Throughout the history of religions and mystical traditions, the continual availability of the spiritual teachings has been made possible by the support of the congregation. Whether through financial support or the provision of goods and services, all traditions have relied upon the community for their growth.
In the West, this support has been known by the name of tithing. The word tithe comes from Old English teogoþa, which means “tenth.” Jewish and Christian traditions both practice ma’aser kesafim, tithing 10% of their income to charity.
The Buddha taught that the first of the virtues is generosity. In all Asian traditions, devotees consider the support of their spiritual family to be the most important of their responsibilities, thus even the poorest always offer something in return for the teachings they receive.
In the Gnostic tradition, we know that tithing is but a spiritual reflection of the law of reciprocal nourishment.
"...the obligation of the tithe... is the universal obligation that all the brothers and sisters of the path have to loyally contribute part of their income... in a free and suitable way, according to what the brothers and sisters judge as the most opportune and effective in order to support the cause of truth and justice...
“Therefore, the tithe is a practical and necessary complement of the dynamic principle that emanates from the profound study of the Tenth Commandment...
“Only unselfish service,, and sanctity take us to the ineffable summits...
“I know many spiritualist brethren, good and virtuous, who fight for their perfection. I know many brethren who fight indescribably to correct their defects and to purify themselves. Yet, they do not remember others... They feel alone, they fight for their own spiritual progress and for their moral self-development. However, they do not remember that they have brothers and sisters and that all of us are children of the same Mother. Their spirituality is selfish spirituality. Therefore, the masters do not owe them anything. There is nothing to pay them because nothing is owed to them. They do not assist anyone. They do not sacrifice themselves for anyone, nor do they fight for the spirituality of anyone.
“Everyis a payment that must be given to the human being. Yet, if nothing is owed to the human being, then nothing is given to him...
We can rise to the summits of light only on the steps of love and sacrifice. We must perform a lot of good deeds for love of humanity. This is how we pay our debts.” —Samael Aun Weor
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“The donor does not go without reward." – Buddha Shakyamuni, Janussonin Sutta
And [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury [of the Temple], and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living." - Mark 12:41-44
“A gift of Dharma surpasses all gifts.” – Buddha Shakyamuni, Dhammapada
The path of liberation requires the daily balance of three active factors:
Here are some ways you can sacrifice for others.
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