Inedia (or Breatharianism) describes a person who does not eat or drink – ever.
These persons claim to live on prana (the highly energetic condensation of light.) This is apparently only possible when one has reached a higher state of Consciousness. It is supposed to be a step on the way to attaining perfection on the path of spiritual self-development.
This is a religious tradition – certain Catholic saints, Buddhists and Hindus claimed to have gone for long periods without any form of nutrition, and survived.
In the case of the Catholics, they apparently ate only the eucharist (the bread and wine that represent the body and blood of Christ.) As they were obviously eating something, we can count them out of this discussion.
The famous Buddhist example is Ram Bahadur Bomjon, who wanders around followed by strings of devotees, sits in pits and meditates, and apparently does not eat.
Discovery Channel filmed Ram for 96 hours continuously and did not observe him eat or drink (or move) during that time. Ram did not show any signs of dehydration, even though a normal person would die from kidney failure after four days without fluids.
In Hinduism, there are accounts of saints who “live by the rays of the moon and sun.” (Impossible in the case of the Moon as it does not emit its own light, it merely reflects the light of the sun and the earth.)
More modern examples, such as Therese Neumann (another Catholic who allegedly survived for years on nothing but wafers and alcohol – big deal, that is not air!), Prahlad Jani (65 years without food – just the nectar dripping from his palate…sounds like a serious case of post-nasal drip) and Wiley Brooks.
74-year old Mr Brooks is a nutcase of a particularly high order. The Breatharian Institute of America site promotes Mr Brooks’ seminars “The Empowered Ascension” and “Immortality” workshops.” For a mere USD 1 000 000.00 Mr Brooks will explain to you how you can clear your past life karma and negative energies, in preparation for the Ascension which will occur in March 2013.
I wish these crackpots would coordinate their dates…..exactly WHEN is the world going to end? Can SOMEONE give me a definite date please??
The list of famous Breatharians is fairly long, and the philosophy is a whole pile of New Age-y religious crap. The book “Life Style without Food” by Joachim M Werdin, downloaded for free, makes for very disturbing reading. Why does anyone buy into this delusional nonsense?
In the cases that were tested, like Jani, the observations were made over days, not years. I will concede that if a person is well-nourished they could survive for a few days without food and water, longer with some water.
It is impossible for a human being to simply decide to change from being a food-eater to a light-energy synthesiser. You can wish, and wish, and lie to yourself as much as you like – but you just can’t do it, sorry. After a few days you will need some water if you don’t want to die. And after a few more days, you will have to eat some food.
Or you will start to look like this:
And after that, you probably will die, as some who have tried this Consciousness Raising Exercise have done already. People who encourage others to follow these insane ideas tend to deny responsibility for the deaths that occur.
They say that you must take responsibility for your own life – so if you read their book and believe their claims that you will reach a higher cosmic dimension if you sit and stare at the sun without food or water for days at a time, and you ultimately die, it’s your OWN FAULT!
Back in the real world, the cult of Breatharianism has been debunked – thoroughly, and not just once. A quick google search throws up dozens of examples. James Randi has been especially effective at demonstrating that Breatharians are lying about living on light – they eat and drink. You just don’t get to see them do it.
I feel sorry for people who are so desperate for a better existence they would try something like Breatharianism. The recent case of the Swiss woman who starved herself to death in this way proves that this is an ongoing problem. Only rational thinking and education will put an end to these dangerous ideas.