After raving for years, I had a epiphany during Diesel Boy’s set at Nation. Adjacent to each other were two groups of people. One was a circle of dancers, on point with supernatural coordination, expressing their music with their bodies. They took turns, in ones and in pairs, performing before their peers in the Jungle room. Jungle, the most complex music in the Rave Scene, and the most important, is surrounded in mystery. Where this music is heard, with its vastly fewer, but vastly more dedicated disciples, is sacred to the Junglists. My passion for Jungle may have you thinking that everyone in the jungle room is a dedicated and serious patriot of the Junglist Nation, but that is not the case. Adjacent to the dancers was a group of people who were obviously on E. Together they formed a puddle of semiconscious bodies. These two groups will not remember each other. The puddle won't be able to remember the dancers, assuming they saw them, and the dancers won't remember the puddle, as they know better than to look at it. From my vantage point, I had the opportunity to see and remember both.

I took years to realize what is obvious. Someone I did not know came up to me in the crowd, and said, out of the blue, that he had been asking everyone at the party what Raving is about. He said that everyone that he talked to had the same response, and they are all correct, when they say that raving is about freedom. At a rave we have the freedom to be anything, and for the most part, to do anything. Some people choose to eat a pill, and have an artificially great time for an extra twenty dollars. They can cuddle up into a cozy clump of warm bodies, feeling loved and happy until the pill runs out. This is one of the many subjective experiences available at a rave, and a popular one as well. I have been there, and done that, and it would only be wrong to tell you this story without mentioning that. The dancers choose to dance, with countless hours of practice in between performances, to gain complete control over how their bodies move and look. I have seen countless dancers, and even more puddles, but seeing them together, without having to turn my head, or shift my eyes, not of my own doing, but only as a witness, I saw a microcosm of the entire rave culture. In my left eye was the filthiest and most vile ghetto, and to in my right was the most sacred mecca. The puddle had never seemed so vile without the dancers, and the dancers had never seemed so pure without the puddle to provide contrast. I don't know why I had to see this. It was difficult and awesome experience, and I feel that it happened to me, more so than I noticed it.

It demonstrated the result of complete freedom. At a rave, no one has any obligation to do anything. No obligation to appreciate the music, or to dance, or even to stay conscious. But, when one compares the behavior of the different citizens, we learn not so much about them, but about what these event mean to them. I felt disgust, anger and hate when I looked at the puddle, while I felt admiration and respect for the dancers, but I realize now that I was wrong to do so. The puddle may have been comprised of hard working decent people, who simply choose to spend the little free time they have by feeling chemically euphoric. The dancers may be worthless scum, who are only respected at a rave, but I am not saying that this is the case.

What I am saying is that the dancers, if nothing else, appreciate what is happening in one way, and the puddle appreciates it in another. To be more specific, the dancers choose to appreciate the scene for what it actually is, because it is more important to them. I would go so far as to say that for the dancers, it is a discipline that they choose to practice, like Kung Fu. Conversely, the people in the puddle have not yet learned to appreciate the rave, and while they know it is a good opportunity take E, they do not know that it is also one of the best places not to take E. As such they are content with their experience. The anger that I felt towards them was not so much for what the are doing, but for what they are wasting.