One of the things that originally sparked my interest in attending Burning Man was the physical proximity that I was going to be to the events.
We were going to be up in Mammoth, a mere 6 hours away. That was enough to get the ball rolling.
As often happens in life, well situations changed and then changed again and then...
We found ourselves driving down to LA on Friday. I picked up a van on Saturday, and proceeded to get all the stuff that I was planning on getting up in Mammoth, Bishop and/or Reno and on Sunday I was once again in our storage unit and then back on the road to Burning Man, just a few hundred miles south of where I had planned to be.
On our way South, we talked a little about some of the Burning Man 10 Principle, particularly the last one
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
The first thing that came to mind was a very unburner-like concept, that being the "I want it now", texting, instant and constant plugged-in 24/7 culture that an event like Burning Man would seem to oppose.
That was because we were thinking of the word immediate, not immediacy.
So of course the next step was to Google it:
1.immediacy - lack of an intervening or mediating agency;
2.immediacy - immediate intuitive awareness; instinctive knowing (without the use of rational processes)
3.immediacy - the quickness of action or occurrence;
That made a lot more sense.
But still the Burning Man wording and description dripped a little to much of New-Age wackiness for me.
I get it, be in the now.
It is something I struggle with constantly. In fact, the place where I find myself more in the now than anywhere else is in my jiujitsu training. There is something about someone exerting all there physical strength as well as their mental focus on the one primary goal of causing you significant discomfort that you will "tap-out" or cry uncle, give up. All the time your focus is to do the same to him or her.
I am able to "be in the now" under those conditions far easier than say in a yoga class, although I am getting better and better the more I practice.
Their is a reason why hooping, juggling and various "flow arts" find there way to an event such as Burning Man.
"Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi,(a link to a TEDtalk he did) the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields."
from the Flow Temple website:
Flow Arts is a fast-growing fitness and meditation practice that blends play, exercise and dance into a fun and healthful activity that moves the body, stills the mind and uplifts the spirit. It's a physical workout that is also a brain booster, a relaxing way to chill out, and a compelling performance art.
Csikszentmihalyi became fascinated by artists who would essentially get lost in their work. Artists, especially painters, got so immersed in their work that they would disregard their need for food, water and even sleep.
Hoopers flow. Poi-spinners flow. Jugglers flow. Like I said before, I get into a flow when I do jiujitsu. There are all sorts of ways to get into the flow.
One thing that I find somewhat ironic, is how so many people look forward to Burning Man, speak of needing escape from the "default" world.
Saving up all their "immediacy" for one week out of the year.
Of course that is a gross over-simplification and a huge generalization.
I do really look forward to experiencing Burning Man's immediacy.
I have yet to meet anyone that was not hugely effected.
Many have said it was a life-changing experience. Hence the reason it keeps growing and growing.