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The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth 316 pp. "Psychotherapy is all things to all people in this mega-selling pop-psychology watershed, which features a new introduction by the author in this 25th anniversary edition. His agenda in this tome, which was first published in 1978 but didn't become a bestseller until 1983, is t The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth 316 pp. "Psychotherapy is all things to all people in this mega-selling pop-psychology watershed, which features a new introduction by the author in this 25th anniversary edition. His agenda in this tome, which was first published in 1978 but didn't become a bestseller until 1983, is to reconcile the psychoanalytic tradition with the conflicting cultural currents roiling the 70s. In the spirit of Me-Decade individualism and libertinism, he celebrates self-actualization as life's highest purpose and flirts with the notions of open marriage and therapeutic sex between patient and analyst. But because he is attuned to the nascent conservative backlash against the therapeutic worldview, Peck also cites Gospel passages, recruits psychotherapy to the cause of traditional religion (he even convinces a patient to sign up for divinity school) and insists that problems must be overcome through suffering, discipline and hard work (with a therapist.) Often departing from the cerebral and rationalistic bent of Freudian discourse for a mystical, Jungian tone more compatible with New Age spirituality, Peck writes of psychotherapy as an exercise in "love" and "spiritual growth," asserts that "our unconscious is God" and affirms his belief in miracles, reincarnation and telepathy. Peck's synthesis of such clashing elements (he even throws in a little thermodynamics) is held together by a warm and lucid discussion of psychiatric principles and moving accounts of his own patients' struggles and breakthroughs. Harmonizing psychoanalysis and spirituality, Christ and Buddha, Calvinist work ethic and interminable talking cures, this book is a touchstone of our contemporary religio-therapeutic culture." -- Publishers WeeklyKeywords: MIND & BODY PSYCHOLOGY SOCIOLOGY RELIGION


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The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth 316 pp. "Psychotherapy is all things to all people in this mega-selling pop-psychology watershed, which features a new introduction by the author in this 25th anniversary edition. His agenda in this tome, which was first published in 1978 but didn't become a bestseller until 1983, is t The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth 316 pp. "Psychotherapy is all things to all people in this mega-selling pop-psychology watershed, which features a new introduction by the author in this 25th anniversary edition. His agenda in this tome, which was first published in 1978 but didn't become a bestseller until 1983, is to reconcile the psychoanalytic tradition with the conflicting cultural currents roiling the 70s. In the spirit of Me-Decade individualism and libertinism, he celebrates self-actualization as life's highest purpose and flirts with the notions of open marriage and therapeutic sex between patient and analyst. But because he is attuned to the nascent conservative backlash against the therapeutic worldview, Peck also cites Gospel passages, recruits psychotherapy to the cause of traditional religion (he even convinces a patient to sign up for divinity school) and insists that problems must be overcome through suffering, discipline and hard work (with a therapist.) Often departing from the cerebral and rationalistic bent of Freudian discourse for a mystical, Jungian tone more compatible with New Age spirituality, Peck writes of psychotherapy as an exercise in "love" and "spiritual growth," asserts that "our unconscious is God" and affirms his belief in miracles, reincarnation and telepathy. Peck's synthesis of such clashing elements (he even throws in a little thermodynamics) is held together by a warm and lucid discussion of psychiatric principles and moving accounts of his own patients' struggles and breakthroughs. Harmonizing psychoanalysis and spirituality, Christ and Buddha, Calvinist work ethic and interminable talking cures, this book is a touchstone of our contemporary religio-therapeutic culture." -- Publishers WeeklyKeywords: MIND & BODY PSYCHOLOGY SOCIOLOGY RELIGION

30 review for The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chris Wolfe

    It gets four stars for the simple truth of the opening lines: "Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters." It amazes me how much damage I have done by expecting life to be something other than difficult It gets four stars for the simple truth of the opening lines: "Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters." It amazes me how much damage I have done by expecting life to be something other than difficult and how much easier my life is when I accept that it is difficult and that I will be uncomfortable.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sanjay Gautam

    The author has delved deep into, with profound insights, on what really causes unhappiness in our life. He asserts that it is precisely in avoiding our problems and hurdles that we suffer in our life; it is the pain and suffering caused by difficulties in life that we have to meet in order to grow mentally and spiritually. We cannot solve life's problems except by solving them. The following were the key-takeaways: * LIFE IS DIFFICULT. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a gre The author has delved deep into, with profound insights, on what really causes unhappiness in our life. He asserts that it is precisely in avoiding our problems and hurdles that we suffer in our life; it is the pain and suffering caused by difficulties in life that we have to meet in order to grow mentally and spiritually. We cannot solve life's problems except by solving them. The following were the key-takeaways: * LIFE IS DIFFICULT. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. * Without discipline we can solve nothing. With only some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline we can solve all problems. * A person who has the ability to delay gratification has the key to psychological maturity, whereas impulsiveness is a mental habit that, in denying opportunities to experience pain, creates neuroses. * Most large problems we have are the result of not facing up to earlier, smaller problems, of failing to be 'dedicated to the truth'. The great mistake most people make is believing that problems will go away of their own accord.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Birdie Passaro

    An extraordinary book about Life and the art of Living. It was the most complete and indepth book about personal development from which one become much more aware of the nature of all kinds of relationships. This book will help to shape your vision of Life! Please, just read it. Your perspective about things will never be the same. Notable, indeed!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    "Dr." Peck's first doorstop. Inexplicably, this sorry waste of time and paper remained on the NYT Bestseller list for something like ten years. (I don't know why I'm surprised, actually -- this is the same country that elected George W. Bush twice, not to mention the vulgar talking yam who now sits in the Oval Office.) If you were unfortunate enough to buy this, or have it given to you as a gift, do yourself a favor now: put this one the shelf right beside that other pop-pseudo-psychology piece "Dr." Peck's first doorstop. Inexplicably, this sorry waste of time and paper remained on the NYT Bestseller list for something like ten years. (I don't know why I'm surprised, actually -- this is the same country that elected George W. Bush twice, not to mention the vulgar talking yam who now sits in the Oval Office.) If you were unfortunate enough to buy this, or have it given to you as a gift, do yourself a favor now: put this one the shelf right beside that other pop-pseudo-psychology piece of shit Michelle Remembers. Leave them both within spitting distance, and leave room next to them for anything written by "Dr." Fool. Do not open any of them, ever.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Juliane Roell

