Everyone I meet who has not attended Burning Man seems to have this question. Why do you go? I am not sure I can adequately describe in words why I go, but I am going to give it my best.
This year I literally ran into a man in the middle of the Playa, where our crashed bikes lay tangled he stopped and asked, “Can I give you some free advice?” I answered yes and he continued to tell me to look not for how the default world differs from Burning Man upon my return but to take back with me the love and glory it represents. He said to share it everyday with the people I meet and to be that piece of Burning Man that shines on the world.
Burning Man is not a festival, it is not a party, it is so much more than what can be captured in a still image or a casual conversation. Burning Man is the universe glaring back at you forcing you to see yourself. At times this can be painful and uncomfortable. You can become overwhelmed with emotion and frustration. The feelings are pulsing and palpable. There is no where to hide at Burning Man. Not from yourself, not from others. The truth shines down and you have take a look at who you are and who you want to become. Other times, it is absolutely magical and you feel as if you may actually float right out of your body with joy and abundance. You dance between all of these emotions and at the end of it, you are grateful for the knowledge and growth that has taken place internally. You take this magic back to your reality and you mix your worlds up like you are baking a wonderful new cake. You just hope the recipe is right this time. To me this is Burning Man. It is a social experiment meant to help us be better. Or maybe it is just a festival in the desert. This is Burning Man and this is why I go!