Orson Scott Card

“Where did this whole thing begin? If what we think of as reality is just a pattern that somebody brought Outside, and the universe just popped into bring, then whoever it was is probably still wandering around giving off universes wherever she goes So where did she come from? And what was there before she started doing it? And how did Outside come to exist, for that matter?”
That's Inspace thinking,” said Olhado. “That's the way you conceive of things when you still believe in space and time as absolutes. You think of everything starting and stopping, of things having origins, because that's the way it is in the observable universe. The thing is, Outside there's no rules like that at all. Outside was always there and always will be there. The number of philotes there is infinite, and all of them always existed. No mater how many of them you pull out and put into organized universes, there'll be just as many left as there always were”
But somebody had to start making universes.”
Why?” asked Olhado.
Because-because I-“
Nobody ever started. It's always been going on. I mean, if it weren’t already going on, it couldn’t start. Outside where there weren’t any patterns, it would be impossible to conceive of a pattern. They can’t act, by definition, because they literally can’t even find themselves.”
But how could it have always been going on?”
Think of it as this moment in time, the reality we live in at this moment, this condition of the entire universe-of all the universes-”
You mean now.”
Right. Think of it as if now were the surface of a sphere. Time is moving forward through the chaos of Outside like the surface of an expanding sphere, a balloon inflating. On the outside, chaos. On the inside, reality. Always growing-like you said, Valentine. Popping up new universes all the time.”
But where did this balloon come from?”
OK, you’ve got the balloon. The expanding sphere. Only now think of it as a sphere with an infinite radius.”
Valentine tried to think of what that would mean. “The surface would be completely flat.”
That’s right”
And you could never go all the way around it”
That’s right, too. Infinitely large. Impossible even to count all the universes that exist on the reality side. And now, starting from the edge, you get on a starship and start heading inward toward the center. The farther in you go, the older everything is. All the old universes back and back. When do you get to the first one?”
You don’t” said Valentine. “Not it you’re traveling at a finate rate.”
You don’t reach the center of a sphere on infinite radius, if you’re starting at the surface, because no matter how far you go, no matter how quickly, the center, the beginning, is always infinitely far away.”
And that’s where the universe began.”


Orson Scott Card, Xenocide
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Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3) Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
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