New Life Foundation
About New Life, About Vernon, Lessons, New Life News, FAQs & More
“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.”
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.
I recently watched part of a program entitled “Ireland’s Wild Coast.” In it there was a segment about the journey of wild salmon going from their birthing place in Connemara, County Galway out to the sea and the Atlantic Ocean and back again. It primarily chronicled their trek back to their birthplace. At a certain point while traveling the coastline, they pick up the scent of their homeland and have to wait for certain rains to come before they can start their excursion up the rivers and streams which come down from the mountains. They use tremendous bursts of energy and power to go against the downward flow of the water to reach calmer pools upstream. They even climb waterfalls along the way. Nothing stands in their way of achieving the ultimate goal of reaching their spawning grounds. Once their life cycle is completed they die, but they have fulfilled their purpose here on earth.
It was pretty amazing to watch and you could see that God has put into them the will, the determination to not let anything stand in their way of realizing their ultimate purpose. As I was watching this documentary, it occurred to me that most men and women never reach their spiritual home, never fulfill the real purpose of their lives here on earth. They get sidetracked and distracted by the pretty baubles or by the sickness and negativity of this world. The salmon, in contrast, never lose sight of or deviate from their life mission.
Vernon Howard tells us in A Treasury of Trueness, “The purpose of life is to outgrow your dependence on physical places, people and things and develop within you a source of higher power.” It is to arrive at the point where we actually see there’s real existence on this earth for each of us, right now. But because we take the unreal as the real, we are tricked and deceived by the charlatans of this world, both inside of us and outside of us. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a charlatan is a person who pretends to have skills or knowledge that the person does not actually have; showy pretenses of knowledge or ability.
Ponder this: If we had real existence there would be no fear of death. The fear is there because we are living a fake life. It is the imposter that is afraid of its extinction. The salmon don’t lament over the fact that they are going to die, they don’t even think about that. So why should we? In The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power, Vernon writes, “People wear a variety of masks, smiling masks, wise-appearing ones, excited ones, masks of worldly success, all in a frantic attempt to convince themselves and others that the act is real.”
If we were as determined as the salmon are to reach their spawning grounds don’t you think things would be different than they are now for you and me? If we truly had a higher aim in our lives, don’t you see that something else would begin to take care of and handle things for us? All these obstacles that seem so insurmountable would be as nothing. All problems would magically disappear. But we must begin to see through the hoax.
Man keeps making the same mistake over and over again. He keeps repeating himself. He thinks that if he makes the next big sale or another $10,000, that’s going to provide lasting security. If he takes another trip to that exotic vacation spot where the cool tropical breezes are gently blowing, where there are white sandy beaches, where the temperature is 78 degrees all year round and the ocean is azure blue, that’s going to make him happy. She believes that if the man of her dreams appears, even after twenty past failed relationships, that’s going to change life for the better and take away the awful ache. Your particular escape may not be so fanciful but everyone is still running away from something.
We unconsciously suffer from “the next syndrome.” We don’t see that the next isn’t going to do it for us. It will never work. Something exists though that can take away the pain, the heartache and suffering, the compulsive desires, the fear of what other people can do to you, the secret shames and guilts carried over from past follies and can put an end to the misery once and for all. It is reunion with God, with who we really are. We can begin to call the bluff on the gigantic hoax that has been played on us, the trick that keeps our attention on the temporary and not on the infinite.
Let’s examine a certain point. Everyone thinks they’re going somewhere and accomplishing something. That’s a lie, an illusion. We assume we’re capturing a moment in time, or satisfying a desire that will somehow fulfill us, or cementing our place in history. We believe we’re accumulating comforting memories, or gathering experiences, or leaving a permanent legacy. And somehow all of this accumulating will help us to reach some future heaven or nirvana. None of these things are real. They are only temporary and fleeting because they exist in time and memory only. There is absolutely nothing we can take with us when we leave this earthly life. We can only live in the present. The salmon doesn’t stop and think, “Well, what should I do next?” or “Let me stop what I’m doing and take a selfie and capture this big adventure I’m on for a keepsake.” The salmon does what it is intended to do. It does not live with a time nature.
Do you see that this is the trick that is being played on us? Society is trying to get us to believe in an illusion. In Chapter 1 of A Treasury of Trueness, Vernon Howard states, “Nothing is important in life except to be spiritually awake right now.” Awareness is the only thing which matters. Let’s use a different word, stillness. If the mind is quiet, there is awareness. I can then observe my thoughts. I don’t have to be worried about the next business deal I’m going to make because there is another unconscious thought telling me my life is being wasted, which then sets off another anxious thought, etc., etc.
I can see that while I’m waiting for the cook to finish my fried chicken club sandwich with Applewood smoked bacon on it, I can either quietly stand out of the way or go find a seat and relax. There is no compulsion to do anything but to sit still. I am then free to watch that man eating at a table with his wife and quickly raising his right arm and throwing a bite of food into his mouth from a short distance. Well, that’s odd, he doesn’t even know he did that. That lady behind the cash register is new at the job so she’s a bit nervous because she’s afraid she might make a mistake. It really isn’t necessary for her to be afraid but she doesn’t know that. A middle-aged man is also nervously waiting for some sandwiches as well. He doesn’t know what to do with himself while waiting, so his mind tells him he has to be nervous and fidgety. He’s very uncomfortable and that’s what he’s putting out into the atmosphere. A woman walks in the door very unnaturally. She’s also in a hurry. She has to get back to work or back to whatever she’s doing because she has told herself there isn’t enough time to do all the things she thinks she must do. She hastily grabs a couple of items to go and forcefully puts them on the counter to be checked out. Her aggressiveness is unnatural and unnecessary. She’s really afraid behind that mask of being in control.
All of this happened in a few minutes time. It goes on all day long with almost every human being on earth, including us, but no one is aware of it. If we want to get well we’re going to have to start seeing all these things.
There’s tremendous power and energy in beginning to unravel the mysteries of human life and seeing the truth about ourselves. There should be great enthusiasm as these things are being revealed to us. But it is essential that the negative impressions be purged from us. The salmon is being animated by God to do what it’s supposed to do. So, should we. All we have to do is to discover who we really are and all will be well.
Why can’t people get along? Because they’re living from preconceived ideas about themselves. They’re living from society’s conditioning. Conditioning that lives in time. Conditioning that lives in history. Right now, because of these preconceived ideas and that relentless conditioning, we are separated from God. What did Christ say? “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” What does that mean? It means that ideas about God and the qualities of God are not God. They are only ideas; they are just mental constructs that have a temporary life in time.
Vernon Howard told us, “All evil originates in the mind.” So, where does real goodness exist? It exists above the mind. It rests somewhere, within something, that is not of this world. Superior solutions come from heaven not from this earth. True goodness, real essence, lives in harmony. That’s its nature. It has no interest in fighting. It doesn’t even occur to it to fight.
Most people want to live in the illusion (a false idea or belief) or delusion (a false psychotic belief) that underneath it all, people are basically good. If we live from that premise we are going to get duped. We are going to get taken advantage of. We are going to get hurt. Why do you think we live in such a dangerous world? Why are there so many problems? Why do so many human beings get into arguments with each other? Why is there so much crime? Why do people prey upon one another?
I recently listened to a great talk from Vernon Howard’s Higher World series, Volume 14, Track 8 that explains everything. It starts out, “You must have no good but God” and the entire lecture goes on to address this topic in great detail. Vernon explains who the enemy is and how we’re being tricked. He says, “The fiends and liars try to tell you what is good,” but that we must not fall for their lies.
Vernon explains, “The world tells you, you must sacrifice yourself for the sake of the less fortunate, for the poor and the oppressed. They have their own little schemes, their own little plans to try and expand their own kingdom of hell within by trying to impose a sense of guilt on you and trying to get all the money and the cooperation, all they can get from you in order to continue with their sickness.”
