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Quantum Portal, Friday 9/29

Here’s an interesting way to connect to Black Rock City and the playa in 2012 when you are actually back in the Default World:

Burning Man in the Age of Rick Perry: Revelation, Pluralism, and Moral Imperative



We cannot know his legendary head  with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso  is still suffused with brilliance from inside,  like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low, gleams in all its power… You must change your life. —Excerpt from Rilke, “Archaic Torso of Apollo” 

At this moment, over 50,000 people from around the world are gathered, again, in a temporary city in Nevada’s Black Rock desert. By now, I suspect most RD readers have heard of Burning Man, though the nature of this temporary city—please don’t call it a festival—remains elusive. Some call it a Temporary Autonomous Zone devoted to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance. Others call it a utopian experiment in commerce-free living. Others, well, others call it a festival.

Like any pilgrimage site, Burning Man is less a destination than a pretext for the journey. These days, of course, flying into Reno isn’t so hard—but actually opening up to whatever Black Rock City has to offer… that journey can be arduous. If you go looking for a festival with sex and drugs and dance music, that is all you will find. But if you pause to wonder why there’s a temple in the middle of it, why people come back year after year even if they don’t do drugs, or, for that matter, how it is that the art, community, and culture of Black Rock City is constructed without a Them putting on entertainments for Us, much more can be received.

Generally speaking, those who intend to be open in this way come away changed by the experience. I’ve been to dozens of “festivals,” and some of them have been very cool. But they didn’t inspire me to change my life. Burning Man did, when I first went to it in 2001. What it presents are ways of being that most of us never imagine. It’s possible to be like this, it says, to live so richly and creatively and expressively and sensuously, to be this in love with life. And once one has really seen that such a life is possible, one cannot go back to how one was.

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Ritual, twisting logic, release, transformation, giving, synchronicity : A report from Burning Man

The Man: Humanity in Transformation
Story and photo by Eric Francis Coppolino
From
www.chronogram.com



Editor's note: We read a lot of online media stories about Burning Man, most of them following the same sensational, overused storylines, most of them failing to capture the true soul of the gathering. This one from Chronogram magazine is a wonderful exception, and manages to hit on several themes we can relate to. It ruminate on the collective powers that get raised on the playa and positions the gathering in relation to mainstream society in an authentic and insightful way. The author knows what he's talking about, though we may not follow all of the astrological references, and we're thankful to read somebody else's thoughtful interpretation of Burning Man. (We bold-faced ideas that are especially meaningful to us.)

I spent a week in early September at something called Burning Man, a kind of festival in the Nevada desert held each Labor Day. The event takes its name from the burning of a giant neon and wooden effigy of a man, which is burned on Saturday night as 40,000 people gather around and watch. The photo above is the Man, which has become something of a cultural icon, now more than 20 years in circulation. Burning Man traces its history back to 1986, when the founder, Larry Harvey, burned an effigy of a man on San Francisco’s Baker Beach. The event was moved to the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada several years later and is now the annual meeting place of a far-reaching, extremely energetic subculture.

Astrology is about symbolism, and in this article I’d like to look at a few of the messages of the fire ceremony that’s at the center of this elaborate, creative project called Burning Man. I think for most people who participate, the theme is so intuitive, they don’t really think about it much. You get the message in the creative fire that surrounds the symbol; it comes across as real world. Given the freedom and the safe space to do so, women strip to the waist and walk around in public. Many guys wear skirts and tutus. Everything is connected to a concept, an idea, a game of twisting logic around into something sensible in a different way.

In effect, Burning Man grants many people permission to be who they are, and, in the absence of concrete knowledge, to test out some ideas of who they might be; and not have to worry too much about the legacy of who they were yesterday...

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