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Your Quest for Self-Discovery

Once you realize the distorted view and misunderstanding that you have been operating from, you will naturally become realigned with your true nature.

How to Coach Yourself Using These Wisdom Quotes:

  1. Put aside everything you think you already know.

  2. Open your mind and heart to receive something new.

  3. Take your time going through each point.

  4. Return to any points that particularly touch you.

  5. In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.

*All quotes are by Vernon Howard, The Marvelous Powers of Your Supermind

1. The Only Goal That Really Matters

Vernon Howard Quote

Q: Nothing confuses me more than my goal in life. I would breathe easier if I could just clarify my purpose."

"A: All right, breathe easily. In your Outer World, have any goal you like. Be an industrial executive, an artist, world traveler; it makes no difference.

In your Inner World, never think you have any goal other than to return to your natural self. That is the only goal which makes any difference."


How beautifully Vernon simplifies the answer to this common question!

  1. You are free to choose so many things in this life but there's no need to give yourself a headache about it. "Go with your gut," is always good advice, meaning to go beyond your fearful concepts and limited reasonings.

  2. However, understand that these outward choices are not as important as realizing your true nature. This is the only goal that really matters.

  3. I'm going to quote Leonard Jacobson again because no-one says it better: "You are becoming that which you already are." Life is designed to facilitate this transformation, no matter where you live, what you do, and who you do it with. When you're living in alignment, you can always trust life to flow you to your one, true goal.

2. Truth Doesn't Conform to Your Ideas

Vernon Howard Quote

"What prevents a man from receiving that which could make everything new? The basic cause is his false sense of identity. Because he lives from imaginary pictures of being good and wise, he angrily rejects anyone who disturbs them.

An individual fails in his cosmic quest because he makes himself incapable of welcoming the very truth he seeks.

He insists that truth conform to his conditioned ideas, rather than letting it be what it actually is. He is like a bee that refuses honey because the blossom is red, not blue."


Are you like a bee that refuses honey because the blossom isn't the color you think it should be?

  1. Chances are, you can see this in other people, but not yourself. It's so obvious when you come across someone with a narrow mind who isn't willing to open to a different perspective. But let's turn our attention inward for a moment.

  2. Have you realized yet that most of your thinking is conditioned? Or do you still find this idea offensive and like to think you're different from the rest of the world?

  3. "An individual fails in his cosmic quest because he makes himself incapable of welcoming the very truth he seeks." You make yourself incapable by holding on to every thought and belief as though it were true. There's no way around this. Either you continue doing that, or you relax and let go. Think it's hard to let go? Don't believe that thought either.

3. The Limits of Your Mind

Vernon Howard Quote

"Don't complicate your life by thinking so much about it. It is conditioned thinking, not the realities of life, that pain the heart.

Habitual thinking, reasoning, and rearranging do nothing for you and have never done anything for your inner contentment. Habitual thinking does you good only on the everyday level of things, like planning a vacation or reasoning out a balanced dinner.

But conditioned thinking about psychological matters, like happiness and a purposeful life, cannot succeed. Mental power is limited to earthly activities, like a flightless bird.

People are usually afraid to stop pointless thinking. They are afraid to stop doing the wrong things because they mistakenly assume that it is the only thing to do and without their frantic mental chasing, everything will fall apart.

The opposite is true.

When human thinking stops, and spiritual awareness starts, we become unified. Attempts to use the earth-bound mind to fly into spiritual skies is what makes everything crash.

Try not to think about happiness and a purposeful life. Stop planning and calculating. It is possible to be happy and purposeful, but not with a hypnotized mind."


If you want to fly, you need to let go of your mind.

  1. You're so used to using your mind for everything, that it seems counterintuitive to have it do anything other than be in the driver's seat. But when the earth-bound mind tries to fly into spiritual skies, it crashes.

  2. It's like trying to see with your nose and hear with your mouth. You're using the wrong faculty and it doesn't work. To recognize spiritual things, you use your spirit - the deepest part of you. Don't let the unknown and mysterious put you off. Instead, be aware of all the concepts that rise up when you hear the word spirit or spiritual. Remember that truth doesn't conform to your ideas.

  3. "Try not to think about happiness and a purposeful life." This doesn't mean try not to think. Resisting thought is frustrating and futile. It means recognizing that the happiness and purpose you seek aren't going to come by figuring out how to get them. In fact, it's by relaxing all efforts that you become aligned with what your soul longs for.

