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.”
A real revelation is something that comes from a higher source than the mind that receives it. All at once, you can shove aside 99.9% of so-called revelations as simply wishes of the mind to have an experience which it then calls a revelation. This means we're going to have to stop thinking we already know what the answers are. To do this requires a very special kind of ignorance that comes out of real humility. A special kind of ignorance that knows that it doesn’t have the facts about true life but wants to learn them.
Now listen with extreme care to what I'm going to tell you next, because this point is of special importance. Here's where millions and millions of human beings go wrong. The first revelations that come to you with this humility are very dark, they're not bright at all; they're not cheerful at all. The correct order is to go through dark revelations, which will then lead to bright revelations.
What we mean by the right order is dark revelations first. Do you have conceit in your life? Do you love to argue? Do you love to cause trouble? Do you love to fight? Are you a know-it-all -– you know what that is, the expression on your face is one of contempt when someone is trying to tell you something authentically valuable and you're hard; your spirit is hard and you don't even know it.
If you want the real revelation that will change the kind of a human being you are, then you're going to have to see how hard, how arrogant, how foolish, how whatever the subject is, you know the answer. Right?
That’s pretty shocking. That’s pretty hard on the vanity, but that must come first, absolutely, all the way, one hundred percent of great pain. Don't forget the right order or you’ll kid yourself and you'll never find the truth and you'll go around having to insist that you found the truth at last, you found God; and you don't even know how vicious you are. You don't even know how angrily you defend what you call your god, how violent you are toward anyone who disagrees with you.
You had better start seeing yourself as others see you and as you don't want to see yourself. Upon that comes your salvation. Upon that depends your ultimately receiving these truths that can enter and chase out all the darkness of your self-lying, your hatred of everything that is good and true.
There is no such thing as being too strong here; no such thing because we have so much work to do and we don't have time to fool around. Leave the fooling around to people who want to go out and drink and entertain and do all the foolish things they intend doing for the rest of their lives in an effort to block out the pain. Now I will tell you again, as long as you're lost, seeing the dark side of human nature is essential for you to see in yourself and see in other people.
YOU’VE GOT THE WRONG MAN
Vernon gave a story to illustrate a point, as summarized here: There was a man driving his jeep down a dusty road through Africa where all the fierce animals are. He looked off to the right and what he saw horrified him. He stopped and just stared at the very strange sight out there.
This has a very powerful application, so you listen to this. What the man saw that terrified him was another man standing in the open field surrounded by savage beasts — a growling lion within a few yards, a hyena, a rhino and wild African dogs on the other side that were about to attack.
And as the observer watched, the strangest sight he'd ever seen happened. The man surrounded by animals casually walked over to the lion, whispered something in his ear and as the man watched, the lion looked a little stunned, shook his head, turned and walked away. One by one, the man whispered something in every one of the dozen animals’ ears and the animals walked away. The witness was stunned. What kind of miracle was this? He couldn’t contain himself anymore, so he walked over and said, “Sir, I saw a miracle happen just now, what’s it all about?”
The man said, “I say to them a secret that was told to me many, many years ago by a very wise man who knew how to handle the beasts of the jungle. And he gave me a sentence which I whisper to the animals. And once I do that that was all I need to do.”
“Yes, but what did you say to them?”
“I said, you have the wrong man.”
What would you give to be able to be surrounded by the animals of this world, of human beings, of rumors, of viciousness, of sour emotions; what would you give to be surrounded by them and you can walk over and whisper in their ear, “You’ve got the wrong man.” When you tell an animal that, if you're talking from your spirit, they know you are and that scares them immediately and they walk away because they can't scare you.
When you tremble, it makes the hyena excited. I'm talking about human hyenas, human lions, they get real excited when they see you scared because that's their food. This is the food of human animals to get you in a position where they can feed off of your wrong emotions, off of your wrong reactions.
“You’ve got the wrong man.” Start with that, and gradually, as you let the revelation of the meaning behind the words come through, you begin to feel different about it, you begin to feel that there is something more in the sentence than the words you said at first so mechanically. If you started today with that sentence alone — you’ve got the wrong man — some day you'd say it with your whole spirit...you would live it.
BE TRUE TO TRUTH
See that you don’t know what to do about anything. Bear the discomfort, a new kind of pain, of not knowing and refuse to ask anyone else or even talk to them about it. Just go about your day and be interested in doing what you are doing while you are doing it. Keep coming back home. Watch! This is the answer. Stick with it. Dare to trust God to work it out for you.
Your suffering must have no one and nothing to turn to. It is a good thing for you to be thrown back on yourself, not having anyone, not having anything that you've ever depended upon before. Come on now, it's failed you. Everything has failed you. You've tried, you know that.
I will guarantee you absolutely that any past method that you have tried to set yourself free of yourself, if they’ve failed in the past, they will fail in the future. To be thrown back on yourself and to stay with it, to not rush out and try to find an answer outside of yourself, to stay with it and go thru the experience to suffer in a new way because you are no longer comforting yourself with asking others questions. You’re sticking with yourself, knowing you don’t know the answers and that is true. All your past references to yourself have failed you.
