The way in which we understand and appreciate the world will affect our whole approach to life. Over the last century physical science has shown that the cosmos is quite different from what was previously thought. It is far more stimulating and complex. This book describes how, over the centuries, certain simple observations have affected physical science and mathematics. We are now beginning to unearth mysteries and answers which previously were believed to be beyond solution. But science cannot provide all the answers. After first visiting and then living in Southeast Asia I found a range of different approaches which have proved invaluable when facing the challenges of life. ‘A Chilli Too Far’ was written after completing a cycling tour of Southeast Asia in 2002/3. The region, formerly called ‘Indochina’, contains a wonderful tapestry of cultures - a result of Indian, Muslim and Chinese influences. Such outlooks complement the Western perspective. Although my initial intention was to have some fun, the tour turned out to have unexpected repercussions. I was to discover a variety of positive outlooks when tackling life’s problems and met people from differing cultures who radiated an inner sense of contentment. This book, although basing itself on the way in which physical science has developed over the centuries, attempts to show that a harmony is possible between the Oriental and Western perspectives. This seems to be particularly relevant in an age of ideological tensions.