Thursday, January 24, 2013

In lieu of anything original...

2 passages from Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Number 1:

‘You don’t want to go cherry-picking a religion.’
Which is a sentiment that I completely respect expect for the fact that I totally disagree. I think you have every right to cherry-pick when it comes to moving your spirit and finding peace in God. I think you are free to search for any metaphor which will take you across the worldly divide whenever you need to be transported or comforted. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s the history of mankind’s search for holiness. (Eat Pray Love, page 297)

and Number 2:

Traditionally, I have responded to the transcendent mystics of all religions.  I have always responded with breathless excitement to anyone who has ever said that God does not live in dogmatic  scripture or in a distant throne in the sky, but instead abides very close to us indeed- much closer than we can imagine, breathing right through our own hearts.  I respond with gratitude to anyone who has ever voyaged to the center of that heart, and who has returned to the world with a report for the rest of us that God is an experience of supreme love.  In every religious tradition on earth, there have always been mystical saints and transcendents who report exactly this experience.  Unfortunately many of them have ended up arrested and killed.  Still, I think very highly of them.  

In the end, what I have come to believe about God is simple.  It’s like this-  I used to have this really great dog.  She came from the pound.  She was a mixture of about ten different breeds, but seemed to have inherited the finest features of them all.  She was brown.  When people asked me, “What kind of dog is that?”  I would always give the same answer:  “She’s a brown dog.”  Similarly, when the question is raised, “What kind of God do you believe in?” my answer is easy: “I believe in a magnificent God.” (Eat Pray Love, Page 25-26)

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