Take The Road Less Travelled
M. Scott Peck, the author of The Road Less Travelled, was a psychiatrist who, during his career, also served in the US Army. For a while, he was chief of psychology at the Army Medical Center in Japan as well as being the assistant chief in neurology in the office of the surgeon general (Washington DC). In and amongst all of these responsibilities, he still managed to write a 10 million-copy seller that draws on science, psychology and philosophy. While the book is not written in a 'know-it-all' tone, it aims to gently guide the reader towards the possibility of taking a better path. I sat down with a tea and revisited the book, choosing my favourite parts.
Cycles and growth
While at first glance the quotes below seem slightly dramatic, they make so much sense. Things are so cyclical and as cliché as it sounds, endings are prerequisites for new beginnings. We're constantly having to say goodbye to certain ways of being, places, people or situations either because we've outgrown them or because we realise that we don't feel in alignment with what makes us feel good. In knowing what does and doesn't make us feel worthy, happy or at peace, we are making space for the new and in doing so, we 'learn to die' to what no longer serves us.
Bouncing back, resilience and biology
The section of the book where the quote below comes from suggests that when we realise just how much humans go through, we realise how astonishing it is that the majority of us just keep bouncing back, in both the physical and emotional sense. Peck grapples with the idea that there are so many protective mechanisms/forces at play that we are unaware of (though not necessarily religious or scientific forces). It's humbling to think this way, as it makes us realise there's a lot that we don't know.
Sounds simple but probably a lot easier said than done!
This quote is one of my favourites; it suggests that beneath the fluctuating forms of human existence, there's something more substantial.
I wanted to end with the quote above because quite simply, I think it's lovely! Seeing things from the perspective that there is always something to be grateful for and everything is as it should be, makes such a difference to how we show up in the world and how we treat others and the planet we live on.