Vernon Howard on Stress and Suffering Exposed, Transcript
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"Free Yourself From Destructive Pleasures" by Vernon Howard
A talk by Vernon Howard given on 08-29-82
Think of the millions of moments that are contained in a single month alone of your life. And when you add them up you'll begin to see the importance, the vitalness of doing something with each of those millions of moments and doing what is right with them.
If you have a million bricks to build a big building with, how foolish, how empty, how futile to use one out of ten bricks to build the building and throw the other nine aside as waste.
You have this million bricks every month. However, you are not conscious of the necessity, the need, the beauty even of using every one. The brick is a moment, right now. Dozens of moments have passed since I started talking less than a minute ago.
You must begin to understand that your life is made or broken by what you do with each succeeding second - moment - of your life.
If you can establish inside yourself the headquarters of truth, that headquarters from truth will be your reminder of what to do with every moment. As you are now, sound asleep, in love with yourself - if you think about yourself, make everything in reference to yourself, then you're in love with yourself. Now isn't that a sick love relationship? If you can establish the truth, which is the purpose of these classes, to let truth do for you what you can't do for yourself, increasingly you will become conscious that every moment is indeed a brick that you can put in the right place to build your cosmic castle.
Your failure to put a right brick in place is what you must become aware of in order to put the next brick into right place so that the castle will be built properly.
And I want to explain to you this morning one of the most serious errors, which means it's an unseen error on your part. This means at the end of this talk this morning you're going to have to take what you are given and say, "I must do something with this." This is one brick in itself, to take the talk, look at it, to try to put all the right pieces into place to build my own life rightly. Which, of course, means first to destroy the junky building that's residing on your property. It's valuable property but not if there's a junky building on it.
One of the ways in which you are missing the opportunity to use each moment is for you to dwell in, love, live with, as a way of life, to live with the love of destructive pleasure. And you might write that phrase down - it's the key one this morning: destructive pleasure.
Let's look at it a little bit. Anything arising from your sickness, your egotism, your corruption, your deviltry, anything arising from that undeveloped state is a destructive pleasure.
Are there people here in this room, for example, who still get a thrill, a destructive pleasure, a sense of phony rightness by snarling at someone, by sneering at another human being - any human being? Are there people in this room whose pleasure is destruction? Oh, I'd better add another word to that. Is there anyone here today whose paramount pleasure is self-destruction?
Which is never called that by your nature which is destroying you. Your lying devilish nature will call it anything but self-destruction, because it doesn't want to see that. It will call it, among other things, it will call it - look how simply you can state these things - it will call it being right.
Now a little detour, a short detour. Unless you see that you are spending your entire moments of the day trying to convince yourself that you are right, unless you see that, you're going to stay wrong and self-destructive.
What do you do when a challenge comes to you? What do you do when you are rebuked? What do you do when you're told that you're wrong? That you're evil? What do you do? You know very well what you do. And the most elementary teaching you don't see.
The elementary teaching: fight or flight. Right? And after you've run a little bit, that flip-flops over to the attack.
You are either all day long adding to your truth life or to your false life - true life or to your false life. Now, slow down. Right now I'm going to give you a chance to see if you are still on the very elementary level and it's nothing, you have nothing if you're still on this level - if you're trying to understand it that's something - where you fight alternating with flight. Write it down. Fight hyphen flight. Fight - flight.
Now the liar will come in! Which is all you are is a liar! Do you think the liar in you is going to see that? The liar in you is killing you! I am telling you, you are murdering yourself! You are permitting yourself to be murdered by the liar, which you won't see. Which you are!
If you love the liar that won't see that you're always either attacking or defending back and forth and attacking in cowardly ways, by the way, if you don't see that then you are a liar. And the devil has been defined as a liar by the way. Liar, devil, same thing.
Please get out of your minds the notion that you know anything at all. I reminded you a few minutes ago of the fight-flight deal, right? When is the last time you knew that experimentally or did you ever know it? That sarcasm. That endless brutal attempt to let your mind be dominated by the lie that you know what you're doing. You don't know what you're doing when you're destroying yourself. All self-destruction goes on in the dark.
All self-destruction that goes on in the dark will go on and on and on getting worse all the time unless you take a look at yourself at one of these moments, and just see - look, I'm going to give you a method for self-rescue - until you see what is happening to you.
The last two or three meetings, trying to approach from ten-thousand ways over the years, I put a little bit of emphasis on the matter of your health. I'll do it again.
Concerned with your health? Are you concerned with your health? Don't lie to me! You're not concerned at all - when your way of life is to destroy it. Your way of life - I'm talking about the physical body, try to get out of that. The other is invisible and you can make it as vague as you want. Try to get out of the fact of your physical self and what you are doing against it.
