Borges and the Theory of Eternal Return. The mirror represents one of the ideas that has haunted Borgean metaphysics and appears in several of his works of fiction. That mirror represents now the Cyclic Theory of the Universe, best known as the Theory of Eternal Recurrence. Before entering Borges'' central idea in this matter, let us remember that the doctrine in question has registered sources on papyrus and scrolls. Of course, Hindus, major initiators of intuitive concerns, had much to do with it before handing it over to Buddhists, first cousins in spirit. There the kalpas were born, the stages that the nascent world must cover to reach its own twilight. The birth of the world is due to ideal compression and its destruction, to conflagration. Something else: the number of kalpas is infinite, as it is the number of recurrent cycles. Heraclitus also gave up to the fascination of the great cosmic wheel that born from fire returns again with stubbornness to fire. Nietzsche, for his part, had to start from the infinity of time and the finiteness of matter to sustain the endless repetition of the world as Borges did in "Library of Babel". But modern science has also had its say about the theory in question. Let us recall the theory of Big Bang, explosion that occurs after a point of infinite density exploited to give rise to the universe, universe that will contract again until the point of infinite density to cause a new Big Bang. In one of his essays in "History of Eternity", Borges systematized his ideas on the subject. But a previous clarificationy is needed: in these critical summaries of his work, I speak of Borges as the character who expresses himself in literary fiction, I do not talk about Borges as Director of the National Library. Well, it seems that the writer Borges, the nonlinear time champion in the narrative, compares an atom with a crumb of bread that can be divided into smaller and smaller pieces each time, until the "infinite".
And it looks like he does not do it to give us once again the famous false indications leading to the literary game. This insight implies that the set of mental symbols have the same properties that a set of objective things. Borges'' theory of Eternal Return poses problems of great content: What is the "initial state" to be recycled into infinity? Could it be the one existing a second after the explosion of the cosmic egg? The one exisitng a billion years ago? At what point in time will the process of repetition begin? This is otherwise a rhetorical question since everybody would know the answer: from the pristine moment of creation so the universe would have a beginning and therefore would have been created by a deity (the search for a god, by the great agnostic, goes on). If you want an endless eternity but with a beginning, a mental prowess will be done, similar to that of imagining a stick with only one end, a mental prowess worthy of prompting Borges'' imaginative curiosity. The story with the Borgean character takes us to the need to review more closely the Platonic idea of the seven planets. Finally, if the number of atoms that can be in one meter is equal to the number enrolled in the universe, as Borges puts it, the atoms of a straw split to infinite would suffice to fill the universe itself ******* ***** Hopefully these preliminaries will serve the reader to undertake the privileged work of reading Borges'' "Eternal Return" (Beckett: Mario Mendoza Blacutt)