The Witness

pas12 (1)
Arguing with the truth is not allowed. I learned that immediately from Vernon Howard. I knew he was right about that, 100%. You see, arguing arises from the intellect and truth is about the heart. The heart is not divided; it is one with everything.

Many people walked out on Vernon in the middle of his talks. He encouraged it as a great way to separate the sheep from the goats. The pharisees from the truly righteous. Those who had been led to him (and everyone was), had tried everything else and found it wanting. Even so, we had to bear the discomfort of his words aimed at shocking us into clear awareness.

Clear awareness never argues; it only hears and witnesses, both truth and falsehood. It doesn’t matter what you are witnessing, but that you ARE witnessing. The witness is developed slowly over time and the impulsive personality is impatient with the truth. Those people leave pretty quickly. The ones that stay remain only because they are both chosen and choose to be chosen. The tests are always right in front of the student. They cast him into the fires of purification again and again. Though seemingly rough, they are the first truly kind force the student may have ever encountered.

I realize people on Facebook don’t like their truth straight-up. They find it harsh and callous and so they depart in favor of kinder teachings doled out by nondualists of every stripe. They say that oneness is wonderful and that is who you are. But talk doesn’t cook the rice. We are looking for undiluted presence of the witness. So stay or go; it doesn’t matter to the teacher of truth.

As it was said of Jesus, “Many walked with Him no more.” Those that remain will be the few. And the few will be tested; you can count on that.

Vicki Woodyard


  1. I always used to love all the wash-outs…happened every three years or so just to weed out folks, so to speak. Then it came that I fell between the cracks. It was not something planned but has reaped stuff any solid Witness might have a tough time with. However, just reading your words brought back that beautiful feeling of of knowing I had — somehow — arrived in front of a true Teacher. <3


    1. If the teacher didn’t do this, as you so well know, the group would gradually be weakened by the false kindnesses of the unready ones. I, too, had to put up with cruelty on the part of his students. Vernon was not cruel; his students were, however. They were told not to be, but it happened anyway. Especially to visitors.


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