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Eckhart’s Mithya Money Empire
Don: I thought I would forward this link since I always thought that the prices that Eckhart Tolle charged for his pointers and teachings were very high. I am not sure who is so business-oriented – his wife Kim, himself or his support team – but they really went to town on building a professional, profit-minded enterprise, always a tricky one to justify in the spiritual world.
Sundari: We are aware of Eckhart’s growing empire and his exorbitant charges for “teaching.” We think his wife is probably the main proponent behind the money vasana, but obviously, Eckhart has no objection. The power of Maya! Eckhart “succeeds” in the mithya world because he has no teaching – isn’t that interesting?! If he had the real deal – Vedanta – he would understand that the real thing is never about your own experience but timeless self-knowledge, he would have a valid means to deliver the knowledge, he would have very small groups of people because very few people are qualified for self-knowledge. And he would not be charging anything for it, because Vedanta does not belong to anyone.
What he teaches is his experience, that’s all – and it is inspiring, up to a point. But then what? Inspiration only takes you so far. To keep inspired you must keep listening to him but nothing of any lasting substance translates into your life without the satya-mithya teaching, which the Neos just do not have. And unqualified people will keep shelling out fortunes for something that is missing the main ingredient. Hopefully, it will serve as an expensive lesson to help them find the real thing.
Don: Wow – very well explained, thank you. Yes, there are many false paths – I see now the benefit of following Vedanta and not a personality. It is why I like maths, I guess – pure, logical and objective – not too many opinions. That is right – the personal and experiential is just that, subjective stories.
The Power of Now book did help people get into the “now”… a little bit, I guess. But greed or the suspicion of greed undermines credibility very quickly. I think we are all super sensitive to the money equations and instinctively know when we are being ripped off – or ripped off too much.
Holy people and teachers of the Truth clearly need to be way beyond that – unfortunately, since I realise that they too still need to pay bills, and you and James need food and shelter and a few luxuries!
Sundari: Money is a two-edged sword if you think it is real, then you have a money problem! If you know it is not real and use it responsibly, it has no edge to it. It is a gift from Isvara, not a problem at all, either having it or not having it. As I said, a genuine Vedanta teacher does not charge to pass on the knowledge, because it does not belong to them. How can it belong to anyone, when the subject matter is you, awareness? If there is a charge involved for teachings, be very suspicious. One should always question the teacher. James is a respected and respectful lineage-holder in this very ancient tradition. We teach by donation because we need some financial support to cover the costs of keeping the show on the road and to live, but we never ask for money. It is always entirely up to the inquirer if they wish to donate, and it makes no difference to us if an inquirer does not have the means to do so.
It is absurd that anyone should pay such exorbitant fees to access knowledge that is our birthright – but the teachers who charge such fees are not teaching self-knowledge. It is a strange quirk of mithya that what is truly valuable, the truth, is always free. It is by the grace of Isvara that you find your way to it. Until you do, unless you can use your discrimination and common sense, you will be much poorer in the pocket to obtain, at best, half-truths. At worst, ignorance is presented as knowledge with no means of knowledge to allow you to apply the teaching or at best ignorance it’s mixed with knowledge. If you don’t know the difference, which most people don’t, you will swallow both.
~ Love, Sundari