dedicated to my fellow seekers of the mysterious "Aleph"

In Memoriam- Pierre de Chardin S.J.  Mati Klarwein, Robert Venosa "Seek and Ye Shall Find" Indeed!

And the life changing:  "Morning of the Magicians" by Pauels & Bergeier

Arthur Allan Armstrong *

"Imagine a hollow globe whose inner walls are reflecting surfaces. A centre of illuminations inside this globe is reflected in myriad sequins on the walls: everywhere the universal will in endless multiplicity, everywhere reflected images, single aspects of the Godhead."

                              Rudolf Steiner




"Know that the world is a mirror from head to foot, in every atom are a hundred blazing suns."

                              Mahinud Shabistari (The Garden of Mystery)



"....and I tried to show that 

through all the immense

developments, the 'Mirror

of Being' is always the

object of true science.....'

-Humboldt, quoted in Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Deschend, Hamlet's Mill




"See all things, not in process of becoming, but in being, and see themselves in the other. Each being contains in itself the whole intelligible world. Therefore All is everywhere. Each is there All, and All is each. Man as he now is has ceased to be the All. but when he ceases to be an individual, he raises himself again and penetrates the whole world."

-Plotinus (third century)




"he took up the cup, and gazed.

he saw the seven climes reflected there,

And every act and presage of high heaven....

In that cup the wizard-king

Was wont to see futurity."

(Tenth-century Persian poet Firdausi)



"...R. Shimen's great saintliness in proportion to his possession of great magical powers, and hangs three legendary mirrors in his house. 'there he was able to see everything that had come to pass and that would still come to pass' "

-Joseph Sherman

The Jewish Pope: Myth, Diaspora and Yiddish Literature



"All around me became transformed into golden glory, into light untellable. The golden light of which the violet haze seemed now to have been as the veil of outer fringe, welled forth from a central globe itself, were crowded to solidarity with filling all place and space, yet composed of an infinitude of individuated existences. These beings were, moreover present in teaming myriads in the church I stood in: and they were intermingling with, and passing unobstructedly  through both myself and my fellow worshippers."

(Vision occurring to a man named Watkins who was singing Te Deum in church when he was enraptured with a vision...from Wilmhurst, Contemplations)




"Oh, for a single life-moment enlarged to eternity, enlarged to the limits of understanding, susceptible of immensity high above the shining song. high above the shining sunset...."

                          The Death of Virgil




"Everything is condensed into one single moment.

     It decides our life."

-Franz Kafka




"Humanists presented the imagination as "a hollow mirror," with distorting effects. Imagination was less a faculty informing the subject of his identity than an external prompting, a foreign agent causing turmoil, profiting from the weakness of the senses and the fragility of reason. The mirror-imagination had the capacity to feed creative intuition and poetic inspiration by presenting the soul with "the best, most gracious and beautiful images or appearances of things according to their truth," but it often also came up with repugnant figures that troubled one's thoughts and unsettled the course of life."

Sabine Melchior -Bonnet

The Mirror-A History




"Man will come to see that the world is the perennial miracle which the soul worketh, and be less astonished at particular wonders; he will learn that there is no profane history; that all history is sacred; that The universe is represented in an atom, in a moment of time."





"Here we come at once to the modology of Leibnitzs, which was so fully apprehended by Bruno as to constitute an essential part of his philosophy. In this system of thought we regard every part, every atom, as reflecting every other part of the body to which it belongs, and therefore every universe comes to be a reflex of the DIVINE, as if a light falling upon a crystal sphere should illuminate the entire sphere and therefore all its parts or molecules, and thus there would be a myriad molecules, each consisting', of millions of atoms, all illuminated from a single source of light;  and every atom is a sphere in itself."

                            The Kabala of Numbers




Time present and time past are both perhaps in the future and time future contained in times past."

                              T.S. Eliot



... the point where mind perceives in a flash the totality of all phenomena, their causes and their significance.

"I believe that the universe is no bigger than a butterfly and that it never stops shrinking. It's shriveling up, It is Concentrated on one Point in Space, and for me that point is the railroad station at Perpignan."

   -  Salvador Dali

(It is interesting to note that Astronomers now agree with Dali….see article "A Hundred Billion Years of Solitude" in Scientific American ,April 1999. by George Musser "If astronomers are right and the universe is expanding at a quickening pace, the cosmos will grow to untold size. But our world will shrink…"




(Point at which"Punto a ciu tutti ii tenpo son presenti." the whole of time is present~)



And it came to pass, as the voice was still speaking, he cast his eyes and beheld the earth; yea, even all the face of it; and there was not one point of it which he did not be-hold, discerning it by the Spirit of God."

(A vision Occurring to Moses according to the Mormon Book of Doctrine and Covenants)




   "At the same time that inquisitional fires consumed heretics, however, magic continued to flourish. Around 1350, The Stone of the Mountain, a book attributed to Philip I, son of the French king, featured a virgin on a mountaintop in an Eden-like garden, surrounded by attentive philosophers. She held in her hand "the mirror of human life," presumably the stone of the book's title. Another legendary figure, the Christian priest-king Prester John, purportedly consulted a marvelous mirror-guarded by 12,000 soldiers, reachable only by climbing 125 steps-in which all plots against him were revealed."

Mark Pendergrast

Mirror Mirror



"In catering to its readers' demand for thrilling supernatural adventures, the Mayse-bukh measures R. Shimen's great saintliness in proportion to his possession of great magical powers, and hangs three legendary mirrors' in his house...there he was able to see everything that had come to pass and that would still come to pass....

old Jewish story




"Melquiades had not put events in the order of men's conventional time, but had concentrated a century of daily episodes in such a way that they co-existed in one instant as if we were looking into a speaking mirror."

                       Gabriel Garcia Marquez
                  A Hundred Years of Solitude




"The Aleph=the microcosmos of the alchemists and Cabbalists, our concrete and proverbial friend, the multien in parvo!"

"It is conceivable that there exist in space ALEPH points, like the one described in Borges' story. In these points the whole space-time continuum is represented, and the spectacle ranges from the interior of an atomic nucleus to the remotest Galaxy.

                      Pauwels & Bergier
         Morning of the Magicians




"The mirror-above all, the mirror is our teacher."

-Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519)




I come now to the ineffable climax of my story; and this is where my despair as a writer begins. All language is an alphabet of symbols, whose use presupposes an experience which is shared by both parties; but how can I convey to others the infinite Aleph of which my timid memory has hardly any recollection? The mystics, in cases like this, abound in symbols; to indicate a divinity. A Persian speaks of a bird which, in some way, is all birds: Alanus de Insialis, of a sphere whose center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere; Ezekiel, of an angel with four faces facing simultaneously North, South, East and West. (I have a reason for recalling these inconceivable analogies, as they have something in common with Aleph.) Perhaps the Gods would allow me to use an image of this kind; but then this. story would be tainted with literature and falseness.. In any case, the central problem is insoluble; it is impossible to enumerate, even partially, an infinite number of things. In that gigantic instant, I saw millions of actions, both delectable and atrocious; but none of them astonished as much as the fact that they all occupied the same point, without being either superimposed or transparent. what my eyes saw was simultaneous: my transcription of it will be successive, because language has to be. I want, however, to give some account of it

"At the bottom of the step, to the right, I saw a little mottled sphere almost intolerably bright. At first I thought it was revolving around itself; afterwards I realized that this movement was an illusion due to the vertiginous spectacle it enclosed. The diameter of the Aleph must have been about two or three inches, but the whole of cosmic space was inside it, unreduced. Everything (the glass in the mirror, for example) was a multiplicity of things, because I could see it clearly from every point in the Universe. I saw the populous sea, I saw a silver spider-web in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a broken labyrinth (it was London); I saw interminable eyes gazing one upon the other inside me as palpable as-if seen in a mirror, I saw all the mirrors on the planet, and not one reflected my image; I saw in a backyard in the Rue Soles the same paving stones that I had seen thirty years ago in a house at Fray Bentos; I saw clusters of grapes, snow, tobacco, veins of metal, steam; I saw convex deserts under the Equator and each of their grains of sand; I saw at Inverness a woman whom I shall not forget; I saw here disheveled hair and haughty carriage; I saw her cancer of the breast; I saw a ring of dried earth on a pavement where there had been a tree; I saw in a county house at Adrogue a copy of the first English translation of Pliny by Philernon Holland; I saw every letter on every page at the same time (as a child I had always wondered why when a book was closed, the letters did not get mixed up and-lost during the night); I Saw the night and day together; I saw a sunset at Queretaro which seemed to reflect the color of a Bengal light; I saw my bedroom with no one in it; I saw in a room at Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors which multiplied it into infinity1 I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw horses with shaggy manes on a beach by the Caspian Sea; I saw the survivors of a battle sending off postcards; I saw in a shop-window at Mirrapur a pack of Spanish playing-cards; I saw the sloping shadows of ferns on the floor of a greenhouse; I saw the ants of the earth; a Persian astrolabe; I saw in a drawer (and the handwriting made me tremble) obscene letters--precise, unbelievable--that Beatriz had addressed to Carlos Argentino; I saw the ghastly remains of what had deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my dark blood; I saw the connection between love and the transformations of death; I saw the ALEPH from every point; I saw the Earth in the ALEPH and in the Earth again the ALEPH, and in the ALEPH the Earth; I saw my face and my entrails; I saw Your face, and I was giddy and wept, because my eyes had seen that secret and conjectural object whose name men utter improperly, but which no man has ever seen: the inconceivable Universe I felt an infinite reverence, and an infinite sorrow... I was afraid that there was nothing left in the world that could surprise me, and that all my life I should be haunted by the feeling that I had seen everything before. Fortunately, after a few sleepless nights, I had forgotten everything."

