It wasn’t so long ago that Humanity turned their eyes to the ethereal expanse of the universe and began to piece together the greatest tribute to human invention. A massive tower that would climb into the far realm of space and literally touch the seat of God. The objective: The glorification of human ingenuity and achievement. They weren’t content to stay on the ground, they wanted to build higher and faster, pushing past the law of the universe and turning it on its head. Driven by the primal desire, the entire world clenched their fists against the hammer and rock and began the chisel away at the stones of the earth.
There is a tendency to look back on the ancient world and believe that it was a primitive society but this could not be further from the truth. With any careful examination and research, the ancient world was truly a remarkable and inventive one. They managed to build technologically advanced and sophisticated structures. Engineered with such precision that it would rival any building in today’s world and probably surpass it. How do we know this is true? The fact that centuries after they were built, buildings like the ancient pyramids are still standing today, The precise and carefully calculated angles, unprecedented and complex.
A tower Of Ingenuity
The tower of Babel was no different. The first thing we must understand is the Tower, was not just a tower. This was the extension of a kingdom. An entire civilization wrapped within large stone turrets. It was a revolutionary step towards global domination. In short, due to the magnitude of this structure, this was indeed a vertical empire, filled with thousands of men, women and children, who not only worked on the tower, but lived within it’s realm. It’s not difficult to imagine that within its facade
We read in Genesis 11 that it was here that God confused the language of the human race, endowing humanity with a plethora of tongues and dialects. I would even go as far as to say that it was not just the physical word that became scrambled but the human mind. Suddenly they could no longer understand each other both on a tangible and spiritual level. The tower became the greatest attempt by humanity to burst through the chasm and attempt to push into a forbidden realm that was not there’s to break into. Although there are many who do not believe such a tower could have existed, there are many extracanonical sources that point to its existence, not to mention that this is a story that features heavily in many cultures and religious texts from around the world.
Regardless of whether the ruins of this tower have been found, the philosophy and desire behind it have never left humanity. We have a tendency to want to exert ourselves as glorified beings. Never giving heed to the fact that there are boundaries set in place for the express purpose of keeping us safe. If the creator has indeed set a limitation, it is there for a reason and through our foolish and ignorant vantage point of the ground, there is no way we can accurately assess the danger that we may be putting ourselves in.
We complain about restrictions and see God as an unjust angry man in the sky, but consider this, when someone hugs you, is it because they are attempting to put you in a choke hold? Or is it perhaps because they are creating a sanctuary of safety. The act of enveloping you in a tight grip is an expression of ardent affection and love. So too, when we realize that there are limitations and lines that we are not meant to cross, instead of erecting towers of anger, in an attempt to override the authority of the creator, we should simply learn to find gratitude for these boundaries, and signs that keep us safe.
The tower was a significant portrayal of our desire for success.
So Let’s talk about success and what makes a successful person. After all, we are always chasing it like it is the elusive pied piper. We are told that satisfaction comes from the acquisition of material wealth and accolades. Unless a dream leads to applause, we have no need to imagine, to dream. Why think outside the box, when you can settle for mediocrity. Why bother to look beyond and consider that perhaps these boxes, the ones we’ve built for ourselves are just forms of social purgatory.
Can we talk about success and the dreams we aspire to?
This currency of monetary asphyxiation leads to exhaustion. We colour of our dreams, goals, and aspirations in every shade of the almighty dollar.
Yes, we need to survive. We need to have a place to live, food on our tables, clothes and basic education. All of these are noble pursuits and necessary in their own rights. What about the other things that make life worthwhile? The value of love, family or relationships? What happened to doing something out of passion and not solely for personal gain? When did we lose our ability to create parallel universes? When did we stop imagining the ability to fly and explore uncharted lands? When did we retire our childlike wonder and vivacity for these traffic-filled commutes? When did we merely existing become more acceptable than actually living? Why have we emptied ourselves into nothing more than empty shells? Becoming mindless and numb to the beauty that is all around us.
We’ve traded in the sky, the earth for concrete high rises. Confined ourselves to concrete slabs. Extinguished natural light for fluorescent ones. In our drive for success, we have forgotten who we are. Lost to the race that we can never win. Everyone is so busy going in the same direction, they never bother to take the other roads. We don’t contemplate that there are multiple paths to the same destination.
Life was never meant to be a destination. It’s simply the accumulation of experiences both good and bad.
We must remember that the ultimate beauty is found in those we hold close to our hearts. When we begin to place more value on the elusiveness of time and those we share it with, then will we find more joy, more fulfillment than we ever thought possible.
M. C. Rose