I’m asked – what is my favorite place in the world.

I answer- it is
places and times when a tyrant, a tyranny dies

or is overthrown.

It is
places and times when prohibitions are

overturned, repealed.

I found

this place

and time

in the totally unlikely place of the
Envision Festival

in Uvita, Costa Rica,

in February, 2016.

I say

unlikely place

because Envision is locked in the box of the
‘Burning Man Paradox’.

Burning Man is,

no doubt,

an amazing party.

It is the mode in which many new festivals are modeled.

And yet,

the premise of these festivals is that they’re more than amazing parties.

There’s always a lot of

yoga, spiritual/shamanic trappings,

a lot of talking on new age, totally lunatic themes,

a lot of art.

The premise of these festivals is that they’re transformative experiences

– agencies of the metamorphose to the higher spiritual being.

The paradox is,

I don’t know if the experience of a wonderful party
has anything necessarily to do with ones spiritual development,

metamorphose to a higher spiritual being.

If you’re doing it right,

would argue,

that you’re having totally, unabashed carnality that
would tend to make spiritual assumptions

– irrelevant.

I guess my
question is:

why can’t you just have a great, wonderful, un-self
conscious, party, and just be in the moment with it.

And yet,

the bringing of the Burning Man mode of partying to Costa
Rica has had some really revolutionary repercussions among the Ticos.

In comparison with the other countries of Central America, Costa Rica is an extraordinarily democratic, egalitarian place.

And yet,

the Roman Catholic Church has had its unchallenged tyranny here, since the Inquisition.

Even at the start of the 21st Century Costa Rica is a very conservative place.


people of the counter-culture

are called los gente succio

– the dirty people.

The Envision Festival was brought here seven years ago.

It has taken on a Costa Rican life of its own.

It grows,

becomes more Latin,

more Jamaican.

It becomes the agency of the dirty peoples,



and economic revolution.

It is all about Dirty Peoples’ Pride and Liberation!!!!

In the time that Envision has come here, different sexualities have
become more accepted, as have unconventional lifestyles in general.

Great strides have been made in the techniques and understandings regarding the cultivation of cannabis.

There is high quality cannabis, here.

Legislation is imminent that will legalize medical cannabis.

There is a large and growing population that lives for Envision.

And that’s why Envision has become one of my favorite times and places in the world.

I had a great party.

And yet,


has been a very strange
experience for me, too.

I arrived at Envision on Thursday, February 25 and immediately the
mis-identification began.


who I did not  in any way know,

come up to me and begin talking,



a rap performance,

a dance performance,

a shamanic thing

that I did,

which was described as being life-changing for these people who I did not have

the beginnings,

the traces

of a memory of.


I also had absolutely no memory of the event they were describing.

And yet,

even when we were close-up, face-to-face they maintained with absolute certainty that I was this person,

who I knew I was not,

that I was the performer,

the creator of an event,

that was not mine.

At first I was amused.

Then I began wondering,

what does this thing of consistent,

mis-identification mean?

I saw my doppel-ganger, that night.

He was not,


as good looking,

and yet,

I saw the similarity.

He was about my age.

He had a beard.

We have similar barrel builds.

Unlike me,

he always seemed to be on,

on stage,

seeking an opportunity to do his rapping,

to do his dancing,

to do his shamanic thing.

Which is totally not what I am about.

The main similarity we have,

I guess,

is that it could be said,

we had
a look of some kind of Santa Claus spiritual authority.

And yet,

I maintain that you should find this thing of spiritual

with-in yourSelf.

And it shouldn’t be projected on



outside yourSelf.

The irony was that I was constantly being given credit for my
doppel-ganger’s achievements.

I felt like a fraud.

And yet,

beautiful women were walking up to me and


embracing me.

When these things happened to me,

when these things were being said of me,

I would just say,


It seemed to me

that if I had done bad things, my doppel-ganger would
probably take the rap

….I had eye-contact with him.

And yet,

I didn’t feel he
wanted to be approached by me.

I didn’t feel like he was aware that he was being mistaken for me.

Perhaps there are issues being worked out by the both of us in this

It still persisted a week after the
Envision Festival.

And yet,

the most wonderful thing was being in Costa Rica, with
Elephant Revival.

I will always remember the response of the Ticos when they entered the radiance of Bonnesa May Paine.

Sam Libby

Sam Libby (a.k.a. Rabbi SchmuDawg) currently resides in Terranas, Dominican Republic and is completing a collection of Central American stories entitled 'The Gonzo/Kukalcan Papers', to be published in spring 2021.

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