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“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.”
NOTICE EVERY THOUGHT
“Noticing every thought and every action that goes through you is the same thing as asking God to be your strength. Now you know why it is so important for you, right now as you are listening to the talk and watching me, it’s important for you to know how you’re reacting to it without judging it.
When you see that fast, elusive, painful, wretched thought going through you, and you are aware of it instead of being one with it, you’ve detached yourself from it. It is essential for you in your daily spiritual work to begin to see the difference between thinking something and seeing something, simply being conscious. Do it now. Don’t think about your physical position, just know it, just sense it.
When you merely have a thought life, an emotional life, a physical body life, when you only have that, you are living the life of thought, feeling and body, and God has no place in it at all.”
GO THROUGH THE PAIN
“Don’t fall into the trap of self-hatred, self-condemnation. Know that that is a trap itself. Go through, without resistance, the hurt that you feel when someone corrects you over anything, and simply realize that — yes, I don’t want to admit it, but I did do something wrong. I did something false. Then after that God can help you because you’re asking for help. That’s a prayer to know that you are wrong.”
“Every morning from now on when your eyes open, your physical eyes open, you’re going to open your spiritual eyes, and you’re going to remember why you’re here on earth, and you’re going to serve the Kingdom of God instead of the Kingdom of Darkness.”
“So I’m going to catch myself without making another mistake of living in time. Thought is always in time. So I break thought, then there will be a pause in which there is no thought at all and in that I am free. And when you do this for the first time, when you really see that you can be without a thought at all, you’ll want to work on yourself every minute because you have sighted the way out at last. So that you are not depending on thought to keep your false personality intact. It is only thinking that keeps it in place. Our task is not to just get it out of place but to throw it out altogether. So that I can see that something is self-defeating and then say “All right, I saw it.” I am not going to linger on it so as to feel myself as a great sinner. I am going to drop thought. I would say that the most frightening thought that ever comes to a human being is the idea of coming to the end of thought. Because when there is no thinking anymore, you, I, cease to exist, which thank heaven, is what we were looking for all along. But we are afraid to look at it because what would happen if I let go of my success, my reputation of being the nice man? What would happen is that you would be out of the cage. But we don’t know this. We have it exactly backward. What we value is ruining us. And what we reject could save us. It is best to reverse our thinking.”
“This is internal work. When you free that man, that woman, you’ll free yourself. If you chain them, you’ll chain yourself.”
CATCH AND DETECT WEAK WORDS
“A spiritual exercise is valuable. The more concise and clear you can make it, the more valuable it becomes, and the more you connect it with your daily activities, the more practical, healthy and helpful it becomes for you. The exercise is as follows: You’re to detect weak and wavering words while you’re talking. You’re in hundreds of conversations a week. You may be on the street talking with someone, in the factory, on the telephone and so on. When you talk to other people, you say things to them, make comments, observations, you might even be helping them in some way, giving them information that they might require, but weak and wavering words is to be your reference point. You’re to hear yourself say them, which indicates of course weak and wavering attitudes. You change your mind about something, or you suddenly feel that maybe you had to say something to explain your previous remark because, if you didn’t explain it, they would suddenly think less of you or get ready to criticize you. You’re to catch your weak and wavering nature in moment-by-moment action as it expresses itself through weak or wavering words.”
CHANGE FAILURE TO SUCCESS
“Here is a very important exercise. It will change everything. It will change failure into success if you do it constantly and remember that the object is to put yourself aside, so that the new self can take over, so that the path is always lighted, and you don’t fall down anymore.
It is good and necessary to make your requests known to heaven, the request for you to be a new person, have a new mind and a new spirit. But you can’t make this request known to heaven with a low nature, with a crabby mind. You can’t do that. It’s not going to reach heaven. Dark minds can’t reach the light of heaven, so I am going to give you a two-part exercise. Oh, what a change it will make in your day and your whole life.
