Welcome to New Life Foundation
Vernon Howard Founder
“It is wise to seek immortality for time defeats all other ambitions.”
“What you want also wants you. If you seek the celestial, the celestial also seeks you. There are no unanswered requests in the universe. If we do not like what we are receiving, we can learn to ask for something different.”
DO YOU LOVE TRUTH OR NEUROSIS MORE
If you continue to live with suppressed angers, with concealed jealousies, if you continue to live with chaos inside your mind and in your feelings and in your life, if you continue to live with these hidden harms, then you will have to be an unhappy human being.
There, now I’ve told you. If you continue to be the way you are, if you continue to make the past the future in your life — with chaos inside your mind and your feelings and in your life — if you continue to live with these hidden harms, then you’ll have to be an unhappy human being. Then you also have to repeat the strain and the stress and the anxiety and the nervousness and the uncertainty and the pain. Now I’ve told you, right? Now I will ask you, what are you going to do with what I’ve told you?
Now we come to the question: Which do you love more? Do you love the truth, the beautiful truth that you have just heard, the truth of deliverance that if you do face yourself you can change everything and be free of your old nature? Do you love the truth that you just heard, or do you love more the way you have always been and fear to leave it?
There it is. And I leave that question with you for you to think about later on. You have been told there is another way you can free yourself. What do you love?
You have to do something that is utterly new for you, and thinking about the way out and trusting your memorized experiences, you have to utterly abandon it. Think of something else. You call for rescue from your own self, your own unworkable ways. When will you give up? I will tell you if you will give up, something else that is not you, that is not a part of the 30-40-50 years old inscriptions in your mind will come to you. Don’t consider that hopeless. What you call hopeful is hopeless and always has been, and you are afraid to face it. And that’s why you don’t get out. You will continue feeling, being trapped unless you try to understand what you are doing against yourself by consulting your own self-centered, your own self-love endlessly and thinking it is going to change something. If it could have it would have. And it has changed nothing.
WHY PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE
Above all else, all human beings love being what they presently are. This is staggering so don’t let it get by. Connect this with your life, with your stress and your anxiety, and you will begin to see, little by little, the solution.
A human being loves his present nature, whatever it is. As miserable as it is, he loves it and he clings to it. And you try to change him and watch how he fights. Evidence is right in front of your eyes that we love, to our own destruction, having the kind of thoughts we presently think, and having the kind of feelings that presently surge through us, wrong as they may be. Also, having the actions and the catastrophes — this is what is loved most of all, simply because most people will not make the smallest effort to see that this kind of stress and strained life is unnecessary. They take the present ways, the present pains, the present conflicts and the present sufferings as being fixed, as being right for them, as being necessary, because they say, “This is what I have, and this is what I must continue to have.”
Talk about seeking, we had better talk about non-seeking; about people who do not want to make any effort out of their condition, to walk out of the desert. They love their pain so much that when someone comes along, when truth itself comes along and says, “Sir, Miss, things can be different for you if you do certain things. For example, if you will listen to something other than your own past mind, your own past thoughts, if you will begin to listen to something different from what you usually listen to, things can change. You want to do it?”
Listen to these strange facts. Now you will understand why most human beings remain as they are. Take a criminal. Say to him, “Sir, if you commit a crime, if you hurt somebody, there are certain punishments that society will give you. You will go to jail, you will be fined, and have all the other problems that go with being caught in committing a crime.” You tell him this and do you know what he does? He goes right out and commits the next crime. And you tell him that again after he has been caught the second or third time. You tell him that if you continue to do this, you will suffer the consequences. You will lose your physical freedom. And he goes out and he does it again and again. Isn’t that a strange situation that you cannot talk to a person and say, “Look, if you do something that is wrong, you go out and hurt somebody, you will have to be punished for it.” And he will do it again. Isn’t that strange?
No, it is not strange at all if you understand thoroughly what we are talking about which is that the strongest love of all is self-love, the love of repetitious behavior, the love of being what you presently are.
To sum up: Above all loves is self-love.
TRUTH IS HERE TO HELP YOU
Back in the days of Columbus, a ship’s captain wanted to go out and find new worlds like Columbus did, so he went to the king and asked the king for ships and supplies to discover new worlds. The king agreed, so the captain went down to the dock to see what he could take with him. He found one little ship, undermanned, with poor supplies. That’s all they had, so he set out to find new worlds. And a couple of hundred miles out he had to turn back in disappointment. He went back to the palace and told the king what had happened. Supplies were short, not enough men, and the ship was unseaworthy. The king was in an irritable mood that day and he began to feel as a lot of human beings do. He began to feel accused, to feel that the Captain was not grateful for what he had done for him.
And sensing this, the captain made a statement that caused the king to really listen. “Sir,” the captain said, “Sir, I am not here to accuse but to correct.” The king paid attention. He was so intrigued by the polite boldness of the navigator, he eventually gave him the ships and the captain went on to find new worlds.
Listen to the phrase: “I am not here to accuse but to correct.” First of all, this is what truth says to human beings. It says, “I am not here to hurt you but to help you.” The captain was just simply trying to make the king understand the situation and he was not accusing him – just discussing it to explain and correct the situation, which was finally corrected.
You are going to have to be very open inside your hearts and inside your minds when truth comes to you and says, “I am not here to hurt you.” You think so. Of course, you think so. That is why you resist. That is why you fight. You still have the self-love. You won’t listen to anything outside of that.
