Breatharianism

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Breatharianism

Postby mirjana » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:53 pm

Breatharianism is a concept that claims that humans can be sustained solely by prana, which is the vital life source in Hinduism, and that food and possibly water are not necessary.
According to Ayurveda sunlight energy is a main source of prana and therefore enough for living.
There are controversial scientific approaches to this phenomenon. There are also theories that this is a kind of skill that can be learned.
No Way To Heaven is a 2008 documentary feature about people living on light directed and produced by Swiss filmmakers Janos Tedeschi and Christof Schaefer.
It is the world’s very first full-length film on this topic premiered in Switzerland in January 2008.
The same producer of “We feed the world” and “Let’s make money” produced also the film “Am Anfang war das Licht”made by P.A Straubinger, which is also a film on this topic and at this time is playing in Vienna.
I have met few people with few months experience of living without food and not having any problems to live like that.
Being cuisine lover I have been skeptical. But, more and more information about this seem to turn the science on the head.
What are your thoughts?
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Re: Breatharianism

Postby ThePermster » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:26 pm

I don't think the science is anywhere near being turned on it's head seeing as not one practitioner has relinquished themselves to reasonable empirical study as of yet.

It doesn't seem to me like - were this true - that there should be any difficulty in empirically documenting it either so that's definitely something I would personally expect to see before giving the idea any credibility.
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Re: Breatharianism

Postby Sabina » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:14 pm

It is an outrageous claim. Any time something outrageous is claimed, and spread, meaning that "they" want to be understood and believed, then providing evidence of the claim should be easy enough, shouldn't it?
Making a movie or writing a book or anything like that is not evidence of anything...

Blindly believing a claim without any solid evidence is then simply a matter of faith, so in that sense it is no different than any religious faith.
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Re: Breatharianism

Postby mirjana » Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:59 pm

Sabina wrote:It is an outrageous claim. Any time something outrageous is claimed, and spread, meaning that "they" want to be understood and believed, then providing evidence of the claim should be easy enough, shouldn't it?
Making a movie or writing a book or anything like that is not evidence of anything...

Blindly believing a claim without any solid evidence is then simply a matter of faith, so in that sense it is no different than any religious faith.


I agree that providing evidence is not hard. But, there is also another aspect, that even if there is evidence, it is never easy to break already made model of thinking or living or...
I wouldn't judge movie at least before seeing it, as we do not know how it is made and with providing of what material.
Still, I am curious, what would be evidence?
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Re: Breatharianism

Postby Jade » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:38 pm

I checked the web for Breatharianism. Wikipedia states the following:
Inedia (Latin: "fasting") is the ability to live without food. The word was first used to describe a fast-based lifestyle within Catholic tradition, which holds that certain saints were able to survive for extended periods of time without food or drink other than the Eucharist.

Breatharianism is a related concept, in which believers claim food and possibly water are not necessary, and that humans can be sustained solely by prana (the vital life force in Hinduism), or according to some, by the energy in sunlight (according to Ayurveda, sunlight is one of the main sources of prana). The terms breatharianism or inedia may also refer to this philosophy practised as a lifestyle in place of the usual diet.

While there is not peer verified scientific support for the claims, some promote the practices of breatharianism as a skill which can be learned through specific techniques

It seems the term and practice are in both cases of religious origin. In one case it's the Catholic religion, and Hindu in the other.

Wikipedia also states:
"Few breatharians have submitted themselves to medical testing; of those that have, none have undergone peer review with results independently reproduced. In a handful of documented cases, individuals attempting breatharian fasting have died."

Furthermore...
"Sanal Edamaruku, Secretary General of the Indian Rationalist Association, stated that several individuals claiming to survive without food, water, or oxygen had been exposed as frauds."

