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The Single-Most Important Question Any Human Being Can Ask

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 August 1, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Scot, 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!

    Lisa Hunter

  2. Gina Machovina on August 25, 2015 at 1:03 am

    An interesting thought came to me as I was reading this post of Scot’s. 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. There it is! 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 human reality 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. Lisa Hunter on September 6, 2015 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

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