The evil and the hidden violence, the hatred, the evasion of reality that you are permitting in you this morning at ten minutes after nine, that suppressed hatred and violence for the truth - oh, let's make a guess. That hatred, that poison, that emotional poison, that mental poison that you are spreading throughout your psychic system, oh, let's make a guess, as I said it will begin to harm - I don't want to go into details of physical health, there are reasons for that but I'll speak generally and you can individualize as much as you wish.
Oh, let's say that hatred that you have in your heart right now, that hatred will begin to kill you, let's say a year from now. Okay? You know, everybody a little bit different. With one person it will start to kill him physically in a year, a woman maybe three years, another man five years, or whatever depending on various factors.
Well, I hope and I pray that it has hit you somewhere personal. The physical is very obvious. Never mind how obvious it is, the elephant is there and you won't see it. The obviousness - one my favorite topics because I see in everybody and you do - your nervousness, your jitteriness, and how that nervousness being all mixed up with the self-poison makes you do stupid things, say idiotic things.
How good's your memory? Pretty good? Fair at least? Okay? If not, write it down. In your own words because I'm going to go about it, you know, look in several windows of the building so we can see what's in every part of the building. Write it down in your own words: The hatred in your heart right now will result in your destruction within a certain period of time.
This physical body, this physical self that you call you, and which you lie about and call you... If you had any intelligence at all or a wish to be intelligent you could start with that and you could see that it's not even your body but you call it that. And look at the fantastic conclusion. You don't even care what happens to what you call you.
Maybe this is too much for you. Maybe it is so frightening that you can't grasp it. So we'll go forward all the more, ten times as hard so you can grasp it, as shocking as it is to you.
Mental health, emotional health, spiritual health alone - alone - can begin to reverse the severe damage that you have done to your physical life, to your nerves.
Well, a little brief review. I could go - I'm not saying this in a boasting manner but explaining something to you - I could go on with the physical ailments so much that you would get so terrified some of you you wouldn't hear the rest of the talk. So I can't do that. But let's start off with some minor things.
How many have headaches again? Sleepless nights? Jitteriness? You fill in the rest of the blanks of the minor physical ailments. You dumb people! Don't you know where headaches lead to? The next worse thing.
Now look at it from the other viewpoint. Why do you have headaches in the first place? Because you worry. Why do you worry? Because you're leading a false life. Why are you leading a false life? Because you refuse to learn the true life. There it is. We've tracked it right on back to the original source.
When you don't care about yourself, you don't care about anything. Because you don't know, for example, that you have a physical body in this life as a means of using this life to grow into something above the time of the physical body.
What do you care about that as long as you choose hell? What do you care about anything including your mind as long as you have chosen insanity as your way of life?
Well, let's try a little question again. These quizzes are good - it throws it back on you and it hits a rubber mind, of course, and bounces away.
Question: Each one of you, individual, not as a group. That's what you do, you hide in like little cowards. You, you, you, you, are you sane or are you insane? I'll give you a little time. You don't need much do you? Oh no. You think I'm going to go on to something else and let you lose yourself in what I say next? I want from every one of you in this room, all of you, each of you, I want you to answer to yourself the question: Am I - you - am I sane or am I insane?
Once more. You see, weasels - it's the nature of weasels to weasel out. It is the compassion of God that won't let you weasel out! A weasel that is completely trapped will turn into an innocent rabbit by magic. Not a weasel who wants to stay one in the corner snarling and hating and killing.
Question: You, you, you, you and you - personally - I want you to notice your behavior in the last week. Your inner behavior, not your outer - that's all fake. It's a lie. You're a pack of phonies. Is your inner behavior sane or insane? Therefore the question is, are you sane or insane? If you said sane, you're insane. Because you're not sane.
I've given you an example, by the way, of a marvelous spiritual principal. If you will let yourself be trapped and make no effort to escape the trap you will break the trap. And you will come out of the trap a different kind of human being, and in this case you'll come out sane.
One principal: an insane man or woman - which is everyone who is not in truth, seeking truth - is not conscious of his sanity. A devil doesn't know he's a devil, a lunatic doesn't know he's a lunatic. And you see a little clue in that. Do you see what everything depends on? Everything depends upon that insane lunatic, devil slowing down and asking himself, am I sane or am I insane? He'll have to come to one conclusion, won't he?
Well, let me give you an example of insanity that you've never associated with it. It's an excellent one because you don't want to associate with it because it's so common it's so revealing. It's called being petty. It's called loving to be irritated. Loving to find fault with other people, loving to have an enemy.
