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In Search of Stones: A Pilgrimage of Faith, Reason, and Discovery

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From the acclaimed author of The Road Less Traveled comes the personal story of his own journey of self-discovery. On a three-week spiritual quest with his wife to see the ancient megalithic stones in the countryside of Wales, England, and Scotland, he gained insight into such issues as parenthood, holiness, romance, art, and his own shortcomings.


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From the acclaimed author of The Road Less Traveled comes the personal story of his own journey of self-discovery. On a three-week spiritual quest with his wife to see the ancient megalithic stones in the countryside of Wales, England, and Scotland, he gained insight into such issues as parenthood, holiness, romance, art, and his own shortcomings.

30 review for In Search of Stones: A Pilgrimage of Faith, Reason, and Discovery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jim Fonseca

    The author, a psychiatrist, is famous for his 1978 world-wide multi-millions-selling pop psychology book The Road Less Traveled. This later book (written ten years before he died in 2005) is also mostly pop psychology, pop philosophy and meditations in quite a potpourri of styles that is pretty good in part because of that wide variety. It’s also to a large extent the author’s autobiography in which he confesses things such as his marital infidelities amounting to almost a sexual addition. His wi The author, a psychiatrist, is famous for his 1978 world-wide multi-millions-selling pop psychology book The Road Less Traveled. This later book (written ten years before he died in 2005) is also mostly pop psychology, pop philosophy and meditations in quite a potpourri of styles that is pretty good in part because of that wide variety. It’s also to a large extent the author’s autobiography in which he confesses things such as his marital infidelities amounting to almost a sexual addition. His wife took her pleasures from literature and suffered black, deadly depressions. He doesn’t come across to me as very apologetic or sincere in his “I’m sorry these things happened and that I hurt people” type of explanation. The book’s title and the chapter titles are out of sync. Yes, the story is framed around a long trip in search of dolmens and stone circles in England, Scotland and Wales, but look at the chapter titles: Money, Death, Romance, Pilgrimage, Peace, Art, Consideration, etc. Each chapter has its own approach to its topic. Religion is not a story of his own Christian convictions and conversions but basically a brief history of the development of various Protestant sects. Whereas the chapter on Finance is literally about the business side of his empire as an author and world-wide speaker right down to how much he charged for speaking engagements. And yes we get a lot about stones with archaeology and some geology. Often he and his wife are searching for stones that locals don’t even know about. There is constant rain, unmarked roads, missed ferries to the islands, getting lost in woods and then enjoying fine wine and a smiley waitress at the B&B. The stone stories are mixed in with legends of King Arthur and Merlin. Here are some examples of the type of content and the style of writing: In the chapter on Aging: “Yet another kind of stripping away is that of interests. It began with the Dark Night of the Senses, that stripping away of some of my appetite for beauty and art and elegance. Television bores me. Very few books - poetry, novels, words of wisdom - hold my attention for long. I feel as if I’ve read it all before, and in a sense I have. Into this vacuum of my mind our sudden fascination for stones has come as a surprising, most wonderful gift. But this, too, shall probably pass, and the day will likely come when a great standing stone will look merely like a rock. For the moment, however, I am grateful.” In the chapter Parenthood, I have to give the author credit for candor, if nothing else. For a guy who is a famous psychiatrist and philosopher, listen to him talk about his own children: “So why should I be surprised that our own children at ages 23, 30 and 31, all successful in their own right and financially independent, are very angry with me for unclear reasons and giving both of us clear messages that they want us to keep our distance from them? Particularly since Lily and I are strong-willed people who would also run their lives if we could, albeit with the very best of intentions?...Instead, in their presence, we feel we must walk on eggs. Our most idle remarks or facial expressions may evoke their scorn or precipitate a hurtful silence.” In the chapter on Time: “We measure time by space and space by times. Indeed, time can best be defined as a change of space. It is the changing spatial relationship of the sun and the earth that determines whether it is morning, midday, evening, or night….The clock….can tell time by the way its hands move through space. …Conversely, we often measure space by time. It is valuable to know that Lily and I are a hundred miles away from Culloden House….It is a more valuable measurement to say the we are a two-hour drive away from our destination.” On Gratitude: “So we have these three words: grace, gratis, and gratitude. They flow into one another. Perceive grace and you will naturally feel grateful. We did not earn this morning’s great stone. We hadn’t even spotted it on a map and gone off in search of it. We didn’t lift a finger. It was simply there for us, glittering in the sunlight, and we were profoundly grateful.” On Holiness: “Some Catholics have a concept I much admire: the Sacrament of the Present Moment. It suggests that every moment of our lives is sacred, and that we should make of each moment a sacrament. Were we to do this we would think of the entire world as diffused with holiness…Occasionally I remember to strive for it, but I never achieve it. While I intellectually acknowledge that everyone and every place may be holy, I actually go around experiencing the holy in very few places and people.” Being a geographer, I liked the travelogue-stones part of the book best. My edition has dozens of sketches of the stones. I won’t read more by this author because he seems to be a guy who gives advice but was never able to get his own act together. 3.5 rounded to 4. Top photo, Standing Stones of Callandish, Isle of Lewis, Scotland from framepool.com Middle photo, the Eagle Stone, Scotland from librarylink.highland.gov.uk Photo of the author from mscottpeck.com

