Grand Canyon in Winter

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

Points to Ponder 2 by Richard Wooldridge

Richard Wooldridge     Richard has been the director of New Life since 1993. He started attending classes in 1975 and moved to Boulder City, Nevada from Dallas, Texas in 1977.
He worked closely with Vernon Howard and others in the running of New Life.
He actually lived at the building in Boulder City where he had many responsibilities. Vernon Howard was very tough on him in order to give him the greatest opportunity for discovering something higher. He is very grateful for the guidance he was given even though it was very difficult at times. The false self is not going to give up easily and it takes many years of hard work to begin to understand the deeper meanings of these teachings. But it’s all worth it for the pearl of great price.

  • From 2017 Fall Newsletter

         I recently watched part of a program entitled “Ireland’s Wild Coast.” In it there was a segment about the journey of wild salmon going from their birthing place in Connemara, County Galway out to the sea and the Atlantic Ocean and back again. It primarily chronicled their trek back to their birthplace. At a certain point while traveling the coastline, they pick up the scent of their homeland and have to wait for certain rains to come before they can start their excursion up the rivers and streams which come down from the mountains. They use tremendous bursts of energy and power to go against the downward flow of the water to reach calmer pools upstream. They even climb waterfalls along the way. Nothing stands in their way of achieving the ultimate goal of reaching their spawning grounds. Once their life cycle is completed they die, but they have fulfilled their purpose here on earth.
         It was pretty amazing to watch and you could see that God has put into them the will, the determination to not let anything stand in their way of realizing their ultimate purpose. As I was watching this documentary, it occurred to me that most men and women never reach their spiritual home, never fulfill the real purpose of their lives here on earth. They get sidetracked and distracted by the pretty baubles or by the sickness and negativity of this world. The salmon, in contrast, never lose sight of or deviate from their life mission.
         Vernon Howard tells us in A Treasury of Trueness, “The purpose of life is to outgrow your dependence on physical places, people and things and develop within you a source of higher power.” It is to arrive at the point where we actually see there’s real existence on this earth for each of us, right now. But because we take the unreal as the real, we are tricked and deceived by the charlatans of this world, both inside of us and outside of us. In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a charlatan is a person who pretends to have skills or knowledge that the person does not actually have; showy pretenses of knowledge or ability.
         Ponder this: If we had real existence there would be no fear of death. The fear is there because we are living a fake life. It is the imposter that is afraid of its extinction. The salmon don’t lament over the fact that they are going to die, they don’t even think about that. So why should we? In The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power, Vernon writes, “People wear a variety of masks, smiling masks, wise-appearing ones, excited ones, masks of worldly success, all in a frantic attempt to convince themselves and others that the act is real.”
         If we were as determined as the salmon are to reach their spawning grounds don’t you think things would be different than they are now for you and me? If we truly had a higher aim in our lives, don’t you see that something else would begin to take care of and handle things for us? All these obstacles that seem so insurmountable would be as nothing. All problems would magically disappear. But we must begin to see through the hoax.
         Man keeps making the same mistake over and over again. He keeps repeating himself. He thinks that if he makes the next big sale or another $10,000, that’s going to provide lasting security. If he takes another trip to that exotic vacation spot where the cool tropical breezes are gently blowing, where there are white sandy beaches, where the temperature is 78 degrees all year round and the ocean is azure blue, that’s going to make him happy. She believes that if the man of her dreams appears, even after twenty past failed relationships, that’s going to change life for the better and take away the awful ache. Your particular escape may not be so fanciful but everyone is still running away from something.
         We unconsciously suffer from “the next syndrome.” We don’t see that the next isn’t going to do it for us. It will never work. Something exists though that can take away the pain, the heartache and suffering, the compulsive desires, the fear of what other people can do to you, the secret shames and guilts carried over from past follies and can put an end to the misery once and for all. It is reunion with God, with who we really are. We can begin to call the bluff on the gigantic hoax that has been played on us, the trick that keeps our attention on the temporary and not on the infinite.
