The notion that things “happen for a reason” is a powerful idea. It is also a dangerous one. The concept of “agency” is so central to our under­standing of ourselves and our world that we apply it even where there is no agency to be found.

You can learn things from reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being that you would never glean from any scien­tific trac­tate. And you can see things through the Hubble tele­scope that no amount of poetry could ever disclose.