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 Breatharianism - the controversial woo of not eating or drinking successfully

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PostSubject: Breatharianism - the controversial woo of not eating or drinking successfully   Sat May 15, 2010 12:33 am

I have seen recent articles appearing here and there about the supposed man in India who was allegedly verified as having survived for some 14 days without any food or drinking while under supervision by an Indian research team. In spite of my own past in this, I have only briefly glanced at these articles, thinking not one way or the other of these claims.

But JREF's Swift articles I do read however, frequently and carefully. So I came across this Swift entry featuring James Randi's commentary in the form of a video. http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/986-james-randi-speaks-powered-by-sunlight-.html

This triggered me to make the following comment to this Swift article, in its commentary section, and as reprinted here:

As a former foremost proponent of the Breatharian woo, with my years of experience and thought put into it, I can shed light on some of the topics touched by Randi. Speaking not as someone claiming full-fledged practice, but at most several sets of 8 days in a row with no food or water.

Randi questions whether the man may have swallowed water from the bath. Possibly, yet I must also say that from my experience of prolonged dry fasting, the body absorbs surprising amounts of water through the skin while in a bath. You all know about raisin fingers and toes, water goes in by the simplicity of osmosis and as evidenced by the soon to follow urination proportional to time spent in bath, otherwise absent if no bath was taken.

Randi says all animals need food and water. No comment.

As for using "Breatharianism" and "living on air" interchangeably, during successful dry fasts, as they are, the metabolism is slowed down. This means that less glucose is used in the body, so less oxygen is required for the glucose metabolism, and less carbon dioxide to expel. Effectively, breath rate is reduced, as it is not only steered consciously but also by the medulla oblongata which carefully calculates breath rate based on concentrations of O2 and CO2 in the blood stream. That is why when we run we start to breathe faster, and so if we slow down, as can be acchieved while in the meditative state required by Breatharianism, we breathe less.

I even experience periods of the breathless state, in which breathing ceases comfortably, in conjunction with a tremendous source of energy. (Can run with holding breath.) This is an entirely different physiological process that I need to study further.

I do however agree that their refusal to allow Randi to investigate is suspect.

I am today not a proponent of Breatharianism. Yet it remains, safely, an integral part of my own personal religious identity. Fasting, in its many forms, is part of many religions. Breatharianism representing taking this to its fullest physical potential by various mental exercises, and successfully and seemingly safely altering functions of the body that enable comfortable and prolonged fasting without any signs of starvation or dehydration.

To simply not eat or drink, and without the body-altering mental exercises, is just starvation and acchieves nothing beyond what would happen if we simply take the food away from someone who wants to eat. Breatharianism involves actual experiences of enhanced endurance while not eating or drinking, accompanied by several interesting physiological and mental changes during it, such as enhanced sensory experience, etc. Meanwhile it does require more than just intention, as evidenced by several people having died, or falling into dangerous nutritional deprivation while wanting Breatharianism.

What drew me to Breatharianism was my love for light, which only woo could satisfy for me then, until I found science and made the easy switch. I now hope to use my experience and background in this particular woo to subject it to a skeptical examination.

I will gladly discuss this further here http://visionfromfeeling.board-directory.net/

I would welcome any discussion of this topic here in this Forum.
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