It was a summer day when the philosopher Byung-Chul Han felt the need to be close to the earth.
To have physical contact with her. He was in Berlin, the city where he has lived for several years. Born in South Korea, Han is one of the most widely read and studied thinkers today.
With books such as The Society of Fatigue, On Power and The Agony of Eros, it has established itself as one of those that best dissects contemporary society and its particularities.
One day, however, he decided to stop being at his desk to start creating a garden. He named it: he called it Bi-Won, which in Korean means “secret garden.”
When he started the task it was summer, but from that moment he concentrated on one goal: that his garden flourished during all seasons, even – and especially – in winter, a period in which it is natural for plants to lose their beauty and many of they die, especially with the cold it is in the Berlin winter.
What he lived, what he felt, what he learned, the reflections that emerged in his time as a gardener, is what Han writes in Loa a la tierra, published in Spanish by Herder publishing house. It is a book full of ideas and also magic, poetry and mystery.
Of beauty and at times of sadness. The same sensations that accompanied the philosopher during the creation of his secret garden.
The South Korean philosopher publishes Loa a la tierra, with reflections from his days as a gardener.
One of the first reflections that Han makes when he is in front of the plants is the need to regain his relationship with the earth.
Respect it again and stop the radical exploitation to which it is being subjected and which has the effect of the natural catastrophes that we see more frequently every day and that are nothing more than its response to the violence with which it is treated.
“We should relearn to be amazed at the land, its beauty and its strangeness, its uniqueness,” Han writes. In the garden I experience that the earth is magic, enigma, mystery. When it is treated as a source of resources to be exploited, it has already been destroyed
Some lines from this book are prayers, confessions, even declarations of love to the earth and nature