Breatharianism is the idea that one can live without food and drink, and subsist only off of “”pranic light.”” According to practitioners, pranic light is accurate, channelled information from a huge invisible spaceship hovering over North America. Or something.
Breatharianism frequently involves sungazing in the dubious belief that nourishment can be gained directly from the sun’s energy through the eye, even though it is not a photosynthesising organ. This is likely to be just a woo-based explanation of “”energy””, which has little or nothing to do with real definitions of energy as a state-function of what can perform work. As with most supposed techniques of its type, proponents claim that the arts of breatharianism take years to master – usually this sort of excuse allows proponents to ignore evidence based on people trying and failing at the technique. It clearly requires a great deal of courage and self-discipline to be able to keep a straight face while talking about staring at the sun as a viable solution of the world’s starvation problems.Incidentally don’t experiment! Staring at the sun is extremely dangerous and can cause blindness.
How do they survive?
There are people who practice breatharianism or sungazing who to seem to live quite normal (well, normal-ish) lives. So how to they survive?
In the first instance, anyone claiming to live on light and/or air alone is most certainly lying. In 1983, most of the leadership of the movement in California resigned when Wiley Brooks, a notable proponent of breatharianism, was caught sneaking into a hotel and ordering a chicken pie. Under controlled conditions where people are actually watched to see if they can do it without sneaking some real food, they almost certainly fail. The name most commonly associated with breatharianism is Australia’s Jasmuheen (born Ellen Greve), who claims to live only on a cup of tea and a biscuit every few days. However, the only supervised test of this claim (by the Australian edition of 60 Minutes in 1999) left her suffering from severe dehydration and the trial was halted after four days, despite Greve’s insistence she was happy to continue. She claimed the failure was due to being near a city road, leading to her being forced to breathe “”bad air””. She continued this excuse even after she was moved to the middle of nowhere.”