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[[File:FB_IMG_15653524189522012 .jpg|thumb|right|Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire. ~ Jorge Luis Borges ]] Fire is a phenomenon of the heat and light energy released during a chemical reaction, in particular a combustion reaction. Depending on the substances involved, and any impurities within, the color and intensity of the flames of fire will vary. It is one of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and science.


Those who don't build must burn. ~ Ray Bradbury
Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! ~ Saint James the Just
Nimrod becoming weary of arguing with Abraham, decided to cast him before his god--fire--and challenged Abraham's deliverance by the God of Abraham, but God saved him out of the fiery furnace. ~ Genesis Rabbah 38
Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn. ~ Delmore Schwartz
This man … must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant. ~ Roger Zelazny in Lord of Light
  • The sun burnt every day. It burnt Time. The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis and time was busy burning the years and the people anyway, without any help from him. So if he burnt things with the firemen, and the sun burnt Time, that meant everything burnt!
  • Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
  • Controlling fires is an enormously difficult challenge. Our research has shown that by applying large electric fields we can suppress flames very rapidly. We're very excited about the results of this relatively unexplored area of research.
  • Combustion is first and foremost a chemical reaction – arguably one of the most important – but it's been somewhat neglected by most of the chemical community. We're trying to get a more complete picture of this very complex interaction.
  • "Regions Caesar never knew
    Thy posterity shall sway;
    Where his eagles never flew,
    None invincible as they."

    Such the bard's prophetic words,
    Pregnant with celestial fire,
    Bending as he swept the chords
    Of his sweet but awful lyre.

  • Fire may be represented as the destroyer of all sophistry, and as the image and demonstration of truth; because it is light and drives out darkness which conceals all essences [or subtle things].
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Fire destroys all sophistry, that is deceit; and maintains truth alone, that is gold.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • Fire is to represent truth because it destroys all sophistry and lies; and the mask is for lying and falsehood which conceal truth.
    • Leonardo da Vinci, The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci (1938), X Studies and Sketches for Pictures and Decorations, as translated by Edward MacCurdy.
  • The pain was maddening. You should pray to God when you're dying, if you can pray when you're in agony. In my dream I didn't pray to God, I thought of Roger and how dearly I loved him. The pain of those wicked flames was not half so bad as the pain I felt when I knew he was dead. I felt suddenly glad to be dying. I didn't know when you were burnt to death you'd bleed. I thought the blood would all dry up in the terrible heat. But I was bleeding heavily. The blood was dripping and hissing in the flames. I wished I had enough blood to put the flames out. The worst part was my eyes. I hate the thought of gong blind. It's bad enough when I'm awake but in dreams you can't shake the thoughts away. They remain. In this dream I was going blind. I tried to close my eyelids but I couldn't. They must have been burnt off, and now those flames were going to pluck my eyes out with their evil fingers, I didn't want to go blind. The flames weren't so cruel after all. They began to feel cold. Icy cold. It occurred to me that I wasn't burning to death but freezing to death.
  • Combustion is the hidden principle behind every artifact we create. The making of a fishhook, manufacture of a china cup, or production of a television programme, all depend on the same process of combustion. …From the earliest times, human civilization has been no more than a strange luminescence growing more intense by the hour, of which no one can say when it will begin to wane and when it will fade away.
    • W.G. Sebald, Tr. Michael Hulse, The Rings of Saturn (1995)
  • It is stern work, it is perilous work, to thrust your hand in the sun
    And pull out a spark of immortal flame to warm the hearts of men
    But Prometheus, torn by the claws and beaks whose task is never done,
    Would be tortured another eternity to go stealing fire again.
    • Joyce Kilmer in "The Proud Poet" in Main Street and Other Poems (1917).
  • We said, "O Fire! be thou cool, and (a means of) safety for Abraham!"
    • Quran 21:69 trans. M. H. Shakir
  • In many religions, the fire is sacred and is the witness of spiritual practice. It is considered divine. In ancient India, the rishis guarded their sacred fire most carefully and kept it clean, as it was believed to be the residence of divinity. Sitting by the dhuni purifies one's vibrations. This you can find out for yourself. Whenever you have any kind of trouble, go to the dhuni and let it give you solace and uplift your spirit.
  • When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.
    • Shunryu Suzuki, quoted in Enter the Heart of the Fire : A collection of Mystical Poems (1981) by Mary E. Giles and Kathryn Hohlwein.
  • A thing happens once that has never happened before. Seeing it, a man looks upon reality. He cannot tell others what he has seen. Others wish to know, however, so they question him saying, 'What is it like, this thing you have seen?' So he tries to tell them. Perhaps he has seen the very first fire in the world. He tells them, 'It is red, like a poppy, but through it dance other colors. It has no form, like water, flowing everywhere. It is warm, like the sun of summer, only warmer. It exists for a time upon a piece of wood, and then the wood is gone, as though it were eaten, leaving behind that which is black and can be sifted like sand. When the wood is gone, it too is gone.' Therefore, the hearers must think reality is like a poppy, like water, like the sun, like that which eats and excretes. They think it is like to anything that they are told it is like by the man who has known it. But they have not looked upon fire. They cannot really know it. They can only know of it. But fire comes again into the world, many times. More men look upon fire. After a time, fire is as common as grass and clouds and the air they breathe. They see that, while it is like a poppy, it is not a poppy, while it is like water, it is not water, while it is like the sun, it is not the sun, and while it is like that which eats and passes wastes, it is not that which eats and passes wastes, but something different from each of these apart or all of these together. So they look upon this new thing and they make a new word to call it. They call it 'fire.'
    If they come upon one who still has not seen it and they speak to him of fire, he does not know what they mean. So they, in turn, fall back upon telling him what fire is like. 'As they do so, they know from their own experience that what they are telling him is not the truth, but only a part of it. They know that this man will never know reality from their words, though all the words in the world are theirs to use. He must look upon the fire, smell of it, warm his hands by it, stare into its heart, or remain forever ignorant. Therefore, 'fire' does not matter, 'earth' and 'air' and 'water' do not matter. 'I' do not matter. No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words.


