In my previous entry, I posted an introduction and link to The Hyperlexicon, an online hypertext labyrinth that I created in 2006, as an undergraduate student in the Interdisciplinary Studies program at California Institute of Integral Studies.
In December of 2010, I returned to the hypertext medium that I’d used to create The Hyperlexicon, and created a second project in that same medium: The Veiled Oasis.
I submitted The Veiled Oasis as my final paper for a course called Intro to Transformative Studies, taught by Robin Robertson and F. David Peat, at the end of my first semester as a student in the Transformative Studies Ph.D. program at California Institute of Integral Studies.
I regard The Veiled Oasis as a bona fide academic paper, albeit a nonlinear one that pushes the edges of the “academic paper” medium about as far as they can be pushed. And happily, the excellent Professors Robertson and Peat did decide that it merited full credit.
Despite using a similar hypertext medium, The Veiled Oasis is a vastly different work from The Hyperlexicon. The Hyperlexicon is designed as a sort of labyrinth, and exploring it is intended to have something of the feeling of exploring a labyrinth. The Veiled Oasis, on the other hand, in keeping with its subject matter, is intended to have more of the feel of wandering in an endless desert.
Like The Hyperlexicon, however, The Veiled Oasis is designed such that there are some areas that are easily reached, and into which it is easy to wander repeatedly (“Oh, no, not this page again!”), and other “deeper” areas that are more difficult to reach, and which a casual wanderer might never discover.
The Veiled Oasis has fewer pages than The Hyperlexicon, simply by virtue of the fact that I had less time to work on it. Like The Hyperlexicon, The Veiled Oasis has one relatively difficult-to-reach page that mentions the total number of pages, for the benefit of those explorers who want to make sure they’ve found every page.
Four-and-a-half years transpired between the creation of The Hyperlexicon and the creation of The Veiled Oasis. They were eventful years for me. I finished my undergraduate degree, got my master’s degree, and began work on my doctoral degree. My daughter was born, went through infancy and toddlerhood, and grew into a precocious four-year-old. I got out of a bad marriage and became engaged to the love of my life. I grew and matured a great deal, intellectually, morally, and spiritually. I outgrew some of my arrogant intellectual, moral, and spiritual certainties, and began to embrace wondrous uncertainties in their stead. I can see all of this when I compare the two works.
When I completed The Veiled Oasis, I put a link to it at the center of The Hyperlexicon. I think that the best way to approach The Veiled Oasis is to start at the beginning of The Hyperlexicon, make one’s way through The Hyperlexicon to its center, and enter The Veiled Oasis from there – thus simulating the experience of entering and exploring an underground labyrinth, and, at the labyrinth’s center, finding a door that leads to a vast open desert.
Or, if you want to head straight into the desert of The Veiled Oasis, just click the link below to