Respectful Insolence

Your Friday Dose of Woo: Eat the sun?

With the utter ridiculousness of the arguments laid down by Dr. Oz when Steve Novella appeared on his show and the even more ridiculous silliness of J.B. Handley thinking that Matt Carey, a.k.a. Sullivan, is really Bonnie Offit, I had originally thought that I should find some peer-reviewed scientific article today to do a sober, serious analysis of some cool bit of science. Hey, it sounded like a good idea. Then I finished my day, which was my clinic day, and I was simply too tired to summon up the effort it would take to go through a paper, analyze it, and write up that analysis for the edification of my breathlessly waiting fans.

OK, plan B, then.

My original plan B was to do a post about some of the antics going on in the anti-vaccine movement. The last couple of weeks have been busier than usual on that score, but then I paused again. Think about it. What could anyone else in the anti-vaccine movement be doing that’s any more ridiculous than what happened to J.B. Handley when Sullivan “outed” himself and a minor blogswarm erupted to demand that he put up or shut up about his promise to give up the domain pauloffit.com and never mention Dr. Offit publicly again? Not much, I daresay, although it wouldn’t surprise me if soon something even more ridiculous than J.B.’s latest embarrassment were to occur. It is, after all, the anti-vaccine movement we’re talking about.

OK, then plan C.

I was wondering what plan C should be when what to my wondering eyes should appear in my e-mail in box but the perfect remedy for blogging indecision. There, sitting right in my in box from a P.R. flack named Alexis Cohen of Morning Sky Public Relations. Alexis was promoting a documentary called Eat the Sun (Twitter, Facebook), whose tagline appeared to be, “Is it possible?” Well, I had no idea because I didn’t know what “it” is. Was “it” possible that I didn’t give a rodential posterior about Eat the Sun? More than possible. Then I perused a bit of the movie site and realized that in offering to send me a screener copy of the movie he might well have done me a huge favor.

He gave me a beautiful target topic that gave me an excuse to resurrect Your Friday Dose of Woo!

So what in the movie is so YFDoW-worthy? Well, first check out the trailer:


It’s all about something called “sun gazing.” Basically, the idea is to stare directly into the sun for as long as possible with the idea being that somehow you can absorb the sun’s energy that way. Basically, the trailer shows a bunch of people staring into the sun with blank looks on their faces, like so many human plants trying to absorb energy by photosynthesis. Of course, human beings don’t generally absorb enough energy to keep their bodies going that way. The promotional materials on the movie’s website describe the story of Mason, who has discovered the “ancient” (of course!) practice of sungazing:

San Francisco, CA 2004: A flyer at school advertising a lecture by an elderly Indian gentleman sparks the imagination of a young man named Mason. The flyer reads: “You can become solar powered.” It also states that the Indian man giving the lecture, who goes by the acronym HRM, has not eaten in over 8 years, a direct result of sungazing.

Intrigued, Mason begins this simple practice along with a few other classmates. Everyday, in accordance with HRM’s protocol, they stand barefooted on the bare earth looking directly into the sun and every day they add 10 seconds to their sungazing time. The goal, according to HRM, is to reach 44 consecutive minutes of looking directly at the sun — which could take 9 to 12 months to achieve — at which time one would be “fully charged”, meaning not only cured of all mental and physical ailments but also now without the desire or need to eat food.

In many ancient civilizations — from the Incas and Aztecs to the Greeks and Egyptians – this practice was exclusive to only the high priests and forbidden for ‘ordinary’ people. Today, with the help of the Internet, this revived practice is gathering global momentum.

Modern day sungazers claim a multitude of health benefits including better eyesight, enhanced vitality, weight loss and, in some more profound cases, a complete loss of the desire and need to eat food. The main theory of how this is possible focuses on the stimulation of the pineal gland from direct sunlight entering the brain via the eye – the only external expression of the brain – and traveling along the retinal-hypothalamic tract.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. The pineal gland does indeed produce melatonin in response to changes in light, and melatonin is known to be important in a wide variety of bodily functions in mammals, including reproduction, sleep-wake cycles and other phenomena showing circadian rhythm. Whether staring into the sun at sunset and sunrise has anything to do with pineal gland function and melatonin levels is possible, but any connection between such putative changes and all the health benefits claimed is dubious at best, ridiculous at worst. In any case, apparently sungazers have a goal of reaching 44 straight minutes of staring into the sun, a goal they approach by starting with short periods of time doing it and then working up to 44 minutes over weeks and months. At this point, the sungazer becomes “fully charged,” like some sort of solar battery. Some even claim not to need food anymore.

Indeed, one of the main characters featured in Eat the Sun is HRM, an Indian man who claims he has not eaten in 8 years as a result of sungazing. He claims not to need to. His name is Hira Ratan Manek, and he makes a number of spectacular claims, the most amazing and difficult to believe of which is his claim that he does not need ot eat, that he can exist solely on the energy of the sun. He’s prominently featured on a website called Sunlightenment. He can also be found on YouTube in multiple videos. Here is one example:

And what does being “fully activated mean”? What wondrous powers will I get if I start staring into the sun every morning and evening? To find out, I wandered over to HRM’s own website:

We have a super computer in our bodies given to us by the nature, which is our brain. HRM (Hira Ratan Manek) calls it the “brainutor”. The brain is more powerful than the most advanced super computer. Each and every human being is gifted with innumerable talents, and infinite inherent powers by nature. Individuals should never underestimate themselves. Everyone is gifted. If we make use of these powers we can take ourselves to great levels. Unfortunately, these infinite inherent powers are programmed in that part of the brain that is largely dormant and goes unused. Even medical science agrees we hardly make use of the brain but about 5-7% – the most brilliant of humans like Albert Einstein is reported to have used only about 32% of their brains.

If we can activate the human brain and awaken these infinite powers inherent in ourselves then we can raise ourselves to higher levels. We can achieve any results we want. In order to operate the brain effectively, it needs to be activated. Being a holistic entity it needs a holistic power supply. Sun energy is the source that powers the brain, which can enter and leave the human body or the brain only through one organ that is the human eye. Eyes are the Sun Energy’s entry door to the human brain. They are also known as the windows of the soul.

So, how do you do go about realizing the claimed benefits of this most…enlightened of woos? Here’s how:

Once you reach about 15-18 minutes (3-4 months) of sungazing many of your mental tensions: irritability, anger, fear, grief, and general personal frustrations will go away. This is just the beginning, but what a beautiful beginning it is. Life will become easier, more comfortable and more enjoyable as you get closer and closer to finding out who you really are. A blissful, euphoric sensation may envelope you. Your energy levels may increase and the benefits of having a routine in conjunction with the earth’s rhythms will begin to have a peaceful effect on your perception of the world.

At about 25-30 minutes (6-7 months) of sungazing, your hungers will begin to diminish. How and why you make the choices you make may come forth with remarkable clarity. Your self confidence may begin to increase, as your comfort level with being you is heightened. And yes, your physical hunger for food will also begin to lessen.

Between 35 and 40 minutes (9-10 months) of sungazing physical disharmonies, injuries, and diseases will be remedied. Also your hunger for food will begin to substantially diminish. At this point you may also feel awakenings in your charkas as well as possible energy beginning to stir within your kundalini. Each day more energy blockages will be dissolved as you get closer and closer to your higher self. At about 35 minutes your brain reaches its ability to store an energetic charge.

You have reached the final step…40 to 44 minutes. Wow. Now you stop sungazing. To continue on can be very detrimental to your eyes. At this time, sungazing is concluded and there is no need to continue the practice any more. During the first three months, the pineal gland is getting activated, and the hypothalamus or pathway to the brain from the eye is getting charged. After that period the solar energy starts reaching your brain and charging it. After this period, the solar energy starts getting stored in each and every cell in your body. When all the cells in the body are purified there is no need to sungaze any more. Now your brain is fully charged, the ability to control your destiny is in your hands.

