The point being that this kind of collective environment appears to allow for the restoration of symbolic resources in individuals – even if the content of those resources is not collective, or even shared. The existence of the sacred liminal space itself is sufficient collective infrastructure to support individual’s symbolic resources.
Caveat Magister in What I’ve learned about Burning Man from reading “Culture and the Death of God.”
In 2010, I was sitting in the El Dorado canyon of the Temple of Flux
on Friday night. I wasn\’t there as a guardian, but as a participant visitor. All week long, I had felt a strong resonance with the energy in that particular part of the temple, and that evening I felt comfortable enough to open my mind and heart to let out whatever needed to be released.
That was the night that Megatropolis burned
. As I leaned my back against the temple walls, it felt as though the structure itself were breathing with each passing pressure wave created by the fuel-air explosions. That was strangely comforting to me to think that the temple was literally breathing with me – in and out.
I sat in meditation for a while. Eventually I felt a wave of emotion rise up out of my core, and I began to weep. I wept for the passing of my grandparents. I wept for the sorrow expressed by countless others on the walls of the temple. I wept for the beauty inscribed by the blessed souls who brought light to the temple.
The most beautiful part of that night for me was when an anonymous gentleman sat a few feet from me on the bench and began to play a comforting melody on a double ocarina. He played for the longest time. Was it for me? Was it for him? It didn\’t matter. It was pure love. When he was done, I opened my eyes and gave him a heartfelt “thank you”. He simply said, “you\’re welcome”. That\’s all that needed to be said.
That experience cemented for me the sacredness of the temple ground. That absolutely blank patch of desert that is the locus spiritus for so many. Not simply because an artist built us a physical structure, and not only because so many people exposed their pain and desires there, but because the sum of the two is exponentially greater than the sum of its parts. Space, time, and spirit collide at the temple like no other place on earth (as far as I\’ve experienced), and that\’s what keeps drawing me back home.
We build temples not to exclude the world from them, but to learn to see the world as the temple that it is.
malakhgabriel» Blog Archive » On building temples
Our world, and our lives, are fragile; we\’re here for but a moment and bound in ways we can\’t even imagine to the people, spaces, and nature that surround us; and true beauty is marveling at the complex majesty of the human experience.
Why TED and Burning Man Are More Similar Than You Think | Inc.com