METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Fall semester 1975 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on September 29, 1975
Gen. 11:6-9, pp. 96-101 of transcript.
Jehovah Responds to Tower of Babel
Let's go on. And the Lord God, seeing how much progress had been made, then, says, "Behold, the people is one." Grace Rose wouldn't like him. No, that's not a grammatical error; that's a metaphysical figure of speech. The people is one. How many people are we talking about here. One person, any individual who goes through this experience in his unfoldment. The people is one, and they have all one language, and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do, meaning that on the purely mental level, that once a person's mind really is set and focused, and everything in him, all his creative power is focused on a result, on a determination, that on the purely mental level, he's going to get it. It's got to work out the way he wants it. That's part of the mental law.
But Jehovah or the Lord stands for a higher law. You see, the Lord of your being is greater than just the mental law of cause and effect, will power, etc. So, something on a higher level of us than just the mental decides this has gone far enough.
"Let us go down and confound their language, confound the one language. Let's scatter them abroad or the face of the earth, and so the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth, and they left off to build the city. Therefore, is the name of it called Babel, because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth."
First of all, let's talk about the reason why this tower could not have been successfully completed. You have a state of consciousness, in which there is a belief in the reality of two powers; you have a state of consciousness whose building blocks are mainly materialistic concepts and beliefs. And you have a motivation, or the mortar between these blocks, a motivation that is lacking in real love, in harmonizing, binding, real love.
Now, suppose such a state of consciousness could enter into heaven, that is, could reach a level of functioning wherein spiritual realities become the only important thing. How much at home do you think such a person would be on that realm? You know that to him, what is really heaven, quite likely to him it would appear as hell, if it could happen, but it can't happen, thank God, but if it could, this person would be completely unoriented to the realm which he reached, because he didn't go there equipped properly.
In the first place, he's brought in a belief in two powers, he's brought in materialistic concepts and thinking and believing, and he's forgot to bring with him the most essential thing of all on the kingdom of heaven, love. And so no way would he be able to function there; and yet, that is his destiny. That's all of our destinies; we're all going to build that tower of consciousness and enter that level; but we can't get there that way, because we would have no passport, we have no credentials, we have no way of fulfilling ourselves on that level, simply because we don't really belong there consciously.
So the first thing that happens is that one language is confounded, simply meaning the attention and one-sided determination is diverted; and new languages are spoken. It says that one language was confounded so that they did not understand each other's speech, but each person then was speaking a new language. And then they were scattered, which means that they went off into various directions and areas of expression, and there these new languages become new modes of communication within us. It's not good to go around all the time with a single minded, determinedness of purpose.
If you speak only that language, you'd be too narrow, you'd be too uncomprehending of other people's viewpoints. You would not be able to speak any language but a language called me and mine. That is still the only language some people really speak. You know such persons, that no matter what the heck they're talking about, it's always me and mine. There's a lady, sometimes I get stuck with her on the bus in the morning when I come out here, she's lovely; she works in Lee's Summit. But, no matter what she's talking about, that is what topic, it always gets around to, "my grandchildren and me and my house and my health, my problems." Now before that woman can grow in spiritual consciousness, she's going to have to have that language confounded and bring in a lot of new languages into her being, learn to talk a little bit about you and yours once in a while. It never hurts.
Here are these builders with their good intentions, but their misguided efforts in that particular project, they're all speaking new languages, and they get scattered. And I like to think of those people, the symbol of those disappointed builders but all speaking a brand-new language as the seeds that are always scattered from our failures to become our new successes.
You know, you look at your life carefully and non-negatively, and I'll bet you that nine times out of ten that every one of your so-called failures scattered the seeds of your later successes; and that that language you were speaking, that one-sided viewpoint that you were speaking at the time of that apparent failure, became new languages that you learned, became new and better modes of inter-communication between the different parts of your own being. In the long run, you were better off for that having happened, just as the planet earth, historically, would have been better off after this happened because it acquired new languages, the science of semetics was expanded, if you're going to take it literally, which I don't.
Also, all of these people were skilled builders, we're taking it strictly literally now, not metaphysically; and they were scattered. So the earth is benefitted by having people skilled or experienced in building, scattered around in different places. But, then, metaphysically it's more subtle.
Remember, folks, when your intentions are harmless, none of your seeming failures are failures; they are really successful failures or constructive failures or creative failures. So that failure never is a finality; in spiritual law, so-called, is only what we call the outcome of certain efforts that we make. When they are innocent but misguided, harm never comes out of the failure, but greater expansion or greater possibility of good. Just the opposite often happens when the intention is malicious or willful harm-causing motivation. Very often, in those cases, you get what looks like a successful outcome and turns out to be totally a failure, a total wipeout in the overall picture of things.
That was brought out to one very forcibly in a book I read about Joseph Stalin. You read this book, and chapter after chapter of his magnificent cruelty and maliciousness and lording it over the most highly populous nation on earth; he had the world like a yo-yo for awhile. Then, we come to the last part of this book, and it is an eyewitness account of the final hours of Joseph Stalin's incarnation. And if it isn't an eye-opener. The things that Joseph Stalin realized and said to the people around him in these final moments of his life. You could read that the man's eyes were opened and he looked back on his life and saw that the whole thing wasn't worth it. Nothing that he had done or accomplished was worth the way he felt about himself and the result of the way he used his incarnation at that moment. Anyone who would read a thing like that and couldn't learn from it first-hand; on the other hand, how many people who seemingly haven't accomplished very much and done the best they could, but then that best never seemed to be quite good enough. And in a certain period of their life, their eves were opened, and they realized their own true worth, their own contribution to the evolvement of our human family and race consciousness, etc.
The population of our country from the immigrants were usually, for the most part, the people who looked like they were failures. Certainly their language was confounded in many respects, when they came here and had to become part of a community that didn't understand their language or their customs, but out of that very diversity, has developed greater unity. Out of diversity can be developed greater unity, and out of temporary failure can be scattered the seeds of magnificent future successes. So that, to me, this allegory of the tower of Babel is really a very constructive allegory, not the record of a failure, but the true analysis about the truth about many of our seeming failures.
You know, Martha Guidici has a favorite affirmation, and it's so true. She says,
"I work with God, and God cannot fail."
God cannot fail. This does not mean that the human being working with God can't go through experiences of failure, just that he cannot fail; he cannot be a failure. He can go through failure, just like a person cannot die. You know, I'd like to go out and kick every one of you in the shins and say, "a person cannot die, don't ever forget it." So try to never forget it without a kick in the shins. A person cannot die; a person can go through the death experience. Now, a person working with God cannot fail, but he can go through a failure experience. You keep God alive in all your efforts, especially the inner efforts, and you will never be a failure.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 26, 2015.