Matthew Fox & Andrew Harvey on The Gift Economy
We are experimenting with a bold approach from the economics of a Gift Economy. We ask that all participants contribute a minimal registration fee of $50 (whether in person or on line). At the end of the event, we intend to ask people to move the gift forward by either contributing to the real expenses of the seminar, (such as venue, live streaming, travel and stipends for teachers), or through some other way of their choosing. If you would like to make a financial contribution in advance of the seminar, it will be gratefully received and will contribute to our current costs. We hope this approach will guarantee a cross section of participants age-wise and income-wise so the revolution can begin outside a consumer capitalist ideology.
We have received your feedback and taken it to heart. We have decided to shift our consciousness around payment options for The Christ Path Seminar Series. We want these teachings to be accessible to everyone. To that end, we are proposing a minimum fee of $50 to participate on-site or by live stream. Beyond that, we intend to experiment in the spirit of the growing “gift economy” consciousness: we will be offering the seminar as a gift.
Rather than assuming people want to maximize self-interest, our starting place is that people want to behave selflessly—with a consciousness of abundance as shown by the Gospel story of the loaves and fishes. What would it look like if we shared our resources so that everyone’s needs were met? How can a gift economy move us toward this end? What would our lives be like if money were a factor, but not a barrier? We find this opens up huge possibilities for creative co-responsibility and transformative action that is in alignment with the Cosmic Christ consciousness.
As we are doing this within the current economy, and are not seeking any external sources of revenue, we would also like each participant to come mindful of some of the practical aspects of such a strategy. The seminar is not free. Rather we believe that it is priceless, because how can we possibly measure in money gifts of wisdom, of insight, of prayer, of an engaged learning community, of shared responsibility, of personal and collective transformation?
At the end of the event, we will together look at questions such as: where will the money come from to sustain the three teachers and how will we be able to cover the costs of live streaming, facility rental, publicity? We will connect in gratitude for all that we have received and then invite each participant to either make a voluntary financial contribution, or to move the gift forward in some other way.
If you are moved to make a financial contribution in advance of the seminar, it will be gratefully received and contribute to our current costs.
It’s important for us to have a sense of confidence that when people say they plan to attend, they really mean it. The on-site seminar will be limited to 100 participants. The usual way of getting this kind of commitment is to ask for a non-refundable deposit. If you are willing to demonstrate your clear intention to join us in this way, then please make a payment of $50. If this is an obstacle to your participation, please send us an email so we can engage with you around other options.
We view this as an experiment that reflects the new model of workshop we are co-creating with you: an ongoing, creative process of dialogue and transformation.
Matthew Fox and Andrew Harvey
“Unlike a modern money transaction, which is closed and leaves no obligation, a gift transaction is open-ended, creating an ongoing tie between the participants. Another way of looking at it is that the gift partakes of the giver, and that when we give a gift, we give something of ourselves. This is the opposite of a modern commodity transaction, in which goods sold are mere property, separate from the one who sells them. We all can feel the difference.”
—Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics