Richard G. Petty, MD

Conscious Evolution


“The more advanced the evolution of a certain form [of life] is, the more intelligent the atoms comprising it. In order to reach a higher stage of development, the atom has to pass through the four Kingdoms – the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom and the kingdom of human beings. …The more stable the atoms of given elements in the human organism are, the better characteristics they convey to human character.”  

–Peter Konstantinov Deunov (a.k.a. Master Beinsa Douno, Bulgarian Spiritual Master and Founder of a School of Esoteric Christianity, 1864-1944)   

Harmony, Connection and Integration


“How all things weave themselves into the whole, one working and living into the other, all sounding harmoniously through the All.”      

–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 (German Poet, Playwright and Philosopher, 1749-1832)   

“Faust: Part 1 (Penguin Classics) (Pt. 1)” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

The Highest Education


“The highest education is that which not merely gives us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”    

–Rabindranath Tagore (Indian Poet, Playwright, Essayist, Painter and, in 1913, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1861-1941)   

Harmony With the Universe


“Nothing else is demanded of you but to be in harmony with the entire Universe.”

–Peter Konstantinov Deunov (a.k.a. Master Beinsa Douno, Bulgarian Spiritual Master and Founder of a School of Esoteric Christianity, 1864-1944)   

Harmony With the Universe


“Nothing else is demanded of you but to be in harmony with the entire Universe.”

–Peter Konstantinov Deunov (a.k.a. Master Beinsa Douno, Bulgarian Spiritual Master and Founder of a School of Esoteric Christianity, 1864-1944)

Wacky Warnings

The BBC just alerted me to the winner of the "wackiest warning" award for 2006.

First prize went to a washing machine that came complete with a warning not to put anyone inside….

An engine manufacturer who warned "Never use a lit match or open flame to check fuel level" won second prize.

Warnings not to dry wet mobile phones in microwave ovens and not to iron lottery tickets tied for third place.

Honorable mentions went to a telephone directory that advised: "Please do not use this directory while operating a moving vehicle".

The awards were made by the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch who say that the tendency of Americans to sue companies has gone too far, encouraging absurd warning labels on products. Their website also has a list of just a few "loony lawsuits," some of which are mind boggling. One of my "favorites" was a prison inmate who sued because he thought that prison food was causing flatulence and a couple who claimed that dust from a neighbor’s house was "trespassing" on their home. These cases have been settled.

Given the level of frivolous lawsuits, the manufacturers of the products are unrepentant. One spokesperson said that the height of the washing machine would be just about right for a small child to climb inside. Who would not be able to read the warning label anyway. Mind you, we always check to make sure that none of our clowder of cats is lurking in the laundry before we switch on the washing machine.

All this reminded me of the annual Darwin Awards for people whose extreme lack of judgment may lead them to be removed form the gene pool.

Well this does not have much to do with our main themes of Health, Integrated Medicine, Meaning and Purpose. Or does it?

Actually it does. And not just because humor is an essential part of healthy living. It is because many people feel that there is a disconnect in our legal system: a disconnect between justice and legality. Whether dealing with the health of the body or the health of the legal system, if those two are not in harmony, we can expect for there to be problems.

We all want people to have legal protection and the right of redress, but I sometimes worry. Two cases in point. In the first a lawyer told me that he would take any case against a doctor because, as he told me, "Who cares? Nobody gets hurt and if I can get some money out the insurance company nobody loses." I know that his was an extreme minority opinion, but it worried me on several levels. I have seen what legal action can do to the most innocent of people. This individual told me that he was not interested in the consequences of his actions!

The second happened on a long flight. I was sitting next to a defense attorney who was defending someone who had admitted to a string of horrible crimes. He recognized my name, told me about a neurological defense that he was working on and asked me what I thought? I said that it was impossible to comment without seeing the records, doing interviews and so on. "But doesn’t it sound like a good defense?" he persisted.

"Well on the face of it he does not have any features of that illness," I replied.

He told me that another neurologist has already said that and that he was going to ignore his report.

I found this intriguing. I asked him whether he was interested in the truth of whether or not his client had the illness. He said, "Of course not, it’s my job to clear him."

And although that is, of course, his duty, all of this leads me to ask myself about common sense. And this is what the wacky warnings, the frivolous lawsuits and the letter of the law as opposed to its spirit have in common. And what all three have in common with Integrated Medicine.

Don’t they all need a really good dose of common sense to thrive?

“Common sense, to most people, is nothing more than their own opinions.”
–William Hazlitt (English Writer and Essayist, 1778-1830)

“Common sense is not so common.”
–Voltaire (a.k.a. François-Marie Arouet, French Writer and Philosopher, 1694-1778)

“As a rule, only very learned and clever men deny what is obviously true. Common men have less brains, but more sense.”
–W.T. Stace (English Philosopher, Former Mayor of Colombo and, from 1932-1955, Professor at Princeton University, 1886-1967)

True Integrated Medicine

“Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature. Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself, it will do more than if you paralyze it by encumbering it with remedies.”
–Count Leo Tolstoy (Russian Writer and Philosopher, 1828-1910)

“The cure of the part should not be attempted without treatment of the whole.”
–Plato (Athenian Philosopher, 428-348 B.C.E.)

