The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck: A Book Review

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This best –selling book of Dr. Peck is a must –read for those loners who have niggling questions such as:
(a) Why don’t I have a boyfriend or a girlfriend?
(b) Do I need someone whom I will love, or someone who will love me?

On the other hand, this book can throw light on common problems among couples in terms of:

(a) A peaceful, stable, and long-lasting relationship
(b) Role of a woman and a man in a relationship

This book, in addition, can somehow answer the apologetic and philosophical questions about LOVE such as:

(a) Is love innate?
(b) Where does it come from?
(c) How does it develop?
(d) Is love indispensable in our lives? Could we live without love?

At the end, I concluded that we need to love and to be loved to be healthy people; and likewise, we can be good people by loving ourselves rather than by choosing to love others.

Thus, this book is peppered with soothing and enlightening advice which is a favorite reference among counselors whenever someone turns to them for advice . So here are the lines that shattered all my illusions on LIFE, notably on LOVE :

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and wisdom.”

“When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion – through the fact that for that someone (or for ourselves) we take an extra step or walk an extra mile. Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful.”

“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.”

“Our view of reality is like a map with which to negotiate the terrain of life. If the map is true and accurate, we will generally know where we are, and if we have decided where we want to go, we will generally know how to get there. If the map is false and inaccurate, we generally will be lost. While this is obvious, it is something that most people to a greater or lesser degree choose to ignore. They ignore it because our route to reality is not easy. First of all, we are not born with maps; we have to make them, and the making requires effort. The more effort we make to appreciate and perceive reality, the larger and more accurate our maps will be. But many do not want to make this effort. Some stop making it by the end of adolescence. Their maps are small and sketchy, their views of the world narrow and misleading. By the end of middle age most people have given up the effort. They feel certain that their maps are complete and their Weltanschauung is correct (indeed, even sacrosanct), and they are no longer interested in new information. It is as if they are tired. Only a relative and fortunate few continue until the moment of death exploring the mystery of reality, ever enlarging and refining and redefining their understanding of the world and what is true.”

“Another characteristic of human nature—perhaps the one that makes us most human—is our capacity to do the unnatural, to transcend and hence transform our own nature.”

“The best decision-makers are those who are willing to suffer the most over their decisions but still retain their ability to be decisive. One”

“My time was my responsibility. It was up to me and me alone to decide how I wanted to use and order my time.”

“Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional.

“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.”

“Love always requires courage and involves risk.”

Note: For more quotes, you can click this site: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/2747475-the-road-less-traveled-a-new-psychology-of-love-traditional-values-a

Dr. Peck focused on anatomizing LOVE. He used his experiences in supporting his propositions. However, there are instances that he should not have overlooked the holistic approach to understanding the psychological problems among his patients. I guess he knew what I meant.

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it. )

Inner Simplicity (100 Ways to Regain Peace and Nourish Your Soul) by ST. James Elaine, Elaine James: A Book Review

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I want to read this book again and again; I will use it as my contemplative book, for it can help me discipline myself to live with inner peace and joy.I will cherish every page and, at the same time, apply them to my personal life. But I wonder if I could make it to the 93 ways because I found TAPPING INTO( as the author always puts the phrase bluntly )a few utterly ridiculous such as:

# 44 REDUCE YOUR NEED TO BE IN THE KNOW. I think it is still a matter of choice if one wants to be stressed out of keeping oneself posted with current news and events, for we have individual differences. Some people are born to be investigators, or sometimes people may get a thrill out of doing so.

# 59 LAUGH A LOT. Imagine that you fake laughing at yourself for 30 minutes. Uh-oh! I am afraid that I might wind up in delusional state.

# 61 FIND A BOX OF STARS. I tried experimenting this method when I was still in high school; however,doing so is just an example of operant conditioning. It is not a “permanent solution”.We can change the things by how we think of them. We should be more responsible for our decisions.

#84 CRY A LOT. We can cry since it is a normal defense mechanism. However, crying a lot for 30 minutes on your own is beyond the logic of psychology. We are just instilled in a “miseducated culture”.We should break our perception that “boys don’t cry”.

