This series of four articles on Natural Elements encompass: Fire Earth Wind and Water.
As well as providing a philosophical parallel between these four elements and human behaviour the intention is to demonstrate how the elements can help shape our personal philosophy and, provide guidance.
All things in the universe originate from one source. Thus, all things in the universe are linked to everything else as are the four elements.
When we think of fire, thoughts of volcanoes, wildfires, barbecues, house fires, firework celebrations, lava, cigars, prehistoric mans’ discovery of fire and even, camping come to mind.
Many things and their associations come to light. (no pun intended). Our sphere, the rock third from the sun, Planet Earth, could not and would not be alive without fire.
Without the sun, the earth and all living things would not exist in our current form. Magma at the core of our earth is molten earth consisting of semi-melted rock, chemicals and solids. How scientifically fantastic it is that rocks melt!
Molten rock in the core of the Earth is called magma. After it has emerged or flowed from a volcano it is called lava. Same thing but different names in different circumstances.
Lava may flow to the surface of the Earth or undersea though volcanic vents as liquid rock while solidifying. It is a cycle, from solid rock to molten rock to solid rock again. Life for everything is circular, we come and go, are born and die and are born again. Thus it is with the cycle of life, rocks and lava. Over millions of years soil on the surface sinks, becomes rock then magma and over time it re-emerges as lava and then solidifies into rock again.
Lava flows down through mountains and forests, across fields and towns whilst the liquid carpet destroys or buries everything in its path.
(I find this photo of a lava flow at Pahoehoe in Hawaii particularly interesting. The movement and the dark streaks remind me of human veins and skin. It looks alive. Awesomely beautiful.) Because so much molten rock is spewed from a volcano and the lava can flow long distances, hills and mountains may change shape, rivers disappear and new ones appear. Coastlines and the seabed may change shape, grow and move.
Fire is an element that constantly changes the shape of our earth. Lava soil is very rich in nutrients that are excellent for growing crops. Thus, although erupting volcano and lava creates much damage both human and perhaps geological, they have a very important role in the form and shaping of our planet.
I ask the question, what would Planet Earth be like without historic or current day volcanic eruptions? It is common to use fire in language such as; ‘he is a hot head’, ‘firebrand’, ‘it is hot as hades’, ‘he/she is hot’, ‘it is hot’ (stolen) etc. However, the language of fire and heat can also be transposed to our moods and our behaviour.
If we are in a rage, feeling heated about things, furious as hell or, often when upset we see red etc., all these feelings are related to heat and fire. When we lose our temper and verbally explode ejaculating unexpected and offensive language in a rage of a temper lost, is it better to vent our feelings or keep it in?
Perhaps more can be achieved by expressing ourselves calmly and rationally however that is not always easy to do. If we feel angry and the body feels hot, we are able to turn our mind to calmness by thinking of cool things such as being calm as ice on a frozen pond, the stream meandering along in a shaded glen or the trees quietly wafting on the breeze.
Alternatively, if we are losing control of our anger, and are upset and becoming ‘hot under the collar’ it can ease our minds by feeling the metaphorical cool ice soothing our neck or the breeze brushing our skin.
By concentrating on things that are cool can take the heat out of the situation. Whether it be volcanic eruptions, or a human rage, after a while, the eruption and rage dissipates.
Eruption and rage always ends and life continues on.
We all learn lessons from eruptions of any kind and those lessons generally provide us with a better understanding of our planet and people. Following, we are better able to manage the situation next time. As I say, life is a cycle, born die and be born again, the same is with volcanoes and us, we erupt ,calm down and learn.
Moral of the story? Calm down, chill out.
Folks, a very dear friend, also a philosopher, has contributed additional thoughts which takes the above idea further forward. Although the path can be painful, it also leads to enlightenment and a beautiful renewed life conclusion. You will enjoy her thoughts and words.
ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTION FROM A FELLOW PHILOSOPHER
“There is another physical and emotional connection I find obvious and fascinating- what you describe here is also clearly a life cycle of a relationship…melted rock- magma- lava- hardened rock…at the end – changes: scars inside and out…icy cold rocks- and a new rebirth-spring crocus or a prickly cactus emerge out of a hardened lava…both are planted solid to stay until the earth moves again and rocks melt”.
© Anonymous Fellow Philosopher – April 2014.
# Photo obtained from Wikipedia (2013) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magma (Viewed 2nd December 2014)
©V L. Verdéaux 2017.