Updated: Feb 18
Burning Man and the Meaning of Life was released in 2013 and was directed by Julie Pifher. The movie is essentially a composite of people visiting a "Collective Conscious Capsule" at Burning Man. In the capsule, individuals, or groups of individuals answer the big questions — which include everything from the meaning of life to are we alone in the universe, and everything in between.
With that said, the movie is a bit of a sleeper. It is not because the conversations are boring, rather the movie jumps around and the watching random people with random thoughts for a little over an hour becomes a bit tedious about 20 minutes or so into the movie. Nevertheless, if you are willing to stick with it, you may find some decent words of wisdom.
The film also covers the 10 Principles of Burning Man, which were created by Larry Harvey, a co-founder of the event. Those principles can be found below.
1. Radical Inclusion
2. Radical Self-Reliance
4. Communal Effort
6. Radical Self-Expression
8. Civic Responsibility
9. Leave No Trace
People in the film go on to state that the meaning of life is love, sex, to survive, to make connections, to reproduce, etc. It is obvious that Burning Man is a unique and special experience for many... an event that makes one ponder the deeper questions and even transforms your life. Without listing every single quote from the movie, below are the best ones relating to the meaning of life.
"We have a lot more choice than we give ourselves credit for... for what things will become. That's where the meaning comes in. Everything looks inevitable in retrospect, and like, it must've been part of some divine plan. But in the moment, there's always a choice for things to go one way or another way."
"The meaning of life is to survive... isn't it?"
"If I were to sum it up, I would use the term 'survival' as being the meaning of life. But, that's a pretty vague term. I don't think that really captures the essence. Walking different paths, seeing different possibilities, and creating those possibilities through our existence and our walking on those both."
"I think we all really want connect, and that's part of the meaning of life, too. Whether it's to another person or to, like, a universal spirit, and truths we all know. And I think that's what keeps me going. It's just a feeling like I will eventually connect to a universal source and a hard connection with other people."
"The meaning of life is to experience polarities, to experience great joy and love, and its polarity, its being. But only if you know pain do you know love, and as cliché as that sounds, it's all love."
"One of the big meanings of life is giving yourself to others."
"Actually, I do know the meaning of life. Actually, you know the meaning of life. You don't have to look for it in some guru or some yoga pose or some chanting mantra and giving thanks to the east and all that stuff. That's all cool. That's all fine and dandy. But the universe doesn't think about things. The Universe doesn't judge, it doesn't have ceremony. It just does, it just is. So, I mean, it's cliché, but you are the change. So just be silly, and live each other, you know. and fucking--I don't know. Just go fly with the eagle."
"Your meaning of life is what you contribute to the universe."
"One thing I'm going to tell you is that now is all you have. Appreciate the divinity of this moment. Now is all you have. Time is a construct that we apply to make sense of change, but all change occurs in the present. Past and the future are only concepts that make sense of this change. So, enjoy, embrace."
"I think that if you spend all your time searching for the meaning, then you kind of miss the point."
"Simply, the meaning of life is love."
"The meaning of life is to connect with and enjoy the people that we love and to learn our soul's purpose for being here and to be in service and to grow, explore, and have fun.
"I think the purpose of life is trying to reach your full spiritual self, to respect all things--people, the Earth, and the animals, trying to reach your highest level and be happy with yourself and to learn to love yourself."
We rate the movie as follows:
Overall - 4
Meaning of Life Relevance - 7
Uniqueness – 2
If you saw the movie, what did you think? What is your contribution to the universe?