The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five-dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way…
—Isaac Asimov thought that The Last Question was his best short story.
Tolkien recalls how he once saw the words Adeiladwyd 1887 cut on a stone-slab. It was a revelation of beauty. “It pierced my linguistic heart,” he recalls. “Most English-speaking people…will admit that cellar door is ‘beautiful’, especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More beautiful than, say, sky, and far more beautiful than beautiful. Well then, in Welsh for me cellar doors are extraordinarily frequent, and moving to the higher dimension, the words in which there is pleasure in the contemplation of the association of form and sense are abundant.”
“Nobody believes me when I say that [Lord of the Rings] is an attempt to create a world in which a form of language agreeable to my personal aesthetic might seem real”
Meditation consists of two aspects or components. The first, called shamatha in Sanskrit, is the step by step development of mental and physical calmness (stopping). The second, vipashyana, is the step by step heightening of awareness, sensitivity and observation (seeing).
Stopping is the wholesome resource that nurtures the mind. Seeing is the marvelous art which fosters intuitive understanding.