A Conscious Man

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I want to say something else about teachers and the path. I read a few of Vernon Howard’s books and listened to one of his tapes before I actually traveled out west to hear him speak. I had NO idea what I was getting in for. To walk one step into a place with a conscious man on it is to be shocked down to your toes. It is indescribably difficult to stay. Everything in you wants to flee. Keep in mind that not a word has been said. It is the energy being radiated that throws the ego into massive confusion.

Once Vernon actually begin to speak, I knew I was hearing something different. He wanted us to leave, not stay. So he made sure that he offended everyone equally. Many people through the years got up and walked out.

He brooked no intellectual discussions of what he said, since that would be letting ego take over. He frequently said things like, “Take it or leave it. Go or stay. But when the pain gets too bad, come back.” That was also on a sign over the doorway to the building.

On our first visit, he was using space in a church. But soon after that, a new building got underway. One man said, “They told me to go to the shed and sort the tools. And I didn’t have a clue. But I did the best I could.” Vernon knew how to make people sick with worry so they would have to see it or else.

Through the years I often got slightly sick whenever we visited and so did Bob. Purification works itself out through the body/mind in whatever way it chooses. The soul, the True Self, is not affected. It has always been pure.

I could ramble on and on. I begin this by saying that books don’t carry the weight that an awakened man does. Vernon’s books are fairly calm. His demeanor was a raging fire that consumed anything he didn’t want to mess with. I am eternally grateful for having such a tough teacher. For compassion, as he said, is to be tough on the non-compassionate. He never attacked people without their permission, though. He remained a gentleman. But if you gave him tacit permission, he would let you have it.

That is why current nonduality seems a bit insipid to one who has been in the Fourth Way for even a little while. Esoteric Christianity is to experience what the Christ Consciousness means. Recognition without reaction.

Vicki Woodyard

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