By Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU.
I had just landed in Bristol with one idea in my mind: disconnect myself totally from the society for five days. I took a bus for a little village just next to Glastonbury. It was the last time I would here an engine, the last time I would here a phone ring, the last time I would feel the energy created by electricity.
Where did I want to go? A magical place called a “Rainbow Gathering“. A hippie festival in the middle of the Forest where technology is banned, where time stops and where dreams become reality.
This event took place during one full month. The opening ceremony took place on the 25th of May and I arrived the 8th of May for the full moon celebration.
After getting down of the bus I started walking. To find the rainbow gathering you need to follow the colored ribbon and walk inside a big Forest. When you finally hear drums, you know you are close.
When I arrived over there, people would tell me with a big smile full of love: “Welcome home!”. And it was true, I was home, I could feel a strange harmony in this place. This is what happens when people abandon technology, they discover love and harmony.
No phones, no electricity, no unnatural sounds and no time. It was very interesting to understand the effect that this special cure had on the human being.
The first step is that you forget the social contract dictating you when to do things. You just eat when you are hungry, sometimes you end up skipping a meal because you understand that it is not essential. The only way of knowing the time is to look at the sun. I would look at the sun to guess what time it was but I would then realise that we don’t care.
The time stops.
The next step is to understand what is really essential. After two days I understood that people are essential. Real people. No more hiding behind screens, hiding behind emojis. You will discover who you really are. I think that real happiness has to be shared, and in this community, a family could be found.
The third step was to start looking around you. To start contemplating the trees, the sky, the ground, the animals, the insect. To start understanding the effect that a city has on your mind. To compare the energy in a city and in a forest. You would also start walking barefoot. Why would we wear shoes? You can feel the earth without shoes.
I was impressed how the kitchen worked, just a big fire with an enormous cooking pot. One of the men was carving a piece of wood to make a big spoon. The food was vegan because humans should respect mother nature and every animal. Before eating, we would all stand in a circle and sing songs.
“Thank you for the food, it is healing us”
Everything is healing you, a break from society is healing you. I remember talking to someone about virtual reality. She was absolutely terrified of it, once she had tried it and saw the end of the world. Not on the screen but in her head, she understood where humans were going and she decided to go live far away from all of this.
The people I met were amazing, they all had crazy stories to tell me about. Things I couldn’t even imagine were possible. The most fantastic aspect of a community is the absence of money. People just give things to each other, people have become kind. Nothing else.
In the camp, they had given names to different places. You could go to “The Sacred Fire”, a magical place in the middle of an enormous field. You could also go the the “Cathedrals”, an enormous forest with tall trees. “The Healing Spot” was also beautiful, underneath a very leafy tree.
Living in this paradise on earth can be dangerous, because you might never leave it. I couldn’t stop comparing “The Rainbow Gathering” to the “Hotel California”. I arrived at the conclusion that everything is a question of balance. You need to have the right balance by differentiating this place and the real life. Only then you will be able to appreciate this cure without falling in it.