Yes! I want my brain to be fully charged! I want it to be so charged that I can shoot lightning bolts out of my fingers like a Taser (or like the Emperor at the end of Return of the Jedi). Of course, the latent physics geek in me wanted to try to figure out just how much energy that one could absorb during approximately a year of staring at the sun by figuring out the total time exposed to the sun and estimating how much energy the human body could have absorbed if it were to “absorb” every photon that passed into its eyes and convert it to a biologically usable form of chemical energy with 100% efficiency. Then I thought about it for a minute and restrained my geekitude. After all, HRM’s claim is so insanely ridiculous, so biologically impossible on the surface of it, so utterly magical that it’s an utter waste of time to waste my few remaining physics geek powers actually doing the calculations to prove that it’s impossible because the body simply cannot convert sunlight into usable chemical energy. (That’s why we eat plants, which can achieve this feat, or eat animals that eat the plants.) The brain and eyes are a truly wondrous organs, but sadly neither are capable of converting sunlight to biochemical energy, either alone or together. Going without food for too long would simply result in starvation, although dehydration would kill you long before starvation if you were foolish enough to stop all intake of food or liquid.

It is claimed that HRM was part of a 411 day medical study in which he did not eat. As you might imagine, I’m rather…skeptical of this claim. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the claims of yogis, Breatharians, and various other cranks who claim to be able to exist without eating are almost always never well documented, as described here.

And as Randi points out here and in this video:

I tend to liken the evaluation of claims of breatharianism, sungazing, or other claims that human beings can live without food or water and exist only air or the energy of the sun to prior probability in science-based medicine. For example, we know in great detail how humans produce energy from food, how much food people need to survive, and the metabolism through which humans produce energy from food. We know that humans don’t have chlorophyll or the biochemical machinery to use the energy of the sun–and even plants need nutrients. Cut off a plant’s source of nitrogen and water long enough, and eventually it will die. Based on our understanding of biochemistry and physiology, the prior probability that a human being can exist indefinitely without food and water is on the same level of ridiculousness as the claims of homeopathy. One thing you’ll notice whenever you read about “scientific” investigations of these charlatans is that they never, ever have them under observation in such a way that fraud can’t be ruled out or to validate claims of long term living without food. For example, it is claimed that HRM was under “constant” observation for 411 days and did not eat or drink anything other than water. Yet nowhere have I yet been able to find publication of these findings other than on the web by someone named Dr Sudhir Shah. If you bother to read it, you’ll see that it sounds all science-y but ends up being utterly unconvincing to anyone who knows a bit about physiology and biochemistry.

I don’t know how skeptical Eat the Sun treats the claims of sungazing because I haven’t seen the movie, but I can guess from the website and its Facebook page. Judging from the trailer and website, I’m not particularly optimistic. After all, the tagline is just plain dumb: “Is it possible?” Basically, if the filmmaker weren’t credulous, he’d answer, “No,” and that’d be the end of it. If he wanted to, he could go into all the well-established scientific reasons why it is not possible. But then there wouldn’t be much of a movie, now, would there? There’s not much drama in that, is there? Then there’s this bit on the official blog for the movie:

I think it’s fair to say that there are a couple of universal concepts that are widely accepted truths cross-culturally:

  1. If you look directly at the sun (for a long period of time) you will go blind.
  2. People have to eat.

I was really drawn to the idea that there were people out there challenging these deeply held beliefs.

Uh, dude, it’s not a “deeply held belief” that people have to eat. It’s simply a fact. These people aren’t “challenging” that “belief.” They’re delusional. As for looking at the sun for long periods of time, have them try to do that at midday rather than right at sunrise or sunset. It’s very possible to look straight at the sun at those times of day because the angle at which the sun’s light reaches you then involves traveling through much more atmosphere. The day I see a sungazer staring at the sun at noon and not harming his eyes is the day when I might start to take sungazing slightly more seriously. There’s nothing miraculous about it, although it would be interesting to see what the prevalence of cataracts is among sungazers. Fortunately, their numbers are too small to do a reliable measurement and comparison. Also, unfortunately for sungazers, they are not immune to damage from the sun, as much as they delude themselves otherwise. As the director says in his statement:

When we took Mason for an extensive eye exam and they found a burn in the center of his retinas, he was disheartened and discouraged and he stopped sungazing. Why he ultimately decided to continue sungazing to reach HRM’s goal of 44 minutes and risk even further eye damage was testament that he was after something bigger than the physical.

Or he was after burning his eyes out. What kind of delusion drives a man to continue doing something that is damaging his eyes?

I’ve encountered variants of this particular sungazing woo before, although not for quite some time. I had even heard of HRM before. What I hadn’t known before is that HRM had conned a credulous filmmaker into doing a movie in which he is prominently featured. Actually, it appears more that Mason Howe Dwinell, acupuncturist and author of a book on sungazing, managed to con the flimmaker into believing. I also hadn’t known that apparently HRM is dead. There are oblique references to it in the promotional materials, such as a mention of “HRM’s demise.” I can find no confirmation of this anywhere else, however. If true, I guess it means that charging yourself up with the sun, even though HRM once claimed, “Only through this process can man achieve complete freedom or Moksha. You rid yourself from physical and psychological ailments. Psychosomatic ailments out of stress become a distant dream. But more importantly you develop a corona of energy around you. As this energy field becomes stronger, diseases don’t harm you. Even your worst enemy will become harmless.” Dammit, I want a magic energy field to protect me from disease, injury, and death, too!

In the end, it’s hard to imagine coming to believe that human beings can eschew food and water in order to live off of the energy of the sun. Actually, we already do live off the energy of the sun, just not directly. The sun provides the energy that is derived from plants and from the animals that eat the plants, both of which we ingest and, through the wonders of evolution and biochemistry, convert to a chemical form of energy that we can use. Maybe sungazing is nothing more than a metaphor for this process.

Or, more likely, it’s nothing more than a delusion.

Comments

  1. #1 Emily Willingham
    April 29, 2011

    This is an old idea. Agatha Christie or someone wrote a short mystery based on a “guru” who encouraged staring at the sun but whose real motivation was to blind a client who’d willed him her money so that she’d step into an elevator shaft, too blind to see that the elevator had not actually arrived. I remember seeing that on Masterpiece Theater or something. Set in the 1920s. Old woo never dies, it seems.

  2. #2 Vicki
    April 29, 2011

    It’s all too easy to believe that people will keep doing something that is known to damage their eyes, just from knowing how many willingly abuse their hearing with over-loud music and/or not wearing ear protection when working with very loud machines. (Some people have little choice: airport flight paths tend to be over poor neighborhoods, for example. But most people at loud concerts are paying for their tickets, not working as roadies or selling souvenirs.)

  3. #3 Mu
    April 29, 2011

    Just for kicks I did the conversion. Solar energy at earth about 300 W/m^2. Area of the pupil while staring at the sun, 1 mm^2. Received energy 0.3 mW. One year of staring an average of 22 min a day: 40 mWh, about 35mCal (or a look at a snickers bar).

  4. #4 Denice Walter
    April 29, 2011

    (…I had originally planned to premier my play, “The School for Sceptics”** a comedy of manners which takes place in today’s cyberspace, wherin a brilliant- but acid-tongued computer- enlightens his rational colleagues, cronies, and wards about the incredibly deceitful mis-information and ruses put forth by the Scandal-mongers- a motley collection of assorted cranks, charlatans, and gossips whose rumours corrupt and sully said cyberspace and eventually deleteriously affect peoples’ lives: they have names like, “Switch”,”Pander”, and “Snake”. Needless to say, clever repartee ensues ( at the hands of the Sceptics) and through sarcasm and reason, eventually truth prevails….for a while…)

    Plan B: Although *sun-gazing* is totally “out there”, do not our “usual suspects” hype the wonders of sunlight and often diss sunscreen/ sunblocks as interference with the magical rays of universal vitalism ( or some such)? Mercola sells tanning beds, I believe. These sites have higher coverage of susceptible marks than do the more radical gurus.

    I have a huge problem with this cavalier approach: haven’t rates of skin cancer and melanoma been on the rise and increasingly occur in *younger* people than ever before? Right now, this is an issue for several of my friends, many who play outdoor tennis ( I am indoor only). My cousin had melanoma. I use 100+ SPF. Again, Adams whines about radiation leaks( from half a world away) but encourages sun worship. I know, he’ll probably say it’s all a plot by Big SPF.