Here is an interesting fact. If you will let truth say that to you and you understand it and take it in with a right spirit when truth says, “I am not here to accuse but correct,” eventually that truth, that statement, that feeling will become so much a part of your life that you will begin to say it to your own nature; you will now pass it on to your own nature. Talking to yourself consciously and in the right way, you will be saying it to your old nature that wants to fight, that is afraid.
There is a wide-awake part that says that phrase, so simple and beautiful, that you’ll be saying it to the parts that resist. “I did not come here to hurt you but to correct.” You are not working on yourself to harm anything inside yourself but to get rid of the harm.
You know, people are so shy and timid and they hold back and you can see by their faces and by their manner that they are absolutely certain that Reality, Truth, God, call it what you want, that Reality is going to do something against them and so they run away.
Remember that phrase. Truth, wherever you may encounter it, has only one purpose. Truth isn’t like human beings. It’s unlike human beings. Now just because you have been hurt since you’ve been a small child, which you have been by this world; just because you’ve been hurt by a former husband or wife or a friend, because you’ve been betrayed, why do you continue to think that truth is like that? It isn’t like that. But we understand that. All you’ve ever known is accusation, condemnation.
But if you understand that the worst thing we can do is to continue on with our self-love, if you can begin to see that, you can begin to sense, “Wait, just a minute, maybe indeed I am my worst enemy after all! Maybe I am trying to get a solution where it can’t be found. I am trying to make it work up here [Vernon points to the brain] and it doesn’t work up there.” No, because the hurt is still there and it’s pretty bad, we don’t deny that. We know what a vicious world this can be. You suspect how bad the world is as it is. And you will also see along with that an astonishing thing that truth is the one and only rescue and oh how you will want to welcome it.
STOP DEMANDING THINGS
All the mental can do is get out of the way so the spiritual can be revealed. Silence! Pause! Wonder what it’s all about.
How to substitute the spiritual for the mental: You are not to want anything from what you encounter out in the world. No desires, wants. The anxiety persists. The pain is still there — a basket with no bottom. You’re a want machine, the wrong thing to do. There is no fulfillment.
Say, “I don’t want anything from anyone in this world.” Stick with that. You’re not going to crave, demand anything. Then you will worry over what’s going to become of you. Detect the insidious forces acting through you, using you. “I am not going to want anything from anyone. I don’t need it. My false nature needs it. No more wanting approval or pleasing people.”
To get outside of your own life, use that exercise. No compromise. You’re in charge of the whole world by having nothing to do with it. That’s a condition of absolute authority; all power by no personal power.
If you don’t want anything from anyone, God, Truth, Reality will give you everything you need.
BE AWARE OF YOUR EXISTENCE
Here is what you’re going to do from now on, starting now. You're going to be aware of your existence at all times. Starting right now, you're going to be aware of yourself right now, being an alive physical human being.
You’re going to notice when you gesture like that. You're going to notice the thoughts that go through the mind. You're going to know your existence at all times with one exception. That one exception is when you're going to be using thought naturally, which, when properly used, is fine and necessary.
So, you're going to be in either one of two states: Either knowing about your existence here — seeing what's passing through you, for example. Or, you’re going to be engaged in some practical thought. For example, you'd better fix the dinner or set the table. Or, you're thinking about necessary things like consulting proper memory to repair your car, or whatever.
This is the most valuable knowledge I've ever given you. Effective right now your whole life is going to be dedicated to learning who you really are by never, never, never, never being in any other state except either useful thought, or just being aware of my existence, conscious of myself seated in the chair, for example. Know I am here in this room, very alert all around me; aware of my existence without interfering with what I see.
This is the beginning of sanity.
NO DECISION IS NECESSARY
When you know that the world can't do anything good or bad for your real nature, you will see the mistake you've been making by believing in the invented self.
Your unhealthy present nature does not know how to avoid ‘unhealthy’ out there. When the imposter nature, the acquired stupid self, comes to a decision, “Should I date that man, or shouldn’t I date that man? Should I go there or should I stay away from there?” — you know how it goes. It’s living in an awful illusion that something bad or good will happen as a result of either decision. And it’s all folly. It’s all delusion. It’s all wrong. It has no meaning at all. You’re trying to protect something that has no existence, which is your false nature, which you think is a true nature.
When you’re strong and vibrant with spiritual wisdom, is any decision necessary as to whether you should avoid that thing or not, that person or not? No, because you know very well if you see a wolf out in the woods, you don’t go toward that wolf. You don’t have to decide. Just the sighting of the wolf, knowing that he’s maybe mad and wild and hungry, you know to avoid the wolf. No decision, just the sight of it tells you what to do. You avoid the wolf when something new, thank God, is possessing you because you’re making room for it. Then when you go to lunch, you go to work, in all your contacts with life in this daily world, as sick as the world is, your spiritual health knows how to handle the world’s sickness every second!
Spiritual health knows every answer that you presently don’t know. Have you ever heard a more encouraging statement than that? The reality that can take over and live its life through you knows what to do on every level in every situation of life. Now you can have this new life. You can have this new identity, but one thing is essential. It is necessary that you don’t try to think of what it is, and you know why, don’t you? Because you’ll turn it into something resembling you awful quick, because that’s your mechanical unconscious habit working to preserve yourself at all costs — the self that is not a self at all.
Having given you that little caution, don’t try to believe, imagine, think, reason who God is. Instead, use your mind correctly to take in the information you need, so that information itself, when you take it in and want it to become your guide, then that information, even though it’s only mental and intellectual as yet, that the intellectual facts and revelations that you’ve been given in these talks, they will lead you to the next higher step and the next higher step, the next higher step.