Self-awakening, a true authentic spiritual life, begins the moment you stick to yourself, refusing to go back to your old ways inner or outer; but staying with it to see what new experience will come to you. I'll guarantee you that it will — after you've gone thru a lot of shaking, a lot of walking in the fog for a long time. If you will absolutely refuse to go back to your old sources, something new will happen to you, and it will be the beginning of a very, very rare experience for human beings. And you can be one of them.
I want you to know that if you go along with this to the very end of your studies, of your self-investigation, that this invisible world where true help comes from will be more real to you than that automobile out there. The rules are just as definite as cooking, as a football game. If you follow the rules you will get the results.
If you were happy you wouldn’t look forward to anything. You ladies and gentlemen are going to have to reach the point where instead of having confidence, instead of trusting anything or anyone, you will have lost it completely, which is exactly what Truth wants you to do so that it can begin to operate in your life.
Work all alone. Don’t get involved with people; they’ll turn on you. Love the very idea of developing your present nature into a true individual. Abandonment of all attempts to please others will finally bring you into touch with the one thing you need — REALITY itself.
Be true to Truth — the true self within. What’s the use of a million dollars, of fame, of losing myself in other people? Here's how you try to fill up the emptiness, the loneliness: sobbing, hating someone, having someone in your life who is just like you — empty. Why do you believe in your emptiness? Peacefulness is superior. Contentment is better than frustration. Happiness is better than misery. All is a fear of giving up your own noisy life.
THE TIMELESS STATE
The invented personality, the false self, must have a future to survive. Since the artificial self lives in time, in thought — ordinary thinking — that is time itself. So it must always revolve around time, past and future. If you begin to rob the artificial self of time experiences, it will scream its objections, but in spite of all its objections, it must fade away.
As it begins to fade away you begin to see yourself, know yourself, as a different kind of an entity than you knew yourself before. Because when you cease to recreate your invented personality through thinking, as you cease to recreate it, it begins to dissolve. The dissolution of time and the dissolution of the invented personality are the same thing. So gradually — more and more and more — you, your real nature, begins to rest in the here and now. No matter what you are doing, whether you're sweeping the floor, or conducting business, or driving your car or whatever, you begin to get a sensing that there really is — really is — nothing but right now and that is because that is where your are.
But for a long time the pull, the tug of time-thoughts, will try to pull you away from here and now — the timeless state — and will succeed won't it? You've had this experience where maybe you understand that this is all that counts. There is no past to feel ashamed of, there's no future to go to, and there is nothing at all that time-thought can create. This sensing becomes stronger and stronger as all the pieces are put together.
LET TRUTH GUIDE YOUR LIFE
Why do you feel at any time that you’re suddenly out of control, that the storm is too much for you? Why do we ever have feelings of dismay and discouragement and defeat at all?
There’s one reason why we fall apart. That reason is that you have had remnants of beliefs in your own strength and wisdom to guide the boat, to handle your life. You still don’t understand that you insist upon being the pilot of that boat. And you want to be the pilot because you want to take credit for the successful voyage. As long as you picture yourself as a pilot instead of as a passenger you must by the nature of things run into storms of darkness and dismay. And you’re going to worry over what’s going to happen to you.
When this happens the solution is astonishingly simple. All you have to do is be willing to give up your place at the helm. You are not the captain of your life. That’s the problem; you want to be. You think you are, you insist you are. You think it is necessary to guide your own boat.
We’re talking about you losing something, losing your identity as the captain of the boat. This means you must resign from that position. Spiritually translated you have got to drop what you call your own strength. If you weren’t trying to succeed you wouldn’t have feelings of failure.
The way to sail right thru every storm, avoid every rock in the sea as if they are not there, is for you to know where you belong on the boat. You belong there as a passenger, who’s willing to be a very happy pleasant one, instead of a strained nervous captain who’s so sure that it’s up to you to guide the boat right.
And only when you’re seated at a distance from the wheel do you really know something from your spirit, higher spirit. What you know is that there is some force, power, besides you, besides your mind. You would have vowed when you were so nervously guiding that boat left and right to avoid the rocks and you hit them anyway, at that point you thought that you were all alone in that vast ocean called the universe.
This is the stage of very low inward development, in which you actually believe that you are all there is.
Over on the nice resting place where Something Else is in charge, only when you’re there can you know something that you never knew before — which you thought you knew, by the way, because your imagination was operating — only then will you know that there is a God.
When you’re a passenger watching that mysterious invisible force take the wheel and guide it past the rocks and thru the storms easily, you know from yourself, not from your beliefs, not from your anxieties, you just very quietly and silently know, for the very first time you know it — you can call it God if you want, you can call it a higher force if you want — you know absolutely that it cares for you.
You see there’s always so much more to learn. You’re seated over there, you have a little insight and then you fall asleep, and you trust — listen, this is what it amounts to, isn’t it horrible, dreadful? — you trust yourself more than you trust God. And you get up and rush over to the wheel and sigh, “At last my life is back in control” — bang against the rocks!
Give up! I assure you that the Creator of this universe knows what he’s doing. He knows what he is doing with your life. Now I know that doesn’t give you any cause for rejoicing, because you don’t accept it. Unknown to yourself, you still want to hang on to your present ways of living and thinking and feeling and reacting. Therefore there can be no real rest for you. You still would vow that you have to take care of yourself. All right, If you still take care of yourself then God can’t do it!
This is a figure of speech but you’ll see it inwardly, you’ll see the steering wheel, helm of a boat — you’ll see it go back and forth of itself. And when you see it moving by itself — I’m talking about the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth guiding your life — it will occur to you, an intelligent thought will come to you that could never come to you before, which is: When you don’t do anything about guiding the boat, no rocks, no storms.
And if you stay there and you stay away from the wheel, this is what is called a spiritual revelation of God. It will come to you. What will come to you is a heavenly spiritual enlightenment. And what that enlightenment will be is you’re seeing that you’re in the right place because the boat ceases to crack up.
Ah, and I’ll tell you something else that happens as you’re sitting over there on the couch just watching your life flow by. You will see how foolishly, how ignorantly, how you looked forward to the next crash on the rocks. Because every time you crashed on the rocks you could sob, you could scream and you could get hateful and you could blame someone for it; you could blame yourself. Oh, what a revelation to see how in love you were with blasting hot fiery feelings!
… There’s the danger ahead, the threat, the worry, whatever. Instead of clutching the wheel and trying — look, just open your hands. Oh, what an experience! This is called full terror. It’s marvelous, and the beginning! Now with empty hands … you walk towards the resting place. And from there forever more, the voyage will be smooth.
Whatever your life now is, question it. Inquire into your life and don’t fight with anything you see there. Just ask what is going on inside me? Inquire. And when you see what is going on inside of you quite clearly, that is an invitation to God to come and turn on the light for you.
DON’T COVER PAIN WITH PLEASURE
Question within everyone: Do I have a chance to make it out? We know something is dreadfully wrong.
The answer is YES! God says, “I will show you that you can make it out.”
What is our aim? Vernon explained that with a story about an office building:
On the lower level, people were low paid. On the 100th story, the man gets a big salary. He is in charge of hearing all the bad news without batting an eyelash, without emotional, personal comment.
No reaction is the right reaction. No reference to self causes you to see you’re not the false self. The experience stops at the mind and doesn’t go into the emotions. Be so daring that you’re willing to let go of yourself, of your vanity, a little at a time, by simply relaxing from it. All news is good news because your spirit does not live on the level of this earth.
Now comes your work: See those hostile emotions. The awareness of this battle is progress itself. The mind operates in opposites. The mistake: When you get a pain, worry, grief, your mistake is to cover it up with pleasure. IMPORTANT: Don’t cover pain with pleasure. Don’t repress pain. You try to fight it. It’s all an unnecessary struggle and battle. Don’t cover that worry, for example, and don’t protect yourself from a comment.
Not knowing what to say to yourself is good, not bad. Catch yourself at the moment of the crisis. You must be alert and not be gone — or you don’t purify the moment. Look in and see your reaction. Your mind can’t do it. You see it happening and the light that’s in you will come in and not permit darkness to take you over.
YOU GET BACK WHAT YOU PUT OUT
Vernon introduced this law with the following story summarized here: A family went down to the beach one day to enjoy themselves. They put their blankets and toys out on the sand...When they were settled, the children, who were perhaps ten or eleven, went down to play in the water while the parents watched ... After awhile the father went down to the water's edge and talked to the children about the seagulls flying ... and the ships way out at sea. Then he said to his son, "Now take that little wooden boat you have and toss it out into the ocean way beyond the waves and let's see what happens." So, with all his might, the son tossed the boat out into the sea, and soon the waves washed it back ... Then the daughter threw her yellow rubber ball out and the three of them watched as the water and waves gradually brought the boat back to the shore again. Then the father said to them, "You got back what you threw out. That's very interesting in that the waves never lie. And I want you to remember that for the rest of your lives."
Years passed and the boy and girl went out into this world — a place where there are very sad people and very malicious people and very confused people. They too became sad and confused and had problems. Many years later they met and agreed that it took them a long time to understand what their father meant when he said the waves never lie. The lesson he was trying to teach them is an invisible law, the law being, you always get yourself back. He had given them a physical lesson to remind them that they got back exactly what they put out.
Vernon then explained: Now this invisible law that you do indeed get what you give is very offensive to millions of human beings around the world, because it means that they're going to have to see what their nature put out into the world and therefore, they asked exactly for what they got in return. You might as well get it thru your mind and your heart and your spirit right now, that because the waves never lie, you can't deceive them. Whatever your actual nature is, what you possess as a nature is what you are. And your imagination or your self-flattering images calling yourself something else doesn’t change a thing. You are under the invisible law absolutely, 100%! Whatever you throw out into the world, you're going to get that back! Now you see how there's no excuse for any human being complaining what the world does to him because the world never ever did a thing to him. He did it to himself by getting back what his actual nature was.
But do we see the problem? People don't want to see invisible laws because they might just expose something in them that they don't want exposed. Now let's get a little closer. If you get your feelings hurt by other people, you have feelings that hurt other people. It's the same thing. If your very nature is something that throws out from itself offensiveness into the world, this is exactly what you're getting back because you're getting back the only thing you possibly can have, which is your own nature.
