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Journey of Love, page fourteen
an excerpt from Further along the Road Less Traveled
M. Scott Peck

What do I mean by self-love?

Back when I worked as a psychiatrist in the army, the military was interested in what made successful people click, and so a dozen such people from different branches of the service were gathered together for study.  They were men and women in their late thirties or early forties who had all been markedly successful.  They had been promoted ahead of their contemporaries, yet they also seemed to be popular.  Those who had families seemed to be enjoying a happy family life, their children were doing well in school and were well adjusted.  These people seemed to have a golden touch.

They were studied in various dimensions, sometimes as a group, sometimes individually.  As a part of the study they were asked to write down on a piece of paper -- and they did not have the chance to consult with one another about this issue -- the three most important things in their life, in order of priority.

There were two phenomena that were quite remarkable about the way the group handled this task.  One was the seriousness with which they took it.  The first to return his answer sheet took well over forty minutes, and a number of the people took more than an hour, even though they knew that most of the group had finished.  The other thing that was remarkable was that, while the second and third items on their lists ranged all over the map, all twelve had written exactly the same answer for number one:  "Myself."  Not "Love."  Not "God."  Not "My family."  But "Myself."

And that, I suggest, was an expression of mature self-love.  Self-love implies the care, respect, and responsibility for and the knowledge of the self.  Without loving one's self one cannot love others.  But do not confuse self-love with self-centeredness.  These successful men and women were loving spouses and parents and caring supervisors.

Further Along the Road Less Traveled takes the lectures of Dr. Peck and presents his profound insights into the issues that confront and challenge all of us today: spirituality, forgiveness, relationships, and growing up. In this aid for living less simplistically, you will learn not to look for the easy answers but to think multidimensionally. You will learn to reach for the "ultimate step," which brings you face to face with your personal spirituality. It will be this that helps you appreciate the complexity that is life.

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Let us have love and more love; a love that melts all opposition,
a love that conquers all foes, a love that sweeps away all barriers,
a love that aboundeth in charity, a large-heartedness, tolerance,
forgiveness and noble striving, a love that triumphs over all obstacles.

Abdul Baha


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