Participation is a many flavoured thing.
“Burner” celebrations of all kinds, including seed, hinge on ten common principles. Written by Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey in 2004 as a guide for the newly-formed Regional Network (now including Burning Seed), these principles were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event’s inception.
You’ve maybe seen these principles shellacked in blogs like this or this or lambasted/defended, perhaps both in equal measure by the same culprits at times at a burner shenanigan or online in the Badlands that is Burning Facebook (such an ADHD, masochist, shadow projection riddled narcissist, and smart ass playground but still so enticing, somewhat like childhood scab eating).
Moving back away from questionable standards (I’m a bit gross) to clearly established and shared ones: the Burner principles... one of the big kickers is Participation.
In full, as Sir Larry (dunno if he’s a Sir actually but he is fucking rich and probably lives in a castle now, or a totally lush bedsit in Silicon Valley) put it:
“Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.”
Action is the fundamental part of this. Like healthy love, burning is a doing thing. It’s not about just being there, or having been there, it’s not about how you feel about it in your piney little whingey heart. It’s about what you practically do to take part in a burn, to actively engage in it.
Practical is individual though. Deeply personal. By old Lazza’s measure, if we’re engaging in an action that opens the heart with the intention of transformative change, well, participation is what we are doing. This could be any of:
- Working year round as a team lead of some kind in back end organisation
- Contributing to organising the logistics of a theme camp
- Giving a bunch of people free shrugs
- Dusting people as a wandering troupe of French maids
- Spritzing people with water as a wandering troupe of French mermaids
- Setting up a magical relaxation ground of hammocks on the edge of the prettiest sunset view on the Red Earth, because you are a wonderful genius
- Taking on a ranger, gate, greeter, temple guardian, moop troupe, etc. whatever shift you feel like volunteering
- Smiling at everyone you meet
- Smiling at no one you meet
- Being hilariously charming company
- Being authentically however you actually are at any point in time, as an enabling mirror to help foster authenticity in others
- Teaching people how to hula
- Playing a DJ set (even though we may not know or worship who you are, yo)
- Hilariously taking the piss out of others for your own amusement
- Standing up for others to help defuse nonsense because it feels good
- Being warm, generous and loving
- Picking up MOOP wherever you can
- Cooking something nice to gift for other people
- Sharing ideas and ways of relating that are expansive and contribute to positive transformation
- Having a great time of whatever kind you feel like, throwing your back into the fun, eating up Red Earth City with great appetite and gusto
- Being kind to yourself and others when they aren’t up for that authentically, being real
- Having a mild and gentle introspective time of being present to yourself and the moment
- Challenging whatever closed hearted messaging or behaviour you have the energy for on some Facebook group platform when not behaving like a closed hearted dick
- Writing Burning Seed documentation or hack blogs instead of depressing Dr Seuss rhyming poetry about love, the end of the world or redemption of the trajectory of humankind, or endless Facebook statuses or comments (Ok this is getting a bit too deeply personal… 😉
- Whatever you like, so long as you are being open hearted and contributing in some way towards transformative change.
Anyway, the take home I’d like to sign off with is, as this blog is titled, get stuck in, check your intentions, but don’t let anyone tell you how to party.
Peace out, Leash.