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“In a wonderful essay called ‘On an Apparent Intention in the Fate of the Individual,’ Schopenhauer points out that, once you have reached an advanced age, as I have, as you look back over your life, it can seem to have had a plot, as though composed by a novelist. Events that seemed entirely accidental and incidental turn out to have been central to the composition…

“Another astonishing way to look back is to pick up some diary entries or notes that you kept a long time ago. You’ll be astonished. Things you were convinced you had realized more recently will all be pinned down there. These are the driving themes of your life.”

Joseph Campbell, Pathways to Bliss