Sign In

Forgot your password? No account yet?

The Fall of the Tower of Babel by PowderCat

The Fall of the Tower of Babel


I take a lot of Genesis as an allegory for birth and maturation, both individually and collectively. The Garden of Eden could easily be interpreted as the womb, and we are all cast out of it at some point. Genesis 2:24 says "This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh." Though people use this passage to refer to the tradition of marriage, I think that it speaks to something much, much deeper than that. Literally, when two people copulate, they create a child that is of one flesh. They do not "become one flesh" because they engage in a ritual institution and are now "to be viewed as comprising a single identity," but they literally become one flesh because their genetic compositions are joined into a new being (Mark 10:8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”).

That being said, I read somewhere once that babies born in every part of the world make phonetic sounds from pretty much every language in the world. It is only after a period of time that they start to key in on certain sounds that the people around them are making, and it is only after that that children key in enough to start developing more advanced language skills (typically).

However, in this original state, there is a freedom. There are no assumptions. There is an innocence in that state. There is a lack of judgement.

There comes a point at which babies/young children begin to mimic and to incorporate what they are experiencing from the creatures around them into themselves. To small creatures with an undeveloped sense of self or reality, the caregivers around them may as well be gods, at least from their perspective. They will learn from these gods around them and will begin to embody their cultural beliefs, their language, their idiosyncrasies, and their perceptions, often on a deeply unconscious level. Adults contribute to that quite thoroughly and somewhat consciously. (Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness..") (Genesis 11:7 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.) In our own way as individuals, we are each a Tower of Babel, and at some point, for each of us, that Tower fell. Barriers to communication of so many kinds were created for and/or by us. Perhaps we still spend time constructing new barriers and thinking up new ways to distance ourselves from the rest of our kind.

I chose to use the phrase "materialism" to express how children engender these attributes of caregivers and others alike. However, this can easily be exchanged for a phrase like "socialism," or "corporate capitalism," or nearly any other thing that you can probably think of. Children are like sponges. They soak up even more than we realize.

Most widespread religions in the world have some form of renunciation belief or ritual wherein an individual must 'cast off' the old self and put on the new. This is because, regardless of where or when a child is born in the world, the perspectives of the people around them raising them will likely leave much to be desired. It is necessary for beings to continue to learn, and this often entails a serious consideration of what was instilled into them at an earlier time. It is quintessential that we question and evaluate these things since the state of the world will have changed by the time that we reach maturation. The ideas that people gave us may apply to a world that is already different.

The story of the Tower of Babel may refer to a state that earlier humans lived in, perhaps on a shared continent, in which the manners in which they communicated were similar. Then, at some point, perhaps these same peoples went off on their travels and developed new languages. In a funny way, we seem to do that as individuals. At some point, we strike out on our own, even if only a little. Though we may differ on surface level behaviors and in the symbols that we use to describe the human experience, human beings are more or less fundamentally the same. We let our differences create so, so, so many barriers between ourselves and other beings. Just think of all of the harm that things like xenophobia, racism, intolerance, and a lack of an ability to communicate verbally with one another have done to our species.

Even beyond that, just think of how easily we dismiss the inner lives and inner experiences of creatures different than ourselves simply because they do not communicate verbally with us in our preferred tongue. Research is overwhelmingly in support of other beings communicating with others of their kind, whether we as individuals acknowledge it or not.. Some of us are just really into denial about it.

We could achieve remarkably wonderful things, if only we would learn to recognize the similarities of our experiences.
(Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”)