William H. Gass

-- We must set aside, with the greatest respect, of course, Descartes' overly linear view of rational explanation, because revelations are rarely the result of the mind's climbing a ladder, each clear and definitely placed rung surmounted foot after foothold like a fireman performing a rescue; they are achieved more in the devious way cream rises to the top of its container: everywhere the thin milk is sinking while simultaneously countless globules of fat are floating free and slipping upward, each alone and as independent of one another as Leibniz' monads, until gradually, nearly unnoticed, the globs form a mass which forces the blue milk beneath, whereupon the sweet cream crowns the carton, waiting to be skimmed.