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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 twelve FAQs are brand new ones. (Last updated March 1, 2022)

  • FAQs 1

    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?
    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: Vernon frequently tells us to do writing exercises (such as to list worries or fears; or to write on a spiritual topic like “How would I behave if I lived from the Spirit of Truth?”). I’ve noticed I have a lot of resistance to doing this. How can I overcome it?
    Vernon knew how beneficial writing is to us and to him in his own work. For example, writing with a higher purpose greatly focuses and clarifies the mind, while then going beyond the mind to provide spiritual insights, fresh sensing. It also proves to you that the answers are actually inside (the Kingdom of Heaven within), which awaken when this kind of effort is made. Like everything Vernon tells us to do, you must do it to prove it for yourself. You’ll see and experience the rewards when you follow his instructions.
         A favorite exercise to begin writing is simply to pick up a pen and paper and put the pen to the paper. Write the topic at the top and begin by numbering each item. You’re on the way. Now relax and receive.

    Question: Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed by negative emotions. When this happens, how can I break the state? What can I do about it?
    Answer: There are times when we are inundated with a negative emotion (like anger, for example), even to the point of believing we are one with that emotion. Vernon Howard tells us we are not our negative emotions! Having no higher value, these base feelings reside in something called the False Self, which is not part of our essence, our true nature. This False Self is acquired from society and houses all the negative emotions and wrong ideas we have about how to deal with life. This imposter works overtime to convince us that all we are, all we have, is what we think and feel. That is a lie.
         The world tells us to push the disturbances down or to distract ourselves with a movie or something from the refrigerator. A first important step in dealing with this problem is to try to understand that they are not you. We have a part within us called the Observer which can separate from the negativity and see things from a spiritual viewpoint. This Observer, which is small at first, can be developed but only with your willingness to watch your internal states impartially. When the Observer watches, the negativity will become smaller since it cannot stand up to the light of Awareness. If you work with this, you’ll be amazed when you see something like anger begin to fade away.

    Question: I sense there is something wrong with chasing after the approval of other people. Even if they seem to like me, I’m worried about keeping their goodwill. I know there is a higher answer, but weakly giving in to the demands of others has been a pattern my entire life.
    You are capable of breaking the pattern. Wanting others’ approval creates a lot of personal strain. And always being preoccupied with their opinion of you and “giving in to get along” is a form of psychological slavery. Start by reflecting from your own experience how fickle and changeable people are; they’re your friend one minute and ignore you the next. But there is a way to leave all this uncertainty behind.
         In this work you will learn to develop a type of inner integrity that will never compromise itself. Vernon said, “Trust only your own integrity,” which is developed by embracing the old-fashioned virtues of self-responsibility and self-reliance. When you catch yourself angling for that smile or that bit of praise and you are able to immediately snap the spell and come back to impartial awareness, you are building up the needed strength to refuse to bow down to an aggressive, demanding person and indeed, to an aggressive, demanding world.

    Question: But then does that mean I don’t have friends or that I avoid people? I don’t want to become an isolated hermit.
    Answer: Not at all. You can truly enjoy relationships with other people when you don’t want anything from them, when you understand that you do not need anything outside of yourself for completion. And only a whole, undivided human being can truly enjoy life.

    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?
    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.”

Ruben L. via e-mail


     “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


     “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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