the Tower of Babel
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
5 Fyodor Dostoyevsky
4 Brian Godawa
3 Donald Miller
2 Charles Darwin
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
1:If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without climbing it, it would have been permitted. ~ Franz Kafka
2:How will the Tower of Babel be undone? How will we understand each other in Heaven? Will we all speak English or Dutch or Latin? No, we will speak music. ~ Peter Kreeft
3:Our Lord never called His people to help build the tower of Babel in the hope of getting a Bible study in the basement. He commanded us to build our own city on a hill. ~ David Chilton
4:Several times Bonhoeffer used Barth’s image of the Tower of Babel as a picture of “religion,” of man trying to reach heaven through his own efforts, which always failed. ~ Eric Metaxas
5:As a system of philosophy it is not like the Tower of Babel, so daring its high aim as to seek a shelter against God's anger; but it is like a pyramid poised on its apex. ~ Adam Sedgwick
6:Throughout Finnegans Wake Joyce specifies the Tower of Babel as the tower of Sleep, that is, the tower of the witless assumption, or what Bacon calls the reign of the Idols. ~ Marshall McLuhan
7:I am heartily sorry for it, he being a most capable, obliging man, speaking all the languages of the Levant and excellent English too - might have built the Tower of Babel singlehanded. ~ Patrick O Brian
8:There are two types of people in the world. There are the people who understand instinctively that the story of The Flood and the story of The Tower of Babel are the same thing, and those who don't. ~ Steven Hall
9:There is no better story in the Old Testament, or perhaps the whole Bible, for depicting the difference between the ladder-defined life and the cross-defined life than that of the Tower of Babel. ~ Tullian Tchividjian
10:What [Franz] Kafka says about the Tower of Babel: In the beginning there were actually many languages, and then as a punishment God gave the world a single language. And then they stopped understanding each other. ~ Elie Wiesel
11:But all this language gotten, and augmented by Adam and his posterity, was again lost at the tower of Babel , when by the hand of God, every man was stricken for his rebellion, with an oblivion of his former language. ~ Thomas Hobbes
12:Inevitably, invariably, eventually you will discover you are unprepared to make an informed choice. When in doubt, say, Yes. Yes is the eternal passport. Yes is the everlasting coin. —Everyman’s Guide to the Tower of Babel, I. XII ~ Josiah Bancroft
13:For socialism is not merely the labour question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism to-day, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth. ~ Joseph Conrad
14:socialism is not merely the labor question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism to-day, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
15:For socialism is not merely the labor question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism today, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
16:For socialism is not merely the labor question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism to-day, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
17:For socialism is not merely the labour question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism to-day, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to Heaven from Earth but to set up Heaven on earth. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
18:God doesn’t give us crying, pooping children because he wants to advance our careers. He gives them to us for the same reason he confused language at the Tower of Babel, to create chaos and deter us from investing too much energy in the gluttonous idols of self-absorption. ~ Donald Miller
19:Therefore, the very large department store should not be viewed as a sinful undertaking, as, for example, the Tower of Babel. It is, rather, proof of the inability of the human race of today to be extravagant. It even builds skyscrapers: and the consequence this time isn't a great flood, but just a shop... ~ Joseph Roth
You know the Tower of Babel, right? You went to Sunday School?"
"Yeah, sure. In ancient times everybody on earth spoke the same language, then they decided to build a tower that would reach all the way up to heaven. Then God cursed everybody on the job site to each speak a different language to mess them up. ~ David Wong
21:In fact, it was precisely their tendency to string together as much of the prevailing but ultimately vacuous jargon as possible—and their unquenchable propensity for lofty but nonsensical pontification—that earned City Hall the nickname of the Tower of Babel, or as Luka preferred to pronounce it, the Tower of Bullshit. ~ Christian Cantrell
22:I had gradually come, by this time [1839-01], to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc. and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian. ~ Charles Darwin
23:Relationships matter. They matter as much as exercise and nutrition. And not all relationships help us reach our goals. God doesn’t give us crying, pooping children because he wants to advance our careers. He gives them to us for the same reason he confused language at the Tower of Babel, to create chaos and deter us from investing too much energy in the gluttonous idols of self-absorption. ~ Donald Miller
24:Do you know how long God took to destroy the Tower of Babel, folks? Seven minutes. Do you know how long the Lord God took to destroy Babylon and Nineveh? Seven minutes. There’s more wickedness in one block in New York City than there was in a square mile in Nineveh, and how long do you think the Lord God of Sabboath will take to destroy New York City and Brooklyn and the Bronx? Seven seconds. Seven Seconds. ~ John Dos Passos