Now you tell me, what do you possess outside of your actual nature? Nothing! Here's the mistake. Here's where everyone goes wrong and if you don't correct it, you'll continue to go wrong.... All suffering consists of being what you presently are — your own nature. You can begin to see how you misuse your imagination in order to make yourself feel good by putting flattering labels on top of the negativity. Actually see yourself do it and you'll begin to break your division. But we don't do that because we're afraid that if we take the label away, we'll see ourselves as we actually are, which is unacceptable to our vanity.
In just the few minutes that we've talked tonight, you've heard one of the most powerful of all invisible laws. And if you will not shy away from it, if you will look at yourself during your daily contacts with yourself and other people, and if you see where you get hurt, you will know what you're giving out into the world. What's the motto of this class? “If you can take it you can make it.” Can you bear the pain of seeing what you're really like inside? It won't do any good at all to put a fancy label on all these dark things inside of you and sending them out into the ocean and saying that you're loving when you're not. All you're going to do is suffer from self-deception. Now look, what is simpler, what is plainer and what is more practical than for you to see that? What do you think these classes and lectures are all about? They are all about you knowing how you actually operate and where you make your mistakes. The understanding of what we talked about is the work. You don't have to strain at it. You have to stop calling your delusions reality. I recommend you write this down: "I always get myself back."
... You had better resolve now to begin to grow up and not be offended by what Truth is trying to tell you.
YOUR FIRST DUTY IN LIFE
Now I’m going to illustrate all this business of self-conceit, which includes unseen arrogance, always ready to strike out. I want you to see the connection between self-conceit, self-vanity, and self-unhappiness. If you see it you won’t want to be conceited anymore so that you won’t be unhappy anymore. But you must see the connection. And I’m going to describe the world to you now as the world reacts to the heavenly voice, heavenly power, to God, Truth, Reality. Try to see that there is something going on above this world that wants to reach this world in order to correct — not the masses of humanity who despise truth — but hopefully is trying to reach you.
Here’s the story: there was a very poor dry desolate country and everyone who lived in it was poor and dry and desolate inwardly.... and because they were poor, they were unhappy. And oh yes, they were also very conceited. Don’t think that just because someone is poor that they’re necessarily nice people; they were bad people.
A nice, compassionate, loving king who lived in an adjoining country sent them an invitation through his ministers and ambassadors who said to the poor people, “In the land of the Royal King miles from here is an abundance of everything that you really want and need.... There’s an abundance for all to take back and use, and if you take it back you will be happy. So you don’t have to be concerned with anything else; you must be very much concerned and interested in changing your life. That is a spiritual rule. Your first duty in life is toward your inner development and nothing else, absolutely nothing else. Don’t be tricked into thinking there is anything else but the first rule is your self-transformation.”
So people were excited about this and they started to move toward the country with their baskets and their wagons to get the good things in the other country and sure enough, there it was, everything they needed. And the minister came over to each one of them and said, “Now take all you want. There’s no end to the wealth that you can take back and have for yourself. Take it freely. However, there is one thing, and I want you to remember what I’m going to say next. When you take the goodness and the wealth and the abundance back to your country and use it, you must always give credit to the good king of this land.... It is essential that you give credit to the king and to the king only. If at any moment you give credit to yourself, if you say ‘I earned it by making the journey or I created it or I talked the king out of it with my cleverness,’ if you ever show any conceit, any vanity, any self-credit, if you take it within yourself and brag about it to other people, the riches will vanish right where you are. They will be real to you only as long as you understand from your hearts and say with words, that the only source of supply that you have is the king. You must never take credit for yourself in any way at all.”
Do you see the significance of what we’re talking about? Most people, when they were told that spiritual law, nodded in agreement. They wanted to get the goods and run; they wanted to stay conceited. They failed to pass the test where when they met the embarrassment, the shock or whatever. They failed to want to understand it. Conceit reigned inside of them and they nodded in agreement, and they took the goods back. And when they started bragging about it, either within themselves, silently, secretly, or to someone else, it vanished; and they went back to their poverty and they went back to their misery.
A few people understood why it has to be that way, because they understood ... that they were simply receivers. They didn’t create anything. They understood that they were not originators of anything. All was a gift from the higher land. And understanding the marvel of that as opposed to the conceit of the other people ... they wanted to do nothing more than to quietly and to truly, humbly, give credit to the king himself.
Where are you going to find a man or a woman in this world who knows that the very source of your very physical life alone, to say nothing of your thoughts or your spiritual nature ... who knows that God is the source of all good?
... You want to get something, and you also want to think that the getting has something to do with your merit, with your strength, with your wisdom, with your individuality. All that has to go. Everything connected with conceit must vanish. Now please, understand that you are only a receiver of what has already been created. I want you to know that this is a thousand times more difficult a state for you to achieve than you now see.
You must realize how hardened, how subtle, how concealed conceit is. “I, me, mine, I did that, I can make you angry; I can be happy if I get this or that.” The life of practically every man and woman on earth starts with “I.” And that is conceit and that is why, ladies and gentlemen, when you get a glimmer of spiritual truth and you take it back home with you, it vanishes; it doesn’t stay with you.
Now that’s marvelous for you to see ... trying to hold your life in place is folly. What does that mean? Very briefly, trying to hold your life in place means to rush through your mind as many thoughts and emotions as you can, to give yourself the surface appearance, the illusion of you being a self-creator. You don’t have charge of anything.... Be very, very suspicious of how hidden conceit has robbed you and does rob you every minute of your life of living very quietly, very calmly.
