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Book Title: Piedras Sagradas: En Busca del Significado y el Misterio de la Vida|
The author of the book: M. Scott Peck
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 4.13 MB
Edition: Neo Person
Date of issue: October 1st 1998
ISBN 13: 9788488066558
Read full description of the books Piedras Sagradas: En Busca del Significado y el Misterio de la Vida:It takes a special breed of narcissist to write a book like this. It takes a rare mixture of glib pretension at honesty and integrity, a certain openness to sharing one’s sins and struggles and be so deeply critical of one’s family, while still professing to be a spiritual guide to others. Unfortunately, as the author and I share the precise Myers-Brigg personality score (this author is clearly an ENTJ), I recognize that the author and I share the same sort of tendencies and therefore the most critical things I have to say about him, and there are plenty of critical things to say about him based on this book, are criticisms I must make of myself. Whether they are humble or arrogant in their own fashion is something of which I am not qualified to be the judge.
This book is organized as a set of essays on such profound subjects as reason, romance, addiction, holiness, change, religion, aging, parenthood, money, death, pilgrimage, gratitude, peace, adventure, consideration, space, time, art, integration, and despair that is structured around a vacation that he and his wife Lily (an INFJ from the account presented, the same type of personality as my own mother and one of my fellow teachers here at Legacy). It is difficult to determine who the precise audience of this book is, as the book is a strange mixture of deeply uncomfortable oversharing about his family life, including his problems with his children, his rather hostile thoughts about his own parents and the WASP culture in general (the two are probably not unrelated), his marital infidelity, his largely unrecognized addictions to smoking, drinking, and painkillers, his unconventional religious beliefs, but his smug superiority over fellow New Agers, and his sometimes tedious ramblings about the importance of his search for understanding community and peacemaking.
One addiction the author is willing to admit is his shared addiction, with his wife Lily, over the megalithic stones of a prehistoric culture. As someone who shares an attraction for the romance of ruins, and an interest in general archeological material, as well as “art” in its larger sense, I can understand where the author is coming from. But one issue I found with the book that might be common is the rather unsettling feeling of being both too close to the author in approach as well as too far in worldview to be truly in sympathy with this author’s narcissistic journey through Wales, northern England, and Scotland in search of ancient pagan standing stones as well as luxurious hotel rooms, and his general attitude of hostility toward sharing this beauty with other people. The author strikes me as a particularly offensive sort of hypocrite, but also the sort of hypocrite I must be very careful to avoid becoming, making him instructive and unsettling at the same time.
One striking similarity the author and I share is our identity at the point where faith and reason meet, with a strong inclination for rationality, but also an appreciation of the irrational within ourselves and others and our world in general, and a general acceptance of tension and paradox that many ascribe (in my case falsely) to a sort of Eastern religion approach. The author talks a lot about his previous practice as a psychotherapist, as well as a little about his participation in a couple of exorcisms, and about numerous other matters as well, which are quite varied, sometimes entertaining, and sometimes highly awkward and uncomfortable. He comments, wisely, at the beginning of the book that he pities the booksellers who have had difficulty sorting this book, and this difficulty is genuine, as this book is a strange mixture of travel book, personal memoirs, and speculations on matters far beyond the author’s competence.
The fact that the author considers himself a person of high sensitivity to others and high personal integrity despite his rather open admission of numerous sexual affairs suggests a level of self-deception that is rather frightening. But it is a level of hypocrisy to which none of us are immune, and as a sensitive soul he is perhaps a bit too prone to reflect on the guilt-induced sufferings of being born into privilege as a sign of genuine spirituality rather than being a self-loathing pathology typical of “white liberal guilt.” The fact that the author’s Christianity is largely doctrine free, and that he certainly is of the antinomian variety of Christianity that thinks nothing of committing sins of massive syncretism (of which this book is a product), therefore completely failing to understand the just and moral aspect of God’s character, and the fact that moral laws were created for all people to obey, even intellectuals like ourselves.
The author does have some wise insights to make, but his knee-jerk hostility to the accoutrements of traditional religion and culture (including his hatred of the military, and his rather lengthy rant about locked bathrooms at a Scottish memorial that he happened to visit on Sunday, totally oblivious to the serious Sundaykeeping of the Scottish Presbyterians of the area, which he comments on as being a sign of a “Sunday-morningism” rather than being a legitimate part of a different and coherent worldview to his own rather vague and wishy-washy one and his extreme dislike of sheep, which seems to suggest an arrogance at being above the common herd of humanity), cut against the value of those insights. Instead, he offers somewhat trivial cliches about the need to build genuine communities through frequent community-building workshops, to develop personal integrity (without some kind of firm moral code to base that integrity upon), and frequent travel critiques about the poverty of such cities as Cardiff and Glasgow and their effects on his own creature comforts. He therefore misses the chance to make more substantial contributions to amateur archeology because of the basic indulgent and trivial approach he takes to his journey. He talks about numinous places, but in such a solipsistic way that it fails to offer relevance to anyone who does not think as he does.
