BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

文章Iris Wu » 週五 9月 28, 2018 11:44 am

Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

文章Iris Wu » 週五 9月 28, 2018 11:45 am

"The Road Less Traveled"
Summary of Part 1 (pp. 1-19) of Section I: Discipline: (by Bernie)

There are two basic assumptions throughout the whole book
1. mind and spirit are same thing
2. mental or spiritual growth is a complex process, so there is no simple or quick psychotherapy

Life is a series of problems and challenges. Although it's painful to confront and solve the problems, it will eventually bring greater pain if we escape or ignore them. Discipline is a essential tool encouraging us to face the problems and helping us to solve them.

First of the four rules in discipline is "delaying of gratification". It is a process we enhance the pleasure by dealing with the painful part first. It's the only decent way to live but require self-discipline, which is easier to adopt and be taught when we are little. Therefore, the quality of parenting and early education play a crucial role in this development. Without love and self-discipline in parents and educators, this can not be done.

One obvious effect of failing to delay gratification is problem solving. Sometimes we afraid to take our time to examine the problems that we are not familiar(ex: fixing car) and tend to give up immediately. Sometimes we recognize the problems but do nothing and presume they will go away.
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Re: BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

文章Iris Wu » 週五 9月 28, 2018 11:46 am

Summary of Part 2 (pp.20-38): (by Iris)

Four Tools of Discipline:
1) Delaying gratification (see Part I summary)
2) Assume Responsibility
• Responsibility: “We cannot solve life’s problems except by solving them.”
People often try to avoid assuming responsibility for personal problems
(e.g. “so boring living in an island.”  finding all the excuses to not to do anything!)
• Two types of disorders of responsibility:
- Character Disorder: assume no responsibility; the world is at fault. They drive others crazy.
- Neuroses: Assume too much responsibility (Too much “I should”, “I should have” or “I shouldn’t”.
This kind of people drive themselves crazy.
- Many people have both a neurosis and a character disorder

- Life long learning: continually assess and re-assess where our responsibilities lie
- “If you are not part of solution, then you are par of the problem.”
( Iris notes: This book holds very high standards in personal development!)

• Escape from Freedom
We have the freedom to choose, but because we want to avoid the pain, or the consequences of the choice, we give away our power to others (could be “fate”, “society”, “government” or “corporations” or bosses).

We escape from freedom --> Then, we complain that we are the victims of something.

3) Dedication to Reality: 3rd tool of discipline
To tackle life problems --> need to be honest and be true to ourselves (dedication to reality)
Only if you see clearly about the truth/reality, then you can see the problems and solve them.
Only if you are true to yourself, you can draw correct life map and walk onto the correct path.

Things and surrounding environment will change all the time, so you need to constantly review your map and readjust it, and then you can see the problems more accurately.
So be honest to yourself! Dedication to reality.

Transference: The Outdated Map
Example: An engineer who was ignored or not loved by his parents, he grew up with the distrust. He had the opportunities to revise his map, but he did not work on it. He continues his “outdated map”, so he cannot enjoy love, warmth, intimacy and affection. Nobody was trusted.

Revising map is a painful process, only when we have the discipline to overcome that pain.

“Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs.”
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Re: BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

文章Iris Wu » 週五 9月 28, 2018 11:49 am

As a summary of my session I part about the depression and rebirth theme (by Yvonne)

The healthiness of Depression
Are you afraid of psychotherapy? In the author’s opinion, the period of intensive psychotherapy is a period of intensive growth, during which the patient may undergo more changes than some people experience in a lifetime. Always bear in mind that “I am OK”, and not be afraid of saying good-bye to your “old-self”.

In life when giving up something that we love will end up a sort of depressive feeling. When the depression comes some people will seek psychiatric attention or help. It is also OK to feel depressed in life because we must give up something we once loved. Once when we are willing to give away our old patterns of thinking and behaving, we will keep the possibility of experiencing the joyful sense of rebirth that accompany the successful transition into greater maturity.

Renunciation and Rebirth

Discipline has been defined as a system of techniques of dealing constructively with the pain of problem solving-instead of avoiding that pa in- in such a way that all of life's problems can be solved. Four basic techniques have been distinguished and elaborated: delaying gratification, assumption of responsibility, dedication to the truth or reality, and balancing. Discipline is a system of techniques, because these techniques are very much interrelated. In a single act one may utilize two, three or even all of the techniques at the same time and in such a way that they may be distinguishable from each other. The strength, energy and willingness to use these techniques are provided by love.

