64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential
Not easy reading but worth every second and all the effort that you put in it. While Peck's style is generally engaging and simple, there are times when you might need to re-read his words to get his meaning. This is probably because the subject matter gets your mind working almost from the first word. Each chapter deserves to be read slowly and carefully and...
Published on 20 Dec 2005 by Layla Halabi
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring but...
This is a very inspiring book for those who need answers about self discipline, love, faith and spiritual growth. Psychology professors have recommended this book from some time and I understand why. It takes the reader into a deeper look at what love is and the author spends quite some time explaining what it is not. I agree on some of his proposals but the only...
Published on 7 Nov 1998
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential,
This review is from: Road Less Traveled, 25th Anniversar (Paperback)Not easy reading but worth every second and all the effort that you put in it. While Peck's style is generally engaging and simple, there are times when you might need to re-read his words to get his meaning. This is probably because the subject matter gets your mind working almost from the first word. Each chapter deserves to be read slowly and carefully and therefore, it is not an 'easy' read.
This is a book about living; living in a way that sets you apart. It's a book about Life and everything that we normally associate with it and with living. Peck divides the book into four sections: Discipline, Love, Growth & Religion, & Grace. But in these sections he addresses everything from falling in love to solving problems and dealing with pain. The challenge, of course, is doing all of these things in our limited lifetimes, but he writes about that too.
Most of us tend to take these `things' for granted; we 'do' them without thinking about the reasons, methods, or the consequences. In the 'The Road Less Traveled', Scott Peck forces us to think about what we do, what we feel, and what we think in different ways that we have not thought of before.
Scott Peck combines years of psychotherapy with a natural writing style that attracts the reader and challenges his/her mind. It is not the writing style that makes the book difficult reading (even though there are a few instances in the book when he does become too involved), but the continuous challenge to you mind and to your preconceived ideas. Peck demands that you examine your mind, your feelings and your heart deeply and objectively. Most of us find that difficult.
Peck comes across his book as a warm and sensitive person and he makes you feel at ease instantly... What else would you expect from someone whose opening sentence is "Life is difficult!"
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book that looks at life in a different perspective,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Road Less Travelled: The New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (Stationery)I was really moved when I read the book. I immediately saw myself as one of the individuals Dr. Peck mentioned. The words really pierced me since it was as if the author was talking to me personally. What sets this book apart from other books was that the author combined the depth of psyhology and the sophistication and truthfulness of spirituality. The author also used real life stories from his patients, just to prove his point. I have always used this book as one of my personal guides to the major decisions I have made in my life.It is really one of the author's gift to humanity.
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring but...,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth (Paperback)This is a very inspiring book for those who need answers about self discipline, love, faith and spiritual growth. Psychology professors have recommended this book from some time and I understand why. It takes the reader into a deeper look at what love is and the author spends quite some time explaining what it is not. I agree on some of his proposals but the only problem I find with his insights is that they are too simplistic. His definition of love is way to general and although he painstakingly emphasized that, all and all, love is the basic act of a couple's boundaries collapsing, I still feel that this does not apply in all situations. And I really didn't agree with his idea that falling in love is as a "trap" into marriage. Again too simplistic and not to mention cynical and sarcastic. There are a lot of things that disturb me about this book. I feel the author is a little rough on the parents and should read Louise L Hayes books and give parents some credit. No one is perfect!! Remember: one should understand how parents work with their children. They are doing the best they can from what they have learned themselves from their own parents. This is how they've been conditioned. Come on..I know there are some really BAD parents out there. But for those who do not live up to their child's EVERY need, one can not equate that with evil (yes, he equates laziness with evil.. again too simplistic and false, but that's another book). Toward the end of the book... Peck practically gives us his testimony.. It was very inspirational for those seeking to reach their higher self.. but if you are not a Christian you will feel left out i would have given this book fewer stars but there ARE a look of good insights in this books.. especially the chapters on self-discipline.. can't blame the world for your troubles.. you got to get up and work to achieve you main goals in life... eventually into spiritual growth. I also agreed with his view on changing and how he equated it with maturity. Peck's a very stern, no-nonsense speaker and a good thinker. I would recommend this book for those looking for answers to why their life is going no where, but at the same time I would recommend they disregard some of his theories to achieve the maximum effect of this book (and also prevent them from getting upset and throwing the book). Remember it's ok to disagree with what you read in this book. Peck has a way of making things seem so definite and written in stone just because he says so. I've read plenty of his books so I know!
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not only THE manual for life, but also a fascinating read.,
This review is from: The Road Less Travelled (Arrow New-Age) (Paperback)The best self-help book ever!
