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Vernon Howard (1918–1992) was an American writer and spiritual teacher.
Quotes: 48 sourced quotes total
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Mental sickness has set up a system by which it never loses. No matter what you do and no matter what the results are, you will win an ego-victory. That means that when you send your desires out into the world: 1. You will get what you want, or 2. You won't get what you want. Of you get what you want, the pseudo-nature says, "I have at last been given what I so richly deserve," and the sickness feels affirmed. If you don't get what you want, you feel sorry for yourself. You still feel affirmed because you get a feeling, and that's all that neurosis wants is a feeling.
The need to impress others causes half the world's woes. Don't add to them. Be real, not impressive.
Worried thought prevents practical thought which could prevent worried thought.
The only way you're going to have a good relationship with anyone is to have a good relationship with yourself.
Remember that an answer to a difficulty resides at a higher level than our usual thinking, so seek this loftier level.
Why do you permit a mere word to stand in your way? Forget the word "difficult" and take your next step.
All heartache is caused by wrong viewpoints.
Mental silence is the perfect response to a challenge.
Ask spiritual questions with intense integrity, and inspiring answers will surely arrive.
The only activities of true value are those which aim at inner transformation.
Honestly face your inner poverty as a means of discovering your inner wealth.
People fight to preserve their frozen beliefs and then complain of the cold!
Take disturbance as an awakening sign that you misunderstand something you assumed you understood.
To win real rewards, we must firmly decline the deceptive rewards offered by society.
You are not responsible for anyone who stubbornly chooses to ruin his own life.
Truth does not hurt, rather, it is our resistance to its message that causes pain.
The delusion of having wisdom creates the dangerous delusion of having power, leading to disaster.
The most marvelous experience of life is to transform life according to reality, not imagination.
Self-righteousness loves to pounce on an evil which by sheer accident is not its particular evil.
The real prize is never delivered by memory or by imagination, but by something above them.
We need not hide anything from Truth, for it never condemns us, but only wishes to help.
Consciously risk the loss of something before losing it, and you will lose the fear of losing it.
Turning to God, Truth, Reality, simply means to let go, even fearfully at first, of our self-centered ideas.
Try to see what attitudes rule your day, then ask what kind of a day you usually have.
Astonishingly, if you will have absolutely nothing to do with suffering, suffering will have nothing to do with you.
Trying to command life without studying one's own mind is like trying to play the piano without studying music.
You are not really bothered by what others think of you. You are bothered by what you think of yourself.
The power of fantasy is so strong that people think they are having a good time when they are merely wasting money.
If we will repeatedly suffer the humiliation of admitting that we really do not know what we're talking about, eventually we will.
When we associate with others we really associate with ourselves. We like or dislike in others whatever we like or dislike in ourselves.
A perfect method for awakening is to examine the results of our daily actions. If they are harmful, we know we need more consciousness.
No man is really interested in getting what he craves. He is really interested in being at peace with himself, but dosen't know how.
The power of the present moment is so immense it is capable - when lived in fully - of destroying forever every past mistake and regret.
Human opinions are formed by accident and hardened by repetition. We cling to acquired opinions only because they give the illusion of being wise opinions. This creates division and hostility between people.
Procrastination is illogical from every viewpoint. It is like the man who wanted to cross the stream, so he sat on the bank to wait for all the water to run by.
We burden ourselves with useless ideas which we carelessly take as facts. Instead of letting reality come as a new surprise, we insist that it conform to our habitual concepts, and thus, we spoil everything.
What a dawning appears to the man or woman who earnestly inquires, 'Who is living my life for me?' Am I really thinking for myself or am I unknowingly projecting acquired ideas which may be all wrong?
Bitterness is the outcome of a wrong mental movement - the attempt to force external events to conform to internal fantasy. The cure is to see fantasy as fantasy, which will reveal it as neither necessary nor rewarding.
Everyone has imaginary ideas of himself as being this or that sort of person. And you can be sure that the images are highly complimentary! But since they are purely imaginary, they are highly sensitive to assault by reality.
If we choose the easy way, by letting another think for us, we must eventually tread the hard way. If we select the hard way, by insisting upon our own mental integrity, we eventually come to the easy way.
Constantly ask yourself, 'What level is above this one?' This makes things different. Take personal problems for example. Problems are not solved by choosing between this and that. The very need to choose indicates misunderstanding. Problems are solved by outgrowing both this and that."
You are not your cluster of memorized ideas about yourself. Awareness of this dissolves both the cluster and the belief that others can control you. If you have a self-image of being a desirable person, others can control you by flattering it, but can they control if you have no such image?
It is not a disaster to discover that you are not the person you assumed you were. To the contrary, it is the beginning of the end of disaster. Experiment: How you feel if you were neither a success or failure in life? How would you feel if you were neither popular nor unwanted?
If you hand a man a lemon and tell him that its sourness lies outside the lemon, he will think you are joking. Yet, with a perfectly straight face, that same man will tell you that his sour life is caused by external events. When will man learn that he is the cause of his own feelings for either happiness or anxiety?
God himself has made it possible for you to live without the dark place and the pains that rush out and flood out and take you over. Your choice of wanting to see and work is essential to you if you want to get rid of your feeling of emptiness, of futility. You've lied to yourself and said, 'I know what to do to get rid of the pain.' You've never gotten rid of the pain and that's evidence of self-deceit. You have to stop playing cruel tricks on yourself. So stop. Now.
The less life in a person, the more he will try to live off your life.
A person obsessed with the need to be happy will never be so. The obsession is the obstruction. He does not really seek happiness, rather he seeks for a condition which matches his personal idea regarding the nature of happiness. But happiness is not a mere idea, for one idea will always have competition from another idea. The is why the unhappy man chases for ever from one attraction to another. Happiness will come when he stops chasing, that is, when he stops thinking that an idea about happiness is the same as happiness. A man enjoying the sunshine does so without analysing it.
Whether a person is aware of it or not, he is assaulted constantly by misleading and hostile voices within the mind. They speak both through you and to you. Everyone is their target, but because of their extreme cunning, few people ever detect and dismiss them. So the only problem is a lack of information about these foreign voices. The curing facts are as close as your desire for them. It is extremely important for you to remember the following truth: these hurtful voices are not you, and they do not belong to you, but merely speak through your psychic system. Don't take them as being your own voices, any more than you take radio voices as being your own. They simply use unaware human beings. Your true nature has nothing to do with them. When finally dismissing these sinister speakers you make room for spiritual health and true life.