         Let’s examine a certain point. Everyone thinks they’re going somewhere and accomplishing something. That’s a lie, an illusion. We assume we’re capturing a moment in time, or satisfying a desire that will somehow fulfill us, or cementing our place in history. We believe we’re accumulating comforting memories, or gathering experiences, or leaving a permanent legacy. And somehow all of this accumulating will help us to reach some future heaven or nirvana. None of these things are real. They are only temporary and fleeting because they exist in time and memory only. There is absolutely nothing we can take with us when we leave this earthly life. We can only live in the present. The salmon doesn’t stop and think, “Well, what should I do next?” or “Let me stop what I’m doing and take a selfie and capture this big adventure I’m on for a keepsake.” The salmon does what it is intended to do. It does not live with a time nature.
         Do you see that this is the trick that is being played on us? Society is trying to get us to believe in an illusion. In Chapter 1 of A Treasury of Trueness, Vernon Howard states, “Nothing is important in life except to be spiritually awake right now.” Awareness is the only thing which matters. Let’s use a different word, stillness. If the mind is quiet, there is awareness. I can then observe my thoughts. I don’t have to be worried about the next business deal I’m going to make because there is another unconscious thought telling me my life is being wasted, which then sets off another anxious thought, etc., etc.
         I can see that while I’m waiting for the cook to finish my fried chicken club sandwich with Applewood smoked bacon on it, I can either quietly stand out of the way or go find a seat and relax. There is no compulsion to do anything but to sit still. I am then free to watch that man eating at a table with his wife and quickly raising his right arm and throwing a bite of food into his mouth from a short distance. Well, that’s odd, he doesn’t even know he did that. That lady behind the cash register is new at the job so she’s a bit nervous because she’s afraid she might make a mistake. It really isn’t necessary for her to be afraid but she doesn’t know that. A middle-aged man is also nervously waiting for some sandwiches as well. He doesn’t know what to do with himself while waiting, so his mind tells him he has to be nervous and fidgety. He’s very uncomfortable and that’s what he’s putting out into the atmosphere. A woman walks in the door very unnaturally. She’s also in a hurry. She has to get back to work or back to whatever she’s doing because she has told herself there isn’t enough time to do all the things she thinks she must do.  She hastily grabs a couple of items to go and forcefully puts them on the counter to be checked out. Her aggressiveness is unnatural and unnecessary. She’s really afraid behind that mask of being in control.
         All of this happened in a few minutes time. It goes on all day long with almost every human being on earth, including us, but no one is aware of it. If we want to get well we’re going to have to start seeing all these things.
         There’s tremendous power and energy in beginning to unravel the mysteries of human life and seeing the truth about ourselves. There should be great enthusiasm as these things are being revealed to us. But it is essential that the negative impressions be purged from us. The salmon is being animated by God to do what it’s supposed to do. So, should we. All we have to do is to discover who we really are and all will be well.

  • From 2017 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2016 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2016 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2015 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2015 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2014 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2014 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2013 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2013 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2012 Fall Newsletter

     “I believe that nothing in this life is accidental. I believe that the despair I have been feeling for 20 months didn’t stop me from having moral courage to address very wrong things related to 9/11. I believe I reached the lowest point of despair in my life by not knowing how to connect with or begin to deal with what was inside me. I believe that few on the outside have patience to understand how those who live here (NYC) are shattered by this. I believe that few of the well-intentioned people who come to counsel us have a clue of what’s in their own hearts. And I believe that providence led me to Vernon Howard’s words that provided me with the healing I need to carry on, when nothing and no one else could: ‘Good things come to those who refuse to be intimidated by their despair.’ This combination of words — and no other — was the semantic key that opened a door back to my heart.
   Thank you for keeping his words alive. I looked at his photographs and yes, you can see in his eyes and his face that he is the real thing.”

— Indira S. via e-mail

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