Since the beginning of time, fire has existed. And its interaction with mankind has yielded historical impacts. Consider fire's influence on the way mankind began to cook, fend off predators, lengthen travel time, not to mention, provided a heat source to survive the cold season.
But a recent study conducted by a team of anthropologists at the University of Alabama claimed another very important impact on early man that still remains today...an emotional and psychological one.
The study took 226 adults, put them in front of a video of a simulated fire, including sound effects, and monitored their blood pressure over various periods of time. The participants' blood pressure was taken before and after the viewing periods. The team of anthropologists discovered "consistent blood pressure decreases" across the participants and that the longer people watched the fire, the more relaxed they became.
Furthermore, and just as important, the team said the experience "seemed to make the participants become more sociable." This is why they also purported an additional factor dating back to early man and his interaction with fire. The team believes early man was likely to spend many evenings around a campfire to "benefit in the social milieu via fireside interactions." Better said, they made friends around the campfire and thus, felt relaxed, safe, and friendly. It also increased the probability to pass along culture and tradition. As a result, it offered them an advantage in survival.
Another blogger, Jon Staff, who studied this phenomenon and wrote about it for Thrive Global, also concluded that this mirrors what happens to us in all natural environments, not just fire but in nature, in general. He writes...
"...[natural environments] produce what researches call a 'soft fascination,' modestly
grabbing our attention while allowing the analytical parts of our brain to rest. This is
the 'restoration theory' of nature: nature allows the always-on, critical part of our minds
to take it easy, while prodding the long-dormant, open-ended part of our minds to
In light of our culture today and its overabundance and overwhelming saturation of technology, entertainment, and consumerism, is it any wonder that this study seems kind of obvious? I'm not an every weekend camper. I don't even build a fire in my fireplace or fire pit every night. But I can say without hesitation and with unwavering confidence, when I have sat in front of a fire I succumb to its magic. And when gathering with others around the warm, crackling glow of hypnotic therapy I feel a sense of connectedness and comradery...everytime!
So, what's this lesson on psychology and anthropology got to do with MANTIME? Well, it's quite simple. MANTIME is about bringing men together, encouraging them in their pursuit to reclaim the vision for their life, and create opportunities to reconnect with themselves, God, and others. Every morning and evening the fire pit blazes and beckons us to gather around and be drawn to its therapeutic magic. Every year we engage one another with stories of laughter and occasional tears. It's the scent of smoldering oak mixed with the vapor of cigars and pipes.
The fire pit at MANTIME is man-sized...8' in diameter. That means there's plenty of room around the fire. You're invited to take your place and join the brotherhood.
Take a moment and click here and register for MANTIME. As a matter of fact, while you're at it, encourage a friend, father, brother, or colleague to come along with you. The experience is much better with someone you do life with already.