| up a level
from the charge-of-the-light-brigade dept.
I often -- very often -- like to give Uncle Al a hard time about various stances he held that no longer seem sensible today. In fairness, I'd like to voice my appreciation for a little something he wrote once that I believe distinguishes Thelema in a good way from many contemporary spiritual movements:
There is, however, an absolute prohibition to accept money, or other material reward, directly or indirectly, in respect of any service connected with the Order, for personal profit or advantage. -- One Star in Sight
Money has been the downfall of many traditions. When groups begin charging money for services related to spirituality, it is all too easy for money to become the priority. And when money drives the tradition, things can get distorted very quickly.
Some schools charge money based on the idea that people only value what they pay for. I suppose that this could be a valid approach, but it seems quite dangerous to me. The first generation of such a school might be able to keep their priorities intact, but future generations face a slippery slope.
There are reports of P. D. Ouspensky in later life crying in his vodka, confiding to a close friend that he had lost the thread of the work years ago, but was unable to back out, because of the financial involvements of his organization.
Getting compensated for the use of a meeting hall or materials is one thing, but I occasionally hear of workshops "revealing the secrets of Thelema" that charge hundreds of dollars per head. This is a particularly insidious distortion of our tradition. I'm only glad that it's the exception rather than the rule.
Maintaining the principle of service in the transmission of the magical current: one of the tenets that makes me proud to be a Thelemite.
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