For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling with something Chip Conley said at Burning Man’s Global Leadership Conference. (You can read my thoughts about his entire presentation here.)
“The more digital we get,” he said, “the more ritual we need.”
I jumped those words. My heart pounded. “Yeah!” I remember thinking, with an exclamation point and everything. I wrote it down in my notebook and put a little star next to it – my shorthand for “this is worth a whole article on its own.”
Larry Harvey has been talking about just this kind of thing for years. He even insisted that the following line be inserted in to Burning Man’s charter: the organization places “embodied ritual before symbolism.”
Which is awesome, to the extent it makes any sense at all.
But getting excited by something like that is a lot easier than explaining what it means, or why it’s true.
Or if it’s true.
The most prominent counter-argument against what Conley and Harvey may be getting at was probably written by … well … me, in a 2011 post called “Burning Man Doesn’t Do ‘Ritual,’ and probably never will.”
So obviously I might not be 100 percent on board with this concept that so excites me.
I stand by what I wrote in that post. But I also think Conley has hit on something vitally important, that needs to be explored – and that Burning Man may be the most advanced form of that “something important” we have. Read more »