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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 eight FAQs are brand new ones. (Last updated September 1, 2022)

  • FAQs 1

    Question: Sometimes I forget my higher aims, getting caught up and lost in thoughts and daydreams.
    Answer:
    The main thing is to work hard at observing your thoughts and emotions. Never let a day go by without snapping the mind's mechanicalness and becoming conscious and aware. It would be even better if we would awaken and ‘come back to ourselves’ multiple times every day.

    Question: I am upset by a huge house being built on a lot just outside our living room windows that blocks our view. Help me to work on my negativity regarding that situation.
    Answer: Remember this exercise from Vernon and say it to your wrong reactions, whatever they are, “That has nothing to do with my search for the light!” This statement attracts higher essence that will demolish all brick walls you run into.

    Question: I’m getting a lot out of these studies but time and again, I find myself puzzled and shocked by the nature of human nature, my own included. Is there a way to view human behavior and characteristics that will go above the puzzlement and shock and lift me to a different level of understanding?
    Answer:
    Here’s something helpful given to us by Vernon. He said to view human nature in two ways at the same time. You must see that mankind suffers terribly, but simultaneously see that human nature is a fierce resister of God, Truth, Reality. You’ll go wrong if you only focus on one or the other. They must be seen together. To observe only the suffering side leads to false sympathy and sentimentality but becoming aware of how vehemently we object to what could get rid of the sufferer creates a balanced viewpoint and encourages the wish to be more welcoming and receptive to higher facts.

    Question: Then the sufferer is attached and identified with his suffering when it’s not necessary?
    Answer:
    Yes. To grasp this truth requires a big leap in receptivity and understanding. We say, “But, I’m in such pain! I’ve been hurt so badly. You’re telling me I’m inviting this heaviness into my mind and emotions?” Yes, it is all part of our identification with images of ourselves that have been built up over years of living in this harsh, unforgiving world. This fictitious nature encases us like we’re in cement. But these teachings provide the way to break out and live fully where it really matters, in the present moment.

    Question: What do speakers or students at New Life mean when they say, “It’s just an idea”?
    Answer: Ideas (thoughts) pick us up and carry us to places, tell us we must get a certain job or house or spouse. They drive us like machine pinballs to act in odd ways or say things we believe we thought up ourselves. Ideas are just floating around our heads like gnats in the atmosphere. We’ve picked them up from everyone we’ve met growing up, reading, listening to the media, etc. One false idea stuffed away in our memory is that we have “original ideas.” Vernon Howard made it clear that’s only a self-flattering myth. We are really imitators and memorizers. As we are now, we don’t actually think for ourselves. Yet we can be independent thinkers — by following the instructions of these exceptional teachings.

    Question: Please say more about becoming an independent thinker.
    Answer: Ponder the fact that these facts are all a big insult to the so-called intellectual, to whom thinking is supreme, a false god. Which is why there is endless debate, theorizing and lack of true conclusions in all of society — in the ivory towers, on Wall Street, in churches, governments and the home. Schools teach by having us memorize rather than reaching deeper understanding through a faculty that is there but remains largely undeveloped. In fact, it is commonly denied in so-called higher educational settings that a higher knowing, sensing, or instant perception even exists. (See Vernon’s wonderful list of those in Your Power of Natural Knowing essay of the book by the same title.)

    Question: So thinking for yourself free of conditioning flows from reaching this level of higher understanding?
    Answer: Yes. Spiritual understanding is not on the lower level of thought. This is the esoteric secret of the ages, that a knowing exists above thought or ideas; you can feel the Truth with a sense above the mind. It is in the realm of consciousness, accessible with a different mode of perception than the intellect. It might be called “common sense” or wisdom or sentience, but like saying the word God, words are not sufficient to convey the meaning, which must be sought through effort and awareness and personal experience.

    Question: With all of the recent unsettling events, how can these truth teachings help me understand what's going on and become less fearful even while I’m seeing others completely losing their minds?
    Answer:
    People often fear what they don't understand. Start by seeing that those behind the crises, conflicts and uprisings are egotistical, self-centered tyrants out for themselves. As Vernon explained in Cosmic Command #384, “Wars are caused by human beings who deny their inner wars.” Fear is a horribly draining emotion which we have unconsciously picked up from years living with and among family, friends and society and we deem it necessary for our very survival. It is not at all! Evil itself knows that people in fear are more easily manipulated and controlled. In addition, fear attracts the very negative events and people that we say we want to avoid. An understanding of these facts can help anyone who sincerely wants to live a fear-free life.

    Question: These principles are appealing and make a fascinating study but how can they relieve my financial and relationship problems or my concerns over the future?
    Answer: It is very hard for the mind to grasp that a way has been provided in this life for human beings to psychologically transcend the visible world and live in a completely different realm free from worry and torment. If you were living in self-unity according to these principles, you would not feel the same way about your personal circumstances. That doesn’t mean you might not be surrounded on all sides by challenging situations, but you would understand that the most valuable thing in your life is contacting and living from these higher facts. Being one with the true nature is what provides you with protection. God has already won. He is not fearful, apprehensive, angry, discouraged or in any other destructive negative state and does not want you to be.

