Hungry diet: where is the energy source?
Life without food: scientific and religious aspects.
There are a number of messages about people which able to live without food for years. Perhaps, the most famous is a writer named Jasmuheen (Australia), i.e. “aroma of Eternity”, former financial adviser Ellen Greve, the founder of new religion Breatharianism. During 20 years she practised long starvations, or hungry diet, and since 1993 when she was about 35 years old, she has refused food at all. Now she is 50 years old and as she asserts, was subjected by several official inspections and her health is recognised to be ideal.
Thousands followers of this movement even has started to gather the world congresses.
I will dare to reasoning about this subject, having suggested some hypotheses how such phenomenon could be agreed with modern physics. Whether it is truth – it should be proved or denied sooner or later by strict experiments.
There is one more side of a matter: unusual phenomena acquire as rule in mass consciousness psychological and even religious measurement. This aspect is scarcely not the main thing by the social and spiritual consequences.
First of all we will raise the question – whether the life without food is possible from the point of view of energy conservation?
The scientific medicine affirms: the basic exchange, i.e. an energy expenditure in a status of an immovability and in comfortable conditions for the man of 40-60 years makes 20 kal/sek or 84 wt. For the woman – it is on 15 % less. It is 1700 (1500) kcal a day.
It is considered an axiom, that the food is the only source of energy necessary for an organism. If for a long time caloric content of a nourishment is below this minimum, the person would die because of exhaustion. And, really, this destiny had overtook a lot of people in times of mass hunger, in concentration camps and war blockades. According to the United Nations statistics, millions of people die annually because of malnutrition.
There are also not so numerous, but more exotic cases. In the developed countries many girls became victims of a fashion: aspiring to grow thin, they have overpassed that threshold of
malnutrition after which even returning to the normal nourishment could not rescue them.
But the science claim: if there is at least one authentically established case of violation of the law, it means the law is not universal.
One of such cases is represented by Galina Shatalova living near Moscow; she was 90 years old in 2006. During last 40 years caloric value of her food did not exceed 700 (instead of 1700!) Kcal a day. Her neighbours told me, that every morning, despite of weather, she has being run her 10 km. She lives openly and is subjected to medical examinations time and again. By the way,
she is not thin, but has quite a dense constitution.
I had possibility to communicate with krishnaits which consume even less: as a result many of them in their 50 have looked as 20. But they make upon me the dejected impression – their life, in my opinion, is depersonalized and meaningless, though all of them ostensibly are "rejoying" at something all the time. I name it, maybe, too rudely – "a kingdom of happy idiots". I do not want to them.
I do not search for happiness – I search for the truth, and believe that all the rest will be appended. I am not against happiness in principle: for me it is only a short moment of creative inspiration, and also minutes of relaxation and satisfaction from the completed work – brief "halt" on a way to the far and difficult aim. The more considerable aim is, the deeper these happy moments will be. But if one tries to make these wonderful moments as the aim itself – it will turn out full nonsense. Chasing steady and constant "happiness", you will lose these fleeting, but invaluable experiences which are sometimes given.
However the despondency and panic operates on health perniciously. One of my observations – and it is confirmed by all who voluntary or forcedly carried out similar practice of the reduced nourishment: this regimen "works" only on condition that the person has enough high mental tone. If such tone is not – all will go "on a science": exhaustion and then death. We know many people, who have passed Soviet the camp both the Leningrad blockade and then lived to 100 years (Nikolay Volkov, Anastasy Tsvetaeva): but they always were people of high spirit. But in the same conditions much more people perished.
Soljenizin tells, that convicts in camps which for hunger started to lick another's plates, quickly perished from a dystrophy. However thanks to that "licking" they have received obviously more calories, than the others!
Ivan Denisovich, the hero of first Soljenizin story, before to eat the piece of bread which was half-clay, knead it in hands, admired it, then long and with pleasure chewed it – just such people survived. And believers – those moreover thanked the God! My teacher Felix Karelin was telling me, what huge impression on convicts (especially from criminal) was made by those believers (including himself) who in camp kept religious fasting! For example, they deprived themselves the rare and precious morsels of sugar and gave these to another. And they had kept their psychic and physical vigour!
The girls who desire to get thin, have only external, conscious, volitional motivation, – their subconsciousness is fearing and protesting against, therefore consequences are so catastrophic. Heavy and irreversible illness – "anorexia" develops, and poor girls perish, despite all attempts to return them to a normal life.
Briefly, "look before leap". Without firm spiritual orientation or the qualified guidance by those who had passed all this way, it is too dangerously to start up with this venture.
And by all this I am deeply intrigued as the physicist. Where the necessary energy springs from?
Let's look to the energy of alive organism from the physics point of view.
Physical or chemical energy is required to support molecular streams and temperature gradients, energy is necessary to provide muscular reductions. And only the АТP molecule in which one of electrons is thrown on higher level is able to deliver this energy. This electron going down onto lower levels provides all processes in an organism.
All problem of a nourishment is a question how this primary electron activation is carried out? In a normal regimen of life – at the expense of splitting of fragments of food molecules, finally – glucose. Through a chain of biochemical reactions in mitochondria – these "power stations" of cells, energy of active electron of food is transferred to ATP electron, and it as I have already told, provides with energy all processes of live. By the way, during these reactions as a by-product, so-called "free radicals" arise in which the atom of oxygen obtains the electron with superfluous and therefore destructive energy for cells.