Isn’t that fantastic? Amazingly, it reveals that there is so much more going on that we don’t see. It explains motives and why people behave the way they do. If we begin to truly ally ourselves, to put ourselves on the side of Goodness and to see the utter lostness of human beings, something of a higher nature can and will begin to comfort us and take care of us. There truly is God. It’s no longer just an idea or theory that deluded people argue about or deny.
The masses of humanity don’t really want peace and calm. They say they do but deep down they actually want chaos, discontent, problems and heartache. As long as a man or a woman remains on the level he or she is presently on, nothing changes. There will continue to be strife, angst, argument, interminable protests, rioting, murder, crime, wars and so on. By the way, there is no such thing as a nonviolent protest. We are going to have to make the ultimate sacrifice which is to give up our pain and suffering. If we honestly want something different, you and I can have it.
I recently watched a program on TV in which an interviewer went out amongst a couple hundred high school teenagers who were in the streets protesting. They had been encouraged and let out of school to do just that. It was in a major city in the U.S. The interviewer’s purpose was to see if they knew why they were protesting and if they actually were aware of any of the facts of the situation they were opposed to so ‘passionately’. The interviewer asked some very simple questions about current events. He purposely asked these questions to lead them in a certain direction so that he could follow up with a question that would determine if they knew why they were there and what they were talking about. The interviews were not an attempt to put them down or make fun of them, but to see if there was any understanding behind the protesters’ behavior. Out of the two dozen or so young students interviewed, not one of them really knew anything about the issues or why they were protesting. They gave incorrect answers to all of the simple current events questions as well. The host of the show observed that to the teenaged students, what the protest offered was a chance to get out of school and to be part of a social event.
I must ask at this point. How many of you reading this article would still like to get out of school? Get off work and go play?
On another show, a program’s host interviewed some adults who were involved in a big protest also taking place in a large American city. The so-called grown-ups didn’t know any more than the high school students. They could articulate some things a little better but were a lot more negative and vile than the young students. When people scream out obscenities they are just plain wrong. God is not vulgar. Isn’t that nice to know? Isn’t it a relief to know that the Higher Power has nothing to do with crudeness and indecency?
In Secrets for Higher Success, Vernon Howard writes, “Have you ever wondered why human beings are angry so much? It is because anger provides a false feeling of life. Along with other negative emotions, anger supplies a fiery feeling of aliveness, of agitation, of having strong individuality. But to take this imitation life for true life is the great blunder of mankind.”
It all boils down to whether we truly want an answer, the real solution, or do we prefer the phony substitutes of this world? Do we really want happiness or do we prefer our pain and suffering? There is only one thing you can take with you when you leave this world. That is Truth. You can’t take money. You can’t take your earthly belongings. You can’t take your family or your friends. You can’t take your experiences. You can’t take your memories. You can’t take your emotions. You can’t take your fear. You can’t take your physical body. You can’t even take what you call ‘you’ with you. Nothing of this world can go with you. This is the reality of our situation here on earth.
Have you ever pondered any of this? What sense does it make to hang onto your negative states when you can give up all the negativity to have something which feels ten million times better? The problem is we choose to stay in illusion, to continue to live in a substitute unreality. We fail to recognize how unaware we are. We fail to see the bitterness. We fail to see how we’re bluffing our way through life and pretending we’ve got it all together. If someone asks you what you think of some issue facing the country you live in, will you express a strong opinion or make a joke about it in order to cover up the fact that you don’t really know what the practical solution is?
What is wrong with simply saying, “I don’t know the answer”? This opens the door for something else to come in and supply the true solution. It’s hard on the ego and vanity to say, “I don’t know.” Someone who’s ‘somebody’ in this world or has a ‘position of authority’ in the community or is a successful businessman known by everyone in town doesn’t want to appear not to have all the answers. They live from an image that everyone looks up to them and that they’d better act as if they know what they’re doing.
Here’s a powerful clue. On DVD 36, in the first video called Teachings, Vernon Howard implores us to see that there is only one solution and that is a spiritual solution. Bringing peace to the world is a spiritual problem. The cure for inflation is a spiritual problem. Saving energy is a spiritual problem. Making people happy is a spiritual problem. The only solution is a spiritual solution.
We can have something entirely new and different while we’re still here in a physical body on this earth. We can experience and feel the Power of Truth for ourselves and know the relief of not being the anxious and fearful ‘me’ anymore. Happiness, contentment, Goodness, peace of mind, well-being exist.
If we put ourselves in the right position internally, Truth will explain everything to us. If we’ll get ourselves out of the way, genuine help will come to our rescue. So, it would behoove us to investigate and seek the higher answer.
Vernon Howard once told us that we were born at this particular time in history to see the changes. It’s not an accident or happenstance that we are living on this planet in these specific times. And if there is any kind of a truth spark in an individual, he or she will come into contact with a true teaching. But most will miss it, ignore it, hate it, fear it, mock it, attack it, deny it or simply fall by the wayside. People get easily distracted and deceived by the lures, false rewards and charlatans of this world. Power, money, sex, being ‘somebody’, falling in love with the false feeling of self and all that that entails, occupy the lives of almost everyone. They even get a false thrill by falling into despair over their inability to cope with the madness or by simply getting negative in any way at all. Somehow I ‘think’ that tells me who I am or proves that ‘I’ exist. How shallow can we be?
We were put here to learn, to evolve, go beyond, rise above, transcend, conquer the weakness, the fear, the annoyance, the anger, the confusion or whatever the haunting state or problem might be. The world wants you to believe there’s nothing that can be done, but at the same time constantly offers pointless human solutions at every turn. The Good News is that the Truth exists and there is something above the madness and insanity of this world and the world inside us. It doesn’t matter if no one else on the earth wants it as long as we are willing to do what it takes to understand these things. God exists! The Answer exists!
Within the past 6 months I had a pain in my lower back which wouldn’t go away. Maybe 5 times in my life my back hurt for a short time. So after a month of enduring the pain I decided something had to be done but I wasn’t sure what to do. I went to get a haircut one day and the barber noticed I was favoring my back and suggested I go see a particular chiropractor who she said was excellent and had helped her. So I gave them a call and made an appointment. They did an X-Ray and used some other instruments and discovered the problem.
The diagnosis was subluxation. Subluxation — a pattern of misalignment or malfunction of a spinal joint that is less than a dislocation producing nerve interference. In other words, over time the human body starts to break down and parts and pieces begin to malfunction from wear and tear, accidents, bad posture, etc. But luckily my problem isn’t too serious and can be corrected with treatment, adjustments and realignment. One of the most interesting things I learned was with proper care, certain parts of the back will heal themselves if put back into proper alignment.
So after 3 adjustments the pain all but went away. But there’s still a lot of work to be done so that things can get back to normal. I have gained more flexibility and mobility already for someone my age. All my physical problems in this case were caused by an imbalance and interference in the nervous system between the brain and other parts of the body which resulted in physical pain. The same is true with our psychic system. The reason we suffer psychologically is because we’re imbalanced and there is something interfering with messages from Heaven which are being sent down to help us all the time. We are getting in our own way.
In this case it is the mind which is interfering. We need to let the cosmic doctor adjust our thinking so that we can begin to hear the cosmic messages. Vernon Howard put it this way, “We must not do with the mind what must be done with the spirit.” We are obsessed with negative thinking, which we don’t see as dark and hurtful, and our mind and this world do nothing but reinforce the wrong thinking patterns. We have a very bad habit, which is to try and think our way through life. It will never work. It will only lead to more problems, difficulties, heartaches and pain.
You would think we would want to get well, but unfortunately the fact of the matter is we don’t want to get well. We are addicted to negativity and neurosis. We love the pain and suffering. We love the confrontations and arguments we have with other people. We love the rejection. All of these things we take as being normal, as being human. We live and almost everyone on the planet lives on a very low level. People don’t really want to get along. They outwardly say they do but inwardly they love the chaos, the struggle. This is why human beings keep killing one another. This is why the world is so dangerous and violent and this is why nothing will ever change unless you change as an individual. The world is never going to be any different but you can be. None of this is disheartening or negative in any way. This is what is. See it!
