- Dr. Lynne Wooldridge
Dr. Lynne Wooldridge grew up in Texas, studied history as an undergraduate and then obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She found Vernon Howard as a graduate student and, after her degree was completed, moved to Boulder City, Nevada to attend New Life classes on a regular basis. She found there the sense of genuine purpose in life that had always been missing. For the past 19 years, she has served as the Secretary of New Life.
And then there were all the things that were plain to see but no one ever talked about, at least not directly. Why were people so angry and scared and trying to hide it? Why was there so much turmoil and bad news in the world? Why did people who had everything in life seem so discontented? Why did I myself feel so lost and bewildered? At the time, I wasn’t able to put any of this into words, but I certainly felt it. At the same time though, I was absolutely certain that someone, somewhere knew the answers.
Growing older and looking for clarity, several conversations I had with friends come back to me vividly because they showed me the views and attitudes I didn’t want to live by. One friend said something like “You just do the best you can and then it’s over, you die” and a “close” friend tried to pointedly discourage me from even looking for anything higher. Another said she didn’t want to have to work for anything but was pursuing the “easy” way. This was particularly interesting because this lady was attracting all sorts of wrong people and bad circumstances to herself. It was experiences like these that strengthened my resolve to keep searching.
At a certain point, I decided the answers to the human condition might be found by studying academic psychology. Wrong! A few years in, I realized that the professors were not interested in personal growth and change, but in finding explanations for stimulus-response behavior on a very “mechanical” level. There was no path to personal peace there.
It is said that “when the student is ready, the teacher appears” and it was during this time that I was first introduced to Vernon Howard’s teachings. They attracted me precisely because they were so different from anything I had ever encountered. The answers reside in these teachings because they are directed toward something much deeper and more basic than visible effects and an endless discussion of “feelings.” It made perfect sense to me that in response to the relentless pressure of trying to make our way through life on this earth, we develop a made-up identity whose fears and apprehensions now exert tight control over the mind and emotions. But I could also feel Vernon’s assurance that at birth something was put into us by the Creator that was part of a higher world. And that my real purpose was to develop that seed until it eventually crowded out and yes, destroyed, the tormenting, troublemaking, phony self.
This Work is endlessly interesting and refreshing. The fact that we can escape the tyranny of the false nature and live as God meant us to live can be a personal reality, but it is essential we become profoundly aware of the operation of the kind of negativities that now dominate us. This awareness itself is an invitation for truth to come alive in us and we’ve been given thousands of spiritual exercises to help us.
Here is one of them I’m finding very valuable. It is our class exercise for 2018: Just Relax. Since the false self is always trying to protect itself with tense defensiveness, suddenly relaxing physically and mentally gives it a jolt and provides relief on every level. I’m using this exercise all the time now and am noticing how freeing it is to just relax when, for example, resentment comes up about handling a difficult person or about doing a particular bit of necessary work.
There is so much work to be done, but we have been given all the tools to reach our spiritual home before dark. As one student said in a recent message of encouragement, we must continue to go “Onward and Upward.”
- Moe Janosec
Moe Janosec has been attending classes for over 15 years. He lives and works in the Pagosa Springs, Colorado area where, amongst other things, he is a map designer.
A wonderful thing about the spiritual principles Vernon Howard gave us is that we always have something worthwhile to do. Something for our own higher good.
Recently in our class in Pagosa Springs, my talk topic included this principle from Esoteric Mind Power: “You can do mechanical work without receiving payment, but you can never do conscious work without payment, though at times it may seem delayed. You can learn to do mechanical work consciously and when succeeding, you have overcome the world.” So I can and must work wherever I am, with whatever I am doing.
If I am earning a living moving boxes, I should do it consciously, alertly, and with awareness. While watching a movie in the evening for recreation, it’s essential that I remember to observe my state. Am I perhaps only watching the movie to avoid doing the dishes or the laundry? Or during the movie, maybe I catch myself falling so soundly asleep psychologically that a startling scene shocks me back to myself. When I walk out my front door to get in my car, did I remember to be aware of myself opening the car door or did I fall asleep and allow thought to take my mind far away from where my body was? If I am willing and receptive, the opportunities to work are constant.
