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Excerpted from The Heart of the Mind by Jane Katra and Russell Targ. Copyright 1999 by Jane Katra and Russell Targ. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"The experience of God is a testable hypothesis."

Jane Katra and Russell Targ
The Heart of the Mind
, Part 2

We have written this book to describe a comprehensible spirituality, one in which experience takes primacy over religious belief.  We are in part responding to a recent book, The Demon-Haunted World, written by one of the most notable scientists of the twentieth century, Carl Sagan. In that book, Sagan stirred together flying saucers, crop circles, alien abductions, and God, declaring that he finds them all incomprehensible.

We base our response to Sagan on a description of the experience of God, rather than a doctrine of belief. As scientists we are convinced that a person need not believe or take on faith anything about the existence of universal spirit, because the experience of God is a testable hypothesis. Philosophical proof, however, is not at all the purpose of this book. Instead, we offer a plausible argument to anyone seeking a spiritual life who, at the same time, desires to remain a critical and discerning participant in the twenty-first century. We can include God in our lives without giving up our minds, if we can transcend our usual analytical thoughts and learn to become mindful.

In his 1939 essay "Science and Religion," Albert Einstein wrote that we each have the potential for a greater awareness of truth than analysis alone can provide: "Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends. But, the ultimate goal itself, and the longing to reach it, must come from another source."

Although we are experts in neither philosophy nor theology, we offer our experiences and observations with the hope that reader may become knowers as opposed to believers, and find new appreciation for their innate power of attention. We hope readers will discover their powerful potential as spiritual alchemists of the universe.

One of us, Jane, earned her doctorate degree in health education at the University of Oregon, where she taught nutrition and health classes for many years. She has also practiced spiritual healing for over twenty years, following instructions she received in 1974 during period of prolonged physical pain accompanied by a near-death-like dream.

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