Understanding the Forms of Fire

fireheartExamining poetry, philosophy and mysticism worldwide – particularly the deeper teachings of India’s Yoga tradition – I gradually discovered that they were all based on different forms of fire. Some of these fires or flames appeared to be only metaphors. However, looking deeply, I found that even in metaphor the fire as a spiritual principle is known to us at a heart level, even if we may deny it with the intellect. Fire represents the inner light that exists within the very Earth on which we live and contains the key to our own transformation. An early poem of mine reflects this inspiration:

The inner FireIs the true light of awarenessSupreme beyond all darknessIt burns foreverIn the stillness of the EarthThe subterranean sunOf a crystalline sky

I was also an avid reader of ancient history and felt that there was a common spiritual culture behind the sacred symbols of the ancient world, the foremost of which was fire. Eventually I came to recognize an ancient fire religion that probably underlies all the religions of the world and is the foundation of our spiritual striving as a species. This religion of fire is part of the worship of the Sun or the heavenly fire. It is the religion of light and enlightenment.If we examine our global spiritual heritage, we see that the worship of the Sun, Fire and Lightning – the three dynamic powers of light in Heaven, Earth and the atmosphere – pervaded the ancient world from Mexico and Peru to Egypt, Sumeria, Persia, India and China, even to ancient Europe of the Greeks, Romans and Celts. The Sun God, the Thunder or Lightning God and the Fire God are found universally, being obvious to anyone who gazes upon the light. Their worship – already sophisticated and worldwide at the sawn of what we call civilization – may reflect a deeper spiritual wisdom from even older and greater civilizations, the existence of which our historians still prefer to ignore.We can easily understand these three forces through how the light of Heaven (the Sun) takes shape through the clouds (lightning) and condenses as material forms on Earth (fire), producing what we know as life. Yet these aspects of light are not merely outer powers. They are energies of our own soul, powers of mind (sun), vital force (lightning) and body (fire). Working with these powers of light inwardly is the basis of many mystical and meditation practices, such as we see in the greater science of Yoga. The outer forms of light in the world of nature are expressions of the inner light of consciousness, which is the highest truth.- David Frawley (from Yoga and the Sacred Fire: Self-Realization and Planetary Transformation)Image via Flickr