204 of 227 people found the following review helpful
A classic self help, spiritual discovery book,
This review is from: The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (Paperback)
The book opens with the words "Life is difficult." Once you accept that, it becomes a lot easier!
But most of us don't accept that. We think if we do things the right way, or if other people would, then eventually life would become easier. Our material needs will be met, love will bloom forever, bad things won't happen to us, and life will unfold according to our individual needs and wishes.
Guess again. If you're constantly trying hard and finding life to be a major disappointment, you may find comfort and practical help in the reading and re-reading of this book.
Peck writes in an easy to read, easy to understand manner, writing of his life and that of many of his own patients. He begins with a section on Discipline; the next is on Love; then Growth and Religion; closing (how appropriately) with Grace.
When first I read this, in my mid-twenties, (living life in what one of my 'friends' called Life in the Breakdown Lane) the sections didn't look like they'd offer anything to help me. Discipline was something I wanted to act out against, not find solace in. The section on Love, I was disappointed to find, did NOT provide any instructions on how to find a knight on a white horse. Growth and Religion seemed some kind of a paradox to me, and I was sure that Grace was nothing more than a name I wished I had.
But within those Sections I have again and again(at different levels) found peace of mind through solutions that at first I didn't fully understand, but came to believe in -- for anyone looking for help in improving their lives, from a non-dogmatic, non-fundamentalist point of view, I'd strongly recommend this book.
Read it, learn from it, and just as happens to the bunny in the children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit, you'll find yourself becoming more alive, and more 'real.'
I'd also encourage the reading of Sheldon Kopp's "If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him" and (if you're looking for some comic relief, always good when stressed) watch "Groundhog Day."
This is truly a gem of a book (though I haven't liked many others of his).