A person is led on the path that he truly wants to travel on.
The history of the Jews has been written overwhelmingly by scholars of texts - understandably given the formative nature of the Bible and the Talmud. Seeing Jewish history through artifacts, architecture and images is still a young but spectacularly flourishing discipline that's changing the whole story.
I have decided to follow in my sinful ways, and have largely abandoned the increasingly religious life I was leading over the previous months, including several hours of Talmudic study a day.
All the questions discussed in the Talmud and related rabbinic literature are normative questions: either they are questions of what one is to think or what one is to do. Every prescribed thought has some practical implication; every prescribed act has some theoretical implication.