What is the value of spiritual teachings?
I think that many people today have lost any real sense for value and this is very sad. We live in a world where everything seems to be available in shortest time and often for free. On the other hand most people are upset about losing their financial power – working more, earning less and paying increasing prices. If everything has to be for free or cheap and delivered in shortest time, – who shall appreciate your work and who shall pay you?
This is a bad imbalance which is very unhealthy for all of us as there is always someone who has to pay the price.
For example you may be happy about the cheap T-Shirt you can buy but in fact someone in Asia has to work hard for nearly nothing in return to make this price feasible and someone in your home country has lost his job to make it possible that the shirt is made in Asia.
But people do not connect these facts, – they are just happy about the cheap price and wonder why they have no jobs.
The whole situation is transferred to all other aspects of life, culture, events, etc. People expect everything for free and do not care about the costs.
I want to increase a little bit your awareness and understanding for this regarding spiritual initiation and teachings.
Imagine you live some hundred years ago and you have a strong desire for spiritual path. What can you do? Probably you spend many weeks, months or years to find a real spiritual teacher or rare spiritual literature. Probably you have to travel through your whole country. It takes a lot of time and effort and you are not really sure if you will make it. Somehow you also have to maintain your human needs which is also not easy. You work here and there to get some food.
Now you have found someone who is called Guru or who is a high priest. It takes a lot of effort to meet him, to get the chance for a conversation and you do not know if the teacher likes you or not. In best case he sees your potential but certainly you have to undergo several tests to check if you are really worth it. Let´s imagine that you are lucky and that the teacher allows you to be tested. These tests can be the pure horror, traumatic experiences, things which bring you near death, which takes you to your mental, emotional and physical limits. Maybe you survive, maybe not and even if you survive it is still the decision of the master if he takes you as his student.
We imagine that you have passed all tests and that the master thinks that you are worth to undergo the spiritual training. Now you have to do many vows for the realization of high ideals and if you break a single one you are condemned or excluded or even killed.
Then hard training becomes your daily business and you have to fulfill a lot of hard duties which have not much to do with your spiritual desires. Maybe you feel like a slave, like someone who has no rights or who is exploited but fortunately you are strong and peaceful and you take your burdens.
From time to time you get some special teachings beside the outer, normal teachings. It seems that the path will take your whole life and that each step of progress takes high prices. Everything is difficult, hard, a real challenge. No one knows how many steps the training contains. It is all a matter of the individual initiation and everyone has to keep silence about his special training, progress and experiences. So every little step of progress is endlessly precious, invaluable and more a gift of divine grace than anything else.
And you know this, you are happy and endlessly grateful for the smallest progress. You are full of devotion and totally humble.
There is not the slightest call from your ego. There are no personal desires or wishes. You are totally happy with what you have, even if it is nothing but spiritual training and a hard life.
And now we compare this with the attitude of today:
Imagine that you have some interest in spiritual topics. You like to please your curiosity and indeed you like to feed your ego. So you buy spiritual books and take part in spiritual workshops.
When you check the bookstore you might think “Oh, why is this book so expensive? 15 Dollars for 150 pages! This is too much! I will try to get it for free in the internet.”
When you check the workshops you might think “Interesting topic, but what about the baseball game at this weekend? I should watch it on TV. And even if I wanted to take part – I would have to drive an hour. This is too far for me! And the price – it should be for free as it is a spiritual workshop! Then it takes a whole weekend. Why is it not possible to give initiation in two hours in the morning so that I can go shopping before lunch and enjoy my spare time later.”
Today spiritual teachings are misused like junk food and people are driven by ignorance, ego and lower desires.
It is the doom of what was once holy and most precious!
Although spiritual teachings have become public, they are still holy, most precious and something which you have to deserve, which you cannot pay for.
It is good to think about these things. We need more respect and appreciation today. Otherwise things lose their value and with this their sense and holiness.
Unfortunately today a lot of pearls are thrown before the swine. It is a quality of our time. Very sad!