Recently I ate lunch at a busy local restaurant. While waiting for my meal, I was struck by the fact of the overwhelming mechanicalness of nearly everyone present in that restaurant. They were “gone”. The noise level was high and people were so engrossed in what they were doing, there was virtually nothing of a greater awareness present at all. It was exactly as Vernon said; people are asleep while believing they are awake! No wonder we get into trouble with ourselves and others so frequently. I was relieved to finish my meal and to be able to leave.
Things are different at New Life, much closer to how “things ought to be.” At the first banquet I attended, just as class was about to begin, I was moving toward a seat when I spilled my coffee all over the floor. While I was nervous before, now I was mortified. A litany of internal condemnation was instantly active inside me, like saying to myself, “What a boneheaded thing to do.” But very quickly a longtime student appeared and helped me mop up the mess. As a brand-new student, I was very grateful. Reflecting later, I realized there were no false platitudes offered, no “Oh, it’s OK, don’t worry.” Just practical help. And since class was beginning, this potential distraction was efficiently squelched.
To be alert and aware, to perform any task in any circumstance as consciously as possible, is our challenge and our work – and our opportunity. I must not waste this opportunity!
- Moe Janosec 2
Moe Janosec has been attending New Life classes for over 20 years. He lives and works in the Pagosa Springs, Colorado area where, amongst other things, he is a map designer and advertising executive.
I was recently reminded that Vernon told us that the truly spiritual is also the truly practical. What a wonderful truth he shared with us there!
When I first started regularly reading Vernon’s books and listening to tapes of his talks, I had no idea what was truly spiritual and what wasn’t. I did have a few weird ideas of what being “spiritual” might mean, but those didn’t feel right and didn’t seem as though they would lead anywhere. My investigations into traditional religion(s) weren’t helpful at all. I was, quite frankly, lost. But I felt a growing realization that I had to do something to get rid of the pain. I could no longer ignore it. There was a dim but very sensible thought, something like “It can’t be normal and natural to be in this much pain.” And that was a practical thought, although at the time I probably wouldn’t have been able to put it into words.
We may be very reasonable and efficient in certain areas, in how we handle everyday things on a physical level. Something on our car isn’t working? We get it fixed as soon as possible. I get a business call or email? I take care of it promptly, and practically. And so on.
So it is very strange that we typically don’t address our psychological and spiritual circumstances in the same way. If you ponder it a little, this simply makes no sense. Is it ever really practical to be nervous, for example? Of course not. Gloomy? Angry? It just doesn’t make any sense at all! It’s completely irrational and unpractical. Things such as these should be obvious to us, but very often they are not. Why haven’t we been more brutally honest with ourselves, and gotten down to the serious work of getting rid of these robbers and thieves in our lives? Fortunately, God put into us something that can discern the difference between what is truly good and right for us, and what isn’t. Truth is always trying to show us what we urgently need to see.
What is great about the truly spiritual also being the truly practical is that it gives us any number of ways and areas in which we can work. Even on a physical level, making efforts to be more conscious in everyday activities sends a message to other parts of us. Have you ever noticed your physical posture or facial expression when you’re depressed? This kind of observation can provide a right shock. When depressed, I’m tense. Maybe my face is even all scrunched up. That state certainly doesn’t relax me or make me any fun to be around. So I’ve already gotten some help, just seeing that much! When I’m in a wrong state I’m always tense. That’s because I’m in the grip of these lower states, and they don’t want to let go of me. But remembering to relax physically can help me to break out of a wrong psychological state.
I can also be more willing to voluntarily put myself into situations where I’m nervous or uncomfortable, and go against these dark states that have been stealing my chance at leading a contented life for all these years. Attending a New Life Banquet or class is a wonderful, safe opportunity for doing just that. Getting up before other students and verbalizing a connection between Vernon Howard principles and our own lives is one such example. So is getting up and dancing, even though we may fear being seen as physically awkward.
It is all available for us. We can be practical. We can keep it simple. Remembering that what is truly spiritual is also truly practical is a truth that will always reward our receptivity to it!
- Regina Netherton
Regina Netherton From her college days onward, as a teacher, wife and mother of two, Regina was unable to settle for answers. Forever seeking through various religions, spiritual groups, psychology and tons of books, she did not even know what she was looking for. Gradually, she saw through the so-called experts who did not have the real answers to life themselves. But they didn't even know they didn't know.