    ** my apologies to Mr Sheridan.

  5. #5 Ursula
    April 29, 2011

    @Emily: It seems to me that Agatha Christie’s guru could have achieved the same effect without the elevator shaft if he also told her not to eat, because the sun was feeding her through her eyes.

    … That sounds creepier than I had intended after reading it back to myself.

  6. #6 René Najera
    April 29, 2011

    You know what a really, really old way of getting energy from the sun is? EATING.

  7. #7 TBruce
    April 29, 2011

    As kids, most of us have taken a magnifying glass outside and focused the sun’s image onto a piece of paper to watch it scorch and burn. A magnifying glass has a biconvex lens.

    Guess what else has a biconvex lens.

  8. #8 Militant Agnostic
    April 29, 2011

    @1 – It was one of G. K. Chestertons Father Brown mysteries.

  9. #9 Adam_Y
    April 29, 2011

    Plan B: Although *sun-gazing* is totally “out there”, do not our “usual suspects” hype the wonders of sunlight and often diss sunscreen/ sunblocks as interference with the magical rays of universal vitalism ( or some such)? Mercola sells tanning beds, I believe. These sites have higher coverage of susceptible marks than do the more radical gurus.

    Uhhhhhh….. Mercola actually says that sun eating is possible.

  10. #10 Jason Dick
    April 29, 2011

    Isn’t it also worth mentioning that even if the absurdity of obtaining energy directly from the Sun were possible, that we don’t actually produce all of the chemicals our bodies need to survive anyway?

    I mean, granted, it’s already idiotic to suggest that we can obtain energy directly from the Sun. But even if this were the case, these people would surely die of malnutrition anyway.

  11. #11 Kris M
    April 29, 2011

    Is it a coincidence the guys who did the 411-day study are the same guys who did another study on Prahlad Jani?

    http://home.iae.nl/users/lightnet/health/lightresearch.htm

    This “synopsis” of the “study” makes interesting reading. You can’t find the original case study anymore at Dr. Shah’s website, but you can find a cached copy of the Powerpoint presentation if you select “View as HTML”. It has numbers and all!

    Here is the report on Mr. Jani:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/International/man-eat-drink/story?id=10787036

    Apparently, it does not take much to baffle Dr. Sudhir Shah. And he seems to have a particular interest in proving(!) such claims from members of his Jain community.

    Initially HRM claimed he was studied by NASA, Dr. Andrew Newberg (andrewnewberg.com), and Dr. George Brainard from Jefferson University. According to Randi, his contacts at NASA denied (ha, I smell conspiracy!) ever gazing at HRM. Dr. Andrew Newberg wrote to me that he “never evaluated his claims regarding fasting”.

  12. #12 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    April 29, 2011

    Yes! I want my brain to be fully charged! I want it to be so charged that I can shoot lightning bolts out of my fingers like a Taser (or like the Emperor at the end of Return of the Jedi).

    I’d be afraid that the power would shoot out your eyes instead, and only your eyelids, a visor made of ruby quartz, and the telekinetic power of Jean Grey in her Phoenix phase would be able to stop them. While immensely powerful, you’d consider your eye beams to be a curse that separates you from the ones you love.
    Unless you like that sort of thing, in which case it’d be totally cool.

  13. #13 Yojimbo
    April 29, 2011

    @1

    Old woo never dies, it seems.

    Sadly, neither does it just fade away.

  14. #14 Beamup
    April 29, 2011

    Initially HRM claimed he was studied by NASA

    Pretty strong indication that he’s lying. NASA would have no interest in such claims – not their purview. But they’re just the sort of authority someone wanting to be sciency, without concern for truth, might invoke.

  15. #15 ZDoggMD
    April 29, 2011

    For years, I’ve been trying to produce an injection form of subcutaneous chlorophyll for use in ICU patients. Think of the possibilities: with the green stuff under their skin, nurses can simply rotate the patient towards sunlight and bam! Take out the feeding tube — they make their own glucose (and vitamin D)! Turn off the O2 ’cause there’s plenty rising off their skin! Turn down the AC because the planet is cooling from all the carbon fixation! Problem: none of the medical schools want to re-teach the Calvin cycle to med students. Laziness, plain and simple.

  16. #16 J. J. Ramsey
    April 29, 2011

    Mephistopheles O’Brien, @12: Glad I’m not the only who had comic-booky thoughts, though I had a much different hero powered by the (yellow) sun.

  17. #17 Sastra OM/COR
    April 29, 2011

    In the middle of the trailer, right after a ridiculous claim, there is the refreshing sound of laughter, followed by an amused woman tactfully saying she didn’t think this is all going to be “biochemically possible” or something of that nature.

    The token skeptic! The only one in the whole damn movie I bet who makes any sense! No doubt she was put in there to jar the audience out of the semi-coma induced by the soft spiritual tones and demonstrate how the close-minded scientists will mock and ridicule those seekers on the cutting-edge of re-discovering ancient knowledge – so that viewers may be spurred on to show the sneering naysayers that it can be done and nothing is impossible! Nothing!

    I want to thank this woman for laughing at the halfway mark. It was the only thing that allowed me to watch the second half and get me through the whole thing.

  18. #18 Doctor Mead
    April 29, 2011

    *snicker*

    I found it amusing that they say that this simple, healing, life-prolonging, food-budget-reducing discipline was forbidden to “ordinary people” in ancient times. Just how did they forbid it if it was so well known? Did they stone any commoner who dared raise his/her eyes from the dust?

  19. #19 Anthony
    April 29, 2011

    Just for kicks I did the conversion. Solar energy at earth about 300 W/m^2. Area of the pupil while staring at the sun, 1 mm^2. Received energy 0.3 mW. One year of staring an average of 22 min a day: 40 mWh, about 35mCal (or a look at a snickers bar).

    Actually, the standard cited value is 1,366W/m^2; 300 is probably the 24-hour average, including reduction for atmosphere. Not that it makes a lot of difference.

  20. #20 rob
    April 29, 2011

    @TBruce #7: and your point is…?

  21. #21 palindrom
    April 29, 2011

    So, if some one goes blind because they take the advice in this movie, can they sue? Or rather, is there any chance they could succeed? The producers would have a hard time claiming that no one could ever possibly be that stupid.

    I’m an astronomer, and whenever we mention “sun” and “telescope” in the same context, we tend to put in a bold-faced, caps-lock warning telling people not to look at the sun through a telescope unless they know exactly what they’re doing, mostly because we genuinely don’t want to make people go blind, but also in case someone sues us.

  22. Argleblargle humans do not use less than 100% of our brains that would be ridiculous anatomy!

  23. #23 feralboy12
    April 29, 2011

    Everyday, in accordance with HRM’s protocol, they stand barefooted on the bare earth looking directly into the sun and every day they add 10 seconds to their sungazing time.

    Every day I go up in an airplane and jump out, using a smaller parachute each time. Eventually I won’t need one.

  24. #24 TBruce
    April 29, 2011

    @TBruce #7: and your point is…?

    The eye has a biconvex lens. When you look at the sun you focus its image on your retina. Sizzle. Not a good idea.

  25. #25 Prometheus
    April 29, 2011

    Well, after seeing Mu’s numbers, I thought I’d run it myself and see what I came up with.

    From ASTM 6173-03(2008) “Standard Table for Reference Solar Spectral Irradiances”:

    Maximum solar radiation (37 deg N latitude – US “average”, no cloud) = 900.1 W/m^2 (1000.4 W/m^2 tilted to perpendicular incidence)

    This includes all wavelengths from 280 nm (UV) to 4000 nm (IR).

    Body surface area of “average” (50th pctle) US male, age 35 = 1.99 m^2

    Assuming that only 1/2 of the body will be exposed to the sun (and not correcting for the fall-off on the sides) and allowing for 12 hours of exposure per day, the maximum incident solar energy would be:

    10,277 Cal/day

    With that sort of energy conversion, the average person would gain weight – and rapidly. You’d have to limit your exposure to keep from becoming obese. But it doesn’t work out that way. This number assumes a loss-less conversion of solar energy from the UV to the IR, which isn’t possible – not even theoretically.

