Sunday Salon: For Those Who Have Read “Eat, Pray, Love”

The Sunday

Ok, so a lot of you who visit me at Books on the Brain participated in the comments section of an earlier post about Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Click HERE if you missed it.  At that time I hadn’t read too much of the book and didn’t really understand the uproar this book has caused.  I’m not sure I totally understand it now that I’m about 2/3rds of the way through either. However, I have a bit of a problem with a certain section of the book, and would love to know if anyone else had a similar problem with it, or would like to comment on it.

While in India, the author has a spiritual episode called a turiya state, something devotees of the Ashram she was staying in aspire to, in which she says she is “suddenly transported through the portal of the universe and taken to the center of God’s palm.” (pg. 198)  She explains, in part, this way:  “I was inside the void, but I also was the void and I was looking at the void, all at the same time.  The void was a place of limitless peace and wisdom.  The void was conscious and it was intelligent.  The void was God, which means that I was inside God.  But not in a gross, physical way-not like I was Liz Gilbert stuck inside a chunk of God’s thigh muscle.  I just was part of God.  In addition to being God.  I was both a tiny piece of the universe and exactly the same size as the universe.”  (pg. 199) 

So, am I to read this as she thinks she was God, for that brief period of time that she was in this altered state?  Seriously?  She and God are one and the same?  

Please, enlighten me, if possible.  Cuz’ I’m having a hard time buying THAT.