A Tower of Babel Interpretation
What can we learn from the Tower of Babel story in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible? And, how can we apply its teachings in today's' society. I will just give four sayings which I believe express the thought, from then, till now, and beyond. They are; "Birds of a feather, flock together", "Like minds think alike", "If you can't beat them join them", and the grand daddy of them all, "Why? can't we just get along."
In the holy scriptures of Ifa literary corpus(Yoruba Lucumi Version). My ancestors upon coming to the Americas, and having to re-adapt traditional Yoruba Ifa scriptures, and way of life, to western thought...i.e. why the differences in Odu interpretation between Lucumi and traditional Yoruba, exists. There is an Odu which interpreted the story of the Tower of Babel; the story was adopted; and was given a meaning by the African Slaves in Cuba. The Odu is Ofun Batrupon. Interesting enough the interpretation gave a sort of understanding much like the sayings listed above. Of course, it is expressed in a much simpler way. But, when you take a simple expression and expand it. You can reach very far in the various meanings that it can possibly uphold.
When we think about the story and what happened in the story. We can break down the social significances to touch open these areas; Family, society, politics, & Leadership.
Relating to Family:
Family members have to support one another, understand one another. And, when situations or problems within the members of the family exists. All have to come together and tackle it together. Not, just look the other way, or their own way. There are many within the family which talk a good game, say this needs too, and that needs too be done. Yet, know one does anything about it. Or, there is only one member with the courage and tenacity to address it. Yet, this individual in the family will become dissolution or discouraged, seeing themselves alone; without someone of like mind and understanding; to support and rally the troops, with them. When this happens, this particular family leader, which no one wants to understand or recognize, leaves. The family structure suffers, and is broken down because of it. Hence, members of the family most allow their arms to be bent, and except righteous leaders within the family. Support them and one another so that a strong base is maintained for the generations to come.
This we can all relate to with the saying "Birds of a feather, flock together." We can all recognize ourselves as being grouped in some way or fashion. By Race, gender, religion, interests, language, state, cultural traditions, and economic or intellectual stratification. And, although within theses groups even more groups branch out. What remains the same is the foundation from which they sprung. All want to be recognized. All want their voice to be heard. All want their differences to be acknowledge. Which leads us to the next category.
Here is where "Like minds think alike." Why? is it so difficult to agree and accept when an individual is correct. Ego, alter ego, egotism, pride, selfishness, and plain old stubbornness. Again, just like the family no one wants to compromise, allow for the arm to be twisted, and just accept the truth. Everyone, wants to bid on their truth to be the best and only truth. This is going to happen, and because it does not benefit me, I will not support or vouch for it. Yet, when you give more to me, than I do to you, it's ok. I have to always have the upper hand. You will always have to allow yourself to be taken advantage of. I will bargain with you, only if it is to my advantage and best interest. The outcome of this we all know, rebellion or war. Which brings me to this question; Since the tower of babel have things actually changed?
Why can't we just get along?
If we were to apply what God did, which was separate us. In today's society we would call it gestapo tact-techs(tactical techniques) or tackle ticks as I call it(joking). Interest groups would rise up and say that we are being forced to segregate as in being put into concentration camps. Yet, come to think of it. We already segregate each other. We either can accept living with one another within races, or we simply move(as in there goes the neighborhood). We either can eat together in restaurants, or go to the same malls, or we move. We can either except our children dating someone of a different country or race, or we loose the love of our child. And, there we go again, someone moves.
The I Ching says that our society on Earth is a mirror image of the society or what exists in heaven. In the book "The 12th Planet" Earth Chronicles series by Zacharia Sitchin, it was mentioned that the "Gods taught us so"; going back during the periods of the ancient Sumerians. Which brings me to leadership.
Our leadership has to understand within each group. The needs, pains, and sorrows, of its people. And, I believe that by addressing the pains and sorrows, we can start to fix situations, or help cure the diseases in society. How can we make things better if we can not address what is wrong, without egotism, selfishness, & pride.
During a Lucumi Ifa divination ritual I cast a chain called Okpele. An Odu/Oracle/binary number is the symbol, which identifies the persons situation, karma, or what they are living at that moment; result of the first toss. The second toss, is the conversation relative to the first Odu. How are we? where are we? what is happening? The third toss, not only brings closure to the conversation between the first two Odu/binary symbols. It also, sheds light on the outcome. And, gives advice on the possible remedies needed to support a positive outcome in the persons destiny. Then comes the application of the remedy. So, there is an order to obtaining support, or help, from God and his divinities. There are rules, that I need to follow, in order to not make a mistake, not only in interpretation, but also in prescribing ritual work. Hence, organization is the key.
In God, spreading mankind into groups and separating them by language, likeliness, and cultural understanding. He has forced us to learn how to get along with in our own group first. If you can not know yourself, or the group you are a part of. Respect yourself and the group that you are a part of. How can you ever learn too cope with others.