(1) Come awake. Do it now. Come awake. Set thought aside. Just know that you are here in this room. Don’t be thinking of anything in particular. Just be looking up here (where Vernon was). All right, that’s the first step before you make your request known to heaven. Awake — not in a state of sleep, of anger, of worry — but wide awake. Your mind is as free as you can make it. This is a good exercise. You come awake and then you make your request known to heaven. It has to be a right request. Ah! How about this for a right overall one. God understands this. He understands your stating it simply and as best you can.
(2) Your request to God is, “Let your way be my way.” That includes everything. Remember now, it’s a two-part request. Oh, how many mechanical prayers go up all over the world. Billions of them everyday — useless, pointless, self-deceptive — nothing happens. Aren’t you kind of glad you didn’t get some of the things you once prayed for?”
WHAT SETS YOU OFF?
“Your next exercise is to note what can set you off. You see the sign on the gasoline station and what’s the first thing you think? Let’s see, ‘Did the price go up, ooh, that’s awful! Did it go down, ooh, that’s great!’ You have done that hundreds of times in hundreds of places, and now, for the first time tomorrow, you’re going to notice that you reacted in a certain way to what you saw. A way that wasted your mind, you gave it away to nothing.”
GO SERIOUS WHEN IN A WRONG STATE
“We’ve been talking about problems, about difficulties, and here’s one method which I want you to think about for a long, long time after hearing this talk. Give it your own very special attention, so you’ll understand it and then put it into practice. Here it is:
From now on, when you notice how your mind is noisy, how it’s running away with you chattering all the time, or when you feel jealous of someone, when you feel overwhelmed — now listen very, very carefully — the minute you notice the jittery state you’re in, any kind of wrong emotion, I want you to become utterly, completely serious. Now, I’ll explain that.
You see, you’re not really serious when you’re carried away, when you’re dancing around the bonfire and your mind’s going a hundred miles an hour or when you’re jealous or when you’re impeding yourself. Your mind is not serious. It has a certain dizziness and a certain giddiness to it, right? You’ll agree with that, won’t you? It has no seriousness, it’s going off somewhere.
Absolutely from now on, you will practice this method of deliberately saying to yourself, ‘I am going to become serious.’ Now you won’t understand what it means at the start. You may have to do it a thousand times before you understand. But if you make this your aim, it will be able to counteract the fire of your mind, so that you have sent a message saying, ‘I am not going to be a slave to my own jittery mind any more. I’m going to become serious, not grim, not heavy, not depressed.’
Haven’t you noticed the certain beauty in seriousness? Haven’t you noticed that you’re in command of yourself when you’re serious without being grim? Think all this through and let it work through you and you will change.”
NOTICE YOUR STATE
“I want you to practice the exercise of noticing what’s happening to you when your reward has been denied and before you go into anger and hatred over it being denied. I want you to take a picture of yourself, and I don’t want you to ever again love the false reward of going downhill and going into a negative state.”
PHYSICAL SIGN OF INNER NERVOUSNESS
“At the top of a plain page put, “Physical Signs of Inner Nervousness.” Number each one, and make as long a list as possible: The fluttering eyelids, the impulsive remark, the shaking hands, the going somewhere, the running somewhere when you could have walked because you nervously want to get somewhere so you don’t miss the last part of the murder mystery on television. There are endless examples that you can find and you’re to write them down.
Then having written them down, you’re to refer to the list often, so that that part becomes clear to you. The list is going to be longer than you think, so have fun with it. Always have fun with spiritual exercises. Just let yourself go, and what you don’t see in yourself, see in someone else.
For instance, you’re tenth in line at the checkout stand, and the nine lonely people in front of you nervously chatter to the checker and you wish they’d shut up and not be so nervous so you can get out and get home, right? So that’s your exercise physically, and then do it inwardly.”
WATCH HOW YOU’RE LURED AWAY
“As an exercise, a short but powerful one, I want you to remember how easily you forget to live in the spiritual world. Just notice how often and how fast you wander away from living from your spiritual nature. The moment you notice that you have been lured away from who you really are and have gone into foolish and useless thoughts, call yourself back home. Obey and come back home to the spiritual world.”
