This image is rather ubiquitous in spiritual circles, when anyone begins having a conversation about the quality of the food we eat. Like many things in life, having a spiritual center, does not necessarily mean you agree with other individuals who have a similar type of center. The belief about what a “healthy” diet is; ranges from the entire gambit of what is possible within all the foods we have available.
On one extreme is the carnivore-only diet. Where individuals only consume meat. Which may sound impossible at first, but can be done, because the subjectivity of health is within the eye of the beholder; until painful physical symptoms crop up many years later. The other extreme (you may believe) to be a type of vegan diet, but this is becoming less radical today, as many individuals have been able to maintain their vegan diet for decades. The actual end of the other pole (as this picture suggests) may be, as of yet, unbelievable to how most believe our physical biology can function. The most extreme diet, is no food at all.
This may seem even less likely than a carnivore-only diet, but I must beseech your attention on this matter! In consciousness, anything is possible, because manifestation is not inherently material. The material, exists within consciousness— not the other way around, as most would believe. This shift in perspective is all that is needed for anyone to believe in anything, which is the danger of the perspective, and also the height of its utilization.
I first heard about this subject from Ray Maor, who described himself as a “breatharian” (living through the energy of the universe; prana or chi). Though, in reality he was still consuming food, just very little of it (about 300 calories of fruit juice every day). To me, this discrepancy did not matter so much. It didn’t matter, because he was able to prove that it was possible for the human body to indeed survive without food or water for eight days on Israeli national television under the most extreme medical scrutiny and surveillance.
This of course, has been a thing known in India as a particular siddhi (supernatural ability) for awhile; said to be gained through samyama (deep rhythmic breathing). Which was a bit of what Ray Maor had to do, in order to stay healthy during his 8-day fast. Of course, the ritual alone cannot produce that type of health, there also has to be a deep type of meditation and/or a type of solid trust within the greater reality of God.
Paramahansa Yogananda’s autobiography gave many first-hand accounts of several sages he met in India (and elsewhere in the world) that were free of needing to consume any food at all. One such famous figure was named “Babaji”, the “deathless guru” who apparently is thousands of years old. This type of attainment is, of course, exceedingly unique. Though, we also heard that Jesus neither ate or drank for 40-days as well. There is also Ram Dass’s guru, Maharaji, who was said to only consume one glass of milk a day. As well as Li Ching Yun, a Taoist “Immortal” who lived on herbs alone, and apparently lived to be 256 years old (Ostensibly, the Chinese government had records of his birth and sent a document that congratulated him on his 200th birthday). I am sure there are many more examples of such long fasts or those who eat nearly nothing at all.
Most who explore this endeavor do choose to eat again. It is a dangerous thing to go whole-hog breatharian as it is dangerous to go vegan— unless your body-mind-spirit is properly prepared for the journey. But, the main reason breatharians always go back to eating food, is because it always remains a choice to do so. Without food, life (as we usually know it) would be utterly dull, for the most part. Which would explain why many mystics choose to die instead of pursuing an extension of life on Earth.
But, you may still be wondering, “How is any of this possible?” For all the stories given about sages and saints living a breatharian lifestyle, it still can just as easily be thought away as all “hoaxes” or “scams” made up by people who desire attention or money. Yet, consider how easy it is for an individual to have this thought. For this thought alone, can easily allow you to sit comfortably in any diet you prefer to be addicted to.
Placing all the environmental benefits to the side, it appears that food in of itself is the main cause of all disease we may experience in life. Usually, we look at food as useful to our body, as giving us vitalization and energy throughout the day. From this perspective, it, of course, does give us that benefit— since we are addicted to gaining our energy through the extraction of various nutrients contained within the life we have destroyed in order to receive it. At the same time, foods (especially those that are related to animals or contain toxins) appear to generally create chemical imbalances within our body that produces mucus, clogs our arteries or any number of ailments. As well, we may easily notice that foods can actually make us lose energy for a time, as our body attempts to slowly breakdown and digest the material we have given it.
