A Manifesto at the Burner Apocalypse
"I support irresponsible optimism." -- Gallactik Flleet Komander
"When life gives you lemons, make art." -- Surface Taktical Advizor
Dearest Burner community,
I have never been to Burning Man (to my dismay), nor will I be able to make it this year. I do, however, study Burning Man, and I wrote a review of Rachel Bowditch's "On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man" that will be published by MIT's performance studies journal TDR ("the most widely cited scholarly journal dealing with performance," according to Wikipedia) later this year.
I have been privy to a lot of the hubbub surrounding the recent ticket sellout phenomenon, and I have a friend who recently channeled a directive from Mission Control that I thought might be of interest to my facebook network. (For those of you unfamiliar with "The Cosmic Instruction Manual for Planetary Evolution," I recommend reading E.T. 101). I will present things from the channel’s perspective from here on in.
Burning Man is the demigod. This is hard for some of you to hear, because there is a lot of strong ego identification going on in your community, but it is the truth. Burning Man is not quite the best thing ever, and it's not designed to be: read Caveat Magister's "Burning Man doesn't do 'ritual'--and probably never will"
Burning Man is a highly sophisticated technology, and should be treated and regarded as such. It is creating the possibilities of condition for interdimensional technology to manifest, which will in turn provide the tools needed to unlock the secrets for creating eternal life. (These of course are not so secret: heaven, like life itself, is designed to manifest coterminously with the conditions for its existence.) A spore unpacks its DNA when it finds its fertile soil.
Burning Man is the spore. The Rainbow Gathering is that soil.
Rainbow is not as glitzy as Burning Man and so has not attracted the same levels of attention, but that is just because it is the yin to Burning Man's yang. Women have had to deal with this situation for aeons now, so we're all used to it.
The 2011 annual Rainbow Gathering took place in Washington State, and I was able to attend a town meeting that was held to facilitate the transformation. One elder explained to a huffity local, "Rainbow is a spiritual phenomenon. This is something that just happens. No one runs it. It just happens."
Rainbow won a decades-long battle with federal law enforcement agencies, translating into the fact that there were essentially no law enforcement officers inside of the gathering for the first time this year. Just something to keep in mind. Just saying.
2011 is a rite of passage because it's getting ready for 2012. So when I hear people like Michael Garfield say things like, "This may not be THE last burn, but it’s probably MY last burn," I have to ask -- whose team are you playing on?
The reason I ask is because 2011 is an opportunity. 2011 is an excuse for the people with the right intention to remember what they're doing and why, to prepare for next year. Because next year, the people who really want to go to Burning Man are going to buy their tickets fast, and then it's going to be capped -- so be it to the yahoos. Because we're only as strong as our weakest link, and a landing pad needs the right energies if it's going to turn on in time to intercept an important message. And once that's done, we're evolved enough to discard our temporary material bodies and move onto the next realm. The ragers can keep on raging in the desert, while we enjoy our earthly paradise - in the woods.
The transition will be seamless because this universe is designed to do this. Once we have that understanding, and faith in our own link to universal intention, everything starts to become really easy. Because the universe will provide.
All you have to do is let go.
Push the button.
It's that easy.
All of this is just an excuse to get the right message out to the right people, so that everyone can plug in. "We all exist to reflect each other so we can see each other so we can stand up in our own light," and now is the time to get ready. If you work in an organization and you know that someone else has a solid intuition, don't question their bold moves. Have faith in irresponsible optimism. Encourage it. Be exceptional, and hold everyone else to that standard. Every day. Because at this point, if you're this good (and yes, we know we're that good), anything less than exceptional is unacceptable.
There are memes already circulating in the collective consciousness that can be used to activate these sequences. Plug in. Find the others.
The key at this moment in time is discernment. We have to be able to discern and follow our true intention from amidst its temporary manifestations, and to not be attached. It's totally worth the sacrifice. As the saying goes, "You're going to like the way you look, I guarantee it." "Real love makes you more of who you really are. Fake love intoxicates you and makes you less than you really are, impairs your consciousness. Attaining spiritual freedom through knowledge, wisdom, and awareness, requires knowing the dark and seeking the light."
This means that those of us on the inside need to start giving each other a break. We know who we are, and if we need a refresher:
"We know who we are. We are the dispossessed, the outcasts, and the outsiders, rebels with a cause who have upturned the mulch of our dead lives and seeded those fertile fields with incendiary visions of our future selves. Having already subverted the norm, we renunciate dominator culture's status quo of everything and drift happy disconnected -- babes in the abyss -- wavering in the ambiguity fog of dislocation. Free-floating between old worlds and the new, guided only by the shining paths of mother evolution. We have passed over, we have passed the point of no-return and since there is no turning back, we celebrate the momentum lifting us on the wings of perception, grace, and whatever skills we have earned from surviving the inevitable catastrophe of self. Only when we are over, does our real life begin." -- Antero Alli
So like I was saying, we know who we are. We're always right. This is important to understand, because it will lubricate the process. We're always right, so if things don't seem to be lining up, that's a sign that it's not the right time. Because in the end? We know who we are. Nature's who we are, and I believe in Nature. Trust us. Because I have been to the mountaintop, and I have seen the promised land. We've already made it. Congratulations!