I have to want to get well. I have to make the appointment to go see the Cosmic Doctor or Cosmic Chiropractor. And then I must follow the doctor’s instructions. Had I not gone to the chiropractor, listened to the diagnosis and agreed to the treatment, I would still be suffering from very bad back pain. I recently went to the dentist which brought up another example of the same principle. The dentist can’t force you to take proper care of your teeth. He can’t brush for you or floss for you to make sure food particles don’t stay between the teeth and eventually cause cavities. It’s costly, painful and time-consuming to have a cavity filled, so to avoid the problem in the first place, isn’t it practical and sensible to follow the dentist’s recommendations?
I’ve been told what the problem is. Here is something I recently came across from a class note I had taken from a talk given April 1, 1989 and it reads, “Your obsession is with thinking about other people.” The problem is my incessant thinking about everything. The mind won’t leave me alone. It won’t shut up. I now have to take what I’ve been given and see the damage that is done every time I blow up, every time I get flustered, every time I unconsciously blab just to hear myself talk or give out unwanted advice. See it clearly and begin to develop a distaste for the negativity.
The next time that politician lies or makes that inane statement I’m not going to react or get upset like I’ve done 10,000 times before. Or when that so-called friend makes that monumentally stupid remark in a public setting and somehow in my mind I think it reflects upon me. I worry that maybe others will think that I’m as stupid as he or she is because I associate with them. I’m the one who made the choice to believe I need that person in my life. Or maybe when it seems like the whole world is against me, I’m going to vow not to get mad or break down. I’m going to do something different with God’s help. I’m going to get myself out of the way and let something else handle it for me. I’m going to start to practice self-correction and eliminate self-deception as Vernon has instructed us to do so many times.
You and I have a choice. I can choose to remain the way I am or I can start to turn the tables on the dark spirit which has been interfering and ruining my life for all these years. I can begin to see that everything starts with me and my unconscious thinking. In the book, Cosmic Command, Vernon Howard says, “We resist being hoaxed by others, but eagerly invite hoaxes perpetrated by our own muddled minds.” The thing that has been pinching that nerve in my back can go away. I actually have the power, the ability to begin to turn things around.
The human body is an incredible creation. But even more incredible is that something actually exists that created the human body. That same entity is still alive and well in the universe right now, contrary to what you or anyone else may say or THINK. It is a wonderful day when you hear the voice of Truth and begin to see and feel for yourself that something actually exists above the human madness.
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!
I was watching the Evening News recently and there were two news anchors reporting on a story regarding a study being done at a big university to determine if the aging process of human beings can be reversed. According to the report the process that these researchers had come up with looked promising. Both newscasters were past their prime shall we say and had a personal interest in the study. One had been a beauty queen when she was younger and the other, a man, was very successful in the world along with being slightly vain and egotistical. Watching him I was reminded that “Your egotism is costing you eternal life.”1
He commented somewhat excitedly to the woman that this might be something that could possibly turn things around for them (as they got older). But then the thought came to him that even if the project were successful it would probably be 30 years down the road before any remedy or treatment to reverse aging might become available. With that realization his shoulders slumped and the tone of his voice changed to one of depression. So on to the next news story on the teleprompter. The show must go on.
If we live for this world there will always be disappointment. It can never fulfill our true needs or solve society’s problems. With its subtle threats and sly promises, this world will always leave us in the lurch, empty-handed. But that doesn’t have to be the case for you and me. We can have something entirely different. These principles are the perfect proof that there is Something Else. But we’re going to have to work much, much harder at breaking the iron grip of the false nature. This requires a tremendous effort on our part. “You’re on this earth to work. Go to work!”2
We receive e-mails all the time from people who ask questions about different topics. “What did Vernon Howard have to say about this?” There are two things that I see about the questions. 1) The question askers haven’t really studied or applied Vernon Howard principles very closely because the answer to any and all questions that a human being can ask is contained in the books and talks. It’s going to require some persistent effort on your part, a sincere wish to want to understand these explanations. An inquiry based on passing or idle curiosity will never be rewarded with the genuine answer. 2) A huge leap must be made by an individual because he or she must begin to go beyond the intellect. As long as all the facts, knowledge and information remain on the mental level nothing will ever be any different and there will be no real change. You will just keep going around and around in the circle of self. You will not make the necessary connections to take you to a higher place inside yourself. The ego is very clever in convincing you that just because you know the words you actually understand, when in reality you don’t. Somehow you are going to have to allow something to show you that another world exists beyond the mind.
Recently I was watching part of one of the new Blu-rays and Vernon was explaining how human beings are born into smugness and conceit. We must grasp the fact that we’re born undeveloped and must be shocked that we’ve mistaken this very limited condition for the height of intelligence. We must see and feel this restriction very clearly for ourselves because all this world cares about is developing the mind. It cares nothing for developing essence. In fact the evil that runs this planet wants to destroy essence. It hates essence. It hates the truth. “It is the dedicated duty of every lost human being to keep you as lost as he is.”3
We fail to see that until we awaken from spiritual sleep, we’re living in darkness and are co-conspirators with the wrongness of this world. We fail to see how beneficial these teachings are. We don’t truly realize who and what Vernon Howard represented. You may get a sensing or a taste every once in awhile but we were told that this is the greatest teaching ever given to mankind. Vernon put it this way to give us a clue, “So our lesson now is to come awake and see; to partake of the wholeness of life and it will come to us the next time we partake of and let the whole experience go through us.” We simply don’t understand that if we were to put ourselves on the side of God and Truth, we would be given everything. Our problems and confusions would disappear forever.
Here’s an example of something that someone recently asked which brings to light the limitation of thinking. “Did Vernon Howard talk about bullying anywhere?” The simple answer is, ‘Yes.’ Everything that Vernon Howard ever talked about, explained, discussed, answered, elucidated and expounded upon was and is about the human condition on this earth. Let’s go into this a bit further. Human beings have been picking on other human beings for as long as they have existed on this planet. This is not some new condition.
What do you think wars are all about? It’s one group of people trying to force/impose their ideas, their beliefs, their will onto another group of people. Millions of lives have been sacrificed in the name of a cause. All of the thousands of wars man has engaged in over the centuries have been ‘justified’ in the name of a cause. How many billions of people have been murdered since man has been on this earth? Is that not bullying? On the human level nothing can ever change for the better. To put it bluntly, “It ain’t gonna happen.” Implementing more and more laws certainly isn’t the solution. Only when man develops a conscience, grows spiritually, changes his nature will anything ever evolve rightly.
Vernon Howard talked about the human condition and what people are really like and what they really value all throughout his lectures. He wrote 50 Ways to Escape Cruel People, 50 Ways to See Thru People, Conquer Harmful Anger 100 Ways, Expose Human Sharks 100 Ways, Live Above This Crazy World and many more. He explained man’s problem and what he can do about it. But almost no one hears the message even though it is as clear as a bell. I recently heard the beginning of a talk on one of the new Blu-rays in which Vernon goes into man’s favorite pastime. Guess what it is? Complaining. Most humans would rather complain than truly seek the answer.
All negative states are the same. Complaining is the same as bullying. Getting frustrated is the same as being afraid. Being confused about anything is the same as abdicating responsibility. We’re going to have to connect the dots. Do you see how you’re hoping someone else will do it for you? Do you see that whatever happens, it’s always someone else’s fault? All these things are unconscious to us. “You still want something from man instead of everything from God.”4
The answer to all questions or problems is a spiritual one. Only when man develops a divine nature will anything be truly different. “Most men [and women] have a character that is only one inch deep.”5 For instance, have you ever tried to honestly point out a flaw in another human being, not because it made you feel powerful but because they could be helped by knowing about it? What was their reaction? Were they grateful that you told them or did they do the common thing which is to react negatively, get defensive, hate you or all of the above?
