The meaning of raving and the essence of the rave scene have been speculated about to no end. Everyone has a different opinion. Some people say it is all about the music. Some say it is all about the vibe. Some people say it is all about plur. Some say it is all about e. Whatever they say, one thing is for sure: They come to raves and they have a good time. So the question must be asked: Is there really one correct answer to what raving is about? And does it matter?

I have asked many people what their answer would be, and each one was unique. The experience of raving can be very enveloping, complicated, and overwhelming, so we can't expect anyone to have the same answer. We all gather different things from attending raves, and we all interpret what we gather to form our own meaning of raving.

The wide range of opinions can lead to a serious issue, though. Some may think that if we have different meanings of raving, we can never be unified. With unification widely agreed as one of the goals in raving, this is a problem. However, unity does not mean that we are all the same. Unity means a total of different parts; a oneness of different elements; a whole encapsulating entity. To unify the raving community, we do not need to all share the same opinion, or listen to the same type of music, or dress the same way. We need to appreciate our diversity, respect each other's differences, and come together as one to form a united whole. When we truly have come together, we will have reached our goal.

So then the question becomes, how do we attain unity, and repect each other's opinions? I think what divides us is the hatred between different groups of ravers, and the lack of effort to understand one another's group. Junglists are renowned for hating candy kids, and hardcore junkies are renowned for hating..everyone else. Sober ravers usually hate people who are on drugs. Old schoolers hate new ravers. Does the hatred ever stop?

One thing that I think we could do to change this, is make an effort to interact with other groups. If you are in a room with different types of people, go meet them and have a conversation. If you don't usually listen to a certain type of music, go listen to it for a while. If you want to know why someone wears or doesn't wear candy, ask. For example, I myself am a psychadelic trance raver, but at a mainstream rave I love being in the house room or the jungle room, and I have friends which scope from candied-out young'uns to die-hard junglist guys to old school hardcore people who wouldn't wear candy if their life depended on it. I totally respect each of their choices, no matter how they dress or where they are or what music they dance to at a rave. If you join me in doing things like this, I feel that we can encourage unity, and respect for all ravers.

The reason why this is important is simple. Raving has beliefs, practices, and ideals which we hope someday will change the world. Yes, we are all different people from different backgrounds, and raving and its ideals is different to each of us. This is true with any culture: there are different beliefs, groups of people, types of tradition, and aspects of its mission. However, there is always a core foundation on which the culture is set. In raving, we rest on a foundation of practicing the art of Music and Dancing, engaging in Friendship, having Fun, being in a wild environment of Chaos, having total Freedom, and believing in and sharing Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. Every other add-on to this amazing and inspiring revolutionary culture, is just another peice in the huge crazy puzzle.

So remember why you are a part of this community, and what you think it means, each time you go to a rave. Share your thoughts with others, and try to understand what someone else is about. Let yourself be influenced and influence others. Make sure that you are doing all you can to create your ideal raving environment. And if you leave the rave with some new views, or inspiration for some art, or a feeling of happiness--Share this experience and remember it for years to come. You have done all you can, and gained a lot. I hope you are thankful, and willing to come do it all again. Rave on!

In case you wanted to know... the art for this article was created 5/1999, after EDC 1999.
EDC 1999 was my first west coast party, and I felt a really good vibe there.
After the shrooms had worn off, I had the urge to create what I thought of raving.
I bought a few packs of "George of the Jungle" trading cards, based on the 1990's movie.
I scanned them into Photoshop and fooled around for a few weeks- until they looked like trippy
ravers having a good time together. I recycled the original Photoshop file to work with this article.
These ravers understand what ZuZu is saying, and so did I before I
became an expert on the rave scene...

Here is the original image "George Loves Jungle"

Back then I did not know that Junglist were mean, but I always loved Jungle.

If I were to do this now, I am sure that the Kande Kids and Junglist would be clearly separated.
Kandies vs Cammies is a joke, remember? (I'm reminding myself)

Mark E 37