Do you think I’m going to go To Hell?

You may have noticed, we’ve been sending out news to our lists more frequently over the last weeks.  “What’s got into you Arjuna? You used to be such a quiet, retiring kind of fellow. Suddenly you’re sending out email, like popcorn.”  When you send out more frequently to a list, it is inevitable that some people will unsubscribe.  You can do so today through the ‘manage your subscription’ link at the bottom of any e mail we send you.  I hope you don’t, but it’s always there if you want it.
I got one particularly energetic unsubscribe request recently from a young man in Germany.  Rather than using the link, he decided to send me a personal message.  And here it is:
“Bullshit!! All your ‘doing’ is just making the “I” stronger.  I think you’re just trying to build your business and make money.”
I really appreciated the passion with which my young German friend expressed himself, and I got to thinking about it afterwards.  He had some important things to share.  The first was that the activity we were creating was re-enforcing the “I”.  And in a way, he’s got a point.  Many of us have created a schism between the vast empty space of awakening and the realm in which there’s a ‘you’ and ‘me’, and activity happening.
The interesting thing for many of us these days is not so much to disappear completely and rest in a void space, but how can this dance of ‘I’ and ‘you’ and ‘we’ and ‘they’ continue in a context of wakefulness? The trick of living an awakened life is not so much to make the sense of an “I” go away, but to see its illusory nature and let the dance of life continue anyway.
His second point was even more interesting: he was accusing me of just being interested in building a business and making money.  There’s truth in what he says there too. For thousands of years we have believed that there is an inevitable schism between awakening consciousness and worldly and material success.  Jesus set a whole process in motion when he let that comment slip about the rich man and the camel in the eye of a needle.  I’m sure if he’d anticipated how many people would be living in unnecessary hardship as a result, he might have thought twice about that statement. 
Today, so many of us who are interested in awakening feel that there’s something wrong with participating in the world, making money, and having stuff.  If you’re teaching a seminar about business leadership or coaching skills or even relationship skills, it’s fine to charge several hundred dollars for a weekend.  If your topic is about a deeper connection with yourself, the question becomes much more sticky.

I’ve questioned all this in the last years, since I was invited in 2005 to become a member of the Transformational Leadership Council, founded by Jack Canfield (the most successful author in the history of publishing).  Other members of the council include John Gray, Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, Marci Schimoff, and Raymond Aaron. The Transformational Council is where the movie, ‘The Secret’ was filmed.  We meet twice a year in beautiful locations to inspire, connect and relax together. Almost all the members of TLC are phenomenally successful in worldly terms, well known, and…rich.  But what I’ve also discovered, from hanging out with them, is that many of them are also remarkably awake. Almost all of them fit the definition of Translucent, as I defined it in The Translucent Revolution. Being a member of TLC has inspired me to radically review my understanding about awakening and money.  I’ve seen that people like Jack Canfield and Raymond Aaron have tremendous freedom to make a difference in the world in whatever way they chose.  If they hear about an ecological challenge, or a village in Africa that needs a school, they can do something about it.8990Charity
In the last years, my primary focus has been on training Awakening Coaches to be facilitators of awakening to clients in position of responsibility.  I encourage the people I train to charge professional fees for their services, and there have been some remarkable results.  Business leaders and other professionals generally wont even take you seriously unless you’re charging professional fees for what you do.

I’ve thought carefully about that passionate email from Germany, and I’ve concluded that I’m guilty as charged on both counts.  By training coaches we are spreading genuine awakening among business leaders, entrepreneurs and people who can make a difference, and… we are building a business.
So tell me, what are your thoughts? Do you think that awakening and business should be kept separate?  And that one would contaminate the other?  Or do you think that marketing Awakening Consciousness to business leaders is an effective  way to change the world?

58 Responses to “Do you think I’m going to go To Hell?”

  1. I am late reading this, so am just responding now. This so resonated with me! I am an Employee Assistance Consultant and business coach. I also have been on a spirital path for over 20 years. I struggled for a long time with the “perceived” discrepancy between the spiritual realm and the material/business/earthly realm. This blog is a confirmation that I am a “bridge” between the two and, thus, have tremendous ability and potential for adding richness in the world. You are such a blessing, Arjuna, thank you!

  2. I am wondering why my second reply to this article was not printed. If i wrote something offensive, I would at least like to know about it. You DID ask me for my thoughts on your response to my original submission. I also wonder why you never replied to the email I sent you after the Tampa workshop. I realize you are busy, but even a short response would have been appreciated..Harry

    • Hi Harry
      Once you are accepted into the system to make comments, you are permanently accepted. So your second submission never made it, i am sorry to say. Send it along again, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. As for e mail after Tampa…. also never got it! You can reach me here:
      http://awakeningcoachingtraining.com/index.php/contact-us
      We are ot big on censorshsip, and I am not easily offended, so keep it flowing!
      love

      Arjuna

  3. I am wondering why my second reply to this article was not printed. If i wrote something offensive, I would at least like to know about it. You DID ask me for my thoughts on your response to my original submission. In a related matter you never replieed to my email after your workshop in Tampa in Sept. I understand you are busy but

  4. It occurs to me that what we are more or less collectively experiencing here Arjuna is a shift in consciousness in relation to both money and business. I see it as a result of our growing spiritual consciousness, and, it seems that it is not without it’s inherent growing pains.

    As you pointed out earlier, money is wonderful to have and can be a tool for doing good in the world. I would add that I believe we are also intended to have abundance, and to create it in our lives.

    I experienced a shift some time ago from my previous “vows of poverty” (from past lives as well as the energy of the Collective), and came to understand that we are meant to have abundance and to create our lives in joy. The issue for me then became (as I think it is for a lot of people) not whether I should have money, but rather how I go about acquiring it in marketing myself and my services etc.

    As one person pointed out earlier in the conversation and I have also seen, the old marketing models are often utilized by any number of people who are seemingly more awake. But I would ask.. does that make it right? Should we continue to utilize old marketing.. ie “play the game” in the same ways in order to put food on the table or pay our rent? I believe the answer to that is no, we should not.

    I’ve had this conversation with other spiritual people whom I know and respect, and one of the more recent responses I got was that it’s fine even to utilize so called “hypnotic” phrases or keywords etc in order to trigger a person’s buying impulses. His supporting argument was that people are conditioned to those triggers and need to be motivated to buy because, as you may know, people usually don’t buy what they need, they buy what they want.

    This is similar with respect to the earlier post regarding artificially spiking book sales on Amazon in order to make it appear that someone has a “best seller” when in fact they have not. Both cases I believe are dishonest and not acting in integrity.

    My position with the person in my discussion was this; Isn’t this the very thing that we need to change with respect to how we do business? Are we not perpetuating an old (and very unconscious) marketing model that essentially has us preying on other human beings for our own gain?

    And my position with Amazon, or any other book sales is that if you want a best seller then intend it, visualize it, create it and make it happen. But please, don’t play games to make it look like it happened when it didn’t. Where is the personal integrity or the honesty in doing that?

    And so that brings me back to the question of how we obtain money. I think the question we all should be asking ourselves is this; Are we in honesty and integrity in what we are doing, or are we preying on and manipulating others for our own well being?

    More importantly to me however is this; What is our primary motivator? Is it ego? Or, is it an authentic impulse arising from within? If it is the latter we can be sure we are on the right track and that we will be cared for in all ways, because it is the work of God moving through us and not the self. (Here I use the egoic sense of self with the small “s” versus the transparent or translucent sense of “Self”.)

    I’ve found that when I am aligned with my inner impulse and operating with relative transparency that I am cared for beyond belief, and others whom I’ve talked to have had similar experiences. Conversely, when I do not humble myself and trust and instead follow my own ego, I am not cared for, save that which I am able to do for myself.

    There is also another aspect to this, which is when I put my brother’s well being ahead of my own, miracles happen. In Oneness we cannot do to another what we do not also do to ourselves. So in doing for another, I also do for myself.

    And so as I said earlier, I feel that we are experiencing growing pains. Not only are we coming to understand that we can and should have all that we need and desire, but we are also coming to understand that Oneness holds no place for “other”.. only for “brother”.

    One last thing in closing; Everyone, without exception, realizes in their heart of hearts what is right and true and what is not with regard to what they do in their lives. We can and do become very adept at lying to ourselves over time, and we often do not pay attention to our inner truth when we are convinced by our survival oriented ego that it serves us not to.

    But, when we follow our heart and what we know to be right and true we cannot go wrong. We are taken care of beyond our wildest imaginings, and life becomes one amazing and wonderful miracle after another.
    Love/Peace
    John

  5. Christa Pierson Reply June 4, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Is the part of us that wants material gain coming from wholeness? When people talk about manifesting what they want, I wonder what part of them wants it. “The Secret” was mostly about manifesting material wealth. Which part of these people decided on the material goals? Was it spirit? Was it ego?

  6. Elizabeth Chadwick Reply June 4, 2009 at 3:37 am

    It’s all part of capitalism.Having studied with a master artist who exhibited with Picasso and raised with clasical training, I encountered all these discrepencies about the integrity of thework versus money and consequently great art was never produced in that way anymore like there aren’t alot of moazrts or michaelangelos or the great writers like shakespeare are there? That is because back in those days money was different and culture was different and then the gold rush and evrything changed 100 years ago drastically and so our economy has to have a different system,kinda like the totnes they are doing in Ireland and the transtion culture that is happening all over-about local currency and being able to survive post oil–but there is a book called The Gift and it’s brilliant and it addresses this area about art/money and the same thing can be spirituality and money or along those lines-it does not matter,it’s part of western civilzation and it sucks.Because my best work can never be if I think of money and as Rilke said you have to do what you love to do and it burns inside you and like the dancer Martha Grahm said there is only one of you and you have to be that expression,money or not-it’s about your soul.Arjuna is a wonderful writer and speaker and it would be most unfortunate not to have the opportunity to hear him and listen and his voice is so strong as a teacher and I was greatful for meeting him many moons ago and that meeting after I had been critically ill changed my life when we unresist and look at the beliefs and the heart, and there is a value to these teachings.There is nothing free here,only out in the wilderness.The Catholic Chuch is one of the richest organiztions in the world.And Jesus wasn’t into poverty but blashphemy and rhetoric and he told the truth,that is all.

