Morgan Scott Peck (23 May 1936 – 25 September 2005) was an American psychiatrist and best-selling author, best known for his first book, The Road Less Traveled, published in 1978.
In his book The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, Peck says that community has three essential ingredients:
Based on his experience with community building workshops, Peck says that community building typically goes through four stages:
It is in this third stage that Peck's community-building methods differ in principle from team development. While teams in business organizations need to develop explicit rules, guidelines and protocols during the norming stage, the emptiness' stage of community building is characterized, not by laying down the rules explicitly, but by shedding the resistance within the minds of the individuals.
Peck started the Foundation for Community Encouragement (FCE) to promote the formation of communities, which, he argues, are a first step towards uniting humanity and saving us from self destruction.
Peck describes what he considers to be the most salient characteristics of a true community:
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These workshops bond participants into community at a deep emotional level through learning how to communicate differently. It is life changing for a number of people. Thousands of people have attended these workshops in countries all over the world.
This is derived from my experience with the Dr. M. Scott Peckmodel of Community Building over the last 15 years.
Dr. Peck is a renowned psychiatrists from the United States and is best known for his book: The Road Less Traveled which was on the best seller list for more than ten years. Dr. Peck discovered his CB model in 1981.
The process centers around four stages of group development. It is an experiential workshop that is highly unstructured.
Participants learn how to build a community by doing it themselves with a minimum of facilitation.
There are few presentations or specific exercises to achieve the one goal: building community with the people in attendance. Dr. Peck says community is a miracle.
The first workshops were done as public offerings. They were advertised by a sponsor with self-selecting people attending. These are referred to as open groups. Eventually they were offered to businesses. This was slow to develop because building a community takes considerable time and commitment, and may cause transformational change. Workshops in organizations are referred to as closed workshops.
To see the community building process illustrated and a very brief description, go to this link. (CLICK HERE)
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"Starting with the Road Less Traveled, perhaps the most radical thing that I said in that book that deviated from traditional psychiatry is that I located the source of psychiatric ills in the conscious mind, rather than the unconscious. And that the previous view, the Freudian sort of view, had been that the unconscious was filled with all these bad feelings, and angry thoughts, sexy thoughts, and whatnot. And that was where psychiatric, psychological illness originated. When in fact, the real question is why those things, which were obvious, were in the unconscious, rather than the conscious mind. The answer was that it was a conscious mind that didn’t want to face certain truths, and pushed this stuff into the unconscious. But the problem is with a rejecting consciousness in which we simply don’t like to think about things….Over the years I came to believe, and again I’m leaving out the biological aspects, but that psychological disorders are all disorders of thinking. So narcissists, for instance, cannot or will not think of other people….What we used to call passive-dependent people don’t think for themselves. Obsessive-compulsives tend to have great difficulty thinking in the big picture. And I would say that if you have a patient or a client who has some real difficulty, psychological difficulty, look for the problem in their thinking. There is some area where they are not thinking correctly. "
Malignant Narcissism: Excerpts from M. Scott Peck's People of the Liehere)
It is quite easy to see these patterns in groups (you could say it is essentially narcissistic people who destroy groups), but try also reading the article thinking in terms of our society .. being perhaps "malignantly narcissistic".
Makes interesting reading. And not at all surprising that we have such a hard time in the 'over-developed west' in forming real communities.
There are quite a lot of Scott Peck videos in YouTube, here a summary of his book,
The Road Less Travelled
To see the whole series click here
page in Wikipedia
by Dr M Scott Peck:
"Love is not a feeling. Love is an action, an activity. . . Genuine love implies commitment and the exercise of wisdom. . . . love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth.....true love is an act of will that often transcends ephemeral feelings of love or cathexis, it is correct to say, 'Love is as love does'."
"Mental health is an ongoing process of dedication to reality at all costs""The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
"Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity."
"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."
"We cannot let another person into our hearts or minds unless we empty ourselves. We can truly listen to him or truly hear her only out of emptiness."
"Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering." Carl Jung