I came to set fire to the earth, and I wish it were already on fire! ~ Gospel of Luke
His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of his head was like clean wool. His throne was flames of fire; its wheels were a burning fire. ~ Book of Daniel
The Bible on Wikisource.
  • The sinners in Zion are in dread;
Trembling has seized the apostates:
‘Who of us can live where there is a consuming fire?
Who of us can live with unquenchable flames?’

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

A crooked log makes a straight fire. ~ George Herbert
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire. ~ Thomas Gray
The burnt child dreads the fire. ~ Ben Jonson
Flame is very near to smoke. ~ Plautus
Fire that's closest kept burns most of all. ~ William Shakespeare
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 272-73.
  • Yet in oure asshen olde is fyr yreke.
  • E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
    E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
  • Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire.
  • A crooked log makes a straight fire.
  • Well may he smell fire, whose gown burns.
  • Tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet.
    • Your own property is concerned when your neighbor's house is on fire.
    • Horace, Epistles, I, 18, 84.
  • The burnt child dreads the fire.
    • Ben Jonson, The Devil Is an Ass (performed 1616; published 1631), Act I, scene 2.
  • Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.
  • There can no great smoke arise, but there must be some fire.
    • John Lyly, Euphues and his Emphœbus, p. 153 (Arber's Reprint).
  • All the fatt's in the fire.
  • They lepe lyke a flounder out of a fryenge panne into the fyre.
  • Dare pondus idonea fumo.
    • Fit to give weight to smoke.
    • Persius, Satires, V, 20.
  • Out of the frying pan into the fire.
    • Idea in Plato, De Repub., VIII, p. 569. B. Theodoret, Therap., III, 773.
  • Flamma fumo est proxima.
    • Flame is very near to smoke.
    • Plautus, Curculio, Act I, 1, 53.
  • Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire.
    • Alexander Pope, Epistle to Mrs. Teresa Blount, on her leaving the Town after the Coronation.
  • Parva sæpe scintilla contempta magnum excitavit incendium.
    • A spark neglected has often raised a conflagration.
    • Quintus Curtius Rufus, De Rebus Gestis Alexandria Magni, VI, 3, 11.
  • In ashes of despaire, though burnt, shall make thee live.
  • O joy! that in our embers
    Is something that doth live.

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