Though some may find the notion of spontaneous human combustion to be a frightening idea, there is a contrasting phenomenon by which humans will be exposed to fire for extended periods and find themselves entirely unharmed. The technique has been studied for years, being considered a high spiritual art, though there are accounts of people being exposed to fire and feeling no ill effects spontaneously as well. What could cause a normally all consuming fire to act with such compassion while this force of nature consumes all other matter with an insatiable appetite?
Under controlled circumstances, humans have throughout history been able to experiment with their relationship with fire. Some have found themselves able to walk over hot coals and not receive any more negative a sensation than a simple tingling sensation. These effects have been tested repeatedly throughout several ceremonies and the key factor appears to be a sort of trance or mental state. Those engaging in fire walking rituals will often fast for several days ahead of time and then engage in advanced rituals intended to bring about a state of trance or close focus as well as a belief that they will be unharmed by the event. Similar experiments have been performed more recently with mixed results in laboratories.
In 1984 Larissa Vilenskaya studied under the Soviet psi training program and learned to control her mind and give her the ability to maintain contact with burning hot coals for short periods of time without receiving any injury. The research suggested she would not be able to indefinitely be immune to fire’s effects, but that during short stints in fiery environments could not only control the pain associated with handling fire, but would show no sign of injury either – a feat that most people today would consider impossible. And yet she is not alone. Even today fire walking advocate groups engage in confidence building activities where they chant, building up their psychic momentum and eventually even walk over coals. Advocates of the activity claim it is the ritual that happens before the activity that empowers walkers, giving them the ability to walk over coals without injury.
Still scientists claim it may have something to do with heat conductivity rather than psychic awareness. Even high temperatures can often be handled under certain conditions without injuring flesh. Heat insulation and conductivity can be demonstrated with an oven mit. The oven mit is making contact with a hot surface and yet the hand within the mit is not burned. This is because the mit itself acts as an insulator saving the skin. Skeptics propose that the foot interacting with the coals is similar to an oven mit, not being burned due to the insulation.
And yet the question remains, if it’s impossible to burn yourself on hot coals, why are so many people injured horribly by the coals while attempting to walk on them? The practice isn’t as safe as skeptics make it out to be. And many people have been injured while attempting to conduct this experiment.