It is completely legitimate and even necessary for spiritual teachers to engage the marketplace and sell their wares. In doing so they need to use the skills of marketplace consciousness in a way that is both filled with integrity and highly effective. Having said that, we need to beware of prophets for profit. When there is a massive financial motivation built in which is not open stated, assessing a spiritual teacher gets more tricky.
Sometimes “virtual” replaces the virtue of slow and gradual development, and teachers arise who have not been teaching for several decades and getting deeply cooked as a teacher. In these cases, one needs to exercise caution.
When the size of one’s marketing list becomes the criterion for inclusion and exclusion, when affiliate marketing becomes the bible, or when Google searches replace the genuine search for God, the Good, the True and the Beautiful, we need be careful.
Yes, evolving consciousness always transcends and includes previous levels. Higher consciousness must include the skillful means of Adam Smith and the invisible hand of the market. But it must not exclude the invisible heart of authentic integrity, of genuine loyalty, of truly holding different perspectives and then organizing them in an appropriate hierarchy based on variables in all quadrants of reality.
Yes to skillful means. Yes to spiritual teachers. Yes to genuine debate and dialogue. No to the rationalizations of self-delusion through exclusion which covers up raw drives for power and fame. No to all the shadow that drives spiritual teachers and which is so carefully hidden under so many lovely phrases and high sounding claims which are really not that much more then shadow grabs of the ego dressed up in the clever disguise of spiritual teaching.