After reading a book by Vernon Howard, which spoke to her in a new way, she ventured to California to meet Vernon. In his presence, whose higher level of being defies description, something within — essence — began to awaken. She had a strong desire to experience this higher life for herself, so in 1979, she moved to Boulder City, Nevada to regularly attend Vernon Howard's classes.
Now retired, she resides in Pagosa Springs, Colorado where New Life Foundation holds inspiring classes and continues to help spread the Truth to those who want to awaken.
When I first began to read Vernon Howard's books, I started to apply the truth principles in them immediately. For instance, they helped me to start saying NO to people and to my children in the right way. This was the beginning of getting my own life back.
Vernon taught the basic principles of self-observation and self-honesty, which really showed me that there is a lot of work to do to boot out all inner negativites like anxiety and worry. Nothing is more rewarding than to see oneself reacting less and less with negativity to events and people.
Before applying these principles, I believed the cause of my problems and pain was other people and circumstances. This is what is called unconscious self-deception. I now understand that the cause of what I experience is first inside of me. That admission takes a lot of self-honesty and my ego absolutely hates it. But, by consistent hard work on the inner, the outer changes magically and this includes all relationships with other people.
I print out the exercises from the website or in Vernon's talks, and work with them daily. One essential truth principle is to slow down our life. Just sit in the chair and do nothing for awhile. That gives something higher a chance to enter. Another valuable exercise is to consciously lose the argument. Nothing helps improve relationships and destroy falseness inside more than that. Using the exercises and working on oneself all the time is a necessary stage we must go through.
Sometime after meeting Vernon, I moved to Boulder City, Nevada to attend ongoing classes because in his presence, you felt energy unlike anything else in this world coming through him. This energy and the atmosphere of the classes and banquets began to awaken something within me. It was apparent that he had developed himself far beyond the level of this world.
He once said that Christ had to go through what we have to go through to wake up. That's pretty astounding. Obviously, Vernon had to do it as well. And what we have to go through is to see the bad before we can see how good it is. That is the only right order for spiritual growth.
Now I understand that a transformed nature is the only thing that can make us permanently happy. Presently, we are almost always gone in thought while real spirituality lies above thought and in eternity — in a silent mind. Ask yourself, “How can I get there faster?”
- Judith Anderson
Judith Anderson, a former college instructor, spent years looking for meaningful purpose and work. Nothing in what the professors taught in literature, psychology or philosophy classes or in churches taught her how to live her personal life. “I was searching but didn’t even know what I was searching for.” After several disappointing attempts at careers, she discovered Vernon Howard while working in “the best job I ever had” as a fire lookout for the Forest Service, watching the mountains for a living.
When I first heard Vernon speak on a tape, I was stunned and came to a full stop. Whoa! That was different. New. Who is that?! After a summer elevated by packing Vernon’s cassette tapes by mule up to the lookout tower, it became an easy, natural and necessary sacrifice to leave that job to move to Boulder City, Nevada to be able to regularly attend Vernon Howard’s classes. And that was a preliminary lesson in the much more difficult task of giving up the ego.
One of the refreshing things I found when first coming to a real Truth class is that what is taught is black or white; there are no gray areas as the world claims. True principles sweep away the false ideas of compromise and toleration of wrongness. No “let’s discuss this and come to an understanding” when meeting an awakened teacher. I saw immediately that it wasn’t up for debate. I remember sighing with amazed relief: Thank God there is something real and true after all.
In schools and colleges they teach — not only in formal debate but in every class where there is so-called discussion — that everything is uncertain; there’s no real “truth”; all is doubtful and relative. The intellectual in particular develops a molasses-mind which plods along, unable to make quick decisions or perform firm action. Living in this world, Judith had become a fighter and a stubborn know-it-all, with much to unlearn.
The true teacher is not slow or deliberate. He’s quick, because he uses instant perception, without the interference of thought. “You must not try to do with the mind what must be done with the spirit.”
On a practical level we learn, for example in the booklet Your Power to Say NO, that you can choose a course of action and stick to it despite the attacks and arguments which will surely arise from the robotic mind. Refusing those attacks saves lots of wasted energy.