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      true artists are not doing their thing for the money, I know all about that. After 25 years of making money as a businessman my husband has found his true passion painting. Ofcourse we as a family had to take some huge steps back in our monthly income, but believe me it was all worthwile. Following your heart always turns out good. Check out his work at; http://www.norbertus.eu

  7. Hi Arjunaardagh,
    I think it may be, that it is not appropriate to profit on what belongs inherently to each of us.
    If you have a gift that will earn an income use it to earn an income. If you have the gift of awareness, give it for free.
    If you give advise to business check that it positively affects their bottom line and charge accordingly. Businesses can profit from selfless behaviour and good training.
    As to whether your going to hell. No such place, it’s a metaphor that your life will be difficult if your not true to your inner spirit. Selflessness is key and you know the truth of this question.
    Get a job, write a book etc… and give your spiritual council for free and there will be no dilemma, in my opinion.
    Trust that which you know is true.
    Peace and Joy

    Rob

  8. Lou Ann Ephraim Reply May 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I agree with Lion Goodman,

    As a 29 year old… I’ve always longed to be deeply into the Quantum Physics… be a real healer. I’d love to participate more in the Oneness Blessings, go to the self-help workshops, empower myself and others. But financially I couldn’t. Still working on it but I feel I’m getting somewhere…

    Just recently I’m facing my inner demons about what I deserve to have financially, while playing it ‘fair’ in my freelance business… not actually charging for what I’m worth.

    Our human beliefs about Spirituality and Materialism is creating a lot of hell for all… so badly that we’re struggling financially. This forces me to see my old beliefs that has been blocking me to evolve the way I yearn to be.

    At the beginning of my spiritual journey, I’d think that you would really go to hell. But as I get older and older—to hell with what others think. Money IS a spiritual energy… just like any other tool/material out there.

    It’s even an illusional tool: banks create them out of thin air. Why not do the same? Money is a tool that magnifies what we really say who we are spiritually.

    Lou Ann

  9. I am on a journey to disconnect ‘work’ and money/reward receiving. I separate it. It isn’t always easy to stay in that feeling/idea. I used to ‘work’ as a dancer/singer and got a lot of money. And what did I do for this world, for people, that made me earning that money? When I became a mother I started studying again to ‘work’ with children, learned a lot, very profitable, and hardly received any money. Working as a teacher with children doesn’t have a big receiving with it too. (Emotional maybe but not cash and worry-less with live) Than I went more and more on the personal development/spiritual path. I crashed because of past emotions, feelings and believes. Working on myself I couldn’t let myself receive a lot of money because it is not ‘work’ in the eyes of our system yet. Work as a mother/parent doesn’t reward in money at all.
    As a ‘energy worker’ therapist, a study I did also, I found a lot of people, as me, with no money. So how can I charge big amounts? I stopped ‘working’ as a ‘energy worker’ and ‘worked’ just because that is what I do. I always give. What I know and what I understand. Techniques and tools. My smile, my hug and my ‘healing’. My song and my dance, my joy. I love it when people feel better!
    Now I intend every day that I am giving me and my gifts because that is the natural thing to do, I work, do, Am! I receive because that is the natural thing to do too. Separated it. How I receive does not matter. It is ok when I receive because of my ‘work’ and it also very ok to receive from total different sources. Whatever, however. Action, doing, ‘working’ is not something we can not do.
    I think and feel this is a ‘solution’ to this rewarding thing versus ‘work’. Especially because there is more and more ‘work’ in spirituality and ‘working’ with our self’s.
    As you say Arjuna, ‘And the only thing I was qualified to do was write and teach.’. Like the only reason to receive money is to be qualified at something and not because you are qualified as a great person. As a divine being. Whatever we do, work.
    I also think this is because we still reward masculine doing and not (yet) feminine doing much. Taking action makes things into matter. I feel for myself that that action part and the rewarding part is the working part and to much separated from the female energy working, action. I always tell this story about the prehistoric times when their where to ‘groups’. The one’s that went hunting (men and women) and the group that did camp (also men and women in this group). That is the group that ‘made house’ and flavored food, nurtured.
    It looks like we still award the big hunt with money. The other group that went for herbs, vegetables and did the cooking and nurturing gets no reward these day’s. Or hardly reward. While in the prehistoric days the hunting group would have more difficulty surviving with their ‘work’ than the camp group.

    So I keep my intent to stay in a place of receiving and giving and they are not by definition connected. :) That makes more sense to me.

  10. Hi Mary Beth,

    You are delightful too.

    The OU has its own special teachers now, and has become much more structured and organized. I am a wild horse. But check out my other work, I have blessings to offer that come out of different boxes than India!

  11. Dear Arjuna,

    Thank you so much for opening up this topic for discussion and responding to the man in Germany so authentically. This topic has stirred up a lot for me and shined a light on some feelings and false ideas that need healing in me.

    I do think spiritual teachers and mentors and authors ought to be paid well.

    But the underlying motive is extremely important. Is the motive to be of service? Or is it for power? Fame? Recognition? Authority?

    I’ve been looking at these questions in myself since you posted this discussion.

    Where are we coming from in our actions? Are there consequences to being honest with ourselves?

    The main thing this topic stirred up for me are the possible (imagined?) difficulties that might arise when working with others who may be more worried about payments. For example, I know there is a great deal of expectation on the part of publishing companies for an author to successfully market their own book or project.