25:If Aliosha had come to the conclusion that neither God nor immortality existed, he would immediately have become an atheist and a socialist. For socialism is not only a question of the working classes; it is above all, in its contemporary incarnation, a question of atheism, a question of the tower of Babel, which is constructed without God's help, not to reach to the heavens, but to bring the heavens down to earth. ~ Albert Camus
26:I’m getting on pretty well with German, though I haven’t arrived at the stage of finding it a reasonable medium for the expression of thought. I think the original couple who spoke it must have died rather soon after the Tower of Babel, leaving a rather pedantically-minded baby, who had learnt all the words of one syllable, and had to make up the long ones with them – at least how else can you account for such words as Handschule and be-ab-sichtigen? I ~ Bertrand Russell
27:An artist is somebody who enters into competition with God. The guy who built the Tower of Babel was the first artist. If I had to check out where I was in other centuries, I was his old lady. If I wasn't the guy, I was his chick. He knew that there was more and God got jealous. Even gods get uptight. Women make gods uptight. Everyone thinks of God as a man -- you can't help it -- Santa Claus was a man, therefore God has to be a man. But a man comes once. A woman never stops coming. ~ Patti Smith
28:THE RAW MATERIAL of a myth, like the raw material of a dream, may be something that actually happened once. But myths, like dreams, do not tell us much about that kind of actuality. The creation of man, Adam and Eve, the Tower of Babel, Oedipus—they do not tell us primarily about events. They tell us about ourselves. In popular usage, a myth has come to mean a story that is not true. Historically speaking that may well be so. Humanly speaking, a myth is a story that is always true. ~ Frederick Buechner
29:Wide open and unguarded stand our gates, And through them passes a wild motley throng. Men from Volga and Tartar steppes. Featureless figures from the Hoang-ho, Malayan, Scythian, Teuton, Kelt and Slav, Flying the Old World’s poverty and scorn; These bringing with them unknown gods and rites, Those tiger passions here to stretch their claws, In street and alley what strange tongues are these, Accents of menace in our ear, Voices that once the Tower of Babel knew. —THOMAS BAILEY ALDRICH, “UNGUARDED GATES,” 1882 ~ Neil Gaiman
30:... I see the green earth covered with the works of man or with the ruins of men’s work. The pyramids weigh down the earth, the tower of Babel has pierced the sky, the lovely temples and the gray castles have fallen into ruins. But of all those things which hands have built, what hasn’t fallen nor ever will fall? Dear friends, throw away the trowel and mortarboard! Throw your masons’ aprons over your heads and lie down to build dreams! What are temples of stone and clay to the soul? Learn to build eternal mansions of dreams and visions! ~ Selma Lagerl f
31:Then Abram figured it out. His eyes widened. “Are you —?” Melchizedek put his finger to his lips. “I am Melchizedek, king of Salem. I have no past. I am the servant of El Elyon, the most high God.” But Abram knew he was talking to Shem ben Noah, the blessed seedline, his great ancestor. It was why he was so old, and why he had the weapons that could only have been handed down from Noah. After the Tower of Babel debacle, Shem must have moved to Canaan and created a new identity for himself, wiping away his past, as the sons of Noah turned corrupt. ~ Brian Godawa
32:As soon as he reflected seriously he was convinced of the existence of God and immortality, and at once he instinctively said to himself: "I want to live for immortality, and I will accept no compromise." In the same way, if he had decided that God and immortality did not exist, he would have at once become an atheist and a socialist. For socialism is not merely the labor question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism to-day, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
33:Galois's ideas, with all their brilliance, did not appear out of thin air. They addressed a problem whose roots could be traced all the way back to ancient Babylon. Still, the revolution that Galois had started grouped together entire domains that were previously unrelated. Much like the Cambrian explosion-that stunning burst of diversification in life forms on Earth-the abstraction of group theory opened windows into an infinity of truths. Fields as far apart as the laws of nature and music suddenly became mysteriously connected. The Tower of Babel of symmetries miraculously fused into a single language. ~ Mario Livio
34:used the interpretation of ancient Jewish texts and legends as my paradigm to place Abraham back during the time of the Tower of Babel, an event that would be considered about a thousand years before Abraham under the conventional chronology. While this supposition is largely rejected now, it has a long venerable tradition in 2nd Temple Jewish literature and Talmudic interpretation and shows up in Ginzberg’s famous Legends of the Jews. It is that interpretation that I found interesting enough to present within the pages of the novel because I have used these ancient Jewish sources throughout the entire series ~ Brian Godawa
35:Returning to Deuteronomy 32 and going back a few more verses in context, we read of a reality-changing incident that occurred at Babel: Deut. 32:8-9 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. But the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage. The reference to the creation of nations through the division of mankind and fixing of the borders of nations is clearly a reference to the event of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 and the dispersion of the peoples into the 70 nations listed in Genesis 10. ~ Brian Godawa
36:BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING QUITE BEAUTIFUL about this new thing with Betsy. She was taking me somewhere. I’d known enough older guys who gave their lives to their careers and have nothing to show for it save a lot of money and power and loneliness to realize Betsy was right. Relationships matter. They matter as much as exercise and nutrition. And not all relationships help us reach our goals. God doesn’t give us crying, pooping children because he wants to advance our careers. He gives them to us for the same reason he confused language at the Tower of Babel, to create chaos and deter us from investing too much energy in the gluttonous idols of self-absorption. ~ Donald Miller
37:Why didn’t God want them to build the Tower of Babel?” I said. “Why did He make it so everybody couldn’t understand each other?” “You know I don’t believe in God.” “I know.” “Probably there was just a ziggurat, you know what a ziggurat is? Over in Mesopotamia. Maybe it was in ruins. Maybe it was only halfway built, left unfinished. And they made up a story to explain what happened to it, why it looked incomplete.” “Oh.” “You understand what I’m saying?” I understood: Everything got ruined and nothing was ever finished. The world, like the Tower of Babel or my grandmother’s deck of cards, was made out of stories, and it was always on the verge of collapse. That was proverbial. ~ Michael Chabon
38:Have you forgotten the allotment at Babel?” She was referring to the act of Yahweh that occurred with the Confusion of Tongues at the Tower of Babel in the ancient days. He divided the nations, fixed their borders, and allotted them according to the number of the Sons of God as their inheritance. He had given the nations over to be ruled by the gods. But Yahweh kept Jacob, through the Seed of Eve, for his own inheritance. Molech said, “That is how we received Canaan.” “Yes, that is how we received Canaan,” she mimicked. “But, do not get too settled down little mole man. The Seed of Eve is on their way to Canaan, which means Yahweh intends to dispossess the Seed of the Serpent from their inheritance. It will be a great War of the Seed. ~ Brian Godawa
39:The priest first read a condensed lesson of sacred history. Felicite evoked Paradise, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, the blazing cities, the dying nations, the shattered idols; and out of this she developed a great respect for the Almighty and a great fear of His wrath. Then, when she had listened to the Passion, she wept. Why had they crucified Him who loved little children, nourished the people, made the blind see, and who, out of humility, had wished to be born among the poor, in a stable? The sowings, the harvests, the wine-presses, all those familiar things which the Scriptures mention, formed a part of her life; the word of God sanctified them; and she loved the lambs with increased tenderness for the sake of the Lamb, and the doves because of the Holy Ghost. She ~ Gustave Flaubert
40:Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my stories is a metaphor you can remember. The great religions are all metaphor. We appreciate things like Daniel and the lion’s den, and the Tower of Babel. People remember these metaphors because they are so vivid you can’t get free of them and that’s what kids like in school. They read about rocket ships and encounters in space, tales of dinosaurs. All my life I’ve been running through the fields and picking up bright objects. I turn one over and say, Yeah, there’s a story. And that’s what kids like. Today, my stories are in a thousand anthologies. And I’m in good company. The other writers are quite often dead people who wrote in metaphors: Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne. All these people wrote for children. They may have pretended not to, but they did. ~ Ray Bradbury
41:Mankind could point with pride to this fine flower of the human spirit--if it were not for one thing: namely that God is God and grace is grace. At this point begins the destruction of our illusions and of our cultural enthusiasm, the great destruction which God himself effects, and which the ancient myth of the tower of Babel typifies. 'And if by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace.' Our way to the eternal is interrupted and we are plunged back into the depths from which we came, with out philosophy and art, our morality and religion. For another way now opens, the way of God to man, the way of revelation and grace, the way of Christ, the way of justification by faith alone. 'My ways are not your ways,' that is the answer now. It is not we who go to God, but God who comes to us. It is not religion that sets us right with God, for God alone can do this; it is his action on which we must depend. ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
42:Oh, they never look at anything that folks like we can understand," the carter continued, by way of passing the time. "On'y foreign tongues used in the days of the Tower of Babel, when no two families spoke alike. They read that sort of thing as fast as a night-hawk will whir. 'Tis all learning there—nothing but learning, except religion. And that's learning too, for I never could understand it. Yes, 'tis a serious-minded place. Not but there's wenches in the streets o' nights… You know, I suppose, that they raise pa'sons there like radishes in a bed? And though it do take—how many years, Bob?—five years to turn a lirruping hobble-de-hoy chap into a solemn preaching man with no corrupt passions, they'll do it, if it can be done, and polish un off like the workmen they be, and turn un out wi' a long face, and a long black coat and waistcoat, and a religious collar and hat, same as they used to wear in the Scriptures, so that his own mother wouldn't know un sometimes. … There, 'tis their business, like anybody else's. ~ Thomas Hardy
