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Monday, July 25, 2005

Finding and Seeking

“I knew why Diotallevi distrusted Abulafia. He had heard that word processors could change the order of letters. A test, thus, might generate its opposite and result in obscure prophecies. ’It’s a game of permutation,’ Belbo said, trying to explain. ’Temurah? Isn’t that the name for it? Isn’t that what the devout rabbi does to ascend to the Gates of Splendor?’

’My dear friend,’ Diotallevi said, ’you’ll never understand anything. It’s true that the Torah – the visible Jbrah, that is – is only one of the possible permutations of the letters of the eternal Torah, as God created it and delivered it to the angels. By rearranging the letters of the book over the centuries, we may someday arrive again at the original Torah. But the important thing is not the finding, it is the seeking, it is the devotion with which one spins the wheel of prayer and scripture, discovering the truth little by little. If this machine gave you the truth immediately, you would not recognize it, because your heart would not have been purified by the long quest.’”
– Umberto Eco, The Foucault’s Pendulum

Also see: Eco on Google.


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