I just read the entire thread... yeah, I don't go near the temple anymore. Mostly because I've lost enough folks to feel I should do memorials for all of them, and I'd be catching up, and I'd be hard pressed to do that much compressed mourning. Feels right to memorialize those who have passed in other ways than on the playa.
I do like the idea of smaller temples, scattered about. Like little Shinto shrines. Maybe a mikoshi would be a hoot. I have a whistle! Or Day of the Dead altars in camps. It all doesn't need to be in the Temple.
The Temple. It gets capitalized just like The Man now. I haven't been near either burn the last few years, even when we do fuels in the Great Circle, we run like mad with the fuel cart when the perimeter drops. Temple burns are physically painful for me, I can't sit on the ground, there's that nasty sage smudging in abundance, as well as other herbs which interfere with my breathing, or we're sitting in the bike back by the exhaust fumes of the MVs. All spiritual meaning gets lost. Much better to sit back and watch the panoply from a distance.
That I can use panoply in the context of Burning Man is worrisome. It is the antithesis of chaos, no? Yes?
The back streets are where I find my better burn these days. I suppose the temple means more to other folks than to me, and that's alright ... but the ice line has more potential for enlightenment in my view.
Some sunshine, some dust, a little paint and a tutu. Yeah.