Living on light is not a good idea

One of the reasons for my view that religion is a bad thing that I would like to see disappear is because it encourages people to believe in magical thinking and thus makes them easy prey to all manner of charlatans who take advantage of their gullibility.

Here is one such example, an awful story of a woman named Navenna Shine who has decided to live purely on sunlight, air, and water and nothing else. She has eight cameras pointed at her at all times to prove that she is not sneaking in any form of nourishment.

According to Shine’s YouTube page, she is already over 30 days into the experiment, and has lost more than 20 pounds since starting. She is still drinking water and occasionally some tea, but says this is just to “flush out the toxins of a lifetime.”

“I have the feeling that my body has reached a point where it has used up all its stored fats and is now looking around for what next to consume,” she writes on Facebook. “I suspect this might be the point where it decides either to find and hook into the source where it is able to live on Light, or consume the body for sustenance. I am doing all I can thorough consciousness to open up the space for ‘Living on Light.’ We shall see.”

Wherever did she get this crazy idea? It turns out that she is a follower of someone named Jasmuheen (born Ellen Greve of Australia) who is part of the cult of Breatherism that promotes something called ‘pranic living’ and Living on Light‘. Her website is a ghastly mish-mash of Deepak Chopraesque pseudo-science wrapped up in vague Hindu philosophizing and terminology.

Over the past 45 years we have been able to observe the human evolutionary process and use quantum field intelligence, plus our interdimensional Light Being connections, to bring through more refined systems of operation that serve the greater good.

If Shine carries through her plan, she is going to die, so she is now essentially livestreaming her own death. Others who have tried it have also died. Shine says that she will stop the process if her health deteriorates but since she is not under a doctor’s supervision, that may be too late to prevent serious damage to her body that leads to death from heart attack or organ failure.

It is this kind of magical thinking that is at the heart of almost all religions and why they are so pernicious.


  1. kraut says

    I have no patient for idiots like this -- may they all die a quick death without a bother to those who try to live their lives rationally.
    I hope by this process the magical idiots will “Mendel” themselves out of the gene pool.

  2. blazinghand says

    #1, I don’t think it’s reasonable to just let people like this die, or to have no patience for such people. The idea that magical thinking or idiocy will get weeded out of the gene pool is not correct. Humans in general are susceptible to this kind of thinking, and for all you or I know, Navenna is otherwise an intelligent person. Perhaps in a better environment she’d be an atheist! Her death or injury would be tragic, even if at this moment her beliefs are wrong. I wish her well, and hope she stops this foolishness, lives healthily, and finds truth for herself. Death, even the death of someone with whom I disagree, is one of the greatest sad things of human existence. People like Navenna are wrong-- this mortal coil is all we get. For such people to snuff out their only life based on false beliefs isn’t just, it is tragedy most sad. I hope not that magical idiots die, but rather that they cease to be misinformed.

  3. atheist says

    Others who have tried it have also died.

    From the wikipedia link:
    The deaths of 49-year-old Australian-born Scotland resident Verity Linn, 31-year-old Munich preschool teacher Timo Degen, and 53-year-old Melbourne resident Lani Marcia Roslyn Morris while attempting the breatharian “diet” advocated by Jasmuheen have elicited criticism.[1][2] Jim Vadim Pesnak, 63, and his wife Eugenia, 60, went to jail for six and two years, respectively, on charges of manslaughter for their involvement in the death of Morris, when Pesnak delayed seeking medical attention.[20]

    I have to wonder if a person who suicides in this way is acting only on delusion, or if there is a part of them that is really dissatisfied with life as well, and intends to press the issue. The attempt to purify oneself through fasting is a common religious act, but Jasmuheen’s ideas are extreme. In a way it seems like a cry for help.

  4. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Could Ellen Greve be prosecuted- claiming money under false pretences from sales of her books or some form of manslaughter seem possible charges- unless she can demonstrate conclusively, using Ms Shine’s methods, that she really does live on light?

  5. Mano Singham says

    It may be, especially since she is live streaming the whole thing. I only hope that she will be persuaded to stop by those who see her wasting away.

  6. Mano Singham says

    I don’t think so. Free speech rights in the US are quite broad, especially when it comes to ideas. If she were selling a product, that would be different but even here we see, in the case of herbal and homeopathic therapies, that regulation is pretty lax. These charlatans can get away with a lot of stuff because they always have some form of disclaimer that they can use to say that the person did not do it the ‘proper’ way.

  7. kraut says

    “The idea that magical thinking or idiocy will get weeded out of the gene pool is not correct.”

    It was meant facetiously.
    As to the rest -- if you are an adult and insist on following stupid ideas, that is your choice. If those ideas lead to your death -- that is your choice too. If you believe despite evidence in foolish ideas, and follow them to your death -- you are free to do so as an adult.
    I therefore see no reason to get sad and teary eyed over the possible death of someone who insist on behaving like an idiot. I have no sympathy for smokers who cannot kick the habit, nor do I have any sympathy for those dying in the pursuit of high risk activities. It is ta choice the person makes, they have to bear fully the consequences of their behaviour.

    I mourn the death of those who had to work for a living in dangerous conditions and died as a consequence of a lack of safety, that get killed in wars, that suffer from terminal diseases and die at an early age, that die from malnutrition, that die from protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

    To mourn or feel sad about the death of idiots who follow stupid ideas is making a travesty of mourning.

    I am almost 65, death of friends has been a constant for the last ten years. I do not fear it, it is a natural consequence of living, and I am not sad that death exists. If you have a life that was useful there comes a point when death is a not an unwelcome endpoint.

  8. garnetstar says

    Among anorexics, the leading cause of death is sudden heart failure, and it has no warning signs. You make a sudden exertion and the heart stops. So, this woman may not have a chance to decide that she’s physically debilitated, and stop the nonsense.

    Watch this: Fasting for Yahweh
    Another very sad case of the dangers of religion. She made it to help and encourage others to fast for God!

    Unfortunately, because she’s following a “mainstream” religion, the persons her lied to her about this/led her into it cannot be prosecuted.

  9. Mano Singham says

    Wow, what an awful example of carrying one’s delusions so far. I was both fascinated and repulsed watching it. At least she didn’t die but that video is from 2011 and I would be curious as to what happened to her afterwards. Do you know?

  10. atheist says

    I guess that makes sense. May I ask, what is your view on the entire human species courting extinction through delusion, as seems to be happening with carbon?

  11. garnetstar says

    Here she says that six months afterward she is in good health and pregnant. That was in 2010, so I suspect things may have gone downhill since then, considering how deluded she seems to be.

    I was fascinated and repulsed too. Watching her become close to death while she praises God more and more was chilling.

  12. kraut says

    We get what we deserve, nothing less.

    I am in full support now of any pipeline construction, extraction of NG and oil to the fullest. Why? because only a sliver of a minority is willing to forgo personal transportation, heating their houses at temps beyond what is needed, insist on not driving their SUVs, sees the oil, gas and the automotive industry not as the engine of growth, is willing to live in cities and not suburbs anymore and is using public transportation and in general cares about the environment.
    There was a short moment when things were out of reach, the economy tanked and smaller cars were en vogue -- not anymore.
    Bigger is better again, and I am not one to fight against a bloody minded majority who thinks that to use oil and gas as fast as possible is a god given right and the only way up is using more stuff.
    I myself will diminish my environmental footprint through next year but give a hoot about the rest of society.

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