4. The Test of Progress

Vernon Howard Quote

"The test of progress is not how much intellectual knowledge you have added, but how many mental illusions you have discarded. 'There are those who know many things, yet are lacking in wisdom.' (Democritus)

It is painful to live from illusory pictures of who we are, instead of from reality.

A man picturing himself as a money-making genius will be upset by anything contradicting that picture, such as slow business. It is not the slow business that bothers him, but the conflict between his pretentious self-image and the fact of slow business.

He could be happily unaffected by all exterior conditions by being a simple, unassuming, self-unified businessman."


How many mental illusions have you discarded?

  1. This question is not meant to bring you into self-judgment and critical analysis, but rather to bring your focus back to the fact that letting go of the false sense of self enables your true nature to emerge.

  2. "It is painful to live from illusory pictures of who we are." Look around at all the mental suffering in the world today. There are many noble efforts in the field of mental health, but where is the empowerment of a deeper understanding that makes those problems dissolve?

  3. Consider your mental picture of yourself. Who do you believe yourself to be? Who have you always believed yourself to be? Do you want to stay there, in your old, conditioned beliefs? Or will you give yourself to the adventure of daily discarding, and discovering who you really are?

5. The Flash of Wisdom

Vernon Howard Quote

"At the start of your quest, wisdom is a flash, not a glow.

We can recall once more the famous allegory of the prisoners in the cafe, told by Plato. One prisoner dares to break out into the sunlight. He is, of course, dazed by the new brightness.

This is similar to the confusion and uncertainty of anyone who decides to escape his unconscious captivity. The light of freedom is so utterly new and different that it cannot be recognized by the habitual mind.

The escaping prisoner is, at first, frightened and puzzled by the change. But gradually, his psychic eyes become accustomed to the light. He sees that this is Reality. Previously, he assumed that darkness was the normal state, but now he knows better.

Do not try to imagine what the state of awakened awareness is like. The imaginative mind, which can only run old mental movies, cannot present the new.

What we can do is to see the results of non-awareness, and go on from there."


"At the start of your quest, wisdom is a flash, not a glow."

  1. This has certainly been my experience. In 1998, the first flash of wisdom came as a realization of my spiritual nature and the existence of what we call God. The second, in 2018, brought awareness of my thinking mind, and what I like to call the shift from being in the snow globe to seeing it. There was another flash about a year later, enlightening me about the resistance in my being and how I had lived my entire life at the mercy of it.

  2. Everyone's experience is different, but eventually, there is the enjoyment of the constant glow of wisdom, when your mind no longer holds the power of your attention. Wisdom is always right here, constantly shining and guiding you in your daily living. You can find it by simply realigning with the present moment.

  3. "What we can do is to see the results of non-awareness, and go on from there." In your quest for self-discovery, the most important thing is to see the unconsciousness, the distorted view, and the misunderstanding that you have been operating from. That is all you need to concern yourself with. You will then naturally become realigned with your true nature and intuitively know how to live.

6. Stay Home and Heal Yourself

Vernon Howard Quote

"Q: Why am I so inconsistent in my efforts at self-discovery?"

"For one thing, because you merely seek relief from your pain, rather than total healing. The pain drives you to the doctor, but when it passes, you carelessly forget that it must attack again.

Consistency comes when you get tired of the pain. When you finally discover that you are both your own pain and doctor, you can stay home and heal yourself."


"Consistency comes when you get tired of the pain."

  1. Are you tired of the pain yet? The pain of living a defeated life, day after day? The pain of accepting that life must always be a struggle? The pain of feeling lonely, inadequate, being trapped in the prison of your mind? The list could go on and on...

  2. What does it mean to discover that you are both your own pain and doctor? These are the two aspects of yourself: your false sense of a separate self (the cause of all your pain) and your true nature of oneness (the healing of present awareness).

  3. There is an invitation to stay home and heal yourself. This is to heed the call of present awareness and to experience every moment as it unfolds. The alternative is to continue living in the conceptual world of your mind, projecting its mess onto others and the world. But do not lose heart. Stay open to the lifting of the veils of illusion, and be vigilant to watch yourself as you go about your day. You will discover, to your delight, that you are already your true self, and need no effort to realize that.


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