                                 Borges – The Aleph




"All around me became transformed into golden glory, into light untellable. The golden light of which the violet haze seemed now to have been as the veil of outer fringe, welled forth from a central immense globe of brilliancy. But the most wonder thing was these shafts and waves of light and even the central globe itself, were crowded to solidarity with the forms of living creatures, like a single coherent organism filling all place and space, yet composed of an infinitude of individuated existences. Those beings were, moreover present in teaming myriads in the church I stood in: and they were intermingling with, and passing unobstructedly  through both myself and my fellow worshippers. The Heavenly host drifted through the human congregation as wind passes through a grove of trees; beings of radiant beauty and clothes in shimmering raiment."

(from Wilmhurst,Contemplations)




When the white shining point had appeared, it was called "Kether", which means the "Crown", and out of it radiated nine great globes, which arranged themselves in the form of a tree. These nine together with the first crown constituted the first system of "Sephiroth." These ten were the first limitation of ten abstract points with the nature of AIN SOPH itself. . The power of AIN SOPH did not descend into these globes but rather was reflected upon them as the light of the sun is reflected upon the earth and planets. These ten globes were called the shining sapphires, and it is believed by many Rabbis that the word '"sapphire" is the basis of the word 'Sephira' of Sephiroth). The great area which had been privated by the withdrawal of AIN SOPH into the central point, "Kether", was now filled by four concentric globes called worlds, or spheres, and the light of the ten Sephiroth was reflected down through each of these in turn.

                     Manly P. Hall
                 Masonic Hermetic Qabbalistic & Rosicrucian Philosophy 




"I have often said that GOD is creating the entire universe fully and totally in this present now."

                        Meister Eckhart




   "The Jewish mystic Solomon Ibn Gabirol spoke of "the souls, close packed, /Peering in mirrors, (who) hope these may reflect/God's image glimpsed," and Christian mystic Meister Eckhart wrote: "The soul contemplates itself in the mirror of Divinity. God himself is the mirror which He conceals from whom He will, and uncovers to whom he will.....The more the soul is able to transcend all words, the more it approaches the mirror." Muhyi'd-Din ibn ' Arabi, a Mohammedan wrote of man's resemblance to God, and vice-versa: "God is the mirror in which thou seest thyself, and thou art His mirror in which He contemplates His names.

   As translated in the King James Bible, Saint Paul wrote: "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known" (I Corinthians 13:11-12). But the Elizabethan "glass" is misleading. What Paul actually meant was: "Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face." Referring to poor-quality mirrors of metal, he meant that our view of the world (and of ourselves) is flawed in comparison with the overwhelming knowledge and love of God.

   The Mayan creation myth in the Popul Vuh eerily echoes St. Paul's image of a poorly reflecting mirror in which humans see reality only dimly. The four earliest humans were all-wise and all-seeing, which alarmed the gods. "What should we do with them now?" one asked. "Their vision should at least reach nearby, they should at least see a small part of the face of the art." Another suggested, "We'll take them apart, just a little, that's what they need." So that's what the gods did to the four ancestors: "They were blinded as the face of a mirror is breathed upon. Their vision flickered. Now it was only when they looked nearby that things were clear."

