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Re: TI Members

Oct 22, 1996 03:32 PM
by Murray Stentiford

At 06:07 PM 21/07/96 -0400, JRC wrote:

>Hi there ... have begun programming the TI Home Page & linked sites - 
>would like to present the Home Page text I've come up with for 
>commentary/criticism by TI members. Have been trying to come up with 
>something with the idea that people who have never heard of TI or 
>Theosophy, but whose inner natures might be looking for such a thing will 
>find attractive. Do comment in any way, from any angle, on any part of 
>the text you wish - this is a *first draft* so don't pull no punches 
>(like anyone here would ... (-:).


It's great to see this being floated.

I think what JRC wrote is very apt. I too would like to see stuff that is
likely to catch the attention of those who are on the lookout in this sort
of way.

There are, of course, many ways of framing an attention-grabber and intro
like this, and we don't need to feel that one RIGHT or BEST version has got
to be produced before we put it up for view. Let's capitalise on our variety.

So, starting with this thought, here are a few ideas for a TI Web site, in
the spirit of brainstorming.

1  Update part of the contents REGULARLY from different writers. We don't
want it to be a cobweb site! The introductory piece, as JRC wrote, could be
changed every 6 months. We could change the content or layout in lesser ways
every month or so. I don't mean to rework the whole thing, though; some
stability is essential, eg a recognizable logo, and there's the work
involved to think about too. It would be nice if our visitors actually came
back to see what's cooking, and found something to reward them for it.

2  Have a site coordinator and rotate the role every month or two to give a
change of flavor and spread the work.

3  Have a link in the table of links to a page or so of highlights from
theos-l discussions. The site coordinator could gather these, whether actual
quotes or just a para on the main themes. Theos-l members could just send
them in, wise or witty. You could have the typo for the month; some of them
are incredibly apt. With writer's permission, of course.

4  Have a link to a news page, eg about other sources of theosophical info.
coming onto the Internet, the formation of the Western Alexandrian Academy
(hope I've remembered the name properly, JHE), David Reigle's work on the
Book of Dzyan, progress on John Cooper's projects, how the Russians are
coming on, etc etc.

5  Make sure the graphics are good and get somebody who has got a superb
Macintosh for graphics and an artistic soul. A PC and an artistic soul will
do just about as well! You see a few neat things on the net, and a lot of
pretty grungey stuff, so let's say what we're on about with more than words.

6  Don't have large areas of graphics, however. Maybe in a couple of years
when general net speed and bandwidth have gone up, but not now. People get
sick of waiting for big graphics or turning it off and on.

7  Think how some people like to hear about other people and have, for
instance, a corner on one of the pages for short accounts of "how I met
theosophy" or "how I found my present path of interest". Most people I've
met in connection with the TS have an interesting story to tell, and like to
hear about others.

8  On the same line, have some interviews where one of us has talked
(face-to-face or over the net) with somebody else, in or out of the TS, and
recorded it. Just the highlights - it mustn't be longwinded. I've seen the
interview process turn out some extraordinarily interesting meetings, even
between theosophists. A boring interview, of course, needn't hit the net.

9  We should say somewhere on the home page that "We consider ourselves to
be a resource for you in your path", and say a bit about what those
resources are. Include book resources like the Olcott library, but don't
limit the idea to books. Plus "We won't try to convert you (or we darn well

10 We could say somewhere visible that the TS had a lot to do with the
seeding of the New Age movement, cracking the shell of western attitudes as
they were, not that the TS is exactly responsible for everything that has
happened since. Then refer to the link(s) to the more detailed history. Keep
an eye open to fundamentalist opposition on this one, though. They sometimes
love to point to some flaky thing that has nothing to do with the TS and
then try to reverse-engineer it to blame it on the TS and HPB.

11 The links to Other Theosophical People and Organizations should include
the theosophical Internet foci we know about, like alt.theosophy and
theos-world. There's some very fine theosophy out there too, from people who
sometimes haven't heard of the TS; not a bad idea to keep mindful of itt. I
suggest our attitude to them should be one of interest and kinship, plus a
willingness to learn. It is often true that we give our best when we are
open enough to receive the best of others.

12 We need to expand our First Object thinking more consciously, towards a
NETWORK mentality -  a nucleus amongst nuclei. Lots of people are trying to
form a nucleus now, and lots are more aware of the position of their nuclei
in the network of humanity than we often manage to be.

13 Let's remember we're trying to ENCOURAGE a study as wide as life and be
willing to INVESTIGATE everything in sight (or maybe, everything beyond
sight), and then if any of us have a gem of a teaching or a crystal-clear
process to share, we can put it somewhere in these Web pages for a kindred
mind to find and enjoy.

Down off the soap-box now! Who's next?

Member TI and the TS in NZ

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