The Road Less Traveled
The Road Less Traveledresearch papers examine Peck's classic self-help and psychology book. If you need a concentrated review of The Road Less Traveled, our psychology writers will provide clear and up-to-date information on the book.
The Road Less Traveled, written by M. Scott Peck leads the reader to asses his religious beliefs and traditions. Counseling as the book progresses, the author strives to guide one through spiritual growth, as he himself grow with each new understanding. The over riding theme of Peck's book is overcoming human nature's reluctance to such growth through practical instruction and discipline, as early on in this writing he states; "With total discipline we can solve all problems". He instructs the reader on various methods of growth and gives him practical disciplines in achieving such development.
How The Road Less Traveled Opens
The book opens with the phrase: "Life is difficult.", enticing readers to discover why Peck finds life so hard, claiming it is the inner conflict of self-doubt that causes life's struggles. Peck claims "We all have a sick self and a healthy self.", forcing man into conflicting stages of reality.He asks the reader to examine himself and rid himself of organized religion and concentrate on the true religion of grace and redemption.In part of the book, Peck criticizes some religions, especially the Catholic Church, for being too ritualistic and cold, as he stresses the importance of searching for true spiritual growth. True religion is not just ceremonial, where worship is made up of rituals, but more of a soul searching devotion that can not be seen outwardly and is individual to each man.
Peck believes man has a natural resistance to spiritual growth. He writes "the ultimate goal of spiritual growth is for the individual to become as one with God." Many religious philosophies agree with his goal as they define growth as the love of God and seeking to do his will. Peck leads the reader in discovering that mental growth and spiritual growth are one in the same, that maturity is no longer denying the spiritual realm.
Peck and Life's Difficulties
Life's difficulties distract man from true spirituality as Peck points out on The Road Less Traveled's first page. One easily becomes easily caught up in every day basic survival and life's common frustrations to develop into what he calls his readers to be. Peck gives a way out of this gloomy picture when he says "Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult." He writes that unless problems are catastrophic, they can be solved.
Peck gives four approaches for handling problems:
- A willingness to delay gratification
- The acceptance of responsibility
- Dedication to truth
- Learning to be flexible when necessary.
He believes developing the disciplines of these techniques can simplify life, leaving enough energy for the expansion of spiritual growth.