Dear Reader, the following is a re-telling of the story of Babel. I quote the original story from the Bible (King James” Bible, quotes in italics), but, though I do not mean any disrespect, I do treat it as a literary source and not as a holy text.
It is said that in the beginning the Lord
– the Lord.
I will use this word so that you understand, but as I started to say –
it is said that in the beginning the Lord was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it; and that the Lord was everything and everywhere, and every word was the Lord’s name.
When creating humankind, the Lord (who then was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it) bestowed upon us the Gift of free will; and it was only in our free will where the Lord was not, and it has ever led us to strange paths.
„And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speach. And it came to passe as they iourneyed from the East, that they found a plaine in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. And they sayd one to another; Goe to, let vs make bricke, and burne them thorowly. And they had bricke for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said; Goe to, let vs build vs a city and a tower, whose top may reach vnto heauen, and let vs make vs a name, lest we be scattered abroad vpon the face of the whole earth.”
My beloved was one of those most skilled in music, and I name-daughter of the Morning Star; and we would sing as the Tower was being built, sing songs of growth and resilience, of greatness and of love.
And all the words we would sing were also the name of the Lord.
If anyone told you this story, they would tell as follows:
„And the LORD came downe to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said; Behold, the people is one, and they haue all one language: and this they begin to doe: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they haue imagined to doe. Goe to, let vs go downe, and there cōfound their language, that they may not vnderstand one anothers speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence, vpon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the Citie. 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 vpon the face of all the earth.”
But it was not so.
The Lord, who then was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it, and who was everything and everywhere, except in our free will, started to doubt if we still knew that every word was the Lord’s name – and therefore saw the Tower as a threat instead of the prayer it was. And so the Lord (who then was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it) did indeed confound the language of the Earth.
I laid awake that night, unthinking and unseeing, all my being centred on the rythms and lights flashing through my mind, stranger even than usual; and I could, as every night, faintly hear the flowers growing in the dreams of my beloved.
But on that first day we hardly even noticed anything – I did not even relise my beloved had been given different words than I. Our songs were still the same, after all, and so were our smiles; so we kept on working and singing our songs of growth and resilience, of greatness and of love, to help build the Tower.
Now if anyone told you this story they would tell we left off to build our City and our Tower because we did not understand one another anymore.
But it was not so.
For even as we began to realise that there were new words, and that not the same ones had been given to everyone, there were already some who had started to learn them and help and explain. And we all revelled in the richness of these new words and tried to learn them all.
So on the second day, at down, my beloved and I went up to the top of the Tower – as it was – and sang all the knew words we knew to the skies, for we still believed that every word was the Lord’s name. But in this we were mistaken.
For some of the new words were indeed the Lord’s name, but some were not; and in some of the new words the Lord became a He and in others a She, and some named the Lord as Father and others as Mother to this World, and yet others as a Child to it.
And so it befell that the Gods came to be many, and each came to have a different name; and ever since that moment these Gods had existed since the beginning of Time.
But some of these Gods (who were now many) were called He and others She; and some were Mothers and others Fathers to this World, and yet others Cildren to it; and now none of them could be everything and everywhere, and now not every word was one of their names.
If anyone told you this story they would tell that the most horrible thing of those days was the cacophony of the new words that could not be understood.
But it was not so.
It was the silence: that horrible, screeching, deadly silence.
For the Gods (who were now many) could not bear with the thought of not being the One; and they could not bear hearing the others’ names.
So they took the words from us and scattered them abroad upon the face of all the Earth. And they took away our voices and tied them to the words each of us had been given.
On the third day the City remained silent; for having our voices taken away we could not sing our songs of growth and resilience, of greatness and love; and so we could not keep on building the Tower. And we began to fear the silence and longed to sing our words to the skies.
And some forgot that in the past every word had been the Lord’s name (who had been neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it), and they longed ever more to sing the names of the Gods they had been given and which they now knew as the only Ones.
And some felt the pull of the words that were scattered abroad upon the face of all the Earth, and left.
On the fourth day I woke up in the small hours of dawn, realising I could not hear the flowers growing in the dreams of my beloved. And then I knew he also had left the City to find the words that had been given to him – which were different from mine – and his voice that was now tied to them. And I knew that even if I found him again, we could never sing together as we had done before, for his voice was now tied to his words, and mine to my ones, and we could never again weave songs of one another’s words as we had done in times when the Lord was neither She nor He, being both Mother and Father to this World as well as a Child to it; when the Lord was everything and everywhere, and every word was the Lord’s name.
At sunset, I flew away.