Charging Money for the Truth

Bundles of Paper Currency

I’ve spent a good deal of my time in India over the last several decades. There’s a common saying in India that if a teacher charges money for “the dharma” (which loosely translated means “teachings about the truth”) that he or she will go to a special section of hell set aside for spiritual entrepreneurs, an area cornered off and designed to be much nastier than the areas for axe murderers, rapists, and the like.

My primary teacher in India, H.W.L. Poonja, for example, never asked money from anyone for anything. There was no donation basket in the back of the room, even.

At the same time, there is another, equally well-established tradition in India, called “dana.”  You never go to a teacher empty-handed. If you want the blessings of the teacher, you should come equipped with baskets of fruit, cloth, and all other kinds of goodies.

In the last several decades, there have also been some immensely successful teachers making huge contributions to millions of people who have worked from exactly the opposite mentality. A good example is Harry Palmer, the creator of the Avatar training. He is a genuinely deep and awake guy, highly motivated to help people experience freedom.  “People will only actually integrate insights that they have come to regard as valuable”, he stated back in the early ’90’s. “And the way that people create value in Western society is by paying money.”    Consequently, a couple weekends with an Avatar trainer would cost $2,000. The Avatar training was immensely successful for a long time. Other similar examples of huge, culture-charging movements that have charged high fees are EST, Tony Robbins Seminars, The Sedona Method, and many more.

donateThen there’s the middle ground: the frequently muddy area of donations. “If you thought you got value, pay any amount that feels right to you.”

As a result of these widely divergent points of view around spirituality and money, there is a widely divergent group of teachers all over the world who have ended up in very different positions.   Bill Harris, for example, started out with nothing more than a simple love of mediation and a desire to spread it. After some time acquainting himself with the methods of Brother Charles (at that time a student of Muktananda, now known as Master Charles) Bill Harris developed his own system of Holosync. He’s made literally hundreds of millions of dollars from the worldwide success of Holosync, and flies his own private jet.   There are other teachers with immerse gifts who have devoted decades of their life in unwavering service to planetary awakening who have little or no financial security.

beggingMany people claim to have the final word on this, but the truth is that there are so many divergent points of view that for most people it’s just plain confusing.

So what’s your take on it? Should the truth always be given away for free, and anyone who violates that rule is doomed to damnation? Or do we live in a culture where people only value what they pay for? I’d love to hear your comments.

 

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56 Responses to “Charging Money for the Truth”

  1. tove weberg June 30, 2010 at 2:55 am // Reply

    there is nothing right or wrong,but thinking makes it so….i belive we can do whatever as long as we dont harm anyone,,to charge money for spirituality,,why not ,in the west we cannot live or eat for free beeing spirituell…you can live and eat for free in india beeing a teacher,,they have a system that supports spirituality..so then there is a diffrent startingpoint..in the west you are on your own…everything is based on money here.so even if you are a simpel man here wanting to teach others ,,you,me and others we have to charge for it,,,but in the same time we can also serve…be generous…do somethings for nothing once in a while,,,share the money you earn,,dont get greedy…give away 10%…etc,etc,,,its some small things we can do to balance the money issue…

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    • sharon November 24, 2010 at 6:23 am // Reply

      A fee in this day and age is fair enough you need to eat, sleep somewhere fitting, the recipiant pay to show your gratitude, or else, the wise one would be too busy earning a living to share their “truth”. However to say I have the key to your salvation but you must mortgage your house first??? Harry Palmer, is this really the way?

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  2. Rachelle Lamb June 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm // Reply

    There is no need to “charge” for the truth which is free in every moment regardless. That being said, I am very happy to financially contribute to a person’s sustenance and wellbeing when their offerings have a positive impact on my life. The gift of clear vision for example is of enormous value to me and helps me in numerous ways. I don’t “pay” for that gift even when the teacher “charges”for it. Rather I give to the giving itself. Giving in that way makes the giving enjoyable and meaningful for me.

    For those who profess to have a truth (or anything else for that matter) worth sharing, I would hope they would never “charge” a fee for it. Instead I would like them to tell me how much money would make it possible for them to continue to give their gifts to others in a world that demands a level of attention to our physical essence in order to survive and thrive. It’s not about the dollar signs in the end … it’s about the awareness and consciousness from which is springs.

    That’s my “two-cents” worth 🙂

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  3. sophiananda June 30, 2010 at 8:38 pm // Reply

    Hari Om Tat Sat

    and Absolute Truth trumps the filthy lucre
    but…

    i also gotta pay the rent

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  4. Helene Charly Kayal June 30, 2010 at 8:57 pm // Reply

    Meditation/Life Coaching is my gift to all who are led to me. There is a reasonable fee for the energy I share with my clients — new or repeat. Through my innate intuition there are times I feel my client cannot comfortably pay for the service in which case the fee is waived or the family discount is offered. This comes from the heart and where there is a need, it is always fulfilled. Our every wish is always met when we trust and believe in the Universe. I have meat the world knows not of. Namaste.

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  5. Sharon McCarthy June 30, 2010 at 9:25 pm // Reply

    Teachers all need to create a home, obtain food and simple pleasures. The exchange of energy is a natural expression of Life itself and I am happy to pay a teacher to teach. If I (and others) do not, they may end up in another line of livelihood in order to meet their basic needs. If they are more concerned with a vast income than with teaching, this greed becomes apparent and most of us will become disinclined to maintain this imbalance.

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  6. Ulrika June 30, 2010 at 10:04 pm // Reply

    I just said to a friend of mine yesterday that Arjuna and Chameli are giving away a lot for free and that I love their generosity. Still I have some friends, I also love deeply, who paints and writes poetry, which I find are very unfairly treated by existence financially. They give there spirits away and bring a lot of light into many peoples life. I know they fight harder than most people to survive.

    If I have had a lot of money I would have bought a lot more beautiful art and paid very well for every single peace. I don´t understand the connection between spirituality and money.

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  7. Christine Hoeflich June 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm // Reply

    I agree with Rachele Lamb. You can find your inner truth for free, but it may take you a while to get there. However, if you want someone’s time, resources, insight or shortcuts, then be prepared to pay (fairly) for it, either with cash or some other form of exchange.

    The thing is, the teacher either charges for his/her services, books, etc, or else someone has to support him or her. But taking donation money means the teacher is then indebted to the donator–not necessarily the best arrangement for the spreading of uncompromised truth and freedom. (It also may feel weird and that will have its own consequences.)

    Therefore, the charging of a fee that is fair for the service/product provided is the best option. (Lower-priced options should also be made available for those with little money.)

    Christine Hoeflich

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  8. judy June 30, 2010 at 10:50 pm // Reply

    I think Brian Johnson has this one figured out. He charges a very fair price for his Philosophers Notes and a class that he is currently offering, but offers a scholarship program. If the price is not affordable for you, he just asks you to send him an email expressing interest and telling him you can’t afford it. He reads them all. He stated during one of the Optimal Living classes that this is one of the most satisfying parts of what he does.. he is very passionate about spreading his wisdom. It makes me feel extra good about paying for something knowing that I could have it even if a couldn’t pay. You get to be kind and generous and still make money. Thank you.

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    • Darrell Moneyhon July 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm // Reply

      Dear Judy, I like that solution. As long as we are in the current money system, then such solutions are valuable tools for spiritual growth and social manifestation of spirituality.
      Thanks for bringing this solution to our awareness.

      Darrell

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  9. Sundari June 30, 2010 at 10:59 pm // Reply

    There are bound to be many points of view on this. The problem is that in a country like India (I don’t know any other), there are a number of frauds going in the name of Godmen – who charge a lot of money – and cheat people. Probably the hell is meant for those. Then again if we need to pay for some genuine teachings, then of course, we should. I suppose it all depends on the intention of the teacher – whether he wants his followers to learn something and become independent or he just wants to line his pockets with their money. Like Sri Bhagavan of Oneness University says, the Intent counts a lot. 🙂

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  10. Saskia June 30, 2010 at 11:24 pm // Reply

    It is a tricky question because, as previously pointed out by others, the value of information is different to each and every person who receives it.

    As an habitual and perpetual “Fence Sitter” with no particular view on most subjects, it is easy to say for me to “it depends on whether the person wants to pay it or not” But then it wouldn’t be worth my while writing my thoughts because it would seem I don’t have any.

    Nonetheless, I live in the real world where real decisions have to be made and when it comes to money, the decision is TO SPEND OR NOT TO SPEND – THAT is the question! (Poor Shakespeare)

    When it comes to your free teleseminars Arjuna, I must say that I find it remarkable – in a good way 🙂 that you still offer them for free because most “free” stuff on the ‘net these days comes with a taster of what is on offer and a sales pitch for the whole plater/crate/shipload of goodies. You don’t do that, and it makes you rather special. But on that troublesome “other hand”, if I haven’t paid for what you have to offer, It is too easy for me to think “Well, it’s on at 4:00am my time, so I’ll just download the free MP3 and listen to that” (I have done that many times). But if I have paid to listen to words of wisdom of any sort, and know I can get to ask the questions that are important to me, then I will think again about getting up at 4:00am on a cold winter’s night to attend.

    So the middle ground comes into play yet again, and I think that a modern communicator who has a valuable message to impart should charge for access to that information… (OUCH, I just felt myself shooting myself in the foot!). But free information should also be available to those who are not so committed to the message, so what I am suggesting is that you charge a fee for the live teleseminars because people have the chance to get their questions answered – if not live on air then afterwards by email, but after it is over, make the MP3 available for free because there can be no personal input from the listener. Then save up all the recordings, take them into a recording studio and turn them into a home study course and sell the heck out of them for as much as you can get!!

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  11. Peter Vroom July 1, 2010 at 12:00 am // Reply

    Great topic Arjuna, as a Vedic Meditation Teacher I have grappled with this issue myself.

    My wife and I teach out of our center in Los Angeles, CA and are completely dependent on the contributions of students to keep the center running.

    All knowledge is free. Just as when a student pays a university, when a person pays us a fee to learn to meditate they are not paying for the knowledge. Indeed there is no person on this earth who could afford the knowledge for what it is worth. How can one value improvements in health such as 85% less heart issues, 50% less visits to the doctor, greater happiness etc etc. How can one value a permanent state of happiness, equanimity in the face of gains and losses, better brain function etc etc?

    It is not the knowledge they are paying for, it is the teacher’s time. It is the ability of the teacher to sequence the knowledge in a fashion that is accessible to the student – to “enlighten” the student.

    The teacher places a value on themselves through the fee they charge, but this is in the context of a society that does not value such teaching highly yet. We value lawyers, therapists, alcohol, war etc but the perceived value around spirituality is not as high.

    My personal inner conflict as a meditation teacher comes from knowing on the one hand the immeasurable value of what I teach and on the other hand feeling their pain when I ask for a week’s income for a technique that lasts a lifetime. That equates to a dime’s contribution each meditation. I know how much it affected me when I learned 8 years ago. How annoyed I was. I also have to admit to myself that I would not be as happy or as healthy today if I had not paid so much, because it was the very fact that I paid “so much” that made me stick to it and value it.

