Richard G. Petty, MD

The Perils of Materialism

Rudolf Steiner 4.jpg

“Materialism can never offer a satisfactory explanation of the world. For every attempt at an explanation must begin with one’s forming thoughts about phenomena. Thus, materialism starts with the thought of matter or of material processes. In so doing, it already has two different kinds of facts on hand: the material world and thoughts about it. Materialism attempts to understand the latter by seeing them as a purely material process. It believes that thinking occurs in the brain in the same way as digestion occurs in the animal organism. Just as it ascribes mechanical and organic effects to matter, materialism also assigns to matter the capacity, under certain circumstances, to think. But it forgets that all it has done is to shift the problem to another location. Materialists ascribe the capacity to think to matter rather than to themselves. And this brings them back to the starting point. How does matter manage to think about its own existence? Why does it not simply go on existing, perfectly content with itself? Materialism turns aside from the specific subject, our own I, and arrives at an unspecific, hazy configuration: matter. Here the same riddle comes up again. The materialist view can only displace the problem, not solve it.”           

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

The Philosophy of Freedom, a.k.a. The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (1921), a.k.a. Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path (1995)  

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

The Voice of God

Henri Amiel.jpg

“Whenever conscience speaks with a divided, uncertain, and disputed voice, it is not the voice of God. Descend still deeper into yourself, until you hear nothing but a clear, undivided voice, a voice which does away with doubt and brings with it persuasion, light, and serenity.”

–Henri-Frédéric Amiel (Swiss Philosopher, Writer and Poet, 1821-1881)

Science and Spirituality

Rudjer Boskovic.jpg

“The deepest intelligence of philosophy and science are inseparable from a religious view of the world.”   

–Rudjer Boskovic (Dubrovnik-born Jesuit Physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer and Philosopher, 1711-1787)   

A Different Reality

Karl pribram.jpg

An extraordinarily interesting piece from an interview in Psychology Today in 1990:

“It isn’t that the world of appearances is wrong; it isn’t that there aren’t objects out there, at one level of reality. It’s that if you penetrate through and look at the universe with a holographic system, you arrive at a different view, a different reality. And that other reality can explain things that have hitherto remained inexplicable scientifically: paranormal phenomena, synchronicities, the apparently meaningful coincidence of events.”       

–Karl Pribram (Austrian-born American Neuroscientist, 1919-)   

We’re Not Just Cabbages!

Rudolf Steiner Seated.jpg

“Clouds do not just sail through the air, flowers are not just beautiful and human beings do not just grow out of the earth like cabbages.”

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

“Man in the Past, the Present and the Future” (Rudolf Steiner)   

The World Is A Magic Glass

Johann Lavater.jpg

“Each heart is a world. You find all within yourself that you find without. The world that surrounds you is the magic glass of the world within you.”      

–Johann Kaspar Lavater (Swiss Physiognomist, Theologian and Writer, 1741-1801)

Constantly Rejecting the Subjective

Andre Breton.jpg

There’s more than one way to look at the world. It’s unfortunate that more and more people reject the all important inner world that give us color, meaning and purpose.

“Subjectivity and objectivity commit a series of assaults on each other during a human life out of which the first one suffers the worse beating.”

–André Breton (French Surrealist, 1889-1966)   

Rising Above the Material World


“If the intellect has not risen above the contemplation of the created world, it has not yet beheld the realm of God perfectly. For it may be occupied with the knowledge of intelligible things and so involved in their multiplicity.”         

–Evagrios the Solitary (a.k.a. Evagrius Ponticus, Pontus-born Christian Mystic, Writer and “Desert Father,” c.346-399)   Illusion                                   

{On Prayer: “Philokalia Vol. 1”, p. 62, text 58}

“The Philokalia Vol 1: 001” (G.E.H. Palmer, Kallistos Timothy Ware, Philip Sherrard)

Other Ways of Knowing

Hermann Hesse.jpeg

“I will be mindful of the first principle of our great period, never to rely on and let myself be disconcerted by reason, always to know that faith is stronger than so-called reality.”

–Hermann Hesse (German-born Swiss Novelist, Poet and, in 1946, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1877-1962)

Journey to the East

Enjoy the World Without Judging It

Joko Beck.jpg

I just heard that the author of these words has recently moved on. Or as a good friend used to say: “Been promoted!”

“To enjoy the world without judgment is what a realized life is like.”           

–Charlotte Joko Beck (American Zen Teacher and Author, 1917-2011)   

logo logo logo logo logo logo