The Rave as psychotechnology

One of the most powerfully transformative music events currently known to humankind is the Rave. At these events, the energies of electronic music and light are transcribed into kinaesthetic energy, ie. movement, through dance. People dancing in this energy field resonate to the sound and light frequencies which cascade about them, which can bring about the creative state of altered awareness known as Trance. These factors combine to create a uniquely powerful energy field which can be piloted towards an ecstatic experience of communality and shared awareness.
Rave culture is often associated with notions of community, evolution and spirituality. These elements are also related to ideas such as global peace, human understanding and most importantly, a change in human consciousness. The ecstatic energy generated by electronic rhythms and free-flowing dance movements, especially when combined with powerful mind-altering drugs such as empathogens (MDMA, MDA) and hallucinogens (LSD, Mescaline, Psilocybin), create life-changing experiences for participants at these events.
In this way, Raves can ellicit in participants a state of liminality (an altered state of awareness induced by various types of ritual activity). When people experience a liminal state, the constraints of everyday life and its attendent social relations and norms are suspended. This state of suspension can enable people to gain insights into themselves and their relationships with others. Such experiences can induce permanent change in an individual or in a society, if the insights or new ways of relating are applied to everyday living.
The liminal moment which frees people from the constraints of normality is what Hakim Bey calls the TAZ, the Temporary Autonomous Zone. The TAZ is a moment of freedom from the gridlock of the status quo, the stasis or inertia of the social system. It happens at events which celebrate life and freedom, like festivals, pirate republics and certain revolutions.




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