The steps are there! You don’t have to create them. You don’t have to wonder whether they’re there or not. All you have to do is start on the very bottom step, right where you are now. All of you can allow God to save you, if you want him to, wherever you are, no matter what bad things you’ve ever done in the past, no matter how much conflict or evil you have in you.
Right now, whoever you are, if your heart is right, your intention is right, you can start on the bottom step and God will lead you up to heaven.
WHY YOU ARE LONELY
You hope the world can give you something to do with yourself, that it can be entertaining and profitable. Stop trying to take life from a stage. That is mere movement. That is what you are looking for to make yourself feel comfortable, to feel excited. You want that person, position, advantage.
What do you want from the world? Everything you get you’re going to live to regret. You are going to be sorry. No matter how many successes you get, you don’t feel happy.
The inner has to be corrected. Work hard on yourself. Rise above — from the inner to the outer. Now you don’t have to go after that man/woman anymore. There is such a thing as spiritual indifference! This means where you used to look out and envy that person, want that, you’re indifferent in the sense that you don’t want it to give you anything because you know it can’t.
You are not free of that world; you’re tied to people and ideas. You can’t see things clearly because if you did, you’d see there’s nothing out there. Then you’d no longer try to get a feeling of stability from someone or from money. No!
Your problem is alienation from God! It takes your willingness to be knocked around until the nonsense is knocked out of you. You still want your way. Give up your plans on how you are going to be happy, including food and entertainment. Give up what you are doing in order to get a feeling of accomplishment. You don’t like those sudden revealing glimpses into what you are like. You want to have what others have. They are secretly miserable because they are alienated from Truth.
Recover your perception to see how sick and sad those people are. You haven’t spent your days studying the movements of your mind. You think that thinking can change your life. You invest your money in business, want to be the boss, get high rent. You think that will make you happy. You have done that how many times already? Why you’re unhappy is because nothing works. Success won’t do you any good. That is outer, not inner.
Within you is a center that is not a part of this world. It’s real, permanent, but it’s overwhelmed by your foolish desires to always be surrounded by people. That little part is small and is bluffed and intimidated and can’t grow.
You are lonely because you don’t have God in your life. If you did, there’d be no difference in being all alone or in being with someone else, or in being in a busy office. Notice how insufficient you are; pretty awful living with you. Within you is the possibility but you are going to have to be a lot more willing to break out. Be honest! Know that you can’t live without having a lot of people around you, including friends and enemies in your own mind. You had to have that enemy. How many hostile thoughts? You think having an enemy will help you get over your loneliness. You know you are a terrified human being.
Your actual state: You can’t stand being alone. You take dreams and nightmares from the outer world and bring them in. No wonder you are horrified. You spend and waste your life trying to get a petty favor from people. You are very, very angry — hostile — because you want to be bigger than God. You don’t exist. God is everything!
Four billion [now going on eight billion] lost souls all trying to find themselves by taking away from someone else.
There is something else! You must not try to create your own salvation. You don’t know how to make yourself happy. You don’t know how to push away the aching loneliness.
“I don’t know how to straighten myself out.” “I don’t know how to be happy.” See that another part of you doesn’t mean it at all. Start with the awful mind — that’s all you’ve got — in order to grow. Say, “I don’t know how to straighten myself out, how to be happy.” This is an exercise in self-honesty. “I’m just lost altogether. I don’t know how to uplift my nature.” It is essential not to try to be sincere, but to see that you have no sincerity at all in saying that.
Use that as an exercise over a period of years so you can see there is a lying part underneath that in the next five minutes, you go out and do something to make yourself happy. You’ll see that you’ve lied to yourself all your life about wanting to change.
One day you will say it with the center inside and you’ll realize that there is no way you know how to rescue yourself. Then God will enter and teach you. Give up. When your will is no longer your will, then God’s will becomes yours.
WHERE DOES EVIL COME FROM
All evil comes from outside of you and then penetrates. Evil doesn’t start with you. You can’t create badness, tortured thoughts; you receive them and suffer from them. You are not a creator of wickedness. Where does it come from? Evil spirits, sneaking sickness, comes from outside of you and penetrates you. It comes from the world of hell itself, from invisible insane sick forces that despise, hate and attack God. These sinister spirits, malicious forces come from outside the Kingdom of Heaven and adopt human bodies. There are millions of devils walking this earth and they occupy places of authority. And they know how to fool you every time because you haven’t seen through them. They crucified Christ. They are insane, the same as a demon-possessed human being. Satanic forces watch you day and night. Pain is from satanic spirits.
YOUR IMPERISHABLE NATURE
There exists in this world — not a part of this world, but in this world — and also asleep within some human beings, a power, force, an energy that can’t spoil, that can’t be hurt in any way. I’m talking about Truth, of course.
There exists a power that no matter how badly human beings ignore it, or mistreat it, or walk away after encountering it, that force remains as something that is permanent. Now, not only is Truth permanent, but it is permanent for the few men and women who want that permanency as opposed to the vanity of their own life.
I know something about you. You don’t live with something permanent. Just now you are a non-permanent entity. It is absolutely necessary for you to know that you don’t live with something permanent. And necessary to know you absolutely do not have what you could have, which is a pure, endurable, spiritual state that the world, the flesh, and the devil can never touch or harm. You can have that.
GROW WISER AS YOU GROW OLDER
A very weak and bewildered and insecure woman met a sicko man. Knowing he could bluff her — men exploit you because they do sense your weakness, i.e. your lack of understanding — he used her in all the ways he could. He bluffed her by pseudo-strength. He could tell her almost anything about himself and she’d believe it.
