“Into the Wild” is a book written by John Krakauer about Chris McCandless and his journey to gain spiritual enlightenment. Krakauer introduces us to Everett Reuss and the Irish Monks who also go on journeys similar to McCandless’s to gain spiritual enlightenment. Chris McCandless is a young man who left everything he had ever known behind to find and gain spiritual enlightenment. Everett Reuss is a man who went into the wild to hike a mountain. His death is still undetermined and his body has never been found.
The Irish Monks go into the wild the get even farther away from society and search for spiritual enlightenment. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. ” I feel Chris, Everett, and the monks were very courageous and has few fears as they began and ultimately ended their journeys to gain spiritual enlightenment. Most people think to gain spiritual enlightenment all you have to do is pray, read your bible, and go to church, but Chris, Everett, and the monks took it to the extreme of leaving civilization and going into the wild where they sadly died.
Chris McCandless, Everett Reuss, and the Irish Monks are very admirable men. To walk away from everything they have ever known to find spiritual enlightenment seems insane. I admire McCandless, Reuss, and the Monks, but I do not understand what would compel these men to go to such extremes as to gain spiritual enlightenment. In my opinion these men could have found the same amount of spiritual enlightenment by going to a church or reading the bible. Every summer, my church and myself take two weeks out of our hectic lives to help with the local food pantry in Stuttgart.
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Our cell phones are left in the car while we work so there is no distraction as to the reason we are actually there. Seeing people leave with sack after sack of food and knowing they will no longer be hungry or worrying where their next meal will come from brings me spiritual enlightenment. Chris, Everett, and all others mentioned through the book have given up much to go on their journeys. I think that yes, their adventures were worth it. All of the people had the choice to stay in society, but they believe this journey would bring them closer to spiritual enlightenment. I believe all he people had a reason for each adventure chosen though to us they are unknown. If their was any way we could ask Chris, Everett, or the monks if they believe their adventures were worth it I believe they would say yes, in the beginning of the journey it was, but as everything progressed throughout the book, no. Chris began to feel that he needed companionship with society, but he was sadly too late. How Everett died is still unknown. There are two different theories. One is he jumped off the cliff he was climbing and the other is he fell to his death after making a wrong step.
The monks died in the wild trying to gain spiritual enlightenment. If I were asked to try a wilderness retreat such as Chris did I think I would laugh in the person’s face. There is no way that I would leave everything I know. I may not be as spiritually enlightened as some individuals, but I do not feel the need to go into the wild or to such extremes to find it. There are many dangers with being in the wild alone and not to mention the solitude. I could not willingly decide to just pack up and go not knowing if I’d ever return to civilization again.
I believe you do not have to go into the wild to find spiritual enlightenment. God is always with you no matter where you are or may go. You do not have to go to such extremes as death to try and get the attention of God or to find the spiritual enlightenment they strived so hard to find. I know these men believed they needed to go into the wild to find spiritual enlightenment, but how could they not know that God, or the spiritual enlightenment they lost their lives for was already with them?
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