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A Stroll of Peace, Tranquility, and Pain...with a Side Order of Physics.

12 Nov 2017 16:28 - 22 Nov 2017 22:28 #1 by ARLewis
ARLewis ► A Stroll of Peace, Tranquility, and Pain...with a Side Order of Physics.
A Stroll of Peace, Tranquility, and Pain...with a Side Order of Physics.

Every journey begins with the first step. We take many journeys in this that we call life, some physical and some metaphysical. In the Afterlife, this ideal takes on many other meanings. Some have said it is not the destination that matters, but the journey itself that means so much more. It is the experiences that one has along the way that matters. Lewis and Clarke, Christopher Columbus, Dorothy Gayle, (can one go back and take the red path instead of the yellow one?), and Jean Luc Picard are just a few travellers that were defined not by where they were going, but by what they learned along the way. But again, every journey begins with that first step.

Who in their right mind, however, would walk on hot coals?

Simple pedestrian logic would dictate the answer to be only those who are masochistic or possibly sadistic in wanting to see pain in others. But if one were to look beyond the simple, the metaphysical reasons become clear.

Let’s start with the simple.

Coals, whether charcoal or wood, are good for cooking. The heat given off while the object is burning is enough to cook the meat or other food so that us mere humans can safely eat it, or in some cases to simply add flavor. But why have pathways or patches of coals set up around oneself? To trap or damage those who would approach to do harm of course. Those are the two basic forms of simplistic logic.

Would you not hurt yourself as well in setting such traps? Not if done correctly. The physics behind the ability to safely walk across burning coals is actually as simple a thought as cooking with fire. When an object is hot or on fire, the molecules of said object are actually vibrating at a very high rate, giving off heat by shedding electrons. When said object comes into contact with another object whose molecules are not moving at such a high right, those electrons are conducted to the other object, causing its molecules to speed up in a similar fashion. In simpler terms, the cooler object will become hotter and vice versa. However, if the contact is not maintained, the heat will not be conducted as well and thusly the “fire” may not spread.

In the case of walking on hot coals, the wood or charcoal are neither very good at conducting heat. Water, which we as humans are mainly made of, has a high thermal conductivity. So, assuming good circulation of blood flow in the foot, if one does not stand still on the coals for a long period of time, the heat from the embers will not have the ability to transfer to the flesh of the bare foot as it would take longer contact to conduct enough heat to cause burning. Running, however, would cause more pressure and thus cause the foot to go deeper into the coals, per step, and thusly allow for more of a surface area to be exposed...aka, walk don’t run if burning for you is not fun.

But, there are some religions and philosophies that say that physics is not involved at all. That it is mind over matter that matters. The power of the mind is considerable after all and if one can master that, one can do anything. Believing in oneself, pure confidence is all that some believe is needed. Calm the mind and the fire cannot harm you. A simple idea of belief can be very powerful. A simple meditative state is enough to protect your body from the burns that would normally be inflicted. Some cultures even see the fire walk as a rite of passage, of an ascension to a greater state of being. To walk the fire is to test one’s own individual strength, of either body or mind, possibly even spiritual belief.

Whatever one believes, either in strict science or in metaphysical faith, walking across hot coals is a journey of possible pain but definitely of learning. Move too fast and you’ll get burned. But with a calm mind and the courage to take that first step, one can gain the strength to persevere through almost anything. Fire is an instrument of change that can be used to protect as well as to instruct. Just be careful how you use it. That first step can be a doozy.


“Walking through this life really is walking through fire.”
Chaka Khan

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”
Charles Bukowski

“Those who have walked through the fire, leave sparks of light everywhere they go.”

“If I can walk on FIRE...what can stop me from doing or achieving anything my heart desires.”
Unknown cartoon.

“Fire bad, Tree Pretty.”
Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Last Edit: 22 Nov 2017 22:28 by ARLewis.

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