    How do we handle this pressure? It is a little scary for me to imagine, and yet I am still writing my own books. I feel mixed feelings about some of the marketing strategies that are practiced. For instance, it seems very common nowadays to try to create a spike in Amazon sales on a certain day.

    I myself have participated in some of these days! (I did buy your Deeksha book when you had a day like that BTW. I was very much into Deeksha at the time.) Mostly it felt right! It is the Divine Amazon game in action!

    Deep breath…

    But still, deeper than the game, I have some mixed feelings about that kind of selling.

    I would love to know what your experience of it is. What was your experience at the time of the race to “beat Harry Potter” to the top of the list?

    though it all depends where we are coming from, part of me sees it as a bit manipulative. Shouldn’t the bestseller list reflect genuine quality and true sales, rather than beefed up sales that are orchestrated in one day?

    But I am guilty as charged! I feel this German fellow was throwing stones at me too… You just happened to be the one caught this one. =)

    How do we sell truckloads of books and sessions and CD’s and spread the word, without losing site of our highest ideals?

    I am asking myself….

    I am asking God….

    I am asking you..

    Granted, spikes in sales are fun! They get the word out! It sells books that are uplifting and of service.

    Maybe what it boils down to for each of us healers/authors/teachers is the question: What are we really selling?

    If our primary motive is to sell uplifting words and enlighten and be of service to others, then this is quality work that justifies a high price. But if our primary motive is to “work the Amazon system,” gamble, manipulate, and play numbers games, then I question that kind of salesmanship.

    I think there is a way to be real, to be of true service, and open the door and let the sales skyrocket and take care of themselves. There has to be. Don’t you think?

    It is not that we fall from grace if we get dollar signs in front of our eyes. Perhaps the dollar signs (when we see them in ourselves or in someone out there) are simply a doorway into our Selves.

    With gratitude,

    Michael Alperstein

    • Thank you Michael. Glad I am not alone in the dock.
      The truth is ( but keep this quiet, dont post it on any public blog or anything!) I would not have written ANY book or done ANYTHING were it not for financial pressure. At 33 I was retired and living in India and never planned to work again. Then I lost EVERYTHING in bad investments, had 2 kids, and the pressure was on! I had to make money. And the only thing I was qualified to do was write and teach. Perhaps the financial pressure is the Kosmic prod to get us off our arses and giving our gifts?

      • Yes, but “giving” your gift and charging for a course are two different things. How do you reconcile with finding the balance between not being attached to money in a Iago sort of way, while still marketing, selling and charging thousands of dollars that only a privileged few can afford? I grapple with this in my own work. Also how do you reach the masses when the majority is so limited financially? You courses are wonderful and deeply transformational; I would recommend them to all my friends, but I don’t know a single person who can afford a training.

        peace and light,

        Joseph

  12. Hi Arjuna et all!

    (I have met you at Ängsbacka and some other places and think you do a great job – regardless of charges involved.)

    To deal with the money thing, I think I’ll try to use the Integral Theory model from Integral Institute and Integral Life (inspired by Ken Wilber’s work.)

    So, firstly , it is about the level of personal development. At the traditionalistic and individualistic/rationalistic levels of development money tend to be a symbol of status or personal achievement respectively. Growing into the pluralistic ability to really see the systems of the world and self helps to see yourself as a true tool for transformation to a looser “me”-sense flavoured by a growing intuition of higher identifications. This, and further growth is needed..

    The experience of more awakened states, from where you can experience the non-dual mystery are promoting that growth. However, having awakening experiences doesn’t guarantee that you leave the egoic identifications behind when you enter the marketplace. Growth of identification is another dimension, we know a number of not so morally developped enlightened people for example.

    Secondly, it is about culture. The main culture is still consumeristic, and values the aquisition of money as an end in itself. Especially there is a corporate culture that nurtures some almost regressive tendencies to act from a very primitive, carrot in front of the nose-perspective. So if you can , as a first step, align the corporate culture with what is due in ordinary close relationships, much will be gained!.

    Thirdly, it is about personal behavoir. What do you do to actually get money, how do you actually spend it, how do you talk about it. If you show you are able to give away money spontaneously, of refrain from a strict demanding of a certain price it sets a wonderful example of what it means not to be indentified with wealth. I you want your donation to be crowned with, “the Ardagh Hospital” or similar, well……..

    Forthly, it is about the systems.
    Primarily herewithin the ecological systems, that just can’t put up with too much degradation from material consumption, as some people have pointed out here.
    Secondarily herewithin, the physical systems and collective structures of the world are mirroring the questionable cultures, and the lack of personal development – here we need the islands of novelty to inspire and be inhabited with the creators of a culture for inner growth, less dependent on personal wealth – such places as Ängsbacka, Esalen, Vipassana centers and whatever.
    Thirdly herewithin – the economic system itself, which tends to uphold “all of the regressive above” in it’s present global form. However, there are fantastic new beginnings. The “give what you can afford acoording to your appreciation of what you get”-economy is coming alive , and of course we have the free Internet, with its true creative sharing economy. (today threatened by the old system, but invincible in the long run.

