The Dividing Line
Question: What is the Middle Way of truth here? Does the Spiritual worker have a right to charge for his service? Are there times when he should not charge? What is the principle that must be followed?
This is a subject that has caused a lot of thought from the sincere spiritual workers. Of course, the insincere do not put much thought into it at all, for many of them are in the work for the money and merely charge all they can get away with. These represent one extreme.
The other extreme sounds righteous, but may be more damaging than being greedy. And what is that?
It is that extreme that does not dare charge for any spiritual work, thinking that it will offend God. The problem with the person on this extreme is that he often develops a glamor around his spiritual superiority because he is not contaminated with money and often this sense of superiority hinders spiritual progress more than any other item. This superiority will not only hinder the progress of the individual involved but such a one will often preach his doctrine of supposed unselfishness so far and wide that he either annoys or produces guilt in many others.
If a vow of poverty causes the worker to see himself as separated or better than his brethren then the vow is useless.
Another problem with spiritual work, either healing, teaching, counseling etc., is that many people place it in a different category than being a plumber, electrician or a standard service of the trade. They think it is fine for the plumber to charge, but unacceptable for the teacher or healer.
Standard teachers (schoolteachers) and healers (medical Doctors, Chiropractors) charge all the time and no one thinks a thing of it, but the spiritual worker is often criticized for charging even a small amount.
The reason given is that true spiritual teachings and healing come from God and should be given out free.
Actually, all things come from God. The new piece of pipe installed by your plumber has elements from God’s earth. Does this mean that he should not charge?
Without that mysterious energy God has supplied called electricity the electrician would be useless. Should he not charge because God supplies the power?
What is the dividing line here? Maybe we should first ask this. Is there a dividing line?
There are several points to look at here.
First let me give you my view as to where the line should be.
I think it is fine to charge for any service, spiritual or non-spiritual if the worker had to make an effort to develop a skill of some kind, be it a skill in carpentry, in medicine or in teaching.
On the other hand, if the person is relying on a power above and beyond anything related to his own ability then he should not charge.
For instance, I have never charged for healing where I have sought help from the spirit or intelligence much higher than my own. If I were to do this the money would be my reward. By not charging, spiritual sensitivity is increased.
I feel that I have an obligation to make spiritual teachings I receive from intelligence higher than myself available to all, no matter what their financial condition, but in promoting such there are expenses such as advertising, publishing, overhead, room rentals etc. It takes money to make anything work.
Some get around the guilt thing and still make money by asking for donations. I’ve gone to different events where there is a sign at the entrance that says something like “Donation $10 please.”
In many cases I feel just as obligated to pay the donation as I would to pay a stated fee. I see very little difference here. Whether it is an expected donation or an expected fee, money changes hands and there is a charge.
If a church wants 10% of your money so you can be in good standing and have privileges and a country club demands a similar payment for their privileges what is the difference?
If you are depending on your own skills then I cannot see the difference between charging for healing, teaching or yard work.
If you want to accumulate good karma then give some of your services away free. Again, this matters not whether you are a painter or a minister. Service is service and help is help – all is spiritual.
One thing I think we should all avoid is this. To judge another because he charges money for his talent. This can cause a feeling of elitism to set in like no other and can hurt us through glamours much more than the money will taint the worker getting paid for service.
Each of us must decide for ourselves what we must do and leave the guidance of others to their own souls.
The sons of men are one, and I am one with them. I seek to love, not hate;
I seek to serve and not exact due service; I seek to heal, not hurt.
Let pain bring due reward of light and love. Let the soul control the outer form,
And life, and all events,
And bring to light the Love
That underlies the happenings of the time.
Let vision come and insight.
Let the future stand revealed.
Let inner union demonstrate and outer cleavages be gone. Let love prevail.
Let all men love. DK
March 4, 2005
Copyright by J J Dewey
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