Getting into an argument on some Yahoo group about charging money for spirituality. I got so into it that I realised it would make a blog-post in its own right! So here is a rejoinder I was planning to write, from which I have trimmed the intemperate bits (i.e. the more intemperate bits).
Now let me present a completely different argument about why it is wrong to charge people money for spirituality. It has nothing to do any superstitious notion about money being tainted, and everything to do with Economics. It is this:
If Spiritual Teachers are seen to be getting away with charging money for their services, it will only encourage Spiritual-Teachers-Who-Aren’t-All-That-Good to charge money for their services.
Now I may be treading on sensitive ground here, but without naming any names I’m sure we can all think of a few organisations, maybe but not necessarily connected with some incarnation of the Golden Dawn, whom we all know are basically a bunch of crooks who are only in it for the money. Why are they doing it? Because they think they can! They have seen genuine teachers charge money, and they think “we can make an argument for saying we’re genuine – now let’s see those dollar bills!”
Hence, based on Economics, the way to get rid of the shysters is not to charge more money than them, but to undercut them.
Moreover, I can think of two ways to make sure that only high-quality candidates take a correspondence course on offer. The first is to set them at fairly difficult entrance exam right at the out-set.
The second is to cease advertising it. This only looks counter-intuitive to those who have an obsession with publicity, or with empire-building, but the fact is that there are a great number of organisations that thrive perfectly well with doing no publicity whatsoever. People who are genuinely interested in their work seek them out, of their own volition.