REMEMBER THE HEAVENLY MUSIC
“Actually and factually when you rise from your chairs tonight, when you go home, you will remember that the heavenly music is coming down from your real homeland and trying to penetrate you, so that you can hear and understand it and become a whole, self-unified human being who can get back home.”
THE LAST STRAW
“You know what it means, ‘the last straw.’ You know the story of the farmer, the farmer was bringing his load of straw to town and he had a lot of straw, but only one horse, so he put all the straw on, but he wanted to be very efficient, so he said, ‘Well, maybe one more straw. If the horse can carry that, I’ll get more to market and make more money.’ Then he said, ‘One more straw, one more straw, one more straw,’ till the horse finally collapsed. With the last straw, the horse collapsed and refused to go along with it any more.
Have you reached the last straw yet? The last straw of you piling all this junk on your own back. Why don’t you collapse and refuse to go along. I tell you part of your definite spiritual experience will be several last straws, maybe hundreds of them for that matter, where all of a sudden you knew you were not going to repeat any more, you were never going to be weak again toward that person that you fawned before.
Something in you … the last straw consciousness came to you and you knew absolutely, knew in your heart that you had made an enormous advancement, that you were not going to be weak toward that person any more. When that other person made a sarcastic, critical remark to you, you knew you weren’t going to smile weakly back any more and take it. (Vernon pounded table). Stop taking it. Don’t take it. ‘That Sir, that relative, is the last straw.’
The divine fierceness will shine through your eyes, will sound in your voice, will express itself in your now nature, and they won’t dare treat you that way any more, and you have no hostility toward them. You’ve found something better than the hostility, which you’ve been using all these years.
What you’ve found by no longer excusing yourself, what you’ve found is that you don’t have to take it any more because God says so, and that is who you’re listening to from now on.”
RISE UP IN RIGHT REBELLION
“Detect and note little petty egotistical character traits that you have that you think keep you in place, such as your favorite ways of daydreaming and little ways you behave with other people, not knowing that you’re behaving that way. These are your prison cells, and knowledge of them will make you dislike the torment they keep you in. You are unconscious of how you allow evil forces to torment you.
Now you’re going to rise up in right rebellion and, as best you can, you’re going to use a spiritual weapon and say, ‘Since when do I have to surrender to you.’”
FIGHT FOR YOURSELF
“The sick world out there wants to steal from you the gold you have received here at New Life. Don’t let it! You know what you’ve felt here, every one of you. And what you’ve felt is right! Don’t let, don’t let anything inside you, outside you steal it away. Say no to it when it comes up and tries to make you doubt, tries to make you weak, tries to steal your gold. Don’t let it. Now look! Listen to me. You have to do something you’ve never done before, so start doing it! You have to FIGHT for yourself. YOU CAN’T LAY BACK AND JUST DRIFT! Now come on! STRAIGHTEN UP!!! Physically. Now straighten up the same way outwardly! Now fight for yourself! If you will, I tell you, that the minute you start to fight for yourself, you’ll feel something outside of yourself helping you … and that’s God. Now go out and fight. Fight rightly.”
DO IT YOURSELF
“For this entire weekend your special work assignment is to notice the tendency that you have to ask someone to do something for you, and you’re to stop and do it yourself. Obviously, I’m asking for things that you can do.”
SNAP FASCINATION WITH EVIL
“This is a spiritual exercise that’s going to snap your fascination with evil and your past. You will suddenly become awake right in the middle of walking and know that you’re walking. That’s not the same thing as saying, “I’m walking, I’m walking, I’m walking, I’m walking.” You’re thinking you’re walking, not seeing you’re walking. You’re supposed to be above your mind in a state of awareness, consciousness, spirituality, where thought has been suspended and you simply know you know, and you also know that it’s a different state from thinking about it.
Keep at it until you begin to see the faint difference between thinking you’re walking and simply knowing that you are. The exercise is endless. Be aware of the weight of your body on the rug or on the floor. That’s a little physical addition to it. You feel the weight of yourself, which is part of it, but at every moment remember your aim, which is to be apart from yourself.”
