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The Short Path to Enlightenment is the latest publication of the Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation. We selected the relevant PB teachings on the Short Path from The Notebooks of Paul Brunton and gathered and arranged them in one inspiring and instructive book.

As stated in the Preface: Paul Brunton’s many books not only describe the Short Path, but place it in the context of the whole range of spiritual endeavor, including the development of reason and ethics, purification of the emotions, concentration, and so forth. His extraordinarily knowledgeable and broad view help orient spiritual seekers, so they can discern how the Short Path dovetails with mystical practices with which they might be familiar.

The following are selections from The Short Path to Enlightenment and each ends with its location in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton. The source category, chapter, and paragraph number are indicated for each selection to facilitate further study of the topics (see

What Is the Short Path?

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. (23-1-60)

This notion that we must wait and wait while we slowly progress out of enslavement into liberation, out of ignorance into knowledge, out of the present limitations into a future union with the Divine, is only true if we let it be so. But we need not. We can shift our identification from the ego to the Overself in our habitual thinking, in our daily reactions and attitudes, in our response to events and the world. We have thought our way into this unsatisfactory state; we can unthink our way out of it. By incessantly remembering what we really are, here and now at this very moment, we set ourselves free. Why wait for what already is? (23-1-1)

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. (23-1-98)


The unfulfilled future is not to be made an object of anxious thought or joyous planning. The fact that he has taken the tremendous step of offering his life in surrender to the Overself precludes it. He must now and henceforth let that future take care of itself, and await the higher will as it comes to him bit by bit. This is not to be confounded with the idle drifting, the apathetic inertia of shiftless, weak people who lack the qualities, the strength, and the ambition to cope with life successfully. The two attitudes are in opposition.

The true aspirant who has made a positive turning-over of his personal and worldly life to the care of the impersonal and higher power in whose existence he fully believes, has done so out of intelligent purpose, self-denying strength of will, and correct appraisal of what constitutes happiness. What this intuitive guidance of taking or rejecting from the circumstances themselves means in lifting loads of anxiety from his mind only the actual experience can tell. It will mean also journeying through life by single degrees, not trying to carry the future in addition to the present. It will be like crossing a river on a series of stepping-stones, being content to reach one at a time in safety and to think of the others only when they are progressively reached, and not before. It will mean freedom from false anticipations and useless planning, from vainly trying to force a path different from that ordained by God. It will mean freedom from the torment of not knowing what to do, for every needed decision, every needed choice, will become plain and obvious to the mind just as the time for it nears. For the intuition will have its chance at last to supplant the ego in such matters. He will no longer be at the mercy of the latter’s bad qualities and foolish conceit. (18-4-145)

To find out more about the June publication of The Short Path to Enlightenment: