Written by an experienced author with a strong background in both History and Earth Sciences, this text explores the philosophic implications of the dramatic developments now under way in astrophysics and astrobiology. How close may this progress, empirical and theoretical, bring us to a definitive understanding of ultimate realities? What could it connote for the future of the great religious obediences? What might it mean for the evolution of a planetary consciousness that could be the key to the survival of our overburdened world? Are there not alarming possibilities, yet also very positive ones? Not merely will this discussion take full but measured account of hard science in a manner accessible to lay people, but the arguments and observations presented will be set firmly in a deep historical perspective.