There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is always a price to be paid. That may sound like bad news or cynical until you find out what currency the Universe deals in.
We have all heard the saying, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." The way most people interpret that saying is from the human point of view. To them, this saying means, you may think you are getting something for nothing or getting "away" with something, but in the end, that something will end up costing you. This can be applied to anything from cheating on your taxes (and ending up in jail) to having to return a bunch of favors by doing a bunch of favors.
Look around you; there are examples of this everywhere. The woman who finds a rich man to marry but must put up with his extramarital affairs. The businessman who provides handsomely for his family but never spends any time with them because he is always at work. The person who treats his friends poorly to make himself feel important until the day he has no friends left. There is always a price to pay.
Sure, this is human, you might say, but this is not a Spiritual concept. If God is all-giving, there is a free lunch. Yes, God is all-giving. God is all potentiality. But God has to work through us, and this Universe operates by Law. Law that is impersonal, mechanical and exact -- a mathematical equation with a big equal sign (=) in the middle of it. So, as dollars and cents are U.S. currency, the Universe has a currency. The currency of the Universe is Spiritual or Mental Coin.
What exactly is Spiritual or Mental Coin? Mental coin is the work it takes in consciousness to create the mental equivalent of what you want. There is no other way to demonstrate something. If you do not have the consciousness for something, you will not have it. The coin that you pay is the time, effort, consistency and constancy to stay in the consciousness you must have to demonstrate the object you desire.
Let's say you desire a new luxury car. You have test-driven a few. You like the handling, you like the ride, you like the comfort, you like the smell of the leather seats, you even like the looks you get as you drive around. The Universe is not going to give you a car just because you say you want one. There is no free lunch. There is a price to pay. Your price for a new luxury car may be: 1) believing you deserve such a car; 2) believing you can afford such a car and all that entails (car payment, increased insurance, higher maintanence costs, garage space, valet tips for taking care of it); 3) not worrying about what others may think of you having that kind of car; and 4) believing you are "the kind of person" who owns a luxury car (self-perception). Phew... No wonder luxury cars cost so much!
These are some hefty issues to deal with: your worthiness, your sense of prosperity, your self-image. Having doubt or feelings of unsureness in any of these areas will keep you from experiencing that luxury car. Your mental coin is whatever it takes to develop a consciousness that you are worthy of luxury, that you are prosperous at all times, and that you are whatever your idea is of a "rich" person.
How about something less materialistic, but equally concrete. Say you are experiencing headaches every Monday after you get home from work. You want to get rid of these headaches. There is a price to pay. Your price is to figure out why you are getting these headaches from a metaphysical standpoint and rectify the situation. Headaches are usually caused by self-criticism and fear. So you take a look at self-criticism and fear. Are you criticizing yourself about something? Why is the headache happening after work on Mondays? You realize that as you face the first day of the work-week, you tell yourself you can't possibly do all the things you need to accomplish this week because you are not capable enough, you are not competent enough, you are not smart enough, you are not organized enough, and you are sure that this is the week your boss is going to find that out and fire you. You have discovered the cause of your headaches. Now the real work begins to develop a consciousness where the self-criticism stops and self-image of competency, capability, intelligence, etc. starts. That is the mental coin you must pay. Don't cop out and take an aspirin. Aspirin never made emotions go away.
What if you just yearn for more joy and happiness in your life. There is a mental-coin price for everything, concrete or not. Again, your price is to develop a consciousness for experiencing joy. You must see where your sadness or anger comes from. If it comes from feeling helpless, not in control, the cost is knowing you have total dominion in your life. You control everything by what you think and feel. The power of the Universe is behind you 100%. When you accept that and believe that, you will lose your feelings of helplessness and joy will have a place to enter your life.
The concept of mental coin is not to be viewed discouragingly. It may sound overwhelming to have to change your consciousness, but work in consciousness can be done in minutes or years. It is your choice. We must accept that this is the way the Universe works, just as we accept the way gravity works. And when we reach that higher consciousness, we can never move backwards. The good news is we only have to pay one time. You can't say that about the way we have paid with guilt and shame during the course of our lives!
There is no such thing as a free lunch, but once we accept the price, we are more than half-way there to paying it. And what rewards we shall reap!