Richard G. Petty, MD

Higher Intuition


“Intuition is a comprehensive grip of the principle of universality, and when it is functioning there is…a complete loss of the sense of separateness. At its highest point, it is known as that Universal Love which has no relation to sentiment or to the affectional reaction but is, predominantly, in the nature of an identification with all beings.”           

–Alice A. Bailey (English Writer, Spiritual Teacher and Founder of the Arcane School, 1880-1949)   

“Glamour: A World Problem” (Alice A. Bailey)

The Web of Life

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“A body may be considered divorced from its relations with other bodies…only conceptually.

In fact, it can never be so detached: death itself being unable to detach it from its relation with the Universal forces, of which the one Force of Life is the synthesis.”

–Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Russian Author, Translator and Founder of the Theosophical Society, 1831-1891)

The Secret Doctrine

Humanity Has a Spiritual Unity

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“All mythology involves a corresponding philosophy; and if there is only one mythology, as there is only one ‘perennial philosophy’, then that ‘the myth is not my own, I had it from my mother’ (Euripides) points to a spiritual unity of the human race already predetermined long before the discovery of metals. It may be really true that as Alfred Jeremias said, the various cultures of mankind are no more than the dialects of one and the same spiritual language.”      

–Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (Sri Lankan Philosopher, 1877-1947)

“Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension: Select Essays, 1944-1968” (Joseph Campbell)

Re-Emergence of An Ancient Wisdom


“Everywhere in the world the self-same Ancient Wisdom can be traced…And everywhere in the world at present are the signs of the re-emergence of that Wisdom back into the light of day.”  

–Vera Stanley Alder (English Painter and Mystic, 1898-1984)


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-)

Diseases of Discipleship

You will not find them listed on WebMD, but “Diseases of Discipleship” are nonetheless very real. I have mentioned them in Healing Meaning and Purpose and also here. They are the result of sudden access to spiritual energies that can upset the balance of the body, mind and spirit. The great value of having a teacher is to help you balance and work with these energies without being harmed by them.

Several of my own teachers talked a lot about these diseases of discipleship, but I would particularly like to single out Douglas Baker and the writings of Roberto Assagioli, Del Pe, Torkom Saraydarian, Stan Grof and Alice Bailey.

I have also had a great deal of experience with people undergoing spiritual crises. Many have been referred to me by priests, clergy and intuitives, because many of the individuals thought that they were “going crazy,” and some had ben given psychiatric diagnoses. That extensive experience has helped me and some of my students to describe some of the “symptoms” in more detail.

Roberto Assagioli identified five critical points where problems may arise:

  1. Just before spiritual awakening begins
  2. Crises caused by spiritual awakening
  3. Reactions to spiritual awakening
  4. Phases of the process of transmutation
  5. The “Dark Night of the Soul

Today I am just going to focus on the crises caused by spiritual awakening, because a great many people are experiencing them at the moment.

Here are some of the more common signs and symptoms include:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
  • Paradoxically they often also find a raised pain threshold
  • Increased metabolic rate, which may cause a slight increase in body temperature and a little weight loss
  • Variable libido: some people lose all interest in sex, but most experience an increase in sexual desire, which can take them and any partners by surprise
  • Disturbances in circadian rhythms
  • Disturbances in thyroid and adrenal function: the thyroid often becomes slightly – or sometimes more than slightly – overactive and the adrenal glands slightly less responsive to stimulation
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Anxiety and a feeling of “butterflies” in the region of the solar plexus
  • Inexplicable sensations roughly corresponding to the channels identified in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine
  • Irregular breathing patterns, usually hyperventilation
  • Something that feels like electricity under the tongue and under the palate
  • Crying for no readily apparent reason
  • As peoples’ consciousness rises, it is quite common to experience “Synesthesia” in which senses overlap: people may taste sounds, feel colors and “hear and see” with different parts of the body
  • Psychic abilities often begin to appear: clairvoyance, clairaudience, spiritual intuition and the ability to heal
  • Many begin to feel and see their own Inner Light and the Inner Light of other people

Not everyone gets all of these symptoms and they may come and go for a while. Some people don’t get any at all, but they are unusual. There are two books by Hazel Courteney that detail some of what happened to her, and they are well worth a read.

It is important to emphasize that all of these signs and symptoms can also be caused by illnesses. So although most people who are going through all this want to avoid doctors, it is a very good idea to ensure that everything is okay. I once saw someone who had been told that she was having a kundalini experience, even though she did not have any of the usual features. She became very unwell, but felt much better when an insulin-producing tumor was removed from her pancreas.

The most important thing is to help people remain grounded. I have seen many people become extremely grandiose and even fanatical after going through a rapid spiritual awakening. It is also important to ensure that any physical symptoms – such as thyroid or blood pressure problems – do not continue unchecked.

Helping people who are going through spiritual change or crisis needs the help of a person or persons who understand physical and psychological problems, as well as being some way along the path of spiritual development. By “crisis” I do not mean crisis of faith, but a critical turning point in an individual’s personal development.

There are plenty of good ways of grounding using some physical, psychological and subtle system exercises. I have dozens of excellent techniques that I can publish if you are interested. Sometimes it is also a good idea to eat some heavy food.

