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“There is nothing in the whole universe that represents a threat to who you really are.”
COME TO MY SENSES SESSION
This exercise is called “Come to My Senses Session.” Get off by yourself, sit down, and here’s how the session goes: First of all, become quite clear in your mind what happened to you; the quarrel with someone, that idiotic letter you wrote and you wish you could get it out of the mailbox but it’s too late, the idiotic spending of your money. You fill in what you did — that’s point one. Then the second part is, ask yourself, “Why did I fall asleep so that it happened in the first place?” “Why did I fall asleep,” that’s a good phrase because you were in a state of psychic sleep when you wrote the letter and mailed it, when you went into your love of the disturbance inside you, and you just love being mangled by yourself.
Come to your senses, come to your spiritual senses, that would be very valuable for you in so many ways. For example, there’s a certain false pleasure in whipping yourself, in catching yourself in a defeat, and then shaming yourself or screaming out, “How could I have been so dumb?”
When you sit down on the couch and come to your senses with very quiet reflection of it, that interrupts your false pleasure of psychic masochism, that is of punishing yourself. Just sit there quietly and see what happens, which will be that right thoughts will have a chance, an opportunity to penetrate your mind and they will tell you what is the right thing to do. Simply the right thing to do is to never, ever do anything from your thought self.
PETTY ANNOYANCE TO OTHERS
I want you to see as a daily exercise what a petty annoyance you are to other people. You can’t see the big ones yet. Go for the little ones. If you interrupt them when they're talking, that’s called being rude, and you didn’t know you were rude, did you? Now I want all of you to make a long list of how you are a petty annoyance to other people. For example, write down, “Sour face and manner.” Can you take what I’ve just said and practice it?
SEPARATE USEFUL AND USELESS THOUGHTS
Be like the watchman in the night — at home, wherever you are, right in this room, you're going to be a watcher of what you think, of what you feel, and watch your attitudes toward the world, toward yourself. Then you're going to start separating useful from useless thoughts. Be extremely firm, absolutely honest with yourself. You have to identify immediately a useless, terrifying thought when you see one. All you have to do is recognize it. You don’t have to talk about it. You don’t have to explain it. You just have to know that it went through your mind and then have the spiritual courage to let it fall away.
STOP BEING A SCATTERBRAIN
Notice how your mind flits from one subject to another inside yourself and within one hour it can go to dozens of subjects, even hundreds. You think about something, which will always unfortunately be related to your false nature, your false self, and you'll say, “That’s something I can think about for a little bit.” Then that fades out. “Well, then there’s something else I can think about.” You don’t have to think that way at all. You can be what is known as a conscious, awake human being, who when you think, you think only “That I should peel the potatoes before I cook them.” Or, “I should drive my car a little more careful because the street is wet today. I will slow down.” That is the only kind of thinking you do, in which there is no egotistical self-reference at all.
THIS IS IT!
Your exercise is as follows: You will keep a sign up in your mind that says, “This is it!” exclamation point. Then when you go out into the world and meet events, people, situations, with that sign flying high inside you, it will remind you that the Truth is all-powerful over all events, situations, people.
I guarantee you if you keep that flag flying high, all so-called problems, obstacles, problem-people, difficulties, feeling bad, all that must crumble before your spiritual knowledge.
If “This is it!” what else is there? Nothing that has power at all, and by knowing that “This is it!” you will prove it because God Himself will always prove His power to anyone who will let him.
STAY WITH IT
Practice this exercise. The next time you are confused about an inner matter, about a spiritual matter, for example you don’t know what you're supposed to be doing with your life, I want you to remain with that confusion instead of trying to do something about it. If you try to do something about your confusion, that’s confusion trying to manage confusion.
Do nothing about the inner fog but simply watch it as it operates, and if your heart is right, if you don’t want to live in inner fog anymore, when you refuse to push it away, then the fog will dissolve of itself because you have invited something that is higher than your nature to come in and turn on the light and it will happen.
ENTER THE BATTLE
I want to tell you, all of you personally, what you have to do. You have to go a lot farther than you have. You have to enter the battlefield fully, not stay away from it. And what you don’t understand is that, if you will make one, even a small, tiny decision to be more receptive to the voice of Truth, to turn up the volume, if you will make the decision to hear more, Truth is what gives you that increased spiritual hearing to hear and understand the voice that is trying to tell you that you're doing the altogether wrong thing with your life, that all the social rewards are nothing.
REQUESTS TO HEAVEN
I want all of you to make requests to Heaven in a new way. Don’t complicate it. “Truth, God, Heaven, I don’t understand you but I do know that I need help to shed myself of myself.” Your prayer will be answered but you have to cooperate by staying in touch with Truth, not once a year, not once every five years but all the time. We’ll teach you how to do that.
PUT YOURSELF IN ANOTHER PERSON’S PLACE
Here’s the exercise: You're to select almost any person that you're with at least now and then, and you are to put yourself in that other person’s place. You're to think as the other person thinks, you're to see that man’s anger, you're to see that woman’s sadness. You are to go against this self-enthronement of your own thoughts, in which you are always churning in self-reference. Now what’s the purpose of this? The purpose is to break down your unconscious belief that you are the only one who counts.
