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The Ten Principles… for Dummies

by Havoc

I lost my burginity in 2014, turning up to Burning Seed ImagiNation with so much crap it took two trips from Sydney to fit my kid in. I didn’t know anybody and my little girl had no idea that her mum was a dooflord in the olden days. I had never put up a pup-tent let alone the eight-man monster I now call the Taj Mahal, which was to be our home in unknown territory for the next week.

10 principlesI discovered Burning Seed while “researching” how to do Burning Man. I noticed the ‘regional’ tab and thought “maybe there’s a burn in Asia…wait, what? Burning Seed in Wagga Wagga?!“.

There’s nothing really that can prepare you for the experience of a Burn, you have to just brace yourself and get in it. But we’ve all been there. We’ve all been first timers. We’ve all been Burner Virgins or ‘Burgins’ and the majority of participants are prepared to help each of you through this experience.

So you may hear a lot of arguments about Burns not being festivals or doofs. They are “events”, “gatherings”, “celebrations” and the words used by some cause a great deal of consternation to others at times. The truth is they are all of those things depending on your own perception and more importantly what you make of it.

So what differentiates Burning Seed from a vapid party tribe at a commercial festival (and you are allowed to do that in your spare time too by the way)? The Burning Man project, of which Burning Seed is officially a part, is based on some key values known as “the Ten Principles of Burning Man” – Go ahead and take a look but don’t be gone too long now!

When you are new, the online chatter around a Burn can be bewildering. The information available on the website is brilliant but it is all created by volunteers, and it is always a work in progress. If you are at least mindful of the Ten Principles, everything goes chaotically smoothly or it also doesn’t. It will be more fun than you can conjure by yourself and believe it or not you might even grow as a person.

At AfrikaBurn and other regionals around the world an “11th Principle” is making the rounds – Each One, Teach One. In the spirit of EOTO, I present to you my “Ten Principles for Dummies”. Nobody does this the same way and few practice it perfectly. All of this is corruptible, corrupted and ultimately meaningless in the best possible way. The Principles are the recipe and we all add our own spice….



THE TEN PRINCIPLES: FOR DUMMIES

1. Wear What Makes You Happy 
If you want to be a fish, a robot, a dressage champion or a human that is entirely OK with almost everyone. If and when someone calls you out for some random faux-pas only they understand, all you need to do is listen to their point of view and change your behaviour if they have moved you to do so or carry on as you see fit.  Similarly with your words, you can say whatever you want but that doesn’t mean the community will take your crap. The scum always rises to the top to be skimmed off…well no, that didn’t come out right at all…see how easy it is? NEXT!
2. Don’t Sell Shit To Other Burners.
Unless someone consents to being sold shit in places like Burner Classifieds or down a dark alley, leave your business cards at home. Yes money is a reality, and yes you need resources to burn bright but do not spruik, sell or buy at a Burn or on Burner forums or stolen email lists from fundraisers (this includes drugs, parties, sunglasses, shamanic actualization. The only exception is ice…made from water).
3. Paddle Your Own Canoe
Don’t be a Drainbow. The community functions best when nobody has to waste valuable love/art-making/dancing/learning/cuddling/slapshotting time getting other people’s shit together. Conditions can be really difficult at times so prepare well to joyfully participate in the miseries of Burning.
4. Muck In
If something needs doing, do it. If you can’t do it alone find other do-ers to help and amazing things happen. Do not place orders for your dreams to come true.
5. You Are a Citizen (be a good one)
Don’t believe the titles, nobody is your boss here. You and you alone are responsible for your actions and their impact on your community.
6. No One Gets Left Out
….(but that doesn’t mean everyone is going to like you)
7. Muck Out
Do not leave anything you brought with you behind, with the exception of the things you silently and respectfully release in the Temple.
8. The Power of Now
The days go by fast and they are never repeated. Don’t hesitate.
9. Get Amongst It
…but if someone else is part of your cunning plan, ask them first.
10. Plan to Give More Than You Decide to Take.

 


So now you know the Ten Principles (for Dummies). If you need to do this one more time…print it, record it or whack it on a T-shirt. Most of all take this lesson to heart. The Principles are the light that gets through the cracks, the cracked, and the crackpots alike and which makes even the dim ones shine.

With love from Havoc… “Magis Chaos. Narratio Glorificata.”

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