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Babel Impuzzlement | XII |

A gnostic interpretation, very meaty, and reminding me again of the metaphysics of the Aegypt Cycle of John Crowley, is found here:
www.gnosticteachings.org/the-teachings-of-gnosis/lectures-by-gnostic-instructors/the-tower-of-babel-1
If there is any "other," reverse, or opposite to the metaphor of Babylon and the Tower of Babel, perhaps it is Augustine's  City of God.  Augustine is a very interesting guy-- brilliant, expressive, flawed, delicate, and diverse, able to see the whole big picture, and able to interpret the bible with as high a level of sophistication possible, I think, for someone of his day.  In Book XVI, Chapters 5 and 6, he takes great pains to move away from a literal interpretation of the Babel Tower verses with a wonderful exposition on what it means that the "Lord came down" and how communication between the Lord, Angels, and the likes of man is to be properly understood.  In Chapter 7 he takes on how undomesticated animals, such as frogs, could conceivably be distributed to all islands of the earth after the flood.  In Chapter 8 we discover that the word Pygmy comes from the Greek word for "cubit."  No doubt, Augustine would have been a regular on Oprah!

I located also yesterday a poem by Thomas Merton:  Tower of Babel: The Political Speech.  It is a true poem only, I would say,  in its thesis that history moves forward through the "misuse of words."  Otherwise, it is pretty clunky-- an early poem of dissatisfaction over the contemporary Babylon in which he found himself.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
dyvyd
Jan. 26th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
That sounds unduly critical coming from me, a confessed Thomas Merton fan. It's merely that the poem's intention is a political statement and not an exercise in lyricism.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
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