The culmination of a lifetime of counselling, lecturing and writing, M. Scott Peck's major work leads us to a deeper awareness of how to live rich, fulfilling lives in a world fraught with stress, worry and anxiety. Writing with a depth of understanding that comes with the seasoned perspective of age, Dr Peck continues the journey of spiritual growth that began with The Road Less Travelled, one of the most influential personal development books of modern times. To the famous opening line of that book - 'Life is difficult' he now adds 'Life is complex'. But the greatest challenge, he reminds us, is to learn to deal with life's conflicts, problems and paradoxes to find the true simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity. The journey to serenity and inner peace, Dr Peck writes, can only be made with increasing self-awareness and social awareness. There are no easy answers for complex problems. The work of learning and spiritual growth is hard. And yet he shows us that there is a way to think with integrity, to know the difference between good and evil, to overcome narcissism, to love and be loved, to live with paradox, to accept the consequences of our actions all through life, and to come to terms with dying and death.
Philosophical psychiatrist Peck (Further Along the Road Less Traveled) continues his journey through the existential conflicts and baffling paradoxes on the meandering road of personal development. Mixing selections of pre-digested Freud and Jung for nonacademic consumption, along with an idiosyncratic idea of an immanent yet bland non-denominational God, Peck guides pilgrims toward emotional and spiritual growth. His style is smooth and conversational, though his concession to political correctness, through alternating male and female personal pronouns, can be annoying. He is at his best in colorful anecdotes about his professional and personal life. In these instances, his insights reflect the experiences of a thoughtful and gentle man who has tried to find wisdom in a life that has known both sunlight and shade. Peck's hard-edged insistence on personal responsibility in everyone's life, and on an awareness of evil and sin as real, elevate his discourse from cloying New Age palaver to a meaningful concern about humanity's place in the cosmic order. His honesty in writing about, and working through, his own shortcomings testifies to his integrity and lends credence to his observations. Through copious detailed references from his previous books, he allows readers unfamiliar with them to understand and enjoy the present work, which completes his Road trilogy. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate selection.
On the road.
I read this in my youth, going through some difficult questions I had, on life, growth and who I was. Interesting, illuminating and humble. I got so much from this book. One of my all time favourites.