- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone; 2nd ed. edition (Jan. 2 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684848589
- ISBN-13: 978-0684848587
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 508 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #280,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace Paperback – Jan 2 1998
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About the Author
M. Scott Peck, M.D. is the author of the New York Times best-seller The Road Less Traveled, with six million copies in print. His other books include Further Along the Road Less Traveled, The Road Less Traveled and Beyond, Meditations from the Road and Golf and the Spirit.
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In fact, Dr. Peck says that we are _called_ to community. (For more on callings and vocations, read his book "A World Waiting to Be Born".) Using mystical _and_ scientific terms, myths _and_ true stories, he describes our need to recognize that we are all part of the Mystical Body of God (regardless of what we believe about God) and to put our understanding of this truth into practice. By describing four stages of human spirituality, he shows that we always have the potential to move higher and higher, closer and closer to God, but that we also always have the capacity to regress or backslide: on the one hand, we have wings; on the other hand, we are natural crawlers.
"The Different Drum" is a guide for creating and maintaining community, which Dr. Peck describes as a place where no one is attempting to heal or convert you, which makes it the best place for you to heal and convert yourself. This is possible because people are called to wholeness, to be the best that they can be; but healing and converting need to happen in community, for we are also called to recognize our limitations and cannot be whole without each other. These are just a few of the paradoxes in "The Different Drum", which is perhaps ten times as challenging than "The Road Less Traveled".
This book is both overflowing with joy and saturated with sorrow. The joy comes from the realization that, yes, community is possible; the sorrow comes from the acceptance of the fact that we must "die" to achieve community. The necessary act of emptying ourselves of our prejudices, our need to control, our need to convert, our theology, etc., is so much like death that Dr. Peck even discussed the stages people go through when they are faced with physical death--stages taken from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' book "On Death and Dying".
I don't agree with everything Dr. Peck writes. For instance, I am a little leery over his stand on world government. Yet any criticisms of mine only remind me of my limitations and prove unarguably that I am called to wholeness through community with people with whom I disagree. I say that "The Different Drum" is both joyful and sorrowful because it is filled with truth.
Peck claims that he arrived at this theory through experience, although he footnotes the fact that there have been many theories on psychological development prior to his, the most recent being a six-stage faith developmental model (see "Stages of Faith" by James W. Fowler)
Although Peck's elucidation of his theory is informal and sketchy, I find his model of psychospiritual development idiosyncratic enough to be regarded as a separate theory by itself.
Peck aptly calls it psychospiritual since it has both psychological and spiritual/religious dimensions. It is much akin to the developmental theories in psychology, yet it has a very strong religious flavor--Stage 1 being the lack of spirituality/ethical behavior, Stage 2 as orthodoxly religious, Stage 3 as a time of religious skepticism or atheism, and Stage 4 the mystical level.
Yet I believe Peck's theory tends to be ethically judgmental in character, i.e., it explicitly holds the higher stages as undeniably better than the lower ones, and tends to describe people in ethical terms--'chaotic/unprincipled' (Stage 1), or dogmatic (Stage 2), or principled (Stage 3)
Nevertheless, I see the veracity of such categories, albeit demanding much care and caution. Pigeonholing, specially in ethical terms, is dangerous business and can easily be misused and abused. However, I believe that Dr. Peck has realized the limitations of his theory and has provided caveats and exceptions in his later books, such as in "Further Along the Road Less Travelled"
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