Richard G. Petty, MD


Regular readers will know that I have been collecting wise words from around the globe for many years, and I now have almost 40,000 of them broken down into more than 500 topics. It has taken years not just to collect them, but to try to check the sources and wording. But if you find errors, please let me know!

Here are 23 of my favorites comments about enlightenment.

I do hope that you find them as useful and inspiring as I have.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”   
–Carl G. Jung (Swiss Psychologist and Psychiatrist, 1875-1961)

“Be a lamp unto your own feet; do not seek outside yourself.”   

–Buddha (a.k.a. “The Awakened”, a.k.a. Siddhartha Gautama, Indian Religious Figure and Founder of Buddhism, c.563 B.C.E. – c.483 B.C.E.)

“When the divine vision is attained, all appear equal; and there remains no distinction of good and bad, or of high and low.”   

–Sri Ramakrishna (a.k.a. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Indian Hindu Mystic and Promoter of Universal Religion, 1836-1886)

“We loosely talk of Self-realization, for lack of a better term.  But how can one realize or make real that which alone is real? All we need to do is to give up our habit of regarding as real that which is unreal. All religious practices are meant solely to help us do this. When we stop regarding the unreal as real, then reality alone will remain, and we will be that.”   
–Ramana Maharshi (Indian Hindu Mystic and Spiritual Teacher, 1879-1950)

“We attain enlightenment when we love truth for the sake of truth, and not for the sake of self-promotion or worldly gain.”   
–Emanuel Swedenborg (Swedish Scientist, Mystic and Philosopher, 1688-1772)

“Once and for all, dedicate yourself to the service of a high ideal, to the coming of the kingdom of God, and do not be concerned with what will become of you. This ideal will bring you everything."

–Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov (Bulgarian Spiritual Master, 1900-1986)

“The holy instant is the recognition that all minds are in communication. Every thought you would keep hidden shuts off communication.”

–A Course in Miracles (Book of Spiritual Principles Scribed by Dr. Helen Schucman between 1965 and 1975, and First Published in 1976)

“If you are enlightened, you are not free, as some people say, but you are freedom itself. Not like a bird in the sky, but like the sky itself.”
–Wolter A. Keers (Dutch Advaita Teacher and Editor, 1923-1985)

“The reason why so few people find enlightenment is because they have free will and punish themselves by making wrong choices. Constantly, enlightenment is being offered to them, but they refuse to accept it. Therefore they refuse to accept it. Therefore they are being taught problems that are set before them, since they refuse to make choices voluntarily.”
–“Peace Pilgrim” (a.k.a. Mildred Norman, American Peace Activist, 1908-1981)

“All the riches of this world are too less a price for a single word which enlightens the soul.”    
–Hazrat Inayat Khan (Founder of the Sufi Order of the West, 1882-1927)

“To the dull mind all nature is leaden. To the enlightened mind the whole world sparkles and burns”   
–Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Poet and Essayist, 1803-1882)

“Enlightenment must come little by little, otherwise it would overwhelm.”   
–Idries Shah (Afghan-born Sufi Philosopher and Writer, 1924-1996)

“Out of compassion I destroy the darkness of their ignorance. From within them I light the lamp of wisdom and dispel all darkness from their lives.”   
–Bhagavad Gita (Ancient and Sacred Sanskrit Poem Incorporated into the Mahabharata)

“If these little sparks of holy fire which I have thus heaped together do not give life to your prepared and already enkindled spirit, yet they will sometimes help to entertain a thought, to actuate a passion, to employ and hallow a fancy.”
–Jeremy Taylor (English Anglican Clergyman, Writer and Bishop, 1613-1667)

“The great beacon light God sets in all, the conscience of each bosom.”
–Robert Browning (English Poet, 1812-1889)

“God reveals himself unfailingly to the thoughtful seeker.”
–Honoré de Balzac (French Novelist, 1799-1850)

“There is no difference between an enlightened man and an ignorant one. What makes the difference is that the one realizes it, while the other is kept in ignorance of it.”
–Hui-Neng (a.k.a. Daikan Eno, Chinese Chan Monk, A.D. 638-713)

“You may have expected that enlightenment would come Zap! Instantaneous and permanent. This is unlikely. After the first "ah ha" experience, it can be thought of as the thinning of a layer of clouds…”   
–Ram Dass (a.k.a. Richard Alpert, American Spiritual Teacher, Author and Lecturer, 1931-)

“God realization does not begin in a cave high atop the Himalayas. It begins in the pots and pans of the kitchen. Treat all your tasks, however small, as opportunities to see God and serve him.”
Sri Swami Sivananda (Indian Physician and Spiritual Teacher, 1887-1963)

“Enlightenment is not an attainment: it is a realization. When you wake up, everything changes and nothing changes. If a blind man realizes that he can see, has the world changed?”   
–Dan Millman (American Writer, Philosopher and Former World Class Trampolinist, 1947-)

“Enlightenment is the highest good. Once you have it, nobody can take it away from you.”   
–Siddharameshwar Maharaj (Indian Spiritual Teacher, 1888-1936)

“Is enlightenment really possible for the average person? Yes. Big Yes. Enlightenment is very possible for the ordinary individual. Actually it is easier than for some one who thinks that they are special…. whenever someone is ordinary, simple, innocent and natural, that is enlightenment.”   
–Sri Sri Ravishankar (Indian Spiritual Teacher and Founder of the Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values, 1956-)

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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