Here’s one reason why the classes we attend on a regular basis are so valuable. Room for spontaneity is allowed. We have a mix of people who personally studied under Vernon Howard and new people who have come to the class since Vernon’s passing. You never know when someone will remember a specific lesson or instruction that was given by Vernon and will bring it up. I personally light up and listen intently. I want to hear what the lesson was so that if taken to heart, it can be applied in my life. By being open to something new, your true nature can perk up. Be eternally grateful for being given this opportunity rather than being an ungrateful, egotistical dolt.
I’ll leave you with a valuable lesson I saw on another Blu-ray talk. We were instructed to be relaxed and attentive. This alone can lead us all the way out.
1 – 5 A Treasury of Trueness 1 #690, 2 #317, 3 #963, 4 #975, 5 #130.
I have a favorite restaurant where I like to eat breakfast. I was there one morning recently and the place where I was sitting gave me a good vantage point to observe people. A man finished dining, paid for his meal and then proceeded to walk out the door and because he wasn’t paying attention, he stepped on a patch of ice, slipped and almost fell down. He could have seriously injured himself but there was a post nearby that he was able to catch himself on so that he did not fall.
I saw the whole incident, including his reaction, from where I was sitting. From his facial expression, I saw clearly that one of the first things that flashed through him was anger. He then wanted to let somebody else have it. He wanted to blame someone. Of course in his mind it had nothing to do with him, his sleep state. He was lost in thought about something. He was thinking about the job he was headed to, what he was going to do, what he had just finished talking about with the group he was dining with. He was distracted. He wasn’t watching where he was going.
Do you see the problem? Do you see who the enemy is? It’s me, it’s you. We’re always thinking about something. We fail to see how deeply lost we are. How lost all of humanity is. That man is you, that man is me. We get taken over; we are constantly taking detours in our minds. Something doesn’t go our way. Life throws us a curve ball. So what do we do? We get mad. We’re just looking for an excuse to blow up. This is the actual state of human beings.
Do you know another amazing thing about this incident? It all happened in a matter of seconds. The mind and the emotions are incredibly quick. But if we work hard we can begin to catch these lightning fast reactions so that we don’t keep suffering from them. Something else we don’t see is that these are learned behaviors picked up over the years from watching other sleeping human beings. So that means the harm that was done can be undone.
In There Is a Way Out in a section entitled Opinions and Facts, Vernon Howard says, “You mistake opinions for facts without realizing you are doing so. The only way to obtain liberating facts is to first drop enslaving opinions.” Thinking gets in the way of seeing. So we’re constantly putting ourselves in danger by being mental instead of being aware. It isn’t necessary to think your way through life but most people believe there is no alternative.
Truth is trying to cure us of this insidious malady. We have to begin to sense how damaging living in foggy land is. Unawareness, self-obsession, self-absorption, “it’s all about me” syndrome, are the enemy. The sleeping nature is so obsessed with its own thoughts, feelings, problems etc. that beneath the surface niceties, it considers nothing outside of itself to have much reality or importance. Notice how this attitude rules the world and how it creates nothing but misery and grief for everyone.
In Conquer Harmful Anger 100 Ways, page 18, Vernon tells us, “All anger is unconscious. You cannot be angry and be inwardly awake at the same time, which means you are angry because you are asleep.” All the man at the restaurant had to do was be aware. To notice where he was walking. If he hadn’t been wandering around in the haunted house of thought, he would have seen there was a patch of ice on the sidewalk outside and would have simply avoided it. This isn’t just a little thing. It’s representative of how almost every person on earth lives and suffers from their sleep state thousands of times a day. If we want to escape this drudgery, we have to stop thinking when it isn’t necessary. But unfortunately, this reality is almost impossible for the average human being to grasp. The answer lies in seeing our lostness.
Now the next time you do something stupid watch what happens to you. Of course we never do anything dumb! I am a perfect human being who never does anything wrong. I have never been antagonistic. I never get upset. I’m easy to get along with. I’m just the most wonderful person you could ever meet. Right?
Someone brought up in a recent class that they heard Vernon say in a talk (MP3 CD, Volume 11, Talk 25), “Someday you’ll be sorry for everyone who ever met you.” Now be completely honest with yourself and quietly reflect on that statement of fact. It’s very sobering, to say the least. It says volumes about what people are really like, doesn’t it?
Here’s another example of human sleep I have personally observed and seen for myself. Have you ever noticed when you go to a restaurant how people finish dining and in order to get up from the table they have to push their chair out? They then proceed to leave the chair blocking the walkway. Observe how this makes it difficult for the waitress to get by carrying plates of food or a carafe of hot coffee. Customers have difficulty walking by. Do you see how unawareness is inconsiderate? When the world revolves around me the result is always going to be negative and a problem for everyone else that comes along.
One thing out of thousands of lessons we were given by Vernon was to try to consciously put yourself in the other person’s place. Get outside of yourself. This not only is a lesson in simple awareness but it requires a little effort on my part to do the right thing. Is it right or wrong to leave the chair out blocking the aisle? Who put it there? It’s not someone else’s responsibility. It’s plain good manners to push the chair in. Most people aren’t even aware that they left the chair sitting out. Most people don’t even consider the consequences and the effects their actions have on others.
And here’s a little side point. If you examine a little more closely you will also see that they unconsciously did it on purpose. There’s tons of hidden hostility in not being aware. If you and I can’t do the simple things, like pushing the chair in when you get up from the table, you will never be given anything higher. This is extremely important to understand. If we don’t have ordinary good manners in everyday life we are not a candidate for higher spiritual lessons.
You do it because it’s the right thing to do. You don’t do it in order to be seen of men, so you can say “Look how thoughtful and considerate I am.” We simply do it. There’s no ulterior motive involved. Do you see it’s a choice we make whether to be aware or unaware? It requires no effort to stay as we are, which is in a state of psychic oblivion. We refuse to see things as they are. We choose to remain unaware, inconsiderate, lost, unconscious and dupes of this evil world.
If people want to believe or think otherwise that’s angry humanity’s prerogative but they will stay sad and disheartened trying to convince themselves they are happy and content. Also in Conquer Harmful Anger 100 Ways, Vernon gives some Q & A’s in the early part of the booklet with an explanation of evil and our sleep state. “Q: What is evil? A: Evil is a self-worship that refuses development from a mental man to a spiritual man.”
How great is that? We should be thrilled to hear a marvelous truth like that! It explains so much but now we have to take it in, we have to see it and feel it to benefit from the freeing message. The deeper we go into these things along with the wish to understand them we will see more and more how people get what they ask for. Our level attracts to us our actual nature. The experiences that come to us, the problems we have, the trouble we find ourselves in, the confusions and our inability to understand why things happen to us and to the world are all the result of what we really are. Not what we think or believe we are.
All right, here’s the solution. Here’s what we must do. We have to stop making excuses. We can no longer keep saying we’re a victim of circumstances or of our environment or whatever else the commonplace phrase is that’s recited to justify our wrong/bad behavior. Nor can we say, “I’m only human.” How many times have you heard someone say that? This is an excuse. This is laziness. It has to end. Once finding these teachings you no longer have an excuse for anything nor do we need one. It’s time to grow up.
Here’s a great exercise to begin to use right now as you’re reading this. Come awake. As Vernon Howard put it, “Look up and around. Become aware of yourself and your surroundings. Don’t think, just quietly observe.” This is the best advice any human being can ever be given. This is the answer to all problems and difficulties. But we must want to understand. We must have a sincere wish to get it. It’s time to go to work!
We recently held New Life’s July banquet in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. We have spoken about the banquets in the past and when Vernon Howard was alive we used to have them once a month. They are a highly intensified, usually 3-day event where we hold classes each day over a weekend. The banquet day itself requires a tremendous amount of effort as it normally lasts around 8 hours from start to finish. For some it can be as much as 12 hours depending on how much they put into it. This doesn’t include all of the time, energy and money that is involved for an individual, especially if they travel from somewhere else to attend the event. But it’s all worth it.