    And of course, it is all the same old game of Spirit playing “forgetting and returning to itself”

    Well, something like that???

  13. Hey From Texas Arjuna! Certainly Jesus called the rich man on his _attachment_ to wealth. He also overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple. This latter example speaks to the right and proper place for money, not to the fact that it is evil. People often misquote that “money is the root of all evil.” The _love_ of money, e.g., pursuit, is the root of all evil.

    What these thoughts suggest to me is that attachment to wealth and the mis-use or mis-placement of wealth are the problems, not the wealth itself.

    There is little one can do to execute their vision for the world without money. It would be wonderful if the world operated on a “love offering” basis, but that is not routinely happening yet: bills have to be paid, staff retained, hotels booked, planes reservered . . .

    Are you going to Hell? Not likely unless the attachment, pursuit, and mis-placement of money corrupt your actions and consciousness.

    In our church, we don’t speak of heaven and hell in tradition terms of reward and penalty after we’re dead. We frame the discussion in terms of right thinking and error thought. That puts “heaven and hell” in the here and now and not off at some external, future time “if we do the right thing with this life.”

    This approach puts the oness on how we live our lives _right now_, in support of unconditional love and compassion for all beings.

    (Still teaching inner city 4th grade. Saw Jan K. at Lowe’s the other day, shopping for flowrs.)

    • Great to hear you, Peter. I remember you and your wife well. Jan works on our team now.

      I am guilty not only of the money, but the attachment too.

      I guess that wraps the case up… guilty as charged!

  14. gocoloradocabins Reply May 14, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Hell is separation – heaven is all – passing back and forth until there is no separation – a lifetime (or many) until the
    heart can tell no difference.
    Blessings on the journey.

  15. Arjuna,

    How wonderful that your reaction to that comment made by the German gentlemen, was to go “inside” and be ruthlessly honest with youself. That is the Arjuna we know and respect.

    No one would begrudge earning a very good living. But would fear you losing who you are. How subtley power and money corrupt.

    You said the people you are working with who are successful and rich are awake. Well, you can be awake and make wrong choices.

    Jesus loved that young rich man who walked away. And the young man was sad as he walked away. I bet that young man was awake as he had a want to follow Jesus, however, he was became aware how much his money had him. Because of that he couldn’t follow truth.

    You have your answer in you Arjuna. Listen to your spirit.

    • Thanks Kitty

      For me, translucent is a relative word, not absolute.

      We use words like “awake” enlightened” etc as absolutes. You are or you are not.

      I like relative words. Quite interesting. Very nice. Somewhat cute. Very translucent in some areas of his/her life, but quite opaque in others.

      Things are black and white in the masculine mind. The rest of life happens in the grey zone.

  16. Hi Arjuna,
    The problem I see with some of the people you are now running with is that they try to have it both ways which I view as hypocritical. On the one hand they present themselves as compassionate saviours whose sole goal in life is to make your (our) life better and on the other hand their workshops and cd sets are SO ridiculously overpriced that only the VERY financially sound are able to attend. On top of that they tend to make outrageous promises of just what those workshops will accomplish for you. Then soon enough they’ve got another workshop to offer and this is the ONE that will really DO THE TRICK that the last one didn’t Next your inbox is flooded with recommendations for workshops and cd/dvd sets by all their friends that are “just the ticket” to get you back on track.

    I don’t see you at all in that light, Arjuna, but I fear that their influence will rub off on you and we will lose, what I see, as one of the few actual sane, compassionate, sincere, dedicated, and throughly knowledgeable ones out there.

    I do hope you achieve some financial success; I attended your workshop in Tampa in Sept. and if anything it was underpriced. And you cd set is certainly a bargain. I just hope that as your finacial pendulum begins to swing the other way that it does not go all the way over to the other side. If it does I hope, at least, you will have the self honesty to admit that your priority has switched to profit, though you still enjoy helping people, (ala Gay Hendricks, James Ray, Bob Scheinfeld,Jack Canfield et al) as long as they are well off enough to afford you. I am just really sick of people telling me how much they “care” about me, and then trying to suck every cent they can out of me with their hyperinflated “Joe Vitale” marketing strategies. When people are desperate for relief from pain even the most skeptical of us are easily suckered and I am afeared that your new friends are the masters at this.

    • Hi Harry

      I am lost to the devil already. I want it both ways too. I want to help people, and also I am very keen to share in the bounty that flows around this world. I am keen to serve, and also to send my kids to college! The way I see it, this IS “sane, compassionate, sincere, dedicated, and throughly knowledgeable.”

      What do you think?

      • Hi Arjuna,
        Well, my wife and I have sent two kids to college and we are both nurses. You don’t need extraordinary wealth to do that. In fact, I think the “send my kids to college thing” may be a bit of a cover up for I want a fancy house and nice cars and expensive vacations et al. Again, in my view, there is nothing wrong with that, except when one denies it and claims being of service as one’s primary motive. (I don’t mean “you” personally here) In fact, I might go so far as to say that if you are becoming EXTRAORDINARILY wealthy, then you are not really “being of service at all. You might be providing a service and being compensated for it, but if that means “being of service” then any one of us who earns a living is “being of service”. I don’t think that is quite what the phrase implies, unless you mean being of service to ourselves

        One of the responders quoted Harry Palmer’s view that if you do not charge enough for spirituality “lessons”, you will miss out on the talents of many knowledgeable people. The flip side of that is that if you charge too much you will lose the opportunity to help many people in need. Again that would be well within anyone’s rights, but I think one must face up to the reality that they are doing that. Maybe I am naive but I still hold out hope that there is some magical middle ground where one can make a GOOD living, though maybe not have a ranch overlooking the pacific, and make a difference in as many lives as possible by being affordable. That really would be having it both ways and I hope you can achieve that.