    I look forward to hearing you tomorrow.
    Peter Vroom
    Professional Vedic Meditation Teacher
    TheResoluteMind.com

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  12. Jonas July 1, 2010 at 12:09 am // Reply

    I train martial art a fair bit. Old style. And the masters hera are the same as in any field were you work to get rid of your inner fear and realese ggod energy, they been trought a lot to get what they have. Mony is never a issue for the master ore student here. Its your effort that gets you there, time and swet. It can take a while to become masters accepted student, like 3 to 6 years, and after that you get deeper learning. Today most people dont have time.
    So for the enlighted master money is not a problem beacuse the person live in the natural wold were mony d not exist. Of course he can make a living on his work. If he buys a private jet, well maybe he need to do some more work with himself. There is a diffrens here between enlighted people with knolwege and enlighted peopel with wisdom.

    Ok there is a lot to say about this, but I never seen mony in the forest, in the ocean, so in true nature there is no money.

    Jonas

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  13. Robert July 1, 2010 at 12:09 am // Reply

    I can see both sides of this , but I didn’t read that Jesus ever charged for his spiritual teachings, but what are your motives , to teach or to make money, I believe that if your are able to manifest what you need , why charge for your teachings, perhaps a small amount to help with the expenses of your web site, neither the Angels or God charge for their miracles and the guidance that is receive from them.

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  14. Lennart Eriksson July 1, 2010 at 12:28 am // Reply

    Hi
    No-one can go around without money.
    Decide what you think you are worth and a price and let those who want choose and pay it.If price charged is too high, customers will not pay, truth will not be spread that way.
    Others may seek truth where there is no price.
    Donations … I feel like the person cannot put value on his/her knowledge. Limbo, just hanging around without decision.
    Go on Arjuna!
    Lennart

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  15. John July 1, 2010 at 12:53 am // Reply

    It occurs to me that we here in the west who are on the spiritual path have been tasked with changing a few of the teachings that came to us out of the East Arjuna.. not the least of which is our relationship to money.

    In India the culture has supported spiritual adepts for generations, but in the West this isn’t the case. Here we must work in most cases because there are no systems set up to care for us. And as a result, as Tove said, those who would teach MUST ask for payment whether or not they would like to do so, simply as a matter of necessity.

    There is also the matter of perceived value. Many of us who live in the West equate the value of what we receive with the amount of money we must pay to get it, so the idea of giving something away for free may (and often does) create the perception that it has little or no value.

    Having charged for my spiritual work for many years, I came to the conclusion long ago that what I have to offer has value, and that I should be compensated for what I do. I might add that I did wrestle with it for some time prior to arriving at that conclusion.

    Were I living in India or somewhere in Southeast Asia, perhaps it might have been different, but I am not. As I said earlier, money is an ingrained part of our culture and is used as a medium of exchange for our services.. so we trade our labor, time, spiritual teaching, healing or whatever it is we do, for money.

    I also feel that we are in large part being tasked with changing the false idea that it is somehow “spiritual” to be poor and broke all the time. This simply is not true. The more money we have, the more fully we can live and enjoy the wonders that life has to offer, and the more good we can do for the world as well.
    Namaste’
    Dr. John Michael Christian

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  16. Joseph Geraghty July 1, 2010 at 2:14 am // Reply

    It is indeed an interesting question, one that has hiterto caused me deep confusion. I remember a trusted friend saying you will not succeed whilst you charge money for the truth.

    Then you listento another respected healer,Caroline Myss,and she longs for there to be a financial healer.

    So my own view is to ask you own inner trusted advisor about the level of fees you should charge. You will not go far wrong.

    blessings,

    Joseph

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  17. Hannah July 1, 2010 at 3:34 am // Reply

    Of course in the end we can never pay for THE TRUTH. It just IS. But I feel that it is fair to pay a fair amount of money or other exchange to the person who facilitates me on my path. In the West we need money to not only have something to eat but to have “healthy and enjoyable food”. We also do not live in caves so we need money for appartements or houses and so on. I do not think we should live in poverty. I feel that we are free to create joyful and happy lives – with a lot or with not so much money. Let Inspiration be our mentor. To be able to hear what Inspiration tells us we better clean and clear the Unconscious Mind of replaying memories which create certain believes. Money is neither good nor bad. It’s only our thoughts which arise out of certain memories that judge it as good or evil. When we recieve money as a result of following Inspiration, Inspiration will most probably tell us to share some of it with others. If we don’t do so and instead choose to be stingy and greedy with what we have (also as a result of reoccuring memories) the law of cause and effect will most probably teach us our lesson sooner or later. “Give and you shall receive…”. What we give and what we receive depends whether we follow the passion of our heart and share our gifts – and/or out of replaying, limiting memories and believes.

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  18. Michael July 1, 2010 at 4:23 am // Reply

    I don’t think there is any easy answer, but here are a few ideas on the subject.
    It is true that we mostly live in a world where money is needed to survive and that money has been a very useful tool for us. From another perspective though the need for money is a reflection of an inability to fully trust in each other and the providence of the universe.
    I like the idea of separating our income/needs from the gifts we have to give. As Arjuna beautifully describes, we have these gifts that by their nature are freely given. And we also have needs that ideally other people’s gifts would freely satisfy.
    As far as money being an aid to help value a teaching – this may be true to a certain level – but to my understanding, the level of intention and value that is required to be open for awakening to happen is far beyond the limited valuing that money allows.

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  19. Juan July 1, 2010 at 6:06 am // Reply

    Here is an interesting text from Aurobindo about money, that I would like to share with you..

    “Money is the visible sign of a universal force, and this force in its manifestation on earth Works on the vital and physical planes and is indispensable to the fullness of the outer life. In its origin and its true action it belongs to the Divine. But like other powers of the Divine it is delegated here and in the ignorance of the lower Nature can be usurped for the uses of the ego or held by Asuric influences and perverted to their purpose. This is indeed one of the three forces –power, wealth, sex – that have the strongest attraction for the human ego and the Asura and are most generally misheld and misused by those who retain them. The seekers of keepers of wealth are more often possessed rather than its possessors; few escape entirely a certain distorting influence stamped on it by its long seizure and perversion by the Asura. For this reason most spiritual disciplines insist on a complete self-control, detachment and renunciation of all bondage to wealth and of all personal and egoistic desire of its possession. Some even put a ban on money and riches and proclaim poverty and bareness of life as the only spiritual condition. But this is an error; it leaves the power in the hands of hostile forces. To reconquer it for the Divine to whom it belongs and use it divinely for the divine life is the supramental way for the Sadhaka.
    You most neither turn with an ascetic shrinking from the money power, the means it gives and the objects it brings, nor cherish a rajasic attachment to them or a spirit of enslaving self-indulgence in their gratifications. Regard wealth simply as a power to be won back for the Mother and placed at her service.
    All wealth belongs to the Divine and those who hold it are trustees, not possessors. It is with them today, tomorrow it may be elsewhere. All depends on the way they discharge their trust while it is with them, in what spirit, with what consciousness in their use of it, to what purpose.

    In your personal use of money look an all you have or get or bring as the Mother’s. Make no demand but accept what you receive from her and use it for the purposes for which it is given to you. Be entirely selfless, entirely scrupulous, exact, careful in detail, a good trustee; always consider that it is her possessions and not your own that you are handling. On the other hand, what you receive for her, lay religiously before her; turn nothing to your own or anybody else’s purpose.

    Do not look up to men because their riches or allow yourself to be impressed by the show, the power of the influence. When you ask for the Mother, you must feel that it is she who is demanding through you a very little of what belongs to her and the man from whom you ask will be judged by his response.

    If you are free from the money-taint but without any ascetic withdrawal, you will have a greater power to command the money for the divine work. Equality of mind, absence of demand and the full dedication of all your possess and receive and all your power of acquisition to the Divine Shakti and her work are the sings of this freedom. Any perturbation of mind with regard to money and its use, any claim, any grudging is a sure index of some imperfection or bondage.
    The ideal Sadhaka in this kind is one who if required to live poorly can so live and no sense of want will affect him or interfere with the full inner play of the divine consciousness, and if he is required to live richly, can so live and never for a moment fall into desire or attachment to his wealth or to the things that he uses or servitude to the self-indulgence or a weak bondage to the habits that the possession of riches creates. The divine Will is all for him and the divine Ananda.
    In the supramental creation the money-force has to be restored to the Divine Power and used for a true and beautiful harmonious equipment and ordering of a new divinized vital and physical existence in whatever way the Divine Mother herself decides in her creative vision. But first it must be conquered back for her and those will be strongest for the conquest who are in this part of their nature strong and large and free from ego and surrendered without any claim or withholding or hesitation, pure and powerful channels for the Supreme Puissance.”

    Sri Aurobindo

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  20. Ron July 1, 2010 at 6:08 am // Reply

    Ok…with the condition of the economy…not my economy…and the ways of the world right NOW…what the world requires NOW is LOVE…If I have some…thing(knowledge wisdom power)of Value to share NOW and I give my LOVE away it will come back to me it is the LAW of LOVE…Herefore…it may or may other than be good marketing and yet the ripple affect on Our ecomomy will be more impactfull than Our World can Imagine in its current Para dimes(paradiggm)BE CAUSE of the LAW of INCREASE…What OUR World requires NOW is LOVE SWEET LOVE…AND what MY ECONOMY and YOUR ECONOMY requires NOW is AT ONE MENT which I Be LIVE WILL shift OUR Consciousness’s into HEAVEN ON EARTH world with Continual Beginnings AMEN…Potentially all else is Her and HIStory’s
    My Love I Give Freely

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  21. Brian Mayne July 1, 2010 at 8:05 am // Reply

    Curious there was no mention of the Oneness University charges, which admittedly are decreasing, but still not freely available, and to which admission varies according to VIP status.

    Arjuna’s first book, Relaxing into Clear Seeing, seemed (to me) to make it clear that we are not lesser than our teachers and masters, but that true teachers are inviting us – if not indeed joyously welcoming us – to join them at their levels, and even encouraging us to move further to join them.

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  22. Sherry Tuegel July 1, 2010 at 8:11 am // Reply

    Beloved Arjuna, I am so glad you are looking at this issue. I hope to join you tonight. We suffer so much over the econimics of things and as one wild teacher of mine, Richard Bartlett, says “We are making it all up.” We are truly making everything up and then we become trapped inside these “morphic fields” of belief that limit the unlimited. It seems the playground we have created here. I prefer to draw outside the lines if I can. I say this as I wonder where the mortgage money is coming from in the next few months. So what would you like to make up? Hell is certainly an interesting creation. The more people who believe in something empowers that belief and its so easy to get caught up in them. I am understanding more and more why silence is sacred! So maybe there is no one right answer, just whatever you want to experience here in this interesting earth playground. Blessings To All!!!

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  23. dee gonsor July 1, 2010 at 8:19 am // Reply

    I have been very grateful for the times the teachings were free or by donation. It was actually a teaching for me to be able to receive a free gift or give a donation. I really appreciate the free teleseminars.

