Re: Is TS a Money Making Concern?
May 30, 1997 08:18 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker
>> With all of the brouhaha going on here this past week, shouldn't the
>> subject line read: Is Making Money A TS Concern? ;-D
>Good question. Answer seems to be a very simple No. No means No!
I'm not sure you should make such a strong statement regarding money
making. I'd think that theosophical groups could use more money. There
are things that we could do for the general public if we had the funds.
How about translating the literature into other languages and making
it available at little or no cost in third-world countries? Or doing
a thorough job of computerizing and indexing the literature? Or building
and operating spiritual camps and retreat centers? Or revising public
educational materials to include more theosophical principles, and
making it available to the educational system? And free public classes
on Theosophy, whenever possible ...
How do we raise money for charitable purposes? Not by selling phoney
Initiations for big $$$, nor putting a price tag on genuine spiritual
instruction. Lacking money the easy way -- from highly rich benefactors --
we must resort to fund raising activities. Doing fund raising for noble
causes does not cheapen our spiritual efforts. I'd consider side offerings
like classes on astrology as good vehicles for fund raising -- no one's
going to burn in hell for charging for something like that. But were I
to approach someone and ask for thousands of dollars to learn the secrets
of the spirit world, I'd be on quite thin ice. Odds are that I'd be making
awful karma for myself. Even here, I won't make a blanket rule, but leave
things up to someone's best judgement. I won't assume, for instance, that
a professional astrologer that charges for reading horoscopes, doing that
for a living, is prostituting the spiritual.
>TS concern to make Theosophy reach masses and hope it will change the
>hearts and minds of a few. A few can change the world. One has just see
>what a few like Buddha, Hitler, Napoleon could achieve either lot of
>good or evil.
Monks can wander the streets with their begging bowls, knowing they'll
be fed. There are householders with food to spare. Some people have to
gather the food, raise the funds, see to the material side of life, so
that others can devote their energies to a spiritual life. The T.S. is
not just for saints, that can like on holiness and good karma, but
rather shares in the hunger and limitations of worldly existence. While
we certainly should never turn away someone seeking spiritual instruction
because they are short a few dollars, they should not, on the other hand,
feel slighted if they cannot attend all the T.S. fund raisers for free.
In an ideal world where there is no shortage of money, everything would
be free to everyone. Short of that, we all try to the best we can, sharing
wherever possible, trying to act with the highest motives.
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