Here is the thing about fasting: Not-eating doesn’t add to or subtract from you, spiritually. The reason fasting seems to work for people is the act of being mindful, focusing on being in tune with your self/God/Universe (whatever it is you do) and dropping all distractions and negativity. Deliberately choosing to deal with hunger pangs, mood changes due to hunger and probably getting used to all the things that come with not eating for a long time when your body needs it, is a self-imposed suffering not required from you by your Self/Spirit/God/Universe/Angels (whatever you believe).
Fasting is like a tool some use to set the atmosphere, if you will, for going inwards and doing what work needs to be done. The result one gets after fasting is due to the focusing, concentrating, work done spiritually and never because one didn’t eat.
Some people find it difficult to do these things without the tool:fasting, therefore for them to be disciplined enough to go through with their spiritual mindfulness, there has to be help. This help can come in the form of fasting.
What is fasting really?
Some say this is an act of starving one’s physical body in order to grow one’s spiritual one. Some say, it is a process of not eating for a set amount of time to focus spiritually.
Many do food-fasting while some do media-fasting (where you release all electronic devices for a set amount of time, in order to focus spiritually).
Most of the people who food-fast usually also do media-fast, while those who only media-fast choose to eat during their fast.
Media-fasting alone is better than food-fasting alone simply for the reasons given above. The point of fasting is to let go of anything that does not contribute to your spiritual growth and focus on working from the inside. Simply not eating has nothing to do with your spirituality – unless you are addicted to eating and this addiction affects your life negatively. If that’s the case, then practising self-control through fasting could help. Also, unless you are mindful to watch only positive, spiritually uplifting and healthy things, general media consumption does have an effect on you spiritually, so it makes sense to add that to your fast – or life in general.
Some have said that during fasting, your physical body diminishes while your spiritual self grows. What happens here is not so much a growth of spiritual self but simply more awareness of it. You put it at the fore front because you have let go of every other distraction, therefore becoming more in tune with it. Your physical body does not need to diminish for this to happen. Your physical body does not need to diminish at all, unless you don’t need it anymore or you are trying to lose weight or detox, etc.
In conclusion, if the act of not eating (food-fasting) does help you maintain the process of spiritual purification of your mind, body and soul, go for it. However, if you were under the illusion that not-eating is what contributes to your spiritual purification, you should know it isn’t. Knowing this, if you are able to eat and still keep up the discipline needed for your mindfulness and spiritual growth (re: be careful what you let into your mind and heart via media, etc), and you find the act of fasting challenging but have been doing it because you thought you must, release yourself and just concentrate on the other.
The point of fasting (not eating for a set period of time) is to help with spiritual purification, focusing inward, doing the work with your Self/Spirit/God/Universe/Angels (whatever you believe), concentrating on your physical, spiritual and psychological growth, being mindful of what you do, say, let into your heart and mind, stilling your mind from negativity and learning to receive spiritually/meditation; yet all these can be done without fasting. Not-eating is not required from you to do them but if it helps you to do so, go ahead.