Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Vernon Howard, fully Vernon Linwood Howard

American Spiritual Teacher, Author and Philosopher

"Honestly face your inner poverty as a means of discovering your inner wealth."

"Here’s a secret method for replacing fog with sunshine. When you feel scared, don’t pretend you’re brave. Truth gives you permission to be just as scared as you really are. Just be aware of your anxiety without worrying over it. This self-help not only banishes fear but delivers great relief. It is like a tired actor who removes his uncomfortable costume after a hard night onstage. Since he no longer needs to impress the audience he can just relax and enjoy being himself"

"How much of my life is wrongly determined by external influences?"

"Human beings sell their soul by the minute, not by the year, not by the week but by the minute to whatever comes along."

"How would you feel if you had no fear? Feel like that. How would you behave toward other people if you realized their powerlessness to hurt you? Behave like that. How would you react to so-called misfortune if you saw its inability to bother you? React like that. How would you think toward yourself if you knew you were really all right? Think like that."

"Higher energy can do something that nothing else can do."

"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."

"Human problems cannot be solved by human nature."

"I live and feel only my own nature. So my inner location, whatever and wherever it may be, is the only factor that determines whether I'm going to be happy or unhappy, free or chained."

"I need not care about anything I need not care about."

"I will explain to you why you’re not happy, why you’re not carefree. It’s because you’re trying to collect things. You’re a collector, and you think that every time you get one of those objects that you desire so fervently it adds something to you, to your security. Well, I would guess that if you take paper and pencil and write down all the things you’ve acquired — friends, romances, exciting occasions, physical objects — it would number in the thousands, wouldn’t it, tens of thousands of things you have possessed for a few seconds or maybe several years. Maybe you’ve had that house for 50 years, for example. How come you’re still worried?"

"I’m an ordinary man who discovered the extraordinary."

"If a man is insane, and two hundred million people claim he is sane, he is still insane."

"If life won’t let you succeed, who said you had to?"

"If truth is leading you, it will also make decisions for you. And since these decisions are right, they will also make you feel right. So what does it mean if you are still using your usual mind to make your own strained decisions? It means you are not yet taking your decisions from the available cosmic compass. Remember that truth will never lead you into a circumstance without also showing you exactly what to do while within it. It is truth’s very nature to reveal clearly to you your needful actions. It is impossible for truth to abandon you. If you feel abandoned, you should see that you have carelessly led yourself into the circumstance. This insight allows the cosmic compass to correct your life-direction."

"If I am involved with Judas I am Judas."

"If I don’t have a compulsive need to appear successful, what do I care if you make more money than I? If I have no unhealthy attraction to shallow social functions, does it bother me if I get no invitations? If I have freedom from fearful dependency upon persons and objects, will I be pained if you no longer wish to be my friend? If my artificial needs fall away through self-insight, do I need to think about these things at all? No. If my false sense of I has dissolved, who is there to suffer or complain?"

"If life is difficult it is simply because the person has not corrected his difficult self."

"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."

"If you are compelled to think about the condition, it controls you. If you don't need to think about it, you control it. But this kind of control is unique. It is a state in which there is neither a controller nor anything to be controlled. It is non-mental control, something like a man in good health who never needs to think about controlling illness."

"If you call one thing good, you must call its opposite bad. If you think it wonderful to make a big profit in your business, you will also think it terrible if you incur a large loss. The idea is to live above the opposites."

"If you have no false notions to defend, who can offend you?"

"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?"

"If you let others carry a lamp for you, they may lag or rush ahead, but carry your own lamp and it is impossible to ever be out of the light."

"If you will give up your life, God will give you His Life."

"If you want true strength you must never go to anyone to get it."

"If you know God then why do you feel like the devil?"

"Ignorance is inferior to intelligence. Intelligence is superior to ignorance."

"If your grand purpose in life is to wake up, then whatever happens to you is good, for it can prod you into self-awakening. But if you have wrong aims which serve false purposes, whatever happens will be self-defeating."

"Immature man is like a frightened child, alone in a darkening room, not seeing the nearby light switch."

"In a true man, spirit is the king and thought is the obedient servant."

"Inner liberty can be judged by how often a person feels offended, for you can no more insult a mature man that you can paint the air."

"In a false man, thought is the king and the spirit is considered an enemy."

"Individual receptivity is absolutely everything. Without it, nothing changes. With it, all things are possible for you."

"In spite of all appearances we are chained only by our own lack of clear comprehension."

"Insight into the two selves within a man clears up many confusions and contradictions. It was our understanding that preceded our victory."

"Instead of being aggressive toward a difficulty, be quiet before it, and notice the new feeling."

"Invisible evil is the enemy, not that person or event."

"It can be done."

"Instead of blaming the outer world examine the inner world."

"It is a mistake for anyone to think he has lived too long in his old, unsatisfactory ways to make the great change. If you switch on the light in a dark room, it makes no difference how long it was dark because the light will still shine. Be teachable. That is the whole secret."

"Isn’t it strange that we must get used to being happy?"

"It is against the law to permit weak people to steal your strength. Never permit it."

"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?"

"It is just as much a mistake to feel unworthy as to feel superior, for both cling to a false sense of self."

"It is a true miracle when a man finally sees himself as his only opposition."

"It is entirely possible for you to live unburdened by one crisis after another."

"It is utterly useless to try to change the outer world, for it is but a reflection of inner causes. The true seeker seeks to change himself."

"It is possible for evil to be contained."

"It is possible for you to sincerely decide to become a new kind of human being without knowing how you are going to do it. Sincerity is independent of methods and means."