The author defines the processes such as biofeedback, meditation, yoga and psychotherapy are technical aids which may be useful but are not essential. Only the four basic techniques he described, if practiced unceasingly and genuinely, are alone sufficient to enable the practitioner of discipline to evolve to spiritually higher levels.
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Re: BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

文章Iris Wu » 週五 9月 28, 2018 11:57 am

First face-to-face discussion (The Road Less Traveled)
Date/time: 6:15pm, 08/28/18
Attendees: Bernie, Devry, Iris, Janice, Rock, Sabrina
Following questions were brought up and discussed/touched upon:
    - Is the content of the book outdated (since the book was published in 1978)?
    - Is discipline necessary, even for creative type of persons and jobs?
    - Are disciplined people more successful?
    - Who are more responsible for building self-discipline, parents or teachers?
    - Discipline should start at an early age. What can we do about it now?
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Re: BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

文章Iris Wu » 週五 9月 28, 2018 12:04 pm

Following is the reading breakdown of Section II:

Reader 1: (Rosie)
Love Defined
Falling in “Love”
The Myth of Romantic Love
More About Ego Boundaries
Dependency

Reader 2: (Kooper)
Cathexis Without Love
“Self-Sacrifice”
Love is Not a Feeling
The Work of Attention

Reader 3: (Rock)
The Risk of Loss
The Risk of Independence
The Risk of Commitment

Reader 4: (Iris)
The Risk of Confrontation
Love is Discipline
Love is Separateness

Reader 5: (Bernie)
Love and Psychotherapy
The Mystery of Loves
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Re: BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

文章Iris Wu » 週五 9月 28, 2018 12:08 pm

Section II: Love
Summary of “Love is Defined”
(Iris summaries for Rosie):
• Discipline is the means of human spiritual evolution and love provides the motive, the energy for discipline.
• The definition of love: The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.
• Some clarification about the love definition:
a) It is defined by the purpose. Do not confuse the lover with some self-serving purposes.
b) Love is a circular process. It will evolve.
c) It includes self-love with love for the other. (Self-love and love of others go hand in hand.)
d) Love is not effortless. It requires effort.
e) Love is an act of will, which requires both intention and action. (will vs. desire)

Summary of “Falling in Love”
• Falling in “love” is not itself love: Any relationship will fall out of love sooner or later because the feeling of ecstatic lovingness always passes/fades.
• Falling in love is a process that we open up our “ego boundaries” for a period of time to let in someone else (permitting one to merge his or her own identity with that of another person), but eventually the ego boundaries will snap back and gradually they will fall out of love and once again they are two separate individuals.
• At the point of the falling out of love (identity separateness), they begin the work of real love.
• Falling in love is not an act of will and is effortless; it just naturally opens up the door of ego boundaries temporarily.
• Real love is a permanently self-enlarging process; it is to include the loved one to share your base camp before you climb up the mountain individually. It requires effort.


Summary of “The Myth of Romantic Love”
• The myth: For every man, there is a woman who was meant for him and vice versa and this romantic love feeling will last forever.
• A true acceptance of their own each other’s individuality and separateness is the only foundation upon which a mature marriage can be based and real love can grow.

Summary of “More About the Ego Boundaries”
• Real love involves an extension of one’s limits (= ego boundaries) in order to include your loved one into your world.
• Buddhism: One must give up of ego boundaries to merge with the universe (oneness) and understand the true reality, but there are certain stages to go through, no short cut.
• An identity must be established before it can be transcended. One must find one’s self before one can lose it (and then merge with the universe).
• True spiritual growth or Nirvana or lasting enlightenment can be achieved only through the persistent exercise of real love.
• Falling in love is not itself love, but it is a part of the great scheme of love.

Summary of “Dependency”
• 2nd misconception about love: Dependency is love.
• Dependency: a parasite on another individual, pathological, mental illness or defect.
• Each of us has the dependency needs, but for most of us these desires do not rule our lives.
• Some do have “passive dependent personality disorder”. They are not capable to love because they constantly and passively need to be loved. They, in the name of love, diminish their own and each other’s freedom and stature. Usually they were the people who lack attention and love in their childhood.
• Dependency is not love. It seeks to receive, to trap, to stay in infantilism, not to give, to grow, to liberate. Ultimately it destroys rather than builds relationships.
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

文章Iris Wu » 週五 9月 28, 2018 12:08 pm

Summary by Kooper
*****************************
Summary of "Cathexis Without Love"
*****************************

1. The so-called “Love” for Hobbies:
Hobbies may be a means through which we love ourselves. But if a hobby becomes an end in itself, it becomes a substitute for rather than a means to self-development.

2. The so-called “Love” for Power & Money:
Power and money may be means to a loving goal. But if wealth or power have become ends in themselves, the person is frequently not perceived as a loving person.

3. The so-called “Love” for Pets:
- We can love only human beings, for only human beings'spirit is capable of large growth.
- Our relationship with a pet is different from that with other humans in three ways:
a) our communication with pets is very limited
b) we find our pets satisfactory only when they follow our wills
c) We seek to foster and value our pets' dependency on us rather than their independence from us
4. The so-called “Love” for Infants:
Some women are capable of “loving” their children only as infants. When toddlers begin to assert their own will, to disobey, to become more independent, the mothers’ love ceases.

The love of infants, pets and dependently obedient spouses is an instinctual behavior. It is not a genuine form of love because it’s effortless, not totally an act of will or choice, and not directed toward their spiritual growth. Nurturing spiritual growth is a much more complicated process than can be directed by any instinct.