COUNTER DARK FORCES
“Dark forces are swifter than you for now and I’ll tell you how to counter them. This is an exercise to take with you while you’re driving, at home, over the days.
Write down the following, ‘If it’s wrong, it’s wrong for me.’ All wrongness is wrong for you. See how many different ways you can say that: ‘If it’s ridiculous, it’s ridiculous for me. If it’s self-pitying, it’s wrong for me.’ You see two men quarreling, having irritable words with each other, ‘That’s irritable and that’s wrong for me.’ The reason for this is so that your knowledge and your consciousness of whom you have been living with becomes shockingly clear.
See you haven’t made that connection before and I’ll tell you why. Evil can be extremely exhilarating; there are no words that can tell you how exciting sinfulness and wickedness can be.”
A HIGHER LOVE EXISTS FOR YOU
“You have in short a false love that you think is a true love, so from now on you're going to love something different; you're going to find out the fact, this is you determining to do this now. You're going to find out the fact that the level you're on is not the only level there is and you're going to dare, you're going to be very brave and very bold in leaving the level that you're on right now. Now let me tell you an incredibly vital point for you to understand, then I can go on with the talk, it’s essential to get this in. Unknown to you in the inner depths, you fear to rise any higher than the level you're on right now, you don’t want it. You're afraid to go any higher lest it take something away that you call valuable. You will no longer have that attitude. Instead you will take a very simple, right attitude of saying, ‘In order to go up the mountain, I have to leave the lower parts of the mountain. How can I get to the top parts when I'm staying at the lower parts? To leave the lower is essential if I'm ever going to get up there higher.’
I want you to determine tonight to find a Higher Love. How can I tell you what I'm seeing? I am seeing things I can’t convey to you with words. I'm conveying it to you with the Spirit of Truth and with words, but you are the one that has to see it. I’ll repeat it, I want every single one of you hearing this talk to find a Higher Love. Then you'll be happy. Then you can go out and conduct your business, you can have the family around you, you can find the proper right entertainments and recreations that you like, then you can live your life in this world no longer the victim that you were before.”
EXHAUST YOUR ENERGY
“How much of your energy are you going to devote? And I want you to devote all of it to it. Never be afraid of exhausting energy by the way. If you exhaust your energy, that’s the way to get more. If you save energy, you’ll never get more. Go all out with yourself! Exhaust yourself completely! There’s a little side thought and you put that under a microscope too.”
VERBOTEN — SPREADING YOUR TROUBLES
“Every time you say the smallest word about your troubles to anyone else, you’ve fallen asleep.
Your exercise is to get ten sheets of paper, number them one, two, three, and so on. Here are some examples: ‘Oh, do you know what happened down at the office today? Do you know what happened while I was shopping? The traffic was so bad and three different people almost banged me.’
If you try to spread your troubles around the world, to your neighbor, you have guaranteed the fact that you’re going to lose any enthusiasm you might have had for reaching Pleasure Island, the island of true pleasure. You’re going to lose that because you’re increasing you and the object is to get rid of you, not to increase it.”
OBSESSIVE THINKING ABOUT OTHERS
“I want to tell you of an obsession that you have that you’ve never, ever thought about, never, ever called an obsession, which is with thinking about other people. You didn’t even know you had such a demander inside of you which said, ‘Think about other people, that other person.’
Look at some of the most common ways in which all human beings think about other people. Because your neighbor’s life is so empty, your fellow worker at the factory, because his days have no direction and no meaning, he or she tries to fill up the awful vacancy with thinking what he calls ‘pleasurable, rewarding thoughts about other people.’ The poking and prying into the man who works alongside you, with the lady whose desk is across from yours at the office … ‘I wonder about her finances. She makes about the same as I do, but she seems to do better than I. She got a new car and I didn’t.’ Need I go on?
Think, look, the subject is you constantly looking at someone, or you don’t even have to see them to do it, and wasting your life in foolish, useless questions, speculations, conclusions with petty little thrills over what you think might be their private life.
There are obviously lots of times when you think about other people in practical matters. Draw a line down the center of your mind and use your wish to wake up as a basis for judging just which one of those thoughts about other people are good, healthy and practical and others which are just holdovers from a lazy, gossipy nature.”
