Rumors that ULT was going to put out their own version of the complete stenograpic reports of the Blavatsky Lodge appear to be true.  Gomes' edition, published in Europe was expensive.  Sometime this year the Theosophy Company will come out with one at about half the price.

A ULT associate (not me), wrote to ULT-LA to inquire:

"We received, regarding their publication of the Transactions, the quite enigmatic reply from ULT-LA, "tell anyone who asks, 'yes.'"

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M.K., I wouldn't depend too much on Publishers of Theosophical literature getting your message via this site. Perhaps it's best to contact them directly by email and/or letter.

Have you tried checking Amazon.com for the out-of-print Theosophical books you're looking for? I've run across many there, used, at very reasonable prices. They've got many re-sellers that offer books through them. I rarely fail to find a book I'm looking for, even hard to find ones. And all offer international shipping.

I have frequently bought various books from many of the online book sellers including amazon, albiris etc. There are also many private collection of electronic files around the world and if one is determined to find a book, it is doable. I am personally confident that in not too distant a future we will see every publication become available primarily in electronic form and hard copy only for those interested. Let us see what happens in the theosophical arena in the coming years.

 

Michael A. Williams said:

M.K., I wouldn't depend too much on Publishers of Theosophical literature getting your message via this site. Perhaps it's best to contact them directly by email and/or letter.

Have you tried checking Amazon.com for the out-of-print Theosophical books you're looking for? I've run across many there, used, at very reasonable prices. They've got many re-sellers that offer books through them. I rarely fail to find a book I'm looking for, even hard to find ones. And all offer international shipping.

 

I learnt from the office bearers of the TS at Varanasi and Adyar that for the past several years, TS incurs a loss in publishing, shipping etc. Yet, their reluctance to consider ways to cut losses i.e. make books available electronically, indicates that there is a fifth element to the four already outlined by Joe - Will Deficiency.

 

The morality and the ethics of the copyright and the royalty earnings in this "Age of Information" requires a sepertae debate. One is reminded of the "Other Krishnamurti", U G Krishnamurti - a contemporary of famous Jiddu Krishnamurti and like him a lecturer of the Theosophical Society in his early days. UG had no objections if his followers published his teachings, made money out of it or even distorted it.

Thanks for the info.

 

I am not surprised that theosophical publishing, at least in India, is a losing proposition. I doubt situation elsewhere is very much different.

 

The market for theosophical books is generally rather small or even minuscule and hence very difficult to even breakeven. Traditional publishing model has been there for a long time and current technology and tools provides new modes of delivery of material and hence with an open mind we should see how the process of publishing can be modified.

 

I hope those in the theosophical publishing business wakes up to the current technology and tools and help disseminate theosophical material around the world efficiently and effectively. Change is a juggernaut and either get on the wagon or run over by it!

 

Capt. Anand Kumar said:

 

I learnt from the office bearers of the TS at Varanasi and Adyar that for the past several years, TS incurs a loss in publishing, shipping etc. Yet, their reluctance to consider ways to cut losses i.e. make books available electronically, indicates that there is a fifth element to the four already outlined by Joe - Will Deficiency.

 

The morality and the ethics of the copyright and the royalty earnings in this "Age of Information" requires a sepertae debate. One is reminded of the "Other Krishnamurti", U G Krishnamurti - a contemporary of famous Jiddu Krishnamurti and like him a lecturer of the Theosophical Society in his early days. UG had no objections if his followers published his teachings, made money out of it or even distorted it.

The good Capt. Kumar brought up the name of U. G. Krishnamurti in this discussion. It seems that he not only shared the same last name as Jiddu Krishnamurti and studied and lectured on Theosophy in the early 1940's, but the two knew each other quite well. And the relationship was not always a harmonious one, as I was once working on an article, now on the back burner, titled "Jiddu and U. G.; The Battling Krishnamurtis,"found out.

After WWII ended, U. G. met up with Jiddu Krishnamurti(J. K.) while attending numerous lectures of J.K. and the two began almost daily dialogues in 1953. Some reports have U.G. rooming for a time with J. K. Finally, U. G. became dissatisfied and abruptly left, after a critical verbal exchange. To make a long story short, the two had an on again, off again relationship, with U. G. gaining somewhat of a reputation as being the only recorded person not to have been intimidated by J. K. and not only criticizing him face-to-face. but insulting him as well. 

In the late 1960's he had some sort of "enlightenment" experience which he called a "calamity" and struck out on his own. He espoused a gloomy, nihilistic philosophy, denouncing just about everything, including any "teachings," "teachers" and "gurus," yet he himself had learned well the "guru game." Attracting rich patrons and a cliche of inside devotees, he traveled, giving lectures and holding "court." At some point, he would make a big to-do about giving away all his money at the first of every year - of course not devulging that his wealthy backers and close disciples would have him back in the lifestyle he was accustomed to in short order.

In his later years, he went out of his way to strike out at his two favorite targets, his old nemesis, J. K, and Rajhneesh(later known as Osho). J. K. kept quiet, as far as I could find out, but Rajneesh had some choice words for U.G., calling him a "bitter, disillusioned old man," among other things.

There still exists a small number of people who follow him and think he was "enlightened." I feel he was just a colorful mountebank.

As for his works, he did give them to the public domain and his inner circle of devotees continue to offer them. But, I see no publisher rushing to put them out, hoping for any kind of profit. Usually, but not always, material that becomes public domain before its time is usually of dubious value.

 

 

 

Thanks Michael.


Much before concepts of "Open Source" and "Free Dissemination of Information" became popular we have an example of UG Krishnamurti presenting an idea. From the 1982 book, "The Mystique of Enlightenment", published in the personal capacity by his friend Dinesh Vaghela as no publisher would accept a book without a copyright:


My teaching, if that is the word you want to use, has no copyright. You are free to reproduce, distribute, interpret, misinterpret, distort, garble, do what you like, even claim authorship, without my consent or the permission of anybody.

--U.G.

 

Indeed, before its time, but dubious value - one cannot be too sure.
 

In U. G. 's case, I can see why he would offer up his "teachings" to anyone to do as they please with them or "even claim authorship." Very few people, if any, would want to be associated with them in any manner whatsoever. Most likely he knew this, and this is just another example of his colorful "grandstanding" to further portray himself as a "free spirit" above it all.

But, to continue dwelling on U. G. Krishnamurti goes beyond this particular forum.

There obviously are many works in all fields of endeavor that are eligible for copyright that the creator, or creators, have chosen not to copyright for one reason or another that are of merit at some level. I obviously didn't communicate that clear enough and therefor do so now.

It is obvious that theosophical publishing needs a model change. One possibility is release of material like shareware while retaining the copyright. Shareware approach has been successful in software arena. It may succeed in theosophical arena as well.

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