Richard G. Petty, MD

Understanding Who You Are. And Doing Something About It


“We look at some people as if they were special, gifted, divine. Nobody is special and gifted and divine. No more than you are, no more than I am. The only difference, the very only one, is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it.”       

–Richard Bach (American Writer, 1936-)

Freedom Starts With Your Concepts of Yourself


“To understand a free individual we must take in those concepts by which he determines himself.”

–Rudolf Steiner (Croatian-born Austrian Mystic, Occultist, Social Philosopher, Architect and Founder of Anthroposophy, 1861-1925)   

This important observation is from The Philosophy of Freedom. If you are not so familiar with Rudolf Steiner’s work, it’s good to know that this book is also known by two other titles: The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (1921) and Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path (1995). They are all the same work, but if you really study all three you will find that there are differences in the translations of each of them.

The Philosophy of Freedom

“The Philosophy Of Spiritual Activity” (Rudolf Steiner)

“Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom (Classics in Anthroposophy)” (Rudolf Steiner)

When You Finally Find Yourself


“When the ‘I am’ is discovered – and every enlightened tradition has said this – we find ourselves and we find God. Look for yourself, and you’ll find your creator.”         

–Carlos Warter (Chilean-born Psychiatrist, Author and Lecturer, 1950-)                                           

“Who Do You Think You Are? The Healing Power of Your Sacred Self” (Carlos Warter)

Before You Try to Meditate

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Anyone who has taught any form of meditation, t’ai chi ch’uan or one of the many other spiritual paths knows that this is absolutely true:

“All too often the mistaken belief that enough sincere practice of prayer or meditation is all that is needed to transform their lives has prevented teachers and students from making use of the helpful teachings of Western psychology. In an unfortunate way, many students of Eastern and Western spirituality have been led to believe that if they experience difficulties, it is simply because they haven’t practiced long enough or somehow have not been practicing according to the teachings. . . .

In truth, the need to deal with our personal emotional problems is the rule in spiritual practice rather than the exception. At least half of the students at our annual three-month retreat find themselves unable to do traditional Insight Meditation because they encounter so much unresolved grief, fear, and wounding and unfinished developmental business from the past that this becomes their meditation.”    

–Jack Kornfield (American Meditation Teacher in the Theravadan Buddhist Tradition, 1945-)   

Finding Your Gifts

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“Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.”        

–Allison DuBois (American Writer and Psychic, 1972-)   

Examine Yourself From Every Side


“Examine thus yourself from every side.

Note harmful thoughts and every futile striving.

Thus it is that heroes in the Bodhisattva path

Apply the remedies to keep a steady mind.”

–Shantideva (Indian Buddhist Scholar at Nalanda University, 8th Century)              

“The Way of the Bodhisattva: A Translation of the Bodhicharyavatara (Shambhala Classics)” (Shantideva)         


Witholding Judgment

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A small shift in your thinking can help you to reap enormous rewards. It doesn’t mean being a Polyanna, just thinking pausing and evaluating people and situations differently:

“Experienced spiritual researchers know what strength they gain by always looking for the good in everything and withholding their critical judgment. This practice should not remain simply an outer rule of life, but must take hold of the innermost part of the soul.”

–Rudolf Steiner (Croatian-born Austrian Mystic, Occultist, Social Philosopher, Architect and Founder of Anthroposophy, 1861-1925)     

“How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation” (Rudolf Steiner)  

Steps Toward Self-Knowledge

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“Man must know something of God’s nature and of metaphysical processes if he is to understand himself and thereby achieve gnosis of the Divine.”     

–Carl G. Jung (Swiss Psychologist and Psychiatrist, 1875-1961)   

(Paragraph #747 in Volume 11 of the Collected Works)

“Answer to Job: (From Vol. 11 of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung) (New in Paper) (Bollingen Series)” (C. G. Jung)

Your Mind’s True Nature


“Once one has truly realized the mind’s true nature…you just see incredibly expansive interconnection.”   

–Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo (English-born Buddhist Nun, 1944-)        

“Spiritual Genius : The Mastery of Life’s Meaning” (WINIFRED GALLAGHER)

Both Beastly and Divine


“Man’s nature is made up of four elements, which produce in him four attributes, namely, the beastly, the brutal, the satanic, and the divine. In man there is something of the pig, the dog, the devil, and the saint.”          

–Abu-Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazzali (a.k.a. Algazel, Persian Philosopher and Mystic, 1058-1111)

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