Black Sheep: Feeling isolated in a crowd of thousands ( Burning man )

Festivals and large gatherings are intended to be places we feel united and complete; where as human beings we flow in unison with a common idea and objective. Yet, sometimes we feel alone amongst the crowds. Why?

At Burning man where there are thousands of loving people gathered together to explore an alternate way of living.There was connection but there was also another side to the veil. One of separateness and isolation. During my week at Burning man (and other people I have spoken to) there was a sense of loneliness experienced.

I wondered how is it possible to feel alone, when surrounded by friends and thousands of people? What does this say about our society? What is the root cause?

From my investigation into my experience, I believe it showed what was already there. That loneliness was resting deep within me, but its at places like Burning Man we don’t have worldly things to worry about so they become more prominent. For example, at B-man you don’t have to worry about your food, bills, job etc; you only have your mind to deal with and so what wasn’t obvious before becomes clear.

Additionally, in our present society, people are alone more than ever, even when we have cellphones, social media etc. We lack intimate connections and face to face experiences. We may be communicating with numerous people at the same time, but we lack the depth and the energy exchange that occurs with physical encounters. Our social world is becoming shallow where we present how we want to appear to the world rather than how we actually are feeling and so there is a discrepancy between our soul and our external world. At B-man I believe loneliness was under the surface of our awareness but became more obvious. These feelings came up so that we could travel through them, heal and release them. Because it is only through going through fear can you overcome it. It is only by feeling separate can we rise above it and connect. Also, all feelings are alerts and we must bring our attention to why we are feeling this way and with loving kindness take care of that part of ourselves.

Large groups of people are also overwhelming and we may feel alone as we disappear amongst the crowd. Not getting as much attention as we normally would because there is just so many people. Our ego merges with the group but a part of ourselves still feels isolated as though it doesn’t quite fit in, or isn’t welcome and may even fight the idea of joining a group. Yet, these are all belief systems and can be overcome with time.

It was from feeling alone and separate during that week in the desert that I realized I had work to do to feel complete. For me it was a spiritual craving to connect with people and I wasn’t getting it from my circumstances. It drove me to find connections I felt were authentic, deep and on the same frequency. It also gave me a mirror within myself to see that I needed to spend time with myself and befriend my own being, because in the end, who is left but you.



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