How did you first hear about Burning Man and why did you decide to go?
From a bunch of friends over a bunch of years. I'm sorry to say it took a few years for me to catch on :)
Have you been to any other events or festivals similar in some way to Burning Man (including but not limited to regional burns)? If so, what was different or similar about those events for you?
Not yet.. I meant to go to Firefly last June, but didn't manage to. There's nothing much similar to BMan.. but I've been to folk festivals, world music festivals, art shows, and street fairs.. all of which are like a piece of BMan in one way or another..
Has Burning Man been a life or perspective changing experience for you? If so, please say more about how that transpired for you. Why do you think Burning Man brought about that transformation?
hell yes. it's hard to say how, though.. it's an experience like no other. it pushes people to the limits of their abiltiy to survive, in a more or less healthy and cared-for environment. it allows one as much capacity for human interaction as they can stand, and yet, allow someone utter solitude in the middle of the desert, should one want that instead. (ok, BRC is still noisy as hell, so it's rarely quiet solitude, but it works..) it affords one visions of the absurd, and challenges their view of the world around them. it puts one in the middle of the desert for a week, among a city of 30,000 people, and it was remarkably easy to adapt to.
Do you participate in any rituals, ritual-like activities, or performances at Burning Man?
not yet, but I have some in mind for this year. the playa lends itself to ritual, being so foreign, and so open, and the energy that the city is engulfed by.
In general, do you consider yourself a religious or spiritual person? Please say more about what that means to you, why you do or do not. What has been your religious/spiritual background?
generally, no.. I grew up Presbyterian, but was never really forced into going to church, except when visiting relatives. I touched wicca and paganism, read some tao and connected with hobbits and heinlein. I'm definitely not religious.. and I'm not sure if I'm particularly spiritual, either.. but I believe in nature and the cosmos, and I believe in the capacity for people to lead caring and mindful lives.
Do you think Burning Man is a religious or spiritual event? Why or why not?
it's different things to different people. it certainly has a fervor of conviction not unlike religion, but in and of itself, it is simply a medium for people to explore a different way of being.
What does Burning Man mean to you?
also hard to answer. I'll let my responses to the previous questions speak for me. Burning Man is a focal point that one can hold onto as they struggle to exist in a modern fast-paced and increasingly clinically packaged world.
Anything else you want to add?
good survey :)
See you all in 37 days!