ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tower of Babel [Part 1] Genesis 11

Updated on March 10, 2018
CC Saint Clair profile image

Some of us do ponder how to begin redesigning aspects of what matters most to us in this lifetime.

Now the entire earth was of one language and uniform words

These days, as a layperson’s mind meanders randomly through the famed biblical episode of the destruction of the Tower of Babel, as told in Bereishit, Genesis Chapter 11, the narrative easily passes as a metaphor for the state of our global community.

It begins like this: Now the entire earth was of one language and uniform words.

The language may have been Adamic (of divine origin) or simply Chaldaic, the language of the people who lived within the kingdom of Babylon, in ancient Mesopotamia.

We, too, have one collective language. It is called English. Many more people on the planet may be native speakers of Mandarin or Spanish but, from the medina of Marrakech to the favela of Rio de Janeiro to Namche Bazaar in Khumbu and from Airbnb to hotels scattered around the world, English is the common thread that links all people.

Over the past decades, English has risen from below the murky depths of a myriad of industries to become the new lingua franca.

Broken, it might be. Spoken with various accents and in varying proficiency, it might be.

Far from unifying, English is nonetheless the go-to language for all people who aspire, for reasons best known to them, to reach out and communicate with persons from another land, be that to enhance their business ventures, to keep up with the social media surge or to entice a prospective buyer.

Come, let us make bricks and fire them thoroughly

Tepees, cabins, huts and shacks have steadily been replaced by dwellings of concrete. Wherever allowed, houses are replaced by apartment blocks. Elsewhere, apartment blocks are superseded by towers.

Our rivers are dammed. Our air is polluted.

Our fields and forests have been leased or sold to contractors who burn, log or mine them. That is if they have not yet become streets and highways that twist and turn towards the vanishing line of the horizon.

Collectively, through our compulsion to consume more and more of everything, we have all had a hand in constructing this communal, dysfunctional reality.

Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens

In this current era, our constructed ‘city’ is not vertical.

From the towering spires of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres to the world’s once tallest buildings, each has had the ephemeral glory of having ‘its top in the heavens.’

However, despite all manner of architectural feats, our ‘city’ is still not a massive tower that reaches upward beyond the clouds. Instead, our web of humanity spreads horizontally ‘upon the face of the entire earth’.

And let us make ourselves a name

The name we have created for ourselves is Consumers.

As people sharing one common culture, as one big family, we have a typical diet called Junk.

Beyond cellular damage induced by unhealthy foods, we also stock a horde of common illnesses and diseases most of which are caused by a seemingly airborne epidemic to life called Stress - more formerly known as Emotional Injury.

Mind meandering back to 1797 when the British began to import opium from India into China forcibly.

It has been estimated that some forty years later the number of Chinese opium addicts had already reached between 6 million and 12 million.

And now, every year in the U.S. alone, some 20,000 deaths are reported involving prescription opioid pain relievers.

However invisibly, across aeons as across our streets, humanity has always been as interconnected as the residents of the epic towering Tour of Babel.

Back to our current era, monotasking might well be the healthy habit that would cap our ill-health, but our shared cultural addiction to multitasking has wiped that option out of our awareness.

We are pushed onwards by the conviction that what we have, no matter how much it might be, is not enough.

We deserve more.

We deserve better.

We believe that ‘more and better’ will be granted us when we ‘turn the page’, ‘start fresh’ or clear the next hurdle.

Popcorn rocks our brain

We do our best to stay awake.

When we jog, walk the dog, sit on a bus, in a park or lie on the sand, we do so with music or podcasts flooding our eardrums.

When we shower, brush our teeth, do the dishes, drive home, share a meal with our loved ones or appear to be relaxing on the sofa, we let ourselves get sucked in by the flurry of unsolicited thoughts.

These emotions and thoughts pop inside our mind with the relentlessness of popcorn popping on a loop – some say to the tune of roughly one thought per second. Others estimate 60.000 per day.

We are proud of our busy minds and relatively few are those who are serious about attempting to bridle its randomness.

Imitate thy neighbor

Though scattered across rural areas, towns, cities and mega-cities across the globe, the internet keeps us linked, almost knitted together. Thus, we form one large tribe within which everyone admires of the other.

Circa 1830, Charles Caleb Colton, English cleric, best known for his eccentricities, did say that imitation was the sincerest form of flattery. Oscar Wilde concurred a few decades later but he added, ‘ ... that mediocrity can pay to greatness.’

That little sting notwithstanding, and despite everyone thinking themselves unique, men of all ages like tend to their chins and groom their hair as their next-door neighbours do - always according to the cyclic vagaries of fashion. Women like conformity, too, but for them, long hair has been enduring and facial hair has never been a real option.

Though convinced of their individuality, Men and women of all ages cannot resist the appeal of also dressing like their neighbours. It is most willingly that they wear the same ready-to-wear, disposable clothes.

Athleisure, fashion clothing designed for athletic activities but worn in just about every other setting has consolidated its rightful space in our collective wardrobe.

From tribal-inspired to mock-cheerful, colourful designs abound. And, thankfully, although continuously tweaked for wearer-comfort, denim and sneakers live on as an unbeatable combo.

We love continuity

Broadly, it can be said that, though more and more of our work is done sitting down, we think, work, love, fight and play in the same ways as people have been doing it centuries before us. It is just that our ‘modern’ ways are a lot more chaotic – a lot more self-indulgent.

Beyond that, not much is new under our sun.

One people and one language

And the Lord said, "Lo! [they are] one people and they all have one language, and this is what they have commenced to do."

One language. One culture. 7 billion brains puling as one equals one colossal melting pot best kept at room temperature.

Now, will it not be withheld from them, all that they have planned to do?”

Surely, planning for progress and [personal] profit would have been foremost in the minds of more than Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, William Henry Vanderbilt, Andrew W. Mellon and Henry Ford back in the days when ‘all seemed possible’, even time-travelling to the moon.

Ordinary citizens planned as well. They have never stopped imagining, anticipating or hoping for the moment when their god, having added comfort upon comfort, would finally hear their prayers to align them on the Path of Happiness, keeping them pinned there ad vitam æternam.


If Homo Sapiens means Wise Man

We are steadfast and Control is our middle name. We refuse the notion of simply being, of letting the moment just be as it is.

The thoughts that we breathe by ourselves; the conviction that, not only we ‘are’ our body but that we are in control of our body; that we ‘are’ our mind; that we manage our environment are as relevant to humanity today as it was in bygone eras.

That is, once the god of the Torah, Old Testament, got superseded by science and the illusion of personal autonomy.

Flying in the face of all evidence, the steady mainstream belief is that 'outer' transformation towards a better version of ourselves will reap the rewards that we seek.

'Inner' transformation is often considered diversionary. Anyway, who would have time for that, right?

So, when all our qualities are tallied, it would seem that Carl Linnaeus was right when, in 1758, he labelled our species, Homo Sapiens – Wise Man, in English.

---

[This mind-meander meandering a little too much is cont'd in Part 2]

Meandering meanders :-)
Meandering meanders :-)

© 2018 Carole Claude Saint-Clair

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)