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Re: Money, argument, logic

May 27, 1997 08:09 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


>Bart listed one class at $80.00 - I couldn't afford that.  Eldon wrote that
>the Dalai Lama is charging $200.00 - I couldn't afford that.  And I'm less
>poor than most people on this planet.

I can't either and won't be going, although it'll be just across town to
hear him. I don't let myself feel bad about it, since there are plentiful
opportunities to grow and become enriched. I leave it to each person to
set their own approach to sharing the spiritual, and won't judge the Dalai
Lama, nor the N.Y.T.S. as to their motives and good that they are doing.

>Eldon wrote: "So what?" about this whole money thing.  Well, it means
>something to me. . . I would love to go to a Theosophical class, but to
>plead poverty is embarrassing, nor do I want to feel that the Lodge is using
>me for the daily "good deed" of almsgiving.  I would so love to attend the
>event with the Dalai Lama, but it is clear that will certainly not occur in
>the near future.

I'm not poor in terms of income, but my net worth is fairly low because
of a depressed housing market. But I can appreciate how you feel, having
been through periods in my live where I was lucky to be able to pay the
rent. I would keep this in mind as I structured some activity. But were
I, say, to start a magazine, I would consider charging a subscription so
that it could keep going. Or if I published a few books, I'd want to offer
them for sale rather than for a voluntary donation. In these examples,
I'd have use my best judgement at the time, even if I might make a mistake.

It's more important, I think, that all of us are trying in our own ways
to do things to brighten the world -- more important than it is that
everything is done my way or done in a way that I might be able to benefit.
Even if I might not myself charge for a theosophical class, I'd still be
glad that a class was happening and there were people that came and
benefited from it. My emphasis would be on what I can do in my own unique
way to better things rather than on being concerned that other people are
trying approaches that I don't approve of.

>Sometimes, all the 'poor' have to fight with is morals.  We don't have
>facts, charts, graphs, statistics. . .but we have the disappointment.

Things are improving. Some public libraries may be offering access to the
Internet. A good $20 book can be worth hundreds of hours of reflection --
pennies an hour. And friends and informal gatherings are free. There are
likely more informal groups to study Theosophy, for instance, than there
are lodges. There's been one at my home for perhaps five or six years
with about four to eight people attending; it's not affiliated with any
theosophical organization and some of the people that have come over the
years would quit if membership in a T.S. were required. (We're studying
some of Purucker's books.)

>And we have the longing.

The feeling is fairly universal. Even rich people are touched. The
challenge is to pay heed to it and let it motivate new, creative
acts in brightening the world.

>Providentially, the message of Theosophy will continue to spread
>. . .despite Theosophists.

The message spreads because people are willing to *do something*
because of that longing, rather that sit on their hands or finding
excuses for putting it off. It doesn't have to be something that
involves having money, power, political office, or national fame.
It can be as simple as bringing cheer into the life of an elderly
woman down the street, having no living relatives, and starved
for friendship.

-- Eldon

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