Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Is he enlightened? Why does he charge so much money? Does he have an ego? All these unimportant issues and more =)
innerhike
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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by innerhike » Wed May 14, 2008 6:54 am

People will gladly pay tens of thousands of dollars for higher education and therapy, and possibly get little or no use out of it.

People will gladly pay lots of money for consuming media (music, movies, news, junk) of all kinds, and deem it "entertainment".

But if someone charges a $100 to help you break your trance, to question your ego, to laugh at your story, well that's too much money. Someone is finally offering you a way out of your suffering, and you say $100 is too much.

We live in a world where the common man thinks that money is evil and that spiritual teachers should have no money, but are quite okay to see sports stars, strippers/prostitutes, heads of corporations, etc. be compensated obscenely. The people who help us the most, school teachers, counsellors, social workers, hospice workers, nurses, these are the ones who are compensated the least by our society because we have it upside-down. What we value the most, we believe should not be associated with money. Because we have been told that money is evil and having it is bad. [The ideas in this para by the way are from a book titled "Conversations with God".]

The very people who are in greatest need of spiritual wisdom are the ones who are least willing to pay for it.

The more you value something, the more easily and quickly you are willing to pay for it.

Until we evolve to the point to where communism can be implemented willingly and lovingly, we will continue to have bills that we need to pay, including Eckhart.

And those who believe that following Eckhart or showing up to one his events is introducing "duality", this is all I can say:

To learn anything you need a source, inspiration or teacher. Many are self-taught but few reach mastery on their own. It is egoic insanity to not submit to higher consciousness, to continue to labor under the illusion that all is well with one's own understanding. Without the universe we do not exist, we are all inter-related. It just so happens that here on earth at this present time we have to pay for some of these interactions.

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by Sighclone » Wed May 14, 2008 7:01 am

innerhike....once again your trumpet rings true. I echo every word.

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by occam » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:47 am

Hmmm this is an interesting read
just found this thread after many weeks of reading but not posting

It's interesting how so many people have such an attachment to ET that they want to defend him..... why not just look at the facts?

The ticket prices allow for a HUGE profit
I know what it costs to put on a live eventy in these large halls and at the prices ET charges he will make $50,000 profit at the very least and sometimes well over $100,000

His downloadable audiobooks only have the initial production costs and then as the product is digital so costs are just for hosting and a small % for the credit card company - this means he could sell them for just $1 each and still make money

In Rishikesh in 2002 at his 1 week retreat, he charged Indians the equivalent of more than a civil servants monthly salary, and westerners was many hundreds of dollars..... the ashram that hosted the event charge less than $5/day for a room and 3 meals, so ET was raking in $thousands there as well
The icing on the cake though was that his neurotic partner Kim (if she's enlightened I'll eat my shoes) banned anyone from taking photos of ET (saying that it disturbed the stillness), only for her 2 days later start taking photos during one of the sessions herself
Then on the last day they started selling these photos at over 100 times the cost of printing them and even ET started plugging them in his final talk by saying that looking at a photo of him could act as a portal to the now!

Now after Oprah and his popularity is even greater, ET is selling a CD of music that is just another jump on the $ bandwagon - no doubt soon he'll be selling a new book that will just be a re-hashing of what he's already said

Of course ET has to make a living, and he does travel extensively, but he doesn't need to be super rich..... but that's what he is..... he could never charge ever again and still have more money than he needs

remember Ramana or Nisagadatta or J Krishnamurti? they never charged, they accepted (but never solicited for) donations
today the Vipassana organisation holds 10 day silent retreats with full board accomodation and they only accept donation - noone is turned away

ET is big business, and he is making the most of it
would the most effective teacher have few or many students?

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by piercej » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:31 pm

im not sure if it matters at this point, but providing proof of claims submitted as fact is usually included by credible sources. No insult intended, it's just the professional standard of discussion, which is alwasy welcome here :)

can anyone reference how much it costs to provide all of the staff, materials, equipment, rent the facilities, provide any food/drinks, parking, clean up, security, etc... ?

Then take that number and divide by the number of seats sold at the event. Unless one does one's own research into this issue, how can one draw a conclusion?

Eckhart spends 2 years as a homeless wanderer after achieving such a great education, and now he is judged as potentially greedy? really?

If Eckhart was spending money to spread his message globally, would it make sense that he would advertise that fact and feed an ego?

