In the Beginning There Was Light

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In The Beginning There Was Light is a documentary film by Austrian director P. A. Straubinger on the subject of inedia. Straubinger visits several people who supposedly nourish themselves with "light" and tries to find possible explanations on how inedia might work. P. A. Straubinger worked on inedia for ten years. This led to the film’s production, which took five years. The film premiered on September 17, 2010, in Austria and Switzerland. "In The Beginning There Was Light" was shown all over the world and became one of the most successful feature documentaries of Austrian cinema history. [1]

Plot[edit]

P.A. Straubinger first encounters inedia in a television documentary about Nicholas of Flüe, a 15th-century ascetic who was reported to have lived 19 years without eating.[2] Later, Straubinger starts research on the internet and subsequently has the desire to meet people practising inedia. He travels through different countries and interviews people who claim to nourish themselves with light, vitality, Prana or Qi, among them Jasmuheen, Michael Werner and "Mataji" Prahlad Jani. Straubinger also consults different people from esotericism, medicine and science and looks for explanatory models for inedia. Straubinger conveys that for him, the materialistic world view of modern science falls short.[3][4]

Background[edit]

Director P.A. Straubinger sees the public discussion about Breatharianism reduced to a false dilemma caused by black and white thinking, preconceived opinions and strong believe systems . According to his research most Breatharians admit to have a calorie intake to some extent ranging from a few drops of lemon in the drinking water to occasional meals. [5] [6] This would not object the idea of non-physical nutrition, like the direct intake of Qi or Prana, as described in ancient, eastern medical traditions. Straubinger claims to have found scientific support for these ideas in high ranking scientific journals like Nature, that conclude that the classical understanding of the human metabolism is at least incomplete. [7] [8]

The Nature article „How much food does man require ?“ states: „We believe that the energy requirements of man are not known. Paradoxically, we conclude this from results of increasingly sophisticated studies.“ And further: „The results of careful studies in a number of countries suggest that some people are able to be healthy and active on energy intakes which, by current standards, would be regarded as inadequate.“ [9][10]

Straubinger sees even stronger indications that man, is at least partially, nourished by an unknown source in a peer-reviewed study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that pointed to a crucial discrepancy between the theoretical amount of energy produced by metabolism (measuring the consumption of oxygen and production of carbon dioxide) and the actual measurable amount of energy produced by the body. This discrepency was up to 23 percent, the so called "unmeasured energy“, meaning that in some cases for nearly a quarter of the energy produced in normal test persons, the scientists had no explanation at all. The study finally states: „It appeared that the greater the food deficit, the larger was the unmeasured energy.“ [11] [12]

P.A. Straubingers draws the conclusion that all humans are „living on light“ to a certain degree - some more, some less. [13][14] In this context outstanding examples like the Prahlad Jani Case Study are more conceivable to him. [15] [16] [17]He sees the tendency of critics to dismiss this kind of research as a result of preconceived opinions and "negative believing" covered as "skepticism". [18][19] [20] [21]Straubinger sees exceptional cases like Prahlad Jani just as a much stronger calling for science to leave behind old models of thinking and open up to new fields of research. [22] [23]


Cultural impact[edit]

Due to its commercial success, especially in the German speaking countries, "In The Beginning There Was Light" was discussed in the mainstream media on a broad basis and received enthusiastic acclaim as well as harsh criticism[24][25] In the talk show "Menschen bei Maischberger" in Germany´s National Television Das Erste [26] and two TV-discussions in the Austrian National Television ORF critics warned that the film could motivate people to stop eating. [27] Director P.A. Straubinger explained that this would be a complete misunderstanding of his film. He repeatedly stated that he does not want to motivate anybody to stop eating but he would advocate eating consciously without asserting any particular nutritional ideology. The only goal of his film would be to question the predominating, mechanistic-materialistic understanding of the human body and nature in general, and to motivate scientists to open up and do further research in the field of mind-matter interaction[28] Concerning alleged misunderstandings, Straubinger points out that he shows in his film not only the tragic cases of starvation related to the so- called "Breatharian Process", communicated by the Australien author Jasmuheen, but he also features protagonists and experts who explicitly speak out not to make dangerous self experiments or try a breatharian lifestyle out of "spiritual ambition".[29] In Switzerland, according to the national newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, a woman who saw the film attempted to live on sunlight alone, and died in January 2012.[30] In reference to the Tages-Anzeiger article, the responsible state attorney, who investigated the death of the woman, stated that no third party could be made responsible for the death of the woman and an adequate causality between the film and the death could be definitely excluded. It was not even investigated if the woman actually saw the documentary. The Official Website calls articles that implicate a responsibility of "In The Beginning There Was Light" for the woman´s death, a hoax. [31]

Awards and Festivals[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.amanfangwardaslicht.at/inhalt.html
  2. ^ Heath, Pamela Rae (17 February 2011). Mind-Matter Interaction: A Review of Historical Reports, Theory and Research. McFarland. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-7864-5668-0. 
  3. ^ http://www.amanfangwardaslicht.at/
  4. ^ http://www.kino-zeit.de/filme/am-anfang-war-das-licht
  5. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/breatharian-meals.html
  6. ^ http://www.feng-shui-schule.ch/pdf/straubinger_am%20anfang%20war%20das%20licht.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/the-calorie-myth.html
  8. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/living-on-light--.html
  9. ^ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v242/n5397/abs/242418a0.html
  10. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/the-calorie-myth.html
  11. ^ http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/33/6/1287.full.pdf
  12. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/scientific-proof.html
  13. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/breatharian-meals.html
  14. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/living-on-light--.html
  15. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/prahlad-jani.html
  16. ^ http://www.sudhirneuro.org/files/mataji_case_study.pdf
  17. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/the-calorie-myth.html
  18. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/prahlad-jani.html
  19. ^ http://www.sudhirneuro.org/files/mataji_case_study.pdf
  20. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0u6eJB9GLY
  21. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2010/may/18/prahlad-jani-india-sunshine
  22. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/prahlad-jani.html
  23. ^ http://www.feng-shui-schule.ch/pdf/straubinger_am%20anfang%20war%20das%20licht.pdf
  24. ^ http://www.feng-shui-schule.ch/pdf/straubinger_am%20anfang%20war%20das%20licht.pdf
  25. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/controversy.html
  26. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmyxhGAsb0U
  27. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hNmwry_uGs
  28. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EejvC745_QA
  29. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/the-joy-of-food.html
  30. ^ * Associated Press
  31. ^ http://www.lightdocumentary.com/breatharian-death.html
  32. ^ http://www.filmundkino.at/fileadmin/dateien/Praedikate2010.pdf
  33. ^ http://www.film.at/golden_und_austria_tickets_vergeben/detail.html?cc_detailpage=full
  34. ^ http://www.cosmic-cine.com/de/medienpartner/media-archiv/2011
  35. ^ http://arkiv.biff.no/filmbase/2010/in_the_beginning_there_was_light.html
  36. ^ http://www.filmfest-muenchen.de/profil/filmfest-highlights/highlights-2010/filme-2010-(1)/liste-der-filme-im-programm.aspx
  37. ^ http://nff.triqle.eu/am-anfang-war-das-licht-beginning-there-was-light?theme=widget
  38. ^ http://www.afc.at/jart/prj3/afc/main.jart?rel=de&reserve-mode=active&content-id=1361890881425&print_mode=yes&artikel_id=
  39. ^ http://www.vukovarfilmfestival.com/vff5/hr/program/film/21/
  40. ^ http://theawarenessfestival.wix.com/awarenessfestival#!selections/c20yh

External links[edit]