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     “There is no real happiness for those on the wrong side. The greatest pleasure in life is the security of the true side. You can vainly try to win over the world or you can nicely be over the world. Your task is to change your operating center from strained imagination to relaxed reality.”

Frequently Asked Questions

     Here are some frequently asked questions that we have heard over the years. The responses should help to give you a better understanding of these life-healing teachings. They can also clear up common confusions and misconceptions. Take them in with a receptive spirit and many mysteries will be dissolved in the light of higher understanding. The first ten FAQs are brand new ones. (Last updated March 1, 2020)

  • FAQs 1

    Question: Lately, I’ve noticed that each Secret of Life quote is better than the one preceding it. It feels like I’m becoming more receptive to these healing truths.
    Answer: You are beginning to feel the rightness of Truth rather than just think about it. Real Truth principles are like diamonds — each more brilliant than the last. To develop the capacity to continuously take in these truths without resistance or defiance, allow them to fall on the heart rather than on the intellect. The heart can go straight to the point but it is the nature of the mind to try to figure out and interpret life. At some point, though, the mind always finds itself mired in the opposites of mental argument. That’s the severe limitation of living on the horizontal level. Your growing willingness to receive something new, different and extraordinarily special will not come through your willpower. It will only appear when your growing receptivity meets Truth’s own urging. Gladly follow its directives and guidance and you will be led all the way out to find yourself living in the wide-open spaces of your liberated nature.

    Question: A man asked me, “Why do you want to study yourself? Isn’t that self-centered?” I’m new to this work and I didn’t know how to answer him. I only know I want more of it!
    Answer: This is an excellent chance to build your own discernment to read that person. Did he seem really interested or was he hostile? Never argue. Just see whether he is ready for new answers, then give him a little bit of the basics.

    Question: What’s a basic principle to start with?
    Answer: That we have been led to believe that life success is outer when it is really inner. First, we are required to scrutinize what is false and phony in us. Watching the thoughts, the voices that constantly bombard the mind and lead the emotions into dark places is a great place to start. In Vernon Howard’s Freedom from Harmful Voices booklet, we learn that these voices are not really ours but have been imposed on us through indoctrination by many wrong forces. What a freeing experience it is to get even a glimpse of this!

    Question: As strange as it sounds, I’m afraid to go too deeply into how bad conditions are, into how deep the psychic sleep really is.
    Answer: Truth has given us its complete assurance that there is nothing to be afraid of, but we’re convinced that if we explore these subjects too thoroughly, it will be too much for us. Of course, it is going to overwhelm the unreal self, but it can never be too much for who we really are. That’s really one of the biggest and brightest revelations of these teachings. There is a seed of rightness, decency and strength within, which we were created to live from, though we don’t live from it now. All the buffers, pillows and blockages in the world can’t and won’t change this reality. Letting go of the false to make way for the true is the purpose of life. Vernon Howard guaranteed, “If you live up to what little Light you have now, more will be added to you.”

    Question: Please give me an esoteric principle that can lead me all the way out if I apply it.
    Answer:
    One of the great secrets of happiness is to cease to defend yourself to the point where there is no one left to defend. For example, consciously lose the argument. Simply cease to fight. Instead of angrily defending yourself, relax from yourself. No, this is not weakness. It’s the start of the realization that what you're defending is an illusion that keeps you separate from God. The mind will object vehemently to stepping back, to simply watching and being aware of what is happening rather than battling the person or the situation. Despite howls of protest from the old nature, don’t forget this exercise. Make a note of it and work, work, work to understand that tense self-defense gives no protection. It only leads to more uneasiness and more touchiness.

    Question: Can you clarify why we want to step back from our usual reactions?
    Answer: Vernon said to “be a Watchman in the night.” What have you seen in yourself or society that you sense is wrong? Like realizing that you were faking it in school. Pretending to know when you didn’t know. We have all been told to “never be a nobody, try to be somebody,” get approval, be appreciated, needed, elected, saved, even vilified, as long as you’re not ignored. People spend their lives in endless and useless activities trying to cover up underground emotions and tormenting thoughts. Truth tells us that there is something far above the fray that can observe everything without being affected by it. Not only that, we are equipped to develop that power. The impartial watcher can do what we cannot. It can see and understand everything fully and clearly.

    Question: What is a blockage I have that I’m not even aware of?
    Answer: Here’s something to be aware of and to work with in our daily studies. As hard as it is to fathom, we secretly and unconsciously believe our current way is the only way possible. We have moments of true encouragement with the sighting of another way, thanks to these marvelous teachings, but the old mind always wants to return to its habitual prison cell. Vernon Howard said we should use what we see out in the world to remind us of these spiritual facts — in this case, a striking though unfamiliar way to handle things.
         Recently, I experienced an example of a different way. I had to move an old refrigerator out of the way to make room for a new one. Two of us lowered the refrigerator down some steps, with a hand truck bearing almost all the weight, but still a decided exertion was needed to get it down the steps. Two delivery men moved the new refrigerator in working with an entirely different method, using something called forearm forklift straps. It was truly amazing to watch; they carried the entire weight of the refrigerator up steps with seeming ease. You would not suspect something could be so easy, and yet that is what Vernon Howard repeatedly tells us about the spiritual life — if we are not there, everything is easy!