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lwandile

    I think a lot of people don't understand Dr Peck. He's books are totally unconventional. This one particular I enjoyed the most. I'm not yet done with it but I should finish it before the end of this week. I love how he talks about issues such religion, politics, relationships, money, romantic love . He's addicted to nicotine and smoked while praying hahaha Strange I know, but I like that. Personally, he has taught me things in two weeks that I would have learned for a life time. I think a lot of people don't understand Dr Peck. He's books are totally unconventional. This one particular I enjoyed the most. I'm not yet done with it but I should finish it before the end of this week. I love how he talks about issues such religion, politics, relationships, money, romantic love . He's addicted to nicotine and smoked while praying hahaha Strange I know, but I like that. Personally, he has taught me things in two weeks that I would have learned for a life time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Rating only for the information and lovely descriptions of the standing stones. Author is an insufferable prick.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    I was attracted to this book by the title & the cover; I'm interested in all the megalithic stones and henges of England. The parts of this book that were about them was very interesting. Peck and his wife stumbled across the first ones in Wales and then over a 3 week car trip through Wales, the Lake District, Scotland and some of its islands, they continued to search them out. I had no idea there were so many. Great fun to follow along with look ups in Wikipedia to learn more about the individu I was attracted to this book by the title & the cover; I'm interested in all the megalithic stones and henges of England. The parts of this book that were about them was very interesting. Peck and his wife stumbled across the first ones in Wales and then over a 3 week car trip through Wales, the Lake District, Scotland and some of its islands, they continued to search them out. I had no idea there were so many. Great fun to follow along with look ups in Wikipedia to learn more about the individual stone outcroppings. Enjoyed the drawings of the stones included also. Also enjoyed the chapter about their visit to the first Quaker church in northern England & its story of George Fox, the Puritan who became the first Quaker leader. But there's lots here of Dr. Peck talking about himself and his family -- some of it very interesting and some not, some of it is too personal.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anne Hawn Smith

    I listened to this while on a long trip and was able to give it a lot of attention. Scott Peck and his wife take a trip to England to find standing stones. Some are prominent with signs and careful tending, but others are out in pastures involving climbing fences and long treks. Along the way, Scott goes over his spiritual and psychological journey and relates it to his trip. The book isn't as thought provoking as most of his other books, but I still found that I had to stop the tape from time to I listened to this while on a long trip and was able to give it a lot of attention. Scott Peck and his wife take a trip to England to find standing stones. Some are prominent with signs and careful tending, but others are out in pastures involving climbing fences and long treks. Along the way, Scott goes over his spiritual and psychological journey and relates it to his trip. The book isn't as thought provoking as most of his other books, but I still found that I had to stop the tape from time to time and ponder over things he said and relate them to my life. It's a fascinating book and I enjoyed it very much.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    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 c 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.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    One of the most influential books that I have read in my life.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tg

    gland, Wales , Scotland , and Ireland in Search of stones and stone formations. His key point is everything in life is overdetermined, or has more than one neat explanation. This is an older Doctor Peck musing on his failings and infidelities. The author has a more mature tone than in his "Road Less Travelled " books--He encourages to embrace the mysteries of Science and Religion. In this book he seems less smug, and more grounded---like Hey, I do not know everything and am not the expert on ever gland, Wales , Scotland , and Ireland in Search of stones and stone formations. His key point is everything in life is overdetermined, or has more than one neat explanation. This is an older Doctor Peck musing on his failings and infidelities. The author has a more mature tone than in his "Road Less Travelled " books--He encourages to embrace the mysteries of Science and Religion. In this book he seems less smug, and more grounded---like Hey, I do not know everything and am not the expert on everything

