The Road Less Traveled – A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth, by M. Scott Peck, MD

If you have reached a point in your life when you just want to know more about how the mind works and possibly find some answers to questions about relationships, dealing with problems and finding possible ways to solve them, this might be a good first step in that direction. Written by a psychiatrist in 1978, the book manages to combine a series of real life cases with interesting insights into how people deal with (or manage to avoid) different issues, and plain matter of fact explanations about what triggers the emotional component of our actions.

The book is divided into 4 major sections: Discipline, Love, Growth and Religion, Grace. From the subject of responsibility, problem solving and depression, to the somewhat scientific explanation of the concept of Love, through the issue of religion but not necessarily in the ‘church-going way’, and the power of our unconscious, the book manages to bring structure and a sense of order to the everyday situations and life challenges, while at the same time pointing out ways to attain ‘mental health’.

It is a long, difficult and painful journey which many of us are afraid of, but one which we have to take, every day, every moment, one we may feel like giving up from time to time and one which only ends in the moment of our death: the journey of knowing ourselves, of going through experiences, of suffering and joy, of constant change and adjustment. Life is difficult – that is how the book starts, but that doesn’t have to be taken as a negative thing but more like a challenge. Just like a traveler would pack his bag, put on his walking shoes and start on his journey, so we must do, and if our supplies run out, our shoes get worn and we stop for breaks along the way, we must strive forward, replenishing our resources, getting new shoes and keep going on this road less traveled of our own personal fulfillment.
This is one of those rare books that deserves a second (maybe a third and a fourth) reading.

*Read in July 2011

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10 Responses to The Road Less Traveled – A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth, by M. Scott Peck, MD

  1. Jenners says:

    Love is hard and challenging. I remember reading this ages ago … and, like you said, it might be worth a revisit.

  2. Delia says:

    Yes, that’s one of the things he says. What I like is the no-nonsense approach – the book is very interesting to say the least and I’m glad I read it now, at this point in my life. It has definitely helped me see things in a different and more realistic way.

  3. Vishy says:

    Thanks for stopping by at my blog, Delia 🙂 Your blog looks wonderful! I am hoping to read some of your past posts and take reading suggestions from them.

    Nice review! I have seen Scott Peck’s book in the library and the bookstore and I liked it when I read the description in the back cover, but I have never got around to reading it. Glad to know that you liked it so much. I liked very much your comment that it reveals hidden insights and new perspectives, everytime one reads it again. I will try reading it one of these days.

    • Vishy says:

      I forgot to mention one more thing. I love the header image of your blog – it has some of my favourite books (‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, ‘Fahrenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury) and some of the books that I want to read very much (‘The Poisonwood Bible’ by Barbara Kingsolver, ‘Possession’ by A.S.Byatt, ‘Stories’ by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantino) 🙂 Have you read Ray Bradbury’s ‘Dandelion Wine’?

      • Delia says:

        I haven’t read ‘Dandelion Wine’ but after ‘Fahrenheit 451’ (what an amazing book!) I wanted to read more of his work and picked up ‘Let’s All Kill Constance’ just because I liked the title.
        Have you read ‘The Angel’s Game’ by Zafon? I forgot which one of his books I read first but they are connected.

        • Vishy says:

          I too loved ‘Fahrenheit 451’ – it is an amazing book, as you have said. If you do get to read ‘Dandelion Wine’ sometime, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. It is the most beautiful evocation of summer that I have ever read. ‘Let’s All Kill Constance’ is such an interesting title! Hope you enjoy reading it. I haven’t read ‘The Angel’s Game’. How is it?

          • Delia says:

            I’ll keep an eye out for Dandelion Wine. Your comment sounds intriguing – oh, I love summer!

            If you liked The Shadow of The Wind then you’ll probably enjoy The Angel’s Game where the story continues (Google helped refresh my memory, The Angel’s Game is actually a prequel to The Shadow of The Wind but was written after it). I enjoyed them both. I like the concept of the ‘cemetery of forgotten books’, I wish that place was real and I wish I could go there. 🙂
            The two books are actually part of a 4 book series and I’m wondering when the next book will be published.

    • Delia says:

      Hi Vishy,
      Thanks for returning the visit. Come back any time. 🙂
      I have never heard of ‘The Road Less Traveled’ until a friend of mine mentioned it to me and since our reading tastes coincide I decided to look for it. I was impressed that after 30+ years since it was written it’s still in print but that goes to show that some things don’t change that much over the years.

      • Vishy says:

        It is amazing that after 30+ years which have passed since ‘The Road Less Travelled’ came out, it feels quite relevant! Your observation that some things don’t change over the years, made me think.

  4. Vishy says:

    I didn’t know that ‘The Angel’s Game’ was a prequel to ‘The Shadow of the Wind’! So interesting! I will look for the book in the library or the bookstore when I go there next time. Thanks for telling me about it 🙂

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