BL09 - Hallowed virtual ground

First, a brief background about my involvement with Burning Life. I joined in 2007 as part of the Interactive Architects team and ended up being the scripter for the burn of the Man and the Temple that year. In 2008, I was asked to burn the Temple again, which was all I got done due to a death in the family that took me outside the US. In March this year, Poid Mahovlich asked me again to join the Temple crew and she said she also got Damanios Thetan to join again. Dama built the previous temples and I am honored to burn anything Dama builds. And I'm sure I'm not the only Damanios Thetan groupie out there.

Yesterday, Dusty Linden contacted me to invite me to today's kick-off meeting. She heard from Dama that we had both agreed to work on the Temple.

After the meeting today, I had a brief chat with Dama and he mentioned that he was expecting to receive "a notecard with stage demands" because the "temple is being used more as an events stage this year". My reaction was "Nooooooo". I had to talk to Dusty soon after that convo.

I told her, "I thought that the reason the burning of the Man is separate from the burning of the Temple is that the burning of the Man is more of a party atmosphere and the burning of the Temple is very solemn." My point was that the Temple is hallowed ground. It is not the place for partying.

Dusty clarified that "the idea is not to design a temple that is a stage... it's to incorporate performance space into the plan... so that we can make it the focus of all the fire related activities". When I asked if all the fire-related activities were solemn, we got into a discussion about what "solemn" means. It seems that she associates solemnity with sadness, and I disagreed with that definition.

She added that the Temple is a place to be spiritual and I agree with that. Her reasoning for doing fire events at the Temple is because "fire is an ancient ritual among us humans ;-) ... tends to evoke the spirit". I agree that fire is used in ancient rituals, however, fire is not always spiritual. As an example, I mentioned that fireworks on the 4th of July is not spiritual. In fact, the burning of the Man itself is not considered spiritual.

She finally admitted that "Basically, we wanted Yman to be able to have a pole star for her fire performances... and the drummers always ebed up there drumming... and where the drummers ars are , the fire dancing begins" [sic]. I think her logic broke down there.

I won't even ask why Yman is so special that her group gets to perform at the Temple, the most hallowed ground in all 34 sims. Or why the drummers couldn't be moved.

My question is: Do we behave differently inside hallowed spaces if they're virtual?

Even those of us who are not religious ourselves understand that temples and other places of worship are for religious rites and for quiet contemplation. When we go in, we behave a certain way, out of respect. If I were to enter a Buddhist temple, I would take my shoes off, out of respect. If I were to enter a Moslem mosque, I would cover my head with a veil, out of respect. If I were to enter a Catholic cathedral, I would briefly kneel on one knee before sitting quietly in a pew, out of respect. Even if I were an atheist, I would not go to those places and start fireworks and talk loudly and play loud music and have a party. No, I show respect for the people who go there to commune with their God.

Why then are we showing disrespect in a Temple simply because it's virtual?

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