Zion 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 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.


     “The newsletter is great! It’s just full of fantastic stuff. I’m impressed that you used the word “solipsistic” in “Points to Ponder.” I have no idea what it means, but I’m going to look it up!.

Man in Colorado via e-mail

  • From 2011 Spring Newsletter

         To find sanity or to find the Truth in this day and age is truly a miracle. There is so little of it on this planet. Most men are motivated by greed and envy. All they care about is making money when we weren’t intended to pursue that earthly aim. That’s not why we were put here. We were put here to find God. In a lecture on MP3 CD, Volume 12, Vernon Howard exclaims, “If you don’t find God you will have to live with yourself, throughout eternity.” That alone should motivate us to get to work right this second and to keep working for the rest of our lives. Pretty strong medicine but absolutely necessary if we really want to get well.
         In a recent talk I heard, Vernon Howard explained that the reason an individual is insane is that “Your imagination has replaced Reality.” Notice how so many things are promoting ‘fantasy’ these days. There are fantasy leagues, fantasy suites, movies for children about living in fantasyland, and so on and so on. What we seriously must ask ourselves is what this egotistical, fantasy life has gotten us. It has gotten us exactly what we have asked for. It’s interesting to study human nature because if we take the blinders off, we can see that human beings get what they really ask for, what they really pray for. It was once explained that our prayers, our requests, are what we are. Vernon used the example of a man who fell into painful regret over having lost a lucrative business deal and explained that the man actually prayed for and got regret. Watch very carefully and you’ll see that what most people call their prayers often revolve around winning over someone else or demanding to have their own way. Our level attracts what we are.
         Everything that happens to us is a direct result of who we are. We attract what we are. And we are not at all who we say we are. In a recent class in Colorado one of the students who actually moved to Boulder City to study under Vernon relayed a story to the class that they had heard from another student a few years ago. The gist of it was that a woman student in Boulder City had her purse stolen at a restaurant. Vernon told her that it was her fault. If she had been more aware it wouldn’t have happened. In other words, her state of  unawareness attracted that event to her. What a wonderful thing to learn. I am responsible for everything that happens to me. I can no longer use the typical excuse that the world uses, which is, “Someone else is to blame” or “My circumstances caused the problem.”
         Lost human beings settle for mediocrity and sameness when we were truly meant for greatness. Motorcycle bikers have always amused me. They are supposedly rebelling against society, so what do they go and do? They do the opposite of what the corporate types do. Instead of a suit and tie, they all dress in the same way by wearing worn faded jeans, a leather jacket and a bandana. They all get a Harley, get a tattoo, they all swear and wear colors. They create another culture that is no different than the one they left behind. It’s simply the opposite of the one they are rebelling against. It’s on precisely the same level. Their behavior is still mechanical and imitative. There’s no uniqueness or individuality whatsoever. They’re copycats. There’s an old saying (which is a wrong saying) that goes like this, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” It should say something like this, “Imitation is one of the stupidest of all forms of human behavior.” To imitate means there is nothing original coming from the individual. He or she doesn’t really think for himself or herself; they just do the lazy thing, which is to copy the behavior of another human being or to ape something they saw in a movie.
         The next time a group of bikers comes into your town and they stop to gas up or dine at one of the local eateries notice how they all look and act the same. They dress alike, have long hair, travel in a pack, have somewhat similar motorcycles, etc. Notice how they tend to think alike as well as use identical phrases and lingo. Then the next time you get a chance to study a group of corporate business types notice how they all look similar. Some still wear suits but nowadays a lot are going to a look that I call the Van Heusen look.  They wear slacks, a casual dress shirt, and loafers and generally have shorter hair. You have to look the part or you won’t fit in. Do you see how it’s the same thing? There are all sorts of groups like this that people join in order to feel accepted and to be a part of the gang. There are also the religious types and the spiritual types who tend to dress, look and think in certain ways as well. Right? The point is they are all part of the herd mentality. The herd, the crowd is always cowardly. It is not a higher form of intelligence to mechanically march with the masses. Why don’t we start the process of rightly rebelling by questioning our loyalty and allegiance to this ‘crowd’ mentality? We can dare to break away because despite their threats of punishment, nothing bad will happen if we desert the mad mob.
         Vernon Howard once gave a definition of stupidity, which is quite true and actually very amusing. “Stupidity is to think you’re not stupid.” Let me ask you this, how many reading this article are afraid? Does anything scare you? If we’re honest, yes there is. Now if we are afraid, is that not stupid? Yes it is. I know the common response to all of this is, “But we’re human aren’t we?” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that  expression. It’s really just an excuse to refuse to take responsibility for our lives and to grow up. That’s the point. We have the ability to become less human and to transform into a cosmic being aligned with and living from the all-powerful force itself. As long as we settle for this ordinary life where we’re up and down, pulled this way and that way, we will remain in the undercurrent of the unseen but terrible pain that rules our lives. Here’s a valuable exercise. Have the courage to just look at other people’s faces. Take a look into their eyes. See the pain and uncertainty there. This is not to get an advantage over them but to impartially observe what is actually, factually there. Then take a look in the mirror and be honest about it. You don’t really like being you, do you? But there is a way out and you’re reading about it right now.
         Here’s a statement of fact that Vernon Howard told a class at a lecture, “The reason you have fears, of getting older or whatever it might be, is because you don’t have God in your life.” The whole world is afraid. It’s literally terrified. Watch the 6 o’clock news on TV.  What are they selling? They are selling FEAR. Look at the headlines in the newspaper. What are they selling? They are selling FEAR. When you turn the TV on and you tune in that Docudrama, what are they selling? They are selling FEAR. When you rent that action movie to watch, what are they selling? They are selling FEAR. And they are also telling you that fear is necessary. This world is in the business of fear mongering and one of its slickest tricks is to keep you believing that there is safety in numbers. Permanent and lasting security will come only as a result of “coming out from among them.”
         Here’s a side thought to keep in mind when watching television or a movie. Notice how the writers of a show will add humor in to get your defenses down. They’ll then immediately follow the funny scene with something very wrong which you are meant to unconsciously take in and accept without discernment. They may get you to laugh at something that is very low, even blasphemous. That’s why it’s so important to pay very close attention to everything that’s going on. Stay awake. If we’re awake and watching carefully we can’t be taken in or fooled by evil and we won’t pay the price for falling for it. What is the price for falling for it?  Continued separation from God. What is the reward for seeing through it? A New Life in which there is no fear, no uncertainty, no pain.
          Now here is a fact about fear that we as good spiritual students need to memorize and remember, “Fear is an unnecessary agitation that supplies a harmful distraction from what must be faced.” We have to start catching these things so that we stop getting taken. Do you see every time we go into fear over anything at all we are adding to the insanity of this world as well as our own madness/pain?
         Also connected with all of this is how easily influenced we are. Start to see how anyone can make us feel bad. The slightest news about our health causes a reaction to come up inside.  An incident happens halfway around the world and it causes shockwaves to go through us. In a talk from 1985, Vernon Howard explains, “People insane with fear are easy to manipulate.”  We have to stop falling for these tricks of evil. The tricks are both out there and in here.
         Here’s another example of how gullible we are. Say that during the course of a day you meet a number of people. After awhile each one calls you on the cell phone to say, “You don’t look so good.” What do you think is going to be our internal reaction to this type of comment? We may start thinking to ourselves “I’d better go to the doctor and get myself checked out.” For sure at some point worry and fear are going to enter into the picture. In every day terms this is called being gullible. But if we work hard on ourselves, we can begin to escape these mechanical states and stop the bad feeling from entering us. We can be free of the cumbersome burden we’ve been carrying around all of our lives. Vernon Howard on the same MP3 CD, Volume 12 says that at a certain point in your spiritual development, “The only influence there is, because you are wide awake, is God himself.” That means because we have worked very hard to apply these truth principles in our lives we got out from underneath the influences of this world and came under the only influence that matters, the spirit of Truth itself. We no longer are a servant to darkness, our lower nature, we are a servant of God, of something that is out of this world. How wonderful and yes, miraculous.

  • From 2010 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2010 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2009 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2009 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2008 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2008 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2007 Fall Newsletter
  • From 2007 Spring Newsletter
  • From 2006 Fall Newsletter


     I just read ‘The Witness Self’ in the newest newsletter and it’s done a lot for my journey as I’m piecing it all together. Thank you for keeping these teachings alive!

— Man in California
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