I don't know how many times I've read this book. In my experience the principles of action described in this book really work, and lead to greater happiness and contentment.
There is a spiritual element to the book, which gets stronger in its second half. This may put some people off. However, even if you do not believe in spiritual things, (the first half of) this book is still worth buying, reading and using.
Scott Peck focuses in on the key tools for living in a convincing and interesting way. He is a psychiatrist but does not get caught up in any technical analysis. He just describes simple tools that work, and backs them up with argument and case studies.
Whether you're spiritual or not, this book could bring greater fulfillment to your life, and at the very least will be an entertaining and thoughtful read.
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wake up call in writing,
This review is from: The Road Less Travelled (Arrow New-Age) (Paperback)This is a book Ive bought about 10 times to give to friends who need some support and ideas to rejuvenate their lives. Packed full of straight talking wisdom this book has made my friends gasp with the revelations of how life can be when we are given examples of how to live. Its not religious, its not really even moralistic its just plain old back to basic thinking.
In times when the world confuses most of us and our lives seem to be skidding out of control this allows you to put the breaks on and even change direction. Sound impossible? I promise once you read this book your life will change forever. Unmissable and important to your collection however large or small.
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into the bewildering journey of life.,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Road Less Traveled (Paperback)M. Scott Peck offers not only comfort and support but motivation and realistic, practical suggestions to help the reader find their own road through life. He pulls no punches, and at no point tries to convince you that the world is a wonderful place, but instead is completely honest about the difficulties out there to be faced. The book contains a balance of psychology, philosophy, case studies, and the author's own experiences. It takes a converstional approach and is at no point patronising. When I began reading this book I began seeing a little of myself in every case study and observation. I was able to see clearly many of my faults and neuroses. However, I also was able to see that these faults and neuroses were actually pretty common and easily surmountable provided I had the inclination. By the end of the book I felt positive about my life and the road I was travelling. As a direct result of reading this book I no longer worry about the problems life may throw at me as I know I am easily capable of coping (at least reasonably well!). I have managed to clear many of the skeletons out of my closit, and can see the path ahead.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charting a path...,
This review is from: The Road Less Traveled (Paperback)I first read M. Scott Peck's `The Road Less Travelled' over 20 years ago, but it is a text to which I return again and again, as Peck's insights and observations remain a constant source of inspiration and guidance in my life. It still finds a ready home in the hands of therapists, counselors, ministers, teachers, career planners, and others as part of their resources, and is not out of place in the home of anyone who cares about the directions of her or his life.
Peck is a clinical psychiatrist - the material for this book came largely from his experiences with clients and others, seeing what worked and what didn't, what was missing and what was mis-understood. Often cases involved psychotherapy (talk therapy), but the processes here are not confined to therapists' offices. The same kinds of problem solving, processing and relationship building that takes place in psychotherapy can be used as life-long tools.
Peck resists labels such as Freudian and Jungian; he doesn't look for, nor does he offer, quick fixes or the psychotherapeutic variety of the get-rich-quick schemes. This book is not a therapy manual, but rather a guide to spiritual growth that incorporates therapeutic and psychological principles. Peck echoes the sentiments of many spiritual directors and leaders through the millennia that spiritual and personal growth are long journeys, not short leaps. It involves dedication and intention, and a willingness to accept risk and change.
Perhaps it is ironic that, given this, the first topic Peck focuses upon is Discipline. However, without discipline, change can go unchecked and uncharted, growth can become problematic, and the human soul becomes susceptible to a host of difficulties. Dedication and application to problem-solving and long-term building (whether it be of retirement funds or of one's own spirit) requires a disciplined approach that recognises that life is difficulty (the first of Buddha's Four Noble Truths, cited by Peck), gratification sometimes needs to be delayed for greater goods, and reality needs to be approached and dealt with responsibly.
Peck calls here for a life to be totally dedicated to the truth. This is hard, because we as human beings are so accustomed to rationalisation and reinterpretation. This kind of dedication also requires a balance in life, and an ability to be flexible as the truths of our lives change - few of us are in possession of timeless and eternal truths governing every aspect of our lives, and often those who feel they are end up disappointed in the end. The continuing creativity of God in our lives requires flexibility, but this is best achieved in a disciplined and balanced context.
Peck then turns to love, a mysterious thing even in the best of times. He identifies some of the myths of `falling in love' and romantic love that our culture through various means idealises, leading to great dissatisfaction when we do not achieve the desired feelings or situations. Peck makes the assertion that love is not really a feeling, but rather an action or activity, that involves a lot of risk-taking (Peck talks about risks of independence, of commitment, of confrontation, and of loss). True love requires discipline and recognition of the needs of the self and others.
