In know that I know nothing – My personal approach to “LIGHT”

My much-debated documentary film “In the Beginning There Was Light” means more to me than just a film project. It is a part of my life and describes my personal development on a meta level over a period of fifteen or twenty years, from someone who used to have fixed, academically oriented views and a strictly mechanistic-materialistic view of the world into someone who can marvel, in the best sense of that word, and who knows that he knows nothing.

Curiosity turned into film
Over many years I have filmed hundreds of hours of material without knowing what will happen to it. I did this out of personal interest, curiosity and passion because this crazy theme excited me more and more.
Insofar  critics that call my film is a “pseudo documentary”—in other words a fictional work that is illustrated using a documentary style—could not be further from the truth.  “In The Beginning There Was Light” is filmed research—a documentary could hardly be more honest and true to life.
The theme of “living on light” a.k.a. “Breatharianism” has only ever been a thematic anchor, one aspect among many, that I have pursued as a way of investigating the mysteries of life, although admittedly it has been a spectacular one which has upset many people.
When I think of the strength of the reactions to it, I see that I have instinctively chosen the topic well. I want to stress out that my film does not claim nor does it encourage individuals to believe that you can or should live without physical food.  On the contrary – I continue warning people to embark on any dangerous experimentation involving prolonged renunciation of eating or drinking.
“In The Beginning There Was Light” is not about eating or not eating – it is about questioning the prevailing mechanistic-materialistic worldview that ist dominating our world today. 

The message hits the mark — hate and enthusiasm
Of course I have been happier about the countless enthusiastic reactions and the positive feedback in letters and mails than I have about the often aggressive and ignorant criticisms in newspapers and social media. But I have come to learn that such massive rejection only happens when a message hits the mark. I admit that at some point or other, I lost control of the public debate.
The hysterical cries of ignorants who do not understand the topic drowned out my qualifications and reservations—the threat from the “dangerous and obscure film about breatharianism” seemed to be bigger.
It was ironically journalists from the so-called quality press who were convinced of the “dangerous idiocy” of this “manipulative concoction” who consciously or unconsciously turned conjectures into facts and gratefully accepted all the snippets of gossip from the internet, even when they were anonymous, wrongly cited or freely invented.

Lessons about the ignorance
I have subscribed to the Austrian quality newspaper Der Standard, for example, almost from the day of its inauguration and in the end I was astonished just how much ignorance a science editor from this supposedly open-minded medium displayed when writing about my film, all because he seemed to have been shaken out of his own natural convictions.
But at least I was given the right to reply in the Standard, and I have written many more position statements and responses since.
Three years later, when the film was being broadcast on TV, a different Standard editor asked me to write a new response to the accusations leveled by skeptics.  I explained to him in great detail how data was fudged and internet rumors were represented as facts in order to discredit the subject and the film.  When I read the article, I see that none of my responses were reflected there, and instead there were copies of extracts from Straubinger interviews taken from the internet to support the narrative of the article, and my well-documented information was ignored.
Finally, a Swiss journalist even tried to make “In The Beginning There Was Light” responsible for the tragic death of a woman, although this is factually and legally wrong. And although the relevant authority in Switzerland has also confirmed this, the story can be found from Wikipedia to Fox News online “all over the internet”. (In 2018 a similarly constructed story appeared on NDR—my german blog article on this is here)
All in all, the “light” controversy has been at times unpleasant for me personally, but it has been very instructive, showing how public opinion is created and how very different the facts of a case can appear when you take the time to get into a subject properly with first-hand informations.

Wikipedia and the “Taliban of half knowledge”
I have learned from the Wikipedia article on my film that anonymous administrators decide which sources are reputable in relation to controversial themes (e.g. blogs by skeptics) and which are considered not reputable and get rejected (e.g. scientific journals which question the classical view of mainstream science). I learned how this warped selection transmits a correspondingly warped picture and contradicts the original principles of Wikipedia in order to promote a particular perspective or belief  as if it was the whole truth. 
Journalists often carry out a fact check on Wikipedia just because it is quick and easy, and that is how biased, wrong and incomplete information is often turned into public opinion. 
I very quickly decided to spare my nerves and my time by refusing to invest any more energy in this “religious war with the Taliban of half knowledge” as a colleague of mine sarcastically put it.  Instead, I have decided to publish my research materials and my own perspective on things to make them accessible to people who have a genuine interest in them.
In the controversy section of this  website I deal for example with cases that prompted controversial discussions such as Yogi Prahlad Jani, the Sungazer Hira Ratan Manek and Jasmuheen, and I have responded to the skeptics’ criticisms with first hand information from my own research on location. Here you can find many more articles to clear up misunderstandings and provide additional information to help people gain a more complete understanding of the subject. 

Belief or Skepticism
The bottom line is that I am certain of one thing—there is no  reason to say that the phenomenon of non-caloric nourishment  has been “disproved dozens of times”—quite the opposite. 
These overblown claims come from people who are supposedly skeptics, or better “negative believers” who have never dealt with the material in any detail. 
In fact, scientists in nutritional physiology and metabolic research have known since the 1970s that classical calorie theory is not tenable, and they have published studies on this point. (Source: Nature)
Other scientific studies from the 1980s have clearly proven and even quantified this delta between the caloric energy intake and the actual energy expenditure. This so called “unmeasured energy” cannot be explained away as range of experimental error and questions the idea that we just live on calories on a fundamental level. (Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).

Truth is the daughter of time
To what extent and how long “living on light” works is still an open question. Only Prahlad Jani himself can tell whether he has really eaten nothing and drunk nothing for decades—and I cannot make any judgment about that. What is clear to me is that the idea we only live on calories, the “calorie myth” is a concept from the 18th century that has run its course, but still lives on in the minds of the mainstream.
I am convinced that the phenomenon of non-caloric nourishment in human beings is authentic and that we can all to a certain extent “live on light”, some people more, and others less.  It is the “light of life” that fascinates me, the wonder of life energy, of living nature which is omnipresent, but which we do not understand at all, even if some in the classical scientific community refuse to accept this. 
My intention is not in the least to motivate someone to “stop eating”, but I want to question an ideology, a belief framework, which under the guise of science is being presented to us as absolute truth. 
Truth is the daughter of time, as the saying goes—and time is on the side of my film and the questions that are thrown up in it. Apart from that, “In The Beginning There Was Light” still acts like a magnet for me, constantly attracting hints and puzzle pieces towards to make the picture gradually more and more complete. And the more I learn the more I realize how little I know.

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