The Short Path
… The basis of the Short Path is that we are always divine. It is with us already, it is no new thing, and we only have to try to recognize what is already there.
The same Grace which starts us off on the Quest carries us through to its end. The Short Path phase begins when we awaken to the presence of the Grace’s source.
… To become conscious of Consciousness detached from its productions–thoughts–is his task…
To remember the Overself devotedly, to think about it frequently and lovingly, is part of this practice.
The Short Path provides him with the chance of making a fresh start, of gaining new inspiration, more joy.
The Short Path is the real way! All else is mere preparation of the equipment for it. For with it he is no longer to direct his meditation upon the shortcomings and struggles of the personal self but up to the Overself, its presence and strength. For the consciousness of the Real, the True, the Beneficent and Peaceful comes by its Grace alone and by this practice he attracts the visitation.
One advantage of the Short Path is that whoever takes to it thoroughly gets rid of guilt complexes, of sorrowing over his past, his errors, his sins.
The Short Path offers the quickest way to the blessings of spiritual joy, truth, and strength. For since these things are present in the Overself, and since the Overself is present in all of us, each of us may claim them as his own by the direct declaration of his true identity. This simple act requires him to turn around, desert the dependence on personal self, and look to the original Source whence flows his real life and being, his true providence and happiness. Disregarding all contrary ideas that the world outside thrusts upon him, disdaining the ego’s emotions and desires concerning them, he prays without ceasing to that Source. That is, he keeps himself concentrated within upon it until he can feel its liberating qualities and expand in its sunny glories.
What is the key to the Short Path? It is threefold. First, stop searching for the Overself since it follows you wherever you go. Second, believe in its Presence, with and within you. Third, keep on trying to understand its truth until you can abandon further thoughts about it. You cannot acquire what is already here. So drop the ego’s false idea and affirm the real one.
The Short Path uses (a) thinking: metaphysical study of the Nature of Reality; (b) practice: constant remembrance of Reality during everyday life in the world; (c) meditation: surrender to the thought of Reality in stillness. You will observe that in all these three activities there is no reference to the personal ego. There is no thinking of, remembering, or meditating upon oneself, as there is with the Long Path.
It is the unique contribution of the Short Path that it takes advantage of the Overself’s ever-present offer of Grace.
On this Short Path he searches into the meaning of Being, of being himself and of being-in-itself, until he finds its finality…
The Short Path offers a swifter unfoldment of the intuitional consciousness. It is not so bound to the limitation of time as the Long Path is. It seeks to identify the man now with his higher self.
A boundless faith in the Overself’s power to assist him must be the possession of a Short Path votary–that is, faith in both the existence and the efficacy of its Grace.
The laborious, sometimes desperate self-discipline of the Long Path relaxes or even stops altogether. The effortless, sometimes ecstatic self-surrender to grace through faith, love, humility, and remembrance replaces it…
Outwardly we live and have to live in the very midst of cruel struggle and grievous conflict, for we share the planet’s karma; but inwardly we can live by striking contrast in an intense stillness, a consecrated peace, a sublime security. The central stillness is always there, whether we are absorbed in bustling activity or not. Hence a part of this training consists in becoming conscious of its presence…
Even without making special efforts to deal with undesirable traits, some will tend to fall away through being denied attention. This is one consequence of following the Short Path.
Both desires and fears bind a man to his ego and thus bar the way to spiritual fulfilment. They could not exist except in relation to a second thing. But when he turns his mind away from all things and directs it toward its own still centre, it is the beginning of the end for all desires and all fears.
The forces of heredity and the dominion of environment would appear to be the overwhelming impulsions of a man’s actions. But let the Soul arise in its masterful urgency, and they vanish!
This Quest cannot be followed to success without the quality of courage. It is needed at the beginning, in the middle, and near the end. It is needed to think for oneself, to act in nonconformity to one’s environment, and to obey intuitive leading toward new, unknown, or unfamiliar directions.
We are influencing the coming years by our thoughts. The importance of thought in forming external environment, the value of imagination in ultimately creating circumstances, and the use of visualizing the sort of life we aspire to have, are to be impressed and re-impressed on a generation which has to escape from the materialistic outlook. By this twofold process of rising to our divine source and controlling our intellectual ideas, we can begin to control our outward life in an extraordinary manner.
… The Short Path makes life considerably pleasanter because you are supposed to make a 180 degree turn, putting your past behind you, looking first on the bright side, the sunny side, of your spiritual life. Very often a glimpse is given which starts you off on the Short Path…
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