The promise of greener spiritual grass

I had a long chat today with a good friend who had recently complete a 3-day self-development workshop.

As we chatted about what he experienced and gained (for  a not-insubstantial fee in excess of $500 for the weekend), I asked, "So what did you learn that you didn't already know?"

His answer was that nothing substantially new was encountered, except some tools for being 'more authentic'. Even so, he retained a warm regard for this course.

So I pressed further. I suggested that, if nothing new was encountered, would it be true to say that the 'transformations' he experienced were simply the result of having received permission to have them?

He begged to suggest otherwise, but then he added that the course guides explained that we're all locked into our own 'rackets', and that we're not usually or able to be our authentic selves.

Then it made sense: the 'grab' for coming back and doing more expensive courses is that we need to learn how to be our 'true authentic selves'.

Or to do more involved audits to 'clear' past traumas. or to learn how to be our true higher-selves, or to get with God in the afterlife, or ...