    Probably the most important book on love, psychological and spiritual development that I have ever read. Clear, straightforward, concise, very accessible. Don't be put off by the criticism of the numerous references to "God" and "grace" in the later chapters: I found them useful and "open" (in the sense that "God" might be substituted by "universe", "energy", "oneness" or whatever you might want to call it. There is no need to believe in a deity.) If you do find the reference to concepts of onen Probably the most important book on love, psychological and spiritual development that I have ever read. Clear, straightforward, concise, very accessible. Don't be put off by the criticism of the numerous references to "God" and "grace" in the later chapters: I found them useful and "open" (in the sense that "God" might be substituted by "universe", "energy", "oneness" or whatever you might want to call it. There is no need to believe in a deity.) If you do find the reference to concepts of oneness or "God" problematic, just read the first parts and leave the rest for another time. It's well worth it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Ridenour

    This book is by now a classic in the field of psychology. Yet, it's written for a mainstream audience and goes through some of the basic tenets of psychological theory (e.g. attachment, individuation, boundaries, delayed gratification) but does so through the lense of spiritual growth. Peck is an excellent writer and fine therapist who is sensitive to the issues of spirituality. The case examples and stories in the book really bring his concepts and ideas together. This is a book that I would re This book is by now a classic in the field of psychology. Yet, it's written for a mainstream audience and goes through some of the basic tenets of psychological theory (e.g. attachment, individuation, boundaries, delayed gratification) but does so through the lense of spiritual growth. Peck is an excellent writer and fine therapist who is sensitive to the issues of spirituality. The case examples and stories in the book really bring his concepts and ideas together. This is a book that I would recommend to therapy clients who are wanting to understand how their religious beliefs are inline with the goals of psychotherapy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cole

    I initially picked up this book because I was told that this author was the inspiration for a women's retreat I went to a couple years ago. However, I found no connection to the theme of the retreat and this book. Initially I found Peck's theories on discipline appealing. He promoted fundamental ideas of Buddhism, such as life is suffering and only through acceptance of that suffering can we truly live and be free of it. He believes that the pursuit of the truth regardless of the pain involved i I initially picked up this book because I was told that this author was the inspiration for a women's retreat I went to a couple years ago. However, I found no connection to the theme of the retreat and this book. Initially I found Peck's theories on discipline appealing. He promoted fundamental ideas of Buddhism, such as life is suffering and only through acceptance of that suffering can we truly live and be free of it. He believes that the pursuit of the truth regardless of the pain involved is fundamental to mental health, and that only through valuing ourselves can we value life and love those around us. However, while reading examples of cases that Peck has worked on in psychotherapy I felt that his confidence in his prognosis's and what he thought his clients ought to do was rather pretentious. Furthermore as I read I got the suspicion that Peck was rather homophobic or at least that he thought homosexuality was a sign of poor mental health. First of all, in all his discussions on love and relationships not once does he relate his theories in the context of a homosexual relationship. Second he uses examples of actions that his clients took to move toward better mental health including an example of a young homosexual boy summoning the strength to ask a girl out. I was starting to really dislike this author at this point, but it was the next few pages that killed it for me. Halfway through the book where Peck is saying that love is discipline, he thought it appropriate to use slavery as a metaphor. He states, "While one should not be slave to one's feelings, self discipline does not mean the squashing of one's feelings into nonexistence. I frequently tell my patients that their feelings are their slaves and that the art of self discipline is like the art of slaving owning" I can't believe he refers to slave owning as an "art". He continues, "First of all, one's feelings are the source of one's energy; they provide the horsepower, or slave power, that makes it possible for us to accomplish the task of living. Since they work for us, we should treat them with respect." It gets worse, " One type of slave-owner does not discipline his slaves, gives them no structure, sets them no limits, provides them with no direction and does not make it clear whose the boss. What happens, of course, is that in due time his slaves stop working and begin moving into the mansion, raiding the liquor cabinet and breaking the furniture, and soon the slave owner finds he is the slave of his slaves" Scott Peck author...phycologist...homophobe....racist.....got it. I'm done with this book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maria Espadinha

    The Timeless Game of Problems "What comes to break you was sent to make you." Problems belong to mankind since Adam and Eve. They stick to us as invisible organs and have no intention to leave. Like brain ticks, they keep pestering our lives infecting our peace! But where would we be without our hideous tedious problems?! Aren’t they the indispensable tools that lead us straight to the core of our potential?! The alarm-Clocks of our dormant abilities?! So why don’t we gratefully embrace them instea The Timeless Game of Problems "What comes to break you was sent to make you." Problems belong to mankind since Adam and Eve. They stick to us as invisible organs and have no intention to leave. Like brain ticks, they keep pestering our lives infecting our peace! But where would we be without our hideous tedious problems?! Aren’t they the indispensable tools that lead us straight to the core of our potential?! The alarm-Clocks of our dormant abilities?! So why don’t we gratefully embrace them instead of thoroughly hate them?! Shouldn’t we welcome our precious obnoxious problems with a happy smile instead of a disgusted sneer?! At its core problems are a challenge - an endless game we shall be playing till death takes us apart... Dealing with problems in a positive way would make a hell of a difference in human lives! That’s why we should all read this book — it will turn us into much better problem solvers😊👍 In a sense, problems can be compared to diamonds — they both last forever! So if you like diamonds, you can also like problems! 😉 All being said, the best end I found to this review was a chorus of a quite famous tune we all know about: Problems are forever, forever, forever...🎶🎵🎶 Or alternately: I can’t liiiiiivvvveeeee, if living is without them...🎶🎵🎶

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    A very insightful book authored by a psychologist/psychiatrist who reveals the secrets to fulfilling, healthy, meaningful and lasting relationships. It really makes you see yourself and others in a different light, as well as words and concepts we think we understand. His hallmark argument is that we so often view love as a noun instead of a verb... as something that just happens to us or doesn't happen to us, instead of an ongoing task we must work at...that work, that action-is love. In fact, A very insightful book authored by a psychologist/psychiatrist who reveals the secrets to fulfilling, healthy, meaningful and lasting relationships. It really makes you see yourself and others in a different light, as well as words and concepts we think we understand. His hallmark argument is that we so often view love as a noun instead of a verb... as something that just happens to us or doesn't happen to us, instead of an ongoing task we must work at...that work, that action-is love. In fact, something I clearly remember is his point that when people feel as though they've "fallen out of love", it is then that the opportunity for true love to grow is at its greatest. Not at all written in a preachy, self-help sort of way. It's very interesting, full of a lot of great anecdotes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gina Marcelin

