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Wednesday, 12 October 2005

M Scott Peck dies

I just found out today that M Scott Peck died at the end of September. He was 69. There is a full obituary in the Telegraph, a UK paper, which ends rather grudglingly and rudely in my view. Scott Peck wrote some fantastic books - to comment on his inability to write great songs seems like a mean-spirited sort of comment to me.

I read 'The Road Less Travelled' in the early 90s and was hugely influenced by it. The beginning 'Life is difficult' must be one of those great one-liners that helps with the process of growing up. It sits alongside 'life isn't meant to be fair' as one of those things that moved me forward in life.

I read several of his other books too - 'The Different Drum' is a wonderful book about building communities. My favourite book is 'In Search of Stones: A Pilgrimage of Faith, Reason and Discovery' which describes a journey which he made through Britain looking at ancient sites with standing stones. It's a spiritual read, and an enjoyable one too.

I was sad to hear that Scott Peck had left this life.

For a more recent post on this subject please click here

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with Stuart Elgin the world is a darker place without Scott Peck.I too read the Road Less Travelled in the early 90s,and I can honestly claim it was "life changing". So rip sir, I for one am sorry to learn of your demise.

Stuart said...

Thanks very much for the comment. I've had a lot of 'hits' to this post as the news has gradually got through of Scott Peck's death. It's a shame that someone who had such a significant impact disappeared from this life so quietly.

WK said...

hey stuart

i myself only found out today (november 13). chanced upon a copy of TRLT on my desk (messy desk!) and decided to google Peck for a biography, and learnt of his death.

i have to say, though, that i think it somewhat fitting that he "disappeared from this life so quietly". Afterall, that is how TRLT came into most of our lives; appearing quietly, through word of mouth, and with little fanfare.

Sandra said...

I was delighted when I found "Glimpses of the Devil" - a Scott Peck book I had not read or knew as being published. I have read all his others, even Golf and the Spirit where, where, not being a golfer I had to pick out the spiritual bits! I could not finish "Glimpses of the Devil" as it seemed strange and below par and found myself wondering what had gone wrong with my hero. I found out today of Dr. Peck's death and am profoundly sad - sad at his death and at the fact I had read that rather derogatory newspaper article about him and allowed it to rather knock him off the pedestal I had put him on! His mix of psychology and spirituality helped me greatly in my recovery from alcoholism and I rather approved of his liking for gin and cigarettes thinking of him as a bit of a wounded healer I guess.
He had often talked about his facination with death and wanting to "go home" to be with his God. I wish him well on his journey and that his celestial 'debriefing' or whatever happens to us after we die is not too - like life - difficult.

Poor_Servant said...

I just found out by accident that M. Scott Peck died. I was pursuing the John Goodman hoax and it led to something about celebrity deaths which led to Peck. His People of the Lie was the book that had the most influence on me. In that book, he mentioned a book HE had read, called Hostage to the Devil by Malachi Martin. That book was quite amazing. Until Peck himself wrote Glimpses of the Devil, Hostage was essentially unique. Both tell stories of encounters with human behavior so off the charts that defining this behavior as Possession is the only valid description one could have. You should read them both. Some of those stories will make your skin crawl.

If you saw the movie Adaptation, there is a scene in which Charlie Kaufman, (or whoever the "twin brother" was) was interviewing Meryl Streep and he asked her if she could meet any three famous persons in history, who would they be? Her answer of Jesus Christ, Albert Einstein and possibly Abraham Lincoln made Kaufman realize she was lying, since that's the standard answer. I wondered who I would have liked to have met and concluded that I would like to have met FOUR famous people: Botticelli, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman...and M. Scott Peck. Such was his influence on me.

disillusioned said...

I was just getting ready to read The Road Less Travelled again after having retrieved it from my attic. I thought that I would look up Scott Peck on Wikipedia and see what I could find before I started reading a book that I had thoroughy enjoyed and benefited from the first time. I have to say that after reading his obituary, though, I was put off by what I found characterized his life, at least according to several obituaries - infidelity, gin and smoking. This is the man who so eloquently wrote about the need for discipline and love. It gives me second thoughts about whether I should read the book again. Great writing, but now it seems somewhat hypocritical. My 2 cents...

disillusioned said...

Also, by the way, the qote from The Road Less Traveled is "Life is difficult", not "Life is complicated". Well, so much for being picky...

Stuart said...

Well spotted! I have edited the page to show the correct line. Sorry about that... Thanks for noticing it.