"In this book, Jacob Needleman intimately considers humanity's most vital question: What is God? He begins by taking us more than a half-century into the past, to his own experience as a brilliant, promising Ivy-educated student of philosophy - atheistic, existential, and unwilling to blindly participate in childish religiosity. But an unsettling meeting with the venerated Zen teacher D. T. Suzuki, combined with the sudden necessity to accept a position teaching philosophy and religion, forced the young academician to look more closely at the religious ideas he had once thought dead. Within traditional religious texts the scholar discovered a core of powerful spiritual and philosophical ideas, more mature and challenging than anything he had ever associated with Judaism, Christianity, or the religions of the East." "At the same time, Needleman came to realize - as he shares with the reader - that ideas and words are not enough. Ideas and words, no matter how profound, cannot prevent hatred, arrogance, and ultimate despair; nor can they keep our individual lives from descending into violence and illusion. With this insight, Needleman begins to open the reader to a new kind of understanding: The inner realization that to lead the lives we were intended for, the very nature of human experience must change, including the very structure of our perception and, indeed, the very structure of our minds."--BOOK JACKET.