Book Review- The Road Less Traveled

By Rohan Mishra (LMB)

Regardless of how we describe them or where we locate them,…“ miracles”… indicate that our growth as human beings is being assisted by a force other than our conscious will.

Morgan Scott Peck was a reputed American psychiatrist and co-founder of the Foundation for Community Encouragement (FCE). In the book, he has used his experience to carve out a description of the attributes that make for a fulfilled human being. The book is divided into four parts with each part having a unique significance in one’s spiritual development.

In the first part, he talks about discipline, according to him the very first step towards righteousness is to inculcate discipline in one’s life. The secret to emotional, spiritual and psychological health is not something which is esoteric, but it is this rather modest notion of discipline which seems dull or uneventful. A person once intimate with his self-evolves spiritually accepting responsibilities for his problems and the need for an instant relief tends to wither away.

The second part on love talks of the cherished feeling and tries to delineate how one must realize that true love is an extension of their self beyond their conscious self, which invariably so, will lead to the spiritual growth of their beloved and the person them self.

The third part on balancing helps in generating awareness of one’s self. According to him, complete awareness may lead to inaction as it pushes us to the seat of the will, but it also brings us in tune with the consequences making us accountable thereby. This is the reason for our lackadaisical nature towards the acceptance of responsibility. Thus, the art of balancing is the will to undertake the exercise of the will and to accompany it with the strenuous effort to remain focused.

In the fourth and the last part, the author talks about the individuality of a person that can be split into three, the conscious self, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is the part which descends directly from God. The conscious is the person himself and the part which connects the foregoing two is the personal unconscious.

To summarise, the filial nature of grace towards us comes from within and is omnipresent, to answer to it is of one’s own accord. However, the paradoxical nature of grace is that one may venture out vehemently on the quest for grace and not find any. On the flip side, one may find grace when least expecting its coming. Ultimately, one must will their self-open to its coming, the union of one’s self with god.


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