Foreword and Disclaimer

The ideas, opinions, and thoughts expressed in this work are in no way the positions of the Baha'i Faith or any of its institutions. Rather, they are only my own personal opinions, ideas, and thoughts.

This is a work of contemplation, studying the ways in which spirituality and religion are compatible and complementary with modern science and rationality.

The need for this kind of book arises from the ennui that is endemic in today's western world. For too many people, all of the easier ways to believe in religion are harder to accept now. After all, any religious beliefs that we hold from now on must be compatible with science and devoid of superstition and dogmatic excesses. And for the first time in human history, everyone is aware of the great religious traditions to be found around the world. No longer is it a simple matter to merely accept the religion of one's own culture.

Yet materialism alone is an insufficient basis for a sound human culture. Eastern religious approaches which emphasize the spiritual nature of people are gaining ground in the West, because they satisfy a deep need that can never be satisfied as long as the spiritual nature of man is ignored and denied. The concept of man as only material in nature is unacceptable because it leads to nihilism and the decay of civilization. By the same token, naive beliefs which bow to superstition are unacceptable because they are untrue and because they often lead to separatism, dogma, and exclusivism.

What is needed is a harmony between science and religion, which I believe can be found in the Baha'i Faith.

I also consider how the mind and consciousness fit into the scientific view of reality, and speculate on how the future may evolve with respect to mind, intelligence, religion, and meaning.

The book is organized as follows. Part One consists of nine chapters exploring the compatibility and harmony of religion, science, and reason. Part Two (chapter 10) consists of nineteen meditations on Certitude, and explores mind, consciousness, and meaning, including the possible evolutionary development of these phenomena in the future.

Part Three consists of nine chapters of a more personal nature, being a sometimes emotional and even mystical exposition of life and spirit at the turn of the new millennium.

The book is thus composed of nineteen easily digestible chapters, with the middle chapter 10 also containing nineteen short sub-chapters; there are also a few pieces attached at the beginning and end, in the form of assorted introductory and concluding words and appendices.

This work is dedicated to those who seek, despite doubts and weaknesses.

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