The Road Less Traveled Book Summary/Notes

Discipline – a system of techniques of dealing constructively with the pain of problem solving (instead of avoiding that pain) in such a way that all of life’s problems can be solved.

-delaying gratification – dealing with the pain first so that you can enjoy the pleasure later.

-your upbringing/childhood and how your parents raise you is immensely important and helps shape you for your life.

Time- if you take the time, you can accomplish many things that may currently be viewed as limited beliefs.

Problems – do not avoid them, they do not go away. You must work through them so that they do not remain as a barrier to growth. Even though they are painful in the moment they won’t be once they are resolved. IF you allow them to persist, the pain will be much more intense and last longer in the future.

-beliefs and revising – need to be open minded and flexible, and constantly tweak our views of the world.

-self examination – the life of wisdom must be a life of contemplation combined with action. We must not just examine life but examine the examiner simultaneously.

-truth – in order to seek truth, we must have the discipline to revise our views and overcome pain. Truth must be more important to our self interest than our comfort. Personal discomfort is unimportant and should be welcomed in the search for truth. We must be dedicated to true reality at all costs to sharpen our mental health.

-self-discipline – complete honesty takes less energy than lying. It enables you to be totally free and open.

-healthiness of depression – the process of unconsciously or consciously the feeling of giving up something of the self that is loved or familiar is depression.

The feeling of depression is a signal that major change is required for successful adaptation. Most people aren’t ready or willing to accept or recognize this.

Balancing – being able to discipline your discipline

Bracketing – subtype of balancing, the act of balancing the need for stability and assertion of the self with the need for new knowledge and greater understanding by temporarily giving up one’s self to make room for the incorporation of new material into the self.

Mature awareness is possible only when biases and prejudices are put to the side. It involves a double movement of attention: both silencing the familiar and welcoming the strange. Bracketing the preconceived world to allow the strangeness into the perceptual world. The ego must be neutralized/eliminated.

In order to grow and travel further through the journey of life, one must have multiple deaths (giving up familiar views and things) and rebirths (retaining of new information and views). One must learn to endure and accept both pleasure and pain.

For to exercise power is to make decisions and the process of making decisions with total awareness is often infinitely more painful than making decisions with limited awareness.

Love – the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing ones own or another’s spiritual growth.

As we extend our limits (through effort), we grow into a larger state of being. This act of loving is an act of self evolution even when the purpose of It is for someone else’s growth.

Love is not effortless, it’s effortful.

“Real” Love occurs when the feeling of love lacks, and when one acts lovingly despite the fact that they don’t feel loving. This is a permanently self enlarging experience.

Falling in love is a temporary and partial collapse of one’s ego boundaries. It is sexually instinctual/rooted/stimulated (a deeply genetic and natural experience which serves to increase sexual pairing/bonding so as to enhance the survival of the species).

This happens outside of one’s control, effortlessly. This is not an experience that facilitates growth.

Children – by giving them undivided attention (total focus on them without doing anything else), they will feel valued/valuable. The more valuable they feel, the more things of value they will say..they will rise to your expectation of them.

Listen to them enough and you’ll realize how extraordinary they are, leading to you willing to listen more and learning more from them.

The more you know about them, the more you’ll be able to teach them.

The more you listen to them, the more value they feel, the more willing they will be to listen to you and learn from you.

Growth and religion

-our understanding and view/outlook on life is our religion, and everyone has one.

-the path to holiness lies through questioning everything.

Evolution of consciousness

-everything, all knowledge, is within our subconscious. It is when we become more aware that we discover this knowledge consciously.

-our unconscious mind is god. God is within us.

-those who have attained spiritual growth are aware that their unusual wisdom has its origin in their unconscious. That their knowledge flow to them through this connection.