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Theosophical Publications and Internet

Apr 25, 2010 03:55 PM
by MKR

All of us, theosophists world-wide are interested in propagating and
broadcasting theosophical literature world-wide so that any one interested
will get the message and information. Traditionally, such dissemination took
place through printed medium. Till Internet became available, print medium
is the only one that was widely used.

Times have changed now. Internet proved itself to be a very cost effective
and fast medium of distributing information. At the same time, much new
printed material is becoming available. Due escalation of costs of producing
the hard copy publications, the prices have risen up. For those in the
third-world and developing countries, this increased cost is a barrier for
many to access printed material.

We have an irony here. Most publications are created using a Wordprocessor
and hence the works are readily available in electronic form long before
they are available in hard copy. Even though, such electronic copies can be
quickly made available on Internet at a negligible cost, great amount of
effort is spent by going thru the hard copy publishing route, which defeats
the basic purpose of theosophical publications, which is to make
theosophical material available to as many people as possible in the world,
so that we can hope we will have a better world in the future.

The need to quickly make new theosophical publications available to existing
and potential members is urgent. A look at the membership statistics speaks
for itself. Membership in India is showing a steady growth whereas in other
countries the trend is pitiful; either frozen or shrinking. No leader wants
to talk about this hot potato.

In the past several years, we have seen new publications; some of them very
valuable for their research and some of them are quite expensive. So
adopting the policy of wanting to make a buck by selling the hard copy
books, we are preventing valuable material from reaching many in the third
world countries. It is time to review the publication policy. Do we want to
continue to make a few bucks or do we want to speedup dissemination of
theosophical  information using Internet, so as to help interested parties
quicly access the information on Internet and help propagate theosophy.

Something for all of us to think. Those regular meditators may want to
meditate on this issue and may be we will see a day when information will be
available on Internet months before they are available in hard copy.


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