I am considering getting a loan to fund a spiritual niche business but feel confused when I consider taking this path - Is this the right path for me?
The questioner's philosophy
The opportunity that I am faced with is this - I have been presented with a business opportunity in this niche area of spiritual growth for the world. The hurdle - they want me as silent partner to fund their vision, that I shared 3000 miles away at almost the very same time, only to be brought together through two degrees of separation. I met with the two of them and they have invited me in as silent investor and participant of the future profits.
Here is my question: Why, as someone who knows better than to feel as if I am being used once again, do I feel the way I do about a great chance to be a part of something so amazing. Also, this the first time in long time I am not in the financial position to fulfill the amount needed. It seems as though I am being shown contrast and supposed to understand this more clearly. Should I go and get a loan to be part of this or peruse my own path and hope to join at some later time, if that is possible? I am at a cross roads and feel I should be handling this better.
I do not consider that spiritual pursuits sit comfortably with the world of business. If we are to be spiritual leaders and wish to help others to grow spiritually, we need to give unconditional love in abundance from a place of psychological, physical, spiritual, emotional and financial strength. Why do we need to give from such a strong place in ourselves? Because then:
- We do not need anything for ourselves from the people we are serving. This means our only motive to our giving is one of service and love - there is no ego gratification involved. This is needed to serve our own spiritual unfolding and helps us merge in enlightenment.
- We are not dependent on the people we are serving to have our own needs met. This means we can always do what is right without being concerned about consequences, like getting money in to pay the bills, or people taking offense at our advice, etc.
- We do not have to sell what we offer. This means we avoid the unpalatable spectacle of us, as prospective spiritual leaders, exaggerating our talents and standing with the begging bowl out, trying to get people to buy.
Consequently my advice to you is not to engage in a business venture that peddles spirituality like trinkets on a stall, but rather to work at increasing your own strength in the ways I have described and then, from that place of strength, offer to give a form of public service to the world in a way that uses your God-given talents, skills and attributes.
So how, in practical terms, can you do this? Do not hate your work. Most work is necessary and valuable. Always remember it is much more important to like what you do than to do what you like. Furthermore, mastering your job and learning to working with integrity and efficiency is excellent training and preparation for providing high quality public service activities. Re-engage with your job and see it as the foundation for your spiritual unfolding instead of a barrier to your growth.
Once you have done this, create a space in your life, however modest, which you can use to serve others in need, in the manner I have outlined above. Use the skills, finance and moral character you gain from mastering your job to fund, launch and maintain your service work. It is ok to charge or accept donations for expenses like room hire, but I recommend you give your own time without charge, as an offering of unconditional love in the service of those in need.
You will find as you do this that your attitude to your job will change, because now you are using the strength you gain from it to serve a higher purpose. As time progresses, use your God-given creativity to expand the efficiency of your public service work and the time you spend doing it. A good aim is to work towards spending half your working time earning money from your job and the other half engaged in public service activities. Achieving this aim will be easier if you reduce the amount of desires you have for the things of this world, especially luxuries and other expenditure of dubious value and gain joy and peace of mind from your service activity instead. Be open to attracting others who, by your example, will feel inspired to help you with your public service work. Then your work will accelerate in volume, range and capacity and you will begin to realize and even surpass your long held aspirations.
Many people try and start business ventures and earn a living from commercial spiritual projects. Only a few succeed because the public are, understandably, reluctant to pay for something as pure as spiritual enlightenment. If you take the path I recommend, you are guaranteed to succeed, both personally, through increased joy and peace, and in your project, through the number of people you are able to reach and help. You will succeed because your motive is selfless. You will also have learned the lesson of listening to inner guidance when it is warning, through feelings of persistent confusion, that the path ahead does not feel quite right.
Further Help and Resources
To have an indication of the wide range of projects and activities that can be developed by public service work of the kind I recommend, I suggest you visit Sathyasai.org. The projects represented here are inspired by my spiritual teacher Sai Baba. You also seem to be slightly confused over your inner guidance. If you would like to understand inner guidance more clearly I recommend you order my book, Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off.