A Hindu sage once noted, "Like the bees gathering honey from different flowers, the wise accept the essence of different scriptures and see only the good in all religions." In this age of multiculturalism and global spirituality, it is salutary to respect differences while cherishing the common understandings in the world's religions. Timothy Freke has performed an inestimable service by bringing together in this beautifully designed and illustrated volume readings from sacred scriptures on universal themes: the Supreme Being, the Self, the Spiritual Path, Knowledge and Wisdom, the Good Life, Love and Service, Devotion and Worship, Faith and Will, Death, and the Sage.

Again and again, the world's religions and preliterate cultures concur on the value of transcending ego, the need to draw close to the Divine through prayer and meditation, the importance of awakening to oneness, the realization that the good life is linked to love and forgiveness, and an acceptance of the paradox of the first shall be last. Paradox is also at the heart of questing, as Timothy Freke puts it: "The spiritual journey leads to the realization that we are already where we need to be. We are now, and always have been, part of the one. All that has changed is our understanding. Nothing is different, and yet everything is different. Heaven has always been laid out before us, but only now do we see it."