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A brief history of Fire Walking


Fire Walking began in Southern India, where members of the Brahman caste would walk across long beds of raked coals to prove their faith to the people. They would emerge from the coal bed unharmed to the amazement of the people. The act of fire walking has existed since at least 500 AD, but was restricted to mystics for most of its history. Starting in the early 1800's the art spread to other religions and commercial venues, where people were amazed by the protective faith of the individuals who practiced it. As it became more popular, fire walking spread throughout the castes of India and to the peoples of many other countries. In 1935 an experiment organized by the University of London's Council for Psychical Research disproved the notion that Fire Walking required religious zeal. Two atheists and an Indian mystic took the same fire walk, and all emerged unharmed. It is generally sited that individuals are not burned because coals are a poor conductor of heat, requiring a greater period of contact than fire walking provides to burn the foot. However, to this day, many individuals and groups swear to the mystical power of fire walking

In Hawaii, until the early 1800's a tradition existed in which young men would compete in a race across hot lava flows to do honor to Pele, the Goddess of the Volcano. Ancient records suggest that many individuals completed this race unharmed. Whether this is possible has yet to be determined by physicists.

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