    Now it feels ok to me for some one to charge money but a reasonable fee. But what is reasonable to the teacher, may not be reasonable for me. I used to work a second job so that I could go to alot of workshops, ect. Now I dont want to work 2 jobs. I have used most of my extra money for the teachings, so I dont own a house, I have a used car, didnt take vacations except if it was a retreat. And I was happy to do it. Now, I dont want to spend all my money on these things. I would like to live comfortably in the material world. I thought if I wanted that, I wouldnt awaken. But everything in life can be used towards this purpose.

    When someone shares their time and experience with me, I am so happy to share my money with them. But like I said, now I am more selective.

    For example, my mentor is doing a 10 week class on the Presence Process, which I would love to do and be part of a group. She is charging 250.00 a person for this. So really it is like 25.00 a class a week, which seems ok. But I would need to pay the whole thing up front, which is difficult for me. And I question why does someone have to charge that much when there are 20-30 people signing up? Why cant it be more reasonable, like $150.00. But I know the teacher has to feel her own value, or she might not give freely of herself.

    One more thing, because I used to go to so much spiritul things, I would not do things that were necessary, like get an oil change in my car when I needed it, get my hair done, go to the dentist. So now I want to be more in balance.

    And maybe from all the teachings, I am more able to navigate on my own, and listen to my own inner voice.

    Dee

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    • Drishana July 6, 2010 at 9:16 am // Reply

      The last remark is very valuable in my opinion – eventually we need to navigate from our inner authority. I have spent all the money I ever had (from selling my site for a house – I now live in cheap rented accommodation…)on my teacher training with an organisation and when I was through with it and didn’t want to become a follower of the main teacher he said to me “… do you trust yourself?” That was the turning point for me because it took away the last vestige of identification with any of the teachings, with the idea that we need to follow a specific method etc and it put the ball squarely in my court. I now work as a spiritual coach and meditation teacher and still need to find a way to make a living… It is a fallacy to think that if we have the right idea and practice for ourselves we can make it a career and earn money. There is a deeper vein of learning of which our awakening is just one element. I now cannot afford any of the seminars that I would like to attend and feel called to teach meditation for a very modest contribution – something even those on the dole can afford. Because it is precisely those who are most stressed about survival who need tools to step beyond the stress of that… My conclusion is to hand the worry over money over to the divine every time it shows up… And I live ;))

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  24. Janti July 1, 2010 at 8:34 am // Reply

    Like all objects in a dream, money is a transient illusion. It is useful in the dream environment. It is neither right or wrong, good or bad. It is a neutral projection of mind. Deep contemplation of our relationship with money suggests there is something of import here. As long as I am dreaming that I live in the world money can be fun and useful or it can be a source of frustration and fear. Only the mind generated self takes seriously those things projected by mind. The son of God knows only the son of God and his Father. He sees things in the world but recognizes them as illusion to be neither feared nor pursued. Like a puff of smoke these things all vanish in our eternal reality.

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  25. Kitty Sell July 1, 2010 at 9:01 am // Reply

    Arjuna, in today’s world you cannot share your light with everyone without it costing alot. In my opinion I would not spread myself too thin. Put a limit on how far you branch out. If you don’t it will affect your light. Be reasonable in charges so more people can avail themselves of your gifts. Bless you.

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  26. TheIntentionalSage July 1, 2010 at 10:08 am // Reply

    I don’t know where to find it, but there is a good bit from Eckhart Tolle on ‘charging for spiritual teaching.’ The talk was given in New York, if I’m correct, to a group of healthcare-related peoples.

    He talked about how CHARGING for spiritual teaching can be dangerous because it can let the ego think that it is “important,” and he also talked about how NOT CHARGING for spiritual teaching can be dangerous because it can let the ego think that it is “not ready.”

    In both cases, in Eckhart’s viewpoint, the ego is being engaged.

    ~~~

    Ultimately, it’s a personal decision that only the one who is offering the teachings can make.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

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    • Darrell Moneyhon July 6, 2010 at 11:18 am // Reply

      Dear The Intentional Sage, Yes I agree that limiting ego activation should be a spiritual focus, but this still seems related to individual transformation, rather than to the social transformation “arm” of the mantle of faith/spirituality.
      To me another main issue for this discussion is not how I relate to money, but whether I enable the addiction of the values distorting system of the current money system. The social arm of spirituality does require me to be my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. I am responsible for contributing to a polluted culture/system. To the extent that it is the only game in town, then I must attempt to use some of the money to transform the money system itself into another, and healthier, system of energy exchange.
      The inner work is essential, and probably primary, but secondary action in the vein of “faith with works” must be taken on the social/systemic level if we are to provide a nurtuaing nest for others (and for self). We must attempt to spend some of the money to change the game. Model interfaith (spiritually-principled) communities would be one means of exploring and effecting systemic change. Perhaps the answer (if there is any) to the delma, or the best use of the paradox, is to intend or earmark some of the money earned toward social/cultural transformation projects such as funding model communities, etc.
      The free teleseminars seem to qualify as one form of the social arm/aspect of spirituality. The percentage of fees collected by Arjuna (or other teachers) that go to providing such free services that are accessible to (nearly) all, would be money directed toward cultural change, which, to me, is sort of “systemic”. It counteracts the inevetable enabling of the current system. The current system is a fee system, not a free system. So the money taken from the current system is put toward socially transcending that system. I would call that portion of the fees “transmoney”. A portion of the money is for making a living, and tends to accidentally perpetuate the current “game”. But the transmoney portion helps change the game, so as to bring about social liberation.
      When such services as free teleseminars or model interfaith communities are provided from the collected fees, then the social arm of spirituality seems to be active, and the collection of money by the teachers seems more ethical than if none of the money were diverted to causes creating systemic changes that make the world a better “nest” for nurturing spirituality and human potential. In effect, such earmarking toward social transfomation would be good karma that replenishes the flow of money (until such time we transcend money altogether, and simply share human energies and human resources and human “gifts”).
      Darrell

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  27. Alex July 1, 2010 at 11:17 am // Reply

    I’ve been uncomfortable with teachers charging large sums for their teachings and have subsequently questioned the validity of what they were offering.

    It seems to me that charging lots and choosing expensive locations to hold retreats is exclusive and I wouldn’t do that myself as the truth is something I believe should be equally accessible by all if someone is offering that kind of teaching.

    However, I have gone to moderately extravagant retreats that have cost me most of my savings (I don’t make a lot) and have received enormous benefit and wouldn’t have done it otherwise.

    Granted, costs have to be paid and hence fees charged. This will also bring a certain type of person to an event who is maybe more willing to truly apply themselves.

    In India, some of the teachers expenses somehow got paid even if they were expenses and no requests even for donations.

    In the end I believe my philosophy is that in the world of infinite diversity and variety all things will continue to show up… expensive teachings and ones where no money is involved at all. Enjoying the discussion!

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  28. Gaile Burchill July 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm // Reply

    Everything is Spirit in physical form, including money. I think we won’t have this concern anymore when we are coming from and living in the natural experience of abundance. My personal view at this moment is that the “teacher” do what feels best to them. And if what feels best is to charge for their teachings, one of the things they are offering is an expansion into an abundant world, for those looking for that.

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  29. Lama Tantrapa July 2, 2010 at 12:17 am // Reply

    I am glad you posted a picture of bhikshu (Buddhist monks) going for a walk collecting food alms. I used to do that when I was living a monastic lifestyle. Nowadays, I do not live in a monastery, and my perspective is slightly different. Having to learn how to support myself after receiving religious asylum in the US, I started offering my services as a Qigong teacher and healer. Eventually, I created a new profession of Qigong Coaching that I practice for living.

    I have to say that, from the energetic stand point, maintaining balance in the flow of energy is essential for any relationship, including the one between the teacher and student. Of course, money is nothing but the energy of consciousness, pure figment of imagination, since it has no value other than what people agree to ascribe to it. Especially nowadays, when most of the transactions are performed electronically. I would be happy to share more on this subject, if you wish to put together a teleseminar about the energy of money. And I will be happy to do it for no monetary gain, so we can explore other means of energy exchange.

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  30. Morgine July 2, 2010 at 8:01 am // Reply

    Arjuna,

    As I shared on the call I think we have it all confused and backwards. We are making “money” the issue when in actuality it is the “value and meaning” we give to it. In and of itself it is nothing by a means of keeping track of bartering our time or goods. Nothing has meaning except the meaning we give it and many people value money in different ways and so we have all these differing points of view as to when it is appropriate to give it or not! People become jealous and envious and worried about money and these are a total result of our personal “perceptions” around money. You can out the same money in front of different people with different results!
    An Indigo child once reminded me I never have a fear of running out of air to breathe. I never even think a thought about waking up and there being a lack of money. He told me smiling ear to ear, whispering in my ear.. “Morgine, money comes from the same place as the air does and there is an endless supply!!”

    The man I mentioned in your wonderful class is Phil Laut and his books are “Money is My Friend” and “Wealthy Without A Job”. I was rereading the former last night again! Very short read PACKED full of sage advice and exercises! Sadly I found out he passed away this March, however, you can still buy his books!

    Thanks again for a great class and wonderful ideas!! Morgine

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  31. Lynn Whyte July 2, 2010 at 10:57 am // Reply

    Spending time with teachers can be very enriching but it can also be addictive. I think the process we are all going through is one that is accomplished personally, different for each one of us, and no one can tell us the way. We have to become experts at watching ourselves as the process unfolds and see what it has to tell us.
    We should never spend more money than is comfortable to participate in seminars etc. Taking time to be with other like minded souls is a treat and comforting but should never be confused with the real process that is happening every moment of every day in our lives.

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  32. Rene Remington July 2, 2010 at 11:45 am // Reply

    Hi Arjuna,
    First thank you so much for the discussion on money and the various other teleseminars I experience with you in the last 2 month.

    The demonstration of the tools (3 levels) to get untangled I will use. I’ve been given or chosen the experience of what it’s like living on very little money. I feel this has to do with entangling myself and staying still long enough to do it.

    I definitely seem to have something running me that likes money and would like to share it with others. I have been able to look back and see how I used that in a rather subtle way to make myself feel good.

    The farther I seem to move into the spiritual life, the less I seem to be able to create a livelihood. Thus I backed away
    a bit a while back.

    I trust that once I get myself entangled from this dilemma that I may assist others to do likewise.

    Right now it’s as if I have a foot in both worlds straddling a deep ravine. I will say
    that I am at peace most of time with it. I I still work to manifest my dreams into reality.

    Switching gears here a bit. I did ask 12 friends and family about my Unique contributions. Thus far only 3 responses and I was a bit surprised at how they saw me. Flowing through Rene 🙂

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  33. Bob July 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm // Reply

    I am actually dealing with this issue right at the moment.

    I have people who want to work with me, some using the Living Essence techniques I learned with you and have use for years now with huge success. But most are coming to go on Vision Quests. These take a day to go through, it is a giant grace to be the guide but it is a lot of time, energy and attention.

