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     “There is no real happiness for those on the wrong side. The greatest pleasure in life is the security of the true side. You can vainly try to win over the world or you can nicely be over the world. Your task is to change your operating center from strained imagination to relaxed reality.”

Vernon Howard Interview

     Here is a Vernon Howard radio interview from the late 1970’s which you should find very helpful on your spiritual journey toward enlightenment. Read, enjoy and ponder carefully. There are five parts so just click on the arrow to read each section.

  • Vernon Howard Interview - Part 1

    Interviewer: Vernon, what is this thing all about that you teach?
    Vernon HowardVernon: You might say the basic principle is to become the commander of our own lives, each individual to be in charge of himself, instead of being dictated to and tyrannized by exterior events, including people and circumstances. In other words, to be able to meet all of life — every  minute — from yourself, from your true nature (True Self, if you want to use that phrase), so that there is no contradiction and no battle and no disappointment, no hurt when “who you are” meets the exterior event. And that, of course, is a long story in itself, but that’s the basic idea.

    Interviewer: In all of your writings I have found the idea of practicing and starting with the idea of True Self. I was wondering if you could give our listeners a definition so that we have a place to start here.
     Yes, fine. We have to approach it not by trying to find our True Self at the start. Otherwise, we’ll go into imagination based on our past experiences — which would simply be memory describing us, So rather than trying to find out who we are at the start, we want to find out “who we are not” — and that can be a very interesting process.
        For example, we might have an idealized image that we are courageous, or that we are in charge of ourselves. Then some unexpected event — a  broken-up marriage or a discharge from work — reveals to us that we’re really not in charge of ourselves at all!
        Now, the part that is not in charge is definitely not our real nature. It’s certainly not of Truth, of God, of Cosmic Consciousness, but it’s something unnatural to us.
        Now, if we can begin very earnestly to study this unnaturalness, to see how it’s tearing us apart, disturbing us every time we step out the door in the morning — from morning until night — we can understand that we are operating from something that is not really us, although we are quite sure it is! But we have so many —  hundreds — of wrong ideas about “who we are”!
        Again, very briefly: A very honest observation of how our invented personality meets events and gets rebuffed, knocked down, hurt, made tearful. If we can begin to see that the way we’re presently operating is “not doing it”  for us, then we can go to the next step of dissolving it through higher knowledge. And when this invented self is out of the way — when the cupboard is bare — we can put new products into it.

    Interviewer: Excellent! I really think these ideas are special gifts.
    Well, the Truth, of course, comes down from something much higher than we are. And with our receptivity, by making just a little tiny empty space there at the start, then Truth has the opportunity at least to begin to tell us something different from what we’ve had in the past. Our part — to repeat my previous point — is to get the “junk” out of the way, and to admit that it’s there, which is not as easy as it sounds because we resist anyone trying to tear down our structures of all these years.
        When Truth starts to penetrate — even just a little bit — it gives a very distinct, unique kind of feeling that is unlike anything we have ever felt before … and we know we’re on the path at last.

    Interviewer: Yes … it’s a great feeling. And it’s nice to know that there are other people in the world who are reaching for these ideas and who are willing to go the route in order to live them. And there are people — people all over — who are on this path.
    Yes, yes. Quite right … quite right.

    Interviewer: When this Truth begins to glimmer, and we are beginning to see the “junk” — then there’s a point where you know you’ve got to do something else. Would you give our listeners an example of finding that “junk” and then moving into the Light?
    Vernon: Ah … yes, yes! There is a very, very DEFINITE point along the upward path (the path up the mountain) where what we’ve been doing begins to get through our heads — our thick heads! (Chuckle) We see the ideas that we’re clinging to, the concepts, the stubbornness, our whole “life style”. And then it begins to dawn on us, that instead of giving us something, it is simply punishing us!
        When we get to the point where we’re able to recognize unconscious self-punishment as self-punishment, it begins to fade away of itself. No conscious man, no man or woman who is even beginning to wake up ever wants to cling to something that is actually hurting him. But it takes a long, long time because our pride, our vanity, always says, “Don’t you tell me what to do! I know …” A man who is destroying himself will insist that he’s doing something for himself!
        And it’s indeed very, very frightening at first to let go of our prison cells because we’re used to them; they’re comfortable. We’re taken care of by our own neurosis, so to speak, never seeing that it confines us to one little part of our own inner world. So, to break out we have to have a little bit of courage  to start — and anyone can start. That’s the encouraging thing!

