Mind Over Matter
Of course the ultimate illusion to this whole fire walking phenomena is that the person walking on the hot coals is using a trick called “Mind over Matter” in order to safely walk across the coals without getting burned.
Mind over matter is a pretty simple concept that states, “If you release your mind and take yourself somewhere else, then your body will never know you were walking on the fiery coals.” Meaning, that if you can convince your mind that you aren’t walking on the coals, then you won’t get burned.
Now how real does that sound? From all things that we know of the human body, it’s going to know it’s getting burned whether you’re thinking about it or not. I can see how someone may be able to concentrate hard enough on something else that they may ignore the actual task. But in the end, the body is still sensitive to the elements around it. Not thinking about it simply isn’t enough to keep you from getting burned.
Sadly, many of the “Fire Walking Experts” also give you the option to learn this magical process, with a heft fee of course.
There have been many “fire walkers conventions” held where the experts will convince a large room of folks that they may believe in their inner beings strengths to the point of walking across this hot smoldering bed of coals. Then the highlight of the convention is that you get to actually try it, the walk over the bed of coals is approx. 3 feet wide by 10 feet long.
Is Fire Walking Really Possible?
Now even though I’ve been talking about certain aspects that would seemingly make this fire walking phenomenon impossible, that doesn’t dispute that it has actually been done, on many occasions I might add. But how?
Fact of the matter is, you can make this fire walk, but it doesn’t mean you have to mentally prepare or meditate for hours to accomplish it. Now don’t get me wrong, in my own defense, I am in no way suggesting anyone try this at home, in fact I would steer toward you NOT TRYING THIS AT HOME!
That being said, let’s talk about the two aspects of fire walking that do in fact make this event possible. Let’s take a look at the Leidenfrost Effect, which is also known as the “sizzle effect.”
At the point that you are approaching the hot bed of coals, the anticipation of what may happen would cause you a great deal of nervousness to say the least. This is the point that you would begin sweating bullets, this would also include your feet sweating. So at the point you actually step onto the bed of coals, you already have a thin layer of moisture built up on the soles of your feet. This thin layer of moisture will immediately turn to vapor when you step on the coals. This vapor is what will protect your feet just long enough to emerge out the other side of the bed of coals.
Another aspect of fire walking that helps you to come out unscathed is the use of wood as the fire agent. Wood is actually a very poor conductor of heat and the heat will travel quite slowly through it. So if you are moving fast enough over the wooden coals, and I imagine that you would be, then you can get across before getting burned.
A Few Other Tricks to Fire Walking
There are also a few extra trick that fire walking experts will use to make this “feet” more possible. One being that they never add more wood to the bed of fire. Adding more to the fire would cause the coals to generate more heat thus getting hotter as time moves on.
Of course the “experts” will sample this event for their audience several times before allowing anyone else to attempt it, so this give the fire time to die down a bit. By the time the last person has gone over the coals, the temperature is nominal at best. So if you are planning to attempt this I would definitely suggest being the last person through…lol
It is also known that they may instruct you to walk over a bed of grass in preparation of the fire walk. The grass will help to coat the feet which can also allow some protection to the fire.
So basically what we’ve learned here is that walking across a bed of fire is in fact possible. And it can be done without being badly burned. BUT, it is also possible to be badly hurt and burned to a crisp. So if you are planning to attempt this please do not try it unless being under the guidance of a fire walking expert and always have medical staff nearby.
Have you ever walked on a bed of fire and lived to tell the tale? Please share with us in the comments below.