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The essays and short pieces in this collection were written over a period of eleven years while the author and his partner Carol Motuz ran Second Thoughts Bookstore on Sunnyside Avenue, in Old Ottawa South. The Gods at Play offers a provocative approach that rejects the notion of revelation, but takes religion seriously as myth. It features a partly (but only partly) tongue-in-cheek defense of polytheism. The Idea of the Self and At the Limits of Agency use perspectives from Zen and recent neuro-psychology to re-consider what it means to be a human person acting in the world. The last essay, Shalom Father, is a letter from the author to his deceased father, discussing their troubled relationship and attempting to make a posthumous peace. The short pieces (70 of them) are selected columns that Richard wrote for OSCAR, the neighborhood''s community newspaper.