  17. Money enables you to do what you feel you need to do.
    You’re not about money, you’re about awakening more and more people all over the world.If people can’t see that, it’s because they don’t want to.
    What is hell? Nothing more then what you ‘think’ it is. (Do we still need that ancient word in a world build on new realities?)

  18. with regards to the money /spirtrual debate
    I arrived at your evening intro on a wet friday evening in Brighton. u.k. knowing nothing about you or your work ,However by the break i had this instinct that i was in the right place right time, but not the money to do the week-end….i shared this with the organizer and by way of, trust ,integrity.passion and vision,we created a win win situation….. i had the most inspiring weekend for years,this was a real example of kindness ,and money not the primal factor in our meeting.
    Also the c.d. set of ..Let yourself go. is a treasure ,and a reminder of. Awareness, and right action.
    all the best Cavan.. Brighton. uk.

  19. I don’t know
    But by looking for the who that cares it all becomes rather funny.

    • who said that?

      well, who asked that?

      who asked that then?

      what?

      that!

      who wants to know?

      Who wants to know who wants to know?

      welcome to the advaita jerk-off…

  20. Arjuna,

    I have come to believe,”Nothing has meaning, except the meaning you give it!” One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure! In reality, Everything without exception is made of the same “stuff” as people like the Aborigines taught us and now science now even agrees. We can recreate the entire Universe with one cell of anything. So money is the same as anything else!

    Your hair falls to the ground, composts into soil, eaten by a worm, who is eaten by a bird living in an apple tree. It pees and poops in the tree and this absorbed into the bark and the tree grows apples you eat which become part of your body again! So your hair became soil, a worm, a bird, a tree, an apple and you again! All the same energy!

    Once upon a time there was barter, an exchange of goods. Then we exchanged things for some labor too. Then we traded stones and beads and coins. Then bills which were lighter still and now credit cards the lightest of all …smile. In reality there is nothing there that is not God/Spirit/Source Energy/Consciousness. A flower or tree or animal is an extension of that same energy. So is love, cancer, illness, bliss, war, birth, death, and money. In order to live a sane and happy life we need to throw away our dictionaries and there would be a lot less to judge and fight about!!

    In “olden” days, the Shaman or Healer of the tribe wanted for NOTHING! Anything they needed was provided for. Their home, food, clothing, and so on. They did not charge anything because whatever they needed would be given as a gift!! The people realized there is nothing much more PRECIOUS than one’s health .. physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually!! So they made sure the healer was well taken care of! If you are really sick on any of these levels, it is difficult to enjoy the rest of them! It might be difficult to enjoy your million dollar mansion if you you had a severe mental illness, were physically ill a lot and so on.

    Today, some people have wandered so far away from spirituality, they are very numb and use all sorts of things in order to Stimulate themselves in an attempt to enliven their lives. They look outside themselves for answers and therefore assume “money” is the key to buying what they need to create some happiness in their lives. They are jealous of anyone who has more money or charges more money, so they just keep it away from themselves because they would not want people envious of them!

    I have come to realize myself, that money, cancer, joy, rain, pollution, sun light, are all created of the same “stuff” and only my mind puts a certain Value on it, which often has no relation to the item at all. Cancer can wake someone up and save their life! It does not always kill. Sunlight can grow plants, create a fire when going through glass or burn skin. Rain can nourish or cause flooding. Again we give meaning to everything through our own filters and beliefs.

    Money’s value is ONLY what we create it to be, nothing more or less. I feel the challenge comes in our relationship to it. Are we working as a slave to it, making it our God for which we will sacrifice anything to get. Or.. are we merely using it as vehicle through which we can have our needs met, sharing our gifts with the world and create something of value for future generations to inherit. Then again, money in and of itself holds no power. It cannot “do anything” by itself. It is not so important for me what I do, as “how” I am Being when I am doing. Same thing with money. I see it as a means to an end at times and other times there are different ways to be Abundant.

    Most people I know in spiritual professions generally, give more FREE time in the service of humanity than ANY other people I know. I feel people are envious because we are doing what we LOVE to do and THAT is at the heart of the matter, because they are not. Very similar to when I was a child and artists, writers and musicians were very frowned upon in general ..as not respectable professions to pursue. They were looked down upon and judged I feel by people who were actually envious of them! Hopefully as we awaken, more people can do what they love and there will be less envy and more money flowing for everyone!!

    My two cents! Endless Love & Magic, Morgine

  21. I salute you for raising such a courageous question. It’s one that I think about every day.

    For starters, I’m pretty sure that Jesus would stand by the rich man and a camel question 100%. It’s a provocative question designed to make us think about our relationship with and attachment to money. However you define heaven, can you really reach it while you have food on your table and others go hungry? While you accept or reject people based on the cash in their pocket instead of the capacity of their souls? What do you think?