But most people prefer to go on tormenting themselves, not to mention those around them, with “maybe, I don’t know; gee, what do you think?” Instead of giving an immediate answer to a simple question (like Are you going to that event, or to the banquet next month?), they will vacillate because they are too weak, insecure or inconsiderate to make a decision. What could be more tormenting than uncertainty? Living on the fence is living in a hell of one’s own making. We have been given the way out!
One of my favorite exercises is to ANSWER YES OR NO and don’t equivocate or procrastinate. Or as a class member in Pagosa quotes Christ from Matthew in the Bible, “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no, and all else is of the evil one.” If you don’t know what to do about something, a foolproof guideline in this Work is just to put the Truth first. My first duty is toward my inner development. Or as Christ said, “Seek ye first the kingdom” and all else will come out right when you have your priorities clear.
The basic principles of higher Truth, the Cosmic Laws, exist and are immutable. That is the difference between heaven and hell. Hell is a murky, dark nether land of smoke and mirrors, of deception and lies. Heaven is light and clarity.
Though Vernon assured us we mustn’t live in imagination that we’re already spiritual and “on the mountain top,” his very presence was living proof that this other heavenly land really exists. Let’s keep climbing up into the mountain air!
- Bill Brown
Bill Brown grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and worked as an accountant there. Perhaps with such an occupational background it was not surprising that he was among those who thought they could figure out the answers to life with the mind. Then he discovered Vernon Howard’s Pathways to Perfect Living, and a two year battle began between the enormous appeal of the true answers inside of that book and the old intellectual answers that did not work, but that we are so reluctant to give up. It took another Vernon Howard book, 1500 Ways to Escape the Human Jungle, to produce a breakthrough and actually get him to meet Vernon Howard. Bill saw that Vernon embodied what he offered in his books — commanding, relaxed rightness.
Bill now volunteers full time at the New Life Foundation’s headquarters in Strawberry, Arizona. We should be very grateful for the Truth, and teachers like Vernon Howard who bring it to us. They have great patience with human beings who do not understand anything, but think they know everything. Our mission in life is to personally know what Vernon Howard taught: “We need all the help we can get.”
“Life works in a different way than we imagine.” (Cosmic Command, # 1787). That is Vernon Howard’s gentle yet enormous challenge to our understanding. Anything that helps us see we do not understand ourselves and life is of supreme value in finding our way out of the unhappiness that dominates the ordinary level of human nature.
In a previous Truth Principles at Work article, Moe Janosec wrote, “A wonderful thing about the spiritual principles Vernon Howard gave us is that we always have something worthwhile to do.” Take Vernon Howard’s marvelous exercise to make spiritual lessons stronger in us: Wherever possible, try to turn the many things that you observe daily into reminders of your spiritual lessons. It can be a nature scene, a scene in a movie, an overheard remark, a work of art, a news story, a scientific demonstration — anything. For instance, let’s use the example of a pickup truck to carry spiritual reminders to us, including the one above: "Life works in a different way than we imagine.”
Almost everyone has probably been walking into a strong headwind and found themselves turning at an angle to it, instinctively knowing that it will be easier to walk if they reduce their surface area facing the wind. Now, looking at a tailgate on a pickup truck with its large flat surface I could confidently assume that lowering it would reduce wind resistance and increase gas mileage. It seems perfectly logical, but turns out to be totally wrong.
To see why, it takes a wind tunnel using smoke to make visible the airflow a moving pickup truck encounters. With the tailgate up, a circulating “conveyor belt” of air forms in the bed of the truck. When air comes over the top of the cab it hits this conveyor belt of air and bounces off. The air flow never hits the tailgate. But if the tail gate is lowered the conveyor belt flow breaks down and the air coming over the cab now drops into the truck bed, and even though it strikes at an angle it creates enough drag to measurably decrease gas mileage — the exact opposite of what I would think.
Here are some of the spiritual lessons that this example can remind me of:
- I was sure my mind was capable of judging the situation, but it was not.
- Only when the invisible was made visible could I understand what was happening.
- Until I understood what was happening I was sure I was acting in my own self-interest, while in fact I was acting against it.
