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Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Bohemian Rhapsody at Burning Man 2019

September 11, 2019



“Creative artists … are mankind’s wakeners to recollection: summoners of our outward mind to conscious contact with ourselves, not as participants in this or that morsel of history, but as spirit, in the consciousness of being. Their task, therefore, is to communicate directly from one inward world to another, in such a way that an actual shock of experience will have been rendered: not a mere statement for the information or persuasion of a brain, but an effective communication across the void of space and time from one center of consciousness to another.”

Joseph Campbell, from The Masks of God, Volume IV: Creative Mythology

While people are still cleaning the Black Rock Desert playa off their cars, clothes, and camp, and while there’s a crew of hard working people working to restore the Black Rock Desert to the condition it was in July, Burning Man is over for 2019 leaving behind many gifts including videos of special events like the ones posted here and the gifts that were taken home including jewelry like the necklaces posted below.

We also take with us the lessons from living life by following Burning Man’s “10
Principles” and we attempt to adapt to living this way back at our homes in the default world.

poem by Gwendolyn Alley as published in the October 2001 edition of ArtLife Limited Edition Magazine

As today is September 11, a day to remember the horrendous events that happened that day and the deaths that resulted from it, I can’t help but wonder how the world would be if we all took the 10 Principles of Burning Man to heart, created more art, treated each other with more understanding, love, and respect, sought to listen and learn together, and practiced more self-reliance as well.

Read more about the 10 Principles here. 

Read more about Radical Inclusion. diversity at Burning Man, and artist Elizabeth Mallory.

Read more about the artwork pictured above as published October 2001 in ArtLife Limited Edition Magazine and in the Ventura County Star September 2011.. 

Today with my students, we will discuss the 10 Principles and how we can apply them to our classroom, and our lives. We will also prepare for Cultural Artifact Presentations where students will share with the class the story behind their name, a physical artifact from their culture, and a food item that has meaning to them.

At Burning Man, this happens: we are given a playa name that we share, we share food together in our camps or at theme camps that cook and serve food as a gift, and we share artifacts as well — playa gifts and other artifacts.

The 10 Principles can’t solve all of the world’s problems — but by working together, by listening to each other learning together, we can.

In closing, here’s another version Bohemian Rhapsody from a different perspective… because a change in perspective is always good to have…

PS More from Burning Man to come!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Patrick Duffy permalink
    September 11, 2019 11:35 pm

    Are y’all home yet? Can I say hi on the fly if you’re around Friday? PGD

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