Synchronicity and Burning Man

What does this meeeeeeeean??

This post from Burning Man‘s official blog, and the comments that follow, illustrate an aspect of Burning Man that must be stressed: synchronicity is commonplace out there.

I slept through the main Man burn last year, but awoke in the wee hours and went for a wander. I found myself at the edge of the city just before sunrise, with a few dozen people nearby. Moments later, a good friend I hadn’t seen that year rolled up on her bicycle. We caught up on a year’s worth of life and watched the sunrise together. We independently decided to head to the Temple a half-mile distant, and at porto-potties along the way I ran into another friend I hadn’t seen at the event. We had some moments in the now-strengthening sun and parted ways; I sat down in the main tower of the temple to meditate. Just as I was closing my eyes to focus, I heard my name called: a good friend from high school, who didn’t even know I was attending that year, had seen me.

In a city of 50,000, I call three run-ins in 30 minutes around sunrise a better-than-random occurrence. And there are plenty more stories like this: wandering by my friend’s village just as she happened to be out by the entrance hanging a sign. Acknowledging mutual attraction to this friend and immediately seeing the art car upon which I had broken my collarbone the previous year roll by. Deciding to start a romantic relationship with this friend—and while lounging in her camp a few hours later, seeing the smiling face of an ex-girlfriend, who for the first time in three years was ready to have a warm, positive interaction with me. We embraced; the cycle completed. (She, incidentally, had also broken a bone the previous year, and similarly less than 48 hours after her arrival.)

What’s going on here? Burning Man has spectators and law enforcement, but the vast majority of the city are brilliant, creative, radical thinkers and doers. The event buzzes with conscious energy. Beyond the physical majesty of the place, the miraculousness of a city that disappears without a trace only weeks after its annual inception, there is an inexplicable force at work. It flows through the body. It expands the mind. And it makes seemingly coincidental events occur at a higher rate than I’ve experienced anywhere else. So if there’s any place to conduct synchronicity research, it’s in Black Rock City. I’ll be doing so this August, while celebrating an incredible year in loving relationship with the “friend” mentioned above.

~ by Grant on July 3, 2012.

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