“In food excellent medicine can be found, in food bad medicine can be found; good and bad are relative.” – Hippocrates
But, if we look at ourselves as consciousness experiencing a body, then we can paint an alternative outlook to life and death. You may realize that energy is not always given to us by the nature of what we consume. Energy can come to us through a variety of ways, but generally speaking it is collected through our excitement. Food happens to be one of those excitements, and the denser more toxic types of food, happen to be the most pleasurable to consume. Thus, many say that they would “just die” if they couldn’t eat fried chicken, or pizza, or any number of relatively dense food products. This is not just a YOLO statement of jest. It is an actual reality that many experience, despite the ever-increasing possibility that they could find something better in life, than food.
When we are excited, we can notice that our adrenaline kicks in and we can do many more things than we would have been able to do without that excitement. A good conversation, television series, video game, musical concert, exercise or creative project of any kind, can keep us going for hours without the need for any food. Of course, most of the time people need sleep as well to energize. Meditation can also serve this purpose, and is definitely a still essential alternative to gaining energy. Yet, in all cases, if someone isn’t properly prepared for the reality of consuming little to no food; they will become imbalanced in their approach, and become extremely agitated and distressed by not understanding how to adapt to this new way of living.
This way of speaking may not satisfy your sentiments on how the human physiology is supposed to function. Yet, we can’t quite put this idea to the side as it is essential for life to know life in order to keep living it. Otherwise, your consciousness will become as bored as your body is of life, and you will naturally edge towards death, one way or the other.
However, we may be able to consider that the human body is capable of receiving nutrients from sources that do not involve consumption at all. As an example, our skin is able to absorb many different kinds of nutrients through contact alone. We may receive vitamin D from the sun, or minerals by simply taking a bath in natural water. So like our plants, we are proven to have some type of photosynthesis in our natural physiology. And as the plants are able to produce proteins, nutrients, and minerals from only water, soil, air, and the sun alone. Ostensibly, so can we, by simply walking barefoot outside, and allowing our breath to be deep and natural; so that we may absorb the trace elements within the air.
This type of subtlety, I do not consider to be very probable for any human to master in this lifetime. Making it even more difficult is the fact, that our food, water, and air contain too many toxic chemicals as it. This is known to lessen the absorption of the amount of nutrients we are able to synthesize within our physiology. This means that we will require more energy, that we don’t have, in order to detox our body from such chemical. Which makes it even less likely that someone would be able to move towards these lighter diets and ultimately a breatharian lifestyle.
Though improbable, it is never impossible. All that is first needed, is some type of believability towards this higher ideal in life. There are many stories of people who had to cut out certain foods from their diet as suggested by these sages and spiritual leaders. In doing so, they become weak and bored with life, as a result of being so attached to the food. As soon, as their chosen pleasure is reintroduced, they become healthy and more vibrant again. Not too dissimilar from a drug addict in withdrawal, it is often seen as the easier choice to continue consuming foods that the body and mind are use to eating, rather than continuing the journey.
This is the process of transitioning into lighter and lighter diets. Yet, the common assumption most make, is that because the body failed without the chosen food one time, that it would be foolish to attempt the same journey again. Just like anyone who had a bad trip on mushrooms and swears that they are nothing but, trouble; despite many others having visions of bliss, tranquility and “God”. There are many who have had a very bad trip on lighter diets and can only assume it means that no one would be able to accomplish such a feat.
I for one, attempted the raw vegan diet (only consuming whole uncooked plant foods) and found that I gained quite a positive uplifting for about a week or so. After that, I realized I was unable to gain anything else from continuing the endeavor with the life situation I currently setup myself. Being addicted to grocery store bought frozen foods, wheat, and potatoes; I found no desire at all to eat what was prescribed in the diet, and was eating far less than what I should have eaten. At this time, I didn’t really have an engaging activity I was doing and was not yet apt in meditation either. As a result, my body became weaker and became visibly underweight. So the decision to eat cooked foods again, had to be made before I had any actual physical symptoms of distress.
In this, I learned that we must all go at our own pace. Knowing this is possible, by the myriad examples of others, is all I really desire to convey. Just know it is a possibility, and you will be able to stretch the limits of your diet to whatever degree is necessary for your life to improve. Perhaps, if only, let it be as simple as eating no meat on Monday.
I say to you, any feat can be accomplished, so long as one knows what they are doing and where they are going, in the more expanded realms of the soul’s experience.