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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.
Meditation has two parts. The lower one belongs to the Long Path. Also, the religions are for the beginners and popular masses. They, too, belong to the Long Path. To the Short Path belong Christian Science, Ramana Maharshi's teachings, Vedanta, Krishnamurti's teaching, and Zen. They all say You Are GOD. The Long Path says instead: You are only a man. The one says that you are man and the other says that you are also really rooted in God.
A very important point: because the ego lives in its own darkness, it cannot give light. The light may come only from the Overself, which is the Sun and Light of human existence. With the reason we can control the ego to some extent, but it is not possible to control the Overself. As regards Enlightenment, this is not coming from self-willed effort; it is coming only by what the Overself does to him. It is a matter of Grace--unpredictable--and it is the last secret. It is like the wind that comes you do not know where from and goes you do not know where to. It is a mystery. At the end we have to be like little children and leave our Enlightenment to the Father and give up our lives to him. On the Long Path the aspirant tries to improve himself. He experiences successes and failures, ups and downs. When he is disappointed, he gets melancholy. On the Short Path such a situation cannot arise, because he has faith like a little child. He has given up all his future to Overself-God and he has enough faith to trust to it. He knows he has made the right decision and therefore is always happy. He depends on this GRACE, he knows It, that It comes from the wisest being behind the world. Whatever will come, it will be the best. He is always relying on the Overself and having the joy in it.
The Short Path is a cheerful Path, a Path of happiness. Just before this begins, the aspirant may experience the Dark Night of the Soul. He feels utterly helpless, has no feeling of spiritual Reality. It is a melancholy time--no feeling of spirituality or longing for it. He is neither worldly nor spiritual. He feels alone and abandoned and separated by a wall from his Guru. He feels God has forgotten him. This dark night may last a short time or long years. He is unable to read spiritual things, or think about them. There is no desire for ordinary things either. He feels sad and disappointed and may even try suicide. In this unhappiness even those who love him cannot bring him comfort. In both hemispheres, Western and Eastern, there is a saying: the night is darkest just before dawn. He is on the lowest point. After that, the Short Path brings back the Joy--just like clouds moving away from the Sun.
The best advice is, first, that it will not last forever; he must have patience. Second, he must have hope. Then he reaches a better level than ever before. The Dark Night of the Soul does not come to every seeker. It is like a shadow thrown by the Sun. When the Sun appears in the subconscious, the shadows arise. But it is the beginning of a great inner change. It is not a wasted time; there is a great deal of work going on--but in the subconscious--to root out the ego. It is being done by the Overself. It is a sign of Grace, but the aspirant nevertheless feels unhappy.
In the Short Path there are usually much fewer exercises to practise. It is not necessary to sit down specially to meditate, but to try to be always in meditation. When you are busy outwardly, meditation naturally takes a different form than when you sit down for it. During the active part of the day, meditation takes the form of remembrance, always to try to remember the Overself: IT IS (That is enough). In the special meditation time our object is not to improve the character. During the meditation we have to empty our mind of thoughts as quickly as possible, let the mind become still. Ordinarily we live in our thoughts, in our little selves, even if the thoughts are spiritual. Therefore we have to keep away from all thoughts. If you want to think of the Overself, which is without any form, it is not possible. We try, but any idea, form, or shape is wrong. You cannot imagine it. So better not to try but to be still. You must not remain in the ego. "Be still [let go] and know that I AM GOD," says the Bible.
~ PB ~ Paul Brunton