If it does not appeal to us, aren't we all free to go elsewhere?

My view is not objective I know, but honestly If I were a billionaire, and couldve known how Eckhart's messages would change my life, I would've given every last cent for it and worked two jobs to finance the rest. Seeing him in person is no requirement, in fact, I've never paid for anything, and I believe he wouldn't mind in the slightest.

- just another opinion from a fellow imperfect forum member working on the ego...

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by goldenbirdies » Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:09 pm

CFSLosAngeles wrote:With all due respect, all of you who are focused on the $ Tolle is making are completely missing the point of his teachings. No joke.

I just saw him last Saturday night in San Diego on 3/15/08, paid 99.99 to sit in the second best seats, and felt like I got a steal
Any prices with a lot of "9" s in it are a pyschological trick (eg: $99.99), bordering on dishonesty. Is that what we expect from spiritual teachers ?

And do we expect teachers of "acceptance" to change their name ?

Its all about the marketing for money of a free Eastern philosophy, using Western labels.

If you want to be inspired towards inner peace, step out into nature - its free.

David
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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by DWBH1953 » Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:30 pm

occam wrote:Hmmm this is an interesting read
just found this thread after many weeks of reading but not posting

It's interesting how so many people have such an attachment to ET that they want to defend him..... why not just look at the facts?
Wel I do not defend him I always said ET is very wealthly not just rich and I come from the old school believing that spirituality should be given out freely.
I also believe that a person needs to be made whole meaning costs, materials and for their time after that no more profit needs to be made. But that is just how I look at it. I have no idea how much of ET money is given away to help others. This is a hot button for me I could never resonate with a teacher that is becoming wealthly off the people for teaching things of spirit. Papaji the great master he was that I knew very well never did this, nor Ramana or a host of other real enlighten people. John Sherman a old friend close friend of mine and one of the best teachers on non duality that I know only ever takes donations. Money has a way that corrupts pure teachings because instead of a teacher just being with what Is and staying with that it makes them come up with new ideas,new concepts to keep the machine working and bringing in fresh money all the time.
For myself I have alsways learned the most from the low profile teacher that cares less if they make any money or not, their only desitre is to share what they have to help others wake up and of course they also gey great joy from doing this, money falls far short for these rare beings. Hving said al of this I do feel ET is filling in a large gap and does help people. And if he came out today and told eberyone that he still lives on $25,000 a year and gives everything else away how many would feel different about him?
Peace
Randji
Do not meditate-be!
Do not think that you are-be!
Do not think about being-you are!
Sri Ramana

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by mistral » Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:36 pm

This thread reminded me of something that was written by William Samuel, many years ago...I think you will like this..he had a pretty big 'following' back in the 1960's (which was not a lot, but for then it was. He wrote and shared until he passed away in the early 1990's... He was speaking on 'non-duality' back before the 'non-duality' thing became so popular as it is now...although, if you read his work extensively you will see that he predicted this upsurge in interest in the "Subjective Idea" as he called it then. He also predicted the chaos and confusion that was to come along with these 'new precepts on the Truth of Identity' ( He was very mystical and prophetic, and I suppose that is because there is 'no time' and 'all time' is Now and Infinite Mind is All Inclusive Knowing Mind...all that was an actual experience for him, in some ways, I'd say... he could see the future)

In William's words saying: "To whatever extent I allow Samuel to be the object of praise and veneration (instead of God-self) to that same extent I create the tangible situation which must appear to bring Samuel down in the eyes of the venerator. That is self-flagellation I can do without. It is difficult enough already for the few of us on earth who have been given the task of waging worldwide battle against the power of belief. Most tenacious among those beliefs is the insanity that one must be either a leader or a follower. Allness leads what? Singleness follows whom? The Seminal Idea discloses Identity to be nothing less than the Ineffable's very own Self-awareness! Every grain of sand and star in the heavens shouts the proof of this fact. Every flower that blooms and wild bird that flys verifies the changelessness of this fact. When the story is told properly--and listened to as a child listens--the individual awakens to DOMINION, to his birthright, his heritage from the beginning, and there is no more need of teachers. SOMEONE must make the honest statement in such a manner, and at this time that one is me--and shall be--until it comes to me to do otherwise. Tell me, if on the world scene I have been successful in disclosing DOMINION to those who have come to me, would this produce a following of sycophants? No. We are a camaraderie of living Light and love to whom the entire world will turn when our time has come. Like LaoTse who lived his Light silently and alone while working square in the middle of the teeming scholasticism of his day, we avoid human entanglements and personal popularity like the plague. We honor the Light that is Life, that every person is. We many very well appreciate a mirror that speaks to us with clarity and honesty--and we may consider that mirror unique among mirrors--but the authority lies with the awareness that looks into that mirror, and not the mirror." William Samuel

My point is this: It might be Tolle who will have to pay the high price, actually....Can you imagine how difficult this would be to stay 'humble and In the Light of Truth, while being rich and famous and adored and worshipped? Ye gods, in some ways it would be the worst of times.