So why would Vernon Howard put so much emphasis on these banquets? There are many reasons but to try and simplify it, it’s about taking time away from your worldly life so that you can get a taste of a different world. We obviously offer the class, which is spiritual food, as well as provide physical food that gives nourishment to the body, and have entertainment along with physical movement when we dance. Banquets are designed to be well rounded and balanced. Everything is structured to give a human being the opportunity to experience something natural and higher. It is nourishment for your essence not for your ego or as it is referred to in these teachings, the false self. There is nothing contrived or artificial or worldly about it. All this world can do is to give you a quick thrill, which does nothing but lead you away from The Truth and leave you with an emptiness after it’s all over with. And then you have to go and do it all over again.
The local Chamber of Commerce has to constantly come up with new events to sponsor to give people something to do with themselves. Somehow you have come to believe it’s the world’s job to entertain you so you won’t have to face your own emptiness. You’re caught in a tiring circle where you have to work like crazy to earn enough money to pay the bills and to have enough money to pay for all the things you want to do and all the things the world says you have to do or buy in order to be happy. And then there are those events you feel obligated to attend because they are a ‘once in a lifetime experience’. How many times have you fallen for that trap and then later regretted it or discovered it really didn’t fulfill the craving you had to do it in the first place? Society is giving you an escape route that is placing you further and further away from the protection of God rather than leading you toward self-facing, to see what you are really like so that you can eventually discover true contentment.
It’s high time we put ourselves in a position where we can begin to actually feel and experience a higher energy. It does exist. It is a spiritual consciousness; an advanced state of being that is far above the level of the ordinary mind. It’s a taste of real fulfillment that is very different from ordinary life. It is fresh, alive, truly exciting and can help us deal with anything without the mundaneness and fear and worry of doing or saying the wrong thing. But we are going to have to want it more than we want the mere appearance of being a confident, content, happy human being.
A conscious man is 100% in charge of himself. He has conquered any and all negativity. He consciously has power over his intellect; it does not dictate to him anymore. He rules over his thoughts. He commands his emotions, instead of his emotions telling him how to feel. He has authority over his body. He has control over his sex center, so his desires no longer tell him what to do. He has control over his own destiny instead of circumstances dictating the outcome of events. An awakened man is in charge of everything because he is in touch with reality and no longer lives from fanciful imagination. He is no longer gullible. He has discovered the way out and now lives from something above this world that is without strife and strain.
The banquets put us in a position to receive this higher energy so that we can begin to take charge of our lives. The healing atmosphere gives us a special opportunity to receive something that is not from this world. The classes and the banquets are here to heal not to hurt. But to many people it doesn’t appear that way on the surface. I’ve observed some things about the banquets over the years. People come and they are so used to feeling the negative vibrations of this world and listening to what their minds are telling them that they run away from the very thing which could change everything. Their egos feel threatened and so they do the only thing they can do which is to hate the truth. Their allegiance is to darkness and frivolousness. So they run away back to the world from which they came.
I recently was in a conversation with another person and while he were speaking I was watching him carefully. We are instructed by truth to study ourselves and to study others. While the person was talking I clearly saw that a mechanical force was in charge. There was no consciousness there as he repeated something he had said a million times. And because there was no awareness and no higher state of being, the expression of the way in which he had lived his life became visible. Pursuing only the rewards of this world while neglecting the real purpose here on this earth, which is to seek truth and understand human nature, he was left with himself. It was a summation of what he is really like deep down inside. This is true of all of us but in this case what I saw was defeat and depression. After all the things he had done and all the accomplishments he had attained he was left with nothing. That’s who he is, not what he says he is or what the world says he is.
I saw the same principle in action with someone who was recently cutting my hair. She came into the shop in a negative state but had absolutely no awareness she was in a contrary state. The average person can function in this world, make a living, be married and have children, go to church, accumulate memories, see the sights, etc., etc. but their lives are a mess and they haven’t a bit of perception about any of it. They’ll defend themselves till the end. And even though they have trouble pretending things are all right, they keep on trying to convince themselves that everything will turn out OK. Everyone is asleep. No one is happy. It’s all show. The contrast between the average human being and an awakened man or woman is startling because they are not pained and tormented like that.
At a certain point, when I was speaking at the recent Pagosa banquet, a spontaneous question came to me to ask the audience and it led to a very humorous and light moment. I asked how many people had been divorced. To my astonishment and amazement, about 75% of the audience raised their hands. It didn’t say much for human intelligence and the choices we make especially when we are young. But it was great because one of the requirements of coming to a truth class is self-honesty. We no longer have to pretend.
All the pain and suffering can end. All the pretense can be dropped. We can truly live a life free from all the nonsense. All the bad memories and bad experiences can be transcended including the pain and regret left by that divorce or any other awful experience that we have gone through. All we have to do is stop pretending everything is OK when it is not. See things as they actually are. See the human predicament and want nothing more to do with it. As Vernon Howard said on a number of occasions, “All Is Well!” We must work intensely to see and feel that for ourselves.
An awakened man is extremely rare. They do not appear or evolve on this earth very often. Human beings are not born awake. Christ was not born awake. Vernon Howard was not born awake. They simply went through many trials, worked very hard and took advantage of the opportunity to transform themselves into what they were put here on this earth to become in the first place. In reference to his own waking up process, Vernon once said, “I fought with God until He won.”
Don’t be fooled by all the charlatans who write books to make money and to be seen by others as enlightened humans. Never under any circumstance does Truth combine get rich quick and famous schemes with its teachings. Its sole purpose is to point you and me in the right direction so we can uncover the hidden treasure within. In 700 Inspiring Guides to a New Life, Vernon states, “How gullibly people trust the words of others, rarely bringing their own intelligence into the situation.”
I recently was watching a longtime anchorwoman for one of the local Denver News channels. She was on assignment in another city reporting on an event. This particular evening she was outside in the elements and it was very windy. She had a notepad in her hands with notes to help her remember what she was going to say while on the air, but it was so windy that it was impossible for her to refer to them. So she completely lost her place and blanked out on the report she was going to give. The fact was she was at a total loss as to what to say or do and became completely flustered by the situation. She was so used to reading a teleprompter that she didn’t know what to do without it.
We also possess a script provided by society. We’re supposed to unquestioningly follow this life script but it never works out. Why? Because we’re not living from our original nature, our essence, what God intended for us. We have to learn to speak and to live from the natural self, from who we really are. Not the trained, perfectly coiffed person. Like that reporter, we don’t know what to do when the props are pulled out from under us. These principles will help you learn how to handle unexpected events that come up in your life journey. You won’t be thrown off balance because you’ll know exactly what to do or not do in all circumstances.
The reason I bring this up is that I am beginning to see that it is nearly impossible for an awakened man to get through to sleeping humanity. Most human beings are so rigidly constrained within their minds, there’s little to no chance of getting through to them. They are entrenched in their beliefs and ideas/imaginations and if someone comes along and tries to tell them of another way, they feel threatened and lash out. They prefer the glittery baubles of this world to a life of quiet happiness and contentment. In a section from 700 Inspiring Guides to a New Life entitled The Foundations of Real Happiness, it is stated, “Human beings have great difficulty in seeing the lack of private merit in public ceremony. This is because they love ceremony more than merit.”
You must want to see things as they actually, factually are. Most go after what the world offers, artificial substitutions for truth. Providing false stimulation, these pseudo answers produce only more pain and suffering and eventually lead to tragedy. Well, isn’t it tragic that most people never claim their spiritual freedom but continue to live in chains? Substitute solutions always flip over to the opposite because they are of this world. Understand right now that this world will never get better or be any different. It will always remain as it is because that’s its nature. The mass of humanity as a whole cannot evolve. But you as an individual can change.
