The Aleph is both the title of a short story and a book of short stories from Jorge Luis Borges. In these stories Borges shows us part of a strange universe.

Some stories there are:

The story The Aleph is about a small sphere in which the whole universe is condensed, in the same place. The infinite is in the aleph, and the aleph is in the aleph, and the guy looking is there, and the reader of the book, and you.

This node could be -subtitled "Why Alan Moore knows more about qaballah than Jorge Luis Borges.

The Aleph is a concept presented in a short story written by Jorge Luis Borges, and also in an issue of The Swamp Thing written by Alan Moore. In the first story, the narrator finds himself talking to a pretentious, untalented poet who tries to write an epic poem of the entire history of the universe. The poet finally reveals that his secret is a spot in his basement in which he can experience the entire universe at once, and the narrator finds, to his (obviously) amazement, that this is indeed the case.

The second story takes place in the "cosmic" portion of the DC universe, invented by Jack Kirby and here described by Alan Moore. In an episode of Swamp Thing, the universe travelling Swamp Thing happens upon Metron, an agent of the tyrant DarkSeid, trying to find a way into The Source, the metaphysical beginning point of the DC Universe. Metron, assisted by the Swamp Thing, manages to break through the barrier and experiences all of the universe's secrets at once. the Swamp Thing's experience is only of wanting to return to his beloved on earth. Later, when Metron explains his experiences to Darkseid, Darkseid explains that he had not reached the Source, but merely "an Aleph", which he says is a trick to capture those without enough understanding of the cosmos.

Now, a little bit of explanation of where the cosmological picture comes in. Both writers seem to be familiar with Qabbalistic cosmological concepts, simply from the use of a Hebrew letter. In The Borges page, however, the explanation is that "Aleph" as a letter stands before the rest of creation, and therefore that the Aleph stands for the infinite aspect of things, as seen through their connection between each other. On the other hand, Alan Moore says that the Aleph is just a block used to hide people from finding the real, transcendent Source. Both writers make mistakes in their explanations, although Moore's are merely technical while Borges are intrinsically confused.

The truth is that the Aleph is probably the Sefira Da'ath. It is not the "unlimited"(Ain Sof, or Wu Qiong), which does not show things features in their universal interrelationship, but rather...well, that is an another issue entirely. Da'ath stands for the structure of existence, or knowledge of the whole order, within itself, without explicitly showing its transcendent source, which is Keter. In the Moore story, the Aleph is a place where intrinsic structure is made clear as a way to trick people away from seeing the true transcendent nature of things. It should be noted that technically, the name "Aleph" is a misnomer since in Qaballah, it is never used to refer to a Sefira, but rather refers to the path between Keter and Binah.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.