or . . .Where Does The Real Value Lie?
By Chuck Diliberto

How often do we hear "let go of our attachment to the material plane" and we let go of the pain and suffering attributed to these attachments? In today's world of psychic hotlines, and spiritual seminars on anything from channeling to releasing ourselves from the dregs of our past lives, these events cost money. And in some cases, we're talking four hundred dollars and more to attend a three-day seminar that is guaranteed to change our lives, or in the very least be the spark that jump starts our sagging Spirits.

Now wait a minute here. What about the "let go of our attachment reality" mentioned above? What are we to believe about the seemingly exorbitant prices being charged for our Spiritual insights and accorded freedoms? I mean, aren't God, and his minions of Angels and disincarnate Light Workers going about their business out of love and compassion for the dreadful human conditions created by man? I didn't know that God had a ledger sheet where payables and receivables were accounted for on the material plane. What is wrong with this picture? Maybe we need to take a long hard look at the mechanisms put into place to dispense truth, no matter in what form it presents itself.

Let's look at the collection basket that is systematically passed around during sermons in many a church. I'm sure most Parishioners are aware of this practice. The money is needed to support their institutions and its ministers of faith. Is this a mandatory practice? Are you obligated to give something, anything . . . ? And what if you don't? Will your soul be besmirched by the unforeseen hand of God, waiting to make those frugal souls repent for their sins of either not having the money, or plain simply being miserly?

This question leads to a basic truth stated in many ways; as you give you receive, what goes around comes around, or the more proverbial, as you sow you reap. I have to make something very clear here, though. Blind giving for the pure sake of giving can lead to giving your hard-earned money to some misinformed persons or organizations that are led astray by their own self aggrandizement.

The answer is in discernment, but it is not as easy as it sounds. We have to determine what IT is, and where IT is, that we are about to discern. How often do we feel cheated after picking up our vehicle from the auto mechanic, after we have gone clothes or grocery shopping, or even worse after a failed relationship. In all these cases the onus is upon us to discern the best values, least expensive prices (sales/closeouts) and our true feelings when we give of ourselves. This also includes paying money for Spiritual development or enlightenment.

The whole understanding of enlightenment can be frighteningly subjective, (if based upon) the notion that the culture as a whole is unenlightened and in some instances, this may be an accepted generalization. Yet the only true determiner of enlightenment is a mechanism of reality that accepts both sides of the equation as another understanding in the overall scheme of things. This can only be done without judgment, or any impositioning of institutionalized beliefs and rituals. The individual freedoms that are built into enlightenment can not be bought or sold, only shared by those who are enlightened. This brings us back to the ambiguity of subjectivity. The determiner once again becomes ubiquitous in the eyes of the unenlightened, and, in the most fundamental sense, a fraud. Now that I have blurred the picture, what can we, the seeker, do to enhance our chances of gaining some truth and insight at the plethora of seminars, lectures and workshops offered and designed to give us this glimpse of our unenlightened soul?

A key to follow here is based upon a well-developed sense of intuition. The responsibility is upon us, the seeker. The search for truth in a society measured by price tags can be awfully expensive. This leaves the onus of accountability, obligation and commitment firmly in our own hands. The bottom line literally is, at what cost do I transcend the material plane. An existential oxymoron is at work here, ostensibly in the most absurd sense. We are paying for our freedom from the material plane by making a material exchange that in turn will put us in a position to become comfortable with unknown Spiritual truths. Is this as peculiar and weird as it sounds? Are we missing some obscure awareness that reconciles our material selves with our Divine conscious selves? The answer is yes, resoundingly yes. The path of love is an inward journey that has to begin somewhere.

In a culture where antiquated institutions have lost their ability to appear credible, today's seeker on the path should have as many available options as possible to further the search for self enlightenment. We are all individual spokes leading to the same center. What works for one person may not indeed work for another. This does not lessen the credibility of the wide variety of options being offered; it only enforces the understanding that self-enlightenment is a process. This process is gradual, innate and should be natural at all times. The consequences of this process can only be measured experientially. Empirical data collecting only removes us from the unity we seek. You can not measure quality with statistics; consciousness has no parameters by which it is defined. We are speaking of an intrinsic nature that is not separate from us. Our awareness of obfuscation of this nature is our first step on this incredible inward journey.

When we begin to accept ourselves, i.e., our pains, fears and insecurities, the choices we need to make along our journey become clearer and more inherent. This clarity opens the doors of our multi-dimensionality, unclouds our judgment and allows us to choose what the next step is without any doubts or self recrimination.

Here is a simple example of how to make a choice that transcends the original material transaction. For instance, I have come upon a magazine that has relevant articles and compassionate, insightful writers who care about their readers and the big picture in general. I want to advertise in this magazine, but I may not want to pay their rates. Where does the actual discernment lie here? The first place to look is at identification. Do I want to be identified with the persona and relative truths being purveyed? If the answer is yes, then you have transcended the material plane (money issue) to discern your role in a greater framework. This is the basic premise.

The majority of us are very careful where we spend our money. I want value for my dollar, but more importantly, I want to feel that the money was not the key issue for the expenditure. I don't care about costs if I know beyond any uncertainty that the reason I am making the investment is going to better my life, and in turn, the lives of those around me. For, in fact, is this not the true discernment laid down for our hearts to follow, the real reasons behind any purchases? Here is a simple, but overlooked fact. We are all in this thing together. Most people I know are turned off by self servers. I don't want to be cheated by anyone, nor do I want to compensate, "share the wealth" so to speak, with anyone who is not truly offering a service that is coming from their heart and experience. Because, afterall, it's only money, a neutral paper transaction that sometimes can be allowed to obfuscate the real meanings of life, love and the pursuit of happiness. 

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