I think one of the things that impressed me most about BM, and to a great extent ePlaya, was that I found it nearly devoid of spirituality. Yeah, there's the Man and the there's a Temple, and there are these pseudo-Pagan rituals and all that, but they're really just... knock-offs of the "real thing." It's like those sea monsters and boats that float around on the open playa: it's great because we know it's not real, and yet it's awesome all the same. And all the symbolism, the themes, the art...? It's like one awesome feint to throw the outside observers off.
I was fooled. I had mixed up Burning Man with the Rainbow Family Gathering, thinking it was a collection of hippies sitting in circles and bitching about what hippies bitch about. When I arrived, I found that nothing matched my preconceptions. Instead, we have a nice festival that makes no apologies for what it is. There's no bitching about the pollution it causes, the lack of "spiritual" music and ritual, penance and sacrifice, etc. Rather, it's people wanting to make something great for the sake of making something great, and also why the "principles" seem to actually work: you're not doing it to fulfill some obligation, or some payment for the sin of enjoying yourself, or because some deeper force is watching what you do. No. You're doing it because you want to. It's like gifting something: it's not an exchange of presents, it's given.
Maybe people are "spiritual" because they can't just enjoy the moment for what it is. Looking in from the outside, maybe it seems that way too: What the hell is going on here? These guys can't be enjoying themselves that much without feeling guilty about it or doing it for some other motive.
But that's how it is.
So fuck that spirituality bullshit, and stop ruining the moment with illusions of deeper meaning. All the meaning you need is in front of you. Enjoy it while it lasts.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens
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