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Re: Breatharianism

Postby Ryan » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:34 am

I don't see the benefit... for what is it good? If my understanding is correct it would seem you would have to achieve some grand level of meditative state in order to be able to accomplish this task... I don't see its positive contribution to a fulfilled physical life... for me this would be one of those things like a guy has over 12 thousand piercings, another has the longest finger nails... Good enough to get into the Guinness Book of World Records... but how is it applicable to a meaningful life?
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Re: Breatharianism

Postby ubermensch » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:34 pm

i think being so attuned with the world around you, that food ( which is mostly tainted and genetically altered , especially in the US) would be unnecessary . ive also heard of the hindu stories that talk about this , or of the yogis living in caves on the ether in the air . as for the reason they engage in this type of behavior , i can only repeat what i have heard . edgar cayce speaks in some of his readings about the souls only chance of a permanent reunion with God is to live a perfect life other wise we are born again. the Buddha also mentions something along the same lines . i would imagine to live in perfect harmony with your environment you would not need to take the life of a single plant in order to sustain your own . with that said other authors i have read ( rudolf steiner ) say that mankind has changed so much over the course of time that we are only similar biologically and the power of their minds to ours is much different , we ( modern humans of the last 2000 yrs) took a much more superficial path as opposed to a spiritual life that was lead before us , a de-evolving process in at least one aspect ... i would even go as far to guess that with alot of new inventions to further divide our already limited attention span that we are on a fast track of de-evolution .
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Re: Breatharianism

Postby Ryan » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:49 pm

I'm with you completely on the whole "living in perfect harmony with your environment"... there definitely needs to be an overall awakening on the importance of that aspect of this physical existence.

However... the whole not needing to take the life of a single plant in order to sustain your own... I have trouble with... I am certain that in prolonged states of meditation one can slow down the physical functions of the body in order to extend the duration between refueling... as it were. And I am certain that we absorb all kinds of things from the Sun, air, energy fields that surround us and other living things, and the tiny particles we inhale while breathing that benefit the body and soul... but I have difficulty swallowing someone presenting the possibility that one could live a very physically active life without eating...

I also have a problem with anything being taken to extremes. I have a firm belief that things are to be in balance always. It is my belief we live in a physical and spiritual state and these two existences serve a purpose to themselves and each other... and to neglect one for the other is equally wrong. It would be my evaluation that if one were to reach a mental/spiritual state where they could physically survive from absorbing whatever from where ever they would be neglecting the physical aspect of their "life" and it would be as wrong as someone that is completely ignorant of their own spiritual existence.

Here is what rolls through my mind on such proposals... I generally see it that the person considering, or even attempting, such things is rather... let's say, unsatisfied... with their current physical existence. And since I believe we have recollection of a state of pure spiritual existence... in which case it is always beautiful... (not necessarily because things are any better but simply because we understand more things perfectly clear) that there is a strong desire/need to escape to that point of existence. Of course I am not saying that is the only reasons why someone would do such a thing... they might also do it as a form of exploration... and that is fine... I have no problems with all kinds of extreme crazy things that are done in the name of exploration... My deal is, we are partially physical beings meant to live a partially physical life.... we have a stomach... and are meant to use it... maybe one day we will evolved past the stomach... but it is not meant for now... let's don't rush things... push the boundaries... explore the possibilities but don't neglect the now in doing so...
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Re: Breatharianism

Postby ubermensch » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:35 pm

i read your answer the other day and spent a few days thinking about it. while im working on relating my thoughts in a more intelligible form, im still not where i would like to be just yet . so apologies before hand if i dont quite make it there yet again .
when reading your reply i was reminded of a saying i read the other day . " we are not a body that has a soul , but a soul that has a body" , though most people identify with the body so much so that it is all they live for . if you believe in reincarnation as the people who practice breatharianarism most certainly do . then you would see the world as a series of obstacles to overcome in each lifetime. for example , the super-obese person needs to overcome his addiction to food in this lifetime in order to avoid the same problem in the next lifetime. people who practice breatharianism have overcome all other obstacles in life and now are preparing the soul so that it can rejoin God , and their soul must be in perfect union to do that ( according to ancient religious texts) . i know arguing the metaphysical can seem almost foolish, but i firmly believe this group of people are not driven by some superficial reasoning to seek God by devoting their entire life to this pursuit. it may take a 100 lifetimes to understand what they are trying to accomplish. which brings me to my next point . i couldnt agree with your more on this being a physical life for most of us , and simply getting in touch with the soul and living off the ether of the air is just not practical, and it will never be practical unless we try to push ourselves beyond what we think is possible. as for balance in life i think the only thing we should try to keep in check or balance is egotistical pursuits i.e. 12000 body piercings . pure spiritual pursuits should be taken to the extremes and their should be no bounds placed on them in order to realize potential. with that said, i think too many of the great spiritual pursuants unknowingly allow their ego to get wrapped up in their cause . so seeking a cave far from society and getting in tune with the soul and living off the ether of the air would seem reasonably easier than seeking enlightenment in the midst of a ego oriented society.
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Re: Breatharianism

