Human beings are restless, striving creatures whose activities over the past 5,000 years

have altered the shape of the planet. Evidence of these changes, this reconstruction of the

environment, can be seen almost everywhere. Many factors-economic, political, social,

personal-have motivated these human efforts and creations, not the least of which is an

awareness of personal impermanence and the associated fear of death. Perhaps it is for

this reason that inventiveness and creativity seem to flourish during war, political

upheavals, and other periods of social unrest and insecurity.