Fire Walking

I still remember the Mariamman temple in our village in Palakkad, Mariamman is the mother god who controls all kinds of Poxes, fertility and so on!!. Being close to the Tamilnadu border meant that a lot of the culture blends in those regions, we had a number of Tamil customs, a lot of the farm labour came from Tamil villages. As a child, I used to watch in awe the people who walked across burning coal embers. I used to be terrified of the head priest or Velichhapadu who used to split his head (or so I thought) and dance around with blood streaming down his face.

I asked the elders how one walked on fire. Nobody gave me a proper answer, and then I started hearing from people that all you needed was will power, that sounded very vague as well.

I started to check around a bit, I found that there was a fire walking institute, many a fire walking training centres for organisations, fire walking seminars for personal empowerment & motivation. Phew…they said by walking on fire, you conquered your fears. Could be right. As many of you know, fire is man's earliest known fear (probably second to wild animals??)

I read about the Leidenfrost effect where they explained that the moisture on the foot could be the vapour barrier preventing burning. Anyway the physicist Walker who tried to find out if it was true burnt himself and that debunked the theory. The other theory was the conductivity theory, that coal is a poor conductor of heat and hence you don’t get burnt (put your hand into an oven, you don’t burn yourself since air is a poor conductor. Touch the metal in the over, you burn yourself since metal is a good conductor). Added to that the ash on top of coals (seen only when done in day time – at night you see only the coal glow red)is a proper insulator.

Anyway to cut to the chase, I read that all these theories do not apply to the human body and that the body actually counteracts the situation eminently. Apparently it is similar to keeping a paper cup with water over a flame. The water boils at 100 deg C (you can try this at home at your risk), but the paper cup does not!!! In the same way the blood and fluids that flow over the feet tissue cool the surface to the right levels!!

So what has mind got to do with this? Your mind is what is going to control the flow of blood and has to decide to let you do it. Your mind has to tell you to take the plunge, if it tells you not to, ‘DO NOT’ walk on coals!!! Simple, eh?

BTW over 3 + million people have, I read, participated in fire walking seminars, can you believe it?? and, one such guy who conducts a seminar is right in Stafford!!!

No baba, I have no intention of being motivated that way, I will find other ways.


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