Almost everyone I speak to says that Burning Man is transformational. This was true before the burn, it was true during the burn, and it was even true among people who have never been to the burn. Something is happening here that has the potential to change people's lives. It is something that wakes up commitment and effort to be part of this community.
But what do we mean when we say "transformation." I think of it as change that cannot be undone. Developmental change. Leveling up from one stage to the next.
The transformational experience is my life's central concern. It is what I seek for myself. And it is what I facilitate for others. It is key to evolution itself.
But we live in hyper-advanced capitalism. This late stage capitalism is more immersive than Burning Man. It is the ocean we swim in, it is where we live, love and work in every day of our lives. It is the default world. And the default world seeks to comodify the human experience. It does not matter what you are into. It can be virtual reality or the great outdoors. It can be meditation or sex positivity. It can be the workshop circuit or sacred medicine work. It can be Burning Man.
All of it can be commodified.
All of it can be reduced to an experience that you pocket.
You get to speak of it.
You get to remember that you had it.
But it will not be something that changes you.
Change demands integration.