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a feeling that something’s not quite right, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it? That is the feeling that we get if something is out of place. Our minds and our brains have evolved with a remarkable ability to pinpoint things in external space: it was once an important survival mechanism. As we became more complex, those same systems began to be able to tell when things were out of place in our internal environment as well as in our relationships. We are social animals and most of the cognitive systems of the brain are designed to aid and abet our social interactions.

The key to health is to have all of our systems working in harmony. It is absolutely true that 70% of human illness is a result behavior born of bad choices. We make those bad choices when we stop listening to our bodies and heeding our hearts.

People love to place us in categories. I am constantly being asked why all my work contains three parts: cutting edge conventional medicine, natural medicine and self-help. I’ve had people in the publishing business say, “Well, is it health OR self-help?” For me, the answer to that is yes!

We cannot attain health and wellness unless we have done some work on ourselves; we cannot heal ourselves and others unless we have something with which to do the healing. If we are fearful, and moving haphazardly through life with little self-control, it is hard to pay attention to your body, mind, relationships, subtle systems or spirituality. A physician too distracted to focus on and respect another person is unlikely to help him or her get better. A therapist without a strong sense of self would find it hard to help a troubled mind, and a spiritual teacher who had no personal experience of the Higher Realms of existence and no clear moral compass, could devastate the spiritual well being of a disciple.

When we talk about Integrated Medicine, people usually assume that we are only talking about integrating different types of treatment. Yet that is only part of it. We are also aiming to integrate the individual: to enable every aspect of the person to be acting in harmony. When all of our systems are in harmony, pulling together in the same direction, when they are listening to each other and communicating with each other, there is a free flow of energy and we achieve a state of coherence.

And it is this coherence that underlies our sense of health and well being.

For coherence is the key to resilience.

“The patient must combat the disease along with the physician.”
–Hippocrates (Greek Physician, c.460 B.C.E.- c.377 B.C.E.)

“Those whose consciousness is unified abandon all attachment to the results of action and attain supreme peace. But those whose desires are fragmented, who are selfishly attached to the results of their work, are bound in everything they do.”
–Bhagavad Gita

Intuition, Flow and the Avoidance of Danger

"Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”
–Chuang Tzu (Chinese Philosopher, c.369-286 B.C.E.)

There is some intriguing evidence, summarized in a very interesting article that fewer people ride on trains on the days that there are accidents. Even when you take into consideration things like vacations, there still seem to be fewer travelers on days when an accident is to occur. Some people seem to know when it’s not a good day to be traveling: they exercise a form of unconscious intuition that keeps them out of harm’s way.

In the 1971 novel Recoil, Claude and Rhoda Nunes describe a boy called George who is so in tune with the pulse of a city that he arrives every intersection at the precise moment when he can cross; he reaches his destinations without any of the normal delays. And in any shops that he visits, he immediately attracts the attention of an assistant who just happens to be unoccupied. Though this is a novel, it is also a good illustration of the way things can happen for you when you are attuned to the world around you.

At one time I was doing a lot of work in Chicago, which involved visiting various sites in the city. My hosts used to joke about the way that they would normally struggle to find a place to leave the car, but that when I was their guest, we always get “rock star parking.” A space would open up for us in just the tight place at the right time. However, they were not quite right. We invariably did find a parking spot so long as I remained calm and detached, but the moment that either of us became fretful about being late, as soon as emotion was being stirred up, then the parking spots would vanish.

I once learned this lesson the hard way. I had some prized tickets to see a performance at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden. And on that day, despite everything that I had been taught about how we choose our emotional states, despite all the things that I had tried to inculcate in my students, I forgot the lessons. My last patient of the day had required more help than I expected, the person accompanying me to the performance was very late, the traffic was awful and I became more and more anxious and then irritable. Not surprisingly, on this particular day, there was to be no special parking anywhere and I missed the whole of the first act of a favorite opera. Though painful, this was a valuable lesson.

The spiritual Master or Mistress is in a constant state of flow: being in the right place at the right time. Anyone can achieve this with a little practice. Step one is to gain some control over your emotions. Attunement with your body and with the world around you is difficult until you have been able to develop a measure of control of your emotional states. The best ways that I know for doing that are not simply trying to talk yourself into emotional control, but also to use three extra things: Flower essences, the Tapping therapies and acupressure.

There’s a very helpful little acupressure trick. If you run your fingers along the top of the trapezius muscle that runs from the back of your skull to your shoulder, in the very middle is an acupuncture point: Gallbladder 21. If you find yourself being overwhelmed by emotion, gentle pressure at that point for just a few moments will usually help you re-establish control of your emotions very quickly.

“When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.”
Jalal al-Din Rumi (Afghan Sufi Poet, 1207-1273)

“To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them – while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease.”
–Eckhart Tolle (German-born Author and Spiritual Teacher, 1948-)

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