OM, we live in a time where the written word in the form of printed books is becoming increasingly less common. I see and feel this as a great loss of a cultural heritage, which represents an essential pillar of connection to true knowledge, especially in the area of wisdom teaching. It pains me to witness that, and I get anxious about the future. What do you think, are the ramifications of this?

OM: The increasing acceleration in people’s minds began even before digitalisation. It is a long-lasting, collective mental process that is constantly gaining momentum.¹ A main driver is unconscious fear arising in a disconnected mental center. In other words, people’s thinking mind has lost the connection with their heart. Digitalisation promotes this disconnect and contributes to a further acceleration. The use of images that are quick and easy to be processed in the mind is increasingly replacing the written word, which requires much more time to internally process.

The human dynamic feeding into consumer culture is of a rather primitive nature. The primary goal of the infantile consumer is the quickest possible satisfaction. They are children wanting to get their hands on their toys to satisfy their desires with as little effort as possible – the ideal image of the land of milk and honey. In the development of consciousness, images arise before thinking. They are a primitive form of thinking that is more accessible and quicker to process. A written wisdom text cannot be absorbed in this way; it must be studied.

What can you say about the impending loss of the centuries-old tradition of book design and packaging? I’m also thinking of bookstores that are gradually having to close, thus losing a place of exchange for the written word.

OM: Books will continue to be produced. There will still be bookstores, too. I can’t say how far the shrinking process will go. Reading wisdom texts in books on paper has a completely different quality than reading them on e-books. Serious writings of inner teachings belong on paper. The substance of the medium must correspond to the substance of the content.Why is it different when I read wisdom texts on paper, rather than digitally? What information, possibly between the lines, can only be recorded on paper?

Why is it different when I read wisdom texts on paper, rather than digitally? What information, possibly between the lines, can only be recorded on paper?

OM: I have to go back a bit to explain this. Every created object, including subtle objects as well as spiritual objects, has a certain vibration, a frequency. The entire hierarchy of levels of being, from the surface of the surface to the infinite depths of the ground of being, can be represented in frequencies. On the surface, there is shimmering, buzzing, flickering – the frequencies are high. The deeper the consciousness dives, the more profound the frequencies become. In the teaching of inner frequencies, I often use a simple sentence: “Speed is for beginners, slowness is for advanced students.” Digitalists, therefore, are beginners. In the growth ideology of the materialistic culture of having, in which the majority of people in the West lives, speed is viewed as a high virtue. In the teaching of inner frequencies, which is part of the Fourth Way, it is the other way around: Slowness integrates swiftness, but not the other way around. This means that the inner, awake and conscious access to the long-wave frequencies of the inner system (body, soul, spirit) is only possible for a more mature, inner person.

Reading a wisdom text on paper involves a slower frequency, and it promotes the inner, deeper state of slowness that is necessary in order to be able to absorb what you have read. This is less important when reading a novel, but it plays a crucial role when studying a wisdom text.

What can you say about studying wisdom texts? What do you recommend to your students in this regard?

OM: Wisdom texts cannot be read; they must be studied. Studying is an integral process; the whole being is involved. The passive pole of resting is just as essential as the actively read word. Reading and resting, together they form a slow frequency. First a text is read and then it takes the time for sinking in. The inner process of sinking. In practical terms, this entails that serious wisdom texts that describe something beyond my own horizon of experience can only be read slowly. There are also practical, technical tips for studying, such as underlining words or sentences, and handwritten comments. Every student has to find their own way on their path of experience.

Another aspect is writing letters by hand. What is the difference between a handwritten letter and an email?

OM: The handwritten letter is of much higher quality when it concerns spiritual matters, as in a letter from a student to the spiritual teacher: The form of communication is more honest and also more holistic. People communicate much more about themselves, conveying a more subtle quality of heartfelt communication, beyond the written word.

What do you say to the argument that e-books have a positive effect on forest degradation and should therefore be supported for ecological reasons?

OM: Calculating a carbon footprint is far more complex than this simple assumed causal relationship would suggest. The consumption of resources in the digital world is also enormous. Spiritual benefits cannot be offset against matter. The earth suffers from the thinking mind. The thinking mind needs spirituality so that it can become a servant again. Then it also serves the earth.

Our publishing house advaitaMedia is known for publishing timeless wisdom literature. How can this publishing house respond to this situation?

OM: This publisher will continue to publish wisdom literature in book form. E-books are of secondary priority. In the future, advaitaMedia will pursue what we call “embedded publishing“. Embedded means the publication of a book is accompanied by short videos, articles, events (with the author or teachers of the respective spiritual lineage), readings, etc.

As a bibliophile person, what else can you say about the value of the printed book?

OM: This publisher will continue to publish wisdom literature in book form. E-books are of secondary priority. In the future, advaitaMedia will pursue what we call “embedded publishing“. Embedded means the publication of a book is accompanied by short videos, articles, events (with the author or teachers of the respective spiritual lineage), readings, etc.

¹ More details in “Intelligence of Awakening by OM C. Parkin, e.g. pp. 110-111