Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Vernon Howard, fully Vernon Linwood Howard

American Spiritual Teacher, Author and Philosopher

"When you see something, you react in one of two ways. You either react from knowledge, facts, purity, goodness or it falls on hollowness, on nothing that is real and right. Only two reactions - right, wrong; injurious, healthy. Just two, and I hope already you're impressed by your urgent need to never, ever again forget what you just heard because if you suspect, which you do, that something is causing the wrongness, the mistakes, you can begin to build the necessary foundation of facts, of spiritual knowledge, of awakedness, so that no matter what you see, you won't mangle it. You won't misinterpret, misunderstand it, but will have the right reaction of simply knowing what is going on. And that means - oh, this is essential - that means that no matter what you sight out there, what comes into your view, no matter what it is, you never, ever bring yourself into it as part of the reaction. If you do that, you have wrecked the experience."

"When we know what to be, there is never any problem about what to do."

"When you are genuinely strong, you neither attack nor defend and so retain your energy."

"Worried thought prevents practical thought which could prevent worried thought."

"Where did you ever get the notion that the spiritual rules are your enemy? The enemy in you calls them an enemy. The simple action of yielding to rightness when you don't want to yield will make you a skilled locator of lost parts inside of you."

"Whenever troubled about something, ask yourself, “Exactly who is troubled?” Now, if this troubled person does not truly represent your real nature, could the trouble exist except in wrong thinking? No, it could not. Do not pass by this idea. Stick with it for all you are worth, for it is the secret of secrets."

"Why do you permit a mere word to stand in your way? Forget the word "difficult" and take your next step."

"Who asks a king for a penny?"

"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."

"You are not responsible for anyone who stubbornly chooses to ruin his own life."

"You are learning to meet every experience as if it has no power to cause distress, for it is in fact powerless."

"You are free when you have no anxious thoughts about what happens to you."

"You are not really bothered by what others think of you. You are bothered by what you think of yourself."

"You are saved by seeing sin in the present and not pleasures in the future."

"You are saved when you invite spiritual perception, which will give you spiritual renewal. The discovery being that truth, God, resides above the way your mind operates in opposites. You rise above the opposites, and truth is there. Your true nature is above your mind. Eventually you won’t think about spirituality. You will know it, you will have it, and you will live it."

"You can either think about yourself or you can study yourself. The difference between the two is the difference between chains and liberty."

"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?"

"You can have a life of stimulation or you can have a life of inspiration."

"You can be totally different. You can have an excitement that never swings over to depression. It is the true excitement of finding yourself. Nothing is more exciting than to watch a fear fade from your mind forever. Nothing is more delightful than to possess self-command in a world of chaos. There is no greater inspiration than to know that you have found the true path at last."

"You are really one note in the Cosmic Music, harmonizing with other notes to form a grand symphony."

"You are trying to do with your mind what must be done with the spirit."

"You can live your day in an out flowing expression of natural energy."

"You can refuse entrance to unhappy moods, but you must be alert, just as you might close a window at the first sign of rain."

"You cannot solve your problem by thinking about yourself."

"You can’t win but there is winning for you."

"You don't have to try anymore to give importance to your life. You're not going to find it!"

"You get more out of a No from life than you do from a Yes."

"You do not have to be an experiment that failed."

"You must dare to disassociate yourself from those who would delay your journey... Leave, depart, if not physically, then mentally. Go your own way, quietly, undramatically, and venture toward trueness at last."

"You have it made when you don’t care whether you have it made or not."

"You have it all planned out, don’t you?"

"You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."

"You might be in the company of people when something is done or said that irritates you. You alertly watch the irritation as it rises and churns within. By appearing before the power of your awareness, its pseudo-power is weakened."

"You must never fear anything at all."

"You need not surrender to anything negative – not to anything."

"You must see how violently you fight your own salvation."

"You need only choose . . . then keep choosing as many times as necessary. That is all you need do. And it is certainly something you can do. Then as you continue to choose, everything is yours."

"You really think that something out there hurts you, not knowing that you are your own hurt."

"You still want something from man instead of everything from God."

"Your best friends are those who make life difficult for you. They help you see yourself as you really are, and not as you like to think you are."

"You will be aware when your wish to be aware is stronger than your wish to be unaware."

"You want to remain a child and have everyone treat you like an adult."

"Your central self is totally untouched By grief, confusion, desperation."

"Your own awakening essence is perfectly capable of distinguishing between imitation life and the free life you really want to live."

"Your life belongs to you, not to the demands of others, and when you see this fully, their demands are powerless."

"Your first duty is toward yourself, your inner freedom, the truth."