  9. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    This one's a front runner for the worst book I ever read. It is badly researched and poorly written. The author and his wife travel around Britain, finally deciding that they want to visit ancient places, stone circles and the like. Apparently, after communing with each place for a bit, he's able to divine whether the place is 'good' or 'bad'. An example: they visit a farm, but before they get out of the car, they notice rodents impaled on the barbed wire fence around the field they park next to This one's a front runner for the worst book I ever read. It is badly researched and poorly written. The author and his wife travel around Britain, finally deciding that they want to visit ancient places, stone circles and the like. Apparently, after communing with each place for a bit, he's able to divine whether the place is 'good' or 'bad'. An example: they visit a farm, but before they get out of the car, they notice rodents impaled on the barbed wire fence around the field they park next to. The description of the farm then takes on a sinister tone, and they decide instantly that this is obviously a 'bad' place, most likely evil, in fact. Without further ado, they turn the car around and drive away in fear and trembling. Rat and mole catchers the world over (yes, Dr Peck, even in your country!) impale the rodents they catch on barbed wire to demonstrate that they are, in fact, doing their job. It is not a signal of evil, but of a worker wanting to be paid. As they head off into Scotland, the author blithely states that Scotland is bigger than England and Wales combined. What map was he using to make such a baldly incorrect statement? The book is the testament of an ignorant tourist who has no conception of any culture outside his own, and clearly has no intention of doing anything other than making unfavourable comparisons of where he is to his home, where everything is perfect, of course. I have never in my life thrown a book in the bin, but I made an exception for this abysmal drivel.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Craig Bergland

    I need to start by saying I have read several of Scott Peck's books and enjoyed them all - until now. This book is little more than a self-indulgent example of cognitive diarrhea. Peck opines on a number of topics with more than a hint of narcissistic entitlement. Absolute tripe. I need to start by saying I have read several of Scott Peck's books and enjoyed them all - until now. This book is little more than a self-indulgent example of cognitive diarrhea. Peck opines on a number of topics with more than a hint of narcissistic entitlement. Absolute tripe.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shelli

    Traipsing around Britain in the damp, looking at mysterious stone circles. What could be better?!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    "M. Scott Peck, whose book The Road Less Traveled has become both a part of popular culture and a spiritual and inspirational guidebook for a generation, now gives us his most personal book; one that tells more about himself than he ever has before, while at the same time helps readers see truths about themselves, their own lives, and the greater community around them. "On the surface, this book is the story of a three-week journey that Dr. Peck took with his wife, Lily, looking for the ancient m "M. Scott Peck, whose book The Road Less Traveled has become both a part of popular culture and a spiritual and inspirational guidebook for a generation, now gives us his most personal book; one that tells more about himself than he ever has before, while at the same time helps readers see truths about themselves, their own lives, and the greater community around them. "On the surface, this book is the story of a three-week journey that Dr. Peck took with his wife, Lily, looking for the ancient megalithic stones that became an obsession for them. But the search for stones is a search for meaning and mystery, and ultimately an unveiling of the pilgrimage of life itself. "Each day of the journey Dr. Peck discusses a related realm of human experience -- parenthood, holiness, romance, art, to name a few -- and we travel with him on an adventure of the spirit, striving to understand the journey of life in all of its complexities and secrets. "Illustrated with exquisite drawings by Dr. Peck's son, Christopher. In Search of Stones is a beautiful book of spirituality and quest, faith and mystery, and the most intimate book to come from one of our most distinguished thinkers." ~~back cover This is a stunning book: it delves into subjects that most of us don't talk about, or even think about: addiction, changing, aging, parenthood, death, gratitude, despair. Perhaps it's me that needed to hear about these subjects, and the other in the book, but it felt compelling, spiritual. I read one chapter a day -- I could have sat down and devoured the whole book at on go but I wanted to savor each one, to think about what was said, to hold that template up against my own life. This is a book to be cherished, to be kept, to be taken out and a chapter reread here and there, a book to contemplate in order to facilitate your life.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Petrossian

    In Search of Stones is the closest thing to an autobiography that Scott Peck ever wrote. Written in a very unique style encompassing themes of Aging, Art, Despair, Parenthood and many more, alongside his Journey with his wife through the UK looking for stone formations similar to Stonehenge. I felt that Peck manages to combine all the content quite beautifully to create a cohesive book that's quite different to anything else he has written. In Search of Stones is the closest thing to an autobiography that Scott Peck ever wrote. Written in a very unique style encompassing themes of Aging, Art, Despair, Parenthood and many more, alongside his Journey with his wife through the UK looking for stone formations similar to Stonehenge. I felt that Peck manages to combine all the content quite beautifully to create a cohesive book that's quite different to anything else he has written.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Darlene

    Good, but it dragged on a little long. Not quite what I thought it would be, however, it's not one I regretted sticking with it until the end. Good, but it dragged on a little long. Not quite what I thought it would be, however, it's not one I regretted sticking with it until the end.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kaye Sivori

    Hard to follow...not one of his best.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Greg Janicki

    3.8. Not quite ready to make final evaluation. Need to ask my therapist why he asked me to read it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sue Woodruff

    I am such a fan of Dr. Peck that I love everything he writes. This book was a little different in that he writes about his search for megolithic stones in Great Britain.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Very personal. Reads like a chatauqua.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary Karpel-Jergic

    A delightful book. Awfully difficult to categorise as he covers so many topics but for me this is part of the book's attraction. The eclectic mix of topics are all knitted together really well. Part autobiography (and he is searingly honest especially about his adulterous behaviour and the difficult relationships with his children), part road trip (Wales, the Borders and Scotland), part history (the megalithic stones that he goes in search of contain many mysteries and he narrates this aspect re A delightful book. Awfully difficult to categorise as he covers so many topics but for me this is part of the book's attraction. The eclectic mix of topics are all knitted together really well. Part autobiography (and he is searingly honest especially about his adulterous behaviour and the difficult relationships with his children), part road trip (Wales, the Borders and Scotland), part history (the megalithic stones that he goes in search of contain many mysteries and he narrates this aspect really well), and psychological in approach as you'd expect from a practicing psychiatrist. However, he doesn't claim any great insight into the complex nature of human lives. "The longer I stayed in practice the more I gradually became aware that I was largely operating in the dark not only in relation to my patients but also in relation to myself." He also has come to the opinion that there are no simple answers to anything because events always have more than one cause. "For any single thing of importance, there are multiple reasons." Worth always bearing in mind I think - saves us from rushing into simplistic knee jerk responses. I've deducted a star because I found his constant references to a community that he and his wife created and continued to be actively involved in a little tedious after a while. He seems to think that community and the loss of it is at the root of a lot of society's problems and whilst he may be right I found this aspect of his writing an intrusion into what otherwise was really entertaining and educational. I learned quite a lot from this book. He is religious (of sorts)and this is discussed as the book and his journey progresses. For Peck "prayer is a radical response to the mysteries of life." Really, he is a meaning junkie and this is what he has searched for in his life. "I remain a rebel of sorts, a rebel with a cause, and that cause is meaning." He believes that he actually has an addiction to consciousness, he can "no more pass up a new insight than a cigarette." His addiction to consciousness is intertwined with mystery and this is where the spiritual dimension enters. He addresses the issues of ageing and seems to feel its ravages deeply. "Perhaps the thing that has surprised me most about ageing is the pure physicality of it. Whatever one's attitude about it - however different its individual schedule and distant it may seem, however much it may be denied - it comes. It is inexorable." However, he admits that we not have to grow old mentally. As in his earlier book, the road less travelled, Peck tries to encapsulate what it means to live a good life. He points out that life is am inherently insecure business and that it is foolish to seek the illusion of any form of security. "The only real security in life lies in relishing life's insecurity." he also likens life to a journey. "One's destination is quite likely to not be nearly as important or meaningful as the journey itself." It is a shame that a man with such insight and helpful ideas about living did not seem able to take his own advice. His longstanding wife, who went with him on this trip, actually divorced him a couple of years before he died. Whether it was due to his serial adultery or something else is not known but he certainly had difficulty in building the integrity required to live what he would claim to be a better life. Nevertheless, he makes so much sense in so many ways and does so in a light and accessible manner. "Society's task is not to establish equality. It is to develop systems that deal humanely with our inequality - systems that, within reason, celebrate and encourage diversity."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Marshall

