Last night, as I was performing my daily ritual of filling my being with love and compassion, in my mind’s eye I saw my being engulfed with yellow and orange-red flames. Strange, I thought, normally my being fills with green for love and light red for compassion; what’s with the burning flames??
Before we go any further, I should explain (especially to those rolling their eyes—I understand, that used to be me) that filling your entire being with love and compassion every day is one of the healthiest habits you can develop. Sending love and compassion to every part of your being, to every cell and every atom, helps to “cleanse” your body at the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. I’ll discuss possible scientific explanations for this cleansing result at a later date.
Needless to say, flames engulfing my being—even if only in my mind’s eye—made me a little uncomfortable. Note to self: maybe I shouldn’t watch The Secret Circle with my daughter anymore. I tried to replace the flames with the usual, more comforting green and light red colours… to no avail. Those
flames weren’t going anywhere.
Okay, so what’s with the flames?? The answer appeared immediately: forgiveness, the burning of all hurts and negative thoughts, emotions and actions so that I can move on. Necessary death to create new life.
Symbolism of Burning
In Judeo-Christian religions, the symbolism of the continually burning bush in the story of Moses is a powerful indication of the power of God to destroy and yet to save. Although the bush is engulfed in flames, it never burns; it is continually burned and yet saved from destruction. Through the burning bush, Moses receives instructions from God that end up changing his life. He must set aside (or destroy) the safe, comfortable life he has made for himself as a shepherd so that he can forge ahead and create his destiny.
The “Burning Bush” entry in the New World Encyclopedia states that:
In Eastern Orthodoxy a tradition exists that the flame Moses saw was God’s Uncreated Energies/Glory, manifested as light, thus explaining why the bush was not consumed. (…) the Orthodox definition of salvation is this vision of the Uncreated Energies/Glory…
From my perspective, the “Uncreated Energies/Glory” refer to the new potentialities one can create once the old burdens have been destroyed. You achieve salvation only by destroying or letting go of all that isn’t serving you so that you can move forward with the unlimited potential of your true destiny.
Interestingly, one of the meanings of fire in a dream is that something old is passing and something new is entering your life. Fire is alive and changing continuously, yet it is constant. It burns and destroys and symbolizes change and inner transformation.
In Carl Jung’s “The personification of opposites” (in Volume 14 of “Collected Works by C.G. Jung), he discusses alchemists professed transformation between fire and water, which they regarded as baptism. In Christian religions, the principal function of sea water is cleansing the sinner. In the ritual of baptism it becomes symbolically synonymous with fire, which is itself a cleansing agent recommended for baptism in certain parts of the Christian Bible.
Burning to Move Forward
I realized that the flames enveloping my being symbolized all the stuff I had to allow to die so that I could move forward with the creation of the next phase of my life. So I thought “Please forgive me for anything I have thought or done that has caused others pain or suffering or anything else that has hindered their highest good. I ask their forgiveness. And I forgive anyone who has caused me pain or suffering or anything that has hindered my highest good.” The yellow and orange flames burned strongly around me for a minute or two then disappeared.
My family and I hosted a Night of the Dead party this past Saturday to celebrate Halloween. I had explained to some of our guests how a big part of the Day of the Dead is about the need for us to understand how death allows us to grow and move on. Maybe my subconscious was sending me a big signal that I needed to experience the death of parts of my being before I could move forward.
Happy Burning Deaths.
Sources and more information (all accessed October 31, 2011):
Poupard, L. Vincent. “Mysterious Symbolism Behind the Biblical Story of
Moses and the Burning Bush.” Yahoo. Apr 22, 2010. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2912944/mysterious_symbolism_behind_the_biblical.html?cat=34
New World Encyclopedia. “Burning Bush.” http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Burning_Bush
Dream Moods Dream Dictionary. “Fire.” http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/f.htm
Dreams & Nightmares. “Dream Symbols.” http://dreamsnightmares.com/symbols.html
The personification of the opposites. 5. Sal. g. The regeneration in sea-water. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 14. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1970. 702 p. (p. 235-239). http://iaap.org/academic-resources/cg-jungs-collected-works-abstracts/abstracts-vol-14-mysterium-coniunctionis.html
Symbolism.org. “Duality: Opposition and Sequence in Cycles.” http://www.symbolism.org/writing/books/spc/duality/page2.html
Cochrane, Paul. “Symbols, Keys to the Past and the Future.” http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/CochraneP1.php
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Touchy Subjects is owned and operated by Brenda Piquette. All information on the Touchy Subjects blog is copyright Brenda Piquette 2010 / 2011. Note: This information is provided for entertainment purposes only and should be verified for accuracy.
Thanks for the like.
When I find it hard to relax, I sometimes just sit and visualize fire images, which provides a deep sense of calm. If I still can’t sit still, I imagine a monk in lotus engulfed in flames. I figure, if the monk can handle that, I can handle this, and then it’s easy to relax.
Yes, I’m sure fire has been a mesmerizer and relaxer since its discovery. It was such an important component of human evolution and that might help to explain our unexplainable attraction to it.