Most helpful positive review
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
The popular aspiration of the future
on February 28, 2008
Gilbert's adventures combine a challenging spiritual quest with dreamlike travel experiences. Her struggles with inner pain are real and gripping, while the exotic locales stoke the reader's appetite for more. She seems to mix it all very well -- inner growth, vocational renewal, and the best kinds of friendship. I just loved her Balinese friend Wayan.
Some people would consider this book spiritual tourism at its most escapist. But let me give one paragraph as an example of what Gilbert puts herself through:
"It took me a while to drop into real silence. Even after I'd stopped talking, I found I was still humming with language. My organs and muscles of speech -- brain, throat, chest, back of neck -- vibrated with the residual effects of talking long after I'd stopped making sounds. My head shimmered in a reverb of sound, the way an indoor swimming pool seems to echo interminably with sounds and shouts, even after the kindergarteners have gone home for the day. It took a surprizingly long time for all this pulsation of speech to fall away, for the whirling noises to settle. Maybe it took about three days."
I'm really glad to see this book topping the bestseller lists in North America, and I hope Gilbert's kind of adventure becomes the popular aspiration of the future.
--author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization