This work was conceived and written almost 25 years ago. And such a lot has happened for me personally and in the world since then.

When writing the work, or more correctly when the work was being written through me, I conceived of it as a multi-dimensional text, which could be read (a) linearly starting at page 1 and proceeding in orderly fashion until the final page was reached, providing of course one didn't lose interest somewhere in the middle - as all standard texts were (to my knowledge) constructed to be read at that time - or (b) through the textual equivalent of SciFi's hyperjump. The hard copy of the work consists, as does this online version, of numbered sections, some of which have these hyperjumps inviting the reader to literally jump to another section of the work.

The reader could also choose to read the work in random fashion by opening pages willy-nilly and reading where s/he so chose, along similar lines as opening The Bible, or The I-Ching at random and hoping to find an answer to a mentally-posed question or to satisfy a need for inspiration. The text is structured into sections to facilitate this.

When I eventually 'discovered' the Web in early 1996, I was thrilled to find that I had unwittingly come up with the concept of 'hypertext' independently of Nelson and Englebart who had proposed and invented it in the late 1960s.
I also realised that I had finally stumbled upon the ideal publishing tool for The Serpent in the Shrine in the shape of the web. So in 1996 I coded The Serpent in HTML, but wasn't satisfied with the results. As a consequence, it remained unpublished.

It wasn't until recently when I had acquired the php and database skills, and found sufficient time, that I recoded it in its present (almost complete) form. Still outstanding is linking in the explanatory notes (shown by numerals in parenthesis) from the database. I'm still working on the solution which requires Ajax and more time than I have right now.

Update (20 April 2007): I've finally linked in the notes (shown by numerals in parenthesis), but not from the database. Instead I've put them in the title attributes of the relevant anchor tags, and added custom JavaScript-built tooltips to hold them. So no need for Ajax after all!

So you can start reading here!

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de staic (07 February 2007)