Сells not simply mechanically collapse, but at contact with these "radicals - terrorists", they as though "are horrified" and perish by suicide ("apoptos"). It is one of the main reasons of ageing earlier than genetically programmed term 120 years. Now russian academician Skulachev has thought up a new medical preparation – an antioxidant which deactivates this dangerous electron, and mice live three times longer. May be, after 20 years our queue will be reached.
But it is possible not to wait twenty years, and directly today to consult with Galina Shatalova and to accept her recommendations. However, she writes, the most part of its pupils or patients which now, as well as she, have "for a breakfast" the 10 km of race are former "condemned people", who were sentenced to death by incurable illnesses and the doctors who have made the honest, objective diagnosis. Only the fear of premature death has forced them to obey to Shatalova and to refuse such super-power narcotic what "a normal food" is.
It is necessary to go through physiological break-up and postnarcotic long-term depression: without those deep feelings which are being given by this habitual narcotic, the life seems defective, boring and colourless. Where to take motivation necessary for overcoming it? Many prefer to have died, but to keep the food habits. And who from us without a sin, let to throw a stone in them!
A food problem has also metaphysical, religious or deeply - psychological
aspect. A tasty, various and dense food is the elementary and most accessible way to experience the reality of oneself. Not by chance the verb "is" in many languages has two values: to accept food and to exist, to be.
What we eat for? Following to requirement of psychic self-affirmation or proceeding from real interests of an organism? The choice of this or that motivation defines two different ways of life, and transition from one to another is extremely difficult. Deprivation of a habitual and reliable way of self-affirmation demands indemnification in something another.
The elementary and most dangerous way – superindemnification in spiritual pride and arrogance. Therefore among food ascetics we so often meet importunate preachers and "teachers of mankind". And that also causes lawful and natural repulsion of normal people – habitual food, usual illnesses and early ageing are better, than such "selfinflating" in consciousness of one's own "greatness"!
In good traditional monasteries this danger was avoided by means of the psychological mechanism of "obedience": asceticism was supposed only by order of the spiritual head, but not at all on one's own will - then the place for pride did not remain.
Taking into account these fundamental psychological difficulties it is possible not to doubt that a low-calorie food never becomes the mass phenomenon.
But now we will return to physics of nourishment.
What occurs in organism of Shatalova and her pupils, if caloric content of their food is several times below the necessary?
For a long time it is being written about notorious "cosmic energy": but nobody can tell plainly, what is it? Anyway, they consider, that it is the energy of the psychic nature. But what differs this energy from the physical one? And the main thing – how it can be transformed to the usual physical energy?
I just said that the high spiritual tone is necessary for practice of a low-calorie nourishment. But I cannot realize at all, how that psychic energy can directly be transformed in chemical one? It can not be as in the transformer where the current of 10 kilovolt is turned into a current of 220 volt.
I believe, that psychic energy, (as well as the psychic matter) really exists, but is a thing rather thin, and its action is not direct, but has only regulative, information effect. The material carrier and some energy are necessary for transfer of any information. But this energy is insignificant in comparison with those actions which are made by the information connected with it. The commander has said order words: energy of the pronounced sounds may be measured by millijouls – but as a result the huge army comes to movement. So for an origin of physical energy of an organism it is necessary to search the source, as yet unknown, nevertheless not "psychic", but
purely physical one. "Cosmic energy" even if it exist, explains absolutely nothing in questions of nourishment.
Now in scientific and pseudo-scientific circles they speak much about energy of physical vacuum. Though all offered models of vacuum (including so-called "eddy or vortex") do not sustain the serious criticism, but I wish to offer the argument in favour of this hypothesis, based not on models, and on purely experimental facts.
That the vacuum is not only mathematical abstraction, but quite perceptible physical reality, well-known Casimir experiment has proved though till now even many physicists perceive it as something "exotic". It has been shown in this experience, that between two parallel conducting plates a force of an attraction arise which cannot be explained by any known physical effect. And only the calculations based on the quantum theory of vacuum, had yielded the results which are in quantitative accordance with the results of experiment.
Thus, vacuum energy exists, – this is not only hypothesis any more, but the experimental fact. The question is – how to extract at least a small part of this energy?
What if the organism under the defined conditions would be able to do this? Anyway, mytochondria have a multitude of almost parallel plates with average distance between them about 10 nanometers. And some electroconductivity they have – hence, they can influence a vacuum field like Casimir plates. We will admit, that nevro-gumoral influences caused by mentioned above "a high spiritual tone", result mitochondria in such status, that insignificant (but quite sufficient for an organism) the part of vacuum energy can be adopted by an organism. But if energy of vacuum has changed in some usual kind of energy then it can be used for activation of electron in an intermediate chain of excitation, and finally – in ATP molecule.
In that case the food as a source of calories becomes simply unnecessary. By the way, any "free radicals" would not arise! Because of this the cells would die much less.
Anyway, not only physicians, but also biologists, psychologists and theologists have here the topic to meditation. May be, to penetrate in vivo into mitochondria of person(certainly, with consent of its owner) who practises nourishment as Shatalova and to look, what there actually occurs? I think, that it within possibilities of modern experimental technics.
It would be so desirable to understand, how the Divine world is designed!
Besides, if we will comprehend, that a basis of low calory diet, hungry diet or even life without food is purely physical phenomenon (though regulated by psychic), less reasons would be for arrogance of those who dares to perform such difficult and risky practice. And then there would be no necessity
for the invention in this occasion of yet one "cosmic" religion, which «dehumanize»,
"dematerialize" the person and lead him away from the Alive God into astral emptiness.