Immensity, though, spells death to the man it attracts; a kind of vertigo or horror siezes him who sets himself and his precarious egotistic attitude against those infinitely present deeps, infinitely absent too. Like an animal threatened with death his reflexes of stupefied immobility and flight, intolerably confused, nail him in the attitude of a man under torture that we commonly call anguish. But the danger that now holds the animal rooted to the spot and now sends him off in headlong flight comes from without; it is real, precise; while with anguish, desire for the indefinable is what controls the reflexes of the animal in the face of death.

—Georges Bataille, Erotism: Death and Sensuality, Part Two: Some Aspects of Eroticism, Chapter V: Mysticism and Sensuality