Thanks so much for your input, Michal! I certainly have no absolute stance on whether spirituality should be paid for or not. But some of the consequences I see stemming from making it into a product bother me.
You mention that paying for something generates commitment — and in general, I think that is true. But maybe this is a part of what bothers me about selling spirituality: that in this context, people’s commitment to spiritual practices becomes money-induced (“I need to do it because I paid for it”) rather than driven by a more authentic, internal motivation (“I need to do it because I am so curious to discover the mysteries of life”). I fear that feeding the money-induced motivation may trivialise spiritual practices and turn them into another “to-do” to check from the list.
As for the “pay-as-you-see-fit” (donation) model, my intuition is that this may be the best (or least harmful) way to go about earning money from spirituality these days. It grants access to the teachings to anyone and, by default, it encourages a more authentic approach to teaching since there is no fixed “salary” that you can count on as a teacher….
It is an interesting and multidimensional topic and I guess it is hard to give any definitive answers here. Thank you so much for your input and for making me think about it even more! :)