Merry Angel: (if you want to read a book he wrote about these times of "metaphysical upheaval" or as we call it now "awakening" that we are now right in the middle of you can read his book titles "The Child Within Us Lives! A Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Metaphysics” Still in print after all these years...a tribute to his brilliance, honestly.

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by Javonni » Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:47 pm

Mistral, thanks for the William Samuel quote. I haven't read anything by him but I will be soon after reading that.

Javonni
When someone asks me who they are or what God is, I smile inside and whisper to the Light: "There you go again pretending."
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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by DWBH1953 » Sat Feb 14, 2009 7:01 pm

mistral wrote: My point is this: It might be Tolle who will have to pay the high price, actually....Can you imagine how difficult this would be to stay 'humble and In the Light of Truth, while being rich and famous and adored and worshipped? Ye gods, in some ways it would be the worst of times.
Thanks also I love William Samuel he was into non duality big time, though not really a Advaita person.

Yes I am sure ET price is high in the illusionary but real to the body mind world we live in there is no such thing as a free lunch. Somehow I do not see ET as being worshipped though he just does not have the looks of one of those. I also laugh everytime I see a picture of his face on this board he at least for me is just not the guru type at all.
But there is that danger that he may think of himself in this way as for all teachers.
Peace
Randji
Do not meditate-be!
Do not think that you are-be!
Do not think about being-you are!
Sri Ramana

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by occam » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:59 am

goldenbirdies wrote:
CFSLosAngeles wrote:With all due respect, all of you who are focused on the $ Tolle is making are completely missing the point of his teachings. No joke.

I just saw him last Saturday night in San Diego on 3/15/08, paid 99.99 to sit in the second best seats, and felt like I got a steal
Any prices with a lot of "9" s in it are a pyschological trick (eg: $99.99), bordering on dishonesty. Is that what we expect from spiritual teachers ?

And do we expect teachers of "acceptance" to change their name ?

Its all about the marketing for money of a free Eastern philosophy, using Western labels.

If you want to be inspired towards inner peace, step out into nature - its free.

David
Right on the money! :lol:
would the most effective teacher have few or many students?

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by occam » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:15 pm

piercej wrote:im not sure if it matters at this point, but providing proof of claims submitted as fact is usually included by credible sources. No insult intended, it's just the professional standard of discussion, which is alwasy welcome here :)

can anyone reference how much it costs to provide all of the staff, materials, equipment, rent the facilities, provide any food/drinks, parking, clean up, security, etc... ?
Just a couple of years ago I put on an evening in the Royal Geographical Societies HQ in London
Seating is approx 750
24hrs building hire was under $3000 (I put all figs in $ as most people understand $)- that included security, front desk, hospitality rooms, sound recording, and some ushers (+people are falling over themselves to get in free and offer stewarding help). It's Central London, so most people come by tube train or taxi - no car park included, but public car parks are quite close by
Now ET charges min $50/seat = $37,500
does that make it clear?
how often does he have several thousand in an audience - do the math!
would the most effective teacher have few or many students?

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by Dory701 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:49 pm