# 85 CONSULT A PSYCHIC. I am sorry but I find this tip laughable.

On the other hand, there are some tips I REALLY have to TAP INTO such as:

#18 SLEEP A LOT. I am a night owl. I love staying up late because of studying my butt off as well as reading my favorite books.

# 40 BREAK YOUR ROUTINE ONCE IN A WHILE. Old die habits die hard.

To achieve the said inner peace of mind and soul, I need , at the very least, rigorous SELF-DISCIPLINE.

Rating : 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it. )

The Little Zen Companion by David Schiller: A Book Review

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“A monk brought two potted plants to his Master. “Drop it,” ordered the Master. The monk dropped one pot. “Drop it,” again ordered the Master. The monk let the second pot go. “Drop it,” now roared the Master. The monk stammered: “But I have nothing to drop.” The Master nodded. “Then take it away.”

My beloved cousin lent me this book, for he knows how much I am fond of reading quotes coming from the powerful lips of famous historical figures . I want to be moved and inspired by their philosophical insights and thoughts.

To be honest, I still don’t have the completely clear ideas of what ZEN is all about. Before, I just knew of that it was some kind of spiritual practices to gain ENLIGHTENMENT and PEACE OF MIND. No wonder I tend to get fascinated to read more on this dogma. In fact, the only book I have ever read that gives me more ideas of this kind of spiritual dogma is Instinct for Freedom: A Maverick’s Guide to Spiritual Revolution by Alan Clements ( 4 stars ). I learned from this book that in order to have spiritual freedom, you have to empty your mind and feelings.

ZEN, as the name suggests, is a type of Buddhism that emphasizes MEDITATION rather than faith or reading religious books. MEDITATION is the practice of emptying your mind of thoughts and feelings, in order to relax completely, or for religious reasons. Thus, reading The Little Zen Companion as a little compendium of wisdom in the form of quotes, phrases, stories, koan, haiku, or poems from Lao-tzu, The Little Prince, D. T. Suzuki, Basho, Walker Percy, the Buddha, the Bible, Einstein, to name a few GUIDES you to empty your mind and feelings.

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Well, LIFE may be a total mess.

To get the hang of it, read and read and read. ^^

Rating : 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it.)

EMOTIONAL VAMPIRES: Dealing with People Who Drain you Dry by Albert J. Bernstein, PhD. : A Book Review

emotional_vampires-0071352597It is said that bad feedback could be attributable to your personality problem. If you do not know why you are disliked by a majority of  people around you, well, it’s about time you learnt the Johari’s window: There may be some things the people around you know about you that you never know.

Admit it. There is someone or at least some of your co-workers whom you find annoying drain you dry in the sense that you cannot put up with them any longer. No matter how colossal your patience is, but still you tend to have had it. So, you cannot avoid gossiping about them with among your co-workers. Poor them! Or poor me. I may never know. (laughs)

But the themes of this book about the people above said are more “appalling” than you will expect. The book deals with different kinds of emotional vampires who drain your dry. Emotional vampires because metaphorically speaking, they suck you to death. Dr. Albert Bernstein, the author of the book, categorized them into THE ANTI-SOCIAL TYPES, THE HISTRIONIC TYPES, THE NARCISSISTIC TYPES, THE OBSESSIVE –COMPULSIVE TYPES, and THE PARANOID TYPES. Dr. Bernstein discusses the nature of their personalities, how they affect your lives negatively. In fact, he discusses some approaches to dealing with them as though you are going to be a shrinker yourself. However, the deeper the content you read, the more you find the book exaggerated and imaginary. Are these people real? Upon reading it and based on my experience to boot, my answer is yeah.

As a matter of fact, I have a co-worker who has met the said category. He is a narcissistic type. He loves crowing to the world that he has this one, h e has done something, he will do something like this. Fiddlesticks! No wonder most of my co-workers find him a nuance. So , they avoid eating together with him. They do not talk to him. And they think-ill of him in his absence. He has had such plague history since he began working in our company. Poor him! No one of us has the audacity to chasten him. In fact, I engaged in a colloquy with him one time. (laughs)

Since I have a background in psychology, I always believe that every person we meet has the bright side: We are all kind like an innocent child. We just fall victims to our bitter experiences. On the contrary, this is the reality of the world that we can always never be such a lamb to a slaughter: We have to treat those kinds of people above.

Rating: 3/5 stars