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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.”
1. The motivating force that keeps you moving forward is a natural wish of the universe to expand and develop. You and everyone else are included in this natural expansion. Even a businessman who wants to promote his business has a small part of this naturalness in him, though most of it is ego-expansion.
2. Only the state of psychic sleep is indifferent to everything, which is a deliberate choosing of numbness in order to hide from wrongness and the pain in wrongness. The false self takes a nap in order to push away exposure of its deceptive position.
Steps in one of the paths carrying us forward:
1. Fiery plans and ambitions. 2. Frustrations and confusions and bitterness as plans fail. 3. Suspecting that “man cannot do.” (“I can of mine own self do nothing.”) 4. Shock and humiliation when sensing it for the first time. 5. Continued investigation of the idea. 6. Complete release — for you know, among other things, that you do not exist as a separate self which can do, therefore, you need not do, but only be.
We have covered this before; people want their path, not the path.
Spilling level in brief: The point at which a person cannot take a truth about himself because it contradicts a precious and desperately-held self-picture. In other words, he spills over the top of his level in anger, sarcasm, defense, etc. The spilling level of most people is so low you cannot tell them the slightest fact about themselves.
The point of growing by daring to “offend” people may not have been so profound as I phrased it. It just means to not compromise in order to be liked, appreciated, to gain another’s company, etc. Mary always goes shopping with Jane, but Mary is now studying esotericism, and to her amazement she sees she really never wanted to go shopping, but did it to please Jane. (Her images, guilts, etc. were controlling her.) One day she dares to “offend” Jane by saying, “No, I have something else I prefer to do.” She knows very well it may annoy or anger Jane, but Mary does it anyway. She bears it anyway consciously, the displeasure of another. Of course, Jane is responsible for her own feeling of being offended, and Mary now suspects this. Another way of saying the same thing is this: Dare to drop exterior supports, which “protect” against loneliness, fear, etc. — watch yourself suffer consciously. You are breaking out.
Lesson 8642: Watch your reactions — all kinds of reactions — when reading a letter from people. Let these reactions fall on simple awareness, not on conditioning. It can fall on either, depending upon our level. When falling on consciousness (which means there is no “I” or self involved, which means without self-reference), you see everything, but never have a wrong reaction.
You work superbly on the level of everyday efficiency. Not only does this make our programs run smoothly, but it is a good and necessary requirement for ascending higher.
Cosmic law: When you help someone else you raise yourself, for the raising is a Single Action. So you are growing with your general activities.
To see correctly means to see what we do without shame or embarrassment. This is what ends anything foolish we may do. The light surely dawns as we continue to work.
Very seriously for a moment, the truths with which you are now associating are everything needed for New Life. But we have to triple daily efforts at self-honesty, impartial self-observation, declining thrills that take the place of insight. But still with all the work it is pure delight, for we know it is right — thank heaven, we are at least going in the right direction, no matter how wobbly.
We become free of the punishment of laws (which are not negative in themselves) by seeing how we relate to them. The most important thing to do is to give up a false sense of self.
There is something within everyone which recognizes the truth when it is presented, but recognition is not the same as acceptance. In most cases, recognition is simply the signal for a negative rejection of the truth, such as anger or accusation or hysteria. The average human being cannot take the slightest challenge to his egotistical self-images without falling apart in one way or another. This is why I stress the thought in my books: “You will advance to the exact degree to which you can take it.” This brings up another point: The fact is, if a person can only respond in negativity to a truth about himself, that is all he can do, but he can add the new factor of observing himself behaving as he does. See how esotericism is far ahead of modern psychology? Psychology is right in saying we must not suppress how we feel, but does not have the first notion of what to do when your hatred or fury comes to the surface. Only an awakened man knows the answer to this, which is 1. Remember yourself. 2. Observe. 3. Be aware without condemnation nor approval.
Work-project: See that there is no permanent “I” — but only a succession of thoughts, then never allow thoughts to form an “I.”
Ask: “What thought just passed my mind?” Be aware of the thought, then let it go. That’s all, but it has deep power.
When you drop a thought the moment it appears, you prevent it from forming a false “I”, that is you prevent harmful identification. So thought cannot cluster to form damaging self-images of being “wise” or “secure” or “loved.” Mental and spiritual health is the lack of self-images.
The main thing is to work hard! Do not let a day go by without snapping the mind’s mechanicalness, to become conscious and aware!
A sense of humor or lack of it tells many things about a person. I know you realize that a true sense of humor has nothing in common with the professional comedian or the mechanical minister who scribbles on the side of his notes, “Tell joke here.” True humor means we have abolished our stuffy and self-righteous self-images of being dignified, wise, and profound. You will hear laughter at a true teacher’s talk because he says something which reveals an unseen contradiction in the listener.
Your connections of the gifts with inner life were good — a) We cannot change the duck nature, but we can abandon it in favor of the true swan nature. b) If, by personal effort, we light the inner candle, illumination then does its good work.
Work on this: It is only the self-organized person who can wisely and easily escape the snares and pressures of organized society.
On the everyday level, man cannot “do”, that is, there is no individual and separate ego, which controls exterior affairs. This is illusion, and the cause of social chaos. When you and I see this, we are one with everything that happens to us, that is, we are above the swinging opposites of yes and no as it operates in daily life. See where this leaves us? We can engage in business or anything else, just as much as we wish, but must never believe we are “doing.” As long as we do not demand a certain result, as long as we do not identify with happenings, we remain free and happy, untouched by anything in the outer world. Try to find ways to apply a disappointing experience with the above. Work hard at “letting go” — and watch what happens!
Most people do not have the slightest notion you are talking about each of them as an individual. (Their buffers, self-pictures and resistances work perfectly.)
“Thank you very much for New Life Foundation. Just yesterday I was talking to my students about simplicity. We thank God for Vernon Howard’s principles and teachings.”
— Man in Brazil
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