    This book is second only to the bible to me. It teaches you what love is. What love is not. Why old fashioned values like honesty, hard work, discipline and integrity are important. Every person should read it. This book should be required reading in high school or college.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This book starts out extremely engaging and helpful in nature - worthy of four or five stars. But midway through Peck reveals his psychology of teaching his patients and readers to become like God. While I'm certain he means no malice in this objective, he seems ignorant of negative psychological aspects of this philosophy. Indeed, the book "Toxic Faith" cites "You can become God" as one of the twenty-one Toxic Beliefs of a Toxic Faith (p.98). Having observed the deleterious effect of this belie This book starts out extremely engaging and helpful in nature - worthy of four or five stars. But midway through Peck reveals his psychology of teaching his patients and readers to become like God. While I'm certain he means no malice in this objective, he seems ignorant of negative psychological aspects of this philosophy. Indeed, the book "Toxic Faith" cites "You can become God" as one of the twenty-one Toxic Beliefs of a Toxic Faith (p.98). Having observed the deleterious effect of this belief among the Mormon population I find Peck's thesis professionally reckless regardless of the popularity of his message.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I cherish this book and give praise to Scott Peck for writing this masterpiece, a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. The first time I read it I was in my early 30's. It changed my life, encouraged me to live authentically and with courage. when your raising a family one needs to follow their conscience and make tough decisions. Peck teaches and encourages this process. I have followed up with Peck's subsequent books in the last few years. I recomend this to any adult searching for a better life but p I cherish this book and give praise to Scott Peck for writing this masterpiece, a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. The first time I read it I was in my early 30's. It changed my life, encouraged me to live authentically and with courage. when your raising a family one needs to follow their conscience and make tough decisions. Peck teaches and encourages this process. I have followed up with Peck's subsequent books in the last few years. I recomend this to any adult searching for a better life but particularly if your raising a family.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Murray Crowe

    The author endeared me early on to his obvious skill, professionalism and empathy with his patients. The first part was fairly entertaining, with the right amount of insight and entertainment from Peck's own therapy sessions. I could identify with the people and situations and could pause at times for self reflection. There was a challenge to personal change as Peck built his case for seeking maturity and using therapy to achieve that end. Peck is strongest as a therapist. His insight is keen, an The author endeared me early on to his obvious skill, professionalism and empathy with his patients. The first part was fairly entertaining, with the right amount of insight and entertainment from Peck's own therapy sessions. I could identify with the people and situations and could pause at times for self reflection. There was a challenge to personal change as Peck built his case for seeking maturity and using therapy to achieve that end. Peck is strongest as a therapist. His insight is keen, and his deductive/intuitive approach makes sense. But he's also rather ambitious. The middle section attempted to tie a loose story into a cohesive thesis on what Peck personally believed ought to happen in life. It went from being passive-objective to prescriptive-subjective. Eventually he was stretching into subjects somewhat beyond his grasp. His forays into philosophy, theology and neuroscience didn't lend much credibility to his arguments. The final part of the book was clumsy, contradictory and seemed somewhat outdated. The chapter on synchronocity/serendipity was particularly trudgeworthy. He dragged psychology out of science and into mysticism. Which is fine if you're a fan of Oprah and Chopra. I'm not. My journey down the Road Less Travelled started out on a sunny day with a compass and small, promising path. It ended with me being dragged down a dark alley-way by a man with a white stick.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thom Dunn

    Peck begins well, citing the first of Buddhism's Four Noble Truths, "Life is Suffering". And what we all need is a discipline instilled in our childhood by a love which teaches us to face our problems instead of ducking them in procrastination, denial, and the like. Sounds fine, but there seems to this reader to be something missing....a mythic element, perhaps. Life will be beautiful if only we get ourselves under control and work hard, etcetera, etcetera.... It feels to me as if all wonder has Peck begins well, citing the first of Buddhism's Four Noble Truths, "Life is Suffering". And what we all need is a discipline instilled in our childhood by a love which teaches us to face our problems instead of ducking them in procrastination, denial, and the like. Sounds fine, but there seems to this reader to be something missing....a mythic element, perhaps. Life will be beautiful if only we get ourselves under control and work hard, etcetera, etcetera.... It feels to me as if all wonder has been replaced by a kind of Victorian stoicism, a Protestant ethic of duty and responsibility....Do your homework BEFORE you watch TV, for example. This is maturity, getting rid of the misery first before your play.... But what of the math geek who loves homework ? The great arc of Peck's undertaking, what he calls more than once "the only way to live" seems after a while to devolve into the same shoulder-to-the-wheel Volga boatman's creed delivered in kind language that all our teachers back in the Eisenhower 50's kept hammering us with. What about dreams, Mr. Peck ? What of the libido ? It may be the screwball Celt in me that fears coming to the end of my life with all my homework done but with, Starry Night, say, unpainted.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    I read this book to make my mom happy. Her church book group was reading it, and she got all stoked about it after reading the first section. It was a fairly bland combination of basic common sense (self-discipline is good, laziness is bad), pseudo-spiritual psychobabble (your unconscious mind is God!), and the occasional moral zinger (open marriage is the only real form of marriage). Overall, I was unimpressed, but I wasn't begging the Lord for the 6 hours of my life back, either. I never even I read this book to make my mom happy. Her church book group was reading it, and she got all stoked about it after reading the first section. It was a fairly bland combination of basic common sense (self-discipline is good, laziness is bad), pseudo-spiritual psychobabble (your unconscious mind is God!), and the occasional moral zinger (open marriage is the only real form of marriage). Overall, I was unimpressed, but I wasn't begging the Lord for the 6 hours of my life back, either. I never even asked my mom what she thought of the book after the first part. I suppose that would be a good thing to do. I love my mom.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    Initially, I was intrigued and really enjoyed this book. Then I got to the Grace section. It all went downhill from there, and quickly. It seems very jumbled as to the actual point of this book until the Grace section where Peck goes wacko with the God talk. Even for a Christian or person of faith, I would imagine that his ideas are far out there. As an atheist, I was dumbfounded by the abrupt bullshit and disappointed that a book with such potential came to a screeching halt. I have never not f Initially, I was intrigued and really enjoyed this book. Then I got to the Grace section. It all went downhill from there, and quickly. It seems very jumbled as to the actual point of this book until the Grace section where Peck goes wacko with the God talk. Even for a Christian or person of faith, I would imagine that his ideas are far out there. As an atheist, I was dumbfounded by the abrupt bullshit and disappointed that a book with such potential came to a screeching halt. I have never not finished a book, but I couldn't force myself to read the last 30 pages. This book went from great to absolutely terrible in about 2.5 seconds. Until the utter nonsense came along, I would have given this book 4-5 stars. I would give the last section negative stars if I could. Talk about a roller coaster ending in disaster.