    Question: I have heard there are such things as cosmic, universal laws. What is one of them?
    Answer: One of the most meaningful ones is “The Supreme Law of Spiritual Growth” which is discussed by Vernon Howard on his MP3 CD The Laws of Spiritual Development. In the above titled talk, he explains that the supreme law of life is spiritual growth and he relates a story that beautifully illustrates the law.
         It’s the story of a botanist who wanted to develop plants that could thrive in adverse weather conditions. Starting the plants in a greenhouse, he noticed over the weeks that one plant had grown much higher than the others and he took special care with it, eventually transplanting it outdoors. The plant endured cold and storms but nonetheless developed firm, deep roots and eventually flourished in its new environment. Vernon said we’re huddled with all the other plants in that greenhouse believing we are safe and comfortable, not wanting to leave its confines to go outside where we will face new and unfamiliar trials. But to grow higher, we must leave the greenhouse which symbolizes our willingness to have the false nature melted down by Truth.

    Question: Life is hard enough. I’m afraid of what will happen to me if I let myself be “melted down,” as you put it. Why not stay where I am comfortable?
    Answer:
    Because despite what society tries to get you to believe, the greenhouse is not the whole world, and that so-called comfort never lasts for very long. The greenhouse represents the limitation and pain of trying to live from an undeveloped nature in competition with every other undeveloped nature in the world. Outside of the greenhouse, there is no limit to your growth. That’s where you’re meant to be because used properly, the new storms you’ll encounter will strengthen your roots in spiritual soil. Never say, “these storms are too much for me; I can’t handle them.” They are not too much for who you really are.

    Question: How can we extend, prolong and retain the energy generated from attending a New Life class or listening to a Vernon Howard talk?
    Answer: After a class, don’t get lost in thought and go back to sleep! Keep the state of clarity and the feeling of being energized you have received for as long as possible. That means to continuously observe thoughts and feelings and to keep bringing yourself back to the present moment. Yes, the world will call you back, distract you, may even provide some type of thrill to make you forget your aim. Continue to put your spiritual growth first which means to stop putting the world’s demands first.

    Question: Give me some specifics on what to do to remember higher aims?
    Answer: Specifically, study regularly by listening to a Vernon Howard talk or reading one of his books or booklets every day. Make and review notes and post regular daily aims and exercises. And most importantly, do not allow this knowledge to just reside in the mind. These principles are not for memorization but are meant to come alive in us by using everything that happens to us to gain self-understanding.

    Question: Also, how do I extend moments of self-awareness?
    Answer: Develop the desire for awareness more than you want to return to Dreamland. Being a mechanical machine in our quick reactions and repetitious behaviors must become conscious to us. Fight to stay awake and refuse the impulse to habitually and lazily go back to unnecessary thought. The dawning realization that we are not in charge of own minds will help to develop a preference for alertness over spiritual sleep.

    Question: Sometimes I feel I have spiritually lost what I had before.
    Answer: Recently a dark moonless night on the New Life property in Strawberry, Arizona provided an encouraging and necessary reminder about the nature of the spiritual path. There are two buildings at some distance from each other there, both having outside sensor lights. Anyone approaching one of those buildings in the dark causes that light to turn on, brightly illuminating the immediate building, but also dimly and briefly illuminating the safe path to the next building. However, after a certain time the first sensor light turns off, so that it is necessary to travel in the dark until the next sensor light comes on — which can safely be done. We must pass through darkness — deeper revelations about our human nature — until we get to the next spiritual light.

    Question: That is a very encouraging illustration. We can still walk the path in darkness but be headed toward a source of light.
    Answer: Vernon Howard said, “Dark revelations must come before bright revelations.” He once described the spiritual path as consisting of a stretch of darkness followed by a stretch of light. At first, it’s like being on a trail in the dark woods, where the sun cannot be seen because of the denseness of the surrounding trees. Then a glimmer of light will appear which grows into sunshine for a while but is then followed by another stretch of darkness. It goes on like this for a long time, as we alternate between insight and sleep. Finally, the stretches of light become longer and longer and the stretches of darkness shorter and shorter, until there is no more darkness.

    Question: There is an extraordinary amount of fear in the world today and it’s hard not to get caught up in it. I feel the need to draw closer to these teachings more than at any other time in my life.
    Answer: It’s good that you have recognized the power of Truth and sensed that it will help you. It will. What’s important to remember is that dramatic worldly events always provide an extraordinary opportunity to move further up the spiritual path. This is a good time to see how fear is being used as a smokescreen to paralyze everyone. Truth clears the air. Dark forces don’t want us to know that truth always protects those who walk towards its light. We can use this exciting fact to see how fear is trying to keep us from being in contact with our true self, which knows everything is just fine. In response to the scary headlines, terrifying news reports and the gloom that is choking the planet, you can do what New Life students are told: “Don’t get caught up in it.” Use all that’s going on to get to the point in your life where you see through fear and are no longer controlled by it. Vernon tells us, “There is something stronger than the world in each of us.” And always remember this: “Evil only wins in this world.”

    Question: Why doesn’t everyone follow what is True? Why do so many get dragged away?
    Answer:
    For one thing, they can’t hear spiritual truth but don’t know they can’t hear, and for another thing, don’t most people you know think they already know? We have to study and work hard in order to yield to truth and allow it to transform us. It may take a long time before we begin to hear and understand what we thought we knew long ago. For example, how many understand the fact that “The spiritual path cuts straight through the jungle of sick human nature”? There is no other way but to see what is wrong first, yet millions insist on their own way and end up living in imaginary spirituality.

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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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