Put an End to Your Suffering
Vernon Howard (an excerpt from a 1980 interview)
Want to hear something different? Think very carefully and very deeply of what it means to face yourself inwardly until it hurts. Where am I, where are you, where is someone else hiding something inside; hiding it inwardly while outwardly pretending to be loving, pretending to be happy, pretending to be fulfilled? Face yourself man and see that it’s a stage performance – which it is.
Haven’t you had an experience with people where, you know, they are outwardly free and happy, and all that. You know, relatives at home, whatever. And you just touch them right in the place where they were hiding something and they jumped a mile. They got mad. You know, you’ve had those things. This is what we’re after. We are trying to get beneath the masks and the stage costumes that everybody wears because those costumes are very painful and they wear you out. Just to put them on every morning, and take them off at night. And you have to change them frequently during the day.
We’re saying that people are not what they seem, and a person who wants to really change from the inward out, change his heart, has to go through the very painful process of seeing, quite frankly, that we’ve been hypocrites all our lives. Now that’s the difference. This is not just a salve to put on the
outside, but a very rough operation.
…So you go around being rude to people and being harmful. That’s the last thing you must do. We are saying to that man, “Can’t you see, sir, that you’re hiding something deep inside of you that you don’t want to see, but if you were to face it you could change it. Then you wouldn’t suffer from being yourself.” What do you think people suffer from? They suffer from being who they are and what they are. You’ve got anger again? When a man is angry, what is he suffering from? His anger. A person wants revenge, what’s he suffering from? His own angry revenge, right?
We are saying start and change that, then you won’t have to change masks at all. You’ll be a pleasant person to yourself and to everyone else in the outer world.