  17. 5 out of 5

    May 舞

    I started this book 2 months ago, which is a long time according to my standards, however, I don't regret it one bit. The road less travelled is about spiritual growth, and how very few of us actually venture and take the leap of faith in that direction. The first chapter defines discipline as "a system of techniques of dealing constructively with the pain of problem-solving -instead of avoiding that pain- in such a way that all of life's problems can be solved". It attributes our lack of discip I started this book 2 months ago, which is a long time according to my standards, however, I don't regret it one bit. The road less travelled is about spiritual growth, and how very few of us actually venture and take the leap of faith in that direction. The first chapter defines discipline as "a system of techniques of dealing constructively with the pain of problem-solving -instead of avoiding that pain- in such a way that all of life's problems can be solved". It attributes our lack of discipline to inadequate parenting and the lack of the feeling valued by our parents. Then it explains 4 methods to solve this issue, which are: delaying gratification, assuming responsibilty, dedication to reality, and balancing. With some insight on neurosis, character disorders, when to withhold truth, the healthiness of depression and how it signals that a major change should be made in our maps. The 2nd chapter "love" reveals that falling in love is not real love, and that eventually people fall out of love. That is because real love is an action, a commitment to the spiritual growth of oneself and of others. It also explains that dependency, cathexis and self-sacrifice are all mistaken for genuine love, which should be disciplined and promoting of separateness and independence. The 3rd chapter starts by stating that everyone has a religion; "everyone has some understanding -some world view, no matter how limited or primitive or inaccurate". It also narrates 3 different cases that demonstrate how people can grow into religion or out of it. The 4th chapter is about grace. It explains that serendipity is the gift of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for, and that grace is "the powerful force originating outside of human consciousness which nurtures the spiritual growth of human beings". While I find myself unable to believe in grace or that the aim of spiritual growth is to become one with God, I was glad to learn of the force of entropy represented in our laziness "which is the lack of love", and that evil is real; "there really are people, and institutions made up of people, who respond with hatred in the presence of goodness and would destroy the good insofar as it is in their power to do so. They do this not with conscious malice but blindly, lacking awareness of their own evil-indeed, seeking to avoid any such awareness". This part was particulary terrifying; because that's what I believe in. It ends by encouraging us to be open to grace, to welcome it whenever it comes, to prepare ourselves by becoming disciplined, wholly loving individuals, but to not actively seek it. "The awareness of the existence of grace can be of considerable assistance to those who have chosen to travel the difficult path of spiritual growth. For this awareness will facilitate their journey in at least three ways: it will help them to take advantage of grace along the way; it will give them a surer sense of direction; and it will provide encouragement." I was not particulary impressed by this part about grace since I don't know whether I believe in it. However, as I take further steps along this road, I am sure that I will find an answer that satisfies me. All in all, this book has changed my life in some subtle ways, it taught me that most of the time we don't "really" listen, and that in order to do so we must make a commitment and give our full attention even if what is being said bored the hell out of us. Caring is just that. It also taught me to take full responsibilty of whatever happens to me, not to blame society or family or fate, and that to express anger one should think and reflect upon the best way to do that, not to head on blindly in the heat of the moment; because our emotions are our slaves, not the other way around...and some balance need be established between them and their masters "us". It also taught me that we're all lazy to some degree, we don't want to live a life in constant thinking and reflection, yet this is the only way to grow. We all choose the easy way out, refusing to take responsibilty or to change our opinions and behaviours, yet this leads to a conflict between the conscious mind and the unconscious "who realizes that change must happen". It also taught me that life is full of pain, and that trying to avoid that pain is never successful. It is only by facing it head on, by listening to our unconscious minds and adjusting our maps of reality and by actively extending ourselves to help nurture others, and consequently ourselves, do we take steps on the road less travelled, the road to spiritual growth. Looking forward to reading other M. Scott Peck books! :'D

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I read the Road Less Travelled because several Internet sites rated it the most read self-help book ever. As a therapist and fan of self-help books I felt like I needed to get right on it. I'm glad I did. Peck has wisdom and depth to spare on the topics of psychotherapy and human fulfillment. He offers a fundamental jumping-off point to anyone hoping to improve their life, whether through therapy or introspection. So you need to read it! That being said, there are some cautions. Peck can by turn I read the Road Less Travelled because several Internet sites rated it the most read self-help book ever. As a therapist and fan of self-help books I felt like I needed to get right on it. I'm glad I did. Peck has wisdom and depth to spare on the topics of psychotherapy and human fulfillment. He offers a fundamental jumping-off point to anyone hoping to improve their life, whether through therapy or introspection. So you need to read it! That being said, there are some cautions. Peck can by turns be loving then judgmental toward therapy patients. His language choice and lack of sympathy at times made me cringe. He puts forth questionable opinions on boundaries as well, over-estimating (in my opinion) the degree of importance and control the therapist exercises in the patient's progress. He uses that importance to justify breaking well-established standards of professionalism and ethics in the counseling field. Finally, the last section, which addresses his spiritual beliefs, meanders. There are valuable nuggets to be mined, but they're buried within some bizarre musings. As he reflects on God and grace, Peck seems to forget he's writing to a general audience and instead expounds on his philosophies In a form more suited to autobiography than therapeutic enlightenment. At the end of the day, I'm aware I'm standing on the shoulders of a giant. Peck wrote this book in the '70s. Therapy has evolved quite a bit since then. Professionals brave enough to put forth their theories and thoughts are to be commended -- they push us forward. And Peck, whatever his imperfections, clearly comes from a place of courage and love serving not only as teacher but example for us all.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I have owned this book since I believe 1980 or so, but consider this a book, everyone should have on their life travel.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kressel Housman

