Exercise

Live As If

A valuable practice of the Short Path is to see himself already enjoying the realization of its goal, already partaking of its glorious rewards. This is a visualizing exercise in which his own face confronts him, a smiling triumphant face, a calm peaceful face. It is to be done as many times every day as he can remember to do it.

To practise the "As If" Short Path exercise successfully, it is necessary to let go and forget all past techniques and begin afresh; they are attachments and, to that extent, distractions. They may cause self-consciousness, anxiety for success, and impatience. The divinity is there, within you; have faith that it is so and entrust yourself to it.

Balance the "As if I am enlightened" exercise: Counter by "As if the Divine Mothers were present" whenever I speak to others, whatever I do, alone or in society. It notes and judges my speed and action. In the first example I am alone always; but in the second I am not, there is the other. The idea is not so much that it notes and judges our actions as that we are in a holy presence.

The "As If" exercise uses the kind of imaginative experience which has some affinity with the aspirant, with his temperament. It cannot be the same for everyone. Each will put into it some pictures created from his own ideal, but for all aspirants there will be certain elements shared in common.

Even if it only be a pose that is cultivated, it still remains a valuable discipline and exercise which gives good results. For it has much suggestive power, this "As If" method, and is an essential part of the Short Path.

The "As If" attitude pays well, provided it is maintained rigidly after having been assumed.


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Back to Notebooks of Paul Brunton: Advanced Contemplation/The Peace Within You exercises