The Single-Most Important Question Any Human Being Can Ask

        (an excerpt from a talk given by Vernon Howard)



“Am I willing as a human being here on this earth to understand that I’m living in unconscious self-conceit, and do I want to go above that?
Now there it is! You don’t have to complicate it. I’ll say it again in another way.
The single-most important question any human being on earth can ask themselves on earth is as follows: Will I have the courage to face my life as it is. To see how I defend, how I lie, how vain I am; will I have the courage to see that that is my state and then go beyond it?
If you do, you will have accomplished the purpose of life. You will be one of the nine or ten who followed the man out into the ocean where they found the pearls.
I am telling you, and I’ll say it once more and then we’ll have a break. The single-most important question any human being can be asked is: Can I pause right where I am in the midst of all my money or no money, of all my friends, or no friends, of all my sex life, or no sex life, can I stop right in the middle of that and see my actual condition and then explore according to the principles of Truth, explore to see if I can change.
And I will tell you right now, the answer is yes. That’s the answer of God Himself who says any human being who is tired of trading little brittle shells and going along with the crowd. (Sighs) What are you doing with your life that you are rejecting the one chance you have to be something different?”


  1. Lisa on March 8, 2020 at 12:06 am

    This is so nice to read because lately I’ve been noticing my sleep a lot! When I see something undesirable in myself, the first thing I want to do is feel bad. But then I remember what this work is all about! It will never be easy on the imagined self that thinks all is good the way it is. It is far from good.  This is the WORK!

  2. Gina Machovina on March 8, 2020 at 1:03 am

    An interesting thought came to me as I was reading this post. When man was created, so too were all of his possible attributes and downfalls — as were all of the challenges required for him to rise out of his downward spiral. Here it all is! The prison and the open door. As Vernon stated, am I willing to look at my actual place and condition on this planet, with complete honesty, and allow the next phase of ‘my life’ to take place? The insight into this imperfect mechanism of a man or woman is all that is required of me — undistorted by lies and imagination. The way out is already there, and I don’t even have to find it. I just have to know where I actually am. This ‘knowing’, and the accompanying distaste for it, is all that is necessary. Thank the Great Creator of All and Everything!!

  3. Gina on March 8, 2020 at 5:54 am

    I cannot help but marvel at the graciousness of the Universe in transmitting this life-enriching, heart-embracing and soul-defining Truth throughout the history of humanity for those seeking the celestial. Whether through the words of Vernon Howard, GI Gurdjieff, J.Krishnamurti, or Jesus Christ, the path upward is more solid than rock, and always inviting and unselfishly giving to the current mass of Earth dwellers.
    From Dr Maurice Nicoll’s Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of GI Gurdjieff and PD Ouspensky, Vol 2:
    “Sometimes when we can do nothing with ourselves for the time being, we can at least retain the power of not completely consenting to our state, of not believing it entirely, and as it were, being patient with ourselves and realizing we are all wrong, and yet not seeing how to get out of the state. Then you may be sure that you will after a time get into a better state again. But if you fully consent to your thoughts and feelings, if you say ‘I’ to them, in a total sense, then you will lay down in yourself, something which next time it will be far more difficult to separate from because, so to speak, you have signed your name in full on the cheque. When you realize beyond any doubt that you have different I’s in you, when you can hear them speaking, or notice them working in your emotions, and yet remain separate from them, you begin to understand the Work on its practical side. You begin to understand the first line of the Work~i.e. on oneself.”

  4. Lisa Hunter on March 9, 2020 at 8:07 am

    Practicing awareness seems to be the most important thing we can do. This was sent in my email box today from the Krishnamurti Foundation;
    Questioner: Sir, if there is no effort, if there is no method, then any transition into the state of awareness, any shift into a new dimension must be a completely random accident, and therefore unaffected by anything you might say on the subject.Krishnamurti: Ah, no, sir! I didn’t say that. [Laughter] I said one has to be aware. By being aware, one discovers how one is conditioned. By being aware, I know I am conditioned as a Hindu, as a Buddhist, as a Christian; I am conditioned as a nationalist: British, German, Russian, Indian, American, Chinese;I am conditioned. We never tackle that. That’s the garbage we are, and we hope something marvellous will grow out of it, but I am afraid it is not possible. Being aware doesn’t mean a chance happening, something irresponsible and vague. If one understands the implications of awareness, one’s body not only becomes highly sensitive, but the whole entity is activated; there is a new energy given to it. Do it, and you will see. Don’t sit on the bank and speculate about the river; jump in and follow the current of this awareness, and you will find out for yourself how extraordinarily limited our thoughts, our feelings, and our ideas are. Our projections of gods, saviours, and Masters-all that becomes so obvious, so infantile. – Krishnamurti, The Collected Works, Vol. XV,138,Choiceless Awareness

  5. Terry Ingraham on March 23, 2020 at 8:23 am

    We can face our acquired masks head on, each and every one of them. They will melt away in the light. What will be left is timeless, God’s miracle, the one treasure in the universe worth having.

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