I have been to Italy several times and i loved the wine, women and song!
I am an Indian and so i know about India and what being an Indian entails - So many religions and spiritual paths!
I've been to Bali for the same reason as in the movie - for Love (Yes! It was my honeymoon!).
In the movie, Elizabeth (Julia Roberts) has a bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair. She emerges battered and bewildered and realizes it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing - Pleasure, Devotion and Balance!
After i watched the movie, i was restless in my spirit but i could not find out what it was. I knew there were 'deceptive concepts' in the movie which were so well presented that they were too good to be true! I had to nip it in the bud! The devil was out to get me to think CONTRARY TO THE BIBLE! So i asked the Holy Spirit's guidance and here's what i was lead to read about Elizabeth Gilbert's book - EAT, PRAY, LOVE!:
Elizabeth Gilbert has a breezy, easy-to-read style and takes honest looks at herself. She is very likeable and appealing in the pages of her book. Through a combination of Eastern meditation, Yoga, Western self-help psychology, mystical states and visions, and her beliefs about her divine nature, Gilbert is able to heal from her divorce and other deep wounds. Her writing is enticing and her success is persuasive -- it gives validity to her practises and claims. She seems free now to enjoy life and love. This kind of freedom is very tantalizing, but it comes with questions. What standard is there for being free enough? Doesn't the past always dodge us? Do we attain perfection or just a consciousness of perfection? How many more lives must one live to be free enough?
Before the journey recorded in this book, Gilbert had visited an Indonesian island and spent several days alone and in silence, wrestling with her past and with her issues. After nine days of silence, she recounts how she sees her own "goodness" after forgiving herself and how this leads her to an understanding of God's forgiveness. She seems to believe that this forgiveness comes with no cost except the task of forgiving herself. But this is a presumption of forgiveness - a view that forgiveness from God is a right. Or that we get it if we work hard enough, especially by forgiving ourselves.
Gilbert writes, "I was the administrator of my own rescue" (329). But the message from Jesus is that we cannot rescue ourselves: "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins," (John 8.24). We cannot magically erase our sins by forgiving ourselves; the sins remain, because we have a sinful nature ("For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3.23). God tells us that the wages of sin are death (Romans 3.63), death meaning separation from God. How do we escape this penalty?
Jesus was the only one who was without sin and was pleasing to God on his own merits: "And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him" (John 8.29). Because of his sinlessness, Jesus the God-man was able to pay the penalty for sins as the Lamb of God without blemish. This is what the atonement was about: paying the penalty for sin.
Gilbert writes that her heart tells her mind, "I love you, I will never leave, I will always take care of you" (328). She is getting a pass to reassurance from her own self, her own thinking, not from God, though she may believe it is from God. But it was Jesus who said to those who believe in Him, "I am with you always" (Matthew 28.20).
No one, if interacting honestly with what the Bible teaches, can remake Jesus into another Guru or another Buddha. Jesus claimed to be the unique Messiah, the Son of God (which means he has God's nature), the Redeemer, the First and the Last. It is not about a transformation of consciousness, or a realization of man's supposed divine nature, or a process of self-forgiveness, but rather that we understand that we are helpless in our cocoon of sin and selfishness in the presence of a holy God, and desperately need the redemption of the one and only Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Redemption through Christ is the true freedom.
I'm sure if Gilbert was to come to Jesus, He would have said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die-ever. Do you believe this?" John 11.25,26