This page allows longer excerpts from the book to be viewed and/or downloaded in pdf format. Colored versions of the diagrams are also available. Simply choose what you wish to read by following the hyperlinks below. The following paragraphs describe briefly what is available:
Prologue: The complete prologue can be downloaded. This provides some of the general principles that underlie the book and describes the concept of “pericopes” (brief scriptural lessons) used to organize the book. (5 pages, 93 KB)
Chapter I. Where do we come from? The excerpt deals with the story of Abraham’s binding of Isaac and its interpretation. This is a foundational story for the three monotheistic religions that trace their origins back to Abraham: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (9 pages, 347 KB)
Chapter II. What is this world we live in? The download from this chapter deals with Galileo and his dispute with the Roman Catholic Church over the whether the Earth goes round the Sun or vice versa. The underlying issue is whether truth can be derived from observation and experiment or only from divine revelation. (20 pages, 400 KB).
Chapter III. Who are we? The excerpt considers our sense of the numinous. This often convinces us of the existence of a divinity. However, divinity comes in many manifestations. Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) is one way in which the Hindu God Shiva has shown himself. (7 pages, 250 KB).
Chapter IV: Why should we be good? Religions differ in how they interpret the world and in how they represent the forces that control it. However, they are often very similar in what they recommend as rules for human action. The golden rule – love your neighbor as yourself – is the subject of this excerpt (6 pages, 417 KB).
Chapter V: Where are we going? The first excerpt deals with what happens after death: the mourning of the bereaved and the judgment of the dead (11 pages, 550 KB). Eternal life may not be available unless the individual self becomes part of the universal Self. A second excerpt for download discusses the Mantiq al-Tayr, a Persian story of how the birds assembled and searched for the divine only to find out that they were themselves the god they sought. (4 pages, 172 KB).
Epilogue: The complete epilogue is available for download. Some tentative conclusions are offered and suggestions are made about the answers to the questions posed in the book. (14 pages, 180 KB).
Figures: Colored versions of the diagrams in the book are available in jpg format. To download these: click here.