How to Break Through the Roadblocks of Life
(an excerpt from Vernon Howard’s Pathways to Perfect Living)

Here are the various roadblocks along the esoteric highway. You can break through them with self-insight.
1.  False assumptions:  If we suspect that our false assumptions are assumptions, and not the facts that they seem to be, our days brighten. If we are living in an uneasy truce with life, we have false assumptions.
2.  Searching outside ourselves:  Nothing exterior to us can do it. Zen teaches that salvation is so close we can not see it, like a man crying for water while waist deep in a lake.
3.  False hope in the future:  Beware of those who urge you to sacrifice today for some misty heaven tomorrow. It will never come. The right time to wake up is right now.
4.  Self-condemnation:  After making mistakes, self-awareness is the right action, not self-reproach. Self-condemnation only leads you away from the path, while giving the appearance of humility.
5 Laziness toward self-awakening:  Let shocks and sufferings awaken you, for it means their ending. It is as if you might shake yourself awake while driving the highway, knowing that sleep spells disaster.
6.  Wrong attention:  It is a pointless waste of time and energy to criticize the behavior of others, either openly or secretly. Our task is to study our own mental states and our own behavior.
7.  False belief in a fixed fate:  With his usual bluntness, Arthur Schopenhauer wrote,”What people commonly call fate is, as a general rule, nothing but their own stupid and foolish conduct.”  Do not believe that your life is fixed and unchangeable, for all can be altered, magnificently.
8.  Dishonesty:  As long as the ego-self gets a reward from evil, it will lie about it and shamelessly call evil good. The detection of dishonesty is a first step toward true happiness.
9.  Discouragement and depression:  There is no need to be depressed about anything whatsoever. The rainbow is in the sky all right, but we must clear away the over hanging branches to see it.
10.  Compromise:  Do not go half way. There is one declaration which every earnest seeker must make: “I will not settle down in my present psychic location.”
11.  Vanity and egotism:  Look at the foolish man, boasting of his earthly success. He is like a man running desperately over a collapsing bridge, who stops to call out to his friends to please notice his pretty new jacket.
12.  Dependency:  We cannot become a musician by playing a borrowed phonograph record.
But we can become a cosmic artist by listening to the original music within our nature, where there is never a false note.
Inner Life Exercise
Whenever you feel taken over by something, always remember:  “Instant Recovery”***



  1. Max on January 4, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Gospel of St Thomas…”113.
    His disciples said to him, “When will the kingdom come?”
    “It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look, there!’ Rather, the Father’s kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don’t see it.”

    Wow! It was right here all the time, but I was in love with an illusion.

    • Lisa Hunter on January 6, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      We always have the choice to drop what we think is real and important to a self that thinks it can gain something. There is never anything to obtain. We win by losing.

    • Lisa Hunter on January 6, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Just read what you posted on Vernon Howard Teachings fb page Max, This ties right in………….

      Q. Mr. Howard, What is the True Self?
      A. It is the lightening of inner loads you are now unconsciously carrying around. Most people are not aware of all the useless burdens that wear them down. ….Fearful imaginations and frozen attitudes. As you become conscious of these pointless burdens, you drop them. Remember, no man consciously or knowingly burdens himself. He doesn’t see what he is doing to himself. We must become aware of our totally unnecessary loads of negativity.
      Q. How do I drop them, Mr. Howard?
      A. By simply dropping them!

  2. Steve on January 6, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    These are truly helpful comments. #7 hits home. For many many years, I would talk about how wonderful my life was to everyone, but my secret personal thoughts were the opposite. I was jealous, resentful and critical of everyone and everything. Then one day after many years of studying myself, I realized; I and I alone was the whole problem (which was a tremendous blow to my vanity) and by simply continuing to study myself my life would get even better. You and I both have within us the keys to all doors that block us from our happiness. We just don’t realize it, which we can do.

  3. Tim Kitterman on January 7, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    #6 Wrong attention: How easy and common it is to criticize what others do and say. One can spend all day in useless detours with this one roadblock. In fact, if I’m honest, I would have to admit that my entire life has been spent in wasteful detours. Sure, I may not criticize others all the time, but what am I doing? My attention is so easily stolen by whatever rewards the self at the moment. Sometimes it’s criticizing and blaming others for all my problems. Other times daydreaming, looking forward to and or dreading upcoming events or being taken over by excitements will have the same sad results. Wrong attention takes me away from the one thing I really need, self-awareness. The great news is that all I have to do is see what I’m doing at the moment . . . Instant Recovery. . . What a relief! Seeing wrong attention throughout the day and coming back to myself every time is what breaks the spell.

  4. Melodie Machovina on January 8, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I love the power of Instant Recovery! It has saved me countless hours of misery because at the moment I remember that exercise, it snaps me out of my self-absorbed thoughts and feelings that always drag me through more pain and suffering.

    • Lisa Hunter on January 25, 2017 at 3:02 pm

      Me too. I love Instant Recovery! So simple and so true.

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