It can be very helpful to get away form other people for a while. This doesn’t mean becoming a monk or nun, but just to avoid a bad case of people poisoning. In their overly sensitive state they can pick up a lot of negative things from the people around them. I have known a good many people who would begin to experience all the physical and psychological symptoms of the people around them.

Once we have confirmed that the person does not have all this as a result of thyroid disease or anxiety, it is essential to show them what is going on and the best way to approach and conceptualize it.

Next we help people to control some of the impulses that can otherwise swamp them. One of the many reasons for development of the sophisticated mind control techniques developed by Tibetan Buddhism was to help people watch their spiritual unfoldment without being overwhelmed by it.

We also try to help people to transmute psychological energies so that they can be used constructively.

Everybody is different, but in some people acupuncture, qigong, Reiki and homeopathy have all been helpful. Several of the flower essences can be very useful, in particular:
Star Tulip
White Yarrow
Pink Yarrow

Every expert that I know in the field of spiritual development agrees with my observation that there are currently more people having major spiritual changes than ever before. It is essential for us all to know how to protect, support and birth them.

“To penetrate into the essence of all being and significance, and to release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance and benefit of others, by expressing in the world of forms – truth, love, purity and beauty – this is the sole game that has any intrinsic and absolute worth. All other incidents and attainments can, in themselves, have no lasting importance.”

–Meher Baba (Indian Spiritual Teacher who, from July 1925 maintained Silence, 1894-1969)

“You knock at the door of Reality. You shake your thought wings, loosen your shoulders, and open.”
–Jalal al-Din Rumi (Afghan Sufi Poet, 1207-1273)

“Life is a series of awakenings.”

–Sri Swami Sivananda (Indian Physician and Spiritual Teacher, 1887-1963)

“What we usually call human evolution is the awakening of the Divine Nature within us.”

–“Peace Pilgrim” (a.k.a. Mildred Norman, American Peace Activist, 1908-1981)

The Internet Sacred Text Archive

I have been commenting about the important new initiatives in open access and I don’t want to forget to let you know about another resource that I’ve used for years.

It is the Internet Sacred Text Archive.

This is what it says:

Welcome to the largest freely available archive of full-text books
about religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric on the Internet.
The site is dedicated to religious tolerance and scholarship,
and has the largest readership of any similar site on the web.

They ask for support for the site
by buying sacred-texts on disk.
This is a complete library of over a thousand of
the most important books ever written.
It includes the complete text of all major world scriptures,
and hundreds of books scanned specially for sacred-texts.

I have one of the earlier disks and it is superb. I am going to upgrade to the new one to support this very worthwhile venture.

These are just a few of the categories on the website:
Earth Mysteries
I Ching



And these are some recent additions:

The House of the Hidden Places (1/9/2007)
The Satapatha Brahmana, Part IV (SBE 43) (12/19/2006)
Lives of the Saints (12/14/2006)
The Hieroglyphics of Horapollo (12/12/2006)
The Rosetta Stone (12/5/2006)
Devil Worship in France (12/3/2006)
Tractate Berakoth (12/2/2006)
The Satapatha Brahmana, Part III (SBE 41) (11/29/2006)
Nostradamus: The Man Who Saw Through Time (11/21/2006)
Proofs of a Conspiracy (11/18/2006)
Original Hebrew of a Portion of Ecclesiasticus (with the Alphabet of Ben Sira) (11/15/2006)
Tractate Sanhedrin (11/8/2006)
The Satapatha Brahmana, Part II (SBE 26) (11/5/2006)
Unveiled Mysteries (10/18/2006)
The Myth of the Birth of the Hero (10/16/2006)
The Satapatha Brahmana, Part I (SBE 12) (10/7/2006)
The Religions of South Vietnam in Faith and Fact (10/4/2006)
Karezza, Ethics of Marriage (10/3/2006)
The Comte de St. Germain (10/1/2006)
A Miracle in Stone: or The Great Pyramid of Egypt (9/28/2006)
The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise (9/18/2006)
The Brahan Seer (9/13/2006)
Noa Noa (9/6/2006)
The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ (8/30/2006)
History of Philosophy in Islam (8/27/2006)
Forty-four Turkish Fairy Tales (8/8/2006)
Folk-lore of the Holy Land; Moslem, Christian and Jewish (7/29/2006)

An excellent resource.

The Irreducible Mind

I get a great many requests for recommendations for books and papers that either debate or provide support for the topics that I discuss on this blog and in my books and articles. That is why I’ve been constructing some reading lists at and linking them to this website.

A friend recently commented that she was surprised that the book and CD series, Healing, Meaning and Purpose that was created for a general audience, contains over 800 books and websites. My response to that was that I think that my readers and listeners are all grown ups who should be able to check everything that any author says!

The days of authors or speakers waving their hands about and making airy statements are finally coming to an end. If an author tells you that "science" proves what they are saying, they must show that they understand the topic themselves. I just saw yet another paper in which the writer said, "Quantum mechanics proves what I’m saying, but let’s not get into that." Well, that’s just the point: let us indeed get into that to see if what you are saying holds water!

