An exploration of the possible reasons why people feel the urge to give meaning to life. The book approaches its task by looking at the nature of the universe and our perception of our place in it, and it speculates on how this perception may give rise to spiritual and religious sensibilities. The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 (Where Are We?) deals with aspects of the nature of the universe and the way that we perceive it through the distorting lens of our own senses and preoccupations. Part 2 (What Are We?) covers the subject of the nature of life, from its beginnings to the emergence of homo sapiens, and how the development of life has conditioned us to react to our environment in specific ways. Part 3 (Why Are We?) explores our attitudes to mental states such as consciousness and mind, and explores the implications of these attitudes. The author's attitude to the nature of the universe can be summed up in the quote on the book's cover. "We only tend to think that reality is weird when we contemplate its extremes, such as the core of the atom or the edge of the universe - but the place is actually weird all the way through."