The Road Less Travelled by Dr M. Scott Peck

I’m a bit late to the party with this book, which was first published in 1978, but it is as relevant today as it was then. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in spirituality, the nature of consciousness, psychotherapy and mental health, and the role of parents in the emotional and spiritual development of their children.

Dr Morgan Scott Peck was an American psychiatrist whose interactions with his patients formed the basis of his theories. However, this is not a book about psychotherapy itself; the road less travelled is the path of spiritual growth, or the evolution of the individual. Dr Peck argued that his patients, who were willing to confront their problems by entering psychotherapy, were in fact stronger than most people, who tended to avoid their problems in any way possible (through procrastination, denial, addictive behaviours and so on). He claimed that this tendency, and the emotional suffering it creates, is the basis of all mental illness: “It is because our conscious self resists our unconscious wisdom that we become ill.” Mental illness is, therefore, a disorder of the consciousness in Dr Peck’s view.

The theory I found most fascinating however is that God is the unconscious mind, and that it is by aligning the unconscious mind with the conscious mind (as we do in Yoga and meditation) that we elevate ourselves:

“The development of consciousness is the development of awareness in our conscious mind of knowledge along with our unconscious mind, which already possesses that knowledge. It is the process of the conscious mind coming into synchrony with the unconscious.”

I am always impressed by the courage of those who, by practicing Kundalini Yoga and meditation, take responsibility for their own mental and physical health. They are willing to face their fears and take action to heal and elevate themselves spiritually. They are willing to follow the road less travelled, and will reap the rewards.

Sat nam xx

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