The direction this world is taking is becoming more and more apparent. I saw a figure last night on the national news. There are 700,000 heroin addicts in the U.S. right now. This is only one drug. This doesn’t include all the other drugs that are available as well as all of the patients on prescription drugs with their awful side effects. Now let me ask you, is this a good thing? Here’s something else. Do you worry? Yes you do. There is apprehension about your financial situation. There are concerns about your health. You have family issues. Your marriage is on the rocks. Your children are driving you crazy. That other person is a pain in the neck. The boss is an idiot. What is it?
Let’s see if we can understand something more deeply. In The Answer, Letter Five, Vernon Howard states, “You live and think and act on the level of the earth, and earthly minds have no way of comprehending celestial truths.” The mind is a roadblock. It is constantly interfering with our ability to take in higher impressions. Perhaps there is a little right part which is trying to guide us toward a true teaching but so many things are getting in the way, not the least of which is the intellect. The mind is only a tool. It is NOT the whole.
If you play the ‘game of life’, you’ll be punished and rewarded in equal measure. The game is rigged and only by turning your back on the lures of this world will the celestial truths be able to come to your rescue. God does not exist as a thought but resides in a reality above all human thought.
The mind was only intended to perform the mechanical functions of daily living. Even that is sometimes too much to ask of the ordinary human being. The way the mind works severely limits us and that’s why when things don’t go the way we plan, we react and get angry. We get negative rather than remaining calm. We simply do not see how deeply hypnotized everyone is.
We also fail to see how entrenched we are in memories, religious conditioning, learned behavior, familial traits, etc. When living from these, everything else, including the bigger picture, is excluded. There’s no awareness there. It’s like being in a dense coastal fog where you are able to see only a few feet in front of you. We’re blinded by memorized knowledge, by our feelings toward someone else, by our own self-pictures of being kindly and generous and by hundreds of other traps. There is another world that exists outside of the mind where clarity, insight and understanding reside. Where you can view things differently and go through life without all of these problems. In Freedom from a Life of Hell, Vernon explains in a section called Healthy Light, “You break out of hell by breaking out of your habitual mind.”
I was watching a video clip on the Internet recently. It had to do with someone investigating the life of a famous person who teaches people how to write plots for screenplays. He’s very successful at what he does and he’s a self-professed atheist who explained to the young reporter how he arrived at the conclusion that God doesn’t exist. It was fascinating to study him because at a certain point you could see clearly and exactly where he had gone wrong. His worship of the human mind had led him to the conclusion that nothing else, nothing higher has any right to exist. In the stale and stifling intellectual world where every theory has its opposite, there can be no cognizance of the fact that we have been given the ability to rise above and yes, to actually live above the opposites.
Let’s get practical. When we stop taking ourselves so seriously, and there’s a little less of you or me, we’re not as easily offended anymore. You know from yourself that you are onto something. You know that by the grace of God you’ve been given something purposeful to do with your life. We received a phone call recently from a man who had never heard of Vernon Howard before. He came across a Vernon video and was rightly thrilled and genuinely excited and wanted to know more. We’ll see if the spark, if the perception of a very special human being and a very special teaching, goes beyond recognition to acceptance. It all depends on how badly we want it and how much we love what we’re hearing.
What we’re trying to discover is the extraordinary. Here’s a clue from Vernon Howard, “Both knowledge and inspiration are needed to make a whole human being.” This is the most exciting adventure anyone can undertake. It breathes real life and genuine enthusiasm into you. It gives you something really worthwhile to do with yourself. It explains everything. It infuses you with an energy that is not forced or contrived. It doesn’t flip over to the opposite because it is not of this earth. It’s the only true solution.
We must never put someone up on a pedestal, worship, idolize, venerate or adore anyone. This kind of idolatry interferes with spiritual growth and creates a roadblock to individual freedom. It prevents us from seeing things as they really are.
If we were to examine more closely the human tendency to glorify others, we would begin to understand that this mindset puts us in a position of compromise. We are saying that someone else knows more than we do. We are also abdicating our responsibility toward ourselves and toward our God-given right to live with true self-command. This awe of other human beings sets us up for experiencing not only the torment of jealousy and envy but also grave disappointment and bitterness when we realize our idol has “feet of clay.”
We must begin to see for ourselves that when we live only within the walls of the intellect we are part of the limited world of opposites. For every exhilarating feeling we experience, we must also swing over to the opposite gloomy feeling. So we’re forever trapped in a time warp. We will just keep making the same mistakes again and again until we start to see beyond any shadow of a doubt that a higher world exists above the mind. In Psycho-Pictography, Vernon Howard puts it this way, “Tranquility arrives as we lose our negativities.”
All of these things we are talking about must become a reality for you. They must be taken out into the world and used in every personal daily experience so that they can prove their accuracy to you. I recently received a jury summons. The court supplies a phone number to call the day before the impending date you are required to be there. So a part of me was hoping I would call and get a recorded message saying the case had been settled out of court. It didn’t happen that way and I was required to report for duty the next day.
Something in me knew I would have to work very hard to try to stay above the level of the setting I was about to enter. As you know we have a free quote service that you can sign up for in order to receive a Vernon Howard quote in your e-mail inbox every morning. This particular morning the quote could not have been more appropriate. It was from 1500 Ways to Escape the Human Jungle and it read, “Each time a man excuses weakness in himself he lowers the quality of life in the entire world.”
So my work project was to apply that particular truth to every aspect of the jury experience. I had also vowed to myself that I was going to work harder than I’ve ever worked before in my life. It turns out I needed that and more. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do because the whole atmosphere was extremely oppressive. Over one hundred prospective jurors were crammed into a courtroom with a maximum capacity fire rating for just 70 people and from the beginning, it was apparent that no one wanted to be there including the judge.
It turned out that the jury selection process took more than one day. So I had to return for a second whole day. That night I purposely picked up 50 Ways to Get Help from God. I opened the booklet up to page 29 and found another gem waiting for me to take with me into battle the following day. Number 37 starts off, “Don’t be impressed by leaders of society. Don’t be in awe of anyone. No one created himself. A man walks across the room with energy supplied by God, not by himself. This is why you need not fear anyone or anything, including your own weakness.” What a tremendous relief to read that.
I was able to remember the two quotes and fight for myself and stay awake through the entire process. They were not just words on paper. They were and are living truths which when used properly can provide an explosion of insight and keep you infused with a higher energy to deal with the utter madness of this world. This world is literally designed to put you into deeper sleep, drive you more insane, exhaust you, put you through hell, keep you from thinking from yourself, sell your soul and much, much more. By the end of the two days I was tired from expending so much energy. But I knew it was not from resisting but from working hard to stay apart from the fray, from watching all my reactions and from constantly bringing myself back to awareness.
It requires a super effort on our part to wake up. The sleep is incredibly thick and human beings are disgustingly weak and pathetic. If there was sanity on this planet, these heinous crimes would not be committed and we would not need courtrooms. But unfortunately with man being on such a low level, crimes are going to continue and more than likely get worse. Fortunately for you and me escape is possible if we work hard enough and want it badly enough. Remember our class motto is “If you can take it you can make it.”
Another negative state I’ve observed a lot lately and one that is very closely related to worship and idolization is boredom. Remember what was said earlier about every positive feeling being followed by an equal and opposite negative feeling when we are living only from the mind? So when we identify with what we think is an exciting experience, sooner or later it will swing back to the opposite feeling of boredom.
Recently I was talking with an acquaintance and he began to tell me how he is ready to enjoy his retirement and start traveling. He had worked hard and now feels like he can finally have a good time in life. So I could only conclude that up to this point in time he has not been enjoying life. He had also once said that the place we live is one of the most beautiful places on this earth. So why would you want to go on some dumb trip and spend a bunch of money foolishly if this is such a marvelous place? I know why. He’s bored.
