The Road Less Traveled and Beyond: Spiritual Growth in an Age of Anxiety

M. Scott Peck, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (320p) ISBN 978-0-684-81314-1
Philosophical psychiatrist Peck (Further Along the Road Less Traveled) continues his journey through the existential conflicts and baffling paradoxes on the meandering road of personal development. Mixing selections of pre-digested Freud and Jung for nonacademic consumption, along with an idiosyncratic idea of an immanent yet bland non-denominational God, Peck guides pilgrims toward emotional and spiritual growth. His style is smooth and conversational, though his concession to political correctness, through alternating male and female personal pronouns, can be annoying. He is at his best in colorful anecdotes about his professional and personal life. In these instances, his insights reflect the experiences of a thoughtful and gentle man who has tried to find wisdom in a life that has known both sunlight and shade. Peck's hard-edged insistence on personal responsibility in everyone's life, and on an awareness of evil and sin as real, elevate his discourse from cloying New Age palaver to a meaningful concern about humanity's place in the cosmic order. His honesty in writing about, and working through, his own shortcomings testifies to his integrity and lends credence to his observations. Through copious detailed references from his previous books, he allows readers unfamiliar with them to understand and enjoy the present work, which completes his Road trilogy. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate selection. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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