He tyrannized her and subtly threatened her. He said, “I’ll fix the car if it breaks down. I’ll help you get work.” He, being a sicko, felt security in having her around.
She got a little suspicious that he was an insane bum. Eventually she got spiritually smart, so one day she had the courage to have a little talk with him. She said, “Al, you know all about God and politics, but one thing bothers me — I have to bring this up regardless of what happens to me — I’m scared to ask you this but can you help me after I die? One day I’m going to die and if you can’t tell me about the facts of facing death, I don’t want anything to do with you anymore. Death terrifies me. I want to know the answers. If you lie to me, fake it, I’ll know you’re lying and I’ll pack my things and go, because I want to be with God when I die. I think you’re really a devil.”
Of course Al despised her and hated her for asking that question. He’s a faker, ladies, a phony, getting what he can get from you. Why are you selling your soul to a man who doesn’t want to know about this? LADIES, PLEASE PREFER GOD OVER MAN!
Gentlemen, you big phonies, fakers; how vicious can you be, pretending you’re strong? You’re a sneaky little coward. Aren’t you going to have the decency to study life, to study death, and be here where you can find out how to meet death properly? The only thing that makes sense is what can tell you how to grow wiser as you grow older.
Let this scene change every man and woman in this room.
ESCAPE THE PROBLEM
Demon thoughts possess you and have contempt for you. They want you to think you have problems, and they don’t want you to see that they are the problem. They are so furious, so insanely persistent, fluttering around all the time — raging. They have taken over and you believe in them. You worship them. They represent destruction. You don’t have enough interest in discovering that they are alien possessors who should be put out of your life.
You are the problem. Face the fact that you are the crisis and give it up. Explore the fact: you are responsible for the invasion of demon thoughts. You say, “How am I going to escape the massive pain?” — hiding it from others.
How Truth will be delivered: by knowing what is happening all the time. By seeing you have no intelligence, no wisdom, no resources. All you have is a cry in the night. Listen to yourself crying and do nothing to be delivered. You’re not calling on you own thoughts anymore. Totally hopeless for you to call on yourself anymore.
There is no one there. It is all only what thought has created — a delusion.
Real security arises from you being willing to be ignorant all by yourself. This means to descend inside yourself and never mind what you encounter. Stay there until you know only one thing — what has been guiding and tormenting you was the ignorance that you permitted to remain there.
“Be ignorant all by myself.” This is shocking. This is a new kind of pain and fear and agony. You have to do it! Be willing to face the ignorance inside even while in enormous fear and anxiety at losing yourself. All you have to lose is false intelligence, is everything that hurts you. Destruction must precede construction.
“But what should I do?” There's no one there to do anything. There never was, but you fear taking advantage of your opportunity to develop. To be all alone means to be all alone. When you started to explore the dark space inside, you wanted to run away. But you understand a bit that you have to stay there until the light of your insight into the whole situation brings sunlight into the cellar, the dungeon.
Your desperate cry for help will attract desperate and destructive help. Standing all alone means there is no flow of thought of any kind — or feeling.
You must bear the darkness and you must bear the darkness all alone. You haven't done that. You don't do a single thing to push away the darkness. You are saved by realizing there's no one there to be saved.
NOTHING IS AGAINST YOU
All damaging deeds are done in the dark. All self-injury, every act of evil, is done by a man or a group of people who do not know what they are doing at the time of hurting the world, including themselves, because they are also in the world that they hurt.
This afternoon I want you to pay attention to one major thought of the talk, which is that both evil and good must be released. You have to become aware, knowledgeable, of the deep secrets and shames, embarrassments, regrets that you have so carefully hidden from yourself that you would deny them if someone said you were harboring them inside.
You also have a possibility for an inward splendor. But the removal of the wreckage has to come first so that the goodness can follow.
For example, and you may not have ever considered this as a form of badness, but I assure you it certainly is — you have a very bad anxiety that life as a whole might be too much for you. You talk to yourself in the underground currents of your nature, and you make certain statements which give you a certain thrill, but which make you all the worse off. And here is one example of it.
Now I am allowing you the opportunity to release a dark deed that you now have hidden. And when you see it, it's not hidden anymore. Then the sunlight destroys its power. And I can summarize that one hidden statement and despair as follows.
This is you, three words only. And watch how familiar this is to you. Your bewildered, despairing statement and question is, “What's the use?” You have said that over and over in school. “What's the use of trying? I just can't get that lesson. What's the use of trying to get a little bit ahead; always keeping up with the crowd? What's the use? No matter which way I turn, the odds seem a million to one against me.”
Now I am going to tell you something about that right now. You're going to destroy this false assumption that you have. There is not one single odd against you, to say nothing less than a million or a billion. Not a single thing in Reality is against you. You have put it there. And you've put it there because of your false love for "If I can't be a winner, then I can have a self who's at least a loser. And all sorts of bad little things can revolve around that. I can excuse criminal behavior. I can excuse being rude to people. I can excuse everything because I am a loser. I don't want to be! I wanted to win. I wanted to be a good man, but I couldn’t be a good man. There are too many people against me."
All this is a part of the unconscious kingdom of evil as it is allowed — allowed by you, individually. Only you can do it and you must do it. As it is allowed to come up, that phonograph record that has been playing in the cellar of your mind, as you allow it to rise inside you — come up the stairs and through the door of the cellar — you suddenly know that that’s been your attitude. “What's the use carrying on? I’ll never win. Why don’t I just give up?”