    Interviewer: So to start, we say “Help!”
    Vernon: Fine! Yes!

    Interviewer: I think that’s a very good beginning prayer — “Help!” And then that glimmer starts.
    Vernon: Right! And then we must have the courage not to look at our own confusion and neurosis for help, but rather — to repeat the previous point again — to let it GO! We begin to give up everything we’ve  depended upon before for the answers because it hasn’t given us the answers. It’s only gotten us deeper into the marsh — for example, our stubbornness that we have the answers. See?
        We begin to have the honesty to see that my answers have given me nothing but grief and misery and heartache. Then we have just a little bit of courage to say,  “I’m going to drop it just to see what happens if I drop my stubbornness.” That leaves the opening so that something higher than my stubbornness can come in and begin to operate.

    Interviewer: Excellent! I think that we can all identify with stubbornness, just a little bit! (Laughter) I can hear the ideas spinning in heads, and they say, “That sounds really good! How do I do it?”
     You start exactly where you are! Don’t have any ideas of where you’re going — you don’t need any! What we do need to know is exactly where we are — that is, we are lost! (Vernon and the interviewer both laugh.)
        It may not sound like fun, and it isn’t at the time, but we have to go beyond the shock. I have to go beyond the shock of seeing quite clearly that I am lost and that I have been deceiving myself all my life! And beyond that shock is what I have been yearning for all my life! What’s the matter with seeing that we’ve been wrong all our life? Nothing the matter with that! Isn’t that better than suffering from it forevermore?

    Interviewer: It sure is … it sure is.
    Vernon: This is a major operation. The sooner we submit to it — to this Great Surgeon — the better off we are!

    Interviewer: Yes! Would you give us a definition of that Great Surgeon?
     Yes. It is something that is not a part of my past, something that is not a part of my conditioned beliefs about “who I am”, what life is all about, about where I want to go in life. The “lower level surgeon” is all my past. When I am willing to give that up I make room — and something else comes in.

    Interviewer: One of the things that people ask me, I think more than anything else, is “How do I release? How do I release that past? I have all this hurt and fear — what’ll I do?”
    Here it is: We’re very peculiar people. Do you agree with that?

    Interviewer: (Laughing) Oh, yes!
    We’re very peculiar — in that we love our misery! If we take a very good honest look at ourselves, we see that we love our misery; we love our complaints! What would we do with ourselves if we couldn’t complain all day long, find someone to accuse, someone to blame!
        So, if we can see that we’re treasuring that, and then see the punishment in treasuring false ideas about myself, that in itself will cause the release. The consciousness itself — of the false — will release the true.

    Interviewer: I think that’s good to know. People keep thinking they have to do — do it themselves. And we can’t do anything for ourselves!
    We’ve been trying all our lives to do it ourselves — and look at the mess we’ve made out of it! But we’re very confused because we don’t know — at this point — any other self but the confused, awkward self that keeps getting us into one trouble right after the other, one day after another.
        When we see that we’ve been all wrong — and drop that — something else happens.

    Interviewer: And what a relief it is.
    Yes. One clue as to what we have to release is to observe tense and angry self-defense in ourselves. And then just simply look and say, “What on earth am I defending?”
        And we’ll find out that we’re simply defending every idea and emotion that has got us and kept us in this state. We’re loving our jailers! Now, isn’t that strange!

    Interviewer: We do it all the time!
    Vernon: Yes!

  • Vernon Howard Interview - Part 2
  • Vernon Howard Interview - Part 3
  • Vernon Howard Interview - Part 4
  • Vernon Howard Interview - Part 5

     “I thank you wholeheartedly for sending me these quotes by Mr. Howard. I discovered Mr. Howard at a local book market. I picked up a book and the title seemed rather unknown to me. Yet I was prompted to buy it. I read it three times to begin to grasp the concept of the book as it was contrary to my social beliefs and norms. I realized that in my search for newness, authentic power, peace, detachment, awareness, self- reliance and so on, I was looking in the wrong direction. Vernon Howard has set the sails and I am eternally grateful. The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power is a timeless gem.”

— Man via e-mail


     “I have been reading Mr. Howard’s materials for a few years now and hold a special reverence for these profound and wonderful teachings. When I think about it the entire course of my life has been altered since first reading his books. I am truly grateful.”

— Man in North Carolina
via e-mail

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