Monday, January 4, 2016

The Fire Element’s Four Officials (Part I)

I seem to be thinking a lot about the Fire element at the moment, so my next two blogs offer some more of my thoughts.

A few days ago a student asked me about this element, and particularly about one of its four officials, the Three Heater (also called the Triple Burner), and that has set me thinking about what exactly the different functions of these officials are.  They are obviously all part of the Fire element, which has as its centre the Heart, but what do the other officials do to help the Heart?

I have always had an image in my mind’s eye when I think about the Fire element, and that is of a mediaeval castle, surrounded by a moat and battlements. These represent the Heart’s outer protectors, the Three Heater and the Heart Protector, which work together and which I have named Outer Fire.  The battlements have what is called a portcullis guarding its entrance from the outside world.  For those not familiar with the word, a portcullis is a heavy iron or wooden barrier which is lowered down from above to cut off anyone trying to gain access over the castle’s moat, and thus to protect the castle from intruders.  At the very centre of the castle there is a further structure, again surrounded by its own fortification, which represents the Heart with the Small Intestine circling around it and protecting it.  To these two officials I have given the name of Inner Fire.

I don’t know where I got this image of a castle from.  Did one of my teachers at my Leamington College describe the Fire element in these terms, or was it an image I developed for myself to understand the different functions of the four Fire officials?  I know that it was already clearly imprinted on my mind by the time I started my evening classes in London soon after I qualified, so it has become a very long-standing representation of this element for me.  And I find it very useful as it helps explain for me some of the differences between the two Inner and two Outer Fire officials.  For each pair has a different function within the Fire element, has different characteristics, therefore expresses itself differently within us, and needs to be treated differently with its own groups of points.

I will discuss this in greater detail in my next blog (Part II).


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