Wednesday, December 28, 2005


So what is the point of this site, anyway? Well, let's keep it simple . . .

In the mid-nineties, as the dot-com bubble started to inflate, I worked as a programmer in the Bay Area. I started to hear about Burning Man, the annual arts and whatever else festival held annually Labor Day weekend in the Nevada desert. Not only did I read about it in the SF Chronicle and Wired, I worked with people who attended, people I thought were otherwise fairly normal. But it was clear that their intense experiences at BM filled some kind of deep spiritual need, something that few of them felt that conventional religious groups, in particular most Christian churches, were capable of filling

In my earlier blog, I explored my own interest in those new and obscure ways that people were finding of meeting those needs, and I made several posts about BM. (All, of course based on other people's experience of it -- I have not made it to the Burn, and for good medical reasons, probably never will. I do think about it though.) One of the posts quoted extensively from BM cofounder Larry Harvey, who identified the success of BM as offering, as I wrote then, "powerful common experiences that fulfill the human need for ritual, for pilgrimage, for mysterious beauty in a postmodern society even though the participants do not share common beliefs." The final post for that series was never finished -- I started to trace both the background and consequences of those ideas, from the Christian viewpoint, and never looked back. What I found was that there were many others asking the same questions.

What I have decided to do is start to enter into conversation with some my fellow pilgrims on this journey, and that I still wanted to maintain some presence for my side of the conversation -- hence this blog. It will include my own experiences in trying to find out just what is the significance of postmodernity (of if it is significant at all) and how I need to work out my own life and ministry, in light of my own perspective as a Catholic. I can't promise daily posts, or great revelations. I can share my own experience as a pilgrim at ground level.

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