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New Age Woman Goes "Breatharian," Tries to Survive on Water and Light

GK Chesterton said, "The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything."

The Daily News is reporting that a woman in New York is documenting her "calling from the universe" to live like a plant, subsisting on only water and light:

British-born Naveena Shine, 65, stopped eating on May 3 in to discover whether she could subsist on water, sunlight and tea, and is documenting her efforts on Facebook and YouTube.

The extreme fast, which she says she intends to try for "at least 40 days" and perhaps four to six months, is apparently tied to Shine's New Age beliefs about the universe. Obscure Yogis called "breatharians" have also attempted the practice, she told Seattle's Fox affiliate, KCPQ.
So how's she doing?
Five weeks into her self-devised program, Shine is down to 130 pounds from about 160. She reports having lost the weight from her belly, and that her skin "feels better."

But she also makes note on Facebook of unpleasant-sounding side effects such as weakness, throwing up bile, dizziness, and frozen hands.

"I normally do 20 minutes on the treadmill twice a day," she wrote on May 28. "After that I often need to lie down for a while to recover. Today I went to sleep right after and seem to have spent half the day sleeping. Really pleasant on a rainy day in Seattle."
She said she'll stop her little experiment if she's not thriving. Hmmm. What about weakness, throwing up, dizziness, frozen hands, and sleeping half the day sounds like thriving to you?

I can attest that plants and people are very very different. We've had many many plants in our house. I've managed to kill each and every one of them. Either that or they're killing themselves because they can't stand living with me.

On the other hand, we've had five children who seem to be thriving. Weird, huh?

*subhead*Just Breathe.*subhead*

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Gail Finke said...

Sounds like she's experiencing the effects of starvation.

LarryD said...

Does she breathe CO2 like a plant? If not, then she's cheating.

Robert said...

She seems to have forgotten a plant's favorite nourishment......manure.

Sherry Antonetti said...

The thing is, is no one is saying, you are killing yourself in a self indulgent delusion and that this is mentally ill? Where are her friends, her family? Where are the doctors saying, "You can't do this?" She thinks she is making a statement. She is. It just isn't the statement she thinks she's making. She thinks she's saying, "I love the universe." what she's really saying is, "I loathe myself." and if the media has seen fit to take note of her experiment, they should also alert human services, because a person deliberately starving themselves is a cry to be noticed. Suicide by slow drip.

ProudHillbilly said...

Um, "I'll make myself one with the universe by ignoring the science of said universe?" Not a compelling statement. As LarryD and Robert pointed out, plants don't actually exist just on light and water.

Sounds like mental illness being fed by the media.

Steve Dalton said...

Years ago, a deluded soul like this would have been placed under guardianship, and placed in a mental institution for their own protection. In today's spiritually bankrupt culture, she's regarded as a 'spiritual person', instead of being rightly considered insane.

Mike said...

Perhaps your plants are dying because you are feeding them cheeseburgers and milkshakes.

As for her not being allowed to do this, what would happen if we did the same for the saints who fasted for 40 days at a time or lived off nothing but the Eucharist for years? Yes, this is probably stupid and she should be stopped if her life is in danger, but let's not lambaste her for having faith or testing said faith.

Maria bambina cakepops said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kuramei said...


There is a world of difference between saints having faith in the Living God who made us and the universe, as opposed to a woman having "faith" in the material and non-living universe.

She is killing herself, tragically, because of a false god.

Sherry Antonetti said...

I'm not blasting her, I'm blasting those around her who arguably love her who aren't doing something other than saying, "Great!" and hoping somehow calories seep into her skin through photosynthesis.

Donna M said...

Yeah, and when her cardiac electrolytes go haywire and she is in cardiac distress, she"ll be getting her IV infusion ASAP! Along with all the skills of the ER! Doctors, nurses, aides, labs, tests....
It's more than just fluids! By the way, receiving IV treatment acceptable in her "new age" belief system?

Jeff Miller said...

Actually Chesterton never said that. The first use of that phrase was a year after his death the book "The Laughing Prophet" by Emile Cammaerts used this quote to paraphrasing GKC's Father Brown.

This is kind of a combination from two of the Father Brown stories.

It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense. ["The Oracle of the Dog" (1923)]

You hard-shelled materialists were all balanced on the very edge of belief--of belief in almost anything. ["The Miracle of Moon Crescent" (1924)]

Although since GKC often misquoted people and books himself it is rather fitting.


Mulier Fortis said...

Does she realise that unless she possesses green skin (due to chlorophyll) she isn't able to photosynthesise...

Donna M said...

MF, that is hilarious!
She must be functioning under the premise, that she is under going a morphing thing!

Sand Mama said...

I know its funny, but maybe its worth remembering this deluded soul in your prayers? Not to be all holier- than- thou about it, but this is pretty sad and horrible.
Her goal is to live as a plant? That is just pathetic.

Donna M said...

Highly agree!

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