Walker Percy began his professional life seeking to be a doctor. Then a battle with tuberculosis in brought him to a second career as a successful writer. Both made Percy a keen observer of the fundamental human predicament. In one section he attempts explore "Why it is possible to learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula…which is 6,000 light years away than you presently know about yourself even though you have been stuck with yourself all your life." We're forever a mystery to ourselves, Percy is telling us, and it makes everyone just a little bit crazy.