2017 Burning Man

February 1, 2021

2017 Burning Man

I was chatting with a friend in August 2017 who was leaving for Burning Man. She mentioned her group had room in their RV so I hopped on Craigslist, found a ticket, and one week later we left for Black Rock City. Since nothing is for sale at Burning Man, we packed enough food and water to last us 8 days in the desert. I knew that drugs were abundant, the desert winds would be intense, and the festival was more about art than music. But I still couldn’t help but wonder: What will we do all day?

Silly me. When you enter the gates at Burning Man, you are given a What, Where, When book that details what’s happening every hour of every day:

If you learn only one thing about Burning Man, it should be this: Burning Man is a serious place with serious intentions, disguised by absurdity. Yes, people are naked, on drugs and anything goes. However, the place is swarming with smart and interesting people from all over the world who love freedom and want to make the world a better place.

Amen to that.


If you remember, bitcoin was reaching new heights in 2017 and the importance of decentralization was everywhere. To illustrate, this is just one decentralization camp’s schedule for just one day:

  • 11-12pm: Decentralized Web Browsing. How to build a decentralized browser to fulfill the vision of the Trustless Web 3.0
  • 1-2pm: Seasteading: Floating Islands in Paradise. Learn about floating islands in Tahiti. Decentralized semi-autonomous floating cities = The Future!
  • 2-3pm: How to Build a Decentralized Court using smart contracts.
  • 4-5pm: Blockchain DAOs & Systems. Blockchain helps deploy decentralized models of governance in human organizations.

The schedule looks like a conference, right? But no….Burning Man is not like a conference and I’ll just leave it at that 🙂

Related Reading: Financial Inclusion via Cryptocurrency


What I love about Burning Man is that it reminds you life is as uncharted as the desert: I am sure of my body and of the Earth I stand on. Everything else is open to interpretation. For example, have you ever seen a kid skipping down the street? He does that because it makes him happy. However, when the kid grows up he’ll stop skipping. He will have learned how to dress, talk, walk, work, pay taxes and obey authority. Skipping makes him happy, but he was taught that “fitting in” is more important than happiness. Absurd.

Our only obligation as humans is to align with our souls and express its authentic desires. Period. At Burning Man, people honor their individuality. I met a polyamorous group, hung out with exhibitionists, talked to a commune-living family, made friends with a guy who was building a spaceship, and chatted with artists who traveled the world selling their work. But that’s not all. I met corporate CEOs who drink ayahuasca to inform business decisions, talked to a man who channeled spirits, and got to know a permaculture farmer who only ate what he grew himself. Being unique is beautiful! And Burning Man celebrates each and every one of us.

Related Reading: How to Hear Your Heart

Radical Self-Reliance

Burning Man is built on 10 Principles and my favorite is Radical Self-Reliance which says that Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.

Kids are coddled to death these days. They never lose, never feel pain, never experience boredom, never get lost and have no grasp of self-defense. As a result, they never develop grit. But at Burning Man…. Did you forget to bring water? Your tent flew away? Your bike was stolen? Sucks for you! It sounds harsh but these things happen. Everyone is on their own in the desert, so forgetting water is your own damn fault. Tents fly away and bikes get stolen…so put on your thinking cap and solve the problem. Be SELF-RELIANT.

Related Reading: What is Anarcho Capitalism?

Spirit Guides

I met a man over coffee who was married for 16 years. He loved his wife but felt like something was missing. One day, his wife’s brother invited him on a trip to the jungle. The trip was life-changing for the man because he discovered his ability to talk to spirits. He told me that in this moment, he understood the point of his marriage was to be invited by his wife’s brother to the jungle. When he returned home, they got divorced and he entered a new life chapter. Crazy story, right?

His story touched me because I had recently ended a happy and loving 7-year relationship. My spiritual journey was just beginning and hearing my spirit guides did not come naturally. I couldn’t understand their (many) messages: Why would I leave this man that I love? That said, I took their advice and broke things off. It was awful. I tell this story because the man who talked to spirits confirmed my suspicion that some relationships are just stepping stones towards our truth. Burning Man attracts people who see in between the lines of reality. It is a place where spirit guides are just as real as each other.

Related Reading: How to Connect with Spirit Guides

Burn. The. Fucking. Man.

No one can go to Burning Man and overlook its origin story. Burn down the man! You know, THE man.

  • Why can pharmaceutical companies advertise on TV in America?
  • Why would they ban plants that open up consciousness? (watch this video)
  • The federal budget grows every year but people are poorer than ever
  • Why do we want the things we want and do the things we do? Who is controlling us?
  • How did the collective become more important than the individual?
  • Why do politicians put the interests of corporations ahead of the people?

Burning Man is not just drugs, sex and partying. People that attend the event tend to question authority, reject norms and value freedom. Ironically, thanks to covid-19 and government intervention — Burning Man is probably over with for good. Welp, it was fun while it lasted.