Scott Peck postulates that there are four stages of human spiritual development:
-Stage I is chaotic, disordered, and reckless. Very young children are in Stage I. They tend to defy and disobey, and are unwilling to accept a will greater than their own. Many criminals are people who have never grown out of Stage I.
-Stage II is the stage at which a person has blind faith. Once children learn to obey their parents, they reach Stage II. Many so called religious people are essentially Stage II people, in the sense that they have blind faith in God, and do not question His existence. With blind faith comes humility and a willingness to obey and serve. The majority of good law abiding citizens never move out of Stage II.
-Stage III is the stage of scientific skepticism and inquisitivity. A Stage III person does not accept things on faith but only accepts them if convinced logically. Many people working in scientific and technological research are in Stage III.
-Stage IV is the stage where an individual starts enjoying the mystery and beauty of nature. While retaining skepticism, he starts perceiving grand patterns in nature. His religiousness and spirituality differ significantly from that of a Stage II person, in the sense that he does not accept things through blind faith but does so because of genuine belief. Stage IV people are labelled as mystics.
-Stage V is Sylvia Browne & poae
......Scott Peck argues that while transitions from Stage I to Stage II are sharp, transitions from Stage III to Stage IV are gradual. Nonetheless, these changes are very noticeable and mark a significant difference in the personality of the individual.
.....Scott Peck's views on evil have a distinctly Christian flavour to them, though he takes pains to keep much of his work in a scientific tone. He claims that evil arises out of free choice, as follows. Every person stands at a crossroads, with one path leading to God, and the other path leading to the devil. The path of God is the right path, and accepting this path is akin to submission to a higher power. However, if a person wants to convince himself and others that he has free choice, he would rather take a path which cannot be attributed to its being the right path. Thus, he chooses the path of evil.
.....Scott Peck believes that it is only through suffering and agonizing that we can resolve the many puzzles and conflicts that we face. This is what he calls genuine suffering, the Christian way. By trying to avoid genuine suffering, people ultimately end up creating more causes for suffering. Unnecessary suffering is what Scott Peck terms neurotic suffering.
....Scott Peck says that our aim must be to eliminate neurotic suffering and work through our genuine suffering, to achieve our individual goals.
Peck considers the nature of love, which he considers the driving force behind spiritual growth. The section mainly attacks a number of misconceptions about love: that it is about dependency, that true love is "falling in love", that love is a feeling. Instead love is about cathexis, the extending of one's ego boundaries to include another, and about the spiritual nurturing of another.
The final section describes Graces — phenomena which Peck says:
-nurture human life and spiritual growth
-are incompletely understood by scientific thinking
-are commonplace among humanity
-originate outside conscious human will
He concludes that "the miracles described indicate that our growth as human beings is being assisted by a force other than our conscious will".
"Do you mean the Black Hats?"