And so I learned this strange theology of Alexandar Diego Soli: It was known that the first Lord Cantor, the great Georg Cantor, with an ingenious proof array had demonstrated that the infinity of integers — what he called aleph null — is embedded within the higher infinity of real numbers. And he had proved that that infinity is embedded within the infinites of the higher alephs, a whole hierarchy of infinities, an infinity of infinities. The Simoom cantors believed that as it is with numbers, so it is with the hierarchies of the gods. Truly, as Alexandar had taught his son, Leopold, if a god existed, who or what had created him (or her)? If there is a higher god, call him god^2^, there must be a god^3^ and a god^4^, and so on. There is an aleph million and an aleph centillion, but there is no final, no highest infinity, and therefore there is no God. No, there could be no true God, and so there could be no true creation. The logic was as harsh and merciless as Alexandar of Simoom himself: If there is no true creation then there is no true reality. If nothing is real, then man is not real; man in some fundamental sense does not exist. Reality is all a dream, and worse, it is less than a dream because even a dream must have a dreamer to dream it. To assert otherwise is nonsense. And so to assert the existence of the self is therefore a sin, the worst of sins; therefore it is better to cut out one’s tongue than to speak the word “I.”

— Mallory, in Neverness, by David Zindell