REMEMBER THE EXERCISE
Now this is your exercise for the next two days. Catch yourself right in your behavior at home or out in the café if you live alone and ask yourself, “Why am I behaving the way I'm behaving right now; what secret motive is there behind it?” The only answer to that is you begin to slow down your mind through the techniques that we've talked about here so that you, the illusion of you begins to slow down.
You finally got smart, it took you long enough, you finally got smart and you got up in the morning and you say, let's see now, what particular inner exercise shall I have today? Well, I'm going to remember when I walk out the door. Oh I forgot. Well you remembered that you forgot. That’s good.
DEVELOP SPIRITUAL HEARING
Christ gave a statement of astonishing insight, as all true spiritual statements are astonishing and marvelous. That statement went as follows: “Let he that has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Now of course he was not talking about hearing the winds in the hills of Galilee or hearing the sounds of merchants in the market place. As always, he was talking about something above this world. He knew all about that world above this earthly sphere that we live on; he understood it.
I want you to begin to understand your need to develop spiritual hearing. It will come to you as, for example, you follow the principles that you've heard here; and as you listen and want to hear, you will.
That hearing obviously has to be personally experienced by you, but when it finally comes there is no question at all in your mind but that you are hearing a message from another world.
You know finally, listen to this, you know that you are no longer talking to yourself. You have become silent in your mind and in your emotions. And in that silence God is able to speak to you and you will recognize it.
This new hearing that you have is totally unlike anything else. It is immediately recognized when it really happens to you. And when it happens, that is the same thing as you changing from a mere human living from thoughts and ambitions and anxieties.
Your nature starts to change so that while you still have a mind and still have emotions and still have a physical self, while you have those, you understand that something, this voice that you are hearing, is operating on and through your mind, your feelings, your body, your voice, your reactions. And that voice is giving you instructions on what to do and how to get out of the dark cave that is felt by you.
Feeling is the same as hearing. And hearing changes what you do with your whole composite nature, self. You are following the orders of this spiritual voice, the voice of God, you are following those orders. And to your great interest and delight you find that you don’t want to go down to visit your friend's house anymore where you were going to have drinks and chatter about nonsensical things, trivial things.
You are interested to find out that without you making any plans or any thoughts about it and no conflict, all of a sudden it comes to be eight o’clock — and you used to go down to your friends house and drink, do whatever foolish things you used to do, you find that of yourself, without thinking about it, you don’t want to go. You want to stay home and be with and increasingly enjoy this new nature that is hearing this voice. Oh, you get so eager to hear more. You’re not going to hear it down with those beer glasses clicking. You’re not going to hear it down there with all those loud voices and you know it.
See what has happened? You have made your choice just to hear. Making that choice, you did hear. And what you heard the voice saying was, “Stay home and let Me talk to you instead of those sick friends, the whole sick world.” And it was the easiest choice of your life, right?
What is more pleasurable than not to be under the dragging compulsion of getting in the car and going down there again and putting on the false face as you went in the door. And it’s your turn to buy the drinks, your turn to lead in the foolishness maybe.
Oh what a pleasure to cut off the drain of your whole life. Nothing is more pleasurable than to be in a position of knowing what Christ was talking about when he said that. You know that you can listen any time you want, twenty-four hours a day, yes, even while you are asleep. God doesn’t sleep; he is always ready to talk to you, twenty-four hours of the day.
And you will get such a wish to be always listening. And if you catch yourself beginning to get a chattering mind, or you catch yourself being attracted for the moment to the noisy mob out there — the time will come when you’ll be able to catch yourself in time. You’ll want nothing more than to stay home all the time. Being at home means living with yourself, with this true nature, which is always receptive, always listening for the little insight, the little warning, the little advice so that you don’t have to think your life as you used to.
Stay home and listen and you will hear.
STAY SILENT AND LEARN
When you meet someone, you are no longer going to be the first one to speak. Stay silent and learn. Don’t impose your boring life story on the other person. Let the other person talk. Then write down what you have learned.
TRUTH IS STRONGER THAN ANYTHING
All right, right now ... make your choice to look inward and see what is happening to you for heaven’s sake, for your sake.
See that you're an arguer; that you like to fight and notice while you're fighting — oh, the pain and the strain — notice that you feel unnatural when you’re arguing with someone. An arguer does not know. An arguer has no intelligence at all. He has pseudo intelligence. He has what he calls bluff and bluster and deep down inside of him he knows the strain and pain of that. He knows the falseness of it. He knows his agony. Woe unto any man or woman who finally falls in love with his agony, who finally says, “Argument is it.”
And it’s so easy for anyone to argue, have you noticed that? You can pick a fight any time you want and if the person you pick a fight with goes away, the next one will be just fine. Anything goes as long as you can look with your physical eyes at the billboard, or look at the person, or look at the heavy traffic and find something to crab about.
You don’t know the horror of living that kind of a life. I want you to know where you are in the dark desert and I want you to be absolutely horrified at what you have permitted to happen to you. That is the only experience that can produce something new in you. That’s the only thing that can break your mechanical talking, your mechanical thinking, and your mechanical emotionalizing, because the seeing of your state is the first stage of inviting consciousness that will dismiss it.
