Spiritual Alchemy

We love the teachings of Vernon Howard because he explains so precisely why we feel so bad much of the time.  There is pure relief in unraveling this mystery.  Here are 18 of the “60 Ways to be a Sick and Unpleasant Human Being” by Vernon Howard.


Spiritual Alchemy

1.  A first requirement for being a sick and unpleasant human being is to continue to believe that right now you are a perfectly normal and sane and logical human being.

2.  Take full advantage of human confusion and sorrow to become rich and famous and popular.

3.  Never notice the evil pleasure you feel in your enemy’s downfall.

4.  Comfort yourself by knowing that your rightful rewards will come to you one day, for you have so unselfishly given so much to others, while others only selfishly took from you, never giving you anything in return.

5.  Considering what you must put up with from others, be amazed at your constant patience and gentleness.

6.  Abandon your life to any of society’s artificial activities and organizations which shield you from having to make your own decisions, in other words, belong to everyone but yourself.

7.  Keep thinking that you are a natural-born leader of men, and that only your lovable modesty prevents you from becoming a public hero.

8.  When you feel ashamed of yourself, never investigate why:  just strike out at someone.

9.  Talk about yourself constantly while remembering that anyone who does not want to listen to you is a self-centered bore.

10.  Dare to reveal how  different you are from most people, even if it makes you obnoxious.

11.  Remind others of their duty to behave gently toward you, while reminding yourself of your right to behave as harshly toward others as you wish.

12.  Gain a feeling of superiority by scornfully pointing out another person’s physical defects.

13.  When lacking the intelligence to understand higher facts, sneer at them.

14.  Never let yourself or anyone else forget how much you have sacrificed for the sake of others.

15.  Exploit human weakness to get what you want, but scream of persecution when others do the same to you.

16.  When people show dislike for you, feel hurt and baffled, but never ponder the reason why.

17.  Slyly drop hints that you need not study the higher life because you already live it.

18.  Call your recklessness and lack of self-command a marvelous example of an unchained and uninhibited spirit.


Inner Life Exercise

Catch yourself being a sick and unpleasant human being.  Just watch, refuse to feel bad, and remember this phrase:  Instant Recovery.



  1. Gina on July 24, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Nothing ‘highfalutin’ or grandiose about this! No special training required, no fancy certificate of authenticity … just plain honesty and the uncommon desire to Move … out of our own muck and mire… As human beings we love to be stuck, even if it is painful and extremely cruel. The familiar has become our God, sadly, and it takes an incredible shock to get us to move an inch. A world of thanks to Vernon Howard for his constant and bold presentation of this unpopular Truth. The Truth is the Truth about me… and it is here we must dive in, get a good dose of our sickness, and move on through.

  2. Terry Ingraham on July 28, 2019 at 10:38 am

    I’m reminded of two well-known phrases, one that was first used by St. Paul in Corinthians, “For you suffer fools gladly, seeing you yourselves are wise”. The other one is “Don’t be a fool to yourself”, which means to knowingly make a decision or take an action that is to our own disadvantage. Isn’t a lifetime of being a fool to ourselves up to this point enough already? Thank you, Vernon, for insisting that we not waste another second being sound-asleep, miserable human beings!

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