Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In the past, when I encountered something that was mind-bendingly irrational, I used to use the phrase, "Now I've seen everything". I do my best to avoid that phrase now. Why? Because I know that no matter how much this particular thing might seem like the most bizarre thing in the universe, something else is eventually going to come along that will out-weird it. And sure enough, just when I thought I'd heard of the strangest theory ever, I googled the word a few hours later and came up with two more theories that made it seem almost normal by comparison.

Exhibit A. The dinner conversation that our group of friends had during our Memorial Day get-together. Now, if you've read any amount of my blog, by now you've surely realized that we are, shall I say, a unique group of people. The sane people of the world, *if* there are any (which I doubt), might even consider us all to be a bit eccentric (Understatement of the Century). So garden-variety eccentricity generally wouldn't cause any of us, who have a lifetime of experience of marching to our own personal drumbeat, to even raise an eyebrow.

But what I'm offering up as Exhibit A is not material that any of us, personally, provided to the conversation. It's the theory that Karla explained to us. She quoted someone who posted on one of the internet message boards that she frequents, and said that the poster of the commentary is a fruitarian.

The poster is a what?

The shortest possible explanation of "fruitarian" is that these are people who eat only the fruits that grow on plants, because the plant itself need not be destroyed in order to obtain food from it. (And no, they don't avail themselves of eggs or dairy products, even though the animal needn't be killed in order to obtain those particular food items.)

For kicks, when I got home, I googled "fruitarian" just to see what would appear. Upon reading the search results, one of my first reactions was, "There's a whole realm of insanity of which I was hitherto unaware." Interestingly, one site debunking fruitarian claims says that the biggest gurus of fruitarianism WERE NOT following their own dietary advice, but that the people who DID follow their teachings to the letter ran into numerous medical issues.

In my reading, I also ran across a couple of new words. For example, there's the word "liquidarian", which I will offer as Exhibit B: the diet that consists solely of the consumption of juices. I couldn't help but wonder how long a person could remain out of the emergency room if they attempted to follow that regimen.

But then I hit upon the pinnacle of all pseudoscientific insanity. Exhibit C: Breatharianism.

This would be the regimen of being nourished only by light and air, as sufficiently enlightened souls are able to do. "Permanent non-eating, inedia or breatharianism are states which usually appear as a side effect of expanding one's sphere of the Consciousness.

I think they have it backward. I think the permanent state of inedia (non-eating) causes the side effect of expanding one's sphere of consciousness so much, that the person shuffles off this mortal coil and joins the choir invisible. Of course, then the person is not only permanently non-eating, they're also permanently non-breathing. Oh, and permanently non-living.

People aspiring to turn themselves into human air ferns. Un-freaking-believable. If they had anything resembling a self-image, they'd realize that in the REAL natural world (and not the pseudoscientific fantasy one their mind resides in), living beings actually USE RESOURCES. They eat. They drink. They sometimes eat meat and consume an entire plant, not just the fruit and seeds that grew on it. And then their, ah, digestive output can be used as fertilizer to go and sustain something ELSE to live.

Instead, these people apparently don't even think they deserve more than light and air, and by gosh I can't wait until I hit on the philosophy of the group that tries taking it one step farther. That will be the ones that have an even more enlightened consciousness than the inedia squad. Surely there are people who think that they can expand their consciousness even past the level of the breatharians, to the point where they don't even need to breathe to survive. What would they call themselves? No-air-ians? Anoxians? My mind just boggles at the very thought.

Then I really WILL have seen everything.