The entire function of man is to survive. The outermost limit of endeavour is creative work. Anything less is too close to simple survival until death happens along. So I am engaged instriving to maintain equilibrium sufficient to at least realize survival in a way to astound the gods.
L. Ron Hubbard
Only philosophers embark on this perilous expedition to the outermost reaches of language and existence. Some of them fall off, but others cling on desperately and yell at the people nestling deep in the snug softness, stuffing themselves with delicious food and drink. 'Ladies and Gentlemen, ' they yell, 'we are floating in space!' But none of the people down there care
They have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or satellites, which revolve around Mars, whereof the innermost is distant from the center of the primary exactly three of his diameters, and the outermost five: the former revolves in the space of ten hours, and the latter in twenty-one and a half, so that the squares of their periodical times are very near in the same proportion with the cubes of their distances from the center of Mars; which evidently shews them to be governed by the same Law of Gravitation that influences the other heavenly bodies.
Moreover, the universe as a whole is infinite, for whatever is limited has an outermost edge to limit it, and such an edge is defined by something beyond. Since the universe has no edge, it has no limit; and since it lacks a limit, it is infinite and unbounded. Moreover, the universe is infinite both in the number of its atoms and in the extent of its void.
Not without deep pain do we admit to ourselves that the artists of all ages have in their highest flights carried to heavenly transfiguration precisely those conceptions that we now recognize as false: they are the glorifiers of the religious and philosophical errors of humanity, and they could not have done this without their belief in the absolute truth of these errors. Now if the belief in such truth generally diminishes, if the rainbow colors at the outermost ends of human knowing and imagining fade: then the species of art that, like the Divina commedia, Raphael's pictures, Michelangelo's frescoes, the Gothic cathedrals, presupposes not only a cosmic, but also a metaphysical significance for art objects can never blossom again. A touching tale will come of this, that there was once such an art, such belief by artists.
As many as thirty or as few as ten years later, lying exhausted and still, eyes open in the dark long after the three suns of Rakhat had set, no longer bleeding, past the vomiting, enough beyond the shock to think again, it would occur to Emilio Sandoz to wonder if perhaps that day int he Sudan was really only part of the setup for a punchline a life-time in the making. It was an odd thought, under the circumstances. He understood that, even at the time. But thinking it, he realized with appalling clarity that on his journey of discovery as a Jesuit, he had not merely been the first human being to set foot on Rhakhat, had not simply explored parts of its largest continent and learned two of its languages and loved some of its people. He had also discovered the outermost limit of faith and, in doing so had located the exact boundary of despair. It was at that moment that he learned, truly, to fear God.
Mary Doria Russell
As information processing machines, our ability to process data about the external world begins at the level of sensory perception. Although most of us are rarely aware of it, our sensory receptors are designed to detect information at the energy level. Because everything around us - the air we breathe, even the materials we use to build with, are composed of spinning and vibrating atomic particles, you and I are literally swimming in a turbulent sea of electromagnetic fields. We are part of it. We are enveloped within in, and through our sensory apparatus we experience what is. Each of our sensory systems is made up of a complex cascade of neurons that process the incoming neural code from the level of the receptor to specific areas within the brain. Each group of neurons along the cascade alters or enhances the code, and passes it on to the next set of cells in the system, which further defines and refines the message. By the time the code reaches the outermost portion of our brain, the higher levels of the cerebral cortex, we become conscious of the stimulation. However, if any of the cells along the pathway fail in their ability to function normally, then the final perception is skewed away from normal reality.
Jill Bolte Taylor