Misuse and Appropriation of Spiritual Labels to Encourage GreedEvery so often we can see how spiritual labels are turned against their original aspirations: The search of true reality and its unconditional happiness becomes subverted for earthly ideals that lead away from these. In particular, we recognize the trends such as (1) marketing wisdom strategies for competitive advantage and (2) the suggestion to train meditative clarity as a dodgy "practical" application to enrich mundane goals or even plain lust. Very business oriented people may try openly to teach spiritual principles as something to monetize in good faith which the like-minded people might find endearing. Unfortunately, such open greed cannot account for naive ignorance and the fact this is superstitious fakery and fetishism at its best and hiding fraudulent intent behind a friendly face at its worst.
The way to wisdom is to realize that greed can grow without bounds if left unchecked with a heart of humility and modesty. If we take a wider look on the wisdom traditions of the world, this is why it's conveyed in the Christian Biblical tradition that the faithful and devout person lives in the world filled with temptations, but is not of the world and seeks higher reward in afterlife. The same principle is worded differently in Daoism: those who follow the Dao seem simple and foolish because they don't seek to maximize their personal gains nor apply their learning for self-gratifying material pursuits. Likewise, Mahayana Buddhism teaches responsible living according to the framework of Buddha Dharma which points to the unsatisfactory and illusionary nature of conventional self-cherishing existence and thus abandoning this for greater fulfillment in bodhicitta, wishing for everyone to be unconditionally happy and altruistically working towards it.
Those who teach wayward spiritual dabbling may however use the names of humility and modesty to manipulate others and with false expectations and abusive psychology like often happens with charismatic religious leaders. More on this side-tracking topic, see the the thread about personality cults here:
Elon Musk, a genius inventor, engineer, progressor, Iron Man, and savior of humanity? What the media leads us and masses to believe, is that Elon Musk founds companies himself to help Earth and Humanity to colonize Mars, to get over the energy crisis, to make our ecology cleaner via "green"...
Let's continue with free discussion about spiritually sugar coated greed and optional illuminating study examples. A first serving here:
- Almost any book title introducing Dao (or Tao) together with some business proposal
- Known scammer Eric Randolph's has least at one point sold his services under "The Tao Applied" title