Your little trick of discouragement, of feeling morose — that is your trick in which you tell yourself that this is how I win! See, this is what you want to win! You want to win a person there you can always talk about. You don’t really care the way you can love and hate yourself as long as there is a self there to do either one — or both. That’s why it is a pernicious pleasure for you to start crying, to get rageful, and filled with vengeance towards your enemies because now you weren't elected. You lost the election. You didn’t get the boyfriend. Someone else got the boyfriend. You didn’t make it after going to college. You didn’t make it commercially out in the world.
"Ah, so what?!" This is the individual talking. “So I’ve not made it out there; I’ll just turn my back on the world that has treated me so shabbily, that has denied me.” And when you say that, a very cunning, sly victorious smile goes on your inner face. “I have salvaged myself. The whole world can't do anything against me! They can't cause me to vanish. They can't really beat me because I am telling you why — because I am still me! I am a bitter man now! And I am hateful and sour. Doesn’t make a bit of difference how cruel I am to someone else. I am justified. It's OK for me to do that. This is a natural consequence of me being denied my rights. Everything is supposed to be equal and fair in this world. How come I didn’t get mine?”
See, why you wanted success and recognition in the first place was to try to pretend that you were a successful person. You can't pretend that you're successful because it's not out there. You didn’t get elected. Oh, but oh, now you can go through the next fifty years being a failure.
THERE’S NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT
Study the business of living from a self that has no existence whatsoever. Study and keep yourself out of it. Relax and let life be revealed to you. Revelation of evil is even good because there is insight and understanding.
There is nothing to worry about. There is no one there for you to worry over. Stop taking care of yourself. It is unnecessary. This is the answer. Stick with it. To lose everything means to lose the way you now delude yourself.
Are you going to be that one in a million who snaps the spell?
GOD WILL BE STRONG FOR YOU
It is never, ever necessary for any of you to fall into a state of anxiety, tension — any kind of pain at all. Write it down. Look at it fifty times a day. Your little note that you’ve got in a prominent place at home says, “I don’t have to be afraid of anything. I just have to be interested in understanding what is going on.”
You will not know what you’re talking about, but the words are your beginning guidelines so that you can go from words, to feeling, to comprehension. And the light will burst upon you one day in which you won’t have to say it with your mind anymore because you will know it internally. It will be with you twenty-four hours a day so that when pain of any kind — emotional, physical, psychological suffering — so that when it tries to intrude into your life, you will have more power than it has because you will have received the inspiration and the explanation from the higher place that you don’t have to submit anymore.
I have to tell you something very special about pain, about anguish. Of all the evil forces on this earth, anguish, hostility, any kind of pain, is one of the most cunning in disguising itself as a needful friend. Now I want you to understand what I just said for yourself. I just said it is unnecessary. I just told you the fact of the matter. Now which are you going to believe?
Say, “Instead of quaking before that flood of emotions, I’m going to just quietly look at it, as I can do. I can do this.” You can do this.
“I’m going to say, ‘I’m going to understand you.’ The man giving the talk said I don’t have to be afraid.”
Now I’m going to state it one more time in different words. It is never, ever necessary for any of you to fall into a state of anxiety, tension — any kind of pain at all. It is unnecessary. Now which are you going to believe?
Write this down. God has promised to be strong for you. Therefore, you don’t have to tremble anymore. You don’t have to wonder, “How am I going to get out of this scrape?” You will never know what to do, and you’d better not try anymore. You don’t want to leave it to heaven. You think you have to depend on you to figure it out.
Just do one thing. Bear the new pain, the new shock of having nothing to do. Go through the dark valley. There is a miracle of self-transformation, which is the appearance of all the things you need to build your eternal residence. They will appear to you if you’ll stay right in the center, halfway between — not picking up the tools of Satan over there. Stay there, and stay there, and God will know that you’re using your suffering rightly. He will put the tools on the table that came from a much higher place inside of you. Then you will be a true and eternal believer in God because you know it from the Spirit of God within yourself.
Suffer knowingly, but don’t do anything about your suffering and the tools will appear and you will build your own Eternal House.
NEVER GET DISCOURAGED
If you want help it is yours. All you have to do is want it. You don’t have to know exactly how it is going to come to you. You don’t have to keep the help going in any way. You don’t have to worry that it won’t come. All you have to do is follow the spiritual instruction, which is simply to ask for help. Keep asking for help and then, when that help does not come to you immediately, you are not to allow satanic arrows to make you discouraged, worried, doubtful that there is such a thing as help. You are to never, never, ever under any conditions, get discouraged. You must not wander away, think that it is hopeless, because when you do that, you’re obeying instructions from hell. They told you to get discouraged and the devil will actually put the actual words and phrases and sentences in your own mind in order to deceive and destroy you.
Pray all over again. Work all over again. If it took you ninety years of your life to find the Kingdom of Heaven, wouldn’t it be marvelous to know that you found God? Once you’ve found it, you’ve found it forever.
We're going to talk tonight about a subject that you hear so much about in the home, out in the world, and especially in your own life. And that's the very popular subject of personal happiness.
Look around, first of all, and see how many people you know who are authentically happy. Look inside yourself. Study yourself very carefully even now, as you are seated here. Look inside your own mind, your feelings, look inside and see whether there's a whirlpool there of one kind or another. Or see whether you're in command of yourself.