Vernon explains it perfectly in The Power of Your Supermind, “Boredom occurs when you run out of distractions, when you have nothing to supply a false feeling of life, of aliveness.” So then you are compelled to go somewhere, do something, keep yourself occupied for fear of facing your own nothingness/emptiness. You see, like almost everyone, he’s only living on the intellectual level. Human beings actually believe that the penultimate experience in this life is to develop the intellect to a level way above that of most other human beings. You can then outsmart, outthink, outwit, out accomplish, and outdo anyone. This somehow equates to superiority, puts them at the top of the heap and protects them from the bullies of this world. Little do they know this only increases the fear.
Our protection, our elevation comes from seeing through the hoax. It all goes back to an earlier topic. If you look up to someone you are lost and if you look down on someone you are lost. Neither one of these alternatives is where you want to be. Not really. We can escape being torn apart by the constant swing of the pendulum back and forth. Truth urges us to rise above the world of opposites to live a life of real revelation and genuine spiritual excitement. See all these things for yourself.
God exists but most human beings are not aware of this fact. This is because they are only mental. All they have is an idea about God, a mere thought about the celestial kingdom. On Vernon Howard’s Higher World MP3 CD, Volume 10, Track 4, Vernon says, “… Never mind thinking, just be a receiver of angelic instructions … the last thing you need is your own intellect, the way it operates and mangles you.” To prove this, all you have to do is observe your mind at work and notice how it never shuts up. It is a constantly whirring machine which never takes a break or gives us a moment of peace and quiet. If we had clear vision, we would see that we live from nothing but a tangled web of thoughts. If we stick with studying these truth facts we’ll discover that, just as the sun exists above this planet, there is something a million miles above our unoriginal and mechanical thinking processes.
This world wants you to do nothing but to think about everything. This is how it manipulates and confuses us. Society is constantly telling us how we should view this or do that; believe this or believe that; this is how you should live your life. It writes songs that say, “I’m a believer.” Why do you think the world does this? It is not just some frivolous, trite or clever saying. Belief is not reality. God does not believe. He understands and knows. Have you ever pondered this? You should, because you are being hoaxed.
The mind is the trickiest enemy we face on the way up the spiritual mountain. Its purpose is to deceive us into believing that our thoughts are reality, to chain us to burdensome and nonsensical notions and to interfere with spontaneity. We are meant to rise above thinking and to live a life without interference. If you try to tune a radio station in and there is static, you cannot hear the station clearly and sometimes the message is even completely inaudible. You are either too far away from the source or something is interfering with the signal or you have an inferior radio. It’s the same with our mind. The mind can be a useful tool on the everyday level but it was meant to be used strictly for practical purposes. It does allow us to acquire right knowledge and information by listening to or reading truth facts from a true teacher. But we were not meant to be only a thinking thing, a machine imprisoned by our own thought life.
Somehow, some way we must go beyond the mind. By tuning into cosmic radio waves we can hear angelic messages coming from the cosmic source. Also on the same MP3 CD, Vernon Howard tells us, “You can call on angels anytime you want ... you can be visited by angels of spiritual information and inspiration today if you wish.” Personally, I was thrilled to hear that. We can actually become receivers of higher impressions. It is exciting to know that real help exists. You can’t do it by yourself but must contact a source of authentic aid. As a matter of fact, we were not meant to do it alone. Do you really think that God would put us in a position on this earth where escape from our mental miseries was impossible?
When I was flipping through the menu guide of my satellite TV service recently, I happened to notice there was a program on about scientists trying to prove the existence of God. It was clear to me there is no way through debate, theoretical deductions, arguments or however you view it, that scientists can prove the existence of God. They either have an agenda or are being paid to come to certain conclusions. They are only using the limited mind to arrive at their hypotheses. No matter how ‘brilliant’ they are, any conclusion they reach will be flawed. I didn’t say they were blocked from finding God. Any individual who truly wants to find God can do so but he or she cannot use mental machinery to do it.
You don’t see how lost everyone is. The world gives the show away all the time if we would just pay closer attention to what is going on. It’s hard to put into words but the more we SEE the better off we are going to BE. Evil and badness working through sleeping human beings can only do bad things. Read the exercise on page 2 of this newsletter. It explains everything we need to know if we could only be open and receptive to the truth of it. This exercise explains why this world is the way it is. It explains the recent horrific events in the news. It gives you the motive. Despite the fact that the News Media is always asking the question “Why?”, it can never give you the true answer. But these teachings can. They will explain EVERYTHING. They will explain the why. Human beings are always baffled and confused because they are undeveloped. They live on a very low level of understanding because they are stupid. What was your reaction to what I just said? This is not an insulting or cynical statement on my part. We must get beyond the tricky little mind in order to understand what a disservice we are doing to ourselves when we block out the real explanation.
Here is the answer. It comes after many years of hard work and trying to apply these principles; by reading these books; by listening to the talks or attending classes on a regular basis; by watching the DVDs; by remembering to do the work projects; by being defeated by life; by seeing the folly of this world we live in/on; by running up against a block wall (psychologically); by seeing the futility of you or me trying to do it; by making special efforts to attend banquets; by going against yourself; by allowing your ego to be insulted and to not fight back; by loving what you are hearing (being receptive); by working when you don’t feel like working; by allowing angels sent by God to show you the way; by refusing to go along with the wrongness of this world; by not giving into negativity; by making sacrifices; by giving up your egotistical, self-serving non-existence; by seeing clearly that something else does exist and much more.
People contact us and are always asking, how. How do I do this? I just gave you a bunch of hows. Every talk Vernon Howard ever gave gives you all kinds of hows. But you have to do the work and grasp this fact inwardly. Then one day, right in the middle of that crisis, whether it’s big or small, the Truth comes to you. There’s no mistaking it. It lifts you up. Everything changes instantly for that second or moment or for whatever length of time it may be. It transcends your petty little life. You are no longer thinking. Any negative state which was present is gone. You stop asking questions about what to do. You are simply elevated above this world. Your feelings are cleared of torment. You become truly nice for the first time in your life. You change right before your eyes. You stop being you. The world doesn’t change, but you do. You are truly different. You no longer care what happens to you. Nothing is up to you anymore, it’s all in God’s hands. You are living in the present moment. This isn’t phony sentiment or religious nonsense or wild imagination or mere words, it’s reality. It’s a moment of great spiritual exhilaration. It’s contentment. Just realize that if we work hard enough we can have this all the time for the rest of our lives. Wouldn’t that be great!
It is imperative that we SEE this for ourselves. It is also necessary that we SEE that this world does not want you to find this out. It wants to destroy your chance for something higher. It is dedicated to destroying you and this planet we are presently inhabiting. It does not want you to know that God truly exists. It will use every trick in the book to deceive you. There’s really only one requirement and that is you have to WANT to know it with every fiber of your being. You must be tired of feeling bad and you must be tired of lying about feeling bad. You’re tired of pretending everything is OK when you know it isn’t. You know the old saying, “Honesty is the best policy.” It’s absolutely true. You have to be honest with yourself. Forget what the world thinks you should do. Do what your heart knows is right.
Here’s something that I see as a huge problem for people. They are way too literal. Because they don’t see their mind at work, everything becomes a projection of their own intellect. They are only mental, which causes severe limitations and blocks truth from entering. If we are experiencing fear, then everything is filtered through that specific condition. If I’m confused then everything I perceive is tainted by confusion. So, we are nothing but a state of confusion, of fear. We then make the mistake of believing that is who we are simply because we are thinking about it.
This is the way the intellect operates and evil loves this because then you become an easy target for suggestion and manipulation. The 5 o’clock news loves to dish out a steady diet of sensational negative stories. Notice this for yourself. So because the average human being only operates from the mental, they take it in, believing they are independent thinkers, and they end up in a state of fear or depression or some other negative condition. One negative state invites other negative states which in turn make you feel awful. You have then become an unwilling dupe or perhaps if we examine it more closely, we have become an unconscious willing dupe of the 5 o’clock news. It follows that we must love to feel bad or else we wouldn’t feel bad. If we didn’t get a secret thrill from badness, we wouldn’t allow those writing the negative news stories to deceive us like they do.
