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“There is nothing in the whole universe that represents a threat to who you really are.”
“There is no real happiness for those on the wrong side. The greatest pleasure in life is the security of the true side. You can vainly try to win over the world or you can nicely be over the world. Your task is to change your operating center from strained imagination to relaxed reality.”
STUDY INSTEAD OF FIGHT
This sentence should be enough for you to study for the next year:
STUDY INSTEAD OF FIGHT
In order to do that you have to be aware of how much you fight life. Try to see the wide variety of ways you fight, resist, strike out, cry out, instead of just standing there and studying your condition. Example: Watch your resistance to something higher than you.
BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE
Suppose you are in a thick jungle with a cabin in the center. Your friends come and visit you. Among them are the hyena, the vulture, the little lamb and the crocodile. You begin to notice how these friends have taken over your home. They eat your food, watch your TV and come and go as they wish. You finally decide to take a stand. You go out to the porch where they are relaxing and tell them:
“This is my home. This is my life. I am going to take charge of it from now on. Don’t you dare come knocking on my door again and five minutes later try to con me. You are either going to behave in a right relationship to me or you can just turn out into that dark jungle and stay there. What I am trying to tell you is that from now on there is a new relationship between us in which I, a working human being not a fawning human being, am in charge of you and this jungle. And if you forget, I will remind you again. I will remind you until you hear and you may disappear.”
Most of the animals snarl and retreat into the jungle. They know they cannot con you any more and the only place they can live is in the jungle. A few remain. They are the ones who want something different than being an animal.
You find out there is no loneliness as long as you are what you’re supposed to be: a self-complete human being not needing animals at all because the animal part of you has gone.
DON’T IMPOSE YOUR THOUGHT ON OTHERS
Have the courtesy and decency to let other people think the thoughts they want to think instead of you imposing your thoughts on them. The reason you do this — yelling, interrupting and wanting to be the center of the conversation — is because you want to try to prove to yourself that your thoughts are real; that they are important and that they back up a very real person.
HOW GROWTH PROCEEDS
If you are compelled to think about the condition, it controls you. If you don’t need to think about it, you control it. But this kind of control is unique. It is a state in which there is neither a controller nor anything to be controlled. It is non-mental control, something like a man in good health who never needs to think about controlling illness.
CONSCIOUS SPEECH UPLIFTS BEING
This is an attack on muttering. Speak loud and clear, with head up. This will tell our emotions and mind not to be a mutterer and not to be afraid of the consequences.
TAKE THE ADVICE OF THE ANGEL
A veteran angel was showing a novice angel what life is really like. The veteran angel took the novice to a large office with hundreds of desks where people were working. At one desk a man lifted his waste basket and took it to a lady at another desk. They chatted friendly but before leaving he dumped his trash on her head. The lady then took her waste basket and went to another man’s desk. They talked and when she departed she emptied the contents of her basket onto his head.
The veteran angel explained, “We are seeing what these people are doing psychologically. There is a way to react correctly when the trash bearer comes to your desk. I have a number of signs which come from a higher source, and maybe by associating with them you will be able to let them work for you. You will see how you feel guilty at the start but you’ll begin to see the beauty of doing what is right even if it hurts the other person. When you do and say what is right you are not responsible for their hurts. Here are a number of signs for you to hold up as the situation demands:
Don’t dump your trash on my desk.
Who said I had to explain myself to you?
If you want to fight, find another enemy.
What if I made the demands on you that you make on me?
I won’t lift a finger to solve the problem you have caused.
I was not born to be the ear to your chattering mouth.
No, I don’t owe you a thing.
You are several years too late to play that trick on me.
How evil of you to try to drag me down to your low level.
“You will start to stop letting others steal your attention. Because you are asleep, you think it’s natural and friendly. You don’t know how you resent it. Watch for instances where people attempt to steal your attention. You don’t want people to steal your money, but you let them steal your psychic energy. For one thing, you will no longer feel obligated to participate in a social conversation. Save your energy for the enormous task of waking up.”
BE ALL ALONE
Be all alone until you can’t bear it anymore and then make yourself more alone. This doesn’t mean to go and sit by yourself in your room. It means to be alone wherever you are and not be stolen.
INVITE THE SHOCK
Why do you wait for exterior events to get the shock? Why don’t you deliberately be in an attitude of saying, “I am going out into this world, down where I work or in the home, etc., and be in a state where I am going to watch what happens to me as a result of getting that letter, watching that newscast, etc. I am going to invite my own disappointments” (which are already there waiting to come up). Invite the shock by not protecting yourself so you can go to the next step. DO IT!
REMEMBERING PRACTICAL MATTERS
Think of two or three small things you have to tell someone. Instruct yourself to remember to tell the person. Expand on the number of things until you become confused and then you will see how you really are.
