Zion in Winter

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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.”

Points to Ponder 2 by Richard Wooldridge

Richard Wooldridge     Richard has been the director of New Life since 1993. He started attending classes in 1975 and moved to Boulder City, Nevada from Dallas, Texas in 1977.
He worked closely with Vernon Howard and others in the running of New Life.
He actually lived at the building in Boulder City where he had many responsibilities. Vernon Howard was very tough on him in order to give him the greatest opportunity for discovering something higher. He is very grateful for the guidance he was given even though it was very difficult at times. The false self is not going to give up easily and it takes many years of hard work to begin to understand the deeper meanings of these teachings. But it’s all worth it for the pearl of great price.

  • From 2016 Spring Newsletter

         There is only one thing which is truly important in this life and that is the pursuit of Truth. But because we don’t know any better we go after all these other fanciful things that the world tells us are more important. Society says to us that living in this make-believe world will fulfill you. That’s like saying it’s better to imagine eating a succulent, juicy peach than it is to actually eat the peach. Somehow, making yourself believe an idea or thought about something is superior to experiencing the nourishment and sweetness of the real thing. It makes absolutely no sense but somehow we convince ourselves that it does. This is because we’re living in an unreal world and don’t know it.
         There’s nothing more exciting or rewarding than to get a taste of the real world but first we must see that there is nothing to be gained by living in illusory, deceptive daydreams. Vernon Howard puts it this way in the booklet, The Answer: “This is a basic rule of inner advancement: the error must be detected and dropped before the right reveals itself.”
         Here is a perfect example which is crucial for us to begin to see. Let’s say we invest money in the stock market. As some of you may know, the market is very unstable right now. We’re hoping that we made a good decision and that we invested our money wisely but perhaps we were a little greedy and put the money in a riskier stock. As a result, we have temporarily or maybe permanently lost a lot of money. Whose fault was it?
         Do you see something here? You are living in dreamland. You are hoping and counting on the return of your investment to make you feel good, to give you a false feeling of life, so that you can brag to your best friend that you invested this much money and tripled that amount. Look at me! Look how brilliant I am. I’m somebody. Now I can live on easy street. There are so many unconscious things going on which we do not see. I’m looking for the windfall to make me feel good about myself. Or if I lose the money, I can feel bad because things didn’t work out as planned or as I had hoped. Then I have an excuse or a justification to feel depressed and cranky. This is a common reaction but a very spiritually immature one.
         We have to start to see that as long as we want something outside of ourselves to make us feel good, to make us feel what we call happy, we are putting ourselves at the mercy of these outer events which can either go our way or not go our way. We will always be at the mercy of these false thrills which are always temporary. And they are always going to flip over to the opposite at some point as long as we live only for the rewards of this world. Hopefully, we’re looking for something more permanent.
         Vernon Howard explains in The Answer: “In your present state you really do not know what is valuable to you, what is truly best for you. Having false values — perhaps wanting lots of money or hoping for compliments — you gain a strange thrill by thinking about them in one way or another, including fantasy.”
         The only thing that will always be faithful and won’t betray us or let us down is Truth itself. Each of us must see this clearly for ourselves. I noticed something very interesting recently. I went into a restaurant to eat breakfast the Monday after the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl. Living in Colorado there are countless people who identify with and root for the Broncos. You would think that the patrons of the restaurant would be all excited and upbeat after the big win. That wasn’t the case. Almost everyone was depressed. Do you know why? There’s always going to be a let down after going along with the fictitious exhilaration of your team winning. It can only last so long before it will swing back over to the opposite. So whether the Broncos win or lose you’ll always be left with nothing. Substitute your favorite team or sport or activity or pastime in this example.
         A great aim is to become conscious of and to see the emptiness and isolation in all false excitements. Those people who could care less whether the Broncos win or lose aren’t affected one way or the other. They aren’t pulled this way or that way. They neither like nor dislike the Broncos, they simply aren’t involved. This is not a bad thing. The world wants you to be caught up in pulling for this side or that side so they can make billions off you. Do you really think that God cares how much money you or I have in our bank account or which team wins?