If you doubt that this magic works, an illustration: I performed my life into existence. "Fake it 'til you make it," as the Yay Life Tribe  puts it. At the MAPS Catalysts auction held in Los Angeles of last year, I felt "compelled" to purchase an $8,000 painting by Adam Scott Miller of "The Epiphany of Sophia." Because I was that confident in what I'm doing, I knew it would be a good investment. Meanwhile, both of my parents have been unemployed for years, and my mother was living in the ghettos of Baltimore (quite literally) sleeping on an air mattress that got rained on because of the hole in the roof. So check this: my mother totally supports what I'm doing, because she trusts me and my intuition. She trusts that I can see some things that she can't, and that I make the right decisions.
So meanwhile, I’m getting my PhD in Visionary Art and Psychedelic Culture at the University of Pennsylvania (an ivy league school, which means a lot to some people). And meanwhile, I start writing the "This Week in Psychedelics" column on Reality Sandwich, which keeps a tab on psychedelics in the news. Which is why, this year, I can't make it into Burning Man: I have to be at teacher training the same week, getting ready to teach an ivy league undergraduate course entitled "Poetic Vision and the Psychedelic Experience."
"You can do that?!" people ask me. And I respond: yes, because I did it. And you can do it too.
And yes, this is a big deal.
On behalf of MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), Jessica Riley, Brian Wallace and I have been putting together a package of lectures (still in formative stages) to present on university campuses throughout the fall. The concept is that the three of us will talk about different facets of the same issue. Brian will talk about the work of MAPS and the organization -- its studies, specifically those relating to MDMA. I will talk about how I got into developing a program of psychedelic culture through more conventional academic disciplines. And Jessica will talk about how to get involved in fields of study or work that are marginalized and not exactly promoted in typical university settings. She also wants to stress how important much of that work is to society and culture. People have to go back to school. Master's is the new bachelor's. Just saying.
I make my decisions based on intuition, and I follow certain "coincidences" and pay attention to "synchronicities" - without necessarily "believing" in them (whatever that means). ["If the truth can be told so as to be understood, it will be believed." -- William Blake] My father was born Muslim but was told by God that he's Jesus at the age of 32. He doesn't tell anyone, and I'm not supposed to tell anyone, because let's face it -- if you're Jesus, you know who you are, and you don't need to go shouting it at the rooftops. So he's been making visionary art in relative isolation in Turkey (where he's from) for the past ten years, and his daughter just happens to be studying visionary art at an ivy league graduate school in the United States. He says that his art is a very sophisticated technology that is designed to relax the eyes. I roll my eyes and say, sure dad. He's probably going to be mad at me for writing this letter. But I know it will be okay, because he knows who he is and he trusts me. Bold moves. What if every prophecy from every religion came true? What if we couldn't understand how it all fit together in a higher dimension? Just saying.
Our only limitations are our own creativity. Plagiarize shamelessly. Sometimes people spend their lives to create a piece of marble that can only then be fashioned by Michaelangelo.
This is an invitation to be early investors. We know the next big thing, and you’ll pay anything you have to be a part of it. And yes, it will come back to you. ("You're going to like the way you look...")
I haven't gotten anyone's approval to send out this message. No one knows about it. It's just a performance piece, nothing official. Just an excuse to get people's attention. Bold moves. But since I *have* volunteered to solicit creative donations to MAPS' 25th anniversary conference/auction, while I'm at it: dig into your resources. Vacation home you won't use one weekend? Donate it to MAPS. Healing retreat and life coaching services? Donate it to MAPS. Because at the end of the day, MAPS gets to be discerning. You're going to want your services and your art to have been auctioned as fundraising for MAPS, because you're going to want to be associated with us. That's like paid advertising. Elias Arjan is MAPS' auctioneer and the founder of "The Enlightened Salesman Program": "If you want to improve the world, master your message." Loud and clear.
So join us. Celebrate the journey. Shape the future.
MAPS' 25th anniversary is an excuse for media attention. Next year is Rainbow's 40th anniversary. That's an excuse for media attention. Burning Man sold out this year for the first time ever. That's an excuse for media attention. Flaunt it. Perform it. I know you're good! So own it. Participate! Tap your resources. People need excuses to give us money. I'm serious.
