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by Vernon Howard


Think about this. Have you noticed how comfortable people are in their misery? Think of the word ‘settled’, that’ll make it clear. People are settled down in their routine lives, in their homes, and in their occupations. And in where they go and in what they do, they’re settled! They are “comfortable in what they’re doing.” At the same time their inner life, their feelings screaming out in contradiction to what they said. Have you ever tried to correct someone, and you knew of course that they were all wrong about something? They were behaving in a way that was self-defeating. And this person you tried to correct got mad, struck back, became hostile toward you.

Do you just suppose that maybe you are living that way? And Reality, Truth, God is trying to get through to you, and telling you that you are wrong, and you rebel angrily and foolishly instead of listening? Do you suppose it’s a possibility that unseen to yourself, you are fighting instead of receiving?

Have you ever had that experience yourself? Where someone tried to correct you, and you reacted with hostility toward them? When someone tries to correct us as far as our inner life is concerned, about where an authentic spiritual life is concerned, wouldn’t it be wise, wouldn’t it be sensible, wouldn’t it be practical, wouldn’t it be new and different to simply listen to what is being said? Endure the discomfort of being corrected in order to authentically be right. In order to cancel out the contradiction, in order to not suffer from being our old selves anymore. I’m talking about men and women dressed in mental and spiritual rags, having nothing that is truly spiritual, but calling it that, calling it right. And Reality comes along, even in a small incident out in the world — I’m talking about how you behave down at the supermarket. How you behave at home when you’re corrected over a small thing. See, there’s rightness on many levels. Someone tries to correct you in some little, small thing. And all of a sudden because it’s true, you react in hostility and resentment. Right? Ever had that? Some little correction that people make. Look at the point of that, that there are hundreds of opportunities every day for us to begin to cancel out what has been tormenting us. You’re in torment. I know you are, and you know you are. And if you resist and fight what I just said, you just tormented yourself again.

For the third time I’m going to repeat a certain point. Because I know that it’ll get through to you sooner or later if you’re receptive to it. Why are you pretending that it doesn’t hurt? If you stop the pretense, the time will come when you won’t hurt. But pretense protects your hurt. If you protect your pretense, you perpetuate the pretense and you perpetuate the pain that always goes with pretense.

I’ll give you a clue how to do that. What happens inside of you when a Truth or a correction comes to you? Now real slow. What happens inside of you? Look at the stream of it. First of all, the immediate tension! Second, there’s the resistance. You yourself have to determine by observing it, all the reactions that go on inside of you when you are corrected!

Let me tell you something that’s absolutely magnificent! You didn’t resist it. You didn’t fight it, but something that has taken over your life did it! See? Your real nature can never fight Truth. Now if that’s true, then what is fighting correction? What is fighting is all these pretenses that have come and taken possession of our lives, taken us over? So, it seems as if it’s impossible to change our behavior, to change our reactions.

Now, I’ve given you a clue. And that clue is called honesty. If you can be honest, just in this little investigation that I talked about, begin to see how you react when something or someone comes along and tries to straighten you out. If you can see that there’s something inside of you that doesn’t want to accept it, then add to that this fact. The fact that this is something that is alien to me. Something that has taken me over, taken possession of me. If you can see that, you can go on to the point where you see that your real nature — as I just explained — your real nature never has anything to do with self-punishing behavior. Absorb it all. Learn it all. Take it all inside. And Reality will do the rest. It will change you.


THERE IS NO POWER IN THIS WORLD WHATEVER. You must never acknowledge anything as being superior to the Spirit of Truth. There is no power in this world whatever. Dark forces are a bluff. Notice when you’re overwhelmed. Become utterly serious. Say, “I am going to become serious

Purple Fringe

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