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Overview

The journey of this book begins with the distinction between structure and essence. The former is the world of mathematics, science and technology and the latter is the domain of conscious experience. I explain how complete this split is in contemporary scientific understanding. Next I ask what it means to exist. This leads to a connection between scientific understanding and values and meaning. With this philosophical base I, develop some mathematics and physics that is relevant to this connection. Some of the physics is speculative and labeled as such. I then develop this connection, first in philosophical terms and then in more concrete and practical ways. The book ends with philosophical and spiritual speculation that aims to develop something approaching an objective spirituality. This chapter is a tour guide for the journey. It outlines the ideas whose connections form the backbone of this book.

The overall goal of this journey is to begin the process of reconnection science an technology with meaning and value. Historically science could only progress by splitting off from philosophical, spiritual and religious traditions that were burdened with false assumptions about the physical world. Science succeeded by focusing on understanding what was observed and developing techniques to test that understanding. It is the power of this approach that has lead to the most fundamental problem we face today. Our power to manipulate the world is growing exponentially, but our values, that ultimately determine how we use that power, continue to develop haphazardly as they have throughout history.

The solution to this problem is not a return to orthodox religious traditions as so many are moving today albeit each to his own preferred tradition. The solution is the development of a new sense of spirituality, built equally on religious tradition and scientific understanding. From that base one can create a system of ethics and values that has some of the objectivity of the hard sciences and thus the ability to grow our our moral sense at a pace that can keep up with the enormous power that science and technology is creating.



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