The Rules of Good vs Evil
"It's not about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.” - Rocky Balboa Yesterday, I drove home from Las Vegas. After four 16-hour days and five hours of sleep, I should have been exhausted, yet I found myself floating with satisfaction and inspiration. I had been at ARKADIA, for work. It was incredible; a ceremony of a festival that ended in a high of a magnitude I had not expected or encountered before in my life. We began on Thursday with a huge pivot; our outdoor festival had to be moved inside, and instead of dancing in a large tent, we took over the entirety of AREA 15.
On Saturday, we had an influx of local Vegas "club kids" and visitors who had heard about our music and even at 10p were lining up to buy wristbands. People who were not "yet" our people, who were curious and decided for a moment to drop into our culture. Allured by the music, there was a moment when two cultures had to learn how to be with one another. Sunday's lineup started gently - the fourth day of an ecstatic party, and I was a bit tired. Still, through gorgeous expansive beginnings, I found myself resourced and happy enough to dance until the very end, closing the night with beloved friends from over five years of Fit for Service, dancing harder and with more joy than I thought possible. ARKADIA was a ceremony. We had obstacles to grow from. We had new, possibly scary energies to learn how to transmute. And we were rewarded with the exquisite joy of completing the journey in community. ARKADIA gave me insight into my own experience of "light" and "darkness" that I will never forget. Light and dark, goodness and badness, are in an infinite game, but they are playing by different rules. Darkness and evil as a force wins through dominance and obliteration. A forest fire that blackens the entire landscape, a belief system that wants to eradicate all dissenters, a war that kills all of the "others." To win, darkness must destroy all. Goodness, "light," has different rules for "winning." Goodness needs only to survive, only to thrive. Goodness is the single green seedling that emerges from the blackened landscape after a fire, which will soon lead to an abundant green forest where there was only death before. Goodness is compassion that survives the war, refuses to play the game of "us vs them," and chooses to relent instead of crush. It is a single lit candle in a dark room. It does not need to obliterate the darkness to win; it has "won" simply by existing and creating light where there was nothing before. On Saturday, I faced my own darkness in a moment of deep anxiety. Would these newcomers turn into new friends? Or would our beautiful little party become a drunken disaster? I could not greet and hug every stranger and invite them into a more beautiful world; I could not "save" ARKADIA by myself. I became overwhelmed and afraid. I knew at that moment that I needed a deep internal reset. I found two wonderful friends (shoutout to Lena and Armando) who had a Lucia Light and a sound bed and dropped into a quick session. With my eyes closed and stunning fractal patterns playing before my eyes, I remembered. As much as I hope to change the world, I do not have to do it alone; I do not have to do it completely - I do not have to eradicate suffering for all people. I must remember my goodness; I must return to myself and keep myself lit. I would love to inspire everyone to illuminate the world; it is enough to be a single bright light in a dark room. I lay in my friend's lap for a few minutes and cried a bit in sorrow for the evil that is harming in small and unfathomably large ways. And I rededicated myself to my energy to continue the work of self-awareness so that I can, simply with my unrelenting presence, be a light. When I opened my eyes, I saw ARKADIA wholly refreshed. The line to purchase tickets was full of curious and gorgeous humans. The club kids weren't just drinking and staring at their phones. They were dancing and laughing. Resetting my internal state changed my whole experience of ARKADIA in less than twenty minutes. Was ARKADIA completely free of uncomfortable experiences? Was it a magical bubble where everyone felt safe at all times, where all humans were impeccable with their energy and actions? No. But it's not supposed to be that. We came to Vegas to embrace the darkness, not push it out. We came to Vegas to inspire, to bring an oasis of joy to a city that needs it. Darkness is to be expected. It is part of the work that we are doing to be aware of forces of fear and destruction and to hold that there is another way to be. I do not believe it is possible to eradicate evil and darkness entirely from the world; that is the game strategy of darkness, the strategy that turns goodness into evil. Death and evil are intent on creating "nothingness," a black sea where there is no vibration or life. And just as a single song transmutes silence into sound, a single act of kindness in a sea of despair means goodness has won. Not because it eradicates or dominates but because it lives. Simply by existing, goodness ensures that evil has not won. I am incredibly grateful to all ARKADIANS for the magic of this past weekend, and to all of you for the light you bring to the world. I love you so, Claire