    Author of the 'Road less travelled' sets of on a tour of the UK with his wife and they become entranced by pre-historic stone circles and standing stones. The journey promotes a series of essays on subjects like reason, pilgrimage, peace, gratitude etc. I read this book in the late nineties when my partner died and quest for stones helped begin to make sense of my loss. More recently, I visited a stone circle on the Isle of Man - not featured in the book - and the beauty and power of the experie Author of the 'Road less travelled' sets of on a tour of the UK with his wife and they become entranced by pre-historic stone circles and standing stones. The journey promotes a series of essays on subjects like reason, pilgrimage, peace, gratitude etc. I read this book in the late nineties when my partner died and quest for stones helped begin to make sense of my loss. More recently, I visited a stone circle on the Isle of Man - not featured in the book - and the beauty and power of the experience reminded me of Peck's book and dig it out. Re-reading is always like time travelling and I found totally different sections spoke to me today. In particular, I liked his story about mild narcissism (after his wife can't find a unlocked toilet) and how much we expect our partner to be like us (only slightly misguided). Therefore, the great temptation to tell his wife, for example, 'you can pee behind a bush, don't worry I'll keep an eye open for you' (and getting angry when she doesn't listen) - because he has no problem letting go in the open air, rather than understanding that she has different needs and treating her with kindness. I know from my clients how easy it is to think our partner is misguided and if only they'd listen to us, we could point out the error of their ways! So keep on and on and on. I'd never heard it called mild narcissism before - and even though I hate labels - it struck home. So why only three stars? Perhaps it was because I was looking for more about stones and less philosophy. Perhaps because he tends to ramble. Perhaps I'm in a better place but it doesn't speak to me in the same way as before.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Norah

    Wanted to read this as I liked his earlier 'The Road Less travelled' but found it heavy going and didn't finish it. 'Peck, author of the phenomenal best seller The Road Less Travelled (1978) and a number of other respected books on personal growth, continues his journey with a thoroughly readable account of a vacation trip he and his wife took through Great Britain in search of megalithic stone monuments built by Neolithic people several thousand years ago. Peck and his wife are archaeology enthu Wanted to read this as I liked his earlier 'The Road Less travelled' but found it heavy going and didn't finish it. 'Peck, author of the phenomenal best seller The Road Less Travelled (1978) and a number of other respected books on personal growth, continues his journey with a thoroughly readable account of a vacation trip he and his wife took through Great Britain in search of megalithic stone monuments built by Neolithic people several thousand years ago. Peck and his wife are archaeology enthusiasts, and their quest for prehistoric standing stones takes them to many small towns and interesting out-of-the-way places. Against this backdrop, Peck interweaves philosophical musings and personal wisdom on a variety of subjects, including peace, parenthood, aging, religion, art, money, and death. He speaks openly and candidly of his own shortcomings as well as his triumphs, successes, and outlook on life. His search for ancient stone monuments leads to a deeper quest? - an exploration of the mind and of one's own humanity. Peck masterfully integrates travel, archaeology, history, philosophy, and autobiography to provide useful insights into many of life's basic issues. This thoughtful work is sure to be popular with those who are already familiar with Peck's writings.' A contemplative read, though I found it a bit slow and introspective. Having enjoyed his 'Raod Less Travelled' I was slightly disappointed in this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    This book I took with me to read while exploring parts of England "in search of standing stones" as well, to a certain extent...ie visiting Stonehenge, and other places. Of course the traveling in this book is inner as well as outer and is also about ageing. I was particularly struck by his comments about having parts of oneself stripped away layer by layer, piece by piece,taking away one's illusions, vanities,dignity and self sufficiency (another illusion)....Nothing like going thru a life thre This book I took with me to read while exploring parts of England "in search of standing stones" as well, to a certain extent...ie visiting Stonehenge, and other places. Of course the traveling in this book is inner as well as outer and is also about ageing. I was particularly struck by his comments about having parts of oneself stripped away layer by layer, piece by piece,taking away one's illusions, vanities,dignity and self sufficiency (another illusion)....Nothing like going thru a life threatening illness and experiencing other "take aways" to make one become more poignantly aware of this. However, he points out this is inevitable and has its lessons. It made me think which is the highest praise I can give for a book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susan Kerr

