Every now and then while I am driving somewhere a well-meaning family member or friend says I should travel a different way. Some are very insistent and question, “Why are you going this way? You should go such and such way!” Usually they claim that their way is the best way because it’s the shortest way—but let’s not debate that. Sometimes they are right—but just as often they are not. What I’ve discovered is that most of the time their route is not any better than mine. Generally we arrive plus or minus a few minutes of the time I would have taken in the first place. And there have been times when confusion made the trip even longer than it would have been had I just taken my normal route. The lesson I’ve learned from all of this is that the shortest way to any destination is the one you know!
There are many spiritual teachers out there who claim that their approach to awakening is the shortest and most direct way-never mind the impossibility of producing any real data for the claim! How exactly does one determine the actual number of adherents a master may have that have actually awakened compared to other paths out there? Is there a website that does this?
The truth is that an awakened person is a very rare find. Like you, I’ve met thousands of Christians. Most all of them were wonderful people but less than a handful of them have actually awakened. The same is also true for all other paths—including those that state they are the most direct path. There is no formula that guarantees enlightenment. The best a path can do is point you in the right direction. You have to figure it out as you go along. That’s then way it works. Other people and masters can tell you how they’ve done it—but that doesn’t mean their way is the best or shortest—or even the best path for you.
My journey began as a child in a Christian family. Many years later I awoke while sitting in my leather recliner. Was there a shorter way? I don’t know—and I honestly don’t care. All that matters is that I’m awake. Others I know who have taken a host of other directions have yet to awaken. Source knows the best way to awaken each person—and by default it must be the shortest way.