Gradually and slowly it will occur to you that self-centeredness is the life of everyone. I’ll talk to the men now. One day gentlemen, when you have worked diligently on this exercise of putting yourself in the other person’s place and seeing things as he does, one day when you're just about to cause pain to that woman in your life, you won’t be able to do it.
You'll be tempted again, because the force of habit of you yelling at her or making the sarcastic reply, that habit is so powerful, it will come up even after you’ve studied these principles for a long time but all of a sudden, something new happens. You look at that woman and you no longer take pleasure in her pain, you no longer take pleasure in you being a neurotic, vicious human being who causes pain. There is no longer any evil fun in it for you. You're beginning to see now what it means that God is all. God is all that is decent and good.
ROB YOURSELF OF FALSE REWARDS
You're instructed to see how you're observing other people’s faces, so that you can figure out whether they like you, whether they’re mad at you, or if they laugh then you laugh too even if you don’t hear the joke. You're always taking your cue, your course of action, stealing it and stealing junk, from what the other person has on his face.
Here’s how to stop it. Watch before darkness creeps up and grabs you. This means that if you're with people, talking about something, and you remember what I told you about you always studying another person’s face to see what you should do, and just at that moment your head starts to turn over to that person of the opposite sex to see if she appreciates your greatness and all that. The minute your head starts to turn, you will triply remember what I told you, and you will stop and deliberately rob yourself of a false reward.
STOP THINKING TRIVIALITIES
Among the lessons you will learn is that you always, this is so simple and clear, you always just go around thinking about the wrong things. Your mind is occupied with trivialities, you think about things that are unnecessary for you to think about. You go into fantastic detail over the smallest subject and keep your mind grinding along all the time, not knowing that you have abandoned the control, the higher control of your mind that you could have had.
Your first work project for this talk is to write down on a slip of paper and remind yourself repeatedly that practically all the time you are thinking about the wrong things. You're wasting your energy. The shock of seeing that you're throwing away mental money, life money, will slow you down and finally stop you from throwing it away any more. Now, don’t forget this exercise over the days, just stop your daze in the days and look at what your mind is doing, and inquire why it is doing that.
KNOW WHERE YOU ARE
Exercise: I want you to know that you're here first of all physically in this room. Visual sight is a part of it. That’s the elementary. Know that you're here in the room. You can see straight ahead. You're looking at me now. You can see out of the corner of your eyes the person next to you. Where are your hands — legs crossed, not crossed, physical posture?
Now to know where you are means much more than know the physical self. It means you know what you're thinking right now, you know what you're feeling right now. I am here. When you're able, and you are able, to put yourself in the position of knowing you are here, then nothing outside of you has the smallest chance to interfere into your right world and disturb it. When you spiritually know I am here, that’s the only world.
A SPIRITUAL KNOWING
There’s a chance for a few people to learn how to stop loving the hot, stormy desert out there. And the way to do that is to stop loving the habitual reactions and thoughts and beliefs that you now think give you security.
Here’s an exercise for you to practice right now. Look inside yourself and notice how insecure and unhappy you are. The day can come when you'll be able to go through your day with a quietness, with a conquest, with a reality, with a confidence, with a knowledge, that nothing, nothing anywhere, any place, of any nature can ever take away. It will be permanent, you will know, really know, a spiritual knowing, not an intellectual one, you will know that you have made it because you allowed God to make it for you.
RELEASE SOMETHING NEW
Your spiritual exercise will consist of understanding what it means to release something new instead of employ something old. You know what the old is. The old is everything that is now with you with the one little exception of your tiny but marvelously bright intention to wake up. That is never part of the old, it’s never part of time, it’s always fresh and it’s what brings you back to every class. That’s what keeps you here when you feel insulted or hurt inside because you have at least a beginning idea of what self-release means. It means release of the Spirit of Liberty, the Spirit of Truth, which then does all the work of liberating you from all your self-harming behavior.
DON’T JUSTIFY BAD BEHAVIOR
As an exercise, notice how you always justify your bad behavior toward another person, but you don’t know you justify it. Catch yourself red-handed in the act of saying something that sounds good to you, to your old nature, and you may even think you're impressing the other person that you're a decisive man who knows what he’s doing and doing what’s right. It’s a very sad state.
From now on in your inner-spiritual work, you will give special attention to your critical spirit, which likes to launch itself out against anyone when you feel a little disturbed.
Don’t you want to start immediately to see when you criticize someone, where you are speaking from an image, a picture, a belief? You're speaking from that instead of remaining silent in the face of what seems to be a problem. If you had no self-images at all, you would be a safe, secure, good, free spiritual human being.
