The Nervous system and the Fire element

Good memories of being with people on a campfire several years ago have recently returned to mind bringing back shared experiences of warmth, colour and joy. It happens in those moments when warm energy circulating between people creates connection, laughter and lasting memories.

Fire in the form of light, warmth or heat have their place in human experience, as much as the other elements such as water, air, space and earth have. Try thinking of a warm sunny day and how that may influence the mind and mood. What is in the nature of sun light that makes one feel more alive? What comes to your mind when you think of fire? What memories are showing up? Is the fire element and its heat something that is pleasing to you, or may be difficult to be around?

There is an internal fire in each of us and in any life form, making it possible for us to get going and maintain some enthusiasm alive. And there are external fires, like a fireplace, or campfires that people warm up around and have a good time together singing, dancing and telling jokes, or those that get out of control and can destroy entire forests and regions, like the recent wildfires in Greece and California.

Unlike the external fire or wildfires, the internal fire may not always be seen or heard until it reaches a level when the person living with it it feels something like some of the following symptoms and sensations: burnout, heartburn, burning sensation, having a fiery reaction, burning ears, feeling on fire, hot and bothered, being under fire, etc. Or, some can be experienced as healthy and positive, such as having a sunny disposition, warm-hearted, feeling fired-up about something, getting along like a house on fire, etc.

For example, the expression “to have fire in your belly” indicates a positive use of the fire element, while “adding fuel to the fire” refers to an excess of fiery energy in a situation. It is so interesting how the various degrees of the fire element in our constitution, feelings and actions have so much influence over people and situations.

Maybe you can remember a recent scenario that brought some heat to your mind, causing you to feel overheated mentally or physically. Anger is usually associated with intense mental heat, while calmness with feeling coolness, although we are all different and can experience emotions in atypical ways as well.

Some people like to gaze at an open fire or just at a candle light, and this gentle gazing can bring on a meditative state.  Meditating on a certain object such as a candle light can have a cleansing effect both on the vision and the mind. This reminds of the connection between the above effects of the fire element in meditation and the ones of the catharsis concept as a therapeutic process of “burning” and releasing of emotions and behaviours associated with unacknowledged trauma; the word originates from a Greek term meaning purging and cleansing.

Follow this link https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/fire-good-make-human-inspiration-happen-132494650/ for an informative article offering a perspective on the effect of fire on human life and the development of the mind over time.

The fire element, called Pitta dosha in Ayurveda, in a person’s mental and physical constitution may be associated with tenacity, strength, warmth, compassion and light-hearted disposition when balanced, while an excess of fire tends to lead to hot emotions, anger, agression, skin disorders and impatience. Follow these links to access more information about understanding the power of the fire element in somebody’s constitution: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/learning-ayurveda/understanding-your-constitution/pitta/, and https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/blog-the-banyan-insight/details/exploring-the-elementsfire/.

It goes without saying that Fire does not exist in isolation either in nature or in living beings, but is complemented by water, air, space, earth and perhaps many other elements in various forms and degrees. Together they create a dance of energy that is unique to each place and each individual. Imagine the sound of flowing water, the sight of a big campfire, the soft touch of a gentle breeze on your face, the spaciousness of an open field, and the solidity of the ground beneath your feet. What are the unique experiences felt when being in contact with each of these elements?

A balanced degree of fire in somebody’s temperament and physical body contributes to a harmonious functioning of the nervous system, while an over-heated mind may lead to insomnia, intense emotions, restlessness and an attitude of intolerance.

Being curious about how the nervous system is impacted by various states of mind and how they are naturally connected, I have come across interesting information, which I am sharing in the link below. An over-heated state of mind manifests certain tendencies, which are described in the same article, with suggestions regarding how to harmonise the fire element internally. https://www.joyfulbelly.com/Ayurveda/symptoms/Mind-Stress-Sleep

Meditation, as an ancient tradition remains one of the well-tested methods of cooling the nervous system and that internal fire that may be burning too much energy in the mind or body. It is particularly useful for creating a calming internal mental space away from the daily pressures or demands, or indeed, the ones we put on ourselves. Using the anchor of the breath as a focus for your sitting meditative practice can be particularly helpful when experiencing an overactive mind state. And, like any other practice, investing time in it will show the results.

As Fire lives in all of us, for what it is, a part of the synergy of all elements forming our collective, yet unique human physical, mental and spiritual make-up, it deserves warm 🙂 attention.

Here’s a synergistic creation of the elements of fire and water with sounds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftm2uv7-Ybw

May your Fire burn bright.

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