Love is not simply giving. It is judicious giving and withholding. It is judicious praising and criticizing. It is judicious arguing, struggling, confronting, urging in addition to comforting. The word “judicious” means requiring judgment, and judgement requires more than instinct. It requires thoughtful and often painful decision-making.

*********************
Summary of "Self-Sacrifice"
*********************

Some people think self-sacrifice is love, but it is not. Whatever they sacrifice is motivated not by the needs of their family but by their own need to maintain an image of themselves or to keep a sense of moral superiority.
*****************
Love Is Not a Feeling
*****************

The feeling of love is the emotion that accompanies the experience of cathecting. Cathecting is the process by which an object becomes important to us. Once cathected, the object is invested with our energy as if it were a part of ourselves. This relationship between us and the invested object is called a cathexis.

The misconception that love is a feeling exists because we confuse cathecting with loving. They are different in three ways: (1) We may cathect any object, animate or inanimate, with or without a spirit (2) The fact that we have cathected another human being doesn’t mean that we care for their spiritual development (3) The intensity of our cathexes has nothing to do with wisdom or commitment (4) Our cathexes may be fleeting and momentary

When love exists it does so with or without cathexis and with or without a loving feeling.
******************
The Work of Attention
******************
Love is a form of work directed toward the nurture of one’s spiritual growth. The principal form that the work of love takes is attention. The most important way in which we can exercise our attention is by listening. True listening requires tremendous efforts and total concentration. We cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time. An essential part of true listening is the temporary give up of one’s own prejudice, frames of reference and desires so as to step inside the speaker’s shoes. This temporary unification of speaker and listener is an extension of ourself and a total acceptance of the other.

Besides listening, there’re many other forms of attention. But what all these forms of attention have in common is that they involve time spent with the one we love.
Iris Wu
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Re: BR2018-3: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

文章Iris Wu » 週五 9月 28, 2018 12:12 pm

Summary of “Risk of Confrontation” in Section II (Love) by Iris:
“The greatest risk of love is the risk of exercising power with humility.”
Inevitably, we do encounter confrontation with our children or our spouse. The author said When confronting with our beloved ones, we always “assume a position of moral or intellectual superiority over the loved one”. Simply put, we always think we are right or will have better results, at least so far as the issue at hand is concerned.

Some advice from the author:
• Self-scrutiny: examine the worth of your loved one’s wisdom and the motives of our own, “Are we self-serving when we think we are right or better?”
• Self-doubting and self-examining if we are exercising our leadership with “a way of arrogance” or “a way of humility”.
• When we criticize someone, we apparently try to change the course of the person’s life. We need to be conscious to assume the responsibility of attempting to play God.
• When confrontation is required, but one side is meek and submissive to avoid the confrontation, then we need to be aware that this may be “pseudo humility” (fake one) and it will hinder the true spiritual growth.

Summary of “Love is Disciplined”
The drive of self-discipline is love, which is a form of will and follows action. “Any genuinely loving relationship is a disciplined relationship.”
Some people think a disciplined relationship is to take passion out of the relationship, but the author doesn’t agree with that. “Shallow brooks are noisy. Still waters run deep.” To control and manage our feelings is not passionless.

Feeling is the source of energy, the horsepower, but it is a person’s slave. Self-discipline is the art of slave-owning. We should manage them and treat them with respect, so our feelings won’t become chaotic or completely submissive.

Genuine love is precious. People who are capable of genuine love know to focus productively. Most of us only have the energy to focus inside the family. “Very few of us have a capacity for self-discipline great enough to maintain constructive relationships that are genuinely loving both inside and outside the family.”

People may think that in this way life is just full of duty and responsibilities and not fun at all, but the author refutes the argument:
“When I genuinely love I am extending myself, and when I am extending myself I am growing. The more I love, the longer I love, the larger I become. Genuine love is self-replenishing.”
“I am a totally selfish human being. I never do something for somebody else but that I do it for myself. And as I grow through love, so grows my joy, ever more present, ever more constant. Neopuritan perhaps I am. I am also a joy freak.”

Summary of “Love is Separateness”
“True love is to nurture your beloved as someone who has a totally separate identity.”
Many parents have made some mistakes, “All they really care about is their own images…. These parents fail to appreciate the unique individuality of their children, and instead regard their children as extensions of themselves.”

This can be applied to any other intimate relationships, including marriage. The problem of separateness in close relationships has challenged mankind through the ages.

The problem of separateness in close relationships has bedeviled mankind through the ages. Marriage is like the base camp for a mountain climber, it is a rest area we share the responsibilities, but when we climb the mountain we have to climb individually. “It is the separateness of the partners that enriches the union.”
“Genuine love not only respects the individuality of the other but actually seeks to cultivate 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.”

The prophet of Kahlil Gibran concludes the marriage beautifully:
“Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Iris Wu
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註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm


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