This is the second of four volumes of Sacred Verses
. The entire work is an approximate modern adaptation of Dante's Divine Comedy. In the first volume a young man suffers a great loss in his life and in addition, the loss of innocence and certitude that is characteristic of youth. This leads him to seek meaning in the world and in his life, first by exploration of the nature of the physical world. In this volume he will travel through the philosophy of the centuries and the universe of ideas. In volumes three and four (yet to come) he will explore the entire history of the spiritual world. In each of these journeys he will have a mentor (for Dante these were Virgil and Beatrice). In this volume the mentors are Will and Ariel Durant, historians of human civilization.
In this and future volumes the young man ages as he seeks (and eventually finds) a resolution of his quest. This second part, being concerned with the world of ideas, lies between the first (or physical) universe (equivalent to Dante's Inferno) and the final quest for spiritual understanding (equal to Dante's Paradisio). Therefore this volume may be considered comparable to the Purgatorio of Dante.