If you are not guided by truth, your thinking will lead you in the wrong direction. If we allow the mind to be the absolute ruler of our world, then everything becomes distorted and as a result we make dumb decisions or do stupid things which cause problems for everyone. Something higher than the mind, which is truth, was meant to oversee the intellect, not the other way around. It’s like the tail wagging the dog. It can never work.
Let me ask you this. Would God do anything to put you into a situation which causes you distress in any way? Would something that is truly an advanced, good, benign being create problems for you or want you to suffer? Logic would say NO! God does not cause suffering or punish anyone. We hurt ourselves. Limited human beings hurt other limited/undeveloped human beings. Only a sick, twisted, perverted mind does harm to another person. Almost no one can even begin to fathom how messed up most human beings are including those whom we call our friends. If we can begin to allow this knowledge to fall on the part of us that wants to know, we have a chance for something higher.
It is imperative for us to see what this work is all about so that we can no longer be influenced by wrongness or dissuaded from pursuing the pure truth. Remember that angels fear nothing.
I’ll leave you with this powerful quote by Vernon Howard, “To play it safe is to play it dangerous. To risk all is to win all.”
I am sitting on the deck of my home in Colorado with the morning sun warming my body; birds are singing and drinking in the stream below the house; a hummingbird comes to get a drink of nectar from the two hanging baskets of flowers on the porch, flitting from one flower to the next and chirping in appreciation for the food as it flies away. All these sounds are natural and nourishing to the spirit. The silence is broken only by an occasional vehicle driving down the County Road nearby and by the low guttural noise of a jet flying overhead.
It then came to me that the world is constantly interfering and trying to dominate and supersede that which is normal and natural. Truth can only get through to us when we become quiet. Remember the old saying, “Silence is golden.” We had just had a class the previous weekend where one of the topics discussed was from Cosmic Command #788, which says, “Noise plays an important part in hypnotic human affairs, as when loud music distracts from self-awareness.” We’ve become addicted to the racket and clatter created by this society. It is everywhere. After reading that sentence from Vernon and taking it in, it became even more evident how noisy this world is in the days that followed. It was a reminder to become more aware and it worked.
The Industrial Revolution brought with it a lot of noise. I suppose we’re in the Technological Age now. If we examine the situation through spiritual eyes you will see that every age is bringing more escapes and distractions in order to make it even more difficult for human beings to wake up. Instead of progressing we are actually regressing. We are being led further away from Truth. The determining factor should be either our closeness to or our distance from God. Are we getting saner or more insane? Are we happier or more miserable? If we’re honest there can only be one answer. Look at recent events in the news. Are they signs of health or of madness?
In a letter that Vernon Howard wrote to his longtime secretary Joan Philips back in the early 1970’s he says, “Very seriously for a moment, the truths with which you are now associating are everything needed for New Life. But we have to triple daily efforts at self-honesty, impersonal observation and declining thrills which take the place of insight.”
We may be getting smarter intellectually but we’re most certainly getting a lot denser spiritually. I like the word simpleton. In the dictionary it is defined as, “A person lacking in common sense; fool.” How many people have you met in your lifetime who are simpletons? I won’t go any further with that except to say that I’ve personally been astounded by the lack of rudimentary common sense in many people I either come into contact with or read about in the news, on the internet, etc. I heard a phrase recently on the evening news. It was ‘a new reality.’ There is no new reality. It’s the same old lie that has been going on for centuries. Evil is just getting more clever in disguising its sinister deceptions and foolish human beings are falling for it again.
I have a vivid memory when I was growing up of a book that was required reading in school entitled ‘Fahrenheit 451’. Some of you may remember it. It was about a fireman who burns books in a futuristic American city. The people in this society do not read books, spend time alone, enjoy nature, think independently or have meaningful conversations. Instead, they watch television constantly and listen to the radio on special “Seashell sets” attached to their ears. Special-interest groups and other minorities objected to books that displeased them. Soon, the books all began to look the same, as authors tried to avoid offending anyone. They went even further though when the society as a whole decided to simply burn books rather than permit conflicting opinions. Eventually the main character in the book, through a lot of trials and tribulations, goes to a learned man who tells him that the value of books lies in the detailed awareness of life that they contain. He then discovers a group of people who belong to a network of book lovers who have memorized many of the great works of literature and philosophy. This small group of book lovers ends up saving mankind.
Does this sound familiar to you in some ways? This society is slowly moving in that direction. Once upon a time, people were not afraid to be honest and direct in their dealings and in their communications. But now if you speak the truth about some issue, you could be forced to go into sensitivity training! People are being made to feel as though they are not allowed to say anything which might offend anyone. Face-to-face communication is going by the wayside as more and more people are immersed in their digital devices. I’ve actually seen teenagers sit in a restaurant not saying a word to one another but communicating back and forth through their smart phones. In this society, people are afraid to express what’s on their mind for fear of being attacked by the ‘thought police’. I did not say that we’re to be rude or that we’re not to use common sense or to be tactful. But look at what is going on. No one can speak from himself or herself anymore. The newscasters, politicians, motivational speakers, all speak from teleprompters, rehearsed speeches and scripts. And society is trying to force everyone into the same mold. There’s no life there and no possibility of any spontaneity interspersed with light moments of humor. It’s all orchestrated. It’s no fun to live this way.
In contrast, the truth is fun. At the recent banquet in Pagosa Springs we had fun. There were serious, informative, helpful spiritual facts, wonderful food and some of the most hilarious entertainment acts we have ever presented. There were also spontaneous, unrehearsed moments along with challenging situations presented for each person to work on themselves. By their very nature, the banquets provide everything needed to help you wake up. I am aware that some people got their feelings hurt. They were offended, not because someone set out to offend them, but because everyone is so touchy. Living on the level of ordinary thinking and what Vernon calls your ‘Darling Precious Feelings’ is in reality offensive to what is higher. Some attendees also had some of their pet beliefs challenged. Great! This provides a chance to see something about yourself that you were previously unaware of.
If we are ever going to make it out and escape from the utter madness of what surrounds us, we’re going to have to do something entirely different. Here is a tremendous clue and exercise from Vernon Howard: “The point of growing by daring to ‘offend’ people just means to not compromise in order to be liked, appreciated, to gain another’s company, etc. Mary always goes shopping with Jane, but Mary is now studying esotericism, and to her amazement she sees she really never wanted to go shopping, but did it to please Jane. (Her images, guilts, etc. were controlling her.) One day she dares to ‘offend’ Jane by saying, ‘No, I have something else I prefer to do.’ She knows very well it may annoy or anger Jane, but Mary does it anyway. She bears consciously the displeasure of another. Of course, Jane is responsible for her own feeling of being offended, and Mary now suspects this. Another way of saying the same thing is this: Dare to drop exterior supports, which ‘protect’ against loneliness, fear, etc. — and watch yourself suffer consciously. You are breaking out.”
Isn’t that great? We are not responsible for anyone else’s feelings. Do you see how the world tells you to do the exact opposite of what truth does? Do you see how everything we’ve been talking about connects? I’ve said before that the world is in the business of spreading unhappiness and misery. That’s its nature. That’s all it knows. There was a song, which Vernon Howard was very fond of, that was popular during WWI. The name of the song was “I Don’t Want to Get Well.” That is the theme song of almost every human being on earth. Another song, this one from Heehaw, one of the most popular TV shows ever, is called “Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me.” Why do you think people liked it so much? It struck a chord because deep down that’s what people are really like. They sense it but don’t want to admit it. Our opportunity for something higher is to admit it but to refuse to continue to go along with it anymore.
There is an answer to all of our problems. We have to give up our pain. The purpose of these teachings is to see how much we are suffering, as is everyone else, and no longer be a part of the misery of this world. Refuse to go along with it anymore. This is what we must do. I’ll leave you with another quote from Vernon Howard, “We learn only by conflict, disappointment, shock; for they try to teach, ‘You and Reality are not One.’” This is the most positive teaching on earth.
“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