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Planet Earth is a constituent part of the Galaxy, but only a microscopically small part—a tiny chunk of rock. Like Prometheus, we are chained to this rock, and constrained to view the Galaxy from this one perspective only. Why should we be interested in the Galaxy in the first place, and—with such a restricted viewpoint—how can we ever hope to learn anything about it? These questions are addressed in this book, which draws on an eclectic heritage of science, philosophy, mysticism, poetry and fiction.