From now on, wherever you are, you're to become invisible so that nobody pays any attention to you. Let’s say you're in a group, you're not going to talk, you're not going to gesture, you're not going to attract attention to yourself at all. This, by the way, is proper self-thinking because the aim, the purpose, the conscious motivation is to get rid of this unseen little self that always wants to attract attention and be the center of things. The reason you should do this exercise is because the only thing you ever suffer from is you.
This exercise will tell you how to make rapid and real progress toward liberating yourself from yourself, which you already sense is the only sensible thing to do with your life on this earth. What do you do for entertainment? Let’s take television. Maybe it’s a pretty exciting show and it relaxes your mind for a while, which is good and fine. Then the commercial comes on. Will you please note carefully what happens to you at the moment the action fades out.
If you will do this simple exercise, you will see how you have invested your life, your time, and your happiness, in the moving pictures, stories, dialogues and actions in front of you, and blocked out your aching heart. Notice very carefully the moment the screen goes blank ready for the commercial, you're already up heading for the refrigerator (laughter), “because if the movie can’t continue to make me happy, that strawberry sundae is a pretty good substitute for now.” This exercise is for you to catch yourself playing hooky all the time. You're not going to do that anymore.
Let’s say you have a picture of yourself as being competent, wise or strong, and something comes along to disprove it and you’re embarrassed. You’re embarrassed, of course, only because you had the self-image to begin with. Where there’s no image, there can be no embarrassment.
Here is the specific way in which you are going to learn to dissolve the continuity of the false feeling of embarrassment. You will say and you will realize the following statement: “I am new now.” Seeing it is the fact. If you see it, the fact will transform you and capsule the time area in which the embarrassed feeling dwells.
CHOOSE RIGHTNESS — REJECT WRONGNESS
Follow carefully, here’s a man or a woman, here’s you, and you have forgotten that you have from God Himself the power to choose what is right and the power to reject what is wrong. In simple words, you can accept goodness and reject evil, you can accept health and push away spiritual illness in favor of spiritual health. Why don’t you exercise that right?
ASK FOR HIGHER HELP
If you're hoping that that new relationship is going to lift you up and finally get you back from the stormy sea, right in the middle of that you catch yourself building that fantasy castle. Gentlemen, you see the pretty girl and you imagine her walking over to you and smiling; right in the middle of that you're going to give yourself what is known as conscious suffering, because it is intense suffering to give up your false life, the dangerous toy-filled life. You will deliberately sacrifice that fantasy thought about the girl smiling and, even if you can’t give it up say, “Heaven help me to give it up.” Heaven will help you.
BE WILLING TO BE WILLING
I’d like you to remember a certain phrase, study it, think about it, and it will be an entrance for you into something else. That phrase is while you are presently not willing to solve your problems and to rise above yourself, it is possible for you to be willing to be willing. You can start by saying, “All right, I don’t know what it’s all about, I don’t even know what you are talking about, but there’s a part in me that’s willing to be willing to understand. Now I don’t understand, but I'm tired of paying the price of my own folly, my own stubbornness.” Maybe you should say the following sentence about a dozen times a day, “I'm tired of being scared, so I'm willing to be willing.”
EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT INNER DEVELOPMENT
I want to give you an exercise now, and I’ll introduce it by telling you that there is also such a thing as positive associative thought, a series of right thoughts one after another. You think one right thought and it sets up another right thought, that’s good, that’s using your mind properly, and is the gateway to the spiritual life. Your mind must work right and then the spirit will come in and guide it even more.
At the top of a blank piece of paper, write “Everything I Know About Inner Development.” Number them and one sentence only for each number. You could start by writing, “I don’t know much about it,” then you add everything that comes to you about it, such as “I must fall out of love with my sour moods.” Now as you add what you know and you've come to the capacity of what you know, there is a right tendency for more knowledge to come to you. I invite you to try that simple principle for yourself. Write down as few or as many as you can, then read them over again, ponder, investigate, and think about them. You will see that all of a sudden a new thought, a new way of saying something, a new revelation, a new idea has come to you to add to the list.
The main point is seeing how starting somewhere in the right way will continue the rightness flowing.
INTERRUPT FALSE PLEASURE
Here’s your exercise: In the middle of all your good times, all your pleasures, all your jubilant moods, I instruct you and this instruction is coming straight from Heaven, to interrupt your so-called pleasure so that you can catch a glimpse of the weak, self-abandoned person that you really are.
MORE PLEASE OF WHATEVER I NEED
This exercise is to send your own message out into the Universe that goes something like this: More please of whatever I need. You don’t even know what you need, and you don’t even have to know who you're talking to — just be sure it’s not yourself. If you send that request out into the Universe, “More please of whatever I need,” someone is listening, a friend is listening. Never mind if you don’t understand it. You do it and the understanding comes later.
STOP BEING TIMID
The exercise is from now on when you pass anyone, you're going to know you're passing them. You can look at them if you want, maybe you speak, maybe you don’t, but you're going to be in charge of yourself instead of being timid. You won’t have to sacrifice yourself by worrying about, for example, the impression you're going to make or whether you should speak or not. Be in charge of your own nature, which Truth will do for you and you won’t have any problem with any human being on earth.
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