A life saving excerpt by Vernon Howard, from The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power:


sailboatAbandon Human Effort

We remain weak as long as we cling to unhealthy attitudes.  What if a man bought a prize-winner steer and fed it all sorts of delicacies that he assumed the steer would like, rather than what nature decrees?  That steer would win no more prizes.  Likewise, we must not set up stubborn assumptions about what we need.  The test of a genuine need is so simple that millions miss it:  Does it make me genuinely happy, or does it lead to even more despair?

Unhealthy attitudes lurk behind all personal tragedies.  What an incredible situation!  I have known hundreds of people living their lives on the rocks of alcoholism, emotionally-induced illness, sex frustrations.  Do you know what they fear when I point out the need for dismissing their destructive attitudes?  They fear that by giving them up they will lose control of their lives!

Receptivity to right ideas places us in the right position.  If we want an elevator to carry us upward, we cannot stand in the street.  We must stand upon the surface capable of uplifting us.  We must stand with a mind courageously willing to abandon lower levels.  By standing on the platform of Reality, it lifts us all by itself.

We should be very glad we get tired of working so hard at living.  The abandonment of useless human effort is just the thing we need for contacting Higher Power.  By abandonment I mean setting aside ego-directed drives, such as planning, contriving, desiring, hoping, yearning, speculating, demanding, straining, claiming, influencing, dominating.  All these interfere with the natural flow of the inner life.  We contact the Higher Power only as we loosen our attachments to them.  And then, at some magic moment, we change from driven men to carried men.

No one should ever feel bad if Self-Observation reveals that he or she is presently on a lower level.  On the contrary, we should be glad, for only this discovery makes upliftment possible.  It is the foolish person who imagines he has nothing to learn.  Also, remember, the Mystic Path has no moral judgments.  there are no such things as good and bad, superior or inferior.  We don’t consider a five-year old child inferior to a child of ten.  We simply realize that everyone is on a different level of insight and awareness.


Inner-Life Exercise

Catch your mind beating you up in saying you are on a low level and can’t make it.  Like Vernon says,  making mistakes is not the problem its rather the false belief that you are someone who shouldn’t make mistakes.



  1. Gina on January 7, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    “Receptivity to right ideas places us in the right position.” What a relief and encouragement this is!! I don’t have to be anybody, who knows anything… I just have to be willing to hear and witness the truth about myself and my conditioned condition. I start right here, right now ~ unafraid to see my blunders… mistakes and cruelty. Only God is good… and if I stand in the right position, God’s goodness can penetrate and transform. Just beautiful!

  2. Leo on January 10, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    What a relief to abandon my own useless effort and straining, even in the smallest ways. My mind tells me I must fight to defend myself, and demands others act as it wants. Such a relief to walk away!

  3. Melodie Machovina on January 11, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    I’m so glad for the exercise to not beat yourself up. It’s sad that we need to be told this. It is a simple exercise, but very powerful. For me, I noticed that doing this helps me get rid of my anger much more than if I try to figure out how to get rid of my anger (through meditation, reading, joining a group, etc). Thank you Vernon!

  4. Steve on January 22, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    “Unhealthy attitudes lurk behind all personal tragedies.” Wow is that saying a mouthful…you have to love the facts in this statement. The world is looking for the solution outside of them and will always do this…I going down a different path and looking within. Going deeper and going higher.

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