About the starburst image
on our website's home page
By mid 2005-AUG, our dissatisfaction with the design of our home page reached the breaking point. It was probably an adequate design
in 1995 during the infancy of the Internet when we
started the web site. But it looked quite antiquated by today's standards. Bravenet.com 1 offers hundreds of web templates for
their registered users to freely download. Two of them attracted our attention: they both had a starburst image: one in red and one in blue. Our
group chose the blue design because that color tends to be more soothing.
Choice of color is surprisingly important. Web designer Jason O'Connor comments:
"Ever come across a website that uses some funky combination of print and
background colors? If you ever want to experience an eye-twisting headache,
try reading yellow print on a blue background. The reason you see black type
on a white background so much is that it is the best color combination for
reading, both on and offline. And since it is even harder to read text on a
monitor than it is on paper, we must all be especially careful with the
colors we choose for our websites, or suffer less-than-optimal site traffic
and repeat visitors....each color carries with it both positive and negative
Commonly associated with the color blue are positive emotions of tranquility,
love, acceptance, patience, understanding, cooperation, comfort, loyalty and
security. We felt that these are a close match to the message of our web site.
However, blue also is associated with negative emotions such as fear, coldness,
passivity and depression. Still, it seemed to be the best choice.
Once stuck with this image, we had to justify it:
So we had a brainstorming session to interpret
the image. Some of the meanings that we found were:
It represents the creation event circa 4000 to 8000 BCE described in the Bible at Genesis 1:3: "And God said. Let
there be light: and there was light." 2
It symbolizes the Big Bang some 15 billion years ago when the universe came into existence.
||Each ray stands for one of the world's 270 large religions. The dots represent various denominations of each religion. They are arranged on
a continuum with more liberal faith groups near the center, and more conservative groups near the periphery. The religious liberals from
various religions are closer together in their spiritual beliefs; the conservatives tend to hold much more specific beliefs and thus are more
||It shows an explosion, and represents the violence that has been
increasingly associated with world religions over the past two millennia, including the persecution of Christians by Pagans in the early years of Chrstianity, the persecution of minority Christian faith groups by the successful early Church, the extermination of Jews and warfare against Muslims during the Crusades, the "burning times" during the late Middle Ages and Renaisance where the Catholic and Protestant Churches exterminated those it regarded as religious heretics, hanging of persons accused of Satan worship in Salem, MA, the Armenian geocide in early 20th century Turkey, the Nazi holocaust, etc.
Relating the image to religious diversity:
|Many of our site visitors adopted this theme:|
||All rays leading
to God at the center.
It represents something heard at the 1999 Parliament of the
Worlds Religions in Capetown, South Africa: "We are not trying to
create a single religion, we are acknowledging that we are all looking
at the same truth."
||If you look closely, there is one ray that penetrates to the exact
center where God is. This is the one true religion. All other religions are
imperfect in some way because they only approach God but are never able to
actually embrace God.
||How all the human differences consecrated in the different religions
come together to form a plural one-ness in an age of convergence.
the differences among religions are spreading humanity away from each other in a new age
Each of the rays represents a system of religious belief. If one moves
to the end of any of the rays and looks back towards the center, they will
see a dot, representing God. Thus, all viewers at the end of any of the
lines will interpret their particular religion's ray as being the correct
and direct path to God. The symbol as a whole demonstrates that there is a
multiplicity of paths to deity. No one path is
best for all.
Religious diversity. If one interprets each ray in the burst image as representing a
religion, then the image is incomplete. It doesn't have any provision for
people who wish to alter their religion by switching from one ray to
another. [Webmaster's note: Perhaps that is what the dots are
for: they may represent logical places for people to jump from one faith to
||Each individual ray is a complete entity unto itself which does not
require the presence of the other rays in order to be what it is. Each
religion is complete and sufficient unto itself from the perspective of an
individual within that ray. However, viewing the pattern from an external
perspective, one sees that these discrete and sufficient components form a
compelling pattern suggestive of many different notions, but all radiating
from a central point.
All religions do have characteristics in common which form a broader
pattern; this leads to the notion that there *is* some central truth,
approached to varying degrees, but probably never reached, by the various
religions. All observers shall almost inevitably differ on what that central
truth may be, even though they be in agreement that a central truth exists,
or is at least indicated by the pattern implicit in the arrangement of the
Comments on other themes:
||The sight one sees when driving through a snow storm.
White particles appear to be coming from a point ahead of the car.
||Damage done to a windshield by a projectile. It
creates cracks in the safety glass which radiate from the point of impact.
Yet the glass holds together and remains intact. She likens it to God's
process of sanctification: shattering her heart, then pruning and healing
||The end of world anger and the beginning of world peace. Good and evil
(light & Dark) trying to coexist. In the end, only true peace will shine,
through a burst of pure light. Only those who understand and follow the
simple laws of life well be able to see the end and the beginning of a new
||The moment which one is enlightened and sees the wisdom of peace and the
"other side". The moment of knowledge...love...acceptance.
||A Higgs boson, a.k.a. the God Particle. It has been
the most difficult element of matter for researchers to find. Its existence
is predicted by quantum theory. Physicists say that they are the smallest
particle in the universe and are the basic building block to everything.
||"... the ideas of Greek philosopher Democritus;
namely, that the soul is made up of many different 'soul atoms', which are
perfectly round and smooth. Upon death, the soul atoms shoot off in all
different directions." They form a new soul.
||"...particles and waveforms -- Those pesky unmeasurables that have caused so much consternation in the Quantum Physics
||"... the purpose of this web site: the dissemination of
knowledge. The website itself is the center. The rays are messages of education
creating tolerance. They are of different lengths because sometimes you have to
reach farther to some than to others."
||"... a loose,
imperfect spiritual DNA strand, representing the imperfection of each of us,
overlaying the power and energy used and released during the explosion of
||"... the Flying Spaghetti Monster, reaching out to all with his
||Just a bunch of lines and dots.
||The Second Coming of Christ, when he shall descend to earth in a blaze
||A group of human spermatozoon converging on an ovum.
||A super-nova. Stars within a certain range of masses generate a massive burst of energy at the end of their life. Apparently, all the heavier elements in the universe are generated this way. Human beings are formed in part of such elements. Thus, we are, in essence, formed from stardust.
If you would like to tell us what
the symbol means to you, please
thoughts to us. We may post them above, with any personally identifying information
Bravenet.com provides dozens of free tools for webmasters, ranging from guest books, to forums, hit counters, web templates, site
search, etc. See: http://www.bravenet.com/.
- King James Version.
According to David Barrett et al, editors of the "World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and
religions - AD 30 to 2200," there are 19 major world religions which are subdivided into a total of 270 large religious groups, and many
Jason OConnor, "How To Choose Your Website Colors," Site Pro
No copyright © claimed
Originally posted: 2005-AUG-23
Latest update: 2011-DEC-05
Compiler: B.A. Robinson