I'm trying to point something out to you, I'm trying to point out that one of the chief tools of insanity to keep you insane is to have attention on the wrong things. And attention on the wrong things is always on to someone or something else. Never, never, never on yourself! The way to stay insane is to never look at yourself. Never look at yourself and you'll stay a madman.
Oh, I want to go over it again. Again see I'm not a doctor, I don't know about these things. But a constant barrage, b-a-r-r-a-g-e is that pronounced barrage? Bombardment of yourself by yourself with poisonous bombs, poison gas bombs, on this day which happens to be a Sunday, you won't feel it today if you have violence, sneakiness, the wish to kill God.
How about that? Don't be shocked, don't be shocked. We're being reverent here. If you have the wish to kill God, who you don't even know who God is so it's all - the whole thing is insane. That poison that you have in yourself and which you naturally give to everyone you meet or try to give it to them, which you can do with most people, which is your love of destructive pleasure to give your poison to other people. If you can see that you're doing that - if you could see that you're doing that, the shock of your life would occur to you which is that you're doing it to yourself.
But back to the original point. On this day which is Sunday, the destruction - the self-destruction - the pleasurable destruction of hatred that you're giving to yourself today at nine twenty-five approximately on this Sunday morning, you won't feel it immediately because the very fear and the fright of poisoning yourself is far too much for you to take. And so immediately you'll be thinking of what you'll be doing after this meeting. You're going to the cafe, are you? The baseball games on television? You're meeting with a few other people to go on a little trip maybe, or whatever, anything.
You immediately pack your mind with evasions so you won't feel the full force of the terror of which you and you yourself alone are responsible.
A man in the hospital seriously ill who remains unattended will get worse until he ceases to exist. Your unattended illness, your unattended illness because it is unattended because you have loved to lay back in that hospital bed, lay back in your own mind, you have preferred self-destruction. It's just a question of time before you fall off the bed and you are no more.
I'd better, you know - there's so many ways to go. I was watching my mind as I said that. Ten ways to go. Well, here's one way to go. If you think that you're not going to be anymore when you fall off the bed, you're making another mistake. You were never that in the first place. All psychological death is the death of a fiction. But unless you see through this fiction, you will die in the delusion that you were you. And if you die in the delusion that you are you, you died without an eternal self, you died with only a time-self, which indeed, when you fall off the bed, that's the end of you.
I have been telling you this morning how to put yourself on the side - Ah, let's do it for once. I've been telling you how to put yourself on the side of love.
Your hatred is not going to put you on the side of love. Everything in you is the mortal enemy of true love. Talking about spiritual love, not human love. Your chance therefore means for you to understand that all you've had is irritability, anger, hatred, violence, pettiness, greed, the wish to trick other people and to hurt other people so you can get your sick pleasure out of it.
I'm going to put that another way. The only chance you have to die to the fiction while you're alive so that eventually when the physical body goes that you have eternal life. Your one chance is to know that everything you now do leads to nothing. Your label-making machine in your mind is very active and it calls your nothing something. The grin, the smile of glee that you've won something.
Listen to me. The nothing that you are can never win something. Nothing can only win nothing. Delusion can only lead to delusion. Sickness can only lead to sickness. When you see that you have nothing, are nothing, need not be anything at all, when you see that you have nothing but of course sickness. If you see that, you'll understand more of what I started this talk with, how your whole life, your whole way of life, is nothing but the love of sick, sick pleasure.
The pleasure, for example, of saying, "One day - one day this horrible torment will go away. One day this torment will go away, because I'm doing something about it." You're doing everything to keep it and you had better wake up this morning! So that you don't go out of here with the increased sickness that you will have if you reject what you've heard this morning.
I tell you of a truth. That every day wasted is one day farther away from you having the right wish, the right decision to fall down on your knees before God with the tears streaming as much as you want and your hatred of doing what you're doing, because most of you hate what you're doing. Every day that you go out of here the same way you came in here - let's try that one again so you don't sneak out of that - weasels. Every day that you go out of here the same person you came in here is one day farther away from where you can hear the voice of God calling you and one step nearer the cliff.
Now please listen to me. I don't say these things to scare you but I know they do and they will scare you because all you have is a fear mechanism, which is your false identity - it is always scared. Look, do you know what I'm trying to do? Without strain. What do I care what you do? God didn't put me in charge of saving you or anyone else.