SIMPLIFY YOUR WORK
Make an effort to simplify your work on yourself. Use simple words. If you have hatred, use the word “hatred,” not “a mild resentment.” Don’t use nice words to complicate the task. Use the words that hurt. This shows us what we are really like.
Do right even if tempted to do wrong.
Do right even if it means losing a friend.
Do right even if you don’t understand why you should.
Do right even if you fear the consequences.
Do right even if you don’t want to.
Do right even if it feels strange.
Do right even if it arouses criticism.
Do right even if it’s you against the world.
Suffer the glorious victory of being defeated. Let yourself be defeated and see how you sense you have done something right for the first time. Let all your friends leave you. Don’t get the new home. Don’t be popular. Lose everything, including the wish to fight for yourself in the wrong way.
“There was once a School of True Wisdom. An angel stood on guard before it, blocking entrance at the front gate. One morning a seeker approached the gate and asked admittance. The angel told him, ‘If I step aside and you enter here you will see that you have been a shameless faker all your life.’ The seeker answered, ‘I wish to enter. Please step aside.’ The angel then said to the seeker, ‘ If I step aside and you enter you must abandon all your usual and beloved hopes and ambitions.’ The seeker said, ‘I wish to come in. Please step aside.’ The angel continued, ‘If I step aside and you enter here you will come face to face with every evil and secret thought you have ever thought.’ The seeker replied, ‘I wish to go inside. Please step aside.’ The angel smiled, and stepped aside.”
Admiration is a terrible thing. It is division. Admiring God or someone else means you are apart. The idea stands between you and the good life. How can I put an end to what I call “me”, and there may be more to this than I imagine — the little girl — the daughter — the mother — the wife — the husband — the son, and so on.
BECOME A SPIRITUAL DETECTIVE
Go out into the world and select one, two or three people with whom you associate constantly. Very secretly watch this person all day long and notice a number of things about him. Notice specifically, as examples, the following characteristics and features. Notice when watching him what state he’s in. A person might be dominated by:
Notice how a person changes his behavior many times a day. Your part is simply to see this. Don’t judge. If you do you won’t be able to do the second part of the exercise, which is to see the same thing in yourself,
i. e., to turn your attention equally on yourself from moment to moment. This knowledge of human behavior will lead you to God.
Everyone you meet will try to get you to think for them, make a decision. As an exercise you will not only think for yourself, you will, as a conscious project, think for others. Be aware that they are shoving it on to you. Accept this work and watch your resentment. You are deliberately burdening yourself. Double your burden. Force your brain to wake up.
LEAVE THE EVENT ALONE
Begin to practice detachment of the event. Practice watching clearly an event in your life — an unkind remark for instance — and see how you are driven frantic to try and do something about it. Watch the urging to answer with a snappy, sarcastic remark. Begin to see that something, of which you are unaware, is living your life for you, and it will continue until you start to work.
OBSERVE YOUR THOUGHTS
Sit or lie relaxed and watch what is going on in your mind. Whatever you think — that is what you are at that moment. You will see there is no controller — just vagabond thoughts. You will also see that thoughts come to you rather than you promoting your own thoughts. Look at these thoughts as if they had no connection with your real nature, which they don’t.
Watch how much attention you waste in nervous glances at nothing. When walking down the street you see that person with the nice dress and you are lost. It satisfies your idle curiosity. That’s what you let capture your attention for a minute, or five or so. Watch how anything attractive or repulsive can take you away from yourself. You have your reward. I assure you there are much better things to do with your life.
START YOUR DAY RIGHT
Start your day in an upward direction and the rest of the day will follow the uphill path. Here are three methods:
A. When you begin to awaken do not let yourself fall back into another minute or two of sleep. Do the opposite. Stay awake and deliberately force yourself out of bed. This will give you a mild but healthy jolt.
B. As you slide out of bed be conscious of the exact moment when your foot touches the floor. Feel the weight of your foot against the rug. This is an interesting experience that will keep you conscious of other small daily events.
C. As you walk away from the bed, notice everything possible about yourself. Notice that you might feel drowsy or depressed or uncertain. Then actually shake your head as an act of shaking the sleepiness from your life.
These methods instruct body and mind and emotions to wake up spiritually. They make your whole nature conscious. And conscious action is true power.
If it seems difficult to work against your usual habits, remember this spiritual law: Do things the easy way and you perpetuate the hard life. But do things the hard way and you finally come to the easy life.
NEVER GROW OLD
There is a certain very insidious trap called “Growing Old.” I want you to know that millions of human beings on earth fall into the trap of playing an old man or woman. Almost all people do because they love playing an old person. They say, “I have contributed my part to the world; I have taken my responsibility; now I can sit back.”
NEVER PERMIT YOURSELF TO GROW OLD. YOUR MIND AND SPIRIT CAN ALWAYS BE YOUNG.