So ask God Himself to help you to no longer love your repetitious self. The nature that always does the same thing. Don’t you always do the same thing? You know that.... Oh yes, you find a new way to pretend that you're right when really inside you know you are absolutely wrong. You know it. You know you're wrong, which is the reason you argue in the first place. Beautiful Truth comes along and tells you, “Sir, why are you choosing to destroy yourself when you don’t have to?”
See, if Truth comes along and you listen to that, the word alternative will come to your mind and you'll say, “Well, I didn’t know that I could get rid of this slave me, of this compulsive me, of this argumentative me, of this hateful me, of this ‘pretenseful’ me." And after that you will have a swelling up inside of you of the gratitude that you listened to Truth.
Let me give you another little example. Have you ever been walking out on a gray day with the sun behind the clouds and maybe a little bit cold, a little bit chilly; and you're walking out somewhere and all of a sudden the sun does break through. The clouds drift by and the sun shines through for just a minute, and when it does that, don’t you feel different? Don’t you feel brighter? You can see it all around you and you can feel the faint warmth of the sun. At that moment you know you've experienced something physically. Something outside of you has caused this sunshine, the warmth, to come down and it touches you, envelopes you. And you even walk in it for aways, don’t you? Don’t you want more of that?
All that you've heard about being so egotistical and self-centered and not wanting that any more is the invitation. You see, Truth is stronger than those clouds. Reality is stronger than the darkness out in that world, which is the same darkness that is inside you. It is stronger than you and you must realize that nothing — no person, no event, no feeling, no mood, no discouragement — is stronger than Truth. You, in your real nature — listen to this, oh, don’t forget it — your real nature which you can attain to, is stronger than anything, always and forever. All you have to do is ally yourself with who you really are. Then the warmth breaks through with increasing frequency wherever you go in this world. You're just attending to your family at home, or you're at work down at the office, or wherever you go — you will have this real spiritual experience in which you're walking down the hall of that building where you work and all of a sudden you will feel it. It’s coming not from the physical sun up there, is it? It’s coming from the spiritual world, which is an enormous, enormous sun; and it’s coming down to you in spite of anything that may appear to be an obstacle because you've asked it to come to you. You feel that experience as something that you have never, ever felt before. How many of you in this room have had this experience? Let me see your hands. Isn’t it beautiful! Lots of hands.
Please, if you have ever had this experience just once, yield yourself to it. Want that more than you want walking down the hall where the sun isn’t inside you. Love the sun more than you want walking down the hall of the office building being angry at something that just happened in the office that may have upset you and made you distressed. Don’t love argumentation, distress; don’t love that. Un-love it. It is very important that you get this first glimpse, which will come to you. The first glimpse will win your heart and it will win your life.
THY WILL BE DONE
Consider, as you’ve never considered before, a familiar spiritual phrase. You’ve seen it in spiritual books, you’ve heard it quoted, maybe quoted it yourself. And I want you to give a new value to it because it’s a summary of every development system that has ever been systematized. It is a grand summing up of everything you must do to escape this sick world and arrive where you really belong.
I told you that it will be familiar. Its meaning is not familiar to you, just the words. But this is your exercise for you to carry out. Whatever happens inside your mind and happens to you as a result of social contact while you’re shopping, watching television, doing your work, puttering around the house or trimming the shrubbery, you can resort marvelously to knowing what you should do by saying the following: THY WILL BE DONE. Write it down.
Oh, how tremendous! By saying that, you’re allowing God’s will to replace your will. And if you really do that, I tell you, and you’ll tell yourself when you see it happening, you’ll talk in an entirely different way than you talk. You talk in a certain way now, don’t you? This talking is just one phase of it. Feelings, actions, attitudes are all included, but just specify talking for now. You talk in a certain way to other people. They know more about it than you do because you can’t see yourself talk. You’re too wrapped up and hoping it’s going to give you a benefit if you go into that little speech or whatever. But as a first stage in allowing the Heavenly will to be done, you’re going to know how you talk with someone. Just notice how you converse and notice the emotion that goes with it. And oh, you’ll be able to see a lot of wasted feelings going on inside of you.
Now, having known by personal witnessing what it means to do your will: to speak, to chatter, to say your will — having known that you’re nothing but wrapped up in what you call your life, which is a memorized and boring life and a flop and a failure life; having noticed that, you can bring the healing statement in: Thy will be done.
Next step after you say that — and you have to do it a lot of times — do it all day the rest of the day, tomorrow, too. The next step is to notice that you’re not able to maintain an awakened state after you say that. You’re saying it mechanically but that will help you in the long run to be able to talk consciously, knowingly, and you won’t be blabbing about yourself, your world, your interests. You think you’re talking about other people but you’re talking about them in relationship to yourself. You want something from those other people that you pretend to be so concerned about, and you’re afraid if they go away you’ll be lost, which you will be. Then you can say, “Thy will be done.”
“Thy will be done” must become a spiritual way of life. It will be mechanical at first. Then it will transcend mechanicalness and go up to heavenly consciousness. At the start, you’ll forget what you said. And one week from now you’ll be looking over your notes and see you forgot it for a whole week.
All right, mechanical reminders are good. Get them down but try to get a little higher back-up than that. Get into the state of mind in which the dominant desire is a spiritual one, a heavenly one. And you’re willing to sacrifice anything that you should sacrifice in order to get out of the trap of “my will be done.” That’s your trap, “my will be done.”
