The Library of Babel

There is no advice here. No daily routine calendars for your kids. No hot takes, no jokes, no playlists, no recipes, and no news. Because I don’t know.

So instead check this out for a while: In nineteen forty-one, Jorge Luis Borges wrote about a thought-experiment he called, “The Library of Babel” in which he conceptualized a hypothetical universal library arranged in hexagons and shelves containing books of four-hundred ten pages each with every possible combination of letters that could ever be written. Think about it, every possible combination of letters in existence would contain things like the date of your birth, the date of your death, the story of how you got your middle name, and well… everything…it would also contain a seemingly infinite amount of gibberish. Never in your lifetime would you be able to flip through all the pages to stitch together something like Macbeth or Paul’s letter to the Romans.

Well, somebody was fascinated by the concept and they made it. I’ll post the link below, but don’t skip ahead just yet.

This online library really does contain every possible combination of text characters, spaces, and other necessary punctuation that could exist (with a maximum three-thousand two-hundred characters) and it’s not some kind of internet trickery or magic…every page has a permanent, unchanging address meaning it will be there forever.

For example, everything I’ve just written can be found on this exact page:

Every time you go to that room, (it has a long name that I’ll paste at the end). You can copy it and see for yourself, on wall number 4, shelf number 5, volume 14, page 29, it will be there. There are no shenanigans here. Instructions at the end. So…here is the question of the day: Did I write it? Or did I find it? Technically, it pre-existed me and just waited for me to find it…right? So then God wrote it? Or was it my own reason and intellect that drove me to use tools at my disposal to uncover an uncanny coincidence? Here are some other notable pages:

The day I was born can be found hidden in the midst of the gibberish on this page:,ezyuuo.yqg.s140

Mark 1:1-29 can be found on this page:

Mark 1:1-29 except Jesus is named Jeff can be found here:,ke,jm,dhdesehw,m_,vcfrr351

Try to wrap your brain around how much stuff is in this library. It contains 104677 books. For scale, it’s believed that the known, observable universe has 1082 atoms. It is literally everything that could ever be said (in 3200 characters or less). Every idea, every story, next week’s winning lottery numbers, and the formula for the coronavirus vaccine. It’s all in there.

Luckily, the computer can go search and find specific things you might be looking for…but how might one find answers to questions which exist, but are as of yet, unknown? You would waste your life trying to find those precious nuggets in all the noise. And even then you could find it, and have one crucial word be changed to Jeff.

Jorge Borges writes, “On some shelf in some hexagon (men reasoned) there must exist a book which is the formula and perfect compendium of all the rest: some librarian has gone through it and he is analogous to a god.”

Or maybe, is God…in the midst of all this noise, I don’t know. I have no freaking clue and if I had stumbled on the answer by mistake, I’d have never known it.

Perhaps the one who in the beginning was THE word is the divine librarian who knows just where this mysterious, perfect book with all the answers lies. And then, there are these words by Frederich Buechner from Wishful Thinking:

“There are mysteries you can solve by taking thought. For instance, a murder mystery whose mysteriousness must be dispelled in order for the truth to be known.

There are other mysteries that do not conceal a truth to think your way to, but whose truth is itself the mystery. The mystery of your self, for example. The more you try to fathom it, the more fathomless it is revealed to be. No matter how much of your self you are able to objectify and examine, the quintessential, living part of your self will always elude you, that is, the part that is conducting the examination. Thus you do not solve the mystery, you live the mystery. And you do that not by fully knowing yourself, but by fully being yourself.

To say that God is a mystery is to say that you can never nail him down. Even on Christ the nails proved ultimately ineffective.”

I don’t know, but I do continue to trust that God will see me through this, just as I’ve been accompanied through everything else thus far. So maybe I can breathe a little easier and keep focused on figuring out what it looks like for me to fully be myself (the self God made me to be) within a new paradigm. It’s going to be ok.

Now…now you can go explore the library for yourself:   just pick some random rooms to start…but then, try this:

From the homepage, click “Browse” and paste the following paragraph of gibberish into “Hex Name”. Then select Wall 4, Shelf 5, Volume 14, and go to page 29:


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