Moving TS into 21st Century
Jul 12, 2009 08:35 AM
Moving TS into 21st Century
One of the most recently bandied about words by theosophical leaders is -
moving TS into 21st century.
Let us look where the world is today. Technology has helped the world to be
more efficient. The two legs of efficiency are transportation and
communication. We have airplanes, TV, telephones, wireless phones, scanners,
faxes and Internet etc.
Are we using some of them to help us move TS forward. Yes to some extent.
No one takes a ship to travel to Europe or India. Faxes and e-mail are used
to send and receive information. Wireless phones are used to call anywhere
in the world. Internet is used to distribute information and communicate.
Soon after the international election, it appears that some leaders suddenly
got enlightenment that some very drastic steps should be taken to change how
the TS is run internationally. This was presented under the guise of moving
into 21st century.
Let us look what is going on. The leaders have been using airtravel. Are
using telephones. faxes and email to communicate. They are predominantly
used to communicate between themselves. So it is clear that they know how to
use them. Just talking to each other does not move anything other than their
own agendas misperceived as the wellbeing of TS and theosophy.
When have you seen any of the leaders on the Internet arena which is capable
of multi-channel communication with members and potential members. Due to
most of them being quite old (when did you see a young leader last time),
they seem comfortable in their protective cocoon. Occasionally we have seen
short writeups in obscure Internet websites whose impact is highly
TS was deliberately and wisely set up with autonomy being the key foundation
at all levels. Autonomy leads to individual initiatives and thus leading to
efficiency and effectiveness, in addition to the great potential for growth
or transformation of the individual. So ordinary TS members, who have no
self-serving vested interests, are not looking for Papal declarations
believing them coming from High and take them on blind faith.
Many of us who have been active in Internet have felt that there is a sense
of organized boycotting of Internet by the leaders and their underlings who
have to toe the line or get marginalized. In more than last 15 years that
Internet has been around, only two national leaders have participated on
Internet maillist such as theos-talk. The lame excuse sometimes one hears is
that the leaders are too busy working on other theosophical matters. I think
being in communication and interacting with members and potential members is
a key function of any theosophist, especially the leaders. Internet
maillists provide a free public forum for such interaction. I also need to
remind readers that most of those who participate on these lists have full
time jobs to feed their families and they devote their personal time and
money and equipment to be active in the Internet because of their personal
commitment to theosophy.
Considering the sad state of membership outside India and the very low level
of trust many members have in their leaders, especially after the now famous
ultra secret attempt to disenfranchise all members and some members of
general council seize monopoly control of the appointment of the president,
immediate multi-way Internet based interaction with members would be a very
positive and credible way to move TS forward to win the trust of members as
well as move forward to 21st century. Continued attempts to tinker with the
rules and regulations will only undermine the members' trust and would be
seen as general council members trying to seize power for themselves.
Let us hope the eyes of leaders get opened soon about Internet and its
effective use, act on it.
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