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“There is nothing in the whole universe that represents a threat to who you really are.”
“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.”
Remember the phrase “Visit Yourself.” Now, please, you don’t have to take an exciting tour, you don’t have to go to Europe, the Orient, you don’t have to go all over the world. Try visiting yourself sometime. You will find the most fascinating adventure any human being could ever have because it will lead to what you really want. You're not going to find it in that other country, buying all those pathetic souvenirs and putting them up on your mantle, wondering why you bought them in the first place. Try visiting yourself, that is, take a look at the way you handled yourself today or mishandled yourself. Take a look and see how you got tongue-tied all of a sudden and didn’t know whether you should say this or say that.
Wouldn’t it be a marvelous, beautiful, peaceful, human experience to be self-contained? That means everything you need is within you.
YIELD TO YOUR YEARNING
Man’s situation would be hopeless except for one thing, you can have a yielding to your yearning. First of all, do you not have a yearning for something higher, something better, something freer, something healthier, something less lacerating to your spirit, less pounding? If deep in your heart you yearn for the new, for the transformed, for the truly wholesome and healthy, if you will let the yearning be there without trying to direct it, the very yearning will then turn in the correct direction, which will be up there, something coming down from up there to answer that yearning and you will change.
THE UNEXPECTED EXPLAINED
I want to give you an exercise that will help you to turn around and go the other way. Most people do not take the unexpected into account in ordinary daily life, in their inner life, and I’ll explain why. This is very deep, so follow please. People do not take the unexpected into account because in their own conceit, they have made a demand upon the future that it bend to their demands, to their egotistical desires. Therefore when reality comes up, they’re so shocked. They say, “Why should this happen, I wanted that to happen.” This is a sign of childish, immature thinking that hasn’t risen much above the basement of mentality. I want you to remember that the unexpected is really, in a very definite sense, a fault within the human mind which says, “I must have that, therefore why does this come up?”
When you're awake, when your mind is alert all the time, there’s no unexpected. There may be the unexpected in physical events, but you expect them, so it’s not a shock. There’s no unexpected inwardly because everything is flowing smoothly without you putting demands that you be the king of the world. As far as you're concerned, there’s no unexpected events because you're flowing wholly in Truth.
LET THIS NEW ATTITUDE CHANGE YOU
This is not only an assignment, it’s a new attitude, a prayer, and a way of changing everything. Take an attitude that says, “I don’t want to change myself, but make me change anyway.” Start with the word “I” and end with the word “anyway,” and fill it in with hundreds of different versions. For example, “I don’t want to drop my vanity, but teach me to drop it anyway.”
Rightness is strength, wisdom and resourcefulness. When you do one little right thing, that builds your strength for doing the next right thing. Your exercise is to find one little right thing and just do it. For instance, it could be remembering what you heard here in class, reading a book or listening to a tape. You understand you don’t have to be concerned with results. Rightness always has the same result, which is a right reward.
Catch the first lure, the first foreign inner voice that says, “Okay, time to get depressed,” because if you don’t catch it when it’s a whisper, it’ll become a shout and you'll get depressed.
Here’s your exercise: Right now at this very moment you will come awake, you will interrupt your thought, you will be aware of your physical self, you'll be aware of where you are, you will not be thinking anything at all, you will just know where you are. Now, you will hold this state you're in right now, and you will continue to hold it as long as you can.
SIX TO NINE
One clue as to whether you're changing or not is what you do with what you have learned from the time you get up till the time you go to bed. Think of an average day, let’s say from six to nine. Think how much of your time during those hours were occupied in doing something that will let the light come in to live your life for you.
For instance, let’s say while you were shopping you noticed a negative reaction inside of you. While you were talking on the telephone you noticed your impatience or you noticed how they dominated the conversation and you had something you thought was so much more important you wanted to talk about.
Start sitting in judgment of what you are doing with your time and your energy during the day.
When you get up tomorrow morning remember what you've heard tonight and remind yourself and say, “I'm going to fight for myself to stay awake.”
WHEN YOU BLOW UP
When you blow up, when you're the exploding volcano, at the moment that happens, the only thing that exists in this whole universe for you is your explosive anger, fury. Go real slow now because this is pretty high. At the moment of shaking your fist, mentally or physically at someone or a condition, at that very moment of your explosion, sadly the only thing that exists of you is the explosive fury itself. There’s nothing else. I want you to watch the next time you get mad and prove to yourself what I just told you.