    Your work has touched my life in ways that I am profoundly grateful for. I am happy to compensate you for the value that you provide. There’s a well-worn path for rewarding the work of authors, teachers, and consultants. When you throw “awakening” into the mix, however, you begin to touch on a different standard. Awakening is a close relative to spirituality, and the spiritual teachers who I trust most draw authority from their demonstrated nonattachment to the material world. They put their money (so to speak) where their mouth is by demonstrating a commitment to love above all else. From my perspective, that’s the extra obligation that comes from accepting an exclusively spiritual mission.

    You define your professional role as coach, writer, teacher and public speaker. It’s perfectly appropriate to charge as much as the market will bear for these services. But then you throw awakening into the mix. What are you awakening to? Do you stand for a world in which love matters more than money? In which all children regardless of income should have adequate food, medical care, and education? In which social leaders with thin wallets should have as much of your time as business leaders with thick wallets? If so, is there more that you can do to align your business with these values?

    • >>However you define heaven, can you really reach it while you have food on your table and others go hungry?<<

      (The kingdom of) heaven exists inwardly embodied on earth as well as in spirit.
      Jesus said that poverty will always be in place on earth (when disputing on the usage of expensive oil with Jude).
      Still, the Bodhisattvas devote themselves until the last blade of grass on earth is enlightened. (i.e. heaven on earth)

      Arjuna’s commitment is directed to awakening (coaches).

      best, Elf

  22. Dear Arjuna,
    no, you will not end up in hell i.e. the lower astral. and why do you ask?
    money, sex, power and death are the 4 temptations to grapple with in life and esp. for those on the spiritual path.

    i would not feel sorry for those who did not join the path due to money issues.

    not sex and money are problems but the attachments to them. money is a gift from God. to dedicate our lives to making money is outdated. and – it takes a lot of lifetimes to handle $50 million ethically.

    the desire for money, prestige or power still runs the lives of most people following the old paradigm of success. the new paradigm requires integrity (when dealing with money, sex, power), truth, flowing creativity and empathy.

    the true capital is genius, money will follow it in due time. success is an automatic consequence of integrity.
    neediness, fear and greed are the downsides that led the world’s financial system to a crash. if any of them is your driving factor there is no lasting integrity.

    whomever is on the spiritual path will influence the business world with that what they have become, not with what they say, do, or charge.

    Arjuna, you have mentioned the circle of well-to-do experts around “The Secret”. it is a controversial movie as it appeals to the ME part. contemporary spiritual teachers specified what’s “wrong” with it.

    http://de.spiritualwiki.org/Wiki/TheSecret#sWiki.TheSecret_5
    http://de.spiritualwiki.org/Wiki/TheSecret#sWiki.TheSecret_6

    blessings, Elf (Bavaria)

  23. For me the awaken rich people are an example. For me you can’t be rich enough. ;)
    The more I allow myself the more I can give you. Till a short while ago I can only say that having a lot of money and spirituality has been scary for me. I’m going much better step by step now. These rich awake people give everything for free too. I don’t pay any time with you and you’ve given me tremendous gifts. I am making a dutch website at the moment where I have put all that beautiful free stuff together where I got so much from. We can get all the information for free, get rich applying the knowledge and pay each other afterwards. :D
    Thank you!
    Anita

  24. PS A short addendum. Do I think you’re going to hell? I think you are helping to create a consciousness of heaven and may many blessings fall into your life.

  25. Dearest Arjuna,
    I for one am deeply grateful for the increase in your emails and the material that becomes available to us through them. I would actually like to receive more not less. I am among those who are currently unemployed and lost my retirement fund in the recent finacial debacle. So for people in my situation it is a way to do the work while my funds are low.

    Are you making more money? I certainly hope so. The work that you are doing is among the best that is available on the planet and I would say that that is a short list.
    Some of the anger, or so it seems to me, could possibly be a result of that age old debate of the spirit/matter split. Over simplified: all things of spirit are good, the material world less good. We have mass beliefs that the worst of the material world is money. Probably a good time for all of us to review our beliefs about money.

    I take my stand on the side that says for those amongst us who are serving to assist those wanting to make a fundamental change in consciousness deserve to be rewarded finanacially and live a good life. I hope that you are Arjuna. Certainly you deserve it and I hope that you continue with these emails. I thank you for the ‘free’ information that you share so willingly.

  26. Yes, I think each person needs to listen to their own heart about how much to charge for spiritual classes, retreats, ect. I personally feel that one needs to charge a decent fee. And when listening to your heart, maybe some people can get a reduced fee or come to a class no charge. Arjuna, when I found out how much you charged for an individual session, I was upset. Some well known spiritual leaders do charge an awfully high fee for services. So, that makes it not possible for some people that need it or want it to come to events, work shops, retreats ect. I used to work 2 jobs so that I could afford to go to the things that are important to me. And some how I seem to have the money for they classes I want to go to. I personally think that leaders should charge a reasonable fee. Mary O Malley is such a person. She does a slidding scale of $85.00-$120.00;but she will also not turn anyone away. She will work with people, and she seems to stay in abundance.

