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.

A human life is punc­tu­ated by events of special signif­i­cance, which are often surrounded by rituals. The rules of the market­place are rede­fined in the reality distor­tion zone that surrounds these events.

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.