What Burning Man meant to me (as a first time Burner in '09)

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What Burning Man meant to me (as a first time Burner in '09)

Postby turnerburner » Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:56 am

- Never, ever refuse a gift. The importance of the gift lies not in the gift as type but in the gift as token. The value of the gift inheres only in the process of gifting that 'thing' from one person to another. When the value of the gift is conflated with its monetary worth, the act of gifting becomes transactional and, therefore, worthless. Gifts received that are not utilised by the recipient shall always be passed on.

- Be self-reliant. Always pick up one's waste. The more we are able to care for ourselves, the less we need 'the man/the state' to do our job for us. Complete self-reliance renders both 'the man/the state' unnecessary and, therefore, obsolete. It empowers the individual and not 'the man/the state'.

- Get rid of what you don't need. Holding on to what you don't need is the self-imposition of unnecessary obstacles to what is truly important.

- Embrace all that cultivates and inspires the imagination/creativity. The power of creativity via the use of the imagination is self defining and liberating insofar as it enables the expression of the individual. It is beautiful insofar as each individual's expression is unique. However, it also unifies each individual with something larger and greater than that individual. It aligns each individual with something greater than the sum of its parts. This is felt as a connection to something whole, cosmic and universal. I think the Christians describe it as 'grace'!

- Realise that around us are institutions/power structures that are purposely instituted to control us and to prevent self-realisation. Imagination, expression, individualism are all stifled because they represent a threat to the power structures of our society. Look around us: we wear the same clothes, buy the same brands, drive the same cars. Things are provided for us and copied over and over. We are being conditioned to similarity and conformity because this is the most effective method of keeping us 'in our place'. I think this is called post modernism.

- The burning of the man represents many things to many people but I took from it the following: During the whole week of Burning Man, the Man acts as our guide - if we become lost or disorientated, all we need do is search for the Man - we rely on him for self-orientation/definition. In a world of constant change and transience (weather, colours, night, day, outfits!), the Man represent constancy, security, tradition perhaps and authority. He is the centric, controlling influence that guides our daily lives, the primary institution of Burning Man. His (perceived) importance is heightened by the fact that (the idea of) Time is subverted: Time is used to orientate the City's street plan and not in its usual, conventional sense. Throughout the week we learn the power of self-reliance, expression and community: we learn to survive the hardships of the desert and how to orientate ourselves in an unfamiliar land. This empowers us to the realisation that the Man is not longer required for his power resides within each and every one of us. We learn that he is, in fact, a straw man that we have both created and destroyed. His power is illusory - we create him because we think we need to...but, guess what, we get rid of what we don't need - all we need is ourselves, and, each other. The Man is a metaphor for societal power structures: for Gods, Presidents, Kings and Queens, for hierarchies in general. The realisation that power resides with us is Beautiful and the burning of the Man represents the catharsis/release from prior held beliefs in the necessity of His existence.
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Postby RedHeaven » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:19 am

Wonderful wonderful post. I love what you said about the Man. I completely agree. The man burn, while can be intense and weekend warrior dominated, is, besides the temple burn, the ONLY event all week that everyone centers around/pays attention to all together at once. Even if you dont like the man burn and you stay at camp, it still dominates the entire city vibe. It is the pinnacle of the week where everyone for the first time, unifys on playa for one thing. As much as the old jaded vets bitch at it and disregard it, there is no denying the unification felt during the process. He is the center of the clock, that bolt that holds the hands as they turn.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a first time Burner in

Postby ZaphodBurner » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:59 pm

turnerburner wrote: During the whole week of Burning Man, the Man acts as our guide - if we become lost or disorientated, all we need do is search for the Man - we rely on him for self-orientation/definition. In a world of constant change and transience (weather, colours, night, day, outfits!), the Man represent constancy, security, tradition perhaps and authority. He is the centric, controlling influence that guides our daily lives, the primary institution of Burning Man...


That's some seriously good shit, man. I mean it. Thank you.
"The Red Baron is smart.. He never spends the whole night dancing and drinking root beer.. "-The WWI Flying Ace
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Postby marcher5877 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:36 pm

Your post gave me chills. Wow.
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