MONEY IS ENERGY
The thoughtful exchange of Energy is a vital component of a healthy spiritual life.
I enjoy reading The Search, a blog by award-winning spirituality & ethics columnist Douglas Todd in The Vancouver Sun. The Search is billed as "Everything we're told not to discuss in polite company: religion, morality, politics, sex, death, God, love, meaning & all the things that matter." Now, that's my kinda blogger!
Todd wrote a piece in October 2009 entitled, "Is Eckhart Tolle the route to God?". I was reading through the comments from his readers & found quite a few of them balking at the idea that any authentic spiritual person could make money from his/her teaching or leadership. One of the main reasons these particular critics cited Tolle as inauthentic is the fact that he earns a living as a spiritual teacher. Several also cited the authenticity of Jesus as a true spiritual teacher because he taught "for free" (these comments were cast more in "Son of God" terms, however).
I chimed in on the discussion & found that, a month later, The Search had posted my comment among their Quotes of the Month. I decided to re-post it here, as I often see the argument about money vs. true spirituality & find it to be sorely misguided.
From the posting headlined "Is Eckhart Tolle the route to God?" - Kimberly Cain
The idea that money invalidates any message from a spiritual teacher is extremely naive & causes many thoughtful people to miss the essence of the message from our common Source (whatever name you put on it). There is no question that many "spiritual teachers" are charlatans who have seen the way to make a buck. Those aside, how does a message of hope spread without touching money along the way? Sincere church pastors are paid a salary, authors' books cost money to print – even the Bible is bought from merchants & the publishers paid. The argument that Jesus was not paid comes only from the perspective that cash is the only form of payment. He had to sustain himself just like the rest of us & he accepted sustenance while he travelled & taught.
I think the essence of the message in spiritual teachings of giving up all your money is not as much about the money, literally, as it is about the "trappings" of the money. Money is used for SO much good in this world. Think about it – money is not, in & of itself, worth anything. It is what money represents that is worth something – the exchange of energy. We each exchange whatever reciprocal energy we have in return for what we need – if it's money paid to an author who disseminates a message of hope & freedom, so be it. If it's a glass of water to someone who comes to our door & has a good story to tell us, so be it.
Since making the decision to do intuitive spiritual guidance on a more formal basis, I have certainly wrestled with the issue of charging for the service. I realized, however, that I could not serve others as an author & intuitive guide any more than I have ever been able to perform music, speak, or do any other kind of job on a higher level & consistent basis without compensation. The fact that I was wrestling in the first place was due to the ideas spread by those who see money as being inherently at odds with spirituality.
We need to have more mature, less fearful dialog about money in order to realize that it is not a spiritual problem; it is a spiritual gift. In fact, the insistence that money, itself, is anti-spiritual actually points to the much deeper issue of spiritual poverty.
Money is a foundational agent for survival in the physical world. I plan to talk more about this in future posts on grounding ourselves through the energy of the 1st (root) chakra.
In the meantime, I'd be honored to have you join the discussion.
- Have you ever struggled with money issues in relation to your spiritual beliefs?
- Is it a challenge to honor the energy of money & also the energy of the spiritual self?
- Do you ever feel "wrong" or "bad" about charging a fee for something that comes easily to you?
- Do you struggle with feeling like you shouldn't have material comforts when so many are in poverty?
Money, as Douglas Todd so aptly claims, is one of the subjects that we don't much discuss in polite company. Well, maybe that's a big part of the problem! It's the things we shush that become taboo for no good reason, really. Another post for another day, but I learned a lot about the need to discuss money from reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
Let's talk about money! Let's talk about it as a spiritual gift! Let's GIVE & Let's RECEIVE gracefully as an exchange of Divine Energy!