    How about we look at the one group of organisms on this planet that have managed to make the switch to “solar energy” and see how efficient they are?

    Photosynthesis is able to convert light energy in the band 400 – 720 nm, which makes up about 45% of the solar energy at the Earth’s surface. Photosynthesis has a theoretical maximum efficiency of 25%, meaning that at the maximum, photosynthesis can convert 11% of incident solar radiation to chemical energy.

    That brings the total down to 1,130 Cal/day. Obesity now looks like less of an issue than starvation, but a person can stay alive for a long time on this kind of diet. Except that even plants aren’t able to achieve that sort of efficiency.

    Plants range in photosynthetic efficiency from 0.1% to 8% (sugar cane – a C4 grass – holds the record at 8%, so far as I know). Oh, and almost all plants reach a “plateau” in sunlight utilisation at around 100 W/m^2.

    So now we’re down to 82.2 Cal/day IF humans were able to photosynthesise as efficiently as the most efficient plants on the planet. AND if the entire body is exposed to sunlight for 12 hours a day.

    A diet of 82.2 Cal per day would not be sufficient to support life, let alone allow for normal activity. In fact, 82.2 Cal per day is pretty much indistinguishable from utter starvation.

    So, it doesn’t look very likely that these “gurus” have managed to find a way to live off of sunlight alone. I suspect they’re “snacking” when nobody is looking (maybe when it’s dark).

    Prometheus

  26. #26 Mu
    April 29, 2011

    Actually, the standard cited value is 1,366W/m^2; 300 is probably the 24-hour average, including reduction for atmosphere
    Since the instructions specify standing barefoot on bare earth I didn’t calculate it for a balloonist at 100,000 ft; so yes, it’s the value you typically observe at sea level.

  27. #27 lilady
    April 29, 2011

    @ Kris M: I located an article about sun eaters and Dr. Shah’s ongoing publicity stunts at:

    Dr. Sudhir Shah and Prahlad Jani Skeptimedia

    Scroll down the article and read about about the debunking of the underwater guy and especially the sun eater in the closet.

  28. #28 Vasha
    April 29, 2011

    A poll question for RI readers:

    What is your favorite online information page on the subject of how to evaluate the claims of supplement-sellers and other alt-health-peddlers?

    I’m trying to post some links to counter promotion of “The Body Ecology Diet”; the seller of this book and line of supplements, Donna Gates, is just one of many who propose systemic Candida albicans as the One True Cause of illness. I’ve found some good pages on Candida, but when it comes to more general critical thinking, I’m indecisive: there’s a lot of skeptical pages out there. So I’d like to ask you folks if you have a favorite piece on how to evaluate alt-med claims.

  29. #29 Ford
    April 29, 2011

    “Eat the Sun” was a hilarious 1975 comedy about a crackpot religion based on biofeedback, made by a couple of students at Evergeen.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19920410&slug=1485707

  30. #30 Kevin
    April 29, 2011

    @22…well, the body does have redundant systems. You only need one kidney, one lung, and part of a liver in order to survive. Heck, you don’t even need much of a stomach. One-eyed people do very well, and one-eared folk just tilt their heads to the side.

    So, the issue isn’t the fact that the brain might be built to have a little “float” in it. After all, stroke victims and others who suffer brain damage can learn to use just one side of their brains and get along OK.

    The issue is a common misunderstanding. Only about 10%- 15% of the volume of your brain consists of neurons — the cells that actually do the “thinking” (conscious and unconscious). The rest is made up primarily of glial cells — which have extremely important roles in overall brain functioning and health, but which do not perform any “thinking”.

    Whenever anyone says that “we only use 10% of our brains,” they’re right — but it would be frankly impossible to do any better. Unless you’re going to convert glial cells into neurons somehow — and that ain’t happening.

    BTW: We never use that 10% of our brain that is “thinking” all at once. If we did, there’s a medical term for that — grand mal seizure.

    And finally, Einstein bequeathed his brain to science. In the 1980s, it was reported that he had an INCREASED number of glial cells (though this finding is controversial). He also apparently had a slightly different brain anatomy than “normal” folk; but not more neurons.

    The claim is purest bunkum. Argumentum ab Einsteinum.

  31. #31 Yojimbo
    April 29, 2011

    @ Prometheus

    Your fancy calculating does nothing. You are talking about chemical energy, and electrical energy, and solar energy. but this is energy energy. You know – the mystical kind. It doesn’t follow silly science rules, it just gives the starer exactly what he needs. I say “ha!” to your puny logical… logic.

    Now, because I live in Seattle, I must go get a Big Mac.

  32. #32 Shirah
    April 29, 2011

    Typo: “but sadly neither are incapable of converting sunlight to biochemical energy”

    Should probably read: “neither are capable” or “both are incapable”.

  33. #33 Dangerous Bacon
    April 29, 2011

    If I look hard enough into the setting sun,
    my love will laugh with me before the morning comes.

  34. #34 LW
    April 29, 2011

    I really wonder how gullible the marks must be to fall for this.

    There are people starving *all the time*. There have been people starving for all of human history. How can anyone possibly believe that people who live or lived on the edge of starvation wouldn’t do something relatively simple and not terribly time-consuming (44 minutes per day at most) so that they wouldn’t starve?

    And why would the powers that be prevent this? Rebellions as a result of famine are quite well documented.

  35. #35 Poodle Stomper
    April 29, 2011

    My only beef is Jame’s quote that all animals, our species included, require food and water on a regular basis and that there are no exceptions. There is in fact at least one notable exception of the kangaroo rat, which does not take in water but rather produces it through oxidation of (mostly) dry foods. One thing I’ve learned in a life of science is not to use definites such as “always” or “no exceptions” as nature will often pop by with just such an exception to screw with you.

  36. #36 augustine
    April 30, 2011

    Poodle Stomper

    One thing I’ve learned in a life of science is not to use definites such as “always” or “no exceptions” as nature will often pop by with just such an exception to screw with you.

    Hence, when you’re friends with Micheal Vick you assume “I’ll NEVER get caught stomping on a poodle”. Don’t let nature screw with you, Poodle Stomper.

  37. #37 Chris
    April 30, 2011

    ZDoggMD:

    For years, I’ve been trying to produce an injection form of subcutaneous chlorophyll for use in ICU patients.

    My college biology professor was a botanist. Along with claiming most biological breakthroughs were discovered by botanists, he speculated that we could get most of our energy if we could make our skin do photosynthesis. Sure we would all be green, but that would be cool!

  38. #38 Samantha Vimes
    April 30, 2011

    Prometheus, did you take into account that a food calorie is actually a kilocalorie in any non-food energy measurement? I suspect your 10000+ calories translates into a strawberry’s worth of actual consumption.

  39. #39 Poodle Stomper
    April 30, 2011

    Hence, when you’re friends with Micheal Vick you assume “I’ll NEVER get caught stomping on a poodle”. Don’t let nature screw with you, Poodle Stomper.

    Don’t worry, my evil big Pharma contacts and my evolution-agenda contacts can get me out of anything.

  40. #40 sophia8
    April 30, 2011

    beamup@14: ” Initially HRM claimed he was studied by NASA

    Pretty strong indication that he’s lying. NASA would have no interest in such claims – not their purview.”
    Well, feeding astronauts in space is certainly within NASA’s purview; I can imagine they’d be interested in something that might cut down on food supplies.
    But of course, they’d have to be convinced that the proposed method might actually work before they began any kind of study. Somehow, I don’t think so…..

  41. #41 Prometheus
    April 30, 2011

    Samantha Vimes (#37) asks:

    “Prometheus, did you take into account that a food calorie is actually a kilocalorie in any non-food energy measurement?”

    Yes. That’s why I used the “Cal” instead of “cal” for the units.

    There is a surprisingly large amount of energy in sunlight; the “trick” is efficiently converting it into a useable form, whether electricity or sugar.

    Remember, too, that the 10,000+ Calorie figure is the absolute maximum and represents loss-less conversion of all incident energy (between 280nm and 4000nm) landing on a surface perpendicular to the Sun’s rays on a cloudless day at high noon at perihelion at 37 degrees North latitude.