WATCH YOURSELF WATCHING TELEVISION
“Here’s a great exercise. How many watch television? Everybody raise your hand. For the next week at least, when you watch television, you will also watch your face and your hands.
Gentlemen, when that world series baseball hero gets up to bat, and he swings the bat, and he hits the ball this time, and the ball goes way, way over in the field. It’s going! It’s going! It’s going! It’s going! And the left fielder out there, he’s going back and back and back. And he gets off the grass onto the warning track. And there’s a fence out there. And there’s the ball. He can’t quite see it all. You see the ball out there and the catcher’s going ‘Hmmm, is he going to get it?’ Right before he … (Laughter) I am going to make it a nice outcome. It’s a home run! You can cheer if you want. Just at that moment … oh drop the scene there, and look at the scene right there. (Laughter) And your happiness or gloom depends on which team you have identified with. Right? You see the opposites in that?
A little exercise like that will get you acquainted with a self that has been living its life through you, unknown to you.
You never knew that every time you watched TV or were at a party or anywhere else, you never knew that you were reacting so fully — that it had taken you over. It was stronger than you, because you were simply weakness inside.
From this day forward, you will know your weakness, and don’t be afraid to look at it altogether, because I tell you, every weakness, every criminality, even inside of you, is not you.
You are not good or bad.
When you rise above the intellect, above the mental and you rise to the spiritual, you will know everything that this talk has talked about, and you will live the victory of it.”
MAKE TIME FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL SERVANT
“You will now forevermore be very aware of where you go and why you go there, and the best thing that can ever happen to any of you is to see how you are bothering people thinking you are giving them your marvelous company — you’re bothering them. Now if you will do this, a very happy thing will happen to you. You will begin to see how not only have you wasted their time but yours also, and that in turn will make you value the time that you do have. It’ll make you so rightly excited to use every minute you have to read one of the books or hear one of the tapes or to do an exercise when you’re out somewhere. It’ll make you make time for your spiritual servant. It’s not now, it’s your commander, it’s your tyrant that makes you chase everywhere spending your money and spending your energy.”
THE FOLLY IN TAKING PLEASURE IN FALSE REWARDS
“When you get any kind of little cheap reward from this world — somebody gives you a gift, an unexpected ten dollars in your paycheck, an unexpected compliment or flattery — I want you to know that’s a reward of the prison system of this world, and you are not going to take pleasure in it any more. The reason you take pleasure in it is because that’s all you’ve got. You don’t have any real pleasure of knowing that you have made solid contact with God. You don’t know that. That’s why you settle for the little piece of cake and the slice of dry bread they give you. You’re settling for that because you don’t know of another world which does exist and with which you can make contact.”
PURITY AND INNOCENCE
“I talked about purity of mind and of nature that can be attained by you taking the following spiritual statement, keeping it close to you always and allowing it to be the clean healthy guide it is: I need never attempt to get anything from anyone. Once more, try to feel it as well as hear it. I need never try to get anything from anyone. When that true, clean statement has its way because you allow it to have its way, the whole meaning will come to you and you will never enter another frantic race again in your life. You will never ever hurt another person and you will never hurt yourself of course. You will never want to win any trophy that a man can build and offer to you, but you’ll be quite content to remain in the health and wholeness and completion that is coming to you because you’ve understood every small detail about this talk and you still want to know more. Will you please do that? Want to know more, for then you will live more. You will live the Heavenly life of purity and innocence.”
“There is such a thing as a conscious decision, a conscious NO and with the help of Almighty Heaven, you no longer are going to waste your life in foolish thoughts about a petty incident. Make a conscious decision to drop it and if you think of it again, drop it again. Every time the temptation to think about it arises, remember your conscious decision.”
“Thank you so very much for your informative and helpful letter!
To say I’ve experienced a profound awareness of a possible new life, via Vernon Howard’s writings, is putting it mildly. I’ve ordered book after book, etc., and can’t seem to stop reading everything he’s put out.”
D. Martinis via e-mail
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