43:The particular myth that's been organizing this talk, and in a way the whole series, is the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible. The civilization we live in at present is a gigantic technological structure, a skyscraper almost high enough to reach the moon. It looks like a single world-wide effort, but it's really a deadlock of rivalries; it looks very impressive, except that it has no genuine human dignity. For all its wonderful machinery, we know it's really a crazy ramshackle building, and at any time may crash around our ears. What the myth tells us is that the Tower of Babel is a work of human imagination, that its main elements are words, and that what will make it collapse is a confusion of tongues. All had originally one language, the myth says. The language is not English or Russian or Chinese or any common ancestor, if there was one. It is the language that makes Shakespeare and Pushkin authentic poets, that gives a social vision to both Lincoln and Gandhi. It never speaks unless we take the time to listen in leisure, and it speaks only in a voice too quiet for panic to hear. And then all it has to tell us, when we look over the edge of our leaning tower, is that we are not getting any nearer heaven, and that it is time to return to earth. [p.98] ~ Northrop Frye
44:It is well known that Pentecost reverses Babel. The people who built the tower of Babel sought to make a name, and a unity, for themselves. At Pentecost, God builds his temple, uniting people in Christ. Unity – interpretive agreement and mutual understanding – is, it would appear, something that only God can accomplish. And accomplish it he does, but not in the way we might have expected. Although onlookers thought that the believers who received the Spirit at Pentecost were babbling (Acts 2:13), in fact they were speaking intelligibly in several languages (Acts 2:8-11). Note well: they were all saying the same thing (testifying about Jesus) in different languages. It takes a thousand tongues to say and sing our great Redeemer’s praise.
Protestant evangelicalism evidences a Pentecostal plurality: the various Protestant streams testify to Jesus in their own vocabularies, and it takes many languages (i.e. interpretive traditions) to minister the meaning of God’s Word and the fullness of Christ. As the body is made up of many members, so many interpretations may be needed to do justice to the body of the biblical text. Why else are there four Gospels, but that the one story of Jesus was too rich to be told from one perspective only? Could it be that the various Protestant traditions function similarly as witnesses who testify to the same Jesus from different situations and perspectives? ~ Kevin J Vanhoozer
45:...Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers... for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality... But I had gradually come by this time, i.e., 1836 to 1839, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian.
...By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, (and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become), that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation. The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories.
But I was very unwilling to give up my belief... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished.
And this is a damnable doctrine. ~ Charles Darwin
46:Correlations made by big data are likely to reinforce negative bias. Because big data often relies on historical data or at least the status quo, it can easily reproduce discrimination against disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities. The propensity models used in many algorithms can bake in a bias against someone who lived in the zip code of a low-income neighborhood at any point in his or her life. If an algorithm used by human resources companies queries your social graph and positively weighs candidates with the most existing connections to a workforce, it makes it more difficult to break in in the first place. In effect, these algorithms can hide bias behind a curtain of code. Big data is, by its nature, soulless and uncreative. It nudges us this way and that for reasons we are not meant to understand. It strips us of our privacy and puts our mistakes, secrets, and scandals on public display. It reinforces stereotypes and historical bias. And it is largely unregulated because we need it for economic growth and because efforts to try to regulate it have tended not to work; the technologies are too far-reaching and are not built to recognize the national boundaries of our world’s 196 sovereign nation-states. Yet would it be best to try to shut down these technologies entirely if we could? No. Big data simultaneously helps solve global challenges while creating an entirely new set of challenges. It’s our best chance at feeding 9 billion people, and it will help solve the problem of linguistic division that is so old its explanation dates back to the Old Testament and the Tower of Babel. Big data technologies will enable us to discover cancerous cells at 1 percent the size of what can be detected using today’s technologies, saving tens of millions of lives. The best approach to big data might be one put forward by the Obama campaign’s chief technology officer, Michael Slaby, who said, “There’s going to be a constant mix between your qualitative experience and your quantitative experience. And at times, they’re going to be at odds with each other, and at times they’re going to be in line. And I think it’s all about the blend. It’s kind of like you have a mixing board, and you have to turn one up sometimes, and turn down the other. And you never want to be just one or the other, because if it’s just one, then you lose some of the soul.” Slaby has made an impressive career out of developing big data tools, but even he recognizes that these tools work best when governed by human judgment. The choices we make about how we manage data will be as important as the decisions about managing land during the agricultural age and managing industry during the industrial age. We have a short window of time—just a few years, I think—before a set of norms set in that will be nearly impossible to reverse. Let’s hope humans accept the responsibility for making these decisions and don’t leave it to the machines. ~ Alec J Ross
47:Sacred And Profane Love
In the dark shadow of the windless pