Hello all, I am not at all well, with a cough, cold and sore throat. Not much riding going on as a result. The last thing Barnaby needs at the moment is time off, with two distance rides coming up, but still.
So instead I've decided this is an ideal time to review the book I've just finished, 'Eat Pray Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert. I thought, 'Julia Roberts is in the film, the book must be good!' It just goes to show how wrong you can be!
I should have heard alarm bells ringing when I read the line, '...I can't swallow that one fixed rule of Christianity insisting that Christ is the only path to God...' I probably should have put the book down there and then, but no, I struggled on. It has been some years since I've actually thrown a book at a wall in sheer frustration, and it's only due to the development of a certain amount of self-control that I didn't hurl this one.
The book is split into three sections. The first part, the 'eat' part, takes place in Italy, and I did like it, as her love for Italy is very similar to my love for all things german.
But the second part, the 'love' part, takes place at an ashram in India, where amongst other things, she learns to mediatate. She describes this like this '...it's so mighty now that I actually can't deal with it anymore. It scares me so much that I say to it, "I'm not ready yet!" but then she has another go! To me that's like smoking a cigarette, realising it's disgusting, then doing it again the next day.
In another place she says she meets with God 'and is God.' For goodness sake woman, are you claiming to be God then? I read a book years ago called 'Shopping for a God,' and that's exactly what Elizabeth Gilbert reminds me of, going along some supermarket shelves, shopping for a religion. You know, "I like meditation, so I'll throw some of that in, but I don't like fasting, so I won't bother with that." Grrr!
The third part of the book, the 'love' part, takes place in Bali, where she goes back to re-aquaint herself with her medicine man, who predicts that she will return, then when she does he can't even remember her. It's as though she instantly believes everything he says without question, even though she is clearly an intelligent woman with a good career.
Check this out:
'...Ketut (the medicine man) went on to explain that the Balinese believe we are each accompanied at birth by four invisible brothers, who come into the world with us and protect us throughout our lives. When the child is in the womb, her four siblings are even there with her - they are represented by the placenta, the amniotic fluid, the umbilical cord and the yellow waxy substance that protects an unborn baby's skin.
When the baby is born, the parents collect as much of these extraneous birthing materials as possible, placing them in a coconut shell and burying it by the front door of the family's house. According to the Balinese, this buried coconut is the holy resting place of the four unborn brothers, and that spot is tended to forever, like a shrine.
The child is taught from earliest consciousness that she has these four brothers with her in the world wherever she goes...'
Just a minute, didn't you say they were buried in a coconut shell by the front door? Hmmm. But of course, this is enough for the author to suddenly start recognising her own four spiritual brothers. Amazing. As if she didn't have enough baggage already.
The medicine man also tells her that heaven and hell are the same thing. Well that's all right then.
I think you've probably gathered that this is not my favourite book of all time. I really wish I hadn't bothered to read it through to the end as it didn't exactly bless me. The Bible says to 'look on what is noble, what is true, what is pure and what is right,' and that's what I tend to stick to. Mr O says he watches certain television programmes, 'because the lads at work will watch it and all be discussing it tomorrow and will ask me what I think,' which I understand, but you could watch pornography on that basis, couldn't you?
So I think I'll be consigning this book to the bin. 2/10 Mrs Gilbert, sorry.
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