    For transportation and supplies it cost about $100 out of pocket to do this each time, that’s an average.

    The weird point is people beg me to take them but when I mention just the hard cost involved they run away or look at me like I shouldn’t be charging for the “Dharma” so to speak.

    Even those who claim that their life was completely changed for the better by the Vision Quest tend to have no dollar value for the experience. But they all think I should do this full time and charge others!

    I think in the west like it or not if you don’t pass the plate at the moment of salvation, your plate will be empty.

    For me to this point in time, I only take those people that the Divine tells me to take.

    I do not find a Divine way of doing any of this commercially.

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  34. Pernilla July 5, 2010 at 2:56 am // Reply

    Thank you Arjuna for bringing up this important topic again. I certainly feel I can feel stuck in it often and I often catch myself doing it. Trying escape from some major tranformation and doing like some middle way that doesnt really work. I also feel frustrated being stuck in this since I know that money is part of the divine flow and an extension of the heart. ANd I cant be responsible for that the world is so unfair and unjust and try to balance it by not charging so much for my one work. Its like a heavy burdom to feel a deep sadness and frustration for having my tribe and closest friends in poor poor communities around the world living on almost nothing and me for some reason got born in Sweden, a very rich country in compare to when I feel I “come from” and in many ways belong to…
    I missed your called. I just liked to comment anyway and send you love and good vibes and smiles
    Pernilla

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    • Darrell Moneyhon July 6, 2010 at 8:33 am // Reply

      Dear Pernilla, I liked the way you stayed in paradox about accepting money as flow on the one hand, but painfully and empathically recognizing the social injustice perpetuated by the money system.
      While getting our individual understanding and attitude right about money is a good starting point, it does not automatically bring social justice or a better system of energy exchange.
      My minister said just this past Sunday that the robe or “mantle” of faith (or, for our current discussion here – “spirituality”) has two “arms” – 1. individual spiritual transformation and 2. social transformation toward a more spiritual and optimal world. I strongly feel that spirituality requires some level of commitment toward transforming the current money system into a better system of energy exchange. These alternative systems could be tried out in model communities and then benchmarked and generalized to larger social applications.
      One way to put on this “arm” of spirituality would be to declare/intend a certain portion of the money earned for spiritual training (or other spiritual services) as being earmarked toward systemic transformation – money that goes toward transforming the money system, rather than going only toward enabling the current system. I call this “transmoney”.
      To morph a popular movie phrase (from the movie Jerry Mcquire), I say “Show me the transmoney”. Show me the money that goes toward changing the money system itself. How much of the money taken in will go toward transforming the money system itself, such as by supporting the model communities, etc.
      Arjuna does a great job of teaching us about deepening and working through as being more feminine spirituality, but the teleseminar reverted to the typically male route of training individuals. It stayed in the spiritual boot camp (masculine approach) and did not go on to the (feminine) nest. In that discussion, we did not really put on the social arm of the spiritual robe. Still, I found the seminar very helpful to me.
      Thanks, Arjuna, for your insights.
      Darrell

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  35. Lenn July 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm // Reply

    I don’t think charging money for spiritual information is an issue of good or bad, right or wrong. To me the issue is that at this pivotal moment in our human existence, the teachings (we are all one, all Divine etc.) need to be gotten out there to everyone so that we can transform, not just to those who at this given moment have the means to access the information.

    The truth is that we are currently living within a matrix (set of beliefs) that have created our human realities. We all get downloaded, so to speak with certain software. For example belonging to a certain class or race, etc. you might feel entitled to be treated in a certain way, certain privileges, “I deserve to have it all, run it, whatever..” Others because of their class, race or other determinant get downloaded with different software: “You are unworthy. You deserve nothing, barely your life.” Now this is not to say everyone who is exposed to programming believes it. But, obviously the belief systems of everyone that are in place have created the vast disparities that we can see so clearly in our world. I think to withhold information to those not able to pay for it is not the wisest thing we could do. I think we would be in error to assume that just because someone is not already manifesting financial prosperity to whatever degree that they are not ready for the information. They could be manifesting prosperity in ways that a more “financially well off” person is not. Still wherever a person is in their awakening process, there is always a deepening that is happening. I think that now particularly, when there is such profound planetary transformation both needed and going in such great numbers, and since there really is no separation, it does not behoove any of us to withhold spiritually transformative information from those who are not within our current systems available to afford to pay for it.
    peace & blessins,
    ~Lenn

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    • Darrell Moneyhon July 7, 2010 at 2:20 pm // Reply

      Thanks Lenn for looking squarely at the “matrix”, rather than going straight into how to cope with money. To me, this is a form of amplification that Arjuna talked about (in regards to transcending the resistence or attachment to emotions in general). You amplified the matrix situation, rather than rushing to a “fix it” or “cope with it” stance/solution. It is what it is. Now that we are more aware of what it is, how could we perhaps begin to allow ourselves (as both individuals and as participants in a collective body) transcend what it is. Much like emotional pain can yeild to acceptance or peace if we go deeper into it without judging (putting a “story to it”) or resisting it, or clinging to it, so can cultural pain yield to a new system – if we start with awareness first, and then open our minds to an emerging new insight.
      Below is an excerpt from my unpublished book, Allsville Emerging. It addresses the matrix awareness in a fictional sort of way, based on an insight that the main character was having at the time (a naration of his emerging thoughts). Hope you find it relevant/useful. :
      Todd wondered if anyone has seriously considered the long term psychological and social impacts of “Consumer beware”? With even a little bit of independent thought, the phrase looks like a license for business to screw the consumer and then justify it by saying the consumer is to blame for his/her victimization because he or she didn’t watch out.
      While the saying could be taken instead to mean “Make informed choices as you vote on your feet while buying products and services”, this logic runs thin when toys with lead paint (or other harmful chemicals or dangerous design characteristics) are placed on the market. Nor does the reasoning hold water when the consumer options are limited because the market is flooded with products that are all copy cats of the currently hot-selling variety. It’s hard to make wise choices when they just aren’t there, or when the consumer has to find them in Timbuktu. The bottom line is that the consumer is often at the mercy of trends, at the mercy of what he or she could not likely know, and at the mercy of a merchant more interested in making a buck than improving the life of the customer.
      He recalled how Stephen Covey, toward the beginning of his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, used the term “low trust climate”. Covey was describing an underlying problem in businesses that often use short-range and fairly superficial interventions such as mergers or trendy training programs to boost sales, productivity, or to improve effective management, rather than gradually building up a trustworthy workplace culture that is based on good character and that, in turn, develops more character.
      Is a larger “low-trust climate” that is devoid of good character evolving in the marketplace? In our own homes via TV commercials? In our minds as we either succumb to the manipulation, or as we burn out from the overload and confusion of an environment cluttered with manipulation and too many meaningless choices?
      A simple question with provocative implications came to Todd’s mind. What if the market was transformed gradually into something that, first and foremost, served, rather than used its customers? Where things work for people, instead of people working for things. The market could be used to develop a genuinely high-trust culture which could emancipate us from the intentional and/or unintentional enslavement of our minds. The awareness of this possibility helps deliver virtue.

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  36. Greg Turner July 5, 2010 at 7:32 pm // Reply

    Arjuna – I’ve just listened to the recording of your teleconference on this subject. I thought it was great and I think you missed an opportunity to dive a little deeper when exploring the meaning of money. You introduced money as the solution to a complexity problem. The problem of keeping accounts when the number of people got beyond a few people. In my opinion, money solves the problem of needing to keep accounts in the first place. In other words, the need to keep accounts comes from an insecurity. It’s an insecurity that I will get what I need (from Source ?) when the time comes that I need something. So, to use your example, if I fix your thatched roof, I want something (money) that represents the value of what I did, so that when the time comes for when I need something, I can procure what I need from someone who is also in fear of getting what they need. So to reiterate, in my opinion, money comes from an insecurity of being taken care of by Source, which comes, of course, from feeling separated from Source, which is an illusion.

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    • Darrell Moneyhon July 7, 2010 at 1:13 pm // Reply

      Dear Greg, Thanks for looking into the systemic issues. Our way of dealing with money must take these issues into account. Otherwise, we are accidentally irresponsible.
      Elsewhere in this discussion, I proposed earmarking a certain percentage, or portion, of collected fees to projects that aim to change the system of energy exchange to one that transcends the current money system. I called this redirected portion of the money taken in “transmoney”. And we could somewhat operationalize ethics on this matter by saying (and following through with) a variation of a popular phrase from the movie Jerry McGuire (sp?) – “Show me the Transmoney!”
      Darrell

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      • Darrell Moneyhon July 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm // Reply

        I just realized that my comment above was based on my mistaken impression (from not slowing down to read and digest the whole of Greg’s comment) that Greg was talking about money as a pacifier or false solution to the “insecurity” about the Source’s providing us with what we (think we) need.
        He was, instead saying that money is a fairly good solution to reducing the insecurity. I see his point, but look ahead to some sort of social/cultural enactment that can do much better at transcending insecurity than money. The problem is that money gives a false sense of security, and over time becomes a worship of something other than Source. Given enough time, this temporarily “good” solution reveals its limits and re-produces distortion in values, similar to how cancer cells re-produce flawed cells. And the more we try to treat the insecurity with money, the more we put off a higher level of security obtainable only at a higher level of evolution/growth than where we are now (socially) with the current money system (system of energy exchange) . Spiritual energy exchange tends to cut out the middle man (such as money) and provides a self structuring aspect that contracts and bank accounts simply can’t offer us.
        In my unpublished book, Allsville Emerging, I even devote a few paragraphs to a concept called “logonomics” in which meaningfulness is the focus on the exchanges. What if deeper meaning was the “gold” standard of the exchange? What if moments of meaningulness was the “riches” we all ultimately sought as we exchange our energies and goods? Instead of money. Wouldn’t this create a different, better, system of exchange? And a better value system? I also address the fact that to a hungry person a sandwich is quit “meaningful”. So, logonomics would not preclude practical things being provided/exchanged. If everyone participated in logonomics, it would not be a “starving artist” affair. It is meaningful to provide food, shelter, hugs, and deep philosophical insights to each other (as well as to recieve these gifts ourselves) .

