Richard G. Petty, MD

A Genuine Quote?


I’ve been collecting insights and quotations since I was a child, and I’ve always felt that it was a good idea to try and make sure that they are genuine. I recently heard someone recommend a piece of software that contains thousands of quotes for every occasion. Trouble is that hundreds of them are wrong. For example, I’m pretty sure that the psychologist Marty Seligman isn’t a Serbian tennis player born in 1973…

Here’s one that I’ve seen published and re-published:

“Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching.”

It is quoted in The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World By Bjørn Lomborg, and is said to be from an Assyrian Tablet, c.2,800 BC   

It’s a nice quote, but I’m thinking that it’s probably apocryphal – how many people could write back then?   

“The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World” (Bjørn Lomborg)

Problems Are Gifts

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“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.”   

–Sir John Marks Templeton (American-born British Investor, Philanthropist and Active Proponent of Reintroducing Spirituality into Day-to-Day life, 1912-2008)  

“Worldwide Laws Of Life: 200 Eternal Spiritual Principles” (John Marks Templeton)    

Through Crisis to Growth and Renewal

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“This is the supreme purpose of the present human phase of terrestrial history; that the normal crisis which has struck us shall be compensated by the renewal and growth of our beings, in the double form of a necessity and an attraction, of a divine pressure emanating from the Absolute.”

–Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (French Jesuit Priest, Mystic, Paleontologist and Author, 1881-1955)   

“The Vision of the Past” (Pierre Teilhard De Chardin)

Why Quote?

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“The wisdom of the wise and the experience of the ages are perpetuated by quotations.”

–Isaac D’Israeli (English Historian, Critic and Father of a Future British Prime Minister, 1766-1848)         

“Curiosities of Literature” (Isaac Disraeli)   

Every Part Contains the Whole


“Every part of the part contains knowledge of the whole of the Whole.”      

–William Samuel (American Writer, Spiritual Seeker, Mystic and Teacher, 1924-1996)       

“The Child Within Us Lives” (William Samuel)   

Educating the Growing Soul


“Everyone has in him something divine, something his own, a chance of perfection and strength in however small a sphere which God offers him to take or refuse. The task is to find it, develop it and use it. The chief aim of education should be to help the growing soul to draw out that in itself which is best and make it perfect for a noble use.”        

–Sri Aurobindo (a.k.a. Aurobindo Ghose, Indian Nationalist Leader, Mystic, Philosopher and Creator of Purna (Integral) Yoga, 1872-1950)

Living in Awe

“Making Peace With God: A Practical Guide” (Harold H. Bloomfield, Philip Goldberg)

“Evidence suggests that the original meaning of the phrase that has come down to us as ‘fear of God’ was something more like awe. And awe, wrote Abraham Joshua Heschel, ‘enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple, to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal’.”

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Harold Bloomfield (American Psychiatrist and Expert on Holistic Medicine, 1944-)

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Phillip Goldberg (American Spiritual Counselor, Interfaith Minister and Author)

Using Your Gifts


“God gave us faculties for our use; each of them will receive its proper reward. Then do not let us try to charm them to sleep, but permit them to do their work until divinely called to something higher.”     

Saint Teresa of Ávila (a.k.a. St. Teresa de Jesus, Spanish Nun, Mystic and Author, 1515-1582)   

Solving the World’s Problems

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“If we could sniff or swallow something that would, for five or six hours each day, abolish our solitude as individuals, atone us with our fellows in a glowing exaltation of affection and make life in all its aspects seem not only worth living, but divinely beautiful and significant, and if this heavenly, world-transfiguring drug were of such a kind that we could wake up next morning with a clear head and an undamaged constitution — then, it seems to me, all our problems (and not merely the one small problem of discovering a novel pleasure) would be wholly solved and earth would become paradise.”     

–Aldous Huxley (English Novelist and Critic, 1894-1963)   

The True and the Sublime


“In eternity there is indeed something true and sublime. But all these times and places and occasions are now and here. God himself culminates in the present moment and will never be more divine in the lapse of the ages. Time is but a stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it, but when I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away but eternity remains.”   

–Henry David Thoreau (American Essayist and Philosopher, 1817-1862)   

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