Friday, September 30, 2011

Starting From the End at Burn2 in Second Life - The Temple

Burn2 2011 Temple by Damanios Thetan

I want you to imagine for a moment that you have walked onto the playa at Black Rock City in Nevada during the Burning Man festival.  It's large and it's full of people and builds and camps but there are two iconic structures there on the desert floor.  A giant Man and a Temple.  Both of these structures are consumed by flames at the end of the week; the Man on Saturday night and, as the climax to the annual celebration, the Temple on Sunday.

The Temple is the spiritual centre of the festival without being religious.  For the full week of Burning Man people in that city bring messages to this structure.  The messages are for loved ones or for themselves.  Often the messages are for those they have lost through death or estrangement.

Burn2 2011 Temple by Damanios Thetan

The messages are written on pieces of paper or on the walls.  Sometimes they bring momentos or items they've created as tokens.  I've seen narratives describing individuals leaving the ashes of a loved one at the Temple.

The emotions accompanying the messages range from love to anger, despair, sadness and hope.  After a week of thousands and thousands of messages the Temple is infused with emotion and the messages form part of the structure.

When the flames consume the structure they take with them all of the joy and pain and memories that have been left on and in the building.  It has meaning to each of the individuals who have visited.

Burn2 2011 Temple by Damanios Thetan

Every year Burners anticipate the unveiling of the Man and the Temple with impatience and those who go to Burn2 are no exception because there is one of each of these amazing builds on the virtual playa. This year's Temple by Damanios Thetan is extraordinary. People are left speechless when they first see it and I was no exception.

The Burn2 version provides a similar focus and function as that on the Black Rock Desert floor.  If you approach the pool of gold in the centre you can leave your own message in the Temple.

On Sunday October 9, as people gather to watch the finale to week's festival, the Temple will "read out" the messages collected during the week.  Then we will all watch the flames celebrate both the structure and the emotional gifts left there.

Burn2 2011 Temple by Damanios Thetan

I hope you have a chance to visit Burn2 this coming week because you will see great builds, wonderful art and share music and dance.  But most of all I hope you go visit the Temple.  It's the emotional center of the playa and my favourite part of the festival.

I will have some exciting news to share tomorrow but I wanted to start with this post to give you a chance to get there and leave your own personal message.  Burn2 opens October 1 at noon.  I hope to see you on the playa.

PS.  I'll give you the slurl to the Temple tomorrow as well. :)

Burn2 2011 Temple by Damanios Thetan

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