        Darrell

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  37. Wendy July 7, 2010 at 12:23 pm // Reply

    Aloha, Arjuna
    I was sharing with a friend about the money and spirituality seminar I listened to and he had quite a take on all this. So I send it here. It’s one of those “telling it like I see it” kind of deliveries. Thanks for the conversation about it all. Love, Wendy
    ————
    “re: the dilemma of charging for your gifts. one of the points you made in your e-mail really struck a chord with me and I really just need to vent. so I apologize up front! The one thing the people in my circle of friends and coworkers have really put a lot of effort and work into is to bring out work out of the subtle world and make it main stream. It is not an easy thing to do when you are dealing with esoteric healing, or what ever it may be. We want to appeal to the masses not just to the metaphysical world because they need this probably more than the metaphysical world even though a lot of them do not realize it. In order to survive and make a go of it there is a definite need to make your work attractive to all the general public. Yes I know that sometimes it is just semantics but it is really what is needed at this time in the world and the real need is to appeal to the public as a whole not just the metaphysical community. The more people you can help open, become aware and bring into the light the better we will all be. My pet peeve in the metaphysical community are the ones that offer their work for ” donations only ” or “love offerings”. If they can not put a value on their own work how in the hell am I supposed to know much to pay for it? I really resent someone that puts me in that type of position and will most likely refuse to go to anything under these conditions. Let’s be honest because I’ve seen it, if a practitioner wanted to give their work away for free the event would be free. I have seen so many people go down this road and I know they expected to be paid but then they have the nerve to be angry over what people gave them for “donations” or ‘love offerings”. How is that being in your own truth? The universe has a way of providing what we ask for and really drives home the point to be careful what you ask for! I know this opens the door for greed but I trust the universe will take care of those situations in it’s own way. If you offer a good service for a fair price people will recognize that and you will succeed. I know there are different beliefs in different cultures such as in India and even here in America. Native Americans do not believe in putting a price on their work but that only works on the reservation or in closed communities where the people exchange goods and services freely and provide for each others needs. If you go to somewhere like Sedona or wherever and attend a Native American sweat lodge they will not take money up front but they damned sure expect some type of compensation for their work. This is America and it is the culture we have chosen to live in so we need to be honest with ourselves and learn how to market our goods and services. I said it before and will say it again it is a fair exchange of energy (offering your gift and accepting money) in the universe. It is very important, at this point in time, to realize that we all need to learn to step out and think outside of the box. It is critical to reach the masses and the only way to reach the masses is to bring your work to the mainstream and be open and available to all people, not just the one that call themselves “new age”. I guess my best advise to you at this time is to think outside the box and do not be afraid to accept compensation for sharing your gifts. Now this might mean to have someone wash and or wax your car for sharing your gift with them if they can not afford to pay you. However this works too as you can then use the time you would have to spend do this task to concentrate on your music, writing, or enhancing your gifts.

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  38. Dianne July 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm // Reply

    I haven’t read through all the comments, but the issue here is money. From my personal point of view…and what I see happening where I live..If a person is low income and cannot pay what is being asked…then he/she doesn’t get the benefit of being involved with a possible life changing, uplifting,healing situation.If a person was able to give what they can…it would mean as much as if they gave $2,000. SO I suppose..only those who have money…get to experience truth????

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    • Darrell Moneyhon July 9, 2010 at 7:49 am // Reply

      Dianne, Yes, that is the real take on the current money system situation. That is why I propose allocating a percentage of the “take” toward transforming the money system itself into a better exchange system such as free sharing of gifts, without need to be concerned for subsistence. Some form of nonoppressive communism seems the only eventual fit with the “one body” spiritual view.
      But this social enactment must be approached with a long view. The money/resources from the current money system must be diverted (to some degree or another) into a pool or a form that supports the shift to a sharing system. I also believe that the new system of exhange or resource distribution will be one that maximizes the nurturance and utilization of natural human “GIFTS,” or aptitudes. I propose a political/exchange system calle “giftocracy” – “Each according to her gifts”.
      Little or none of this re-routing of a portion of the spiritual services profits will DIRECTLY help the poor recieve “truth” services. It will take time.
      However, if none of the money is devoted to the transformation, it could end up being a long, LONG (even forever) time.
      Ethics requires that a portion of the “take” is earmarked for long range systemic changes that would transcend the social injustices of the current money system. This portion of the profit would be a true tax, in the sense that one gives back in order to make up for having taxed the system. We have distorted the whole idea of taxation. In reality, we don’t pay a tax – we pay FOR a tax, for the taxing of the system.
      Every breath we take, takes air away from someone or something else. Every bowel movement and garbage disposal deposits waste that, at least for a time, puts a “load” on the ecosystem, or worse yet, pollutes. Simply being alive both taxes and gives. The taxing part of our existence (standing out, being manifesed in an individual form) must be acknowledged and attoned for, if we are to grow spiritually.
      By accepting fees we unavoidably enable the current system to be maintained or grow. It is like supporting a drug addiction. This enabling “taxes” the true, spiritual, system of sharing. Thus, we ought to compensate for having taxed the sharing system.
      The tax compensation money would then help create the means to enact the sharing system that can eventually replace the current money system. Our hands are unavoidably dirty, but we can inch toward a cleansing.
      IMO, It’s not a sin to take fees for truth. The only real sin would be to refuse to invest in a better future.

      Thanks for your reality check. I hope I have INVESTED it (playing off of the double meaning of the word “check”) wisely.

      Darrell

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  39. Darrell Moneyhon July 9, 2010 at 8:08 am // Reply

    Dear Arjuna, I got so much good food for thought from your teleseminar that I have responded several times in the blog, trying to intellectually process (and to rest-on-my-heart, to spiiritually process) the truth as best I can.
    But the processing so far has been about the content of the presenation and the content of the responses offered by blog participants.
    On the back of my mind during all this investment of thought and energy into the topic, was that the most important lesson of your teleseminar was not the content at all. It was the way you handled the obsticals of the teleseminar (technical obsticals that created a change of the dynamics of the offering) . My greatest learning was from the process, rather than the content.
    You practiced what you preached, by not creating unnecessary resistance regarding the snaffoos (sp?). You accepted the flaws and sensed (and articulated) the possibility for something positive to come from the initially negative circumstance. I could tell your frustration was there, but you managed to set it aside and to go deeper or to be translucent.
    Now that I witnessed translucence in action, I have decided that I must buy your book, The Translucent Revolution. So, soon I will be finally paying for your services. I am on the starving artist/philosopher/writer financial plan currently, so buying the book is not easy thing. But now I see (actually see) that you practice what you preach, and the investment (of purchasing your book) on my part seems wise and worthwhile.

    Thanks for your services – free or not.
    Darrell

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  40. Jeffrey T September 2, 2010 at 6:37 am // Reply

    Thank you, Arjuna, et al. It would have been nice to have discovered this oppty to share on this subject a few days earlier, thereby providing more time for composing it, but I have only just now stumbled upon the material here. I have briefly mulled over how to organize what I consider important…and it seems what will be clearest and easiest for me will be to express these ideas in a somewhat autobiographical progression or stream. Perhaps some readers will find it sufficiently interesting to hold your attention long enough to get some of the ‘gems’ from it…
    This issue and concern about money in our society has been a turmoil in my mind since I was a youngster. Once, when about nine years of age, as my father was doing the regular dance/struggle to gather the money for the monthly rent payment to keep a roof over the heads of his family of five children and a wife, I recall asking him, “dad, when do we finally get to own and keep this house?” He replied, “we don’t ever get to keep it; we just have to keep paying monthly rent.” And I recall being very surprised, and rather immediately concluded and voiced my opinion: “But…that’s…slavery!”
    Of course, my father was not a good person from whom to learn about successful monetary management principles. And now at age 50, I still have not learned or developed a good, easeful relational dynamic with monetary flow.
    The family in which I was raised was avowedly atheist, though I remember attending church one week for some odd occasion and pasting little pictures of Jesus on a tackboard wall-hanging. Having been raised in the American compulsory public education—or mis-education—school system, though I excelled at reading and math for my grade level, I never learned much about money therein. But somehow through encounters here and there with Christians offering to ‘save me’ during my growing years, I learned and read a bit about Jesus. Strangely, or not, the main statements attributed to Jesus that have most strongly impressed themselves in my memory were his sayings about people’s relationship with money. And these generally were not positive statements.
