Fire was the beginning of the universe, and when it’s snuffed out completely is when things will end, growing dark and cold and compact.
Within fire is the ecstasy of creation and the devastation of destruction. It embodies the cycle of death and regeneration.
Fire is the source of light, and therefore — enlightenment. Light is knowledge, wisdom, and those who carry it, who gift it to humans are punished. (Lucifer. Prometheus.) This is because fire is volatile, and humans are considered ill-equipped to handle it.
It is meant to be something bequeathed on us — not something we can control. We are reminded of this periodically, but we seem not to learn our lesson. We’ve been taught for so long that we are the masters of nature, that fire is antithetical to nature, and must be controlled and damped down. We forget about fire ecology, that it is as natural as we are, and that nothing in nature is master over one another. We’re part of a web — all connected, without hierarchy. Our position of ‘masters of nature’ is delusional hubris. Nothing more.
Fire teaches us of hubris. It rips down our walls, our guardedness, and makes us naked and vulnerable, trembling before the might of the gods.
It also gives us light and life itself, and without fire — without the sun — we would all wither and die.
Without warmth in our homes, without the hearth, we freeze to death. But treat that hearth with disrespect, and we burn up.
Fire is not something you can ignore, take for granted, or treat like a slave. It must be respected, lest it leave you with nothing.
Nuclear reaction is the ultimate lesson in fire.
I’m torn as to whether I’d consider nuclear power as fire. I see fire as necessarily clean and self-cleaning…when it’s a fire of pollutants like radiation, it’s altered….
I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it some more.
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