Jason B. Ladd

Author | Apologist | Entrepreneur

Living on Light: The Most Radical Diet Yet


Light is a good thing.  But not when it’s the only thing.  A Seattle woman wanted to thrive on light.  Not just in the light–on the light.

Breatharianism suggests that humans can live on prana alone (a vital life force), a concept embraced by some yogis with worldviews based on Hinduism.  Light is thought to be a part of this prana.

(Read the story here http://goo.gl/gQGr0)

Food, and possibly water, are optional.  This woman attempted to live for six months on nothing but water and sunlight.¹ 

There is at least one admirable thing about this woman’s experiment.  She put this claim through one of the three tests for truth: experiential relevance.

There are several places to go for guidance on what our body needs for sustenance.  Jesus said in Matthew 4:4:

“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”²

So it’s not just plants which thrive when spoken to.

Jesus made it 40 days fasting in the wilderness, and then scripture says he was hungry.  Even God incarnate needed food.  Notice he did not say man can live on light alone.

How about the scientific community?

An article on the Scientific American website titled “How Long Can a Person Survive Without Food” gives some information:

  • Ghandi survived 21 days with only a few sips of water.
  • Some hunger strikers have survived up to 40 days.
  • Without water, starvation leads to death in about 10-14 days.³

At least we have a rough metric set by some of the worlds most influential figures: 40 days.

Feeling lucky?

This woman was.  She’s tried to shatter the unofficial record by 140 days!

Hinduism, like many New Age practices, is based on pantheism (the concept that everything is God).  These worldviews frequently reference–almost deify–light.

But ex-New Agers no longer worship the sun.  If you subscribe to New Age theology and have never read a critique of the worldview, here are a few interesting books written by former believers:

(Click here to Tweet these resources)

When a pilot ejects in the middle of the ocean, his survival time is based on only a few things: ocean temperature, and body composition.  Water temperatures between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit can yield survival times between one and six hours.  Colder water can yield much less.

I’m not sure this woman knew her expected survival times.  She ended the experiment early due to overwhelming response and concern from the community.

(Watch a video of her journey here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdBS8uTwj0Q)

Most importantly:

  • I hope she rejects the truth claim about Breatharianism after the failed experiment.

What do you think?  Was it a worthwhile experiment, or a dangerous game?


Related Posts

¹Web Staff, “Woman living on just water and sunlight,” Fox 8 WGHP, June 6, 2013, http://myfox8.com/2013/06/06/woman-living-on-just-water-and-sunlight/.

² The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), Mt 4:4.

³ Alan D. Lieberson, “How long can a person survive without food?” Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc., November 8, 2004, http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-long-can-a-person-sur.

Photo credit: Florbela / CC BY SA 2.0

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

10 Replies

  1. stargazerxtina

    Re: The hungry woman

    this should be interesting, I did something similar and blogged about it but I think I was 19. I also lived without electricity, with the exception of showering, the stove, and music (personal preference) but walked everywhere etc, I think that is a more reasonable experiment to start with because it opens your mind up to all sorts of other things that become a whole new world. I feel you need to build spirit, or strengethen your spirit as strong as you can, before you attempt to go at it Ghandi-Style, but that’s just my take, everyone can obviously do what they want, I wish her luck and hope to hear whatever results come out of it, hope they’re good.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Your comment brings up a great discussion question. How do we build up or strengthen our spirit? Thanks for the comment!

  2. mollie

    This is so good! I really enjoyed reading it. I first read about breatharianism in college, over 30 years ago. I was interested in “New Age” religion at the time. Later, Jesus became the center of my life, and I’ve never looked back. Because I am now a student of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I’ve since learned that in reality, breatharians don’t go for more than a short time without food (of course). It is interesting to note where people end up when they begin with God & His design, vs. beginning with themselves. Thanks so much for your post, & also for stopping by my blog.

    1. Thank you so much for your testimony. Beginning in the right place is crucial!

  3. GypsyBev

    Living on only water and sunlight seems a bit beyond reason to me. Please keep us informed on developments in this experiment. My bet is that she will not meet her goal. Perhaps she will develop a closer connection to her spiritual self as a result however.

    1. She announced in a recent YouTube video update that she will be ending the experiment on June 19th. It seems there are various reasons.