The expansive amplification of 69,000 committed people has a profound effect on all participants in a particular venue, when that amplification is “The Moment”. Turning up “The Moment” at the Burning Man is the result of the culmination of planning, travel, expense, and general sacrifice, to go to a calling that challenges the day-to-day, with survival and adaptation, while peppering the ordinary into the extraordinary. It is the stuff that a ‘good’ life is made of. When we show up for the ‘show’, we really want to be there. The amplifier, called The Burning Man, turns all that collective energy up, scorching our eyebrows from the fires in our bellies.
The journey to the Burning Man and the journey in our particular life, is essentially the same. Given uncertainty and change, and the dynamics of both venues, we accept the extraordinary, the ordinary, and the challenges with equal vigor. Accepting only the pieces of the drama that we like, is to push against “What Is”. The equal acceptance, and no less than that, is the ‘Way’ of life. To bob up and down when things get ’sticky’, is to lose the Permanence of whom we always Are. To ’not’ participate in the ‘bob’, is to choose and acknowledge the deposit of our energies in the pocket of “The Formless”, constantly. The less energy we deposit in the roller coaster of ‘form’ (the ‘bob’), the more stable our platform.
White-out dust storms raging at 45MPH+, 31 degree nights contrasted with 90’s + in the day, are de rigueur, as are, the emotional storms of quiet desperation and crisis in consciousness in the default world. When we fully accept the circumstances particular to our unique situation, good or bad, we bond with the energy that unbinds our stuck-ness. Like and dislike have nothing to do with it. We may experience preference, but preference does not have a place in the Moment. When it does occur, it displaces the Moment with distortion and resistance. Freedom to Be, is dumped unceremoniously with the wrong choice. The ‘flow’ can flow because it has no hard n’fast bindings.
Engaging in our delusional preferences with any vigor, deposits energy in the wrong stream. The Stream of Formlessness is waived for the stream of “ME” and “I”.
At the Burning Man, it was my predilection to proceed on the open expanse of deep playa to short-cut travel from one part of the city to the other. Deep playa was not really part of the planned trip, but that is where I found myself with another traveler. A white-out transpired with no useable vision past about a couple of feet. We were nearly running into Art objects due to reduced vision. We decided to head up together because of the challenge the environment suddenly created. A bicycle was between us, each holding one end of the handlebars. Our GPS was only the music we could hear in the distance. After about 30 minutes in, we made it across and found our bearings and thereafter our destination.
What was left, was the residue of a bond that developed in the challenge of that moment. This bond was just as important as the bond that was later formed with other participants in a later camp benefit, i.e. steam bath and excellent food. The outcome was basically the same but under utterly different circumstances. Both circumstances played out and both were treated with equanimity. To pursue one outcome with a different response, would be to push past the boundaries of “What Is” and demand it our way. That would be untethered ego.
Connection to the ubiquitous ego has the familiarity of vain insanity. When we are in it, we cannot fathom the depth of delusion/illusion. Only when we get perspective of witness, can we leave that longstanding pattern in the dust of the playa.
The ‘Seeing’ does not ever stop, even when we refuse to ‘See’. Awareness abides whether we unite with it or are alien to it. ‘Seeing’ the limitation of limited form is the beginning of the end of delusion. The white-out of egoism lifts.
Awareness is Present Now. Awareness of thoughts is most obvious. Awareness of physical things is always an easy one. Awareness of sound, inner and outer, signals a slight shift into the Subtle. Awareness of space is getting close to Awareness of Awareness, which is the alpha/omega of the most intimate part of Ourselves. It is there, in the Formlessness of Consciousness, the deep playa within, that We abide effortlessly. This Source, Our Source, is the touchstone of connection and expansive consciousness. It is here, where We Are most comfortable and at home. Welcome home burner. Love is cooking on the stove.
The shift to the Formless, is a shift to what already is and has been Present always. It is a shift, often from the confused state of whom we thought we were to whom we really Are. We had all or most of our eggs in the wrong basket. When we start transferring these proverbial ‘eggs’ to the ethereal basket of no-form, we shift accordingly. How much shift is dependent on how many eggs transfer.
There is no necessity to keep any ‘eggs’ in the Form. Moreover, all the ‘eggs’ are Formless in nature anyway. The form is only a temporary vehicle which wastes the ‘eggs’ of Awareness on illusory matters. We Are the Formless and the Form, with the Awareness connection located in the Nothingness of everything i.e. The Formless. Formlessness is the open unstructured desert where infinite potential abides, creating forms like Black Rock City. It is in the Infinite Potential where the artists of the playa source their best ideas. This Is the Connection we were looking for anyways. We connect here solidly first and then play the limited role of form and personage second. Not the other way around.
Shifting out from the form requires the baggage of “I, me, and you” to be ‘seen’ away (not pushed). The loss of these expressions of separateness is a clear prerequisite for Being. It is only when this baggage is dropped can “The Energy” fill the vacuum and connect Us all effortlessly. Until that happens we are living in a sanitized pretense of egoic trance.
What is interesting, is that observers observe incorrectly that when “The Energy” shows up, the individual goes into a trance. The quality of the energy, the ceasing of pushing, and the need to control and manipulate, are not present in this state of Being. The egoic trance has the quality of separateness and delusional ideas and beliefs that have no basis in reality. It is integration through Formlessness versus separation and aggrandizement in the endpoint called ‘form’. Clarity and the seeing of the egoic contracted trance, is the beginning of liberation from form. It is the “Man” burning and the “Temple” connecting to the Formlessness where all connections lie.
Be first, then ‘do’. This means that the connection is most importantly from the no-thing called Formlessness Awareness. That subtle and powerful field of fullness is where nothing can be added because it Is everything always. After continuous connection to this field, the ‘form’ is informed with the genius of the entire Universe. This is the ultimate collective consciousness, that is, “The Energy”. Letting the dictator of the ego go, and allowing “What Is” to enter, was the original starting point anyway. Welcome home burners. We Are already there Now.
“This isn’t a journey about becoming something. This is about unbecoming who we are not, about undeceiving ourselves. We don’t end up anywhere other than where we have always been, except that we perceive we have always been completely different. We realize that the heaven everyone is seeking is where we have always been.” Adyashanti
Let the “Burn” begin every single Moment of our existence, on or off the playa. The “default world” is the illusion. There is no need to stop ‘burning’ even when we leave the event. When We are the Connection, the ‘form’ is just another medium.