Myth | Tower of Babel

Question: There are many myths in the book of Genesis, including the one about the Tower of Babel. To recap, from Genesis 11:1-9:

1: Originally the whole earth was of one language…2: And…as they journeyed from the East…they found a plain…and they dwelt there. 3: And they said…Let us build a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven…lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 4: And the Lord came…to see the city and the tower which the children of men had builded. 5: And…said…This they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do…

6: Let us…confound their language that they may not understand one another…7: So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city and the tower: 8:…because the Lord did… confound the language of all the earth.

Answer: In fact, entire books could be written just to explain this passage, that’s how much is contained in it. For now, we’ll consider just one aspect of it, starting with the reference to “of one language.” Long, long ago, human beings were whole beings that were fully integrated and living in harmony within themselves—no conflicts and no contradictions. Our spirits weren’t these fragmented, scattered beings, like we are now. To say our current version of ourselves lacks single-pointed focus is an understatement, given the abundance of contradictory forces inside each of us.

These contradictions can be thought of as “different languages,” a symbol that represents how we don’t understand ourselves. Since this is what exists inside our souls, this Tower of Babel, it’s going to also exist outwardly in the world. It has to. Enter chaos, stage left.

 

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