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

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

Postby turnerburner » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:20 pm

- 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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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby Eric » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:13 pm

Most of what you say is a personal interpretation, and not necessarily what I get from the event at all; however I've been around enough different people on the playa that no one perspective is The Valid One, so I only have an opinion on one part:

turnerburner wrote:- Never, ever refuse a gift. The importance of the gift lies not in the gift as type but in the gift as token.


If someone offers you some cheap plastic crap that they bought in bulk just to give away, feel free to refuse it with the same consideration it was given (ie: none). To quote myself from an article in the BRC Weekly last year: A gift is something freely given and not expected to be recieved.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby Elderberry » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:35 pm

I don't care what it is, if someone gifts me something I always graciously accept it. It goes in my bling can. Then each year I go through the can and throw out what I don't like or want. Why hurt the giver's feelings? Didn't your mother teach you that?

I think you misinterpreted your own words: "A gift is something freely given and not expected to be received." i.e. Gifts should never be expected, not never accepted!
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby Eric » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:07 pm

jkisha wrote:I don't care what it is, if someone gifts me something I always graciously accept it. It goes in my bling can. Then each year I go through the can and throw out what I don't like or want. Why hurt the giver's feelings? Didn't your mother teach you that?

I think you misinterpreted your own words: "A gift is something freely given and not expected to be received." i.e. Gifts should never be expected, not never accepted!


It's not like I say "I don't want your piece of shit"; I politely decline. I seriously see no reason in carrying someone elses trash home.

With the paper we have people gifting us a lot- I never decline a gift when giving out the paper- but we keep a box in camp called the "Gift Box" with a little "please put gifts here" note on it. Anything we don't want we put in there, anyone passing by can take from it, regardless if they add or not.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby AntiM » Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:23 pm

Hey, turnerburner, you cross-posted this over in Politics and philosophy. Don't cross-post, one forum is sufficient is sufficient.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:29 pm

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.

VS

- 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.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby Eric » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:43 pm

theCryptofishist wrote: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.

VS

- 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.


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I missed that.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby turnerburner » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:35 am

Never refusing a gift is not identical to getting rid of what you don't need.

I believe that a gift, gifted with good intention, ought never to be refused.

It is then up to the recipient to 're-gift' if he or she doesn't need it, thus continuing the karmic goodness of that beautiful act of gifting.

Less petty, semantic analysis please - I believe my post has something good to say yet you have opted to concentrate on a singular point, clearly a bug-bear of yours, to criticise and negate - not cool.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:37 am

Just suppose I thought everyone could benafit from a kick in the ass. It's my gift!

Should you accept that just because I think it's a good idea?

You don't get to kick me back, NO BARTERING! :?
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby turnerburner » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:52 am

Ridiculous comment.

Where's the good intention in such a 'gift'?
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:00 am

Not at all. The point is ,you never know what someone will think is a "good" gift".

Some assholes think doseing is a wonderful gift!
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby ygmir » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:05 am

FIGJAM wrote:Not at all. The point is ,you never know what someone will think is a "good" gift".

Some assholes think doseing is a wonderful gift!


good point, FJ.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby turnerburner » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:20 am

You or I could come up with thousands of examples like the ones you have just provided.

Stop being pedantic.

'Gifting' is the essence of LOVE: it is to give without expectation of return.

IN MY OPINION, this is the source of all that is magical and beautiful about the wonderful experience which is Burning Man.

I'm sorry that it appears you have had some negative experiences from aforementioned 'assholes' - in '09, I only had one such experience but I had and have the understanding that such negativity was and is their problem and not mine.

Please don't let isolated incidents from a few individuals detract from the greatness that is 'gifting' for it is this act of selfless spontaneity to strangers - LOVE - which IN MY OPINION is the foundation, the root of Burning Man's Beauty.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby AntiM » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:23 am

I think if you acknowledge the offer of a gift you do not want to receive with a sincere No Thank You and a hug, then the intent and spirit of the gift is received, while not the physical gift itself. And that's okay!
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:08 am

AntiM wrote:I think if you acknowledge the offer of a gift you do not want to receive with a sincere No Thank You and a hug, then the intent and spirit of the gift is received, while not the physical gift itself. And that's okay!


Amen AntiM!

My point was about an absolute accept any gift view.

I was offered sushi, thank you, but give it to someone who wants sushi.

I was offered bbq ribs, love ribs, but I was full, thank you, so give them to someone whos hungry.

I gifted a thread to help as many people have a comfortable burn as possable months before attending my first burn.

Each situation calls for an individual salution. 8)
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby Roberto Dobbisano » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:12 am

evidently, according to eplaya, nothing happened in 2009.



viewforum.php?f=130



oh snap!
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby flatlander13 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:34 am

I have a love/hate relationship with gifts. I don't like to receive gifts...ever. No christmas, no birthday. Burningman is the only place that I may accept a gift......

As far as giving gifts.....I make jewelry that I make only to give away at the burn. I carry said jewelry around in a bag that I invite to put their hand into if they want. When asked what's in the bag i tell people that they have to reach in the bag to find out. My camp mates have told me a number of timed that I freak people out by not sticking around to let people say thanks for their gift. I admit that im not comfortable with people thanking me.
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby turnerburner » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:36 am

Ok, ok. Point taken.

I wouldn't accept BBQ spare ribs either as I don't eat meat.

Next time I'll be more precise with my wording to ensure that I cover 'gifts' such as plastic trash, dousing, kicks in the 'ass', food when I'm full and drinks when I'm not thirsty.

It's therefore not the case that I or others ought to accept ANYTHING just for the sake of its acceptance as a 'gift'. Therefore, I retract this absolute.

It is true, clearly, that not ALL gifts are well-given or appropriate for the recipients needs - understood.

However, I stand by what I have said, save the acceptance of inappropriate, ridiculous or poorly-intended gifts.

Where reasonable, I intend to continue to accept any and all gifts and, for those that I do not need - if I already have a set of ear-plugs for example - I shall pass on to somebody that does.

And, if I receive a kick in the ass, I shall respond with a hug :)
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Re: What Burning Man meant to me (as a Virgin Burner in '09)

Postby Elderberry » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:49 am

And now we are getting into the area of what is actually considered a gift. :shock:
Your examples of the sushi and other food, would not meet my definition of a gift. That's just sharing and the responses would be different. Now if the food were prepared and wrapped so that it could be taken with you and eaten later, that would be a gift. Semantics? Possibly, but I don't think so, sharing and gifting are not necessarily the same.

FIGJAM wrote:
AntiM wrote:I think if you acknowledge the offer of a gift you do not want to receive with a sincere No Thank You and a hug, then the intent and spirit of the gift is received, while not the physical gift itself. And that's okay!


Amen AntiM!

My point was about an absolute accept any gift view.

I was offered sushi, thank you, but give it to someone who wants sushi.

I was offered bbq ribs, love ribs, but I was full, thank you, so give them to someone whos hungry.

I gifted a thread to help as many people have a comfortable burn as possable months before attending my first burn.

Each situation calls for an individual salution. 8)
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