Saturday, July 31, 2010


Fumes are gases formed from evaporative or combustion sources. Fumes are generated when a material reaches it's boiling point and volatilizes. Different materials have different boiling points.

Fumes can be harmful to one's health. They can be toxic. Fumes can permeate through a material because of its fluidity. Enter through the pore spaces, escape through cracks. Fumes can be a deadly but silent killer.

When I'm angry or resentful, I say that I'm fuming. I have no idea how to deal with my resentment except maybe it deals with love, trust and forgiveness. these are just words on the page that i can give cognitive definitions for but in real life and practice i have a hard time with it.

So I'm gonna try to find the engineering examples of how to deal with fumes. Just some thoughts:

Carbon adsorption ===> earth
Wet scrubbers ===> water
Turbulent combustion ===> fire
Filters ====> Air and earth

The problems with all of these methods of controlling fumes is that they are not perfect. They come with risks, in and of themselves.

Karmaghna posted an interesting story about spud collecting.

It got me thinking about the fact that potatoes are so common and so are fumes. Fumes grow like potatoes, they're common and you cannot prevent it.

You just gotta figure out a way to prevent them from permeating and poisoning your life, acknowledging that they will happen, recognize them for what they are (silent) and do what you can to prevent them getting out of hand. Easier said then done.

No! Its got to do with something about the boiling point. Maybe the boiling point is a metaphor for negative and positive energy? Prevent the material from volatilizing? "Do no harm" stuff?

No answer right now. Just trying to Work through it. I did make a big step today on forgiveness. Hopefully, its the start I need. I think it was.

As an addendum to this post, I had one of those home "drama" moments immediately following my first post of this particular post and instead of dealing with it thru resentment, i dealt with it with kindness, care and love.


HilbertAstronaut said...

"Boiling point" makes a good metaphor for arranging one's life in order to keep "toxic materials" (internal or external drama or resentment) from "vaporizing" (entering the social space).

Imagine an old building full of asbestos. If there is a risk of the material reacting with the surrounding environment and entering the air, the asbestos has to come out. Other times, tearing it out can cause more public exposure than sealing it up tight. Analogously, some internal troubles have to be rooted out, and others should be properly sealed and left in an inert environment. Keeping your "internal temperature" below the "boiling point" -- staying as calm as possible and following healthy habits -- is part of maintaining that inert environment, in which the things you've judged should be kept wrapped up can stay that way safely.

PhoenixAngel said...

Thank you HilbertAstronaut for a VERY insightful and fitting example. I can really relate to that in more than just one way! :)

Gwynt-Siarad said...

If the asbestos is left in the building and the building sealed up. What happens when an arsonist comes along and sets the building on fire? How much damage is wrought then? How much poisonous fumes and how far will they travel? What if it's not an asonist, but just an accident? what about spontanious combustion? Though I see the point Hilbert is making with the analogy, we have to keep in mind that anger, hurt, and resentment are not asbestos. "sealing them up" as in the buiding analogy is very dangerous to a persons spiritual, social, and mental health. Though I think there is value to "sealing" them up in the short term like during a crisis situation, the long term effects are awful and devistating. It can ruin lives, I know, I have seen it first hand. So I say, keep in up phoenix. Tend to the buiding as you are doing. There may be some reprocussions from doing so, but I promis that they will be far less now then they will be if you "seal it up".

PhoenixAngel said...

As always, I am greatful for your input. I didnt think about how dangerous long-term sealing of asbestos would be if other forces of destruction are at play. There are just too many bad potatoes in this world, waiting to spoil the mound of spuds.

I dont want to be one of them. I want to be a pomegranate :)

HilbertAstronaut said...

@PhoenixAngel Glad the analogy worked for you! :-)

@Gwynt-Siarad i certainly agree that anger, hurt, and resentment require attention in order not to cause future harm. "Sealing it up" is a frequent excuse for unwillingness to attack a problem directly. However, there are persistent issues that, after being addressed directly, can benefit from a sealing approach. Addictions such as alcoholism are one example: avoiding social drinking situations helps "seal away" the persistent internal problem.

Gwynt-Siarad's deconstruction of the asbestos analogy is a kind of risk analysis for the engineering solution of "sealing it up." One examines each possible solution -- its potential cost, benefits, and harm, and its vulnerability to unpredictable events -- in order to determine the most effective and efficient option.

In the psychological or spiritual world, this risk analysis requires serious introspection, since one's own personality is part of the environment (and is often the target of the proposed solution). "I'm going to attempt to change X. Do I understand how X will respond?" (It's "control theory" for your brain! ;-) ) Many people use divination tools (like the Tarot or I Ching) in this case, because the "randomness" factor helps defeat bias in introspection, kind of like how simulated annealing jiggles search out of local optima.