“Thy will be done, not my will be done.” The change will appear. The level will rise. You’re in the dark valley where the sunlight doesn’t reach. But as you climb up the side of the mountain out of the valley, at every hundred feet it gets lighter and brighter. You know something from above is causing your nature to change. That is, you allowed it to change by going toward the light. All this can and must be done so that you will not waste your life as a human being for the few short years that you’re here on earth. Stop right in the middle of your fear of stopping and say, “Thy will be done.” Do it anyway. That’s challenging the dark forces way down there in the valley. You will know you’re challenging them when you hear the beasts in the dark valley start to growl. You’re not awake enough spiritually to hear them growl now.
FACTS ARE ALWAYS POSITIVE
Facts about human nature, about you, are always positive. Avoidance of the facts about human nature and how dreadful it is, with phony idealistic descriptions of how nice people are, that is negative. Whenever we can see something wrong about ourselves, you can be quite sure that we are on the right path toward correction if we continue with it all the way.
This is because so many people continue to think that if you paint the junk yard a pretty color, it becomes something valuable. And no matter how many times you explain this to people — because they don't want to face the junk inside themselves — they say the paint is all that matters.
If you want to change from junk to jewels, you must face the facts as they are. And it won't happen overnight because you're so used to avoiding them and deceiving yourself. And that's the trouble with this world. The trouble with this world is that you can't find anyone with the strength and the honesty and decency to say that he doesn't know what he's doing in it. Everyone knows what he's doing and where he's going; and to prove it, he'll clout you if you disagree with him.
That's saying, “I’m so right and you're so wrong.” Out of this horrible attitude of always knowing the answers, of always being right and the other person wrong, out of that comes your suffering, your pain. Because you are doing it. Not because the other person is doing it, but because you are, not knowing it's a part of your problem. The whole miserable human condition of which you are presently a part is caused by dishonesty.
“HOWEVER” CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING
Now every time you have a defeat you wallow in feeling bad, in running yourself down, in self- condemnation. From now on, here's a method that will work if you do it. The key word is however. Here's what to do to change everything. When defeated say, “However, I don't have to stay in this swamp. Something can be done.” “However, I don't have to feel bad, to wallow in self-condemnation. NO! I am not stuck here!”
Without However I am stuck with myself. With However I travel beyond myself.
BE THROWN BACK ON YOURSELF
Your suffering must have no one and nothing to turn to. See that you don’t know what to do about anything. Bear the discomfort, a new kind of pain, of not knowing, and refuse to ask anyone else or even talk to them about it. Just go about your day and be interested in doing what you are doing while you are doing it. Keep coming back home. Watch! This is the answer. Stick with it. Dare to trust God to work it out for you.
It is a good thing for you to be thrown back on yourself, not having anyone, not having anything that you’ve ever depended upon before. Come on now, it’s failed you. Everything has failed you. You’ve tried; you know that. I will guarantee you absolutely that any past method that you have tried to set yourself free of yourself — if they’ve failed in the past, they will fail in the future.
To be thrown back on yourself and to stay with it, not rushing out and trying to find an answer outside of yourself, to stay with it and go through the experience to suffer in a new way because you are no longer comforting yourself with asking others questions, then something new can happen. Stick with yourself, knowing you don’t know the answers. Self-awakening — a true authentic spiritual life — begins the moment you stick to yourself, refusing to go back to your old ways, inner or outer; but staying with it to see what new experience will come to you. I’ll guarantee you that it will after you’ve gone thru a lot of shaking, a lot of walking in the fog for a long time. If you will absolutely refuse to go back to your old sources, something new will happen to you. And it will be the beginning of a very, very rare experience for human beings and you can be one of them.
I want you to know that if you go along with this to the very end of your studies, of your self-investigation, that this invisible world where true help comes from will be more real to you than that automobile out there. The rules are just as definite as cooking, as a football game. If you follow the rules you will get the results.
If you were happy you wouldn’t look forward to anything. You, ladies and gentlemen, are going to have to reach the point where instead of having confidence, instead of trusting anything or anyone you will have lost trust completely, which is exactly what Truth wants you to do so that it can begin to operate in your life.
I tell you finally, WAKE UP!
LIVE ABOVE THE INTELLECT
I want to give something to you and you may want to write it down. Listen to the following please. No thought-paths can lead you back home; when seeing this, you are back home. Thought tells you, you must reach somewhere in time and space.
Once more. No thought-path can lead you back home; when seeing this you are back home. Thought tells you that you must reach somewhere in time and space, which is a false message to you. No thought-path can lead you back home. There's no way you can think your way back to the father's house because the father's house is without personal thoughts. When you understand this, the thought structure collapses and with its collapse, you are back home.
Time and space. Time first of all: "In time I will be happy; in time I will be fulfilled." All the thoughts that you have about “In time I'm going to get something and things are going to change" are self-delusion. Many ways, for example, "When my physical body stands next to the physical body of that girl and we're in a social or sexual relationship, I will be happy.” Or "When my body moves to another state and I have that other occupation in that other factory, I will be happy."