    Question: I have been following the teachings of Vernon Howard for many years. His writings and talks have been enormously helpful to me. I understand things about myself and about the world a lot better than I ever did. Currently, however, I am baffled because I feel a lot of fear now in my life and it seems more intense than I have ever felt before. Can you explain why this is happening?
    Answer:
    Your psychic eyes are being opened. You think those feelings of fear are new, but they are not. They have been there throughout your life. You’ve just managed to push them down or put them aside. It takes a lot of unconscious energy to cover over what is really going on inside. Now that you are developing cosmic consciousness, the True You is not only tired of covering up fear, it wants you to see that so much of what you are afraid of has nothing to do with who you really are. In fact, your real nature is giving you the strength to see what fear really is: a hoax. Fear is something that keeps you from growing, from enjoying your life and the impostor inside who has been passing himself off as you is responsible for the whole problem. As you understand more and more of fear’s bluff, the warmth and sunlight of Truth will dissipate the storms of fear within you.

    Question: I have a friend who says he read a book written by a woman who has had “visions” about a future Heaven. The book describes what a great place it’s going to be and sounds very appealing. Wealth for everyone, pleasant surroundings and relations, etc. How do New Life teachings view this subject?
    Answer: There’s a right part of us that sees the condition of the world we live in today. It’s a very restless, confused, hostile, insecure, and unsettled place. That same right part also senses the existence of something much better that surely can be individually attained and can be ours. Well, it’s true. There really is a Heaven and it’s ready and available for us right here, right now. However, Vernon Howard warned us about "various roadblocks along the esoteric highway,” one of which is false hope in the future. He clarifies by saying, “Beware of those who urge you to sacrifice today for some misty heaven tomorrow. It will never come. The right time to wake up is right now."

    Question: Your articles on how to “Take Charge” of life on your website have given me a fresh view on that subject. I always thought this meant to be in command as an authority figure at work or home.
    Answer:
    It certainly applies to exterior business and to relationships. We must be self-responsible wherever we work or live. But our primary emphasis must be on our interior life, the state we’re in. To truly be “in charge” is not to control a situation or people; exterior control is an illusion. What we really want is to be at peace within ourselves. What’s ironic is that usually means to not do something. One way to say it is that to take charge is to let go — of myself. For example, as Vernon Howard said in Cosmic Command, it is “ceasing to behave badly while justifying it.” When I get panicked and impulsive, that is the chance to work on myself. For if I go along with the panic, I am actually trusting myself more than I trust God. If I stop doing the wrong things, that allows the higher to enter and to direct and command my feelings, thoughts and actions. Only then are things in the proper order — God is in charge of my life and I am led spontaneously.

    Question: How do people get mixed up in trying to understand these higher truths?
    Answer:
    Some take them as similar or identical to worldly advice. Take the man or woman who confuses monetary prosperity with spiritual success and security. Vernon assures us you can have little of what this society calls success and be completely victorious in the spiritual realm. A recent ‘Secrets of Life’ quote said, “Practice at placing the spiritual before the material.” It can be a surprisingly healthy shock to realize how little we do this. However, the extent to which we learn to value the invisible over the visible world determines the quality of our inner life. Many people say they want to change themselves but few really mean it. Be one of the few.

    Question: I’ve noticed I often seem to be moving along OK through life, but then I feel the pressure and frustration building. How can I stop this strain before the inevitable explosion or lashing out, which I’ve done so many times in my life?
    Answer:
    Realize that you’re unnecessarily living from a wrong part of yourself. That wrong part is always wrapped up with useless and repetitive thought. It then very quickly welcomes its low buddies — negative emotions. Break the spell! Relax from unnecessary thought. Be as fierce as you can, inwardly, against these unwanted invaders. Vernon told us that who we really are has no need to be worried or frustrated over anything whatsoever.

    Question: How can I know this center within?
    Answer:
    It is already there but must be uncovered and activated, in part by the honest admission that we have never really known how to deliver ourselves from inner pain and negativity. Troubled states may go away temporarily but always come back to reassert themselves, don’t they? With that realization can come the certainty that only something else, something not part of the habitual psychic system, can rescue us. So instead of spending the day looking for comfort and affirmation where it cannot be found, we can choose to direct our considerable energies toward connecting with what is above this warring world.

    Question: It’s hard to understand that there’s only one solution. Why can’t I just work on the specific areas where I see there’s an issue?
    Answer:
    Because then you’ll just be caught in the endless trap of solving the “next” difficulty, then the next and on and on. The mental self doesn’t want salvation. You call it intelligence but it’s really ignorance that insists it knows what should be done about all these difficulties and heartaches. Deep down though, something in you knows all solutions on that level have always failed and will always fail. “You” can’t do it, but God can!

    Question: Why do we need spiritual help?
    Answer: Wherever we go we take our whole world with us. We have settled in troubled lands. There is an urgent need to refresh, reboot and remember that Now is always New. A new nature is necessary.
         The answer to every problem is a spiritual one. There is no separate answer to the financial problem, the relationship trouble, the work difficulty, the anger problem. The answer to every problem resides in a different place, on a different level than the problem itself.

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     “Firstly I want to express my huge appreciation of the
www.anewlife.org website. I read every day after work some material from it and it feels wonderful.”

Regards,
Ruben L. via e-mail

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     “Vernon never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for keeping His work alive. The only thing I need to correct is my harmful thinking problem. I have rejoiced in his wisdom since 1979. Thanks again.”

Dale via e-mail

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     “Thank you New Life for all your great pearls of wisdom, love and understanding. I truly appreciate them all. They come to me especially at times when I am in doubt, or I have forgotten who I really am. So grateful to you all, with love and continued grace.”

Eleanor via e-mail

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