    This book was recommended by one of my seminary teachers whose specialty was mitzvos bein adam l'chavero, i.e. the Biblical laws that govern interpersonal relationships. It was the only non-Jewish self-help book she respected, and considering her own expertise, I think that's quite a compliment. As the subtitle states, this is a book about the union of psychology and spirituality, or more specifically, how psychotherapy and spirituality are so close, they are almost one and the same. Having been This book was recommended by one of my seminary teachers whose specialty was mitzvos bein adam l'chavero, i.e. the Biblical laws that govern interpersonal relationships. It was the only non-Jewish self-help book she respected, and considering her own expertise, I think that's quite a compliment. As the subtitle states, this is a book about the union of psychology and spirituality, or more specifically, how psychotherapy and spirituality are so close, they are almost one and the same. Having been through a fair amount of therapy myself, I long ago came to the same conclusion: therapy, when done right, is the practical application of the self-improvement ideas of religion. As a matter of fact, this book was my Shabbos reading, far more appropriate than any fiction or politics I'd otherwise choose. Having said that, I must warn my Jewish friends that the author writes from a Christian standpoint. Some of the ideas can be translated into Jewish terms, particularly the concept of "grace," which we Jews see as "Divine Providence." The words "yetzer hara" and "yetzer tov" are also not in the book, but the concepts are certainly there. The quotes from the Christian Bible - and there weren't that many - I just skipped over. Actually, the author doesn't get too into Christianity until the second half of the book. The first two sections, called "Discipline" and "Love," are pretty much free of this, and I found them absolutely riveting. I'd read something like, "Listening is an act of love" and then find myself trying to listen better to my kids, which is what any self-help book should do to its reader. I found myself looking forward to reading more so that I could apply more ideas. To put it in Jewish terms, this book is an "avodah." Naturally, I disagreed with some of his Christian-based conclusions. We are not commanded to become G-d, which is impossible, but to emulate His ways. I don't know if the author would consider that a "cop-out" on my part, but that's the Jewish point of view. G-d is much greater than we are. It's not an avoidance of responsibility to say so. So overall, I thought it was an excellent book, one that I learned from and one that encouraged me. And I consider it a bit of "grace," (read: hashgacha) that I read the publisher's afterword at the end. The author's next book, The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, takes these concepts to the community level. Community involvement is something I've been thinking about quite often lately, so now I've been shown a new step toward that goal. May Hashem help that I use His guidance toward real growth.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kiwi Begs2Differ ✎

    As other readers have pointed out, this book started really well but later became dated hogwash and pseudo-spiritual psychobabble. The author supports his statements by presenting a number of case studies in his psychotherapy practice where he often uses the interpretation of dreams and Freudian’s slips as evidence of deeply buried issues with his patients. He mixes psychoanalysis (many references to Carl Jung), mysticism, philosophy and religion. I personally found the first section, on discipli As other readers have pointed out, this book started really well but later became dated hogwash and pseudo-spiritual psychobabble. The author supports his statements by presenting a number of case studies in his psychotherapy practice where he often uses the interpretation of dreams and Freudian’s slips as evidence of deeply buried issues with his patients. He mixes psychoanalysis (many references to Carl Jung), mysticism, philosophy and religion. I personally found the first section, on discipline, excellent; section two, on love, was OK, I started to lose interest on section 3, on growth and religion, by section 4, when he mentioned the paranormal ,such as telepathy, I was ready to throw the book against the wall. There were interesting points early on, and some sections that I found useful, but this is not a book that I would recommend. Fav quotes: We cannot solve a problem by saying “It’s not my problem.” We cannot solve a problem by hoping that someone else will solve it for us. I can solve a problem only when I say “This is my problem and it’s up to me to solve it.” But many, so many, seek to avoid the pain of their problems by saying to themselves: “This problem was caused me by other people, or by social circumstances beyond my control, and therefore it is up to other people or society to solve this problem for me. It is not really my personal problem.” A life of total dedication to the truth also means a life of willingness to be personally challenged. The only way that we can be certain that our map of reality is valid is to expose it to the criticism and challenge of other map-makers. The reason people lie is to avoid the pain of challenge and its consequences. When you require another individual for your survival, you are a parasite on that individual. There is no choice, no freedom involved in your relationship. It is a matter of necessity rather than love. Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other. If we want to be heard we must speak in a language the listener can understand and on a level at which the listener is capable of operating. If we are to love we must extend ourselves to adjust our communication to the capacities of our beloved.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dustin

