M. Scott Peck

This post is dedicated to my friend Barbara and this M. Scott Peck quote that she recently posted:
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.
Morgan Scott Peck (1936-2005) was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He served in the U.S. Army where he was chief of psychology at the Army Medical Center in Okinawa, Japan, and assistant chief of psychiatry and neurology in the office of the surgeon general in Washington. The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978, is Peck's best-known work, and the one that made his reputation. It is, in short, a description of the attributes that make for a fulfilled human being, based largely on his experiences as a psychiatrist and a person. Here are some of the things he said:

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.

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.

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.

There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.

It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually.

Love is not a feeling. Love is an action, an activity. . .Genuine love implies commitment and the exercise of wisdom. . . . love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth.....true love is an act of will that often transcends ephemeral feelings of love or cathexis, it is correct to say, 'Love is as love does'.


  1. I think there is a lot of wisdom in the quotes you listed here Bob. I have not read Peck but he sounds very similar to one of my favorite writers Thomas Moore. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think he was great as a psychologist, but he was also a stumbling block for me, at least. His work was essentially the opening wedge of "spiritual, but not religious" style that you see today everywhere, including Dr. Wayne Dyer, who I think in some ways has taken his place.

    I read TRLT and thought I was reading theology. I thought I was reading the truth about God. Love is not only a feeling and an action, it is a Person. A fulfilled human being is fulfilled in Christ, not in our actions (searching, rut-climbing, etc), but not according to him.

    I had a far amount of trouble shaking this stuff out of the place in my head where I keep actual religious knowledge gleaned from Scripture, commentaries, lives of saints and so on.

  3. Thanks, Bob for dedicating this post to me!!!!!

    I think he is very wise and we can learn a lot from him.

  4. Great words Bob ... I don't think I have ever said - it is your wisdom and warm advice that really appeals to me. It is a blessing for me to have you on my Blog Roll - often when I think I've "nailed" it your gracious advice often advises me to look beyond my own backyard. May you and your wife and family be mightily blessed this festive season.

  5. Thanks for this, K-Bob! Great quotes here. True, true.

  6. Thanks all for the comments.

    "Love is not only a feeling and an action, it is a Person."

    What a great thought TZ.. maybe we can only love with true sacrificial love when we are indwelt by Jesus?

    Thanks for the nice words Mark.. I look forward to visiting your place in the new year.


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.