and save images of their work, together with the memory of an unprecedented experience.

Thus, having already contacted the spirit of the place and harmonized with it, we will begin the adventure of delving into the magic and mystery of the labyrinth … and ourselves.

The creator of this magical place, Mr. Clement Olm, explained it and its specifics.

Interview: Irina Rybalchenko 

The Rocaviva is a unique space and provides a unique experience: artistic, playful, initiatory and therapeutic. Please tell us about this place and why it is considered a museum?

The Rocaviva, a magical labyrinth, is the entrance portal to a much more extensive space, still in a project state, called Terraíndia. Rocaviva is a museum and non-profit institution at the service of society. But it is not a collection of objects alien to the territory, but rocks worked “in situ.” This is some kind of land art, a labyrinth of paths where you can walk and have new experiences with or without explanations from our guides. Indeed, this experience can be playful, initiatory and therapeutic.

Initiatory because it is an experience that broadens horizons: walking in the modified environment of the Rocaviva, inhabited by “spirits of nature” (figurative and abstract), which can be neutral, friendly or disturbing. It provokes a feeling of surprise that helps open the mind.

Visiting this place is therapeutic because the experience helps to balance and heal you: broadening the mind is relaxing, induces a greater awareness of oneself in the environment, promotes creativity and enables reflections that can be applied to improve everyday life.

The main web page of the museum says: “The Rocaviva echoes the Perennial Philosophy, Human Rights, the Earth Charter, the 2030 Agenda … Based on Deep Ecology (Ecosophy), it advocates an integral ecology, a paradigm shift that sees the planet and humanity as an inseparable whole.” What does it mean?

Ecosophy is deep ecology. It proposes harmonizing nature and humanity. It incorporates the Perennial Philosophy, which calls to the set of fundamental truths and values common to all peoples and cultures. It also incorporates Holistic Science, which studies processes and interactions, not separately, but globally.

Ecosophy considers that everything is interdependent and synergistic, which is to say that everything influences everything. Body and mind, matter and spirit are inseparable. Ecosophy is an ethic and a practice and is very suitable and necessary for people and society to be able to successfully face the global crisis.

Please tell us the history of this place. What are the most curious things that are presented in the Rocaviva?

The story is really curious … and outrageous. I started the project in 1986… Until 2008 I worked in peace. In 2010, the Regional Councils of Cerdanya and Alt Urgell declared the site a cultural heritage and the site is registered with the Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

In 2013, after enduring years of harassment that a village neighbor perpetrated, exhaustion and sickness, I had to run away. The work was left unfinished and abandoned. Also, the house that I had built myself and lived in was abandoned. I could not return.

Exiled to La Seu d’Urgell (a neighboring small city), in 2016 I met Ester Castilla, who is a member of the “International Ecopsychology Society”. Coinciding with our ecosophical ideas, to have a legal personality, we founded the Rocaviva Cultural Association. The site was partially reopened in the spring of 2017.

Ester and her two daughters live in my house, which they restored after vandalism. They take care of the place and accompany visitors. They also reactivated the visitable half of the Roсaviva on the Alt Urgell side. The other, on the Cerdanya side, remains closed and abandoned.

The theme of dualism is very present in your works. Is this a reference to the duplicity of human nature? And what do those with three eyes mean? We can also often see the “eye and heart” symbol… And geometric shapes: a triangle, a square and a circle. Could you explain the meaning, please?

The square represents the body, matter, foundation … and also limit, closure and obstacle.

The triangle is the human being who transcends obstacles, cultivates the essentials, opens to the light, and reaches the realm of the spirit. The triangle also represents growth, overcoming and vital flame. This is love-wisdom-power … This is creation-maintenance-destruction.

A circle is the cycle of life, the eternal return.

For better or worse, we are children of the past with all its ignorance, pain, violence, and wars. If we want to have a future, we must learn the lessons of the past. If we do not study them, we will repeat the mistakes made so far on a larger scale. And the result will be disastrous. We all see it.

Awareness of the present is essential to have a fulfilling life, and even though this is an obvious fact that the inertia of the past and fear of the future carry away, we easily forget it. And we waste time, filling our life with fears, expectations, envy, avarice and fuss.

Exploring Roсaviva, on-site or online, is an invitation to be present, embrace, practice and freely express your own essence, your own Magic and innate goodness, which is manifested to a greater or lesser extent in every person.

Do you organize meditation courses, yoga classes, etc.?

In fact, a visit is a form of active meditation-contemplation. Part with a guide to offer the necessary explanations and a free part so that everyone can go through the maze at their own pace … sit, meditate, contemplate the work … and enjoy the high mountain range. It is spectacular!

There is a very interesting facet of ephemeral land art: visitors can paint over the works with crayons. Everyone can take a picture, and then wipe it off with water, leaving everything as it was. This is a practical lesson in art, creativity and ecology.

How do you plan to develop the museum?

As the initiator of the Terraindia-Rocaviva, I would like to be able to finish many sketches or half-done work and move on with the project. Even though I’m old, I’m a little tired from everything I’ve been through, and I can hardly work anymore, but I can guide and teach. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any resonance or help to make this possible.

Do you collaborate with other museums in Spain, Andorra or France? Do you plan to develop cooperation with neighboring countries?

We would like to be able to cooperate with museums or organizations. Now we are only doing this with the International Ecopsychological Society, of which, as I said, Esther is a member, which meets every year.

We would also like to collaborate in some way with Andorra, where there is a sensitivity to art that is not here. Now, the opportunity to express what this publication offers me is already a very relevant fact, and we really appreciate it.

As already mentioned, Roсaviva is the entrance portal. The rest needs to be done. Since I was forcibly ejected from the site, I have worked on another labyrinth – on the Internet – that expands and complements the Roсaviva. I went from hard and durable granite to ephemeral and fragile pixels. This is a blogging network that I call virtual Terraindia.

Thank you for your attention!

*You can visit Rocaviva only by appointment : +34 633587711

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