Therefore, this book is overall a rather mixed bag. It offers occasionally valid critiques of traditional culture, while at the same time showing that neither the faith nor ultimate the rationality of the author are founded on the ground of a sufficiently deep spirituality as to appreciate God as lawgiver and judge as well as loving Father and gracious giver of good gifts. In having a universalist approach to God and religion, the author appears to deny anything distinctive about Christianity, making this a poor case for Christ, given that it comes from someone whose genuine biblical knowledge and practice is slight. If he is not a Sunday morning Christian, he might be something that is just as offensive, a Christmas and Easter Christian who cannot understand that the proper grounding of his personal crusade for peace and social justice lies in the severe moral justice of the Law under which all of us are sinners in need of grace, and where God shows no partiality. The book, which is a somewhat lengthy work at more than 400 pages of solid text (no scholarly footnotes or endnotes here), will prompt serious reflection in the reader, but also a fair degree of well-earned harsh criticism towards the author’s rather smug and self-satisfied version of left-wing New Age spirituality. Caveat lector.
Read information about the authorDr. Peck was born on May 22, 1936 in New York City, the younger of two sons to David Warner Peck, a prominent lawyer and jurist, and his wife Elizabeth Saville. He married Lily Ho in 1959, and they had three children.
Dr. Peck received his B.A. degree magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1958, and his M.D. degree from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1963. From 1963 until 1972, he served in the United States Army, resigning from the position of Assistant Chief Psychiatry and Neurology Consultant to the Surgeon General of the Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster. From 1972 to 1983, Dr. Peck was engaged in the private practice of psychiatry in Litchfield County, Connecticut.
On March 9, 1980 at the age of 43, Dr. Peck was nondenominationally baptized by a Methodist minister in an Episcopalian convent (where he has frequently gone on retreat).
Dr. Peck's first book, The Road Less Traveled, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1978. The book has sold over six million copies to date in North America alone, and has been translated into over 20 languages.
Dr. Peck's second book, People of the Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil, was published by Simon & Schuster in October of 1983. It is recognized as a ground-breaking contribution to the field of psychology, and is currently a best seller in Japan.
Dr. Peck's third book, What Return Can I Make? Dimensions of the Christian Experience, was published by Simon & Schuster in December of 1985. It contains Marilyn Von Waldner's singing as well as Dr. Peck's essays and audio commentary. It was republished by Harpers (San Francisco) in the fall of 1995, under the new title, Gifts For the Journey: Treasures of the Christian Life, and is being republished again by Renaissance Press.
A fourth book entitled The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, was published in June 1987 by Simon & Schuster and is recognized as another ground breaking contribution to the behavioral sciences.
Dr. Peck's fifth book and first work of fiction, A Bed By the Window: A Novel of Mystery and Redemption, was published by Bantam in August, 1990. It was hailed by the New York Times as "something of a miracle".
The Friendly Snowflake: A Fable of Faith, Love and Family, Dr. Peck's sixth book, and first for children as well as adults, (Turner Publishing, Inc.) and was illustrated by Dr. Peck's son, Christopher Peck, and published in October 1992.
Dr. Peck's seventh book, A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered, a work on organizational behavior, was published by Bantam in March 1993.
Meditations From the Road, was published by Simon & Schuster in August 1993.
Further Along the Road Less Traveled, a collection of Dr. Peck's edited lectures (1979-1993) was published by Simon & Schuster in October 1993.
In Search of Stones: A Pilgrimage of Faith, Reason and Discovery was published by Hyperion in April 1995. It is also illustrated by his son, Christopher. It has been hailed by Publisher's Weekly as a "quirky, magical blend of autobiography, travel, spiritual meditation, history and Arthurian legend."
A second novel In Heaven As On Earth: A Vision of the Afterlife, was published by Hyperion in the spring of 1996.
The Road Less Traveled and Beyond: Spiritual Growth in an Age of Anxiety, is a synthesis of all Dr. Peck's work and was published by Simon & Schuster in January 1997.
With his background in medicine, psychiatry and theology he has also been in a unique position to write Denial of the Soul: Spiritual and Medical Perspectives in Euthanasia and Mortality, this first "topical" book, published by Harmony Books (Crown) in April 1997.
Golf and the Spirit: Lessons for the Journey was published by Harmony Books in 1999. It too is illustrated by Christopher Peck.
Dr. Peck was a nationally recognized authority on the relationship between religion and science, and the science o
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