Now it’s very important as we go into this topic of happiness that you bring into it the very valuable tool of studying self-deception at the same time. What a curious world we live in, in which people who are successful, who are prominent, who have important titles, who are doing active things, who have lots of things to talk about, lots of things to amuse them, lots of places to go, that they automatically and without thinking put the label of happiness and peace of mind onto it, never seeing their irritation when they don't get what they want. Never seeing how afraid they are that they're going to lose someone, or lose something, never seeing how they have a certain plan, a certain goal, and they're so eager for this goal to come true, this wish to be fulfilled. And they never see that all the strain, the tension, and the wishing is the exact opposite of what they have labeled themselves, which is a ‘happy person.’
So the study of self-deception is essential at the start, if you're ever going to discover what authentic happiness is. It's a long, long road, and a very difficult one ― but a necessary one, and really a lot of fun.
For any man, for any woman, to go into self-deception ― his own, never mind the other man, we've got enough on our own to work on ― to go into self-deception and see how we have simply put a label on ourselves and carelessly, and foolishly, called it a state of happiness.
A person will say, “Look, you asked me whether I'm happy. Of course I'm happy. Do you know how many things I have to do today? In fact, I'm so busy I can't get half of them done.”
He's trying to tell you that his life is full, isn't he, that it has meaning! “Oh, I have so many things to do.”
By the way, his great terror would be if something came along and took away all these activities, wouldn't it be? Because what would I do with myself? But, of course, he doesn't know that, which is why, as we study happiness tonight, never forget that the majority of people are living in a state of pseudo happiness, which they don't understand and which they have never gone into. Otherwise, they would begin to break out of it, which we are trying to do here in this class.
Another form of self-deception connected with personal happiness is that we always think that it can be – listen to this please – we always think that it can be acquired. And acquisition is always connected with time thinking. That is, “I will be happy when....” Now you fill in the when. The very fact that you bring the time element in it, and say, “I will be happy when...,” doesn’t that say that I am not happy right now?
Now, isn't it curious how few people can ever get to the point of clear self-honesty in self-investigation, where they can catch themselves in this act of deceiving themselves regarding their happiness. They're always pushing it ahead of themselves. You will never have it made as long as you plan your happiness; as long as you think it is something that can be acquired, something that you can earn by your own efforts.
A MAGIC MESSAGE TO TELL YOURSELF
You don’t belong in this world. Your physical body inhabits it. Your Spirit has nothing to do with it. I’ll tell you, that’s a magic message for you to tell yourself every day, and that will be the start of the regeneration of your nature.
ASK FOR HEAVENLY HELP
“I would like something else to live my life for me. I simply give up. I don’t know what to do about my life. I never have. I remain the same kind of human being.” A non-emotional admitting will bring you to a state you’ve never seen before. You see your need for outside help. When you do look up and ask for help it is extremely vital to do absolutely nothing.
“God in heaven, I need help.” Stop. Go about your daily business watching how your mind is a jungle of thoughts that are trying to interfere. Once you ask for heavenly assistance, you must not think about anything. Remain spiritually quiet, mentally silent. You’re not to try to help yourself. You’re not to try to help God. See what an interferer you are with your request. You must know you’re bothering yourself. Don’t make a star performer when you ask for help.
Pure prayer ― when you see your thoughts are colliding, see “I’ve forgotten my request [to heaven] about madhouse thoughts.” Set them aside so nothing is there but the spiritual memory of your pure prayer.
A request for salvation is never mental. All of a sudden you realize the darkness of this mean cruel world has taken over your mind. Go against it. Go against it. Go against it! You won’t want to go against it. Do it. That’s the wish to shock yourself awake. Shatter the spell. Get that body out of there! You will gradually know what it means to have instant assistance.
Follow instructions. Remember you’re supposed to pray for something higher than you and yield your sleepy state. “I am not going to trust my mind after I ask for help.” Know that you can’t save yourself. All spiritual triumph is possible. Pray for help to stay awake so when the crisis comes, you won’t fall in.
I AM STRONGER THAN THAT
The devil starts to tremble when you become a spiritually dominated human being. When that individual who used to torment you and ridicule you, when you come close to him in the Spirit of Truth, boy and girl, will he be surprised when he doesn’t see that faltering and hesitation, and fear in your eyes, and in your hands, and in your manner. And him, that evil person detecting your strength will start to shake. He will start to walk away. All the power is drained from him because your strength being 100%, there is no way he can do anything with that. Evil can only attack evil. Evil cannot attack goodness. No way darkness can ever attack light. Oh, what a surprise that person will have!
You knew all along, by the way, how it would be because strength knows itself. Spiritual power knows what it can do. Your new nature never makes a mistake.
Right now, we’re going to surprise any weakness. You are going to start your whole life over right now. Relax the physical body and open your spiritual part so it can hear more of what is being said, and let your receptivity turn into creativity. Don’t stop to listen to the evil knights in the woods as they try to turn your attention to something else.
“I am stronger than that. I am stronger than this — no exceptions.” In essence, in Reality, you are stronger than that. I am talking about facts. That scary person — there are no exceptions. Why do you limit God? Why do you limit the power that could be yours? Right now, you are a little bit gullible. There is a reason why you get attacked by the evil knights and get defeated temporarily.
Here is an exercise from now on, and all day long. Realize the necessity, the rightness, the goodness, the power of simply starting life all over by simply opening yourself to some new and wider receptivity, to something that is higher than what you have been living with up to that level.
No matter what happens to you in the dark woods, all you have to do is keep riding and never listening to temptations. And if you will keep riding, there is an end to the dark woods. And with your faithful applications in carrying out the exercises, one day right in front of you, the darkness will end, and the bright road will appear before you. And there you are in the light, and that light is your new nature.
