The Temple

The Temple. It commands a privileged position on the playa and draws Burners from all points on the clock with its mystique and potency.  But how does the BRC population contemplate the Temple and how does it fit with the beliefs they carry to and from the default world?

We might be concerned, for instance, if huge swaths of the Burner population felt a strong clash between their religious beliefs and the temple.  After all, it is a massive art project involving thousands of participant ticket dollars, and is a quite imposing structure given great significance during the event.  As the data shows, however, this clash is only present in a very small percent of the population.  In 2013, 2% of Burners said that the Temple clashes with their beliefs, 4% said somewhat, and 94% said it didn’t.  Considering that only 7% of the Burner population described their spirituality as “religious,” this is hardly surprising.

We didn’t ask many questions about the temple, but I suspect the question “would removing the Temple for next year’s event clash with your beliefs” might generate a higher “yes” and “somewhat” response!

Identity and self - temple

Written by Steven “Indiana” Crane, edited by Eulophia


4 responses

  1. Don’t remove the temple please, it is such a wonderful climax. How can it hurt someone s religious belief as it is a total acceptance place. Good lesson for all the zealots around the world who can’t accept their brothers with different faiths!

    Pierre Lagrange

  2. This is a question ,sorry , Why a out side Police agency needed to come to the Temple to honor a person”s life , with lights flashing and in uniform with side arms . I did not see the the love and peace . To me a turn off .

    • After spending a week with us, the law enforcement who had no understanding of us or BM culture, felt that the Temple space was sacred enough to honor one of their own. To honor an officer’s death is a high honor in their world, and I was honored that they understood how much we supported that. I thought that was beautiful…and inclusive…and shows how love & peace & sacredness can change people’s lives. The Temple is for everyone who is there…and like it or not, law enforcement was there. For that time, they were one of us. JMHO

    • You certainly have the right to believe that only certain classes of people wearing the right kinds of outfits should be allowed to honor their friends, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you. I think that perhaps if you cannot see the love there, then this is a problem with you, not with them.

      My husband was a law enforcement officer, and he was, and still remains, one of the kindest, most honorable and honest human beings I have ever known. Some cops are crappy human beings, yes indeed, as are some doctors, some teachers, some parents, and some burners. But not all.

      If the Temple truly is meant for all burners to appreciate as they feel is best, then that’s what should happen. I know a whole LOT of people who saw that memorial as one of the most touching events they have ever seen at a Temple. You don’t have to like it. There will always be something happening at the burn that someone doesn’t like. It’s part of how life works.

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