.

About M. Scott Peck



Morgan Scott Peck (1936 – 2005) was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author who wrote the book The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978.  Wikipedia

Connect:   Web   |  Amazon

  

M. Scott Peck (quotes)

Principles to live by

.

Life is difficult

  • The only real security in life lies in relishing life’s insecurity.
  • The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
  • Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.
  • Life is complex. Each one of us must make his own path through life. There are no self-help manuals, no formulas, no easy answers. The right road for one is the wrong road for another…The journey of life is not paved in blacktop; it is not brightly lit, and it has no road signs. It is a rocky path through the wilderness.
  • Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience — to appreciate the fact that life is complex.
.

Spiritual growth

  • Everything that happens to us has been designed for our spiritual growth. M. Scott Peck
  • It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually.
  • The healing of the spirit has not been completed until openness to challenge becomes a way of life.
  • Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.
  • All my life I used to wonder what I would become when I grew up. Then, about seven years ago, I realized that I was never going to grow up–that growing is an ever ongoing process.
  • Move out or grow in any dimension and pain as well as joy will be your reward. A full life will be full of pain.
  • To proceed very far through the desert, you must be willing to meet existential suffering and work it through. In order to do this, the attitude toward pain has to change. This happens when we accept the fact that everything that happens to us has been designed for our spiritual growth.
.

The process of enlightenment

  • We are often most in the dark when we are the most certain, and the most enlightened when we are the most confused.
  • So if your goal is to avoid pain and escape suffering, I would not advise you to seek higher levels of consciousness or spiritual evolution. First, you cannot achieve them without suffering, and second, insofar as you do achieve them, you are likely to be called on to serve in ways more painful to you, or at least demanding of you, than you can now imagine.
  • Spiritually evolved people, by virtue of their discipline, mastery and love, are people of extraordinary competence, and in their competence they are called on to serve the world, and in their love they answer the call.
  • The more honest one is, the easier it is to continue being honest, just as the more lies one has told, the more necessary it is to lie again. By their openness, people dedicated to the truth live in the open, and through the exercise of their courage to live in the open, they become free from fear.
  • No words can be said, no teaching can be taught that will relieve spiritual travellers from the necessity of picking their own paths through unique circumstances of their own lives toward the identification of their individual selves with God.
.

Life is a mystery

  • We must be willing to fail and to appreciate the truth that often “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.
  • If we know exactly where we’re going, exactly how to get there, and exactly what we’ll see along the way, we won’t learn anything. 
.

Love

  • Ultimately, love is everything.
  • Love always requires courage and involves risk.
  • Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other.
  • Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.
  • Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional. The person who truely loves does so because of a decision to love. This person has made a commitment to be loving whether or not the loving feeling is present. …Conversely, it is not only possible but necessary for a loving person to avoid acting on feelings of love.
  • When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion – through the fact that for that someone (or for ourself) we take an extra step or walk an extra mile. Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful.
  • Genuine love not only respects the individuality of the other but actually cultivates it, even at the risk of separation or loss. The ultimate goal of life remains the spiritual growth of the individual, the solitary journey to peaks that can be climbed only alone.
  • If being loved is your goal, you will fail to achieve it.  The only way to be assured of being loved is to be a person worthy of love, and you cannot be a person worthy of love when your primary goal in life is to passively be loved.
.

Self-love

  • Not only do self-love and love of others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable.
  • Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
.

Human connection

  • Share our similarities, celebrate our differences.
  • You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.
  • People are born different, and among the problems they have to solve is how to deal with their own uniqueness, their own differences, and come to terms with that in relation to other people.
  • The overall purpose of human communication is – or should be – reconciliation. It should ultimately serve to lower or remove the walls of misunderstanding which unduly separate us human beings, one from another.
  • Let me simply state that it is wrong to regard any other human being, a priori, as an object, or an ‘It.’ This is so because each and every human being – you, every friend, every stranger, every foreigner – is precious.
  • How strange that we should ordinarily feel compelled to hide our wounds when we are all wounded! Community requires the ability to expose our wounds and weaknesses to our fellow creatures. It also requires the ability to be affected by the wounds of others… But even more important is the love that arises among us when we share, both ways, our woundedness.
.