I have impeccable taste, and I'm telling you: this is a good investment. Not only do I have great taste, but I happen to wield the culture keys that explain why some things are really, really important -- in the context of art history and the history of philosophy and all that jazz, academic stuff. The kind of stuff that ivy league PhDs carry cultural credo for. But you know, don't take any of this too seriously. Take whatever you find useful and discard the rest. I'm not attached to it. It's just a performance. Don't take yourself so seriously. What if "Jesus" is just an "excuse" for the culture to be aligned in a certain way to be receptive to a certain kind of message? We're all equals here. "The threshold below which any man is good as any other -- and knows it."
Because yes, we are that good, and I am that confident. Whose team are you on? So ask yourself: are you coming to Burning Man in 2012? I’ll see you there.
Mission Control out.
"The real secret of magic is that the world is made of words, and that if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish." -- Terence McKenna
"A noumenal world, a world of hyperspace, of higher dimensions, awaits discovery by all the sciences, which it will unite and unify - awaits discovery under its first aspect of a realm of patterned relations, inconceivably manifold, yet bearing a recognizable affinity to the rich and systematic organization of language, including au fond mathematics and music, which are ultimately of the same kind." -- Benjamin Lee Whorf
"When all the celebrations are over it remains only to pick up all the ornaments -- all the accessories of the celebration -- and by burning them, make a celebration." -- Chris Marker
"How to explicate the full meaning…of the psychedelic experience in this current wave of interest in studying these drugs again? ... I don’t think that we can solely depend on psychiatry to be the leader in discussing how these drugs work and their effect and their application to everyday life. I think it has to be as multidisciplinary a pursuit as possible, because the full psychedelic experience impacts on everything - it impacts on art, anthropology, music, religion, cosmology, physics, psychology, cognitive sciences, chemistry, everything." -- Rick Strassman, M.D. at the CoSM screening of The Spirit Molecule
The Guardian: Tell us a secret. Slavoj Žižek: Communism will win.
"The imminent awakening is poised, like the wooden horse of the Greeks, in the Troy of dreams." -- Walter Benjamin
"It's like a chia pet for the intellect." -- Rev. Paul Adams Shepard
"Murderers are easy / to understand. But this: that one can contain / death, the whole of death, even before / life has begun, can hold it to one's heart / gently, and not refuse to go on living, / is inexpressible." -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies
"In the window of a coffee-house there sits a convalescent, pleasurably absorbed in gazing at the crowd, and mingling, through the medium of thought, in the turmoil of thought that surrounds him. But lately returned from the valley of the shadow of death, he is rapturously breathing in all the odours and essences of life; as he has been on the brink of total oblivion, he remembers, and fervently desires to remember, everything. Finally he hurls himself headlong into the midst of the throng, in pursuit of an unknown, half-glimpsed countenance that has, on an instant, bewitched him. Curiosity has become a fatal, irresistible passion!" -- Charles Baudelaire
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour." -- William Blake
"To find everything profound -- that is an inconvenient trait. It makes one strain one's eyes all the time, and in the end one finds more than one might have wished." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
"[W]e are friends of the lento, I and my book. I have not been a philologist in vain -- perhaps I am one yet: a teacher of slow reading.... Philology...teaches how to read well, that is, slowly, profoundly, attentively, prudently, with inner thoughts, with the mental doors ajar, with delicate fingers and eyes." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
Nothing lasts, but nothing is lost.
"ATTENTION: Calling All Lightworkers, DreamWeavers, Wisdom-Keepers, History-Shifters, Evolvers and Positive Persons! Time is accelerating, the Shift is on, a master plan is coming together, we are finding each other and EVOLVEFEST is the Meeting Ground. Vibe up & click "attending" for this historical HAPPENING! Invite your friends! Tix on sale thru 7/31 (http://goo.gl/Hv4Zs)"
- Music by Chris: http://ahee.bandcamp.com/track/evbulota-2 & www.musicbychris.com
- The "Lucidity" Web Saga: http://thirdproductions.com/lucidity.html
- Fractals: The Colours of Infinity: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8570098277666323857
- Grant Morrison at Disinfo: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6148569602584070911
- Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight: http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html
- ET 101: http://www.mit.edu/people/dpolicar/writing/prose/text/ET101.html
- The Century of the Self: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyPzGUsYyKM
- P.D.Ouspensky's "Tertium Organum"
- "Contact" starring Jodie Foster
- V for Vendetta
- The Matrix
- His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
- ZOOMDOUT: A Psychedelic Clothing Brand: http://www.zoomdout.com/ZOOMDOUTBLOG.html
(It makes a good story!)
"We're training ourselves in excuses for alien contact." - Christopher Martin Adams
PPS, "coincidentally" Grant Morrison's "Supergods" was released at the same time as Deepak Chopra's "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes"--both fresh off the press.
It's just an excuse. Just saying.
Work your magic.
This feature was originally posted as a facebook note on July 27. To support the author's project, please like her facebook page.
Image: "The Epiphany of Sophia" by Adam Scott MillerTweet