WRITE DOWN YOUR AIM IN LIFE
Part one of your exercise is to write down, “My aim in life is to” — and then you can list what it is. Some examples could be:
My aim in life is to wake up.
My aim in life is to be authentically happy.
My aim in life is to find God.
My aim in life is to no longer be a nervous wreck.
My aim in life is to live in the Light.
My aim in life is to give my life real purpose.
Part two of your exercise is to write down:
Regardless of what happens, I will remember and return to my aim.
Regardless of what happens, I will always remember and return to what I really want.
Now, no matter what happens, if my house collapses over my head, I’m going to immediately remember and return to my aim to wake up.
“No matter what happens” is an extremely important part of the second stage of the exercise, because it induces and introduces right feeling.
SHATTER YOUR IMAGINARY LIFE
This will absolutely guarantee you shattering imaginary life and having true religion and true life:
Every time you feel tempted to drop one pound of the pain, you intentionally add another pound. This means enduring more than you endured before. Instead of escape, instead of imaginary pleasures, imagining yourself as the beautiful heroine or whatever, you snap the mental movie, you become no one, and then stay there as long as you can until you see the next fantasy that presents itself to you under the guise of being a friend.
SEE SOMETHING HIGHER
If you want to break out, all you have to do is think about one thing only, which is to see something higher than yourself. Oh, what power, what beauty, I don’t have to think about whether my friend is going to like me next week, whether my spouse is going to love me and whether they are going to stay faithful.
Write down and number each item, all the things that you do to escape the heaviness and complications of your life — looking around for a man, ladies? Looking for more money, more appreciation or whatever, gentlemen? Then at the bottom of your list write NOTHING WORKS! Be honest about your list so that the Truth can start to change you.
Here’s an exercise regarding human relations. Don’t think you've already done it or that you can do it in five minutes and understand it. Please do this for the rest of your life so that you can begin to get a starting place where this one percent of Heavenly rightness will begin to grow and glow even brighter. Observe people and ask yourself silently, “What attitude is he expressing right now?” Then answer yourself, “He appeared nervous, she laughed nervously,” and so on. Now for the part that’s a little more difficult, do the same thing with yourself.
WATCH SHALLOW CONVERSATIONS
Your exercise is to watch the incredible shallow nothing conversations people have with each other. And all the so-called authoritative people, people in the know, look how they have their clichés and their pet phrases of how they’re going to get the country going again, how they’re going to turn things around.
What does that mean, turn things around? It’s words, empty words. Your task is to know that when a lost human being talks, he says nothing. And of course the rule is start with yourself and see your own shallowness.
Resisting temptation doesn’t mean exactly what it says. What it means is to see temptation. The easiest thing to do is to let the old lazy nature fall for it. To resist temptation therefore means that you're just about to make that sarcastic, snappy remark back to someone, even in your own mind if you don’t say it out loud, and you catch yourself and resist temptation.
The only resistance to temptation is consciousness, light, the noticing of the arousal of that negative feeling by which you’re going to strike back.
BE STRONG AND DON’T POUR YOUR TROUBLES ONTO OTHERS
It is anti-spiritual, anti your real nature for you to pour your troubles out onto any other human being. So you are never ever to do it again, not once. It’s weakness that does it. You're going to be so strong you don’t need to do that any more.
The other person, he thinks you're the greatest person on earth, just standing there listening to him. And what you're now doing is that marvelous state of conscious listening and conscious conflict. “I was told that the way to get out of myself is to not blab all the time either to myself or to others, but I want to, I’ve got to. I’ve got so many important things to say, and I can contribute so much to the world if they would only listen.”
Now this is conscious conflict, and it means that you're struggling to not let the dam burst and blab to someone else. I tell you a spiritual miracle is happening inside of you.
NEVER LOVE THE FALSE REWARDS OF NEGATIVE STATES
This exercise is for you to notice what’s happening to you when your reward has been denied and before you go into anger and hatred over it being denied. I want you to take a picture of yourself, and I don’t want you ever again to love the false reward of going downhill into a negative state. Remember and practice this.
THE TRACK-BACK EXERCISE
Pause for this required exercise for the rest of this day: Each time you think, each time you talk, you are to track back what you thought or said, you're going to track it back to precious, darling, marvelous me, right? Ask yourself, “Why did I say that,” and your response may be “It makes me humble and a person who is willing to admit that he’s wrong.” Track back everything you say and think and see that the noisy nature is very active, always operating. To see it is of incredible value to you.
