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By Tradition
by Lne
Citation:   Lne. "By Tradition: An Experience with Fasting (exp50428)". May 3, 2006.


I come from an eastern mediterreanean country, Greece, with a christian orthodox dogma. Orthodox church is older than the catholic but generally, we are quite. Not much fuzz about sin and confession, mostly about love. No salvation in deprivation, salvation in generocity. For the orthodox human is a divine creature, not a dirty sinner. I've come to realize that there is a fundamental difference in the way fasting is percieved in the west, not only christianity.

Anyway, people of the old times who knows, maybe even 1500 yrs before, understood the process of fasting by experience. So the idea of fasting came after careful observations on what substances do to our orgsanisms. People in the past had definetely 'cleaner' organisms and therefore had the opportunity to observe any changes in their bodies that may occured by eating certain food.

I am a biologist myself and I see that modern science has explained the way fasting is working on our brains. It is stupid to believe that blood may unleash carnivorous insticts on an animal, yet that does not apply to human. Even if baked, it is almost sure that blood has its effect on our insticts, and definetely affects the biochemistry of our brains. That applies to eggs too in my opinion. Eating an egg, no matter if you are a human or an animal is a form of predation against some species of a bird, if you think about it.

Also, mother nature has made sure that milk, that is, baby food has mild tranquilizers to keep the baby sleeping easier. We know this by experience, if you drink milk before bed you'll have a nicer nap. That is, apart of blood, milk also changes the biochemistry of our brains, in a nice way even. Dairie products have also this effect.

Going back to what I was saying about the perception of fasting, where I live, in Greece we do 40 days of fasting before Easter. It starts with the carnival, when I am totally aloud to eat meat (carni vale, eat meat in italian) and then I stop milk, dairies,eggs,fish and meat. Those days people generally eat beans, lentils, vegetables, nuts and fruits. I am allowed to eat any seafood that does not bleed when cut. That is squid, cattlefish, octapus mostly, but I can even eat lobster and crab.

Denying certain food is difficult enough, I don't have to starve myself. God respects the body he made for the human. That's why Christ was healing people and feeding crouds. He understand the needs of the body I believe, doesn't want us to torture ourselves just to show we love him.

To describe the experience of fasting is difficult. As the days pass by my head feels more... firm. I have visuals rarely, a strong sensation of self-awareness like with lsd. Even the way I interact with things changes. I've seen a fasting man talking to a... huge spider in our student's house bathroom. He begs the spider to leave the room because he has been fasting for 30 days, have eaten no blood or milk, and is a shame to have to kill an animal now. The strangest thing is that, without been actually threaten, the spider slowly moved towards the window and left. Interesting I think :)

I'm into lsd since I was 16, that is, 12 yrs ago and still love it. Apart of dancing and loving, I like spirituality too. And I like my fasting, I do it traditionally most Easters. I started when I became 18, not before, because it would be meaningless. Children should not think of God too much, only the basics and generally, just be happy.

Last year I had a break, I wanted the thing to have a meaning when done and not just because Easter was coming. But I'm doing it again this year :)

Fasting can be an LSD like experience, but it has to be accompanied by relevant thoughts :) The little miracle of feeling a pure and strong mind in your head does not happen only with diet.

An interesting observation: Easter night is the night when I eat lamb (symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus) and I am allowed to eat again eggs and milk. The first time I ever fasted, I tried cheese, to see the difference. I immediately felt dizzy. Fermented milk has a strange effect on a 'clean' brain: like taking a long toke from a spliff while on lsd :P

Deprivation is good but is not the way to be better, just to check that even with little you are going to be ok and behave nice. A praying monk can survive on nothing, a working person has to not push fasting too much or will get sick eventually. Fasting is an excellent experience, as long as it doesn't turn to a self torture, in my humble opinion.

Exp Year: 2005ExpID: 50428
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: May 3, 2006Views: 11,270
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Fasting (178), Ritual (129) : Personal Preparation (45), Retrospective / Summary (11), Various (28)

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