Postby Ryan » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:20 am

Like I said... definitely push the boundaries... explore the possibilities... but as you said "the super-obese" overcomes the addiction to food only through the physical experience... but is that experience and trial for the benefit of the physical being or the spiritual? If the spiritual self keeps getting reincarnated to the physical plane, isn't it about the physical experience which helps the spiritual evolution?

If I HATE people... or people irritate me to pieces, do you think by secluding myself in a cave away from the "ego oriented" society I am going to help myself become more understanding of the diversity of personalities and spiritual paths (or points on those paths) other people in my surroundings are struggling with? And if I return to such a society will I truly be able to keep my peace when faced again with behavior or ways of thinking that I believe to be wrongful?

And if I do seclude myself in a cave... isn't that just as egotistical as the one that goes out and spends two months salary on a suit because of its social status? Isn't the focus on yourself? What is more egotistical than that? Here's the catch though (with egotism)... it is impossible to not be egotistical... after all the word "EGO" means "I". How can you do anything that is not about "I"? You can't... it is hopeless... what is often misrepresented is not egotism it is arrogance, selfishness, etc. these are negative traits of egotism and represent taking egotism to an extreme... Even in the utmost philosophically spiritual stance that we (everything in the universe) are connected and essentially "One". So... spiritually speaking everything we do is for the "self" or directly connected with the "Ego"... and there is no way around it... the only way to attempt to get rid of the "ego" is to attempt suicide... but that again is pointless other than to have had that experience... and it is still an egotistical thing to do. The only reason you do anything... first and foremost... is because it is what YOU think you should do... right or wrong... it is your thought derived from your mind... and therefore it will always be about "you"...

The thing is... we are all connected... you are present in an ego oriented society... you affect it... positively and negatively... you remove yourself from the ego oriented society... you again affect it positively and negatively... it's the whole stone in the water... ripple effect...

Now, I am definitely not one of the "Enlightened" ones. I don't really even understand the term or what the guidelines, rules, or standards of measurement are to be deemed an "enlightened" one. So don't take my words for proof of anything... but if I had to give my opinion as to what it really means to be enlightened is to realize that we are ultimately extremely powerful creatures and we need to realize that our choices and actions affect everything and everyone... we are all connected and while we are certainly going to make mistakes... and we are supposed to make mistakes... we should be more considerate to the whole environment and not so concentrated on our "selves". To me this whole aspect is what has been trimmed down to be "getting rid of the ego". It is not "getting rid of the ego" it is simply listening to the wider aspects of it... it is this clearing of the cluttered mind that helps us hear the universe around us... which is ourselves talking to ourselves... from a higher level of existence.

And yes! that clarity... that being able to really listen to ourselves (or our surroundings) is much easier to accomplish in seclusion... but it probably would be most important to be able to have such clarity without needing to be in such seclusion and therefore we practice... clearing our minds... calming our physical and emotional self in order to hear and understand our spiritual self better... and therefore act in a more beneficial manner to ourselves and our environment (people, plants, animals, etc.).

I have written this quite a while ago... and I have the feeling (after reading over it again and again) that I am rambling... but I couldn't figure out how to put it in a more condensed form...
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