02 Mar M. Scott Peck’s Road Less Traveled – Life is Difficult
The late M. Scott Peck begins his wildly successful bestseller The Road Less Traveled with the following pronouncement: Life is difficult. This is the great truth, one of the greatest truths—it is a great truth because once we see this truth, we transcend it. Peck’s train of thought finds its lineage in the Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths, the first of which is: all life is suffering.
Although Jesus and Buddha share much common ground, on this issue they diverge. Jesus’s gospel does not teach that “life is difficult” but rather “we MAKE life difficult” both for ourselves and others. Jesus praises God for revealing his Kingdom to the childlike1 (or babes, depending on the Gospel writer) because young children are unique among us in not making life difficult for themselves; instead they approach each day with a sense or wonder, joy, and curiosity.
It is only after our egos lead us to believe that we’ve become wise and learned that life turns difficult; that we feel compelled to argue, meddle, and over-rationalize; that we begin to look for hidden agendas under every stone; that we wring our hands over the past and fret over the future; that we preach instead of listen; that we forget that we are all Sons and Daughters of God living out the wonderful drama of creation. It is only after we realize THIS great truth that we can truly begin to transcend our current circumstances, realize the Christ in our lives, and take the road less traveled.
To read about Miguel de Unamuno and how a life of solitude feeds a life of society and fellowship, please go to: Solitude & Society.
- “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that, though thou has hidden these things from the wise and learned, thou has revealed them to the childlike! Yes, Father, I thank thee that this has seemed good to thee.” Luke 10:21 [↩]