I give you these truths. They fall on your false nature which fears the truth because in its sickness and lunacy it already has it. What we are doing in this class - and it's succeeding! Listen. See it's all been good news. But look, positive side, right? It's succeeding. It's working. I know it is. I know absolutely. And I could point out certain people in this room, I know where the candle glow was that high and I know that after say a year of hearing the lectures it doubled in size. I know that. I really could point out certain people.
What we're doing here is the simplest thing in the world which is to be smarter than the devil. You're not. I of my human personality am certainly not. You can go out cheerful. God is smarter than the devil. God is smarter than the devil in you, anywhere. But you have to want God more than you want the devil. The devil is killing you.
Try it again. You're not going to get away with it. First of all, are you sane or insane? You're all insane. Every one of you here is insane. Every one of you. Now are you going to follow someone else who is insane or are you going to follow God who can make you sane?
Another point, you're not going to get away with it. Oh, again... The hatred that you spread today, the delusion, the fear, your scared face that you scared other people with poisoned your body today. Two months before it shows up in the body? Again, I don't know anything about doctors, and stuff and thank Heaven I don't want to know anything about it, because I know the spiritual dominance over the physical body and that's all you need, but you might be able to fill it in. Uh, two years from now when you feel that sudden pain or ache I'll tell you where it came from. It came from your attitude in this room this morning, and what you did - and what you did to yourself and other people six months ago, eight months ago, two years ago and what you did to yourself two month's hence and two years hence.
Payment is demanded! There's no way you can get out of paying. Try to get out, you'll never succeed. You are going to pay! And look at yourself as the perfect evidence of it! Look at your face! Look at your nervous eyes. Look at the way you have to sputter, you have to say something, you have to do something. The pressure - the pressure is horrible, isn't it?
This morning we have - oh, what marvelous beautiful healthy work we've done this morning - to reverse the process from sickness to health. Isn't that nice? I'm telling you. If you've been receptive; if you've rejected it, on to hell for you.
And I won't visit you in the hospital. Do you think I or you for that matter - don't go within fifty miles of the hospital. That means where the patient is psychologically. Stay away from those people! They love their sickness and they'll make you sick if they can. Yes! Even physically if they can. Get away from them. They're radiating poison, they don't know it. And if you take too much poison you will fall in love with the destructive pleasure and that will be your way of life, to poison others as you have first poisoned yourself.
Angels want nothing to do with hospitals. You don't have to live with other human beings. I'm talking psychologically now, not physically. You may have a family and all that. You don't have to live with other human beings psychologically, mentally. And you're in danger if you do because they're all sick and they'll infect you.
You do have to live with God, I mean, if you want God over humanity. Live with Truth. For those of you in this room who have listened with a right heart, a spirit that wants to know, that is willing to go through what is necessary to go through, those of you who have listened earnestly, sincerely, you have now, I promise you, I personally promise you that you have to one degree or another reversed your direction. You're starting to turn from going down towards sickness and destruction towards health and beauty and relaxation and eternal life. I promise you that you have that.
When will it show up? Not just now, the medicine has been given. It takes a little time to work, right? How about six months? All of a sudden a flash of insight, right! How many of you have done that? Come on. Come on. That's because you listened six months earlier, right? Two years from now... Listen to this. Up till now you've been getting sicker every day. Starting right now you can get better every day, get healthier every day.
Oh, listen, listen - come on! I will if you will! I will if you won't! (Laughter) Let's go faster. Let's go faster, right? On to health. On to eternity.
Take a break.
Be aware of this when you are up there. A man and woman is talking back and forth. The man will say something and he'll ask her a question. He'll say, "Do you agree with that?" And the woman will almost always nod her head, "Yes, I agree with that." And she doesn't even know what they are talking about. Now I give you permission to be honest. To simply say to the man or vice versa. Say, "You know, I really don't know what we are talking about."
How many of you don't know what you are talking about? (Laughter) What I am really saying and I know you get the point. Don't take the easy way out of just nodding. Ah, huh. That big fake. That big bluff. We've been doing that all our life. It's time to stop. In little things right here. This is what the class is for. You won't get demoted or held after school or anything like that. (Laughter)
In fact, you'll get a diploma this world knows nothing of. Physically and psychologically ask yourself. You know, just relax now. You just relaxed your hand a little bit. Your jaw is not tight. And you can look around and see other people. You can see yourself in relation to them physically. In other words, be aware. Do not think at this moment. The minute you fall into thought you cut off your power to simply know you are here. If you simply know you are here there's no way you can be negative. There's no way a wrong emotion can take you over.
Are you all here now and just simply know you are here in this moment? Do that all through your day. Nothing is more important for you to do that. To break thought like that all day long.
There is no self to be strong or weak. There is no self to be strong or weak.
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