I posted my recent blog post on the spread of spirituality on another blogging system and I received a really interesting response:
I find at least in my country of birth there is a lot of resistance to these supposedly spiritual ideas by people who simply can't afford to have them. Firstly, just like many middle-to-upper class indulgences, there is the whole factor of language that you mention. It does build walls. The fact that a lot of people are charging tons of money for all of this builds more walls. There is an "abundance mentality" that runs strong through much of the "spirituality movement" which says something to the effect that if you believe that you are worthy, abundance will come to you as you deserve. Bullshit, I say. I think this is muddying the waters of spirituality with some very dangerous and ultimately alienating ideas. Try inviting your local pizza-assembler who works for under six dollars an hour to a three hundred and fifty dollar weekend course, and see how far it gets you. Oh, and apparently it's their fault they are working for that little... they don't think they deserve more. It's a circular argument in which the people who have less get less because they don't get exposed to this idea in the first place because... you have to have money to find out you deserve even more than the privilege you already have.
He's right. In fact Dr. Wayne Dyer, whose one of my favorite authors, either just spoke or is due to speak in SF soon. The cost to go see him speak was almost $300.
I didn't go. I don't begrudge him earning money for his appearances. In fact, he's stated that he gives a good portion (if not all) of his money away.
But it still begs the question: Did Jesus Christ ever charge for speaking? Did he sell books? By the way, no, I'm not suggesting that Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra or even the Christian speakers who make millions are Jesus Christ.
I guess I'm wondering to what level they ensure that people aren't excluded. Even if they aren't, I wonder how their message of spirituality sits with someone who is homeless. And if it does exclude at some level, what does that mean?
It's at least worth considering.