Writers that inspire and make me think are like a family of heart and mind. Luis Borges belongs. His imaginary worlds shine from beyond time and space, and delight with paradox.
‘The universe (which others call the Library) is composed of any indefinite and perhaps infinite number of hexagonal galleries, with vast air shafts between … The Library is a sphere whose exact centre is any one of its hexagons and whose circumference is inaccessible … For every sensible line of straightforward statement, there are leagues of senseless cacophonies, verbal jumbles and incoherences … it suffices that a book be possible for it to exist …’ The Library of Babel, by Jorge Luis Borges
Between each breath, comma, pause, number, node, and each period, we string symbols towards stories. Some make sense to some, others make sense to none, and yet others inspire more stories. Ideas that resonate have an ongoing life, they tag on each other.
In his extensive readings, Borges must have come upon the ‘many worlds’ theme recorded in various cultures over the centuries, long before quantum physics was challenged to struggle with this probability.
Even as a child I experienced shifts in reality, vivid moments that expanded my imagination and have come to play a part in my novels. Since nothing about particle behaviour under observation is certain, everyone of us is abundantly free to speculate about memory, time, and parallel worlds. Though dreamlike, these other dimensions leave signs, like unseen winds show in swaying branches, jittering leaves, and rippling waters that gather momentum to become waves upon waves.
The general definition of wave is a disturbance travelling from one location to another through whatever medium or vacuum presents itself. Do bits of information travel with resonating particles? Is the medium itself the message transmitting pattern recognition? After all, even far galaxies mirror the branching of trees and leaves on earth, or, for that matter, the neuron system in our bodies. Everything scales up or down ad infinitum. Here’s how Jonathan Swift put it in 1773
The vermin only teaze and pinch Their foes superior by an inch. So, naturalists observe, a flea Has smaller fleas that on him prey And these have smaller still to bite ‘em, And so proceed ad infinitum.
It seems incomprehensible that parallel worlds could exist and influence our reality and vice versa. How could there be many collective and personal histories? How could there be other versions of us and everything? How would it work?
Given the fickleness of our feelings and thoughts, strange dreams, synchronicities, and the constant dissolution of ordered energy fields, we are exposed to streams of oscillating and interrelating signals, unless we fine-tune through the white noise, or completely relax. Occasionally we have a sensation of order, like a blossom unfolding. All is right and beautiful – we don’t feel separate, but in symphony with all dimensions, here and now.
At other times, when under pressure, and crucified having to make a decision, we sample memories, search pasts, postulate futures, until we surrender to a compromise, or the universe decides for us, or … a resonance occurs.
‘All time is contained in now.’ – Meister Eckhart
A sudden resonance, if deep, could explain many paranormal phenomena that vex and hex people, especially scientists. Mystics are fond of saying the ‘self’ is an illusion, trapped in the body, though which self is a matter of perspective. Since quantum physics, particles stopped being things in themselves, but function as waves also. This is where it gets slippery, because no explanation has come forward for the wave-function- collapse when the measuring of the particle is attempted.
Time is nature’s way of stopping everything from happening at once.’
Graffiti in a Texas Washroom
The ‘many worlds’ concept gets round this problem by suggesting myriad of copies of our reality, where everything conceivable can happen. As a writer, this is my license to create. The invented characters in my novels happen to me. They are tangible, psychologically coherent, yet also suspended between worlds, like, I think, we all are.
‘… the library is infinite and cyclical … If an eternal traveller were to cross it in any direction, after centuries he would see that the same volumes were repeated in the same disorder (which, such repeated, would be an order: the Order). My solitude is gladdened by the elegant hope.’ Jorge Luis Borges
Here the Wikipedia entry on The Library of Babel.
The image is by Theodor Kittelsen, master of vision, trolls and wit.
14 responses to “… other worlds … ”
Reblogged this on Diane's Stories Site – This is not the Children's site. and commented:
Echoes and resonance.
Thanks for the re-blog,Diane ☼
What a great look at the different realities that might exist!
Welcome, Christy. I guess it takes a poetic sentiment to enjoy the labyrinth of realities.
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I love the Borges quote – and your comment on that – ‘Between each breath, comma, pause, number, node, and each period, we string symbols towards stories’. The inbetween is also real, maybe not visible, but as real nevertheless.
Thanks, Susan. Maybe all visibles originate from these inbetween spaces.
This reminds me, in 1993 I put together a poetry collection for my friends, 140 spiral bound copies in all, with striking illustrations by a friend, I called it ‘Gapsy Truth.’ 🙂 It floats about online because I gave it an ISBN
The poems deserve editing – from emptiness flashes truth.
In my no thing-ness, hidden between each breath – in -out – in – out, there lurks a terrifying freedom of choice.
Borges makes the labyrinth sound like a honeycomb. Which is pretty apt. ‘it suffices that a book be possible for it to exist … seems to answer your question about chickens and eggs!
🙂 Yes, it’s apt. When I contemplate the chicken/egg conundrum, I’m moved to surrender and pray. Love and truth aspire towards ideals not found in mundane reality.
Absolutely great! … I love reading your insights and trying to see beyond “reality”… And that quote by Meister Eckhart. ‘All time is contained in now.’ is remarkable! ⭐ All the best to you! Aquileana 😀
Thanks Aquileana ☼
I’m glad I spotted a link to this old post on Twitter—love it! Borges is one of my favourite writers, and I remember that library very well. Thanks for giving me a fresh perspective on it. And I enjoyed that quote from the Texas washroom 🙂
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Ah, nice to make contact again. Best things to you.
Fascinating, Ashen. You’ve triggered a desire to go and re-discover Borges, it’s ages since I read him. And, love the Swift quote. What a lovely weaving together of ideas.
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