My false and mostly unconscious belief that I understand life is incredibly strong. In the case of the pickup truck it only costs me some money, but in the big picture of life the price is authentic happiness. Let the pickup truck example — and the many more you can and must find — begin to haul away tense, intellectual arrogance and replace it with relaxed, spiritual understanding.
- Karen West
Karen West began her career in international trade in 1974 when she negotiated Letters of Credit for full vessels of grain being exported from the Pacific Northwest. In 1987, she founded her first company handling international shipments and currently operates three companies relating to international trade and transportation. In addition to running her businesses, Karen enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She is very grateful for the opportunity to attend New Life’s classes and banquets on a regular basis.
Vernon Howard said “Obedience means in some small way every day, let go of yourself.” Being obedient to Truth in this way has huge implications. There are so many ways to let go of this invented self. A person can always go deeper and ask Truth to show them where they have hidden, unnecessary suffering. Wherever there is suffering, the false self is behind it.
As an example, a person can start to change how they choose to look at money. They can “let go” of previous notions of what things they have considered important in this life relating to their finances. They will realize that they don't really need as much as they think they do and they can be much more practical. They can begin to change their lifestyle to reduce spending. A person doesn't really need what they insist they need. The false nature is always looking around on the horizontal worldly level of unlife to find things that will divert them from focusing on Truth. In the New Testament, Christ said “My Kingdom is not of this world.”
Then a person can look at income and see fear associated with not having enough that will last long enough. Truth says “God has already won”. A human being doesn't need to fight for himself or herself. He or she has the ability to release any unnecessary suffering about the future. The present moment is where it is all at. Is there pain in thinking (incorrectly) that I will not have enough for this life? Sure there is. Like a wounded animal (because that is what a spiritually asleep person is), they would fight to protect themselves and even despite amassing enough money to live adequately, there is fear of not having enough — which is a lie and a wrong thought.
Another example of “letting go” is to see the psychological pain associated with the thought that a person is alone and doesn’t have a wonderful relationship. The Truth is that a “wonderful relationship” can only exist between a man and a woman who are on the spiritual path, the freedom trail. The rest is folly. Many people may look happy but in Truth, they actually lead lives of quiet (or not so quiet) desperation. This is one of the great pretenses in life. There is also anger in how life turned out this way (without a “wonderful” partner). After reflecting more deeply, a person can see that this too is a wrong thought. It is darkness taking their life’s energy.
To go more deeply inside and see how we can “let go” of false ideas/wrong thoughts, is one of the great teachings of this class. It is a spiritual law that a person has to give up the lower to gain something of the higher — to make room for Reality with conscious awareness. Learning Truths and putting them to work in this life is of imperative importance for Real life. “Letting go” of what is false is putting Truth first.
- Dr. Terry Roche
Dr. Terry Roche ran a successful podiatry business for 40 years in Los Angeles, California. He is a longtime student of these teachings and directed New Life classes in Southern California for some 23 years. He still attends the classes on a regular basis.
About 30 years ago I went through a horrible divorce. It was one of those angry, volatile, War of the Roses-type breakups. As the dust settled, I was in so much pain. I was so angry and depressed and hateful. I was burning up with the desire for revenge: “How dare she do that to me …” It was that kind of a situation. I went to see psychiatrists to get rid of the pain, to no avail. Nothing helped. The pain continued to accumulate and snowball and got worse over time.
An acquaintance of mine became interested in Vernon Howard. She was going to classes and had some of his books. She told me about the class and what was discussed there. She was very enthused about it.
I didn't know what to make of it. I was very skeptical at first but she kept trying to introduce me to the teachings. She'd hand me these little booklets to try to help me. I’d thumb through the booklets, but I couldn't hear the message at all.
Meanwhile, while she was attending classes, my life continued to unravel. I can see it now; I couldn't see it then. The pain was so bad; I couldn't stand it anymore. I drank a lot but nothing helped. Then came a certain Labor Day weekend. I saw my friend and she gave me a Vernon Howard booklet I hadn't seen before: Freedom from Harmful Voices.
I started reading that booklet, and for the first time, I began to understand what Vernon was talking about. I remember the moment; it was like being dropped into a bucket of ice water. It shocked me awake.
Suddenly, I began to actually hear the thought-voices that had been in my head all of my life; tormenting me, torturing me. The voices had always been there, right below the level of my awareness. When I became conscious of these voices and the fact that I was suffering terribly from them, my life changed completely.
I suddenly became very interested in the Work. I went to see Mr. Howard at his classes in Boulder City, NV and immediately, the truth started coming in and I received help. Up to that point, I'd been so depressed, so low that I'd been dragging myself through life. Then, almost overnight, there was a huge transformation. When you find the Truth, you know it's the Truth. Everything about it tells you it's true.
After that, I never missed a class I could attend. Association with the pure truth started clearing up all that pain, which had driven me to the depths of insanity. Years later, after Vernon died, we opened a class in Southern California which I led for many years. I still attend the classes on a regular basis.
If someone was to describe the message that Vernon Howard is presenting, I'd say it's life-changing, radically so. You discover the problems you have are inside of you. They're not outside, like we think or assume they are. The difficulties are all within, and they to try to hide out, staying under the radar of our awareness, like a never-ending game of hide ‘n seek.
Our “problems” are sly, and they're doing all they can to destroy us. All of this can be discovered just by watching these “problems” in action. Just observe them, and see what they're trying to do to you; that's all you have to do.
Of course, there are obstacles along the path. But with all obstacles, the light of awareness will dissipate and dissolve them.
As to the lady friend who introduced me to the teachings, I ended up marrying her. Our relationship has worked out because of our abiding interest in these teachings and our efforts to live true and decent lives in accordance with cosmic laws.
- Katherine Pascal
Katherine Pascal is a former Chairman of her English Department and member of California's High School Accreditation team. Katherine is a retired High School English Teacher who lives in Payson Arizona and attends classes regularly.
New Life Classes are the way to real safety and security in this chaotic world. I am profoundly grateful to Vernon Howard because his truth principles always rush to my rescue to give me fresh energy and free me from myself.
My life answers produce endless solutions that drive me crazy, don’t work, cost money and make matters worse. I must see clearly and deeply that nothing I do helps, which directs me to what actually works. The Truth!
We are given so many crisis-ending principles in this work that can lead to illuminating understanding, can put any problem out of existence and can save years of futile search & unnecessary struggle.
Here is a miraculous Vernon Howard method that works. Since any crisis has pain in it, I can say: “I don’t understand the pain!” It’s the pained ‘me’ that offers the same tired old ways of stopping the pain and ending the crisis. I must think in a new way. I must see my flash judgments create panicky reactions. I must make a space between the pained person and the difficulty in order to allow higher explanations to come to me. Isn’t it interesting that “I don’t understand the pain” accurately guides me out of the panic and permits the genuine answers to appear. After all my frantic attempts to find relief from the pain, it finally occurs to me to Trust Truth. Taking ‘me’ out of the situation, I permit God to heal me. I can live to learn.
Another revolutionary crisis-conquering principle is to do nothing about the problem just to see what happens and what happens is stunning. If I just go silent and watch, I allow God to give me the right, calming answer. If my mind remains quiet I won’t go into memory to look for the solution. Memory never works. I must abandon my pretense of knowing what will help and realize that my answers really cause fear, confusion, stress, worry, anxiety — a generally out-of-control experience. I must just STOP. It is doing “nothing,” finally, that is doing “something” — that allows something higher — something beautiful — something eternal — something outside of me — something capable of change — to come to me. That is the perfect solution.
Vernon Howard said: “Isn’t it wonderful when something works.” He gave us what works, the road to the real. He never lied to us. He promised we can be free of ourselves if we work to awaken. I can never be thankful enough for all Mr. Howard has given me. It’s a gratitude that knows something higher has come to my aid to give me perfect protection.
- Gary Blatchford
Gary Blatchford came to New Life and Vernon Howard’s teaching through the failure of success. College success both in the classroom and in sports was followed by more success with a technical career coupled with a simultaneous career in pro sports.
Life on the surface was good yet there was this feeling that something was wrong, that there was something I should be doing yet I didn’t know what it was. Because of sports, I was into positive thinking and visualization types of things. While these had their place in athletics, I vaguely felt that there was a limit to them. Religions were not appealing to me, as I sensed there were no real answers there.