    This book wasn't absolutely terrible, but it was terrible. It has nothing to do with a Road Less Traveled and there is virtually no unifying theme to it whatsoever. If you can get through the author's self-congratulation of himself and all psychoanalysts you can actually find some very good points in the first few sections. But as the book progresses it gets worse and worse. The finial section is absolutely horrible. It's about God and some shit about Jesus. (I couldn't bare to read it all the w This book wasn't absolutely terrible, but it was terrible. It has nothing to do with a Road Less Traveled and there is virtually no unifying theme to it whatsoever. If you can get through the author's self-congratulation of himself and all psychoanalysts you can actually find some very good points in the first few sections. But as the book progresses it gets worse and worse. The finial section is absolutely horrible. It's about God and some shit about Jesus. (I couldn't bare to read it all the way through).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I have run across this book so many times in used bookstores that at some point, I don’t know when, it started to indicate in my mind that a store was overstocked with generic titles. I periodically stop in at thrift stores—hoping to salvage some prophetic oracle from the ravages of being sandwiched and left to die a slow death between the James Pattersons and Julie Garwoods of the bargain aisles—and there this book can be found in droves. The title, extrapolated from a poem by the great poet Ro I have run across this book so many times in used bookstores that at some point, I don’t know when, it started to indicate in my mind that a store was overstocked with generic titles. I periodically stop in at thrift stores—hoping to salvage some prophetic oracle from the ravages of being sandwiched and left to die a slow death between the James Pattersons and Julie Garwoods of the bargain aisles—and there this book can be found in droves. The title, extrapolated from a poem by the great poet Robert Frost, coerced me on multiple occasions to pick it up and flip through it. The subtitle was hardly captivating, “A new psychology of love, traditional values, and spiritual growth.” I finally decided to take one home to determine to what extent my chronic nausea at seeing it and its legion brethren was valid. From the outset of reading, I was mildly interested. Soon I became intensely interested. Dr. Peck starts with his definition of a neurosis, and points out that people’s biggest problem is the avoidance of pain. He firmly plants his thesis with a quote from Carl Jung, “[A] neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.” A regular feature of our existence is change, and with the change of the external world, our internal maps of the world must undergo a change as well, or we become fixated on an outmoded index of reality. But this hurts, and to update one’s worldview is considered by many, albeit unconsciously, a hazard and inconvenience that is not worth the trouble. What’s worse, many would rather obscure any reminder of reality than adjust the old comfortable way of life and thinking. After this prelude to the meaning of confusion and pain, he pulls back further to the beginning of our psychological development—birth. As a psychoanalyst, following most closely to the traditions of Jung and Freud, he maintains that a much of our malfunctions as adults stem from how we were raised by our parents. A parent who has never learned to discipline their own lives will not know how to affirm or discipline their children in healthy ways. Parenting involves knowing how to suffer with your child to help them learn to overcome their challenges, but without this ability to endure and hold out for the higher good, a parent will remain self-focused and unable to create an environment of stability and trust for a child to feel they are safe, and therefore, valuable. Feeling valuable and rooted is the most important prerequisite for self-discipline and the ability to delay gratification because, understood for what it really is, “self-discipline is self-caring”. And yet, the author does not espouse a fatalistic sort of hard-wired neurology derived solely from one’s genes and upbringing. He believes firmly in the unique human ability to override past conditioning and forge new paths. He says this autonomous responsibility for one’s self is “perhaps the one [characteristic] that makes us most human...our capacity to do the unnatural, to transcend and hence transform our own nature.” And yet, ironically, this capacity is what we fear, referred to as the “pain of freedom”, for it means that we are master of, or at the very least partly responsible for, our choices, and thus our destiny is what he make of it. Having established that we have a choice to delay gratification and suffer for the things we value and that will bring joy to our lives, he segways into the goal—and ultimately the deepest impetus—of self-discipline: love. Love, in the mind of Dr. Peck, is the goal of all nature. He defines love by contrasting it with what is often misunderstood as ‘falling in love’. Here Peck provides what I have found to be the most compelling and cogent explanation of physical-emotional infatuation that I have ever heard or read. He describes the phenomenon of falling in love as a total collapse of ego boundaries—the felt perimeters of the limits of one’s body and being—and pouring one’s self into another person’s cramped ego ‘container’ hoping to escape one’s lonely, and loathsome, existence. This inevitably leads to disillusionment as one or both parties realize that they did not extend their world in love, but only squeezed into the already crowded space of another lonely soul. From there Peck defines genuine love as the extension of one’s ego boundaries without collapse, a thinning of the walls of one’s being to slowly blur the line between one’s self and others. Here Peck admits he leans on a mystery—the progress of a person who loves becoming more and more “identified with the world”. This process of investing one’s self, without losing one’s self, is referred to as cathexis, and Peck develops this by adding that “when we cathect an object outside of ourselves we also psychologically incorporate a representation of that object into ourselves”, and thereby broaden ourselves into less of an isolated and lonely entity. I truly appreciated Peck’s elucidation of the dangers of co-dependency, referring to it as a form of parasitism. “When you require another individual for your survival, you are a parasite on that individual.” Nasty imagery. Next time you see a parent that refuses to acknowledge the autonomy of their child, refusing to accept that the child may grow up and not need them anymore, try to imagine the parent as a giant leach sucking the life and will out of the child, leaving only a limp, bloodless shell of a thing that will never develop strong legs to run from the giant bloodsucker with its razor-toothed mouth to their throat. Peck believes that for a person to truly benefit from another person, they must both develop firm boundaries or they are both liable to be harmful for each other. “Ego boundaries must be hardened before they can be softened. An identity must be established before it can be transcended.” He even goes so far as to call dependency ‘anti-love’. He urges his readers not to fool themselves into thinking that anything ought to be done exclusively for another person. Some things we must do because they put us right with ourselves, with others, and with God. The right thing is as much for us as it is for another. “Whenever we think of ourselves as doing something [solely] for someone else, we are in some way denying our own responsibility.” He returns again and again to this simple but often terrifying principle: to love another, we must first love ourselves. The first 150 pages or so were the best. The rest I found to be somewhat speculative and even a bit rash in spots. I believe he is correct in his view that science is first founded on a belief of some sort, an implicit value system, and the denigration of religion by science is often not only as bigoted as any religious belief, but also backwards. Religion and science are mostly concerned with subject and object respectively, and there should be a healthy respect one for the other. Peck recognizes this dichotomy of roles, and does a great job of defending religion against science for the most part, but his book seemed to lose steam as he dabbled in subjects that weren’t his forte. He attempted to wax philosophical, and though I think he did all right and many may find his conclusions enlightening, I found it to stray too far off topic. It is true that his original thoughts in psychoanalysis are indebted to the linking of his philosophy of life to psychology, and his bravery in owning up to personal values in scientific pursuits is a huge leap beyond his peers, but I was more interested in the application of his beliefs in psychoanalysis, rather than a full review of his personal values and faith. That being said, I was much more familiar with the philosophical/theological roots of his work than some of his readers might be, and I recognize that I might have otherwise criticized him for leaving us hanging if he didn’t take the time to unfold how he developed his ideas. So, the end felt anti-climactic and wound down. But there are other things too that I would warn people of before they read it. He refers to controlling one’s feelings as “slave-owning” (couldn’t he have used employee management or dog-training?) and he was entirely unapologetic about the slave-owning metaphor, riding it hard without even a nod towards the relatively recent struggle of civil rights; he briefly mentions a few times that he condones open marriage to some degree; he believes in psychic healing; and he is intrigued with a fanciful version of Jung’s synchronicity. But in spite of all this, I still consider him to be eminently respectful of the tension between science and religion, and that is a tonic to find in his field of typically aggressive anti-religion and a reductionist view of humanity and a purpose to our existence. He’s a brave psychologist, and his openness to certain ideas, however disagreeable to me, still seems like an honest result of his personal best of reason and love, not a sloppy acceptance of novel psychology. For me, the first 150 pages were worth the read, and I’ve already purchased another copy for a friend to benefit from the thoughts contained in the first part alone. For the rest of you, check your local Goodwill—I’m sure they have a few copies.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Loy Machedo

