Suffering the consequences of unconsciousness is the fire that ultimately burns up the false ego, but that’s the long, slow, painful way. The short cut is any spiritual teaching that cuts through the long way, the painful way of waking up.
Who could have summed it up better than that. Unfortunately, most humans choose to take a long, painful way. I would say that the shortcut maybe quicker, but it does not imply easier…
In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to suffering, and those who go through it are many. But the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to true life, and those who find it are few.”
So yes, there is a long and painful way, but it is not that hard of a way – you just stay completely unconscious your whole life, unaware of God in you, totally identified with your ego and manipulated by your thoughts and your emotions, oblivious to consequences of your actions/thoughts. So your whole life you suffer, constantly blaming, fighting, worrying, searching, waiting and never at peace.
On the other hand, the shortcut Tolle refers to, which Jesus calls “narrow gate” is simple, but oh, so not easy. For most people it involves daily, dedicated and focused Spiritual Practice, it is hard, as we have to step outside of our “comfort” zone, outside of our ego, and it is not enough to believe, but one has to know, feel, live it.
When I worked for Nordstrom, we used to tell our employees: ” As you are here, at work, every decision you make, every action you take, think to yourself – if one of Nordstrom brothers was here, would I still take that action, do that, say that?” Nordstrom is an amazing company, that has taught me so much about ethics, decision making, taking care of people, customers, taking action while upholding the great reputation of the company.
So now, I like to think to myself in my daily life – if God was here, next to me, in me – would I still do what I do, say what I say, think what I think? And yet, I know, that God is in fact always next to me, in me, all around me and in everything. To take it even further – would God do that, say that, think that?