THINKING ABOUT OTHERS
When thinking about another, you must realize that you ARE thinking about him. Then ask yourself “What did I just think about him?” It is a valid thought on the practical level, but invalid on the psychological level. An example of a valid thought is planning to keep an appointment with another. An example of an invalid thought is getting false thrills, such as anticipating the pleasure of a romance or a financial benefit. See how much of your thought about others is invalid and start to break the chain.
A small negative incident happens and you allow it to grow and assume great importance. While you are carried away by this incident it seems you are going somewhere in a definite direction. When the force weakens, you become anxious because you feel in your delusion you are losing your sense of direction. You then latch on to the next negative force. Such is your day. Be alert to this and go through the strain and pain of NOT getting carried away.
It is right instruction to slow down and very beneficial to make small aims to do this. You will see how you forget to do the simplest of instructions. This observation of failure is success. Make aims to slow down, for example, 1) your reaction for three seconds when another speaks to you, and 2) when entering your home.
YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK YOURSELF
For heaven’s sake grow up. You have to do the work yourself. There is no big daddy to do the work for you. You want someone to do your thinking for you, to tell you what to do, while you regress to a small child again. Let mama and papa make the decisions for you while you play. You can play with your toys of agitation and pretense, feeling that someone else is going to take care of you. When are you going to abandon infantile ways of living? When you don’t get what you want, you scream about injustice and how you have been put upon. To stop your infantile ways, stop fawning, worshipping, and admiring people.
VALUABLE CHECKLIST FOR SELF-TEACHING
Here is a technique for logical thinking in our everyday life. This technique is to make a checklist of our daily behavior. Then at the end of the day when we check it, we will see where we were asleep and where we can do better. Eventually, we will be able to check it mentally when it happens instead of at the end of the day. Write your own checklist numbered 1 through 100 at least, of one short concise sentence ending in a question. Write them in your own words. The following are some examples from Mr. Howard:
1. Where did I react mechanically instead of consciously?
2. Where did I fall under the spell of social propaganda?
3. Why did I permit myself to feel guilty or intimidated?
4. Did I fear others would see through me?
An example of using the above is, say you have a mental argument with someone, you would go down the checklist and see where you made your mistake. Note: A checklist is only of use when used.
STOP BEING AFRAID
Here is an order from Vernon Howard: Stop being afraid of this sick world. Stop it! That man or woman can’t do a thing to you — not if you really understand. You have nothing, nothing to protect.
VIOLENCE IS NEVER RIGHT
Don’t you ever accept anger in yourself or others as being right. If you will refuse to accept anger, hostility, hatred — this inner violence — as right and necessary, you will then begin to see where the actual cause of your problems is. You now justify violence in yourself and others you are allied with. They hate the same things you do and you justify each other’s hatred.
You give up too easily. You go out and try to accomplish something that’s very difficult — something that’s a thousand to one chance of success. And persevere and persevere. The results of your task are not important. What is important is the knowledge you will learn about yourself.
MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH IDEAS
One way in which we can create understanding is to make connections between ideas. Here are examples of how two ideas that don’t seem to go together can be put together, and your part is to see how all ideas are connected to each other.
Demands with a dull life.
Dizzy thinking with cunning.
False values with confusion.
REFUSE ALL ADVANTAGES
No one is nice unless he can be so without nice possessions and nice advantages. May heaven help you if you cling to your supposed advantages, your securities, your comforts. Anything you look forward to will destroy you as it already has.
TIME AND ETERNITY
Time is my thoughts, my physical body, my attitudes. They are not part of my real nature. Neither are my past and future. When I understand that, then the sensing of nowness, which is eternity, takes its place. Nowness then directs the present time-nature intelligently without conceit or self-centeredness.
Eternity can understand time but time cannot understand eternity.
Nothing changes in time. Things change in the absence of time.
Deliberately rob yourself of the pleasure of making that remark. Go through the hell of not saying what your old nature wants you to say. For instance, somebody is talking about where they’ve been, and you want to say “I’ve been there too,” and so on.
ANSWER YOUR OWN QUESTIONS
Asking a question of another is easy — which doesn’t mean you don’t ask questions. Do the hard thing with yourself — answer your own questions. Otherwise they will remain unsolved.
FEAR OF FAILURE
Why do you have a fear of failure on the inner journey? Simply and only because you rely on the imaginary self which you carelessly take as real. This is like trusting a picture of an apple to satisfy your hunger. Remember you don’t have to succeed; you need only be completely convinced that you cannot succeed. This convincing erases the imaginary self and all its useless attempts to succeed. You are now left in union with cosmic power which owns the entire universe and which therefore never needs to try to succeed at anything. Cosmic power is total success itself.
YES AND NO
Truth operates above yes and no.
Truth operates within yes and no.
But it never operates in maybe.
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