Things changed when I began reading Psycho-Pictography in 1994. As I continued to read and re-read this book, I began to sense that it was providing me with a direction, a real direction, something to do with my life that was different from the world. The most interesting idea I got from Psycho-Pictography is that human beings have a “False Self”, a fictitious self which wrongly dominates their lives. But through observation and spiritual effort the “False Self” can be made smaller until eventually it can be rightly replaced by the “True Self”.
One of the things we have to see is that there is a tendency to make Truth theoretial. One of the ways to do this is to read the books, agree with what we have just read and then remain the same inwardly. What we should be doing is taking the Truth we read or hear and applying it to our daily living. Then instead of being the same, our life can be genuinely transformed.
Recently, I had to take my Mom to the doctor for what was supposed to be a regular appointment. During the appointment things changed quickly as the doctor told us he needed to put her in the hospital immediately. My first thought was about how I was going to be able to take care of my Dad. He is partially disabled and my mother provides a lot of his care. This and many other thoughts came crowding in which, thanks to these teachings, I was able to see. Part of this Work is to observe our thoughts and to not get overwhelmed by them. For the most part, I was able to do this.
I also made a strong effort to detach or to separate from the circumstances, another very valuable spiritual tool. I tried to not jump in with my answers and to simply let things unfold. Even though there were a number of things I needed to do to take care of my Dad, they seemed to be handled by themselves. “I” was able to get out of the way for awhile. It reminded me of a Vernon Howard talk in which he said, “You’ll have things to do, but you won’t have problems.”
Here is something else I’ve been observing lately – the talking of other people. Truth says that most people are unconscious machines, which means that their talking is going to be unconscious. I notice that I tend to get caught up in what other people are saying, essentially attributing validity and realness to their words. When I get caught up, reactions start to form inside of me, sometimes very quickly. However if I can stay awake and remember that the other person’s speech is unconscious, then the reaction inside of me can be lessened or not even form. The most important thing is to watch my reaction, regardless of what the other person says. There was a talk in which Vernon Howard said that other people try to get you involved in their world by throwing out thought ropes but that you do not have to catch onto the rope. You can remain unaffected. By watching the speech of others, I can sometimes get a glimpse that the other person is a machine and although this is shocking, I can use the shock to climb higher.
- Judy Poston
Judy Poston has been attending Vernon Howard classes for many years. She lived in Rhode Island before moving to Boulder City, Nevada, to study with Vernon Howard. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics majoring in Early Childhood Education from the University of Rhode Island. Judy has taught in elementary schools in Las Vegas, Nevada (when she lived in Boulder City, Nevada) and Payson, Arizona.
The truth principles taught by Vernon Howard are extremely simple, but oh so rich, deep and rewarding when you put them into practice in your daily life.
When I was teaching, I indirectly passed the principles on to my students when different situations arose within the classroom. I not only gave something real to my students, but to myself as well, as a reminder of what power and strength there is in Vernon Howard's writings and principles. One of my favorites was telling my students “no” when I needed to say no. Many students took awhile to learn that when I said no, I meant no.
Vernon Howard's booklet Your Power to Say NO gave me the willingness to say no in other situations besides school settings. You can say no to a negativity that comes up inside of you before it has the strength to pull you down to its low level. You can say no to a situation you don't want to get involved in or when someone asks you to do something that you really don't want or need to do.
Another principle from Vernon’s book A Treasury of Truenes that I use frequently is “Do it Now. Get it done. Bang! Bang! Bang!”
This helps me to not procrastinate and put something off, but to do it now. It can be as simple as making a 2 minute telephone call to deal with something practical or to do a job that you think will take a long time. However, it doesn’t take as long to do when you apply this principle to the job. The mind can be very tricky, convincing you to do it later when it can be taken care of sooner.
Yet another principle I use constantly is “Heaven, you give me the strength, I'll give you the credit.” I have used this saying more than I can put into words. It gives me the strength to get through a psychological or physical situation and come out on the other side with relief and the tenacity to keep on going.
Reading Vernon Howard's books and booklets on a constant basis has given me more understanding of a certain principle that I didn't understand when reading it before. Listening to the audio media and watching Vernon on the DVDs is a constant source of inspiration to me that gives me the strength to keep walking on the path, “in spite of myself.”