the trick that has helped me squint at the bleakness and see them more clearly, is to admit, with every breath, that you have no idea what you are looking at.

Half a history of, and accessible meditation on the philosophy of, science and half memoir of the author’s grappling with depression, this pleasantly easy read captures something of “emptiness.” It shows how Buddhism still has much to add in the West’s ongoing struggle to reconcile its extremes of naive, Christian eternalism and cynical, “scientific” nihilism.