The Tower Of Babble

As a creative writer I enjoy concocting an occasional play on words. The title for this blog post is an obvious play on the biblical phrase “Tower of Babel.” The words “Babel” and “babble” not only sound similar, they confer similar meanings. Let me explain.

Babel refers to a city and tower in Genesis (11:1-9) that was built by sojourners who settled down and wanted to “make a name for themselves.” This story, as well as other sacred communications from God to humankind, contains an inexhaustible depth of Divine Wisdom, including profound knowledge of human psychology. This depth of communication can only be unlocked if one learns that the biblical narratives (whether historical fact or not) are creative metaphors for depicting the ever-changing internal reality and quality of the human heart and mind, especially in relationship to the Creator.

Symbolically speaking, sojourners or travelers are used to represent the inner trajectory of the human spirit. This particular group of sojourners described in Genesis was traveling “from the east” which means in a direction and trajectory further from God.  That these particular individuals decided to finally settle in a “valley” called Shinar means that they all began to do their worshipping from a lower mental plane (a result from their moving in the wrong direction). From this low mental place, they became self-deluded and thus began their vainglorious attempt to build a tall tower or monument in order to exalt themselves and reach heaven by their own means.

That the materials they used to build this edifice consisted of “hand-hewn” stones and “bitumen” for mortar represents symbolically that they used only the ideas that were fabricated (man-made) and favorable to promote their self-absorbed interests—which had little commonality with others (weak mortar). The resulting tower or edifice was built on the false principle of reaching “heaven” through dominion and lifting oneself above everything else (making a name for themselves).

Such a false structure (belief system) based on self-deceit and illusion could not hold together because, from the principle of self-love, people can only be at variance with one another. The final result of this endeavor to elevate one’s own self-importance was that everyone’s tongues became confused because no one could speak from God’s unifying TRUTH. Therefore, they were only capable of gibberish and babbling.

The Tower of “Babel” led to a confusion of tongues and voices. Similarly, to “babble” means to chatter meaninglessly and in an incoherent manner. So the Tower of Babel can indeed be called the Tower of Babble.


About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at
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