The Candle Flame


13 September 2005




I remember than when I was a kid of maybe 8 or 9, I really, really, wanted to be able to start fires using only my mind. Now, I do not remember having this thought, idea, wish, goal, seeded into me via some Saturday morning kid’s show, but I must have, I guess. Anyway, whenever I was trapped in the house for long periods of time, like when it rained all day or at school in some class, I would stare and stare at an object and try to get it to ignite into flames. Had no idea what I was supposed to “think” as I stared, if one “thinks” about something at all as whom do you know who can start fires simply by using their mind that could tell me? And I had no idea what I would have done if something I was staring at had actually burst into flames.


Eventually, I gave up on the idea, desire as I just could not do it but then later and much older I came across the fact that Buddhist Monks apparently can visualize in their mind a candle flame in a dark room and stay focused on it for hours and hours and so I thought perhaps I could do that. Nope. I can get the flame there in the darkness but before very long, other thoughts invade and the candle flame disappears. What is wrong with me?


About a year ago, I was doing the candle flame exercise again as I have never given up on it when all of a sudden the flame was replaced with a sphere moving in a circular track in my mind and I found it easy to keep the sphere moving around and around and no other thoughts invaded. Not only could I keep the sphere moving, like the earth around the Sun although in my mind there was no center object like our Sun, but I could speed up the rotation, reverse it, make the sphere larger or smaller, tilt the plane of rotation anyway I wanted and still I could keep the rotation going without other thoughts crowding in to demand attention.



Ok, you say, and what exactly is the purpose of this mental exercise? I really not sure, just amazing that I found out that I can do it and now, now and again, I play with it. Recently tried to get 2 different rotating spheres to get going in their orbits but much tougher to do.  Think I can get it but is going to take some practice.


So I wonder, can you hold a candle flame in the dark in your mind for more than a few minutes? Can you focus that long? I wonder if my rotating sphere exercise is easy for everyone and that is why I can do it? Would you try it and see if you can get a ball to orbit around an invisible Sun?


Have not tried to set anything on fire with my mind in a long time and never had the idea of moving stuff simply by the “powers” of my mind but not sure why not. God, it would be amazing if one could actually do either.


Guess for now, I will have to be satisfied with my rotating ball.



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