Personality is a creation, reality is a hallucination and separation is an illusion.
I just returned from my sixth Burning Man and no, this is not the LSD talking; I didn’t take any. It really does take actually going out to Burning Man and seeing it for yourself to realize you don’t need psychedelics as Burning Man is itself a week-long psychedelic. It was on this, the sixth one, that it hit me what a wildly different plane of reality it truly is. This was the longest I’d ever been out there and it’s taken me the longest to acclimate back to what Burners refer to as the Default World.
We have many members of our Collective and extended network who have ties to the Burning Man community but Justified Hype is not a Burning Man thing. In fact, only a couple of the co-founders are actually even Burners (for now) and that is absolutely by design. A common thing that happens with many second and third year Burners is that we become obsessed with getting as many people to go as we can. It takes a while before we finally make peace with the fact that the world is not populated by crazy people who look forward to spending their hard earned vacation hours in an environment which gave an eviction notice to pretty much every other living thing. One of the many observations that inspired the creation of Justified Hype was that I wanted to have a place where we could implement some of the wonderful lessons we were learning from Burning Man in other Default World communities.
I can’t quite explain what I’m seeing when I look in to many of your eyes… The best I can come up with is that there are different layers of consciousness that connect many of us. I saw it when I was in Berlin in my early 20s and was, at that point in my art career, predominantly navigating the hip hop world. After being given wrong directions to a bar for the fourth time (I’m fairly certain that giving tourists wrong directions is some inside joke among Berliners) we stumbled on a little open air hip hop festival in some abandoned factory grounds. It was among a group of German rappers in a cypher that I suddenly felt like I was back at home with my crew in Los Angeles, leaning against familiar graffiti walls and observing a swagger that was not an imitation but a continuation of the same culture that grew out of New York. Hip hop is not just a music genre or fashion style, it is a layer of consciousness.
This same analysis arises when discussing Burners. Many veterans will be the first to tell you one needn’t attend Burning Man in order to be a Burner. I know that’s a bit of a contradiction from what I was saying earlier but many Burners I know have often pondered if being a Burner is a cultural identity or are we using it as a catch-all word for something deeper. Perhaps another layer of consciousness? It’s the main question that inspired the launch of Burner Podcast.