…Sorry, not as short as I aimed for, but what can I say, it’s Burning Man!
Last month I went to Burning Man, the art and music event held in Black Rock City, Nevada. I had a great time, and was culture shocked by all the new things I suddenly found myself integrated in. After a month of being home, I am still in many ways decompressing. Experiencing my first Burn was really like no other experience I can think of. I’ve experienced the downs of being post-Playa depressed, and new thoughts and ideas have taken root. Someone told me in an earlier blog that Burning Man was the most evil event in America. I beg to differ in the most sincere and empirical way. There are certain activities that are extremely pervasive at Burning Man, and there are certain themed camps that truthfully are not of interest to me, but it’s liberating to know that whatever you want you’ll be able to find it on Playa. I wanted to have a really deeply rooted, from the heart conversation with anyone who’s experienced the disappointments of Christianity like I have. And while I attended a party at a dance camp I met a really nice guy whom I spoke with about God, spirituality, Burning Man, and specifically, Christianity. He was a former church goer who left the church because he felt that there were attempts made by the rules (or guidelines of the church) to control him, and it was off-putting. I thought it was interesting that somebody like him would even be in attendance for an event like Burning Man, and I asked him, “so what brought you here, given you background?” He basically loved the vibe and being around people who show unconditional love. Those are very specific likes that if you are on Playa are very liberating, and really just touch you heart in very deep ways. It’s impossible to return to the Default world the same way you left.
When I first arrived on Playa I was pretty disoriented. I was also exhausted because the entire trip kept me awake for 22 hours. I had not been awake that long in a couple of years, so it was unnerving, and I had to fall asleep while there was a lot of noise (Day 1 parties were popping off). Once I got a few hours of sleep and day broke, my friend took me out and showed me some of the art and just explained to me some of the social constructs of being in Black Rock City. I did not spend a single dime while there (money is forbidden except for the places that sell coffee and ice), so everything you receive is a gift from the heart of one person to yours. I was a sponge for the whole week soaking up information, and just trying to understand everything that was going on around me, and to be honest, many of the things I did not immediately understand, but I also felt freed by it, if that makes some bit of sense.
The Playa is a very pronounced (and sometimes harsh) environment, and what I mean is that there is a clarity to every experience, feeling, even the food tastes different, and better. Maybe the difference we aren’t packed into an over crowded city with tall buildings and an overwhelming amount of distractions (our cellular phones, advertisements all over the city’s buildings and billboards, this laptop I am using to write this blog). You can have an amazing meal, laugh from the deepest part of your stomach, then spend the late evening having a beautiful sexual experience with someone you love.
What makes Burning Man evil to some people are assumptions, and misinformation given by evangelical Christian preachers and ignorant people via blogs, and other media outlets. It’s naturally ignorant to assume that something is evil because someone else tells you it is. Are you a blind follower of men(humans), or do you have a mind of your own? Another aspect that makes it evil to some is that people go there and use drugs. Well, the local residence in your city probably do too, are you going to move to another area? The drugs are there, but no one is forcing it upon you, you just have to keep you eyes pealed and operate in an integral manner.
I feel that Burning Man can be a beautiful experience for anyone who is willing to proceed with an opened mind at heart. This default world is our demise in some many ways, but I think Burning Man restores faith in our ability to love unconditionally, But these are my words based on my experience. I encourage any who is reading this to look into the social-psychology of Burning Man, and then makes plans to go. I do Burning Man no justice by sitting at a laptop and writing about it. To really understand it, you have to experience it.
The Man Burns in 332 days.