ib42 wrote:I am gratified to have received such well meaning and honest replies on this forum. Sometimes people get angry and vindictive if their beliefs and leaders are questioned as less than perfect...a sure sign of cultish behaviour.
I loved the book. It was sent to me by a dear friend who also sent me several CDs. They have been very useful to me, though I am really bad at being in the moment. I know intellectually that what Tolle says makes perfect sense. I'll keep on until I catch on!
I feel a lot better knowing I'm in the company of mature, genuine folk here, and apologize for sounding a bit envious and bitter. I am, because I'm 65 and poor! No one but myself to blame for this...my 'story' of being hard-done-by keeps taking over. Nowadays, I just want some peace, and lots of money! (Don't we all!)
Thanks again, all.
I can totally understand your question. It would seem like anyone who has become "awakened" makes a mad dash to the copyright office to protect their version of it, or their chanelled entity, or their burning bush incarnation, or whatever, and hires an editor, a publicists, a manager, etc and then everyone gets to make a living off of it. Oh well. I, personally, do not believe that these particular teachers are meant to disidentify wholly with their egoic selves. If they did, no one would be around to teach. All the trully non-egoic enlightened masters are living in caves basking in the ecstasy of the one. Teachers must make a living. And, apparently, we are willing to pay for the words they bring us in a pretty big way. So, having to maintain their ego identity in order to be bringers of the words, they also have to retain some egoic characteristics like the love of comfort and the ability to gain "more". So. When we feel that we are fully awakened, we can be the masters who bring out the message for free. Can't wait. Right?

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by eagle2phoenix » Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:59 pm

Like Randji, I just found this thread as it is made active again (I only read active threads so I thank those who make old ones active again). My awareness is asking me to write my thoughts on it. Since I found ET, I have made a kind of promise to myself to someday meet this teacher, if I have the chance.

In Malaysia where exchange rate is now RM3.6 to USD1, I "retained" the hardcover copy of PON borrowed from a library and replaced it with a cheaper soft copy version as penalty in the early days. I paid RM90 (!) for ANE in 2007. The book is so well read it is dog eared and many lines are highlighted as wisdom. My husband and I have read it numerous times. Each time we learn something new. His Findhorn Retreat (4 CDs) cost me some RM160.

If he was coming to Malaysia and the ticket would cost USD100 = RM350, I would still go and listen to him talk with full attention (i.e., listen with my being). More importantly, I would want to feel his presence.

Let's look at the modus operandi of teachers logically (ah, the mind is wonderful if we know how to make use of it). I do not wish to compare but we need to understand why some charge while others don't.

Someone wrote that he attended a talk by the Dalai Lama and it cost him nothing. Well, the Dalai Lama is a displaced political leader and an organization who has never worked in his life except give talks and write books (after all he is a monk and the Dalai Lama). He has sponsors (sympathizers) who make big contributions. He has centers everywhere. His travels are all paid for by sponsors. (I have read some and I am not touched by his words.)

Other spiritual teachers ask for donations through their websites or centers. Some followers make large contributions. Some temples are so rich. Osho had 13 (?) Rolls Royce presented to him when he was alive. He wore a diamond encrusted watch, given to him. His centers are run by volunteers but people make contributions.

ET's website does not ask for donations and he does not have a center. He spends a lot of time on his own, counseling (don't know if he charges for that). He has helped many people through his counseling. Some examples are mentioned in ANE. In the counseling sessions, his "clients" are awakened and full or awareness. He has allowed several people to make use of his teachings. E.g., Stillness Speaks is used by several websites. He does not charge for that.

I do not feel he is "greedy" but rather fair. It depends on how you view it - from a holistic view (from your being) or a critical angle (from your thinking mind or ego). Going on Oprah was not his idea but Oprah's. If the Buddha or Jesus was around today and he was invited to appear on Oprah, do you think he would refuse? Jesus in his lifetime never refused anyone. Remember he attended a huge wedding and turned water into wine? Perhaps Lao Tzu would decline but send a written message like the Tao Te Ching.

I don't know. What do you feel?

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:23 pm

Occam (and others), how does attacking Tolle bring you closer to recognizing the nature of ego/mind attachment? And how do those attacks help bring clarity of being into present awareness?

Looking closely in stillness at the pointers he makes, is exceptionally effective in regaining freedom from the limited "me" identity; but it seems that attacks, and their implied judgment of wrong doing, only strengthens that sense of separation.

If you're merely warning people not to idolize teachers, then say so. I would agree. But your unfounded speculation on Tolle's financial matters says a lot more about you than it does about him. Tearing another down isn't likely to make anyone a better person.

The fact is, no one has to buy a ticket. Virtually all his teachings are available for free. For that matter, just look inside, there lies the only real source of truth.

Follow what path you will, but I don't see the value of your point. In truth, it reeks of envy.

WW

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Re: Not sure what to think re: very high prices for Tolle events

Post by erict » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:13 pm

Wonderful post, Webwanderer, thank you.
"Be sincere; don't ask questions out of mere interest. Ask dangerous questions—the ones whose answers could change your life."

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