    Now, of course, I realize that it is foolish to consider any teaching or reading as being absolutely accurate in Reality, or aligned with eternal Truth, since absolute Reality is pure/whole, not dualistic, not amenable to the polarized dynamics of thought, language and words. And I have since gained the impression that much of these remarks made by (the mythologized figure of?)Jesus likely had to do with his attempts to convince the people of the Jewish culture of his day not to focus so much attention on material wealth. But I remember always having had this sense that those words of Jesus—even though I had no inclination to be identified with any of those clearly hypocritical, divisive, judgmental religious and church groups—the words of Jesus produced a ring that kept ringing in my psyche and perception…and I have felt that the people in the churches—both in his day, and in modern times—didn’t grok the words and example of Jesus, really. And after the experience of my first journey with LSD in 1986 (I’ve always been socially retarded; that’s the year in which my 1960’s began, at age 25) and then picking up and reading the words of Jesus again, I recall getting a really great kick out of his expressions—I felt that I understood him better than ever before, and was all the more firmly convinced that I had never heard a church preacher who had understood or imitated him rightly, either in word or in example.
    “Lay not up the treasures of thy heart on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and thieves break in and steal, but lay up the treasures of thy heart in the eternal account where it will be with you always, and never taken away.”
    “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
    “See the birds on the wing, and the lilies of the field, who neither spin, nor toil, nor sow, nor reap, yet not even Solomon in all of his splendor was arrayed in such finery as these. And does not the heavenly Father care even moreso for you?”
    “For worry not about the morrow, about what you shall eat and what you shall wear, but trust in the Father that you shall be provided for.”
    So, from these words I gathered that my chances for ‘entering the kingdom’ would actually be enhanced if I never got very comfortable with money, if I never committed the error of putting my trust in money more than keeping my trust in the Ever-present living creative Source.
    Benjamin Franklin noted that there are two basic means of balancing one’s budget: one could either increase one’s income, or decrease one’s consumption and expenditures. And then, after reading some of the pithy lines of Henry David Thoreau, “Simplify, Simplify. Life is frittered away by detail,” and “men have become the tools of their tools,” and “I hold that person wealthy in proportion to the number of things he can afford to leave alone,” I further concluded that the way to freedom was not correlative to the gathering of material wealth.
    And of course there’s Gandhi’s famed line: “Live simply that others may simply live.”
    While there is much debate over whether Jesus used money in his awakened adult life, when I ask myself that question, the answers I get are merely further questions: What would Jesus have used money for? Did he have a job by which to make money? Did he need money to pay rent for his apartment flat? (“The Son of man has no place to rest his head.”) Did he need money to buy feed/fuel for his transportation, a horse-drawn chariot? (He traveled afoot rather well, and as noted by Franklin, “Who travels well afoot has a good horse.”)Did he need money to feed himself? (Based on the scanty evidence handed down to us in the Bible, this is debatable, but therein exists the indirect suggestion that one who could turn water to wine, or who could, with seven loaves of bread and a few fish feed five thousand, would hardly find money a pressing need.
    Many make the claim that Jesus’ remarks about the coin with Caesar’s likeness were equivalent of his recommending that people pay taxes to Caesar. I perceive differently. For, just as Jesus’ remark that “I am the Truth, the way, and the life, and none can get to heaven but through me” is interpreted by the unenlighted ego-mind—in typically condescending sectarian manner—to mean that one must worship the name and humanoid form of Jesus in order to be saved, so also is the remark about payment of taxes to Caesar interpreted either from a limited ego-pespective, or from a higher transcendant, unified, awakened perspective. I see no reason nor evidence that Jesus would have for paying taxes to Caesar’s government…and that, of course, may be just one of the reasons why they put him to the crucifixion.
    I look to other spiritual exemplaries for clues in regard to a higher way of relating to money. San Bernardone Francesco, or Saint Francis de Assissi, was pleased to adore the Lady Poverty, and he was said to have lived thus in his desire to fully imitate the life of Jesus…even to the point of developing bleeding stigmata in the latter portion of his life.
    Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, or Shakyamuni Buddha, after his awakening, had apparently gained a similar depth of understanding as that later to be arrived at by the awakened St. Francis. Upon Siddhartha’s returning to the area of his father’s principality—the small kingdom to which he had been rightful heir, but to the great dismay of his father had declined—he begged for his meals—as Francesco also would 1,700 years later—trusting on the providence of the moment for his provender. In the version of my reading, the Buddha’s father reproached him, yelling, “Come back to the palace! No son of mine will go a-begging for food!” To which Siddhartha replied something like, “No thank you. This is our way.” Even to this day I have found that Buddhist teachers of the Dharma are among the clearest in stating that while there is a suggested donation, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.” This pleases me on a number of levels, for a number of reasons. First, of course, is that I am allowed to attend even when I have no money. Secondly, to me it reveals a depth of integrity and compassion, and a lack of greed…it says to me that there are beings who are aware of a treasure of greater value than money and their primary intention and concern is that the people be “fed,”—that people receive the transfer of the precious truth which leads to liberation from delusion and suffering.
    And to Anandamayi Ma money was no concern. I’ve only read a bit about her, and I’ve never visited India, but of all beings she seems to be as far gone from such worldly concerns as any who ever had a sojourn here. Of course, there are some who claim she was the only true avatar of earth—that she was not even human, and cast no shadow when standing in the sun, nor showed any reflection when passing before a mirror.
    And Ramana Maharshi. He was pretty gone from worldly cares, too. I don’t know the specifics of his interaction with people, but I am unable to detect in the photos of his countenance any trace of one who would withhold any sharing of the truth for the sake of money.
    And Ramakrishna, so I have heard and read, would not even *touch* money.
    I have heard, or was it from reading, that Sathya Sai Baba would not even accept donations of money. This could be considered easily understandable as he is apparently able to manifest anything instantly.
    After her ‘awakening,’ Peace Pilgrim of the United States would not accept money, but rather she “fasted until being offered food, and walked until being given a place to sleep. You can’t give me anything I don’t need.” Her prayer prior to her awakening was “to live a life of giving rather than taking.”
    When I first met John DeRuiter some years ago during a few trips he made to Maui, Hawaii, it was clearly stated that there was no fee for the experience of being in attendance at his truth-sharings. This pleased me deeply, it struck me as a sign of a very trustworthy guide, and I asked him about this. My question: “John, the fact that you don’t charge money…does that tell us anything about the nature of Truth?” I was very pleased with his response, too: “I can’t charge for the Truth; I don’t own the Truth.”
    “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” penned Shakespeare. One of the primary awarenesses of awakened beings seems to be the perfectly measured reciprocity of existence, i.e., as one does unto others, it will be done unto oneself. As I give to others, so shall it be given to me. As I sow, so shall I reap. Or…as I take, so shall it be taken from me.
    If I begin taking this principle of reciprocity to heart, it leads me to conclude that if I would not enjoy being a slave, then I would not choose to be a slaver or slave-owner. If would not a debtor be, than I would choose not be a usurer, a lender. If I would not like to be a person who must be a “rent-paying slave,” then I would also choose not to be a landlord or land baron. If I would avoid being a jailed prisoner, then I would choose never to be a jailer or warden. If I would like food to be freely available, then I would not choose to be a retailer/merchant of food. If I would choose to be free of having to pay taxes to corrupt government, then I would likewise choose never to fill the role of a tax-collector. Likewise, if I choose to live a life of as great a freedom as I possibly can…freely receiving from Source or Divine Nature (let us refer to this original economic principle as “Source Sharing”) all my sustenance needs—air, water, food, warmth, shelter—then I most certainly would not charge another person for any of these basic life needs. As I would like to receive these freely and abundantly, I would not become a merchant, i.e., one who creates or at least operates in a manufactured atmosphere of lack, thereby coercing people to provide some money in order to feed themselves and their family members. As Gandhi advises “Each must be the change that one would see in the world,” so my soul says, NOT…I will not be party to perpetuating a world of lack, need, deprivation, fear and control.
    So my intuitive sense is that people, teachers, who offer “truth” for money, are not offering a deeply liberating whole truth perspective, but rather offer mostly ego-derived brand-name angles on truth…while those who offer the gifts of life freely thereby reveal that they themselves are likely free, and needing nothing, so charging nothing. In other words, the Truth can be gained freely from free beings, but if you want the ego-diluted versions, you will have to pay for theses.
    The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. (Those who make themselves first in the world, those who puff themselves up—they will be deflated…while those who live humbly, unwilling to take from others, they will be exalted.)