REAL SPIRITUAL HELP
We’ll talk tonight about spiritual help. A subject which the world knows very little about and has little interest in exploring. Now I used the phrase spiritual help, and you have the two words, and already people think that by using the words that the meaning is understood. You see, you use the word spiritual, and it gives you certain associative ideas of God, of Heaven, of something that's not human here on this earth. And you start talking about spiritual principles, spiritual elevation, and the mind — which is so tricky — assumes that it understands something that is above itself. That is, the ordinary mind which deals in finances, and in family problems, working for a living, and in spiritual ideas — the ordinary mind takes the word spiritual and thinks that it is something different from itself. It projects, and says, “This is something higher than me.”
But when the mind says the word spiritual, it must interpret it according to its own level — its own very low level of misunderstanding. The mind itself, the ordinary mind, cannot possibly understand spiritual help. It can talk about, it can write books about it, it can come to classes about it. But the ordinary mind which thinks with words, which thinks with mental pictures, can't see anything above itself, although it has the illusory power, false power, to pretend that it can understand something higher than itself, which it can’t.
What a shocker! Just think, if you can grasp it. The whole world of seven billion people with its tens of thousands of churches, and its religious books, and all its religious talk and hymns — the whole world talks about spiritual help and has no idea of what it is talking about because it can't comprehend anything above its own intellectual, mental level.
But you try to convince someone who has only a mind and not a spirit higher than the mind — you try to convince someone of what I am talking about tonight — try to convince him that he doesn't understand spiritual help, and his mind will get disturbed, which is the evidence, if he could see it himself. But he won’t.
The intellect is fixed, always and forever, on its own level of interpretations, of explanations, of beliefs, and opinions. And since these beliefs and opinions are based on the preservation of a false center, an imaginary self, that very imaginary self will want nothing to do with authentic spirituality, authentic spiritual help, because it means that the individual will transcend himself and live a million miles higher than he did before.
The ordinary mind, ordinary intellect, fights fiercely, persistently, endlessly, to keep its power over the individual. And for an individual to break through this trick which is being played on him is the only real miracle in human life where a person begins to comprehend what we’re talking about, which is that words uttered about God, about spiritual help, are words only!
Now, if it was the real thing, then the individual would get help. He would get spiritual help. But he doesn't change inwardly. He remains the same person year after year — talking about spiritual help, saying he's getting it, looking for a new source of it, and it never occurs to him that he's on the wrong track, and could be on the right track by seeing his mistake.
Summary so far: You, and everyone else on earth, are going to waste the rest of your life talking about spiritual matters unless you come right face to face with the fact that you have to keep asking for help, keep seeking it, yearning for it. And when you see that your present source, which you call spiritual help, your present sources are not supplying it, begin for Heaven’s sake and for your sake, to get a little bit suspicious that you are simply going around and around in a circle in your own mind, convincing yourself — and millions have convinced themselves of it — that they're getting aid from a higher source.
Any human being who asks for God’s help, Truth’s help, seriously — because he's come to a certain point of right defeat in his life – that person will know from the evidence of his own internal changing nature that he has found something higher than his own ideas about spiritual help.
And this new help, this higher help, can come directly from Heaven, to use that word; can come directly from Heaven straight down to any individual who is tired of the game of the intellect.
Advice, which is very valuable, which you can always give yourself, is to just slow down. Slow down your life, go very casually and easily in the way you think and feel. Slow down your speech. Then your defensive and offensive self is out of the way and you can simply receive the higher.
Spiritual magic: “I am here.” First, slow down. You’re to do it now. This is an absolute requirement for you to be free of yourself! You have to see you’re living in a blur. Now you’re defending your neurotic nature, which is always worried, racing around.
Now, know you’re physically here in the room. You never know you’re here. You’re gone. See around the room, where your hands are, legs crossed or uncrossed. Now, deliberately change your position so you can be aware of where you are. Also, know what you’re thinking right now, what you’re feeling right now.
When you put yourself in the position of knowing you are here, then nothing outside of you has the smallest chance to enter into your right world and disturb it. When you spiritually know “I am here,” that’s the only world. There’s no other world at all. God is the only exclusive. Truth is all. Reality is the only real state. You realize the Kingdom of Heaven is pure, and also you see the uselessness of protecting the neurotic world.
It is essential for you to remind and practice the slowing down of your life. You believe in your present but false inner counsel that what you now have is essential for you to protect.
Let your whole life go. Your reaction to that instruction was a blur, fear, and an unseen reaction of NO! The reason being that the enemy is always within and so maliciously sly that you haven’t been able to recognize it yet. And the proof of that is that nothing changes in your nature.
Slowing down your life opens the door to understanding why things happen as they do. Remember: Slow down and know “I am here.”
WHAT MUST I REMEMBER
You think that agitation of any kind is necessary to your survival. I tell you — once and for all, right now — all forms of hostility, all forms of anger, of resentment, all forms of attack against any other human being, all forms of fighting are destroying your true purpose and for being here on earth!
Fighting has been your way of life since you were a little kid. And all the time, unknown to yourself, when you fight you are a slave!
Now you toss out your junk! And you toss out your self-deception! And you say, “There’s only going to be one thing in my life, one thing. And that’s to find out what is authentically right for me as a human being here on earth.”
