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The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and… (1978)

by M. Scott Peck

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5,617441,492 (3.88)50
Confronting and solving problems is a painful process which most of us attempt to avoid. Avoiding resolution results in greater pain and an inability to grow both mentally and spiritually. Drawing heavily on his own professional experience, Dr M. Scott Peck, a psychiatrist, suggests ways in which facing our difficulties - and suffering through the changes - can enable us to reach a higher level of self-understanding. He discusses the nature of loving relationships: how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become one's own person and how to be a more sensitive parent. This is a book that can show you how to embrace reality and yet achieve serenity and a richer existence. Hugely influential, it has now sold over ten million copies - and has changed many people's lives round the globe. It may change yours.… (more)
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English (42)  French (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
The author put a lot of thought into this book. He wrote about the ideal human being, a disciplined man or woman willing to extend oneself for the benefit of others. He went to great lengths to explain what is involved in such discipline, and why love should be defined as extension of oneself for the benefit of others (and not a warm fuzzy feeling, or erotic feelings, or anything else.) Then he wrote about the existence of what he calls "grace" (a.k.a. serendipity), along with many other phenomenon that can't be explained or even properly examined without acknowledging the existence of God. Then he argued human beings can experience God's grace by probing into our unconscious and understanding what our unconscious is trying to tell us, which ultimately helps us get a grip on what's wrong with us and thus develop the discipline and love that is necessary to become the ideal human being. He tried to incorporate Bible verses, Buddhism stories, science essays and psychologist quotes into the support of these arguments. I'm not an expert on the other sources, but when he used the Bible verses, he interpreted them very differently from what I understand the verses to mean.

I agree with him there are many things in our lives that can only be explained by acknowledging the existence of God. I agree with him that humanity is by nature undeserving of God's grace and don't particularly desire it, and why some people received this grace is a mystery. The people who did receive the grace certainly didn't think they deserved it. And I agree with him that this grace is actually available to all. I largely agree with his view on what love is. I disagree with him that God resides in our unconscious. I disagree with him that the love and discipline he talks about is attainable by probing and drawing from the power of one's unconscious. ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
Didn't like this as much as People of the Lie. This felt very dated. ( )
  KoestK | Oct 8, 2021 |
I read this book slowly and enjoyed immensely, as it contained so many nuggets of wisdom and food for thought.

Dr. Peck was not stingy with references and further reading tips. There is a lot to think about if you read the material with an open mind.

I like his interpretation of the original sin in the chapter on faith. But I also like his section on love, and how he defines it as the will to extend one's self for the spiritual evolution of oneself or another person. The ideas of this book will remain with me for a long time and guide me further in my reading on spiritual evolution. ( )
  moukayedr | Sep 5, 2021 |
Starts off well, has some really interesting/useful stuff to say but wanders off into nonsense in the second half. Five stars for the first half and no stars for the second half. I was quite disappointed with it given how interestingly it began. Read the first two sections then ignore the rest I think. ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
I started reading this on the recommendation of my wife. I struggled through a few chapters and then put it to one side, intending to come back to it. I never did. This is written by a man who knows what he thinks, is not shy in sharing it - and is sure everyone else will think the same, once he's told them. I don't know whether I agree with him, but I do know that I have no desire to read anything written in this style. May 2020. ( )
  alanca | Jun 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
This book is truly a classic in the field of psycho therapy. It deals in n insightful way with the causes and solutions of neurosis among other problems we all deal with in our lives. It gave me an insight to why my 22 and 21 years old are like they are. I could have been a better father who had more consideration of how my personality affected them. I learn more about myself everytime I read it. It is written in a manner that is entertaining rather than dry.
I am happy I have read this wonderful book.
 

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Four Noble Truths of Buddah
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To my parents, Elizabeth and David, whose discipline and love gave me the eyes to see grace.
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Life is difficult.
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Confronting and solving problems is a painful process which most of us attempt to avoid. Avoiding resolution results in greater pain and an inability to grow both mentally and spiritually. Drawing heavily on his own professional experience, Dr M. Scott Peck, a psychiatrist, suggests ways in which facing our difficulties - and suffering through the changes - can enable us to reach a higher level of self-understanding. He discusses the nature of loving relationships: how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become one's own person and how to be a more sensitive parent. This is a book that can show you how to embrace reality and yet achieve serenity and a richer existence. Hugely influential, it has now sold over ten million copies - and has changed many people's lives round the globe. It may change yours.

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