triangles of fire

23 the triangle of fire

One triangle of fire comprises fuel, oxygen, and heat.

It provides us with a great metaphor for Human life: we are makers of fire.

Humans are the heat ignoring the fuel of artefacts – buildings, landscaping, institutions, businesses, paintings, music, ideas are fuel to makers of fire – with the available oxygen – culture-thinking, paradigms, philosophies, religions.

Infinite ways of mixing oxygen and fuel to innovate and make new fires.

We’ve developed making fires by controlling environments, removing the indeterminate and uncertainty.  Even so, things can go wrong – the electrical fire in a home, the failure of one small seal on a spacecraft.  Nassim Taleb would possibly name this state Mediocristan – risks are lower and more predictable.

The second triangle of fire comprises terrain, weather, and fuels, all of which, both on their own, and in combination, affect the fire.

This is more about the future, which doesn’t exist and so takes us out of what we know and controlled environments, into the random and nonlinear.  If Nassim Taleb calls the more controlled environments Mediocristan, he would name these Extremistan.

Makers of Fire have to take greater risks by the very nature of these environments, whilst also benefiting from discovering what might be,when Human futurity, spirituality, and creativity converge.

Different people bring different heat, produce different fire.  More than ever before in Human history, we each have the opportunity to identify the kind of heat we bring to the kinds of fuel and oxygen which fascinate us.

When we work together, though, we’re able to create fires which jump boundaries which have been able to resist us, and we create preferred future to benefit everyone.

‘A large proportion of your activity distracts you from remembering you are a guest of the universe, to whom one life has been given.’*

Make fire.

(*From John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.)


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