    #

  41. Jeffrey T September 2, 2010 at 6:56 am // Reply

    Addendum: My goodness, I jus trealized that I had forgotten to include one of the most powerful statements made by Jesus in regard to the subject of worldly wealth:
    [hereby paraphrased in a manner which more clearly relates my chosen interpretation of its actual meaning—of course, I could be wrong, and it’s only words…]
    One cannot serve both the God of Pure Eternal Real Life-Light-Love-Truth-Tranquility-Wholeness…AND serve the god of mammon, i.e., the god of temporal worldly values, wealth, status, identity…for it would be like trying to ride on the backs of two donkeys headed in different directions.

    #

  42. Jeffrey T September 2, 2010 at 7:08 am // Reply

    [Okay, I’ve corrected a few errors in this version]: Thank you, Arjuna, et al. It would have been nice to have discovered this oppty to share on this subject a few days earlier, thereby providing more time for composing it, but I have only just now stumbled upon the material here. I have briefly mulled over how to organize what I consider important…and it seems what will be clearest and easiest for me is to express these ideas in a somewhat autobiographical progression or stream. Perhaps some readers will find it sufficiently interesting to hold your attention long enough to get some of the ‘gems’ from it…
    This issue and concern about money in our society has been a turmoil in my mind since I was a youngster. Once, when about nine years of age, as my father was doing the regular dance/struggle to gather the money for the monthly rent payment to keep a roof over the heads of his family of five children and a wife, I recall asking him, “dad, when do we finally get to own and keep this house?” He replied, “we don’t ever get to keep it; we just have to keep paying monthly rent.” And I recall being very surprised, and rather immediately concluded and voiced my opinion: “But…that’s…slavery!”
    Of course, my father was not a good person from whom to learn about successful monetary management principles. And now at age 50, I still have not learned or developed a good, easeful relational dynamic with monetary flow.
    The family in which I was raised was avowedly atheist, though I remember attending church one week (at age four or so) for some odd occasion and pasting little pictures of Jesus on a tackboard wall-hanging. Having been raised in the American compulsory public education—or mis-education—school system, though I excelled at reading and math for my grade level, I never learned much about money therein. But somehow through encounters here and there with Christians offering to ‘save me’ during my growing years, I learned and read a bit about Jesus. Strangely, or not, the main statements attributed to Jesus that have most strongly impressed themselves in my memory were his sayings about people’s ideal relationship and relative priorities with money. And these generally were not positive statements.
    Now, of course, I realize that it is foolish to consider any teaching or reading as being absolutely accurate in terms of Reality, or aligned with eternal Truth, since absolute Reality is pure/whole, not dualistic, not amenable to the polarized dynamics of thought, language and words. And I have since gained the impression that much of these remarks made by (the mythologized figure of?)Jesus likely had to do with his attempts to convince the people of the Jewish culture of his day not to focus so much attention on material wealth. But I remember always having had this sense that those words of Jesus—even though I had no inclination to be identified with any of the clearly hypocritical, divisive, judgmental religious and church groups—the words of Jesus produced a ring that kept ringing in my psyche and perception…and I have felt that the people in the churches—both in his day, and in modern times—didn’t and don’t grok the words and example of Jesus, really. And after the experience of my first journey with LSD in 1986 (I’ve always been socially retarded; that’s the year in which my 1960’s finally began, at age 25) and then picking up and reading the words of Jesus again, I recall getting a really great kick out of his expressions—I felt that I understood him better than I had ever before, and was all the more firmly convinced that I had never heard a church preacher who had understood or imitated him rightly, either in word or in example.
    “Lay not up the treasures of thy heart on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and thieves break in and steal, but lay up the treasures of thy heart in the eternal account where it will be with you always, and never taken away.”
    “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
    “See the birds on the wing, and the lilies of the field, who neither spin, nor toil, nor sow, nor reap, yet not even Solomon in all of his splendor was arrayed in such finery as these. And does not the heavenly Father care even moreso for you?”
    “For worry not about the morrow, about what you shall eat and what you shall wear, but trust in the Father that you shall be provided for.”
    And, one of the most powerful statements made by Jesus in regard to the subject of worldly wealth:
    [hereby paraphrased in a manner which expresses my chosen interpretation of its meaning—of course, I could be wrong, and it’s only words…]:
    One cannot serve both the God of Pure Eternal Real Life-Light-Love-Truth-Tranquility-Wholeness…AND serve the god of mammon, i.e., the god of temporal worldly values, wealth, status, identity…for it would be like trying to ride on the backs of two donkeys headed in different directions.
    So, from these words I gathered that my chances for ‘entering the kingdom’ would actually be enhanced if I never got very comfortable with money, if I never committed the error of putting my trust in money more than keeping my trust in the Ever-present living creative Source.
    Benjamin Franklin noted that there are two basic means of balancing one’s budget: one could either increase one’s income, or decrease one’s consumption and expenditures. And then, after reading some of the pithy lines of Henry David Thoreau, “Simplify, Simplify. Life is frittered away by detail,” and “men have become the tools of their tools,” and “I hold that person wealthy in proportion to the number of things he can afford to leave alone,” I further concluded that the way to freedom was not correlative to the gathering of material wealth.
    And of course there’s Gandhi’s famed line: “Live simply that others may simply live.”
    While there is much debate over whether Jesus used money in his awakened adult life, when I ask myself that question, the answers I get are merely further questions: What would Jesus have used money for? Did he have a job by which to make money? Did he need money to pay rent for his apartment flat? (“The Son of man has no place to rest his head.”) Did he need money to buy feed/fuel for his transportation, a horse-drawn chariot? (He traveled afoot rather well, and as noted by Franklin, “Who travels well afoot has a good horse.”)Did he need money to feed himself? (Based on the scanty evidence handed down to us in the Bible, this is debatable, but therein exists the indirect suggestion that one who could turn water to wine, or who could, with seven loaves of bread and a few fish feed five thousand, would hardly find money a pressing need.
    Many make the claim that Jesus’ remarks about the coin with Caesar’s likeness were equivalent of his recommending that people pay taxes to Caesar. I perceive differently. For, just as Jesus’ remark that “I am the Truth, the way, and the life, and none can get to heaven but through me” is interpreted by the unenlighted ego-mind—in typically condescending sectarian manner—to mean that one must worship the name and humanoid form of Jesus in order to be saved, so also is the remark about payment of taxes to Caesar interpreted either from a limited ego-pespective, or from a higher transcendant, unified, awakened perspective. I see no reason nor evidence that Jesus would have for paying taxes to Caesar’s government…and that, of course, may be just one of the reasons why they put him to the crucifixion.
    I look to other spiritual exemplaries for clues in regard to a higher way of relating to money. San Bernardone Francesco, or Saint Francis de Assissi, was pleased to adore the Lady Poverty, and he was said to have lived thus in his desire to fully imitate the life of Jesus…even to the point of developing bleeding stigmata in the latter portion of his life.
    Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, or Shakyamuni Buddha, after his awakening, had apparently gained a similar depth of understanding as that later to be arrived at by the awakened St. Francis. Upon Siddhartha’s returning to the area of his father’s principality—the small kingdom to which he had been rightful heir, but to the great dismay of his father had declined—he begged for his meals—as Francesco also would 1,700 years later—trusting on the providence of the moment for his provender. In the version of my reading, the Buddha’s father reproached him, yelling, “Come back to the palace! No son of mine will go a-begging for food!” To which Siddhartha replied something like, “No thank you. This is our way.” Even to this day I have found that Buddhist teachers of the Dharma are among the clearest in stating that while there is a suggested donation, no one will be turned away for lack of funds.” This pleases me on a number of levels, for a number of reasons. First, of course, is that I am allowed to attend even when I have no money. Secondly, to me it reveals a depth of integrity and compassion, and a lack of greed…it says to me that there are beings who are aware of a treasure of greater value than money and their primary intention and concern is that the people be “fed,”—that people receive the transfer of the precious truth which leads to liberation from delusion and suffering.
    And to Anandamayi Ma money was no concern. I’ve only read a bit about her, and I’ve never visited India, but of all beings she seems to be as far gone from such worldly concerns as any who ever had a sojourn here. Of course, there are some who claim she was the only true avatar of earth—that she was not even human, and cast no shadow when standing in the sun, nor showed any reflection when passing before a mirror.
    And Ramana Maharshi. He was pretty gone from worldly cares, too. I don’t know the specifics of his interaction with people, but I am unable to detect in the photos of his countenance any trace of one who would withhold any sharing of the truth for the sake of money.
    And Ramakrishna, so I have heard and read, would not even *touch* money.
    I have heard, or was it from reading, that Sathya Sai Baba would not even accept donations of money. This could be considered easily understandable as he is apparently able to manifest anything instantly.
    After her ‘awakening,’ Peace Pilgrim of the United States would not accept money, but rather she “fasted until being offered food, and walked until being given a place to sleep. You can’t give me anything I don’t need.” Her prayer prior to her awakening was “to live a life of giving rather than taking.”
    When I first met John DeRuiter some years ago during a few trips he made to Maui, Hawaii, it was clearly stated that there was no fee for the experience of being in attendance at his truth-sharings. This pleased me deeply, it struck me as a sign of a very trustworthy guide, and I asked him about this. My question: “John, the fact that you don’t charge money…does that tell us anything about the nature of Truth?” I was very pleased with his response, too: “I can’t charge for the Truth; I don’t own the Truth.”
    “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” penned Shakespeare. One of the primary awarenesses of awakened beings seems to be the perfectly measured reciprocity of existence, i.e., as one does unto others, it will be done unto oneself. As I give to others, so shall it be given to me. As I sow, so shall I reap. Or…as I take, so shall it be taken from me.
    If I begin taking this principle of reciprocity to heart, it leads me to conclude that if I would not enjoy being a slave, then I would not choose to be a slaver or slave-owner. If would not a debtor be, than I would choose not be a usurer, a lender. If I would not like to be a person who must be a “rent-paying slave,” then I would also choose not to be a landlord or land baron. If I would avoid being a jailed prisoner, then I would choose never to be a jailer or warden. If I would like food to be freely available, then I would not choose to be a retailer/merchant of food. If I would choose to be free of having to pay taxes to corrupt government, then I would likewise choose never to fill the role of a tax-collector. Likewise, if I choose to live a life of as great a freedom as I possibly can…freely receiving from Source or Divine Nature (let us refer to this original economic principle as “Source Sharing”) all my sustenance needs—air, water, food, warmth, shelter—then I most certainly would not charge another person for any of these basic life needs. As I would like to receive these freely and abundantly, I would not become a merchant, i.e., one who creates or at least operates in a manufactured atmosphere of lack, thereby coercing people to provide some money in order to feed themselves and their family members. As Gandhi advises “Each must be the change that one would see in the world,” so my soul says, NOT…I will not be party to perpetuating a world of lack, need, deprivation, fear and control.
    So my intuitive sense is that people, teachers, who offer “truth” for money, are not offering a deeply liberating whole truth perspective, but rather offer mostly ego-derived brand-name angles on truth…while those who offer the gifts of life freely thereby reveal that they themselves are likely free, and needing nothing, so charging nothing. In other words, the Truth can be gained freely from free beings, but if you want the ego-diluted versions, you will have to pay for these.
    The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. (Those who make themselves first in the world, those who puff themselves up—they will be deflated…while those who live humbly, unwilling to take from others, they will be exalted.)