Now, it just so happens, beautifully, that Reality, Truth is smarter than darkness. Light is smarter than darkness. It’s no game. It’s no contest. Light is 100% in power. Darkness has no power at all. Anything that disturbs you is wrong. So, if you fight, that’s a disturbance. Ahh, listen! You don’t have to fight and wreck anymore. Fighting is false fun. You don’t have to fight anything or anyone — any condition. You don’t have to fight your own mad thoughts, jumbled thoughts. You don’t have to fight yourself. You don’t have to fight other people. Fighting is unnecessary. All fighting means that there’s an entity in there, an identity, a person in there, who is shaky, who is worried.
Now I have said you no longer have to fight anything whatever. Therefore, you never have to be agitated anymore, right? Now, since you don’t have to fight, that means that there’s an alternative to it. I’m going to tell you what that alternative is.
Let’s take an ordinary daily situation. You have a problem which suddenly comes up in your mind. Instead of fighting, the next time you have a difficulty you will simply ask yourself this. Listen! Magic, you want magic. Instead of fighting you say to yourself very calmly, just relax like I am now, and you say to yourself, “What must I remember?”
I must remember, for example, that every time I do get mad, that the thrill of it is a false thrill, false fun. You can remind yourself of the tens of thousands of spiritual guides that you’ve heard in this room, and you’ve read in those books and heard on those tapes. Remember any one of them. One that’s appropriate for the occasion. Remember it.
You’re staying awake as best you can, because you know you’re asleep. You can’t wake up until you know you’re asleep. So, you work on yourself. You get a phone call or a letter, or something comes to your mind that distresses you a little bit. At that instant, instead of going along with the distress, instead of enjoying it, instead of going along with yourself, you take the alternative. You suddenly relax.
And by this time, you have built up a right kind of a feeling that says, NO, I am not going along with you this time!
So, you go to the alternative of saying, “What must I remember? I’m going to relax now.” You know, the hands are loose, and a little bit of a sigh and breath. And we just kind of casually sit here. We’re not rushing, are we! We’re alert, we’re awake, we’re not looking for anything in particular to think about, are we. We’re not looking for a particular emotion to come to us. We’re just sitting here calm and relaxed. And if something wants to come to us, then it can.
But in our alertness, in our consciousness, in our awakened state, we can see what comes and that will judge whether it’s right or wrong. Now the right intellect, right ideas can come in. What must I remember? You’ve left space for it. And you will remember what to do when that anger, agitation, envy, whatever tries to take you over. And do you know what you do? You do NOTHING!
The intelligence that is higher than your own will enters in to answer your question when you ask, “What must I remember?”
See, you’re not asked to make a judgment. You’re not asked to select a course. You relax and you ask, “What must I remember now?”
You have done for the first time in your life, something that you’ve heard about ever since you went to Sunday School, but you haven’t done it, which is this. Turning the problem over to something Higher than you. And you’ve never really understood what that meant. All you’ve known is the phrase.
And when you have completely dissolved all descriptions of God, you’ll know who He is. Because then your mind is not manufacturing him according to your own neurosis and your own desires and your own frantic craving. And in that state, that means that the Spirit of Truth will live inside of you. And that will tell you what to do all along.
YOU NO LONGER NEED TO BELIEVE IN ...
[First, Vernon told a story about a man who finally discovered he liked being afraid, furious, hateful. He wanted the shaking and vibration and the earthquake and volcanic lava. That was illustrating how we do, too. Then Vernon continued with the talk below.]
You thought it was a necessity. You wanted that explosion. You thought you couldn’t live without it
This is you reflecting: “Why would I want that at all?” It’s because of your lack of insight into what is truly beautiful — the place that God has prepared for you. You think you have to be somebody. “I am someone who knows what I’m doing.” The lie.
People do incredibly stupid things spiritually and socially speaking. One of the most stupid and self-destructive things a human being can ever do is to believe in fear, in terror, as something necessary to his survival.
You don’t know you do that, but you do that. You believe in the necessity of sorrow, of nervous explosions, of pangs of pain. Know that you go through your day believing that you have to have them. I’m telling you, you don’t have to have them. You prove your belief in them by them clinging to you.
How many were troubled this morning? You were troubled because you wanted to be worried over your health, or snappy toward someone who offended you. You wanted to be insulted! You wanted to be ignored and left out because then you could say, “See, I exist. I’m someone who got left out! I’m someone who’s not privileged like everyone else.”
And out of these attitudes comes evil towards everyone. If you’re evil towards yourself, you’re evil towards everyone else.
A student asked himself, “What if I gave up completely being jealous or competitive?” You don’t even know you’re jealous. That’s the first step. The man in the story said, “I’m going to stay awake and determine to use spiritual intelligence.” Then he saw he was only 99% scared and 1% part ‘knowing’ — pure.
Exercise: At the moment you feel that terror within, remember there is a false part in you that wanted it and, at that moment, know there’s something wrong with your reactions. Your mistake was in wanting to get a thrill out of it. You’re not supposed to have any reaction at all. You will no longer be terrified. You’re willing to exorcise the darkness inside yourself, and Truth itself will walk with you and you will know you are safe because you are no longer you.
“Thank you so much for keeping the legacy of Vernon Howard alive. I was introduced to his books and teachings some time ago when I felt hopeless and helpless. I was filled with despair and felt that I could not go on for another day. The teachings of Vernon Howard saved my life and gave me hope that I could achieve happiness and tranquility if I was willing to take some very painful steps to change my thinking and my established belief systems. They have given me a life that I never dreamed I could have. Thank you so much for carrying on his wonderful work.”
— Man via e-mail