    Peck is one of those writers who has the gift of taking two disparate and seemingly unrelated items and linking them in unimagined ways. Transforming a journey through the UK looking at standing stones and other Bronze Age structures into an inner spiritual pilgrimage is a connection that most modern humans do not make. In fact, archeological research in the past 20 or 30 years has come to the same conclusion, that our very ancient forebears built sacred structures in sequences intended to lead a Peck is one of those writers who has the gift of taking two disparate and seemingly unrelated items and linking them in unimagined ways. Transforming a journey through the UK looking at standing stones and other Bronze Age structures into an inner spiritual pilgrimage is a connection that most modern humans do not make. In fact, archeological research in the past 20 or 30 years has come to the same conclusion, that our very ancient forebears built sacred structures in sequences intended to lead a seeker along both an inner and outer path. How many of us today can see the sacred among our own "stones?" Read this book and you may develop the ability, or not. The quest is the thing. Put another way, fishing isn't really about catching fish. :-)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    I read The Road Less Travelled many years ago and it certainly changed my perspective. I thought it was an honest and generous reflection on living. This book, an account of a three week vacation that he and his wife spent in Wales and Scotland, was uneven. It is in part a travelogue in which they pursue their interest in prehistoric stones - megaliths, dolmans, and menhirs put in place by the early inhabitants. It is also a meditation on ageing, and the meaning of it all. I finished it, but wou I read The Road Less Travelled many years ago and it certainly changed my perspective. I thought it was an honest and generous reflection on living. This book, an account of a three week vacation that he and his wife spent in Wales and Scotland, was uneven. It is in part a travelogue in which they pursue their interest in prehistoric stones - megaliths, dolmans, and menhirs put in place by the early inhabitants. It is also a meditation on ageing, and the meaning of it all. I finished it, but would not recomment it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Banks

    This is actually the only book I've ever read by Peck, and even though I'm aware that it's not his best work, I learned more than enough from him. I learned a lot about the nonprofit organization that he founded on community building, and that feels like one of the most important messages to get from this book. I also appreciated learning more about the standing stones in the U.K. It definitely made me want to hop on a plane and see all of this myself. I wouldn't rate it five stars however. The wr This is actually the only book I've ever read by Peck, and even though I'm aware that it's not his best work, I learned more than enough from him. I learned a lot about the nonprofit organization that he founded on community building, and that feels like one of the most important messages to get from this book. I also appreciated learning more about the standing stones in the U.K. It definitely made me want to hop on a plane and see all of this myself. I wouldn't rate it five stars however. The writing was solid, but not great.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen Jen

    I've had this book for years and it has been with me for so many moves, I felt obligated to read it. The premise of the book is interesting and I did enjoy parts of it. By the end, though, I was bored with it. It is in part a tedious reflection of one man's life, like reading his boring journal entry of whether or not he should retire. At its best, it dives into the history of Scotland and Wales, the possible historical significance of megalithic stones, and the story of their vacation. At its w I've had this book for years and it has been with me for so many moves, I felt obligated to read it. The premise of the book is interesting and I did enjoy parts of it. By the end, though, I was bored with it. It is in part a tedious reflection of one man's life, like reading his boring journal entry of whether or not he should retire. At its best, it dives into the history of Scotland and Wales, the possible historical significance of megalithic stones, and the story of their vacation. At its worst, it is repetitive and myopic.

  27. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Kron

    I used to love M Scott Peck, but this book turned me off to him and I've read very little of what he's written since. It talks about his vacation to GB and his search for stones - or giant rock formations that are man made. He relates each discovery to something about life. The whole thing was a little too much like a green pancake to me. Still, I imagine other people would love this sort of thing. For me, it brings all his books down in their ratings. I used to love M Scott Peck, but this book turned me off to him and I've read very little of what he's written since. It talks about his vacation to GB and his search for stones - or giant rock formations that are man made. He relates each discovery to something about life. The whole thing was a little too much like a green pancake to me. Still, I imagine other people would love this sort of thing. For me, it brings all his books down in their ratings.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Although this true story was a little slow and methodical, it was quite impressive how much M. Scott Peck was able to relate his and his wife's discoveries of Stonehenge to lessons in life. It was an interesting twist on an ancient landmark (for sake of a better discription) that I knew very little about. Although this true story was a little slow and methodical, it was quite impressive how much M. Scott Peck was able to relate his and his wife's discoveries of Stonehenge to lessons in life. It was an interesting twist on an ancient landmark (for sake of a better discription) that I knew very little about.

  29. 4 out of 5

    pjr8888

    a depressing and exhausting tromp thru the centuries old stone monuments of GB. i kept hoping it would become less turgid, less didactic, less oppressive... some interesting reflections that would have seemed more fresh and insightful if it had been capsulized in an article instead of dragged over 420 pages...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tamela

    I didn't finish this one but maybe one day I will return...It makes one want to travel around Britain in a car. I liked the way he and his wife were freely traveling, doing whatever took their fancy. Peck would intermingle the traveling with incites into life (his included). I didn't finish this one but maybe one day I will return...It makes one want to travel around Britain in a car. I liked the way he and his wife were freely traveling, doing whatever took their fancy. Peck would intermingle the traveling with incites into life (his included).

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