There is a long-standing conflict in the minds of many - if not most - modern people between spirituality and money. As a working shaman and a Sheya mentor and initiator, this is an issue I have had to work with for over twenty years now - and I'm still trying to get to the bottom of it.
There are several pieces to this puzzle. One is the way that money has come to symbolize all things material, when spirituality is so often seen as the antithesis of materialism. Another is the idea that spiritual instruction should be freely given and available to all, regardless of the sacrifices of those who offer it.
I have come to a place in my own journey where I find these two suggestions absurd. Well grounded spirituality is about integrating the whole. As long as we keep any part of the whole outside of us and paint it with the brush of shadow, we cannot be truly liberated. It is only when we realize that WE are the ones who give money - and anything else - its perceived value, that we are set free of that projection, to use use money as a simple means of storing and directing energy. As for the belief that spiritual instruct
ion should be freely given and available to all, how are we to offer instruction is we don't set good examples. Would you take diet advice from an obese nutritionist? Marital advice from a counselor who have been divorced several times? Why would you take advice on how to live a full and happy life from someone who is neither?
This is not to say that money is any indicator of health, happiness or fulfillment. In many cases, it has no bearing at all. However, being free of the stigmatized shadows we project onto money IS a good indicator of these things. As is the ability to meet ones responsibilities in an effective manner.
It is my considered opinion - at least at the moment - that any system of spiritual growth that does not maintain a healthy balance of giving and receiving, is not offering its membership a viable role-model. I realize that I am a dyed in the wool non-dualist and this may have some bearing on what I consider to be effective and healthy spirituality - but there you have it.