To pay or not to pay?
Sep 28, 1999 07:40 PM
<As the subject came up, W.Q.Judge wrote of the TS in 1894:
"... our poverty and lack of earthly applause and reward have saved us from
cranks and sectarians who, subliminally attracted by wealth, would prate of
doctrine and duty while they stood guard over the cash-box.. In the
strength of our ideal and devotion is our power, and that work which is
done without the blighting influence of a debit and credit account goes
further and lasts longer than any which is given as return for a money
It didn't stay that way, and TS members are - surprise! - more often than
not regarded as the kinds of sectarians that he described.
I spend half of my life in India and in every branch I visited, there were
no admission or other fees or suggested donation for one cause or the other
or even passing of a plate for collection. No effort was made to collect.
Usually a couple of well to do members took care of the needs. There were
not any place even to leave a donation if you wanted to. Also I have
listened many many lectures from well known members and lesser known
members without paying a single penny or rupee. Many branches would not
even inquire if you are a formal member or not. They are just happy that
you took the time to visit and participate. BTW, at one time there was a
move at Adyar to feed every attendee free during the annual convention.
All is different in the US where money is the king. Collecting fee or
donation for one cause or the other is more the norm than exception and is
taken for granted; more the fee the better is. Just for example one just
needs to go and look at the programs at the TS/Wheaton website to get an
Unlucky is the man or woman who is poor and penniless, as far as organized
theosophy is concerned. May be we can blame it on the Karma of the
individual and wish him/her well in a future life trying to use the
principle of Karma to explain the phenomenon. I do not know how the
Founders view this phenomenon in the Kali Yuga!
At least some of the classics are available in the public libraries in hard
copies or free access on Internet terminals in libraries.
PS: As the saying goes -- Devil Quoting the scripture. Human mind can
conjure 1000 arguments/ reasons why a fee or collection is essential for
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