    Yojimbo’s tongue-in-cheek (or teeth-in-Big-Mac) comment points out the usual argument made by the “alt-reality” crowd. To them, “energy” is a mystical thing that can be anything they want it to be.

    Once you’ve rejected reality, there is no limit to what you can believe.

    Prometheus

  42. #42 augustine
    April 30, 2011

    Poodle Stomper

    Don’t worry, my evil big Pharma contacts and my evolution-agenda contacts can get me out of anything.

    No they want. They’ll throw you under the bus in the drop of a hat. You are expendable. Poodle stomping is not a politically correct recreational activity. Ask your buddy Micheal Vick.

  43. #43 Poodle Stomper
    April 30, 2011

    Silly Augie, you’re thinking of Pit Bull fighting. Poodle stomping is still a time honored American tradition as well as a great way to make cheap ketchup.

  44. #44 Sami
    April 30, 2011

    You know, call me crazy, but if I were developing a growing tolerance for looking directly at the sun, I think I’d pretty much assume that was because I was burning a hole in my retinae.

    And if eating and drinking is the price I have to pay for not burning holes in my eyes, well, I guess that’s that.

  45. #45 wheatdogg
    May 1, 2011

    If sun-eating really worked, George Hamilton would be a superhero by now.

  46. #46 Thomas
    May 1, 2011

    Ready. Fire. Aim. That’s what’s happening here right now. To make assumptions about a movie is the same as believing that ‘The King’s Speech’ is simply about stuttering. Or that ‘Ben Hurr’ was about a chariot race. Filmmakers are the experts of the art of the metaphor. That kind of complex thinking and understanding of the nature of film is not here on this blog.

  47. #47 Narad
    May 1, 2011

    That kind of complex thinking and understanding of the nature of film is not here on this blog.

    Best of the four reviews quoted at the official site:

    “I loved this film…I want to be a filmmaker and this film makes me want to be a filmmaker.”

    14 year old boy at film festival screening

    Sure, it may be a profound musing on the nature of irrational belief. Or it may be a load of utter credulity. Getting indignant over a perceived failure to properly revere “the nature of film” certainly isn’t going to settle the matter.

  48. #48 Orac
    May 1, 2011

    One notes that I did say that I had no idea whether the film treated the extravagant claims of health benefits due to sungazing credulously or not but that the promotional materials on the website and the trailer did not give me cause for optimism, nor did the “Is it possible?” tagline.

  49. #49 Dorothy
    May 1, 2011

    Half of all of Mozart’s work was done before the age 14. Additionally, do you know Arran Fernandez, Akiane and Akrit Jaswal?

    Moreover, this review was not listed in the above, which I think is the most telling:

    “This film is about more than sungazing; it’s about belief and how belief can shape our reality.” -California Film Institute

  50. #50 Narad
    May 1, 2011

    Half of all of Mozart’s work was done before the age 14. Additionally, do you know Arran Fernandez, Akiane and Akrit Jaswal?

    No. Neither do I much care for Mozart’s baroque stylings. Do you have a point? Have you met Thomas?

  51. #51 Krebiozen
    May 1, 2011

    “This film is about more than sungazing; it’s about belief and how belief can shape our reality.”

    Like how Mason’s belief in an utterly nutty idea led him to behave in a way that permanently damaged his eyes? Can his belief (or sungazing) reshape his retina back to health? I very much doubt it.

  52. #52 AR
    May 1, 2011

    “it’s about belief and how belief can shape our reality”

    Doesn’t mean it’s true.

    Assuming belief status matters so much to you though: This review is about ORAC’s beliefs that many of us share and allow to inform our world-views. Aren’t they privileged, on your view? Why are you criticizing ORAC? How dare you?

  53. #53 Alexis Cohen
    May 1, 2011

    All of these points in this conversation are interesting.
    Orac, I write this with respect.
    May I kindly send you a screener to preview?

  54. #54 Peter Sorcher
    May 2, 2011

    Hi Orac and All –

    Thanks for your post(s) regarding ‘Eat The Sun’. I’m the director of the film and I wanted to let you know that the film is the story of an ordinary guy who takes up this “ancient” practice of sungazing and documents his experiences with it. (Neither he nor I ever claimed that he discovered it.)

    Please note that it’s not a pro-sungazing film; we do show some of the negative effects that this practice can have and also expose some dramatic information about HRM, the self-styled sungazing proselytizer.

    During the course of making this film, I met many fascinating people – some of whom appeared to be experiencing very real physical sensations which they attributed to looking at the sun.

    Ultimately, the film is about belief and the power of belief on humans.

    It’ll be available on DVD on May 11th and premiering on the Documentary Channel on June 21st, the summer solstice, of course!

    Best,
    Peter Sorcher
    Director – Eat The Sun

  55. #55 Peter Sorcher
    May 2, 2011

    Hi Orac and All –

    Thanks for your post(s) regarding ‘Eat The Sun’. I’m the director of the film and I wanted to let you know that the film is the story of an ordinary guy who takes up this “ancient” practice of sungazing and documents his experiences with it. (Neither he nor I ever claimed that he discovered it.)

    Please note that it’s not a pro-sungazing film; we do show some of the negative effects that this practice can have and also expose some dramatic information about HRM, the self-styled sungazing proselytizer.

    During the course of making this film, I met many fascinating people – some of whom appeared to be experiencing very real physical sensations which they attributed to looking at the sun.

    Ultimately, the film is about belief and the power of belief on humans.

    It’ll be available on DVD on May 11th and premiering on the Documentary Channel on June 21st, the summer solstice, of course!

    Best,
    Peter Sorcher
    Director – Eat The Sun

  56. #56 jre
    May 2, 2011

    Mercola actually says that sun eating is possible

    Actually, I’m a bit surprised that Mercola was not mentioned earlier in this discussion. He posted a credulous description of sun-eating two years ago. It’s classic Mercola — a bunch of pseudoscience and hand-waving, hedged about with feeble disclaimers. If you follow the link, do not be alarmed by Mercola’s dropdown spam window. If you’re fast enough, you can right-click and save the source; if not, you can always enter a bogus email address.

  57. #57 Prometheus
    May 2, 2011

    Frankly, I don’t care if the film was promoting “sun eating” or de-bunking it. At issue are the claims made by the proponents of the practice, not a film review or some sort of “lit-crit” deconstruction.

    In truth, there are a lot of exceptionally gullible people in the world and some of them might see this film and think “I wonder if I could do that?”. If we can prevent even one retinal burn by pointing out that “sun eating” is rank nonsense, then we’ve done our “good deed” for the week.

    If Mr. Sorcher needs a demonstration of how belief can shape people’s “reality”, he need only look up “Jim Jones” and “Jonestown, Guyana” or “Heaven’s Gate”. Believing in utter nonsense rarely ends well.

    Prometheus

  58. #58 Diana
    May 2, 2011

    I am a proud sungazer and can tell you right now my retina has not burnt out. If anything my eyesight has improved!
    I find it interesting how you have judged something without trying it out for yourself and basing it on outdated science. Try it and see how amazing it makes you feel!

  59. #59 PGX Health
    May 3, 2011

    Tried it and I think I got sunburn on my eye! JK. I know sunlight is a good source of D but I think some people are taking it a bit far. It sounds like meditation but looking at the sun instead. Interesting…and a bit goofy. PGX Fiber

  60. #60 PGX Health
    May 3, 2011

    Tried it and I think I got sunburn on my eye! JK. I know sunlight is a good source of D but I think some people are taking it a bit far. It sounds like meditation but looking at the sun instead. Interesting…and a bit goofy. PGX Fiber

  61. #61 Narad
    May 3, 2011

    I find it interesting how you have judged something without trying it out for yourself

    It’s as though there should be a bingo card or something.

  62. #62 Militant Agnostic
    May 3, 2011

    I am a proud hitting myself on the head with a brick proponent and can tell you right now it has not affected my cognition.
    I find it interesting how you have judged something without trying it out for yourself and basing it on outdated science. Try it and see how amazing it makes you feel when you stop!