See, time and space come to you falsely created by the mind; they come to you as saviors, as rescuers. When they collapse through insight into what we're talking about, the idea of either time and space being saviors also collapses and when there's no time and when there's no space, then what is left? Here and now. Now and here.
You're seated here now. Let's do it, let's be awake right now. Conscious of the physical body at first because that's part of our present life; not thinking about anything, but just seeing that we are here. And catching any blockage thoughts trying to enter and take away our awareness of being free in the here and now. Simply knowing, by catching thoughts as they come into the mind and try to invade the imperial palace of our mind, of our higher mind, of our awareness. Seeing them come up, but remaining so awake, they come up but are blocked by the conscious sentry who doesn't even have to say "no" any more. All you have to do is be in the light of your only here and now. And the creatures of the night who prefer darkness and can't stand light — when they come up to the gateway of your mind, they come up so far and they sense the light. And it makes them nervous doesn't it? It makes them feel threatened. And then because they feel threatened, they see there's no point trying to take you over any more.
So if darkness comes up and sees the light, all by themselves they turn away automatically. You know, for a long, long time, the creatures of darkness were able to come up and slip by the sentry and get inside our mind and bring our darkness into it. Didn't they succeed so many terrible times? We know better now.
All right, the real reward that we sensed but didn't know: Remember a few years ago when we started on the path, the inward path, we kind of sensed that there is a different kind of reward. We didn't know what it was. We thought it would be something like the old rewards but it didn't turn out to be that way at all. And so we kept working real hard, trying to understand what it means to be conscious, what it means to get rid of blockages; and the nature of the reward gradually became clearer and clearer to us.
And the nature of the reward is to be awake, to be in the here and now, to live above the intellect, to live within eternity right now while we're surrounded by time events. Now, this is called living freely, living with Truth, with Reality, living with God.
THERE IS ONLY ONE HOME
We're going to talk ... about being in the right place internally, about being in our rightful, natural and spiritual home. And the first thing you must record in your mind is that there is only one home. That home is yours to find, yours to live in; and you don't need a single outside influence or human being to find it. You don't need anyone. Truth is kindly, not cruel. Do you think you would be put here on earth with the opportunity to find out who you really are and then find nothing but endless obstacles? There can be an end to the journey and you can come back home.
Don't you forget what I just said! And I want you to notice how tempted you are to believe that the home you call home is the right one. You have to give up your constant and furious belief that you know what is going to give you relief and bring you back home. You don't know. As a matter-of-fact, it's a dreadful ignorance to you.
Fact: It exists. It's waiting for you to take the right actions, to do the right things in order for you to find it. Now, what stops you?
YOU ARE NOT THAT
See how you want people to like you, how you want approval, and then that tells you who you are. You seek compliments, favors, applause, and smiles. You are not that person who wants approval.
Now tell yourself who you are not. This is the exercise: “I am not _____”; “I am not my body.” You can never again look in the mirror and say, “I am my body.” That's good news. (Laughter). You never have to look in the mirror and get frightened. “I am not my body.” If you were your body, you wouldn't be able to live forever.
“I am not my thoughts.” If you were your thoughts, when your thoughts go away, you would go away.
“I am not my experiences.” If you forgot right now all your past events, experiences, who would you be? You would be no one, which is what you actually are anyway.
You are not your successes, you're not your failures. You are not good, you are not bad.
Remember the “I am not _____” exercise. "I am not that friendly neighbor. I am not that go-getter business executive. I am not that poor pathetic left-out-in-the-cold waif."
Will you please stop talking about yourself as if you're real! Realize that anything you tell yourself about yourself is a lie — good, bad, indifferent.
DISPEL THE DELUSION
Troubles on earth have no real relation to you. You and the clamor and the hurting of this world are entirely separate; they are two different things. You don't see this but now you're going to work to see it. You are going to dispel the delusion that because you're here with troubles surrounding you, the surrounding troubles have power to enter and injure you. They have no authority at all.
TRUST YOUR SINCERE NATURE
Now I know something about you and I’m now telling you what I know about you. You’re in torment. You want to call that a synonym for being unhappy, for feeling weak and helpless? That’s all right, too. But I know that you have an enormous amount of throbbing pain, and I also know that up until now you have flatly refused to do the right thing with it, which is to understand it.
You’ve fallen in love with the solutions surrounding you. They are not around you; they are in you and no place else. Ah, this is why if you have one human hero in this life you get rid of him. You put him out of your mind. If you have one mechanical, repetitious belief of what is going to make you feel right, you get rid of that, too.
What has prevented it among other things is an accumulation of suggestions from the outside. Lost people tell you how to be saved. Sick people tell you how to be healthy and you take that suggestion or guidance and you’re just as unhealthy as they are! And you heard me just say that you don’t need anyone outside of your own sincere nature in order to get where you belong.
WALK AWAY FROM PAIN
What bothered you inside you today? Are you willing to do something different and see through the hoax? If so, then you have to take spiritual action which means walking away from what you've protected so foolishly — the cave of pain. You are going to, anytime during your day, break the emotional stabbing that you felt inside. You are going to interrupt it and say in a spiritual voice, “I don't want to associate with you anymore and with the help of Truth itself, I'm not going to.”
“Thank you for sending the vast wealth of pure knowledge and inspiration.”
— Man via e-mail
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