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Fasting?

I've never understood this concept. 

What is the point?

What is to be gained by denying bodily needs (such as nourishment)? 

Why would a deity ask this of someone? 

Why would a person choose to suffer FOR their deity? 

(Inspired by this Question)

 
MamaK88

Asked by MamaK88 at 1:42 PM on Apr. 22, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 33 (62,090 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Misconceptions about fasting have been around a long time. In the book of Isaiah we read that the people fasted as a work to somehow influence God, but simultaneously went around living selfishly and out of harmony with Him. So God corrects them and tells them that real fasting is not mere denying oneself food, but to say no to selfishness and yes to loving others. It is in living with hearts that have been renewed to be like Jesus that we can have certainty that God will answer our prayers. When we eat we shunt blood to the digestive organs, this slows the thinking and causes the release of certain polypeptides which have neurological impact. Fasting can help improve our mental focus, clear the mind, reduce distractions and allow for better contemplation, meditation and appreciation of spiritual themes.
    vbruno

    Answer by vbruno at 1:52 PM on Apr. 22, 2011

  • I'm not sure about people who do it for religious reasons, but some people fast to remove impurities from the body or to refocus. Those who do it for bodily reasons typically say their going to do a detox. I have a few friends who do this now and then. I know some Buddhists fast on occasion, but typically they don't fast all the time as most follow The Middle Way. So, they typically wouldn't overindulge or completely deprive themselves for long. I have not done much fasting in my life, because I have issues with low blood sugar. Plus, they can be unhealthy if not done right, and there's always a risk of dehydration if you're not careful. People should at least be cautious if they choose to do them for more than a day or two. My husband has done it a few times, so I might ask him why he did them when he comes back down here.

    I also found this on Buddhist Fasting.
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 9:47 PM on Apr. 22, 2011

  • Ok, it's been a long time since my husband fasted, and the last time he did it was when he was on a break during grad school (so he had several days in a row of no classes or work). He said he wouldn't have been able to do it for long if he had to work or go to class, because by the end he was very lightheaded and weak. The longest water fast he's done was 3 days, and he said that was really difficult. The longest juice fast he did was 8 days, and he said he eased into and eased out of it to make sure he wouldn't get sick. The main reason was to produce an altered state of consciousness that would be conducive to magick, and in some cases he just did it to gain clarity or push himself into an a heightened consciousness or an enlightened state of mind. At first your body resists and wants the food, but he said after a while it stops and you can really focus on whatever you're trying to get clarity on.
    pam19

    Answer by pam19 at 10:04 PM on Apr. 22, 2011

  • Fasting looks different in different beliefs- Greek Orthodox its a little more like abstaining- no meat, fish or dairy products- there is still plenty to eat-its a nice reminder of simplicity understanding that there are some things you can forgo without any real suffering-
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 12:44 PM on Apr. 23, 2011

  • I do not practice fasting as a Christian but I really like vbruno's response.
    Renee3K

    Answer by Renee3K at 2:31 PM on Apr. 22, 2011

  • I've never really thought of fasting as something done for a Deity only for cleansing, spiritual meditation, etc. But, I didn't grow up in a Christian faith that sacrificed before Easter (or even celebrated Easter) so, tht's probably why I look at it that way.
    BubbaLuva

    Answer by BubbaLuva at 1:33 PM on Apr. 23, 2011

  •      Fasting is a Spiritual dicipline that is very powerful & has transformed lives.  I have fasted 3 days, but never felt the leading of the Holy Spirit to fast beyond that.  My Dear son-in-law has done a 30 day fast before...Christ fasted 40 days before He was tempted of the devil. 


        The Bible says that our flesh is an enemy of God & hates spiritual things, so the flesh isn't happy when we fast, but as the body grows weaker in submission to God, the Holy Spirit can do a greater work in our lives!!!  The body grows weak, but the Spirit grows stronger!!!

    turtldov

    Answer by turtldov at 3:16 PM on Apr. 25, 2011

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