    • Hey Dee. Great to hear your thoughts. Here has been my approach: I do a ton of stuff for free: like teleseminars, talks etc. Then we have books, CDs etc which cost very little.
      I need to have a staff to help me, and they need to get paid. So for sessions, I can only take 10 clients at a time. It is not for everyone. I charge $3000 to $5000 for an 8 week series, and focus on business leaders, people in Hollywood etc. That pays the bills for everything else. Love to hear your thoughts!

      • Dude, you’re making a mint off of patronizing women and soft-headed men with your books, seminars, T-shirts, et. al. You a GENIUS!!!! I really admire you! Enlightening the unwashed masses is a noble cause (Jesus, the Buddha, Oprah, Rocky and Bullwinkle, etc.), and if you make a little scratch on the way, so be it! Guilt and Shame are the great detracters; ignore them.

        In God we trust, inasmuch as it serves our interests!

  27. My experience with money is that it is a problem, if you believe the thought that there is something inherently wrong, bad or negative about having money. Without that thought money is no different than anything else in this very real feeling illusory world.

    Money can be used as a tool of service, once you get over thinking it would be selfish to have some. Also, it is hard to be of service to others if you don’t have enough money to meet your own physical needs.

    So I prefer to have money and then use it to support experiences that can help move people in the direction of oneness within their own minds, so they to can then be peaceful enough to be of service to all that is really one.

    This is only my view, not one I am promoting for others.

  28. Yes to the I, you, we dance.

    About money, that is a stickier issue for me. I agree that awakening and money can and maybe should go hand in hand, but…

    It is not that there is anything wrong with wealth in and of itself; in fact there can be everything right about it in the hands of a truly awakened being who gets joy from creating wealth and contributing it to the benefit of the whole. However, our wealthy role models right now over all are not stellar. The wealth examples we see are not the awake wealthy for the most part.

    Even many of the so-called awake ones like the ones showcased in The Secret are very much showcasing extravagant consumption somehow creating happiness. I am sure they are also doing lots of good with their money. However, how many of these very rich consumers can our planet afford, esp. in light of the fact that the western world is already consuming more than its fair share?

    That said, I am not blaming them or saying I am better for being relatively poor and living a more minimalist life. Compared to most of the world, I am still probably more part of the problem than the solution.

    I think all these experiences are/were necessary for the collective awakening. The wealthy in their restless pursuits and often continued misery are showing us who may be financially relatively poor that money and stuff is not where true fulfillment is found. Not that wealth is wrong, but that it is not going to fill whatever void we are trying to fill.

    The current economic crisis may be a scare for many people, it is likely a blessing to our planet, especially if it leads to a total collapse, which hopefully would make us turn to taking care of each other and our planet instead of trying to fulfill our personal short-sighted desires of a growing consumption economy at the expense of the whole.

    It is about our earth and its resources, its possible inability to re-generate faster than we consume.

    If increased wealth leads to increased consumption, or acquisition to go back to your earlier writing, then we cannot afford ever increasing numbers of wealthy people right now, especially in light of the up and coming economies of the eastern hemisphere who would like to share in the lifestyles we have taken for granted for decades at the time when the planet is groaning under the burden of over consumption.

    Once awake, maybe wealth is not so dangerous, but until we get there, …

    Do we have time to advance our technology fast enough to sustain our planet with such pressures?

    This is one of the major challenges we face today; the pressures on our planet are increasing unsustainable.

    Maybe this reverts back to your contribution rather acquisition economy ideas. If increasing wealth of people like you and me gets us to live in bigger houses and drive more cars ad fly more frequently, acquire more, etc. than we create greater problems for the entire planet.

    With wealth, now more than ever, comes the responsibility to use it wisely, i.e. contribute to the well-being of all, most of all our planet,rather than gratifying our egoic needs to keep up with the Canfields.

    The creation of wealth should not be as a pursuit of filling some sort of existential void like keeping up with the other wealthy that will lead to over consumption. To be supportive of the whole wealth needs to be the genuine natural consequence of our heart-centered passion to contribute. Both the creation and the use of wealth would then serve the greater good.

    So, are you going to hell? That might depend on how feel about creating your wealth and how you will use the wealth you are creating? More than that, it will depend on how collectively we respond to the needs of the whole right now. Hell and heaven in the context of life on earth is a collective rather than an individual question. I guess the challenge is to find a balance that can be sustainably enjoyed by all who so desire and not just a select few.

    Marieken

  29. Harry Palmer, creator of The Avatar Materials, said (paraphrasing) “The separation of awakening and spirituality from earning money cost us some of the brightest minds on the planet.” Meaning that if it was “okay” to charge money for spiritual training, the brightest people would head toward that service sector like a herd of buffalo toward green pastures. Instead, they get MBAs from Harvard and go to work in banking firms, inventing crap like credit default swaps. What a waste of brilliance.

  30. I think the most fun thing to say is that indeed, you are going to Hell.

    That’s the problem with Being Everywhere. I’ll see you in Hell in the Mirror.

    As simple as reality is, living in manifestation is complex and the Devil is in the details (and not just in hell)

    Our hearts need to inform us if we are in tune with the Universal and when we seek to judge others, we need to ask our hearts if we are projecting our prejudice or calling our friends on their excess.

    Much Love (except for the hatefull hell part)

    Baba

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