Which brings me to a book that I’ve just read and reviewed. It is entitled Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century and it is an extraordinary achievement. For the last century, the vast majority psychologists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists have believed that thoughts, emotions and consciousness are the product of physical processes in the brain. And , of course, the brain is heavily involved in many  mental phenomena. The question has always been if neurological activity is sufficient to explain the whole of human experience.

This new book presents the most comprehensive and critical analysis of phenomena normally ignored by psychology, including mystical experiences, the placebo response, stigmata and hypnotic suggestion, memories that survive physical death, near death experiences, automatic writing, out-of-body experiences, apparitions, deathbed visions and many more.

It comes to the inescapable conclusion that the mind is not generated by the brain but is instead limited and constrained by it. There is no hand waving, and no "science has shown that…" Instead everything is laid out in front of you. There are a hundred pages of citations and references. Despite that, it is an easy and enjoyable read.

I have no personal connection with the book, but the next time that someone says that there’s no proof for any of these phenomena, and that emotions, cognitions and consciousness are just byproducts of biochemical processes in the brain, refer them to this book.

And if Santa brought you any gift cards that you haven’t used yet, you might want to have a look at the book for yourself.

Dark Matter Mapped

As we have discussed before, many creative scientists working at the
cutting edge of physics and astronomy have a strong intuition that dark
is more than just an astronomical curiosity, but something of
immeasurable importance to all of us.

An extraordinary article was published this morning in the journal Nature.

Dark matter does not reflect or emit detectable light, yet it is thought to account for 80-90% of the mass in the Universe. Using the Hubble telescope astronomers have presented data at the 209th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, Washington, showing a map of the cosmic scaffolding of dark matter upon which the stars and galaxies are assembled.

The research involved over 1,000 hours of observations followed by many more thousands of hours of analysis. The research provides the best evidence yet that the distribution of galaxies follows the distribution of dark matte, because dark matter attracts “ordinary” matter through its gravitational pull.

Previous studies of dark matter relied on simulations, this one details its large-scale distribution in 3 dimensions. As the authors said in a press conference, it is like suddenly seeing a map of a city for the first time, when before all you had to go on was an aerial picture of the street lamps at night.

What is fascinating is that this is direct confirmation of what until now had just been a theory. But interesting problems remain, so we certainly do not know everything yet.

Students of the Ageless Wisdom will be intrigued by these findings that seem to echo predictions and statements about the Universe made many centuries ago.

There are some amazing pictures here.

I shall keep you informed as this story develops and as its practical implications are revealed.

Self-help and Reality

I’ve spent my professional life trying to empower people, to give them the tools to help them cope with illness or adversity and to help them see that conquering a problem is only the half way stage. We have to try to understand the meaning and purpose of an accident, illness or sudden death.

One of the things that has dismayed me is the way in which so much self-help advice is grounded in nonsense. Pop psychology that is flatly contradicted by empirical data; misunderstandings about basic science and misquotations of elements of the Ageless Wisdom.

When people are only given bits of a story they cannot use the information: they can only follow a set of formulae. The direct result is that a lot of what passes for self-help does not help free people and make them independent of the opinions of others. Instead it makes them into followers who hope that the next book, CD or seminar will reveal the missing pieces of the puzzle.

The trouble is that many of the most charismatic self-help gurus don’t have those missing pieces themselves.

I was thinking about this after reading a nice article by Dudley Lynch whose blog I have recommended before. Dudley instroduces a dose of reality into some of the statements made by guests on a recent Larry King interview. He also recommends some books, to which I would add Steve Salerno’s book SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless.

There is an antidote to all of this. Earlier this year I wrote about what I call the "Changing Landscape of Self-help."

We are now in a fourth age of self-help in which the recommendations of self-help are firmly rooted in empirical research. We also need to recognize a constant danger of all the exhortations to be happy and creative. I read an article the other day by someone whom I like very much. But it was the usual fare: a story about the Wright brothers, another about Bill Gates, and then on to a rousing, "If they could do it so can you." But these people have a unique grouping of talents. Not everyone can be a creative powerhouse anymore than everyone can sing. That’s just fine: everybody has some gift and purpose in life. But I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to pick up the pieces because some self-help speaker has told people that they would be able to achieve something. The person couldn’t and was left feeling flat, inadequate and depressed. The speaker was long gone, and had no idea of what he had done.

Before following some self-help, health or wellness program, I would suggest that you ask ten questions:

  1. Who is promoting the program and why?
  2. What are his or her qualifications for producing and teaching this program?
  3. How is he or she going to benefit: are they just doing it for the money?
  4. Is the program specific to my needs?
  5. What is the evidence for claims made for the program?
  6. Have independent people critically evauated the material?
  7. Have other people been helped by the program?
  8. Is the material updated regularly?
  9. Is there some system for providing ongoing support?
  10. How will I be better able to serve others once I have done the program?

If you spend a couple of minutes looking at the items on this blog and in my books and articles, I think that you’ll see for yourself that it’s absolutely feasible to ask and give positive answers to all ten question.

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