This book is the first work of non-fiction by Douglas Harding, written in the 1930s, before he had his 'headless' experience. In this book Harding explores the proposition that tools are 'extensions of the body', that there's no absolute boundary between the 'natural' and the 'artificial'. Crossing over the line between the self and the not-self, Harding realised that there is no definite frontier where you can say you stop and the rest of the world begins. In this book Harding was well on his way to embracing his True Self, the Self that includes Everything. The Meaning and Beauty of the Artificial is a fascinating read, exploring in depth the idea that tools are extensions of the body. It takes you on a wide-ranging safari through the animal kingdom and then into the human world where you see 'man and machine' with new eyes. The Meaning and Beauty of the Artificial was the ground from which sprang Harding's very great book, The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth. And though it is fascinating to see where many of the ideas in that book came from, The Meaning and Beauty of the Artificial stands on its own as an important exploration of humanity's true identity.