    Narad, with the reference to outdated science, I filled in 2 squares with Diana’s comment. I wonder if Diana is now able to get by without eating.

  63. #63 Dave W.
    May 3, 2011

    The G. K. Chesterton story mentioned earlier is “The Eye of Apollo,” which appears in The Innocence of Father Brown (original copyright date 1910), and can be read online here. The more that changes…

  64. #64 jre
    May 3, 2011

    I am a proud stabbing-myself-in-the-eyeball-with-a-shrimp-fork proponent, and can tell you right now that if anything my remaining eye has improved!
    I find it interesting that you criticize this without even trying it PGX shrimp forks.

  65. #65 Gutte
    May 4, 2011

    Well, if you do not believe the sun will not hurt you – don’t do it!
    Anyway, Being a Sun Gazer I look forward seeing the movie. People can think for themself, and if not – it should not punish people that can.
    We need people to think by them self, not running the status que beeing a good slave.
    I know you sue people for less in the USA – the manual diddent point out I could not dry my cat in the microwave… etc. (Sick stories of sueing for stupid things)

    It is like the drug war, hay I am a grown man – What I do with my life is my choice. So if I want a 6 hour spirituel journey on Ayahuasca(expansion of consciousness), insted of destroying my head with alcohol – I should be alowed! And hay, I actully feel alot better after an Ayahuasca journey, then I did before the journey started. Not like alcohol were it takes me 3 days to recover from the last trip as a caveman.

    Get alot of information out to the people insted and let them decide – we have a brain you know?

    With gratitude and love – Gutte

  66. #66 Beamup
    May 4, 2011

    Well, if you do not believe jumping off a cliff will not hurt you – don’t do it!

    Staring at the sun DOES hurt you. As documented here, it hurts sungazers. You may not have reached the threshold of detectable injury YET, but that’s doesn’t change the fact that it’s a dangerous practice which provides zero benefit.

  67. #67 Gutte
    May 4, 2011

    Mind over matter!

    You are made out of atoms right?

    So based on science atoms are 99,99999% nothing, so you as a person are mostly made out of nothing. The last 0,00001% of “solid matter” if you were collaps, you would not be bigger then a needle head.

    The truth is, not based on mainstream science, is that there is no solid matter – all things are in motion, waves – It’s all Energy!

    And mainstream science back this up, mostly not even knowing it.

    With gratitude and love – God

  68. #68 Beamup
    May 4, 2011

    Hilarious. And completely wrong – not a single statement you made is correct, aside from “you are made out of atoms.” Clearly, you have ZERO understanding of quantum mechanics.

  69. #69 jre
    May 4, 2011

    Gutte is right!
    Just as there are three component colours in white light, there are three entities in the Holy Trinity. This is because of harmonic law. harmonic law is encoded in the works of Shakespeare. The Aztecs knew that harmonic law is the governing law of the Universe. Just as there are five fingers on a human hand, there are five days in a working week. This is because of the cycle of electro-cosmic-atomic duality. the law of universal equality is encoded in the decimal expansion of pi. ALL modern social ills stem from the failure to recognise harmonic law. Eminent researchers throughout history (Maxwell, Maxwell, Newton, Velikovsky, etc.) agree that the law of universal equality is the cosmic principle behind all creation and yet it is virtually unheard of. This is because it has been RUTHLESSLY SUPPRESSED THROUGHOUT HISTORY.

    They altered the Bible to conceal the cosmic truth about vibrational theory. They changed the Great Pyramid’s height to destroy its astrological alignment. THEY don’t want anyone to know the cosmic secret of quantum reality wave physics. Galileo knew all about Nature’s law of electro-psychic justice. That is why the Black Lodge destroyed him. THEY destroyed Giordano Bruno because he knew too much. All books were altered to hide the SECRET of harmonic law. They altered the Bible to conceal the TRUTH about universal vector theory. They moved the Great Pyramid to destroy its geometric alignment. THEY destroyed Galileo because he knew too much.

    the COSMIC NATURAL CONSTANT is 64. only from this value can one derive the true orbits of the planets.

    END DRUG ADDICTION, FAMINE, ETC. — ADOPT GOVERNMENT BASED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF HARMONIC-PSYCHIC EQUALITY NOW!

  70. #70 Vicki
    May 4, 2011

    Based on this writing sample, jre is clearly on the inside track for a job at Dr. Bronner’s.

  71. #71 jre
    May 4, 2011

    Well … actually, I cheated.

  72. #72 Sauceress
    May 4, 2011

    The truth is, not based on mainstream science, is that there is no solid matter – all things are in motion, waves – It’s all Energy!

    ..there are five days in a working week. This is because of the cycle of electro-cosmic-atomic duality. the law of universal equality is encoded in the decimal expansion of pi.

    Come on in Gutte and jre. Make yourselves comfortable. Need some help with your straight jackets? How about a drop or two of lithium?

  73. #73 herr doktor bimler
    May 4, 2011

    Well played jre.

  74. #74 Sauceress
    May 4, 2011

    Bah! That’s what I get for a quick drop in! I thought those initials looked a little familiar.

  75. #75 lilady
    May 4, 2011

    Eat the Sun was reviewed by a film critic on May 1st, available at:

    filmcritic.com/reviews/2011/eat the sun

    Not really a glowing review…I think I’ll pass.

  76. #76 Militant Agnostic
    May 5, 2011

    @74

    The correct link for the review is:

    http://www.filmcritic.com/reviews/2011/eat-the-sun/

    @jre
    All-One! EXCEPTIONS? ABSOLUTE NONE!

  77. #77 Anders
    May 13, 2011

    “Come on in Gutte and jre. Make yourselves comfortable. Need some help with your straight jackets? How about a drop or two of lithium?”

    Il just stick with my colloidal silver, thank you – and turn blue like the Medical mafia say you do when taking it ;)

    Now the campaign of fear, could not have anything to do with the fact that it would cost the medical mafia billions? Colloidal silver works wounders – and guess what, someone (like me) did not turn blue!
    Havent had a flue in years – or any other “mainstream” sickness for that matter.

    Just don’t make the colloidal silver with salt!

    Think for yourself, and study hard – read all sides of the story and mayby awaken your third eye (A great detecter for bullshit)

    Now insted of talk the talk, why not try to walk the walk? Visdom is sometimes, and for most people today a matter of unlearning the things they have been programmed with there intire life. Sorry to say, but thats the truth.

    Anyway, you can do what you want – you are free to do anything you like.

    Im just telling it as it is – there is no one saying you need to believe it. But some part of you will know, and it awaits you conscieness to let go of the fear of letting the dominoes fall.

    Anyway – you have your place as any other thing :)

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God

  78. #78 Chris
    May 13, 2011

    Hmmm, “works wounders” is an interesting turn of phrase. Remember, unless you support your statements with actual verifiable evidence it will be assume you made up out of thin air.

  79. #79 Anders
    May 13, 2011

    I regard people on this plane of existens, as thinking individuels – if they want to know more then the information is out (Or inside them) there.

    I can’t do the job, of other individuels – only for myself. I am just a helping hand, I can’t walk the walk of another person.

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte aka God

  80. #80 Chris
    May 14, 2011

    My apologies. English is your second language. But that does not excuse the lack of supporting evidence.

    By the way, which God? There seem to be so many. It is not the one that will destroy this planet in one week, is it?

  81. #81 Gutte
    May 14, 2011

    If you see a thing from one angel, you are blind – if you see it from many, you begin to see!

    The one that looks, will find.

    God is – now on this plane of exitens we see us as individuels – but on a higher plane we are God (We are one), thereby there is no “we” really. You can call this source many things, God being one of them. On this plane, you could see this conversation as me talking to myself as you.

    This is tricky to get an understanding of, I know – and not really easy to put in words.

    We are all divine beings, but there is no we and never has been. (It is an illusion of this “real” world of a plane)

    If people understood, who would throw a rock after another person, knowing that they would only throw the rock after themself?

    We are all connectet – but there really is no we.

