The Tower of Babel

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Genesis 11:1-8

Today, many people continue to believe that there is no such thing as objective or Universal Truth and that it is perfectly all right for each one of us to have his opinions about what is True and Good. But, as we can see from the story above, this was not always the case. There was a time on earth, when human beings were of “one language.” This means that they all agreed upon and understood what was True and Good. Due to such an understanding, they could live in harmony because they loved their neighbor as themselves. But, as we read, “they journeyed from the east.” The east corresponds to Love. So this means that their love for each other began to deteriorate. And, as we know, when real Love disappears, real Truth also subsides. They came down from the mountains (of Love) and into the valley (of external love and belief).

But, once in this lower state, they desired to elevate and worship their own self by building a city and a tower. In olden days, towers, because of their height, were used to defend cities. Thus, our spiritual tower is the means by which we defend our beliefs or doctrines (city). A “stone’ corresponds to Universal, Real or Heavenly Truth. When we are in Love of God and Love of Neighbor, the spiritual tower by which we defend our loves and beliefs is made of stone or Truth connected with real Love. But “bricks” are man-made beliefs or personal opinions and “slime” corresponds to the love of self by which these opinions were stuck together.

If they were allowed to build this spiritual tower, they would all justify and rationalize their self-love, love of the world and love of abuses and the eventual self-destruction of the human race would follow. But the Lord intervened so that disagreement would ensue as to what was Good and True. Imagine if all of us concurred that selfishness and greed were “good” and lying, stealing, cheating, raping and murdering should be tolerated in society. There would be chaos in the streets. At least now, we are restrained by certain laws of civility. Yet, many of us continue to justify and rationalize our selfish loves by means of our personal opinions, lies, fallacies and fantasies.

Imagine also if each one us had an opinion about the nature of electromagnetism or gravitation. We would have no knowledge, science or technology to build our cities, houses and appliances. Yet, many of us continue to insist that Truth and Good are subjective and only matters of opinion. The Lord gave us the freedom to believe or reject Truth and Good. But Truth and Good are emanations of Reality. And, if we insist on believing our own opinions and continue to enforce our selfishness through acts of cruelty or debauchery, we may end up in the dark fantasy worlds of hell.