    #

  43. Tony Scott September 2, 2010 at 10:02 am // Reply

    There are 7 billion of us alive right now, having 7 billion different experiences, each one of them unique for us, and our own Divine Connection. And all of these experiences constantly changing.
    We judge each other, and ourselves, as a result of our tendencies, conditions and habits!
    This is a game here, and we have only just started to play.

    Charge for spiritual Truth ?
    Who cares, Dance !!!

    #

  44. Jeffrey T September 2, 2010 at 4:29 pm // Reply

    [As I am re-posting, again to add corrections to typos in my earlier offering here, I do hereby give permission to have my earlier and now redundant posts deleted.]

    [Okay, I’ve again corrected a few errors for this version]: Thank you, Arjuna, et al. I have briefly mulled over how to organize what I consider relevant for presentation here…and it seems what will be easiest for me is to express these ideas in a somewhat autobiographical progression or stream. Perhaps some readers will find it sufficiently interesting to hold the attention long enough to get to some of the ‘gems’ which may be contained herein…
    This issue and concern about money in our society has been a turmoil in my mind since I was a youngster. Once, when about nine years of age, as my father was doing the regular dance/struggle to gather the money for the monthly rent payment to keep a roof over the heads of his family of five children and a wife, I recall asking him, “dad, when do we finally get to own and keep this house?” He replied, “we don’t ever get to keep it; we just have to keep paying monthly rent.” And I recall being very surprised, and rather immediately concluded and voiced my opinion: “But…that’s…slavery!”
    Of course, my father was not a good person from whom to learn about successful monetary management principles. And now at age 50, I still have not learned or developed a good, easeful relational dynamic with monetary flow.
    The family in which I was raised was avowedly atheist, though I remember attending church one week (at age four or so) for some odd occasion and pasting little pictures of Jesus on a tackboard wall-hanging. Having been raised in the American compulsory public education—or mis-education—school system, though I excelled at reading and math for my grade level, I never learned much about money therein. But somehow through encounters here and there with Christians offering to ‘save me’ during my growing years, I learned and read a bit about Jesus. Strangely, or not, the main statements attributed to Jesus that have most strongly impressed themselves in my memory were his sayings about people’s ideal relationship and relative priorities with money. And these generally were not positive statements.
    Now, of course, I realize that it is foolish to consider any teaching or reading as being absolutely accurate in terms of Reality, or aligned with eternal Truth, since absolute Reality is pure/whole, not dualistic, not amenable to the polarized dynamics of thought, language and words. And I have since gained the impression that much of these remarks made by (the mythologized figure of?)Jesus likely had to do with his attempts to convince the people of the Jewish culture of his day not to focus so much attention on material wealth. But I remember always having had this sense that those words of Jesus—even though I had no inclination to be identified with any of the clearly hypocritical, divisive, judgmental religious and church groups—the words of Jesus produced a ring that kept ringing in my psyche and perception…and I have felt that the people in the churches—both in his day, and in modern times—didn’t and don’t grok the words and example of Jesus, really. And after the experience of my first journey with LSD in 1986 (I’ve always been socially retarded; that’s the year in which my 1960′s finally began, at age 25) and then picking up and reading the words of Jesus again, I recall getting a really great kick out of his expressions—I felt that I understood him better than I had ever before, and was all the more firmly convinced that I had never heard a church preacher who had understood or imitated him rightly, either in word or in example.
    Though I am using quotation marks to distinguish the following statements from surrounding text, many of these you will recognize are paraphrases (expressed in a manner which I feel may possibly shed an extra bit of light on the essential intended idea).
    “Lay not up the treasures of thy heart on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and thieves break in and steal, but lay up the treasures of thy heart in the eternal account where it will be with you always, and never taken away.”
    “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a wealthy man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
    “See the birds on the wing, and the lilies of the field, who neither spin, nor toil, nor sow, nor reap, yet not even Solomon in all of his splendor was arrayed in such finery as these. And does not the heavenly Father care even moreso for you?”
    “For worry not about the morrow, about what you shall eat and what you shall wear, but trust in the Father that you shall be provided for.”
    And, one of the most powerful statements made by Jesus in regard to the subject of worldly wealth:
    [hereby paraphrased in a manner which expresses my current clearest sense of its meaning—of course, I could be wrong, and it’s only words…]:
    One cannot serve both the God of Pure Eternal Real Life-Light-Love-Truth-Tranquility-Wholeness…AND serve the god of mammon, i.e., the god of temporal worldly values, wealth, status, identity…for it would be like trying to ride on the backs of two donkeys headed in different directions. (This last line of this quote, using the metaphor of the donkeys, or asses, is taken from the book “The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ.”)
    So, from these words I gathered that my chances for ‘entering the kingdom’ would actually be enhanced if I never got very comfortable with money, if I never committed the error of putting my trust in money more than keeping my trust in the Ever-present living creative Source.
    Benjamin Franklin noted that there are two basic means of balancing one’s budget: one could either increase one’s income, or decrease one’s consumption and expenditures. And then, after reading some of the pithy lines of Henry David Thoreau in his Walden, such as “Simplify, Simplify. Life is frittered away by detail,” and “men have become the tools of their tools,” and “I hold that person wealthy in proportion to the number of things he can afford to leave alone,” I further concluded that the way to freedom was not correlative to the gathering of material wealth.
    And of course there’s Gandhi’s famed line: “Live simply that others may simply live.”
    While it has at times been debated whether Jesus used money in his awakened adult life, when I ask myself that question, the answers I get are merely further questions: What would Jesus have used money for? Did he have a job by which to make money? Did he need money to pay rent for his apartment flat? (“The Son of man has no place to rest his head.”) Did he need money to buy feed/fuel for his transportation, a horse-drawn chariot? (He traveled afoot rather well, and as noted by Franklin, “Who travels well afoot has a good horse.”)Did he need money to feed himself? (Based on the scanty evidence handed down to us in the New Testament, this is debatable, but nevertheless therein exists the indirect suggestion that one who could turn water to wine, or who could, with seven loaves of bread and a few fish feed five thousand, would hardly find money a pressing need.)
    Many make the claim that Jesus’ remarks about the coin with Caesar’s likeness were equivalent to his recommending that people pay taxes to Caesar. I perceive differently. For, just as Jesus’ remark that “I am the Truth, the way, and the life, and none can get to heaven but through me” is interpreted by the unenlighted ego-mind—in typically condescending religious sectarian manner—to mean that one must worship the name and humanoid form of Jesus in order to be saved, so also is the remark about payment of taxes to Caesar interpreted either from a limited ego-pespective, or from a higher transcendant, unified, awakened perspective. After considering his line “Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and give unto God that which is God’s,” It strikes me that the awakened/unified perspective sees *everything* as God’s. I see neither reason nor evidence that Jesus would have paid taxes to Caesar’s government…and that, of course, may be just one of the reasons why they put him to the crucifixion.
    I look to other spiritual exemplaries for clues in regard to a higher way of relating to money. San Bernardone Francesco, or Saint Francis de Assissi, was pleased to adore the Lady Poverty, and he was said to have lived thus in his desire to fully imitate the life of Jesus…even to the point of developing bleeding stigmata in the latter portion of his life.
    Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, or Shakyamuni Buddha, after his awakening, had apparently gained a similar depth of understanding as that later to be arrived at by the awakened St. Francis. Upon Siddhartha’s returning to the area of his father’s principality—the small kingdom of which Siddhartha had been considered rightful heir, but to the great dismay of his father had declined that worldly inheritance—he instead begged for his meals, as Francesco also would 1,700 years later—trusting on the providence of the moment for his provender. In the version of my reading, the Buddha’s father reproached his son, yelling, “Come back to the palace! No son of mine will go a-begging for food!” To which Siddhartha replied something like, “No thank you. This is our way.” Even to this day I have found that Buddhist teachers of the Dharma are among the clearest in stating that while there is a suggested donation, no one will be turned away for lack of funds; that there is to be no price put upon the spreading of the dharma. This pleases me on a number of levels, for a number of reasons. First, of course, is that I am allowed to attend satsand even when I have no money. Secondly, to me it reveals a depth of integrity and compassion, and a lack of greed…it says to me that there are beings who are aware of a treasure of greater value than money and that their primary intention and concern is that the people be “fed”—that people receive the transfer of the precious truth which leads to liberation from delusion and suffering.
    And also to Anandamayi Ma money was no concern. I’ve only read a bit about her, and I’ve never visited India, but of all beings she seems to be as far *gone* from such worldly concerns as any who ever had a sojourn here. Of course, there are some who claim she was the only true avatar of earth—that she was not even human, and cast no shadow when standing in the sun, nor showed any reflection when passing before a mirror. Money? So what, eh?
    And Ramana Maharshi. He was pretty gone from worldly cares, too. I don’t know the specifics of his interaction with people, but I am unable to detect in his quotations nor in the photos of his likeness any trace of one who would withhold any sharing of the truth for the sake of money.
    And Ramakrishna, so I have heard and read, would not even *touch* money.
    I have heard, or was it from reading, that Sathya Sai Baba would not even accept donations of money. This could be considered easily understandable as he is apparently able to manifest anything instantly.
    After her ‘awakening,’ Peace Pilgrim of the United States would not accept money, but rather she “fasted until being offered food, and walked until being given a place to sleep.” “You can’t give me anything I don’t need,”she was known to have said many times. Her prayer prior to her awakening was “to live a life of giving rather than of taking.”
    When I first met John DeRuiter some years ago during a few trips he made to Maui, Hawaii, it was clearly stated that there was no fee for the experience of being in attendance at his truth-sharings. This pleased me deeply, it struck me as a sign of a very trustworthy guide, and I asked him about this. My question: “John, the fact that you don’t charge money…does that tell us anything about the nature of Truth?” I was very pleased with his response, too: “I can’t charge for the Truth; I don’t own the Truth.”
    “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” penned Shakespeare. One of the primary awarenesses of awakened beings seems to be the perfectly measured reciprocity of existence, i.e., as one does unto others, it will be done unto oneself. As I give to others, so shall it be given to me. As I sow, so shall I reap. Or…as I take, so shall it be taken from me.
    If I begin taking this principle of reciprocity to heart, it leads me to conclude that if I would not enjoy being a slave, then I would not choose to be a slaver or slave-owner nor contribute in any way to anybody’s enslavement, whether this be a physical slavery, a mental slavery, or an economic enslavement. If I would not a debtor be, than I would choose not be a usurer, a lender. If I would not like to be a person who must be a “rent-paying slave,” then I would also choose not to be a landlord or land baron, thereby putting someone else in that position. If I would avoid being a jailed prisoner, then I would choose never to be a jailer or warden, nor to pay any tax which supports a prison environment. If I would like food to be freely available, then I would not choose to be a retailer/merchant of food. If I would choose to be free of having to pay taxes to corrupt government, then I would likewise choose never to fill the role of a tax-collector,nor to give anything to a tax collector, even if that means being poor and having nothing in order not to contribute to the painful imbalances of a military economy gone berserk. Likewise, if I choose to live a life of as great a freedom as I possibly can…freely receiving from Source or Divine Nature (let us refer to this original economic principle as “Sublime Source Sharing”) all of my needs for sustenance—air, water, food, warmth, shelter—then I most certainly would not charge another person for any of these basic life needs. As I would like to receive these freely and abundantly, I would not become a merchant, i.e., one who creates or at least operates in a manufactured atmosphere of lack, thereby coercing people to provide some money in order to feed themselves and their family members. As Gandhi advises “Each must be the change that one would see in the world,” so my soul says, NOT…I will not be party to perpetuating a world of lack, need, deprivation, fear and control.
    So my intuitive sense is that people, teachers, who offer “truth” for money, are not offering a deeply liberating whole truth perspective and example, but rather offer mostly ego-derived brand-name angles on truth…while those who offer the gifts of life freely thereby reveal that they themselves are likely free, and so, being free and needing nothing, then charging nothing. In other words, the Truth can be gained freely from free beings, but if you want the ego-diluted versions, you will have to pay for these.
    The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. (Those who make themselves first in the world, those who puff themselves up—they will be deflated…while those who live humbly, unwilling to take from others, they will be exalted.)

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    • Darrell Moneyhon September 3, 2010 at 6:20 am // Reply

      Dear Jeffry, Thanks for a very thought-provoking comment. You turned over a lot of stones there. While I am still processing your shared thoughts, here is a segment that, for whatever reason, stood out for me, resonated with me:

      this says to me that there are beings who are aware of a treasure of greater value than money and that their primary intention and concern is that the people be “fed”—that people receive the transfer of the precious truth which leads to liberation from delusion and suffering.

      But my interest in the statement is to take the word “fed” both figuratively (as you did) and also literally. If I wanted to be sure people were fed literally (a form of the divine sharing you talked about) then I certainly would not toss out a loaf of bread one day, smile and then only return once a month or so (assuming here in this parable that I have more than one extra slice of bread per month). If my true intent is to feed, then I must do three things: 1. keep tossing slices of bread, but frequently enough that the person or people will not starve, 2. “teach” the person, if possible, a means for them to get food, such as teaching them to fish, and 3. (I count this one most important in these times) change, to the best of my ability the system that maintains the lack of food. If the starving person is stranded in a dry region, in a system of drought, move them to a region where there is rain and where wild berries grow, etc. Or bring in an irrigation system where they live. If you truely intend them to be literally fed, you will use creative problem solving and sweat to help change the system toward one that assists, regularly, in feeding its participants.
      Interestingly, systemic change (point 3) would apply to the figurative “feeding” as well. Creating a culture that loves (to the point that it looks like the hottest fad) to search for and provide truth and wisdom would be a different system than the current culture. It would be like singing our collective song in a different key.
      Because of the need for systemic change, I propose what I call “transmoney.” Transmoney is the practice of alloting a percentage of the donations or fees to need 3 above, to systemic changes that transcend the money system itself and help shift to the sharing system you rightly anticipate as a step up (way up).
      Also, to make systemic changes will require more than just the money set aside for it. It will require a viable plan, and plenty of critical thinking in order to make that plan. God has a place for reason. Transmoney needs plenty of reasoning that outsmarts the current system. And it will take an outsmarting, as all systems find a way to struggle to survive. The beauty of using the money system itself as a means to transcend it or to put it out of a job, is that the current system will think it is being fed, when in fact, it is being gradually starved in order to feed humans on a higher level.
      During my psychology education many years ago, I recal a thought experiment that never materialized into an actual experiment. I thought that if I were to reward someone with interval rewards of cigarettes for smoking less, in much the same way a gambler foregoes thousands over a long time in order to win glorious chunks of hundreds at a time, then a smoker could be tricked into smoking less overall in order to bask occassionally, randomly, in the joy of having momentary surplusses of smokes. The anticipation of reward would theoretically outweigh the reality of overall reward/supply rates. The hazy and somewhat cartoonish (an unusual amount of light can be seen through the images, making them appear brighter and more animated) dream of smokefests could trick the mind to forego more and more of the opaque real cigarettes.
      The gambler was the closest thing to an empirical validation of my thought experiment. I never put my odd thought to test.
      But it suggested a Trojan horse method of transforming any system. Could ego be used to transcend ego? Could money be used to transcend money? Theologically speaking, if ego and money are creations of God, then they, if worked with in certain creative ways, could actually be put to use to move toward the Creator. I could praise (stroke the ego) of a spiritual student, and gradually make less and less overall rates of praise contingent upon selfless acts, attitudes, and thoughts. Yes, ego could be used to transcend ego. Cigarettes could be used to transcend smoking. And money can be used to transcend the money system.
      At some point the people in the story of the Trojan horse probably realized that the gift was a weapon, but by then it was too late. I say, Thank God for a mind that is capable of being manipulated or tricked. If the same mind that feeds into the current money system can be tricked (and it would certainly be numb and complacent from all its false values that lack truth power), then a new system can be achieved in a way that bypasses much of the old system’s normal resistance to change.
      Alakazam! Transmoney is no truth, no lasting way. No more than manipulation and trickery is a suitable foundation for being human. But it could be a temporary creative solution to the problem of systemic oppression and/or lack/deficit.
      Darrell

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  45. The Husband March 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm // Reply

    It’s funny. A lot of people don’t or can’t really experience much of any freedom without being essentially coerced into it. This does however have its limitations. Especially if what the cult they’re in does is to pressure the psyche of a person with subtle pressuring and bind them over social responsibility or fear of insanity until they are either totally bound or break emotionally. Isolation and alienation are potent cult tactics, used by many cults to pressure people over their practices. Some corporations have been known to hire dianeticists to “double bind” artistic and creative types, and even engineers over property issues, using sexual deprivation gestalt methodologies to essentially drive people crazy over what they can’t help being.

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