Select for yourself as an exercise something you do every morning. For instance it could be being aware every time you go through a doorway or picking up your coffee cup. “I'm going to notice myself the next time I pick my pencil up off the desk.”
Whether you succeed or fail, you will then give yourself the next one and the very right idea of doing this will help you to remember the ones you failed to do because you'll be keeping this proper work memory inside of you alive.
Do this all day long, keep one ahead of you at all times and vary them as you wish. Then watch how your memory increases and you'll be able to do this more and more.
DELIBERATELY DEFY DRACULA
Write down a sentence please, we’re going to do one thing with three words, Deliberately Defy Dracula.
When someone screams at you and you feel the tendency to cringe, you will look at that person and even if you cringe you will know you are cringing. That’s defying Dracula. If you get mad you're part of Dracula.
Maybe some of you have never been told that you're in a dungeon, which is a dark place. The dungeon is your hatreds and your fears, and you've never been told that while this is your state, there is another way. There’s a state above it and the bad news that Dracula sends out says you're his prisoner forever. That is a lie, and if you stay in this class long enough you’ll uncover it.
SEE HOW YOU ATTRACT ATTENTION TO YOURSELF
Try to see how you attract attention to yourself. Now, a real weapon against that false move would be for you to deliberately make yourself inconspicuous to other people, even in this class, anywhere. Say to yourself, “From now on instead of walking and running around like the little machine that I am, I am going to knowingly let people ignore me by not attracting attention to myself in order for me to understand how desperate I really am to have other people notice me.”
If you're a man, you want that girl to notice you, and if you're a girl you want the boy to notice you. See how desperate we are for other people to tell us that we are someone.
MAKE THIS VOW
Make this vow: “For my own sake I'm going to make a wish to understand myself first, foremost and always. If I catch anything coming into my emotions and my mind, anywhere inside of me that tries to take that truly sacred vow away from me, I'm going to reject it because I'm sick and tired of being a slave to my own wild mind and feelings, and being scared of life.”
With that simple vow, with that right direction, the whole universe of rightness will back you up. You can discover this for yourself.
WATCH YOUR BEHAVIOR
This is your exercise for the next two days. Upon seeing your behavior, catch yourself and ask yourself, “Why am I behaving the way I'm behaving right now? What secret motive is there behind it?”
Maybe, for example, in the café you order something from the menu, and all of a sudden after you give the order to the waitress, you suddenly wish you had selected something else. So you try to convince yourself that what you ordered is just as good as the other and let it go. Why don’t you see that you really honestly wanted the other choice and ask the waitress to change it. Do it sometime and bear her reaction.
DON’T BE YOU
Make a vow that you're not going to be you any more, which means you're not going to listen to your nonsensical advice, and you're not going to love the fire of hatred anymore. Write it down in your own words; there’s lots of them in the books, a very simple statement of what you really want, what your heart wants and make it your true and only love.
BE A PLEASANT HUMAN BEING
I’m going to tell you something that you can do and you're to do it. From now on, you'll be a pleasant human being wherever you go. You will never again be a little crab or get mad at someone because they don’t give you what you want. You're going to be an adult human being. Now even elementary ethics would tell you that it’s nice to be nice, right?
Niceness is spiritual understanding.
DON’T VALUE PAIN
Effective as of right now, you will never again value or think any pain that you suffer, mental or emotional, is necessary for you.
LEARN MORE ABOUT TRUTH
If you were excited over the fact that every day you could get up in the morning and learn more about God, it would show and you would know it and would live it. What do you care about anything else? Don’t you know yet that there is nothing else to really care about except to elevate yourself a little more? The time will come when you know absolutely that all you have to do is love Truth and the rest takes care of itself.
“There is so much natural sense and clarity in Vernon Howard’s messages and teachings that the fog of conditioning has hidden from us. It is perpetual, from the cradle to the grave, over and over the same illusions are passed along and blindly accepted.
I have caught myself on good days emotionally, mentally wondering how it felt to be depressed and gloomy, actually thinking about the feeling of that, to rekindle the body and mind sensations of it. Is that just awful! I do so want as he stated to come out from among them! I read in the Fall/Winter 2012 Newsletter the answer ‘we love it,’ it is comfortable this anxiety and dread. I’d actually thought of going to a psychologist to ask the question, and also in this same issue that was answered as well. It is a self-prison of my construction; not something foisted upon me.
Thank you for everything.”
— E. E. via e-mail
Natural Health Therapist