Things that limit us

.

Narcissism

  • Since narcissists deep down, feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault. Since they must deny their own badness, they must perceive others as bad. They project their own evil onto the world. They never think of themselves as evil, on the other hand, they consequently see much evil in others.
.

Avoiding suffering

  • The attempt to avoid legitimate suffering lies at the root of all emotional illness.
  • If someone is determined not to risk pain, then such a person must do without many things: […] – all that makes life alive, meaningful and significant.
  • When we avoid the legitimate suffering that results from dealing with problems, we also avoid the growth that problems demand from us. It is for this reason that in chronic mental illness we stop growing, we become stuck.  And without healing, the human spirit begins to shrivel.
.

Avoiding responsibility

  • The difficulty we have in accepting responsibility for our behavior lies in the desire to avoid the pain of the consequences of that behavior.
  • Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity.
.

Regret

  • There is no worse bitterness than to reach the end of your life and realized you have not lived.
.

Dependency

  • Dependency may appear to be love because it is a force that causes people to fiercely attach themselves to one another. But in actuality it is not love; it is a form of antilove. It has its genesis in a parental failure to love and it perpetuates the failure. It seeks to receive rather than to give. It nourishes infantilism rather than growth. It works to trap and constrict rather than to liberate. Ultimately it destroys rather than builds relationships, and it destroys rather than builds people.
.

Unmet expectations

  • The problem of unmet expectations in marriage is primarily a problem of stereotyping. Each and every human being on this planet is a unique person. Since marriage is inevitably a relationship between two unique people, no one marriage is going to be exactly like any other. Yet we tend to wed with explicit visions of what a “good” marriage ought to be like. Then we suffer enormously from trying to force the relationship to fit the stereotype and from the neurotic guilt and anger we experience when we fail to pull it off.
.

Judgement 

  • Human beings are poor examiners, subject to superstition, bias, prejudice, and a PROFOUND tendency to see what they want to see rather than what is really there.
.

Thoughts on

.

Marriage

  • Similarly, loving spouses must repeatedly confront each other if the marriage relationship is to serve the function of promoting the spiritual growth of the partners. No marriage can be judged truly successful unless husband and wife are each other’s best critics.
.

Discipline

  • With total discipline we can solve all problems.
  • The feeling of being valuable – ‘I am a valuable person’- is essential to mental health and is a cornerstone of self-discipline.
  • Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems. Without discipline we can solve nothing. With only some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline we can solve all problems.
    When we teach ourselves and our children discipline, we are teaching them and ourselves how to suffer and also how to grow.
    Good discipline requires time. When we have no time to give our children, or no time that we are willing to give, we don’t even observe them closely enough to become aware of when their need for our disciplinary assistance is expressed subtly.
.

Miracles

  • The mind, which sometimes presumes to believe there is no such thing as a miracle, is itself a miracle.
  • In thinking about miracles, I believe that our frame of reference has been too dramatic. We have been looking for the burning bush, the parting of the sea, the bellowing voice from heaven. Instead we should be looking at the ordinary day-to-day events in our lives for evidence of the miraculous, maintaining at the same time a scientific orientation.
  • The most striking feature of the process of physical evolution is that it is a miracle. Given what we understand of the universe, evolution should not occur; the phenomenon should not exist at all. One of the basic natural laws is the second law of thermodynamics, which states that energy naturally flows from a state of greater organization to a state of lesser organization, from a state of higher differentiation to a state of lower differentiation. In other words, the universe is in a process of winding down.
.

God

  • Scientists have a grave difficulty dealing with the reality of God.
  • God wants us to become himself or herself or itself. We are growing towards Godhood. God is the goal of evolution.
  • God creates each soul differently, so that when all the mud is finally cleared away, His light will shine through it in a beautiful, colorful, totally new pattern.
.
.