we have to wonder how it has come to pass that the remote and esoteric traditions of Buddhist tantra have become the perfect expression of the logic of Adam Smith?
buddha-dharma has repeatedly flourished under the patronage of elites
in this time merchants are the elites setting the broader agenda
support from academic elites has been consistent over decades
support from political elites is slowly growing as well
religious and cultural elites who might object have been effectively quieted by democratic and demographic restructuring, and an inclusive, diplomatic approach
military elites do not consider the matter relevant, and the critical intelligence subset overlaps with other supportive elites
Maybe this tells us what the problem really is: if a teacher offers a teaching on duḥkha supply will not meet demand. This means: the content of what is taught is dictated by the economic problem of what is viable or not viable. It seems scandalous to state it in such a way, but does that make it any less true? If what is taught is only what is economically desirable - then isn't the dharma being reduced to units of quantity on a demand curve?
it is entirely traditional for the selection of presentations of secret mantrayana teachings to rely on supplication by and specific requests from an aspiring student
this is not some new phenomenon of relationship between teachers and students
what is new is that the teacher will travel to meet with the students and then leave
what is new is that for the price of a group meal at a restaurant or less, one can obtain most potent empowerments
many models of delivery have been and are being tested by teachers
It's still dharma, just as the mudcake you buy at a cafe is still mudcake. But maybe the point is that you end up with a lot of fat cake eaters, who only want the sweetest thing on the menu.
secret mantrayana is designed by and for those suited to its views and methods by capacity
those suited by capacity have a greater need for ripening empowerments than for reiteration of the details of suffering
perhaps the underlying qualm is that those receiving empowerments are not suited to receive them -
not only is that qualm an entirely different topic, it is also a matter of samaya between such a student and such a teacher
not really the business of any other person, unless there is some exploitation attributed to the relationship