In the search for knowledge especially spiritual knowledge, everyone wants the good stuff, high quality, the real meat of knowledge, but so few are willing to pay for it, and they do not understand how to pay. And so they float and wander from school to school, teacher to teacher always feeling disappointed and let down by inadequate teachers.
“Another worthless empty teacher of just fluff. When will I find a real quality teacher who teaches the real stuff that can feed my hunger to learn and grow. Aren’t there any good teachers out there?
The answer to those who search and are disappointed, left with these sorts of questions, is…Empty wishes bring empty results.
Before we go any further, let us also make it clear that there are more false teachers than good ones, and so most times the feeling that the teacher is inadequate is correct. The problem is that when a seeker finds a good teacher, they miss out on his value because of the reasons we will discuss here. Instead they seek false teachers who put on a good show.
You get what you pay for. It is that simple but yet the truth of that statement is not obvious to most people. First we should clarify that payment could be money but it may also be other items or personal sacrifice. You may pay with giving up some pleasure or perhaps give up some hours of sleep. You may give your services and skills without recompense. You may also give the most precious thing, sincere devotion.
Sincere devotion is of utmost importance and yet very rare. It goes in combination with other forms of payment but the paradox of sincere devotion is that it looks like it is towards another person or group yet in reality it is devotion to yourself.
Sincere devotion propels you to do anything required for who you are devoted to, that is the outward action and appearance. However, all your searching is because theoretically you are devoted to your own growth and improvement of your life condition. Here we find the reason people fail in their search, they lack devotion.
Devotion to a good teacher is devotion to your Self. It is very difficult to comprehend this and to be self motivated. Having a teacher to whom you can be devoted is vital to spiritual progress. Because there are so few good teachers or people who deserve sincere devotion it is difficult for the seeker to be devoted enough that they will break past the ego barrier that prevents them from learning. That is the problem the sincere person faces, not just finding, but rather accepting when they find.
If you are not sincerely devoted to your own self, then you will never do or give what it takes to get what you want. This is perfectly logical. It takes great devotion to get motivated. If you are not devoted, then you will not have the motivation to work as hard as you must. It is clear, without sincere devotion, we will not find the necessary energy to purify our lesser ego because we doubt that we will ever achieve success.
Devotion stems from faith. Faith that the object of devotion will deliver what the devotee seeks.
Now let us look at the reason for payment in other forms than devotion. Everything has a cost. That cost could be money or time for example. Nothing is truly free, even if given freely, everything has a cost. Even if there is no exchange of material goods the cost is still the time and effort it takes to teach and to learn. The saying; ‘Time is money’ expresses that truth.
Everyone wants things of value and if the BMW dealer has a valuable car he will gladly give it to you for enough money without any concern about how you treat the car. The car has a set value and you paid it and now can destroy or ignore the car.
However spiritual knowledge is not the same. Knowledge has an infinite value as it alone is the only thing that can transform a person. But knowledge comes with the highest price tag.
Certain knowledge takes decades of effort, sacrifice and suffering to acquire yet when a person of knowledge is found, people seem to think that the knowledge should be given freely without cost or any demands.
This is the attitude of the fool who never learns or changes. If it took someone 20 years of devoted effort enduring great challenges to become what he is, then how is it logical that he could give it away freely? What thing that came at such a high cost to one could or should be given to another without cost?
The cost is the students devotion to achieve the goal. How much effort the student puts in versus how much the student expects everything to be handed to them without their effort of even asking or going after the knowledge they seek, let alone working on the exercises to gain the value. The reason the cost must be paid is that if the possessor of the knowledge gave the real secrets out so easily they would not be valued and his life would be wasted. The old saying; ‘Don’t throw pearls to swine’ speaks of this.
Anything of great value must be earned in order for it to be appreciated and a lifetime of effort into acquiring something gives it great value. Wisdom is out there, albeit rare, but will not be given unless the seeker is worthy of using it wisely and cherishing it as the precious jewel it is.
If there is no giving in proportion to the value received, there is no gratitude. If there is no gratitude, then the giver will not give twice, if even once.
You must prove you are worthy by first accepting the reality of life and supporting the school and teacher so a building can be maintained to meet in for example. Then show your devotion by your sacrifices. If that means working longer and harder to make the extra money to give to the school, so be it. This is the most common and easiest method because the others are sacrifices such as fasting, all night vigils, purifying the ego and many other personal hardships that are far more difficult to endure.
Spending time to earn money is the easiest to bear as it is already an acceptable part of life, unlike going without food for 30 days or sleep for 3 days and nights. The extra work to make extra money means sacrificing your playtime. That is hard enough for some people and a good start to conquering the weak ego which in the long run will benefit the seeker in many ways, giving you the strength of character to endure difficulties with ease, including fasts and vigils.
To have a strong healthy body you sacrifice time and pain to exercise. For good quality food you sacrifice paying a higher price. To have money you sacrifice your time so you can have a nice home and possessions or the freedom to travel.
Everything has a cost and the cost is a sacrifice, and only through sacrifice can we get things of value or value the things we get.
Everything requires sacrifice. Sincere devotion makes sacrifice a joy.
Make your choice of how you will prove yourself worthy and show that to your own higher self. Prove to God or whatever higher power you believe in that you are serious and willing to do whatever it takes to protect and devote yourself to making the most out of the knowledge you seek. Then if you submit yourself and prove your devotion you may find a teacher or place where you will find what you seek.
Always think about what it took for someone else to get what he has that you seek then show your respect and be willing to pay ten times that.
Devotion is respect. Respect for others is in direct proportion to respect for yourself. If you do not respect yourself or others then you will not respect the knowledge you seek and it will be wasted on you. That equates to the teacher having wasted his life getting that knowledge and anyone with great knowledge is too wise to turn his life to waste.
You will never get anything without effort and the results are in proportion to your effort.
When you ask to be given, think about what it is you want, how hard it is to get it, how lucky you are to find someone who has what you seek and that they are willing to share it with you. Then imagine how much time and effort that person saved you because they can give it to you rather than you risking 20 or 30 years searching and possibly not finding. You should find sincere gratitude in your heart if you objectively see what was given by the teacher to get what you now can receive with ease.
When your mind thinks in this way, it sees great value in things of great value. In this way, devotion, gratitude and respect come naturally from your heart, which is being purified in this very process. As your heart is cleansed through your devotion to your teacher, you will start to know many other things. Your Being will change, and you will rise up in your personal evolution.
But if you are not willing to put in the effort, to find a work to earn the money to support the continuation of the source of knowledge, then how do you expect it to be there. Your devotion is your willingness to pay the cost, financially and above all, the cost of sacrificing your ego, your selfish desires for fun and games, for pleasures and comforts, for excessive hours in sleep. Pay with your efforts by working on yourself, practice devotedly the things you have been taught and give them the value they deserve. As you do this, you will find even the simplest acts will bring fortunes of benefits.
The heart is heavy with selfish thoughts that weigh it down to earth and cloud its vision. Sincere devotion, gratitude and respect turn the granite mountain to dust which is blown away in a breeze of love.