    The ego is one of things that are making us blind, but nature has the tools to help us in this manner. (Like Ayahuasca)

    Now if you have a big ego, and many has today – then you problely will have a bit of a struggle with it being on Ayahuasca. But it will guide you, help you to understand – and when the journey is over, you may have another look on things.

    Just don’t fight to much of giving the ego up, when going on the journey. When you pass that point – you will be giving access to many things.

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte aka God

  82. #82 Narad
    May 14, 2011

    if they want to know more then the information is out (Or inside them) there.

    So, is inside the same as outside, or is some information inside and some outside?

  83. #83 Gutte
    May 15, 2011

    Narad, the universe is within you – all the information outside can be found inside. Now the problem is that we don’t look inside as much, and the information that are outside can be easier to collect, from this time of peoples points of view.
    Left brainers have a harder time getting it, and we in todays vestern society, give mostly only treats to left brainers. Like our schools for one, they train your left brain, and forget mostly about the right.
    This restrain most people to live in a closed box there intire life.

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God

  84. #84 LW
    May 15, 2011

    Three jolly sailors from Blaydon-on-Tyne
    They went to sea in a bottle by Klein.
    Since the sea was entirely inside the hull
    The scenery seen was exceedingly dull.

    (from the Space Child’s Mother Goose.O

  85. #85 Narad
    May 15, 2011

    Narad, the universe is within you – all the information outside can be found inside. Now the problem is that we don’t look inside as much

    If the universe is within me, what’s with all this “we” business and other “planes of existence”?

  86. #86 Gutte
    May 15, 2011

    The universe of sight is just a small part of what is within you – I used it to make it easier to understand.

    Read my comments again from the beginning, if you do not understand – it’s okey, it’s alot of information to think about.

    It’s a journey of a lifetime – but a very interesting one.

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God

  87. #87 Narad
    May 15, 2011

    The universe of sight is just a small part of what is within you

    Oh, I understand it:

    Mind over matter!

    This is ontological mind-matter dualism that nonetheless wants mind to behave as a “more powerful” form of matter. Rank occultism, in other words. I was just curious why you would bother saying something like “the universe is within you,” which suggests a denial of the externality of relations and would make the whole thing pointless.

  88. #88 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 15, 2011

    Thou art god.

  89. #89 Gutte
    May 15, 2011

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a-fBx419rE&feature=player_embedded#at=198 :)

    It is hard to understand anything, if only you use your left brain. And the left brain is what society train – that helps keep you in box thinking.

    Thats why most people today, are left brainers – but you can do something about that.

    I myself are a right brainer, and I know for a left brainer some of the things I tell are diffucult to understand, because the left brain have a very hard time compute (decode) the data. (Thereby can’t understand)
    It was never meant for humans that we leave out the right brain – but we have for the most part in todays society.

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God

  90. #90 Chris
    May 15, 2011

    Actually, you are out of your mind.

  91. #91 Narad
    May 15, 2011

    Thou art god.

    “Tat tvam asi” is a harder row to hoe, after all.

  92. #92 Narad
    May 15, 2011

    Actually, you are out of your mind.

    No, I’d say it’s just really sloppy. Think of Tim Leary over the years, but asserting it all at the same time.

  93. #93 Gutte
    May 16, 2011

    Thank you, Il take that as a compliment. I do not know Tim Leary, but I better look into that.

    Anyway, mayby it is not your time for awakening – maybe you are waiting for another life to do that. But you are beautyfull as you are, when it is time – it will happen.

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God

  94. #94 Gutte
    May 16, 2011

    Thank you!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk7mGoKD2sg&feature=related

    Words (music) are just vibrations – This is some great vibrations!

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God

  95. #95 Vicki
    May 16, 2011

    “We are as gods, and might as well get good at it.”

    And that includes using both sides of your brain. Fortunately, just about everyone does. Even people who have had the corpus callosum severed to treat severe seizures use both sides, though the sides no longer communicate well.

    The different sides of the brain do some different things, and some overlapping things. Gutte, if you weren’t using your left brain, you wouldn’t be verbal enough to be posting here. I know I’m using both sides of my brain from the simple fact that I am touch typing with both hands.

  96. #96 Gutte
    May 16, 2011

    I was never saying I did not use the left side of the brain. But my right side is the one that is used most. Now both sides have it’s own frequency, but if you can tune both to be at the same frequency – that would be the most ideal state you can get in. This is something I am working on, using tools like meditation.
    If you never train your right side, but train the left – well, if you running alot, but don’t do any swimming, what do you think you will be good at?

    It’s the same thing with the brain – you will become a left brain thinker for the most. And then seeing the world from a left side perspektiv most of the time. You will have a really hard time to understand the bigger picture, not having access to a right side perspektiv of the world… because you never trained it.

    We are going around in our daily life with a super computer, but we have forgotten this – and are now only using small parts of the “software” in our life.

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God

  97. #97 JayK
    May 16, 2011

    We only use 10% of our brains 12% of the time during the 70% of waking hours. If you were to use phytoplankton to energize your k-chakra while watching Pink Floyd play “White Rabbit” you will awaken the Kraken in all of us.

    Ramen.

  98. #98 squirrelelite
    May 16, 2011

    Actually I prefer George Benson’s version of White Rabbit more. My endorphin receptors get a bigger charge.

  99. #99 Narad
    May 17, 2011

    Anyway, mayby it is not your time for awakening – maybe you are waiting for another life to do that.

    That’s a good one. Take 500 mics of Sandoz and call me when they untie you from the tree.

  100. #100 Gutte
    May 18, 2011

    http://www.repeatmyvids.com/watch?v=Pk7mGoKD2sg&feature=player_embedded&kmdom=youtube#at=139

    When the truth is found to be lies…

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God

  101. #101 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2011

    @Gutte,

    I already have Somebody To Love. And, we’ve taken advantage of modern medicine to take care of her eyes (she has side effects of diabetes) and ensure she can still see with them.

    Why should she risk burning them out and losing the benefit of all that hard work staring at the sun hoping for a tiny bit of energy?

    It’s much simpler and easy to skip the sunburn and just eat food. And I’m looking forward to cooking some very good food for her tomorrow.

  102. #102 Chris
    May 18, 2011

    squirrelelite, the sun is out and I am going to use it to do better things for my health. I am going to bringing out some of the seedlings I have been growing and placing them in some dirt. Using the power of the sun to change water and carbon dioxide into delicious food (with oxygen as a bonus) is much healthier than just staring at it.

  103. #103 squirrelelite
    May 18, 2011

    Sounds like a good plan, Chris!

  104. #104 Gutte
    May 18, 2011

    The system is made so you can’t see the dark sides – try reading The Medical Mafia by a former docter. The degree was of course taking from her after the release of the book, the only thing she really wanted was to get the truth out.

    Anyway I don’t expect many of you to understand, the system is made to keep you in an illusion – and it takes time to break this spell and mayby even some luck.

    squirrelelite, anyway now having diabetes – try googling Stevia and read about it.

    Remember I am only here to help, and be a light for others in this plane of an exitens.

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God *Flower Parti in Denmark*

  105. #105 JayK
    May 18, 2011

    Guylaine Lanctot was under investigation for making false claims against medical knowledge long before the book came out. From cancer to vaccines, she embraced woo and turned her back on scientific proof, harming many of her patients and their families. That you think she was worth praise is enough to say you’re not helping, you’re just an egotistic troll.

  106. #106 Gutte
    May 18, 2011

    Of course the system turned on her – how many billions dollars do you think there even is in this thing?

    How many slaves do you think work in this game, to get there payroll each month defending what only they have been programmed in the system to know?

    There is money in sick people and keeping them sick, and of course there is an interest in killing people as well. But you need the bigger picture of the puzzle to understand, not only looking at one piece at a time.

    There is no business in healthy people, think about it. Healthy people is not good business!

    How much will people do for money today? (Just paper)

    Think, Think, just try start to think for yourself – start to unlearn the programs they have put in your head your intire life!

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God *Flower Parti in Denmark*

  107. #107 Gutte
    May 19, 2011

    The only truth you find when not thinking yourself – is the fronts they have put up for you. This is were you programming goes for the “truth”, and if this is the only place you look – you will never find it.

    Orthodox cancer cures by the way – Chemo (poison), Radiation (Burning) or what about operation (removing parts of your body)…
    (A part of the Medical mafia by the way, money down there pockets)

    Now, if you want to keep at your “truth”, that is your choice – Il just keep to my “alternatives” turning to nature.

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God *Flower Parti in Denmark*

  108. #108 Narad
    May 19, 2011

    If you’re G-d (as, I presume, everybody else is, too, if the usual pattern holds), why would you think that “the system” is anything other than a direct reflection of your very mind in the first place?

  109. #109 Gutte
    May 19, 2011

    That is a very good question Narad, very nice indeed Narad.

    Your beginning to ask the right questions.

    What you point out is a conflict inside myself, beeing projectet to the outside. Thereby the problem is not outside in the system, but inside me.

    This could easily be true! (That is why I use tools like meditation for one, to fix inner conflicts and grow)

    But beeing inside me, and beeing one – the conflict must be found in many people on this plane of exitens. (This I am not certain off)

    There is much to be found out, and to this day – I can’t give you a direct or better answer.

    But beautyfull question Narad – you made my heart warm!

    Peace, Love and Unity – Gutte AKA God *Flower Parti in Denmark*

  110. #110 Composer99
    May 19, 2011

    I’ll take self-referential solipsism for $400, Alex.

  111. #111 Denice Walter
    May 19, 2011

    @ Narad : that is so friggen great that you have inspired me to mangle Bishop Berkeley:

    *the reality of perceived objects cannot be corporeal but resides in the perception of g-d. Our ideas are to our minds as Nature in its entirety is to g-d’s mind. The existence of things lies in g-d’s perception*.

    Nice job if you can get it, I suppose.

  112. #112 squirrelelite
    May 19, 2011

    @Gutte,

    My wife uses Stevia as a sweetener. It substitutes for sugar and helps her blood sugar under control, but it’s only part of the whole program which includes careful blood sugar monitoring and scientifically tested medicines.

    Can you cite any studies published in peer reviewed journals showing that either gazing directly at the sun (which is what the blog is about) or stevia are actually effective in reversing glaucoma or any other eye damage?

  113. #113 Alexis Cohen
    June 21, 2011

    But, still. Whether you are pro-sungazing (I’m not) or against it, an interesting movie to watch:
    http://blogs.indiewire.com/spout/archives/2011/06/21/eat_the_sun_review

  114. #114 noyb
    August 22, 2011

    Maybe you smug jackasses should be aware of the fact that sungazing is only done either during the first hour of sunrise or the last hour of sunset.
    To the jackass that “burnt his retina”…guess you’re not as smart as you think you are. Like most of you self-congratulatory jackasses making comments.
    And fuck you in advance to any smarmy comments made afterwards, which I won’t be reading anyways, because you’re all very annoying.

  115. #115 Uncle dave
    October 17, 2011

    Saw the film. Interestingly and to back up the creator of the film it does appear that he does visit an opthamologist or optomotrist in the film that performs a number of eye test on him after he has stared at the sun for prolonged periods.
    Doctor or practitioner advises him that he has retinal damage (based on some eye imaging test done with intraveneous contrast medicine or something) and shows him the results.
    He also has a film crew follow HRM around and about midway or 2/3 thru the film they uncover evidence and confront HRM with the fact that he ate at a Indian cuisine restuarant after making claims to not eat solid food.

    Unusual film but he does show some objectivity; other than the fact that he decides to stare at the sun as well. Bad move dude…
    Dude why do you think your pupil dialates? because your retina likes all that rediation?

  116. #116 webster chiropractic
    December 23, 2011

    Definitely agree with you on this. For me it was kind of like smoking a cigarette. Tried two puffs and coughed and said ” Don’t get it.”
    The same was true when I looked at the sun for a couple of seconds, ” Don’t get it.”

    Enough said

  117. #117 Brad
    February 6, 2012

    Hummm I scanned the article and many of the speculative comments. Did any of you really try it? NO!!!! DUH! just a bunch of mental crackpots masterbating their mind, thinking their smart wearing the “Emperor’s new clothes”. Try it for more that 2 seconds, follow the simple safe protocols for 3 weeks and see if you can get your mind out of the way and then evaluate the results you get. I get put off by speculative Randi’s beating their gums that won’t even take pee and see if that relieve the pressure they are feeling.
    I did like the NASA comments. But did anybody check out to see if HRM was or was not studies by NASA? NO again!
    Counterpoint:
    Is NASA all that credible? humm, remember “Tang” that sugary orange Koolaid with vitimin C that was “Better than Orange juice endorsed by NASA” .
    Science; the new religion with the same old dogma!

  118. #118 Chris
    February 6, 2012

    Brad:

    Hummm I scanned the article and many of the speculative comments.

    And how many months did it take you to scan an article? Were you blinded by staring at the sun?

  119. #119 Bronze Dog
    February 6, 2012

    “Try it for yourself!”

    Yeah, like we haven’t heard that old marketing tactic before. You’re the arrogant one, Brad. Your suggestion that we try it for ourselves is built on the assumption that we’re just as arrogant as you are.

    Unlike alties, skeptics know that our self-perception of bodily health is easily prone to error and misattribution of cause and effect. Humans are very adept at fooling themselves. We know this. We favor rigorous scientific studies specifically because they’re designed to account for and counteract human failings. We have no delusions of godhood, therefore we have no reason to trust a biased, non-randomized, uncontrolled “study” with a test group of 1 member, even if we are that member.

    So, in short, Brad, either you cite good scientific evidence like every advocate of a treatment should, or acknowledge that you have no good evidence. If you don’t have good evidence, you shouldn’t assume it works.

  120. #120 different brad
    March 28, 2012

    Interesting documentary. Can’t believe people are seriously debating purported health benefits of staring directly into the sun on a regular basis.
    Then again

  121. #121 clonus
    May 2, 2012

    Just wanted to say that if you haven’t seen the movie you should, because it ends on a hilairous/sad scene where they catch HRM eating.

  122. #122 taksun
    May 4, 2012

    You all could be compared to the same mass of people who didn’t believe that a man could go to the moon or the theory that the Earth wasn’t flat. Ancient civilizations thousands of years ago who walked the Earth before us practice this and they were far more advanced and intelligent then we are today. What you fail to realize is that God gave us all of the natural resources of the Earth and Sun we need to survive, be healthy and nurture from it. Not man made drugs, process foods, chemically polluted bottled water, and polluted air. I bet you praise your doctors everyday when the only thing they do is patch you up after the fact give you drugs and collect there bonus money in the end. What about doctors that teach you how to heal ? Well then they would be out of business wouldn’t they ?

    It wouldn’t surprise me if you are that group of people hired and paid from corporations to make negative comments like this to sway people away from something that could be the truth.

    Bottom line is how can you dispute or deny something that you haven’t even tried or tested yourself ? You all are just going by your own personal bias opinion without any facts to back it up… I bet you still believe there is no cure for cancer or aids do you ?

  123. #123 Chris
    May 4, 2012

    taksun:

    Ancient civilizations thousands of years ago who walked the Earth before us practice this and they were far more advanced and intelligent then we are today.

    Citation needed. Real archeological evidence not links to stories.

    taksun:

    God gave us all of the natural resources of the Earth and Sun we need to survive, be healthy and nurture from it.

    By the hammer of Thor, which God?

    And why is the average lifespan now twice what it was 150 years ago?

  124. #124 Militant Agnostic
    May 4, 2012

    You all could be compared to the same mass of people who didn’t believe that a man could go to the moon or the theory that the Earth wasn’t flat.

    And how did we get to the moon? We did it by using the same materialist, empirical, “reductionist” science that tells us that sun eating is a load of bollocks. We certainly didn’t do it by taking advice from gurus or myster mongering conmen as I prefer to call them.

    Ancient civilizations thousands of years ago who walked the Earth before us practice this and they were far more advanced and intelligent then we are today.

    If they were so intelligent and advanced, why are they not still around and why are there no traces of their existence?

    You all are just going by your own personal bias opinion without any facts to back it up

    I didn’t notice a lot of facts in your little rant, cupcake.

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