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The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth Paperback – Special Edition, Feb 4 2003


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The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth + People of the Lie + Further Along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey Towards Spiritual Growth
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Anniversary Edition edition (Feb. 4 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743243153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743243155
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

By melding love, science, and religion into a primer on personal growth, M. Scott Peck launched his highly successful writing and lecturing career with this book. Even to this day, Peck remains at the forefront of spiritual psychology as a result of The Road Less Traveled. In the era of I'm OK, You're OK, Peck was courageous enough to suggest that "life is difficult" and personal growth is a "complex, arduous and lifelong task." His willingness to expose his own life stories as well as to share the intimate stories of his anonymous therapy clients creates a compelling and heartfelt narrative. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 10 2006
Format: 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 was 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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chad M. Brick on Dec 12 2000
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the first half of this book, and recommend it to anyone. The first chapters discuss the need for a person to accept responsibility for his or her situation if they are to have a healthy mental life. The next few chapters deal with love, and the differences between real, meaningful love and its false analogs such as puppy love and dependency.
As the book went on, however, it grew more about spirituality, and less about psychology. While not dead-wrong in his reasonings, I do feel Peck would have been better served to stick with his strengths. The arguments in the second half of the book have been done before, and in far more convincing a manner than Peck delivers.
Overall, this book is average - though the first half would rate at least four stars. If you are at all considering seeing a psychologist and want to know what you would be commiting yourself to, the investment of a few dollars and hours this book requires is well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 9 2003
Format: Paperback
It has been many years since I read this book and reread it. There are definitely some truly wonderful tools, which I have kept with me ever since I read the first line of the book... Life is difficult. As soon as one reflects on this fact and accepts it, it really isn't so difficult any more...
Of course I now realize-after having gone through some very painful experiences since I first read those lines-that this is an over-simplification. Life can and does throw some serious curve balls that really knock the wind right out of you! Realizing and understanding that life is difficult, is not enough of a tool to get you through loosing someone to death... Because there are all kinds of disturbing and hellish emotions that go along with loosing someone that you love so very much.
For anyone who was raised with any kind of a religious background, this book does not provide enough reasons as to why we feel the way we do about life's circumstances and our own roles here on earth. The messages that many-if not most of us have been given as children-from our parents and mentors can be quite confusing and contradictory. These messages stay with us, and as twisted as some of them may be, influence many of our decisions and keep us spinning within that vicious sphere.
If you have bought this book or are thinking of reading it, I say, go ahead and read it. It probably will give you some insight and some good tips on coping with life. But if you are seriously searching and trying to change your life, I would strongly recommend The New Dance of Christ by Anthony T Massimini.
The New Dance of Christ is a wonderfully, insightful book which will really blow your mind! I do wish that the title were different though.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Oct. 11 2003
Format: Paperback
I must march to the beat of a different drummer because M. Scott Peck's book, THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED, didn't do much for me. Granted his section on love is one of the best I've ever read and worth the price of the book. However, as with his book, "PEOPLE OF THE LIE" I was left with an uneasy feeling that the nuggets of truth in this book were mixed with an unorthodox view of religion.
This book was presented to me as a profoundly Christian book. I was taken off guard by the fact that it is not. Peck basically writes that God is the collective unconsciousness of the human race. Our conscious minds are our our individuality. Our unconscious minds are the bridge between us and God. By learning how to bridge this gap we can become God in all of his attributes and God, in turn, will become transformed into something else. He goes on to write "One way or another, these concepts have been set forth before--by Buddha, by Christ, by Lao-tse, among many others. The originality of this book results from the fact that I have arrived at their meaning through the particular individual byways of my twentieth-century life. If you require greater understanding than these modern footnotes have to offer, then by all means proceed or return to the ancient texts."
Spirituality without religion with the possibility of becoming God does not interest me. This is not a rejection of all of Peck's works. The reader will find that in later books he does identify himself with Christianity in a more orthodox way.
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