    Loy Machedo’s Book Review - The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck It amazes me to know I had purchased the book when I was 19 years old without any knowledge of its contents or even an understanding of what psychology was all about. In fact even though my grasp of the English language was still in its infancy, the only driving force that compelled me to buy this book was the big bold red letters printed at the bottom of the cov Loy Machedo’s Book Review - The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck It amazes me to know I had purchased the book when I was 19 years old without any knowledge of its contents or even an understanding of what psychology was all about. In fact even though my grasp of the English language was still in its infancy, the only driving force that compelled me to buy this book was the big bold red letters printed at the bottom of the cover ‘The Six Million Copy Bestseller’. I picked it up assuming – if six million people had read it, maybe I should read it too. From a very young age, the thirst for knowledge and self learning were values I held very close to my heart. So this book had to be read. The edition I had purchased was a rather old publication – printed in the typical rough wispy paper with a typical Times New Roman size 6 font - from an old Indian book shop in a village of Mangalore – South India. It may humor you to know I even underlined words that I felt far exceeded my English vocabulary at that time. Words like ‘quirks’, ‘terrain’, ‘ludicrous’, ’slovenly’, ‘impel’ and ‘whimpered’. I would underline them and later on refer a dictionary to find out what they meant. Such was the journey of mine many years ago as I had purchased this book. So reading this book after nearly 16 years brought back memories. ‘The Road Less Travelled’ a timeless masterpiece written by Morgan Scott Peck (23 May 1936 – 25 September 2005) is one of those rare self-help books, that debuted silently in the year 1978. It did not have the big fan fare, trumpet blaring, internet exploding and massive media campaign which we have today. Simon & Schuster initially printed only about 5,000 copies and it was only after Dr. Peck took the initiative to send copies of his book to hundreds of newspapers and write reviews did the book finally sell a respectable 12,000 Hard Cover copies and 30,000 paperback editions. That number doubled in each of the next two years, and in mid-1983, five years after publication, "The Road Less Traveled" reached the New York Times best-seller list for the first time. It has since spent 694 weeks on the list, the equivalent of more than 13 years. Today his books have sold millions of copies around the world and have been translated into more than 20 languages. This book in a nutshell is a description of the attributes that make for a fulfilled and balanced human being, based largely on his experiences as a psychiatrist and a person. The book is divided into 3 sections. Section 1 speaks about Discipline which he believes is necessary for spiritual, emotional, mental, psychological and physical well being. The key elements postulated here are the ability to delay gratification, accepting responsibility for oneself and one's actions, a dedication to truth and balancing Section 2 speaks about the nature of Love, the myths and misconceptions of it being defined as a ‘feeling’ or being promulgated as ‘romantic gestures’. He brilliantly lets his wisdom and his thoughts permeate the into the readers mind by explaining his theory behind what true love is all about. Section 3 speaks about Grace and the challenges scientific thinking, the god belief, faith systems and human consciousness operates on. So how did I find this book? The book lays out a blue print of balance between the human desire to seek answers while questioning the mysteries of suffering and pain. Where the book does not give easy answers, the author at the same time does not confuse the reader with grandiose terms and concepts. He masterfully simplifies the questions of the ages with answers that even a 19 year old like me with a poor grasp of the English language those days could find solace in. The only drawback of this book is that, towards the end, in the chapters of grace, the theories and explanations appeal to the beliefs of Christians apologists and followers with well-intentioned yet futile explanations of the myth of Adam and Eve, the miracles of Christ and the biblical stories of the monolithic middle-east manufactured mythical god. However, one can presuppose that these were his beliefs and all said and done, it was communicated with the best intentions of helping people find answers in difficult times. Overall, a well crafted, communicated and condensed book that will forever stand the test of time. I still believe this is a timeless masterpiece and I would recommend anyone with the innate desire to find the answers to difficult questions – to please read this book and feel the sense of balance and joy that I found by picking up this book many years ago. Overall ratings - 7.5 out of 10.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andre

    I loved sections I-III. Section IV turned pretty biblical on me, and very fast, although I got the point. Going into section IV, it was a solid 4 stars. Afterwards, I'm not sure so much. Maybe that might change as my spirituality grows, but it just seemed like I was reading the bible instead of a book on Psychology. "What I Learned From This Book" - what a freaking loaded question this is - you always take out of something what you *want* to take out of it. As Mr. Pirsig would state, I took out o I loved sections I-III. Section IV turned pretty biblical on me, and very fast, although I got the point. Going into section IV, it was a solid 4 stars. Afterwards, I'm not sure so much. Maybe that might change as my spirituality grows, but it just seemed like I was reading the bible instead of a book on Psychology. "What I Learned From This Book" - what a freaking loaded question this is - you always take out of something what you *want* to take out of it. As Mr. Pirsig would state, I took out of the book what I saw had value to me as I sit right now. Well, one big thing is that you need to constantly revise the map of your life. Think of drawing your map in pencil as opposed to pen (after reading this, I actually asked myself if I tend to write heavy handed?). To a lesser extent, another thing I remember is that I found it interesting that he points out that self-responsibility is key... in one chapter he mentioned that people tend to give away their freedom and happiness because they don't want to be responsible for their actions (instead, preferring to blame or delegate to someone else). One big thing I liked is that he mentioned that it's "lonely out on the growing edge." Another section, he talks about the difference between political power and spiritual power. I strongly disagreed with Peck's statement that Good always triumphs Evil. I'll write more about this after my copy comes in the mail. All in all, I think that if Psychology is your bag, this is an interesting read. You might not agree with everything, but, well, regardless, you'll be more rounded. //

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    I give this book five stars because I can honestly say that reading it has made me a better person. I have plenty of criticisms, which I will get to, but the bottom line is that there are a lot of difficult truths in this book and it stands as a challenge and a guide to the reader to progress and develop beyond where you may be comfortable. I do not often read or like this genre of book, but my mom has been recommending this book to me for years and I finally borrowed her copy (which incidentall I give this book five stars because I can honestly say that reading it has made me a better person. I have plenty of criticisms, which I will get to, but the bottom line is that there are a lot of difficult truths in this book and it stands as a challenge and a guide to the reader to progress and develop beyond where you may be comfortable. I do not often read or like this genre of book, but my mom has been recommending this book to me for years and I finally borrowed her copy (which incidentally was published the year I was born!). There is quite a bit in here that I do not agree with and some things that just seem banal or just untrue. But there are other parts that are so incredibly insightful and overwhelmingly true--which made me wish that I had read this book earlier. A lot of people may have issues with the last 1/3 of the book when the author delves into his religious beliefs and philosophy, but I have to admit that that was my favorite part. I think he accurately describes the nature of God and the process of man becoming like God. This part is the least "scientific", but the most inspiring. (I also admit that the book made me want to be a therapist (again) as this sort of analysis is like a hobby for me and this type of book may not be for everyone as he really gets into some psychology theory and jargon.)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Dawn

    I’m seriously not sure how I failed to see the great life wisdom this book contains (upon my first reading many years ago.) In spite of the book’s overwhelming success and acclaim, I remember curiously not feeling it myself. I had a vague sense of it being dry and lifeless material, and it seemed void of any helpful insights for me at that time of my life. Reading it now, I’m overwhelmed with its amazing insight and wisdom. The book hasn’t changed. Clearly, at the time of my first reading, this I’m seriously not sure how I failed to see the great life wisdom this book contains (upon my first reading many years ago.) In spite of the book’s overwhelming success and acclaim, I remember curiously not feeling it myself. I had a vague sense of it being dry and lifeless material, and it seemed void of any helpful insights for me at that time of my life. Reading it now, I’m overwhelmed with its amazing insight and wisdom. The book hasn’t changed. Clearly, at the time of my first reading, this student was not ready for the teacher to appear. Upon reflection, I must ask myself: At a a younger age, was I annoyed that this book offered no quick fixes, no shortcuts, no avoiding the necessary pain that comes with change and personal growth? I have to answer most definitely, yet compassionately, for my much younger self, unfortunately, Yes! All evidence points to the fact I was seeking to travel an easy path, without paying my dues, on a road I soon found to be leading Nowhere, fast. In summary, IT WAS ME, NOT YOU, The Road Less Traveled, ❤️ M. Scott Peck. ⭐️🌟 ⭐️ ⭐️

  28. 5 out of 5

    John M

    Strong beginning, end with a bing. It starts in the first of four parts with sagacity of tone, conservatively analyzing discipline and how this relates to happiness and mental illness. His ideas aren't entirely profound, but they snugly fit the psychiatric philosophy-wannabe tradition of the mid-twentieth century, which means that his writing is a literary analog of psychotherapy -- calm voice, gentle points (even if they're substantially hard to hear), patience in progression -- decked with tru Strong beginning, end with a bing. It starts in the first of four parts with sagacity of tone, conservatively analyzing discipline and how this relates to happiness and mental illness. His ideas aren't entirely profound, but they snugly fit the psychiatric philosophy-wannabe tradition of the mid-twentieth century, which means that his writing is a literary analog of psychotherapy -- calm voice, gentle points (even if they're substantially hard to hear), patience in progression -- decked with truly interesting stories that flesh out his points nicely (the unique advantage of therapist authors). That's great, four-and-a-half to five stars, keep it going. With each chapter change, however, another frightening head is added to the Medusa of pseudo-intellectual secular spirituality. He keeps the prose engaging in the second part, and it's nice to hear ruminations on the subject of love (especially the potent-but-romantic idea that psychotherapists should "love" their clients in the sense that they will the best for them), even if many of his thoughts are a little strange (like the idea that love is selfish). But by the third part and fourth parts (on growth and religion, and grace) he's completely in his own self-created New Age semi-mysticism, almost a pure non-sequitur in relation to the other two parts. It's not quite Christian. Actually, I don't know what it is. He arbitrarily adds the subject of grace as a finisher, which he implicitly defines as divine providence rather than anything remotely close to common theological interpretations. By now it's virtually over. "Love is conscious, grace is not." "God is the goal of evolution." "Original sin does exist; it is our laziness." All enough illogical metaphysical speculation to make a creationist blush, and have Carl Jung haunted with thoughts of a shrink crucifixion. Still, I liked it, mostly for the first half, and even in the latter chapters there were fruits of independent thinking. But it's impossible to express how smoothly and subtlety the book progresses to a religious worldview. I felt during the latter half of the book that at any succeeding paragraph he would end one of his far-out contemplations with "Oh yeah, Jesus is God, you know." And in any other context that's fine, but here it's downright deceptive. The book starts so nicely thoughtful on daily problems and some of the steps needed to transcend them, holding to secular steering. Then one thing leads to another, and another, and before long you come to realize that the road less traveled is the road smoothly downhill to the land of blurry theology.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Adria

    I enjoyed reading The Road Less Traveled as I felt as though the author, Dr. Peck, was an older and much wiser friend intent on guiding me out of my current pathology. The book is written by a psychiatrist and seeks to help the reader explore her life through her preconceived notions and definitions of love, the self and personal values. Using a gentle voice and clear examples the author grapples with profound life questions. For example, Dr. Peck addresses the ways in which each person's uncons I enjoyed reading The Road Less Traveled as I felt as though the author, Dr. Peck, was an older and much wiser friend intent on guiding me out of my current pathology. The book is written by a psychiatrist and seeks to help the reader explore her life through her preconceived notions and definitions of love, the self and personal values. Using a gentle voice and clear examples the author grapples with profound life questions. For example, Dr. Peck addresses the ways in which each person's unconscious manifests and attempts to be heard by its owner. He states, the "way in which the unconscious manifests itself and speaks to us if we care to listen (which we usually don't) is through our behavior" (Peck, 1978, p.248). He continues on in that particular passage to relate that specifically in regards to a patient and how she "acts out" within her therapeutic process. The author is obviously very knowledgeable about his particular field of study, but what I find so effective about this book is his voice within the text. In the book, I think the author does a great job using what Fletcher describes as “Voice.” Fletcher states, when people write with voice, “they put the indelible stamp of their personalities on the information they are learning-they make it their own” (p.80). Peck starts the book by acknowledging how difficult life is and the challenge people have in realizing this difficulty as not a unique experience. Peck states, "I know about this moaning because I have done my share" (p.15). This bit of self-disclosure done in the humble manner in which he does it continues on throughout the book. Peck shares his insecurities and moments of struggle with grace and honesty. If I were to utilize this text in order to teach students how to achieve a great voice, I would highlight all of Peck's honest admissions and urge fledgling writers to mirror that same vulnerability.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steven Walle

    This was a great teaching on values and love. A good book for us all to read in this time of warand strife in our world. Please read, enjoy and Be Blessed.

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