The final two sections of the text deal with aspects of religion on the spiritual and psychological development of persons. The first section looks at religion and growth processes. He does a short survey of some attitudes toward religions and denominations, as well as a look at how the modern scientific mindset colours the worldview of modern people, particularly with ideas of verification and skepticism. Some psychologists and theorists have wondered if religion were mass delusions, mass psychosis, or some other kind of sickness. Peck uses interesting extended case studies here to examine the role of various aspects of religion in the developmental lives of several people. Peck asks the question, `Is belief in God a psychopathology?' In some aspects, and for some people, the way they approach and `use' religion, the answer may well be yes. However, Peck also takes the psychotherapeutic community to task for often being too narrow or too dismissive of the value of religious sentiment and institutions in the lives of their charges.
The final section looks at the role of grace in the spiritual growth process. Grace is another mysterious force, like love, that is difficult to pin down and explain. It is also something uncontrollable. Why do some with artistic talent end up being successful and celebrated, and others not? Why do some use their talent, when others don't? In cases of ultimate despair, Peck makes the observation that while it is often clear why some people commit suicide, it is not often clear why others in the same situations don't. Some of this has to do with the unconscious mind that guides us, and some of it has to do with the miracle of serendipity, as Peck describes it.
Peck describes in some detail his concept of what grace is and how it works, in very general terms that relate to no denomination or religion in particular, but has wide applicability. He talks both about resistance to grace and the welcoming of grace. Grace is not easy, and often comes with responsibilities (Bonhoeffer talks about cheap grace; the requirements of grace are noted through scriptures of many religions). Welcoming grace welcomes often more than we bargained for, but also often more than we hoped.
In his afterword, Peck discusses the difficulties of writing in an organised and linear fashion about something so fundamentally disorganised as spiritual growth and therapeutic processes. He also talks about the need for finding competent help when required - ability is not measured by degrees, he states (something true in many professions). This is useful for those seeking a first therapeutic relationship, or needing a change.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!,
This review is from: Road Less Traveled, 25th Anniversar (Paperback)I couldn't put this book down...really I beleive the most amazing, important book I have ever read. It was a shocking read -as I suddenly identified with behaviours in myself that Peck describes in others, I became very tearful..it was just so sad to realise why I had done certain things in the past..just kept saying "If ONLY I had read this book as a teenager, my life up to now would have been so much better!!"
Is great to learn how to really improve your life & relationships ..I loved it when Peck said he gets so cross with parents who tell their children they 'think too much'(my mum always said this to me)..when that is exactly where we go wrong - NOT thinking enough!
I am not a religious person, infact I did not beleive in 'God' at all before reading this. When Peck talks about 'God' NOT being 'out there' but as a force inside all of us and everything - infact -God being our subconscious mind (the largest, but least used part of the mind for most of us) always knowing the best way for us - I thought this made alot of sense!! When Peck asks you to examine your belief in a 'life force' looking after us - haven't you come so close to death but didn't die?(and can't explain why, or how you seemed to be saved so last minute, by the most amazing 'luck'!) - I knew this had happened to me.
I was very disappointed to read some of the reviews of this book where people say it is a good book until he talks about religion & that he is trying to force religion on people..he is not promoting religion at all!! Infact he gives an example of how organised religion had been so distructive in one of his patient's lives. I would say to those people to read the book again and don't switch off at the word 'God' because he's not even talking about God in the way most people think of God!!
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely fascinating,
This review is from: The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (Classic Edition) (Paperback)I lost my grandson 15mths ago and have been having a very bad time with coming to terms with it. when i read this book, which i found easy to read and understand,i found a peace of mind that has eluded me all my life. Scott Peck explains what love is and how to extend that love and what you may find at the end. When i finished the book i just said out loud "oh Wow".
Every body should read this book at sometime in thier livesThe Road Less Travelled (Arrow New-Age)
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing experience,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth: The New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (25th Anniversary Edition) (Paperback)The Road Less Travelled has been the single most inspirational book I have read. Peck's insights into human behaviour are incisive, universal and yet simultaneously deeply personal for the reader. The style is easy and yet riveting, and the way Peck delves into the human mind and spirit provides a springboard from which the reader can begin to understand and more effectively manage (problem areas in) his/her own life.
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The Road Less Travelled (Arrow New-Age) by M. Scott Peck (Paperback - 15 Mar 1990)