Mark Pendergrast

Mirror Mirror: A History of the Human Love Affair with Reflection




"His palace was located somewhere in Africa, behind the arrogant ranks of Islam. Perpetual peace reigned through-out his vast kingdom; before his palace there hung a marvelous mirror in which he could see every detail of what was happening in his realm and the world beyond.".

(description of Presbyter Johns domain)
Antichrist and the Millennium E.R. Chamberlin Saturday Review Press




"Simon Goulart in this Treasury of Admirable Stones (1610) describes a magic mirror scene which took place in the Chateau of Chaumont on the Loire. The Marshal of Paiz had been heard to say that the Queen Catherine de Medici, wishing to know what would happen to her children and who would succeed them, summoned someone to assure her on the matter. A magician showed her the royal children reflected in a circular mirror. Each royal son moved around the room as many times as he would reign in years."

                           The Book of Spells
                    David Norris & Charrot Lodevidge
                           Lorrirner Pub -London




"However eloquent, that figure (Aleph) is only a symbol. We must never forget that any description of ‘Aleph’ fails to describe it: Aleph transcends thought."

                       Carlo Suares



"For was and is, and will be are but is; And all creation is one act at once…"




"The living moment is everything."

                 D. H. Lawrence



"The soul is a mirror in which in some way we know God."

Peter Lombard  (around 1130 AD)



"A universe lies hidden in a grain of millet; everything is brought together at the point of the present....From each point along that circle thousands of forms are drawn. Each point, as it revolves in a circle, is at times a circle, at others a turning circumference.

Aahrnud Shabestari
Sufi Poet 14th century



"....Aleph, a Hebrew letter symbolizing "Unity". referring to a real or imaginary cosmic point at which all the events, ideas, actions, forms of life, art, music, poetry, in fact every person and every thought, every force and every illusion in the entire universe must eventually come together. This point is a beginning, a depository, but it is also a finality, the convergence of the infinite at a theoretical pinpoint, where past, present, and future blend, forming a single, perfect presence on concept."

Carol Miller & Guadalupe Rivera
The Winged Prophet



"The singular contains within it, the totality. In experiencing the singular, the totality, One can experience a serenity only found in the absolute All of the universe is in one tree, one bird, one flower, one person."

                                   Carolyn Klaefeld
                    Satan Sleeps with the Holy




"Men’s curiosity searches past and future and clings to that dimension. But to apprehend the point of intersection of the timeless with time, is an occupation of the saint-no occupation either, but something given and taken, in a lifetime’s death in love, ardor and selflessness and self-surrender."

                          T.S. Eliot




   "Mirrors ushered in the earliest human civilizations, and now they point us into the future-while simultaneously allowing astronomers to peer ever farther back into time. The history of mirrors covers a vast territory, from the creation of the universe (perhaps along with alternate mirror universes), to the first hominids, to the Hubble Space Telescope and beyond. The cast of quirky characters looking into and manipulating mirrors is equally diverse."

Mark Pendergrast

Mirror Mirror




"The nymph still looks at herself and admires herself in the water, as she has done since the beginning of time. Long before Hubris entered Arcadia, the terrible intoxication was known. The gravest crimes, the most senseless adventures have sprung from the self-regarding gaze, and though we make poetry of pride in the West, and pretend to ourselves that there are some forms of pride which are legitimate and others which are not so, the most deathly instrument placed in the hands of man remains the mirror."

-Robert Payne

Hubris; a Study of Pride




"...Long before cameras existed, Indra, a chief god of the Hindu religion, responsible for rain and thunderbolts, described the phenomenon in terms of the pearls said to hang over the gods' palace: "If you look at one pearl, you see all the others reflected in it." The author of the sutra explained: "In the same way, each object in the world is not merely of itself, but involves every other object and, in fact, is everything else."

Joseph Eger

Einstein's Violin



Book: "The Mystery of the Aleph: Mathematics, the Kabala, and the Search for Infinity" by Amir D. Aczel

Book: "Mirror Mirror" by Mark Pendergrast

Book: "The Mirror and Man" by Benjamin Goldberg

Book: "Mirrors in Mind" by Richard Gregory

Book: "The Mirror: A History" by Sabine Melchior-Bonnet



© 2011



Back to Chrestomathy                          Next Page