         The whole point is to use this Work to free ourselves from all pain, thus allowing something higher to enter us and to live for us. We’re beginning to give away the show and to reveal the trick that is being played on us. Don’t resist the realization that a gigantic hoax is in operation here.  How can tricksters and deceivers care about you? This world’s business is the business of deception. Isn’t it about time you and I stop falling for it? Isn’t it about time I stop making the same blunder over and over again?
         What Truth is trying to get us to understand is that as long as we depend on anything earthly to make us happy, we will not find happiness. “… Daydreams are worthless; they cannot make you feel happy or secure simply because there is no happiness or security or reality in them.” *
         I recently watched part of a political debate on TV. It’s that time again. And all the politicians did was to take potshots at one another, make promises they can’t keep, pretend like they know what they are talking about and tell people what they assume they want to hear. No matter who gets elected it isn’t going to change anything. There is no solution on the earthly level. But there is a heavenly solution for you and me as an individual. In 1500 Ways to Escape the Human Jungle, Vernon wrote, “Intelligence is rising when one sees that human solutions only increase the problem.”
         If we truly want to wake up and become an enlightened human being it is possible. But a tremendous amount of self-work is required on our part. There must develop in us a genuine love of cosmic facts. And we have to first see how much damage has been done before these truth principles can start to go to work for us.
         In the 30-page booklet, The Answer, Vernon Howard explains everything. Why things happen the way they do. What’s really going on with human beings and why they suffer. He gives the entire solution but almost no one will understand it because they unconsciously believe they already know. And that “knowing” leads them to argue with and snipe at the pure facts. And they don’t realize that the quote at the top of page 2 explains it all as well.
         Here’s a clue. If there is a right part in you and you truly want to understand something, the cosmic facts, these truths will begin to penetrate you. You will feel it. You will be genuinely excited about what you are reading or watching or listening to. Because something in you is corresponding with the Truth. You will stop analyzing, arguing, deducing, fearing, fighting, intellectualizing, interpreting, resisting, theorizing, trying to figure out and processing everything. You stop thinking about it. You will simply experience higher insight directly. It comes to you. You can’t go to it. It comes to you because you are out of the way. There’s absolutely no mistaking the feeling.
         “You will see how Light and darkness contend for possession of your life, and you will see that all you need to do is give your consent to the Light, after which it does for you what you could not do for yourself, that is, it will win for you.” *
         The Answer exists. It is the most astonishing and thrilling adventure any human being can ever undertake. I was recently conversing with a biped being who thinks and believes it is necessary to travel and explore this earth we live on in order to experience all life has to offer. And though this person acts on that belief, she is not happy. She’s traveled to tropical paradises, she’s been on ocean cruises, she’s been to all kinds of exotic places. “She’s been everywhere, man.”♪ But there’s still no lasting contentment there, only a nagging restlessness for the next so-called adventure. She has not gone on the inner exploration that is necessary to find true happiness. The Truth within is the only answer. See that!

    * The Answer

  • From 2015 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2015 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2014 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2014 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2013 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2013 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2012 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2012 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2011 Fall Newsletter

     “I believe that nothing in this life is accidental. I believe that the despair I have been feeling for 20 months didn’t stop me from having moral courage to address very wrong things related to 9/11. I believe I reached the lowest point of despair in my life by not knowing how to connect with or begin to deal with what was inside me. I believe that few on the outside have patience to understand how those who live here (NYC) are shattered by this. I believe that few of the well-intentioned people who come to counsel us have a clue of what’s in their own hearts. And I believe that providence led me to Vernon Howard’s words that provided me with the healing I need to carry on, when nothing and no one else could: ‘Good things come to those who refuse to be intimidated by their despair.’ This combination of words — and no other — was the semantic key that opened a door back to my heart.
   Thank you for keeping his words alive. I looked at his photographs and yes, you can see in his eyes and his face that he is the real thing.”

— Indira S. via e-mail

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