After a divorce and a terrible rebound relationship Gilbert decides to travel to Italy, India, and Indonesia to do exactly what the title says eat, pray, and love. Gilbert says, “I wanted to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India and, in Indonesia, the art of balancing the two. ” The book was actually financed by an advance on the book she planned to write. She went on a spiritual journey to find herself after a deep depression after two terrible relationships. It is completely understandable that she needed a change in her life.
She was a middle-aged woman with not much to show for it, and that was not ok with her. She wanted to do more than the average person and she did exactly that. So she decided to find some of the greatest culture in the world in Italy. Then went to India to experience religion. Then she went to Indonesia to learn how to balance the two. While in Italy she experienced some of the worlds greatest food, art and culture. She goes to an Italian soccer game and describes the fans as the most passionate she has ever seen in any event in her life. She does whatever she wants, like eating gelato in the mornings and finding the best pizza in Italy.
When she leaves Italy she announces that she is out of her depression and not surprisingly back to her original weight. Then traveling she travels to India to do exactly what the book says pray. She sits for hours a day in silent meditation at here guru’s ashram. She claims after many hours of silent meditation she has “seen” God and has learned that God is found within herself. She talks about finding inner peace is the most important thing any human can do. This is my favorite part of the book, because I am not too big on food or her love life.
The religion in the book and emotion in this part really pulled me in and grabbed my interest. Next she goes to Indonesia to find balance of culture, religion, and inner peace. The greatest phrase in the whole book is what her love interest Ketut told her. “To find the balance that you want, you must keep your feet grounded so firmly on earth that it’s like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart instead. That way you will know God. This is some of the best advice I have heard in a long time. My father always used to tell me, “live life with your head in the sky but your feet on the ground. ” What I get out of it was aim for the sky’s but live life down to earth. In Indonesia she meets a number of men who seem to be particularly interested in her and as a reader you can only lean back and enjoy the conclusion to the book. It is clear at the end of the book that she does find the balance of worldly enjoyment and divine tranquility she was looking for. Why did she choose a religion like Hinduism as apposed to another one like Christianity?
I think that Gilbert was looking for a new way of life as apposed to a religion. Hinduism has very few rules and it is a very easy religion to jump into. It focuses on you as a soul rather than a human. According to thinkquest. org the beliefs of Hinduism are as follows. “According to Hindu beliefs, Brahman is the principle source of the universe. This divine intelligence exists in all beings. Thus all the Hindu gods and goddesses are manifestations of the one Brahman. Hinduism is based on the concept of reincarnation, in which all living beings, from plants to gods, live in a cycle of living and dying. ”
This is a religion that you can get into quickly and truly follow all its beliefs and teachings. This makes a lot more sense for a woman like Gilbert. She is looking for spiritual healing and for a new way of life. These eastern religions are based much more on the inner spirit and focus on your emotions and feelings. Here is the central belief of Christianity for example. “In Christianity, God is almighty and rules over all of heaven and earth. He is the one that created the earth and one day will cast judgment over the entire earth. Christians understand that through Jesus Christ, people can be saved from this judgment.
By believing that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, the Spirit of God is exists in all believers, and that God is almighty in power. A person can be saved from this judgment. ” Now it is easy to see why she would choose a religion like Hinduism. It was much more targeted toward what she was looking for at that point in her life. It focuses on the inner self and self balance. It is very clear to me that she is on the path of devotion and knowledge. She is obviously devoted she put in a good amount of her time into this “life journey”. She had a plan set out to find love good food and divinity and she didn’t stop until she found all three.
The path of knowledge seems very clear to me as well. She is gaining a great deal of knowledge by simply traveling the world and taking all that the world has to offer. The path of knowledge will lead you to liberation I do believe that she is on her way there, but she has not been liberated yet. She has become more knowledgeable about the word culture and most importantly religion. Through the book it is clear that she becomes a better more stable person who is able to stand on her own two feet and balance all her issues and her life.
I think she becomes a true Hindu but I agree that she does not become an enlightened Hindu. She becomes an over all better person with a better view on what life is truly about. Like is about us being happy as individuals and as a soul. Works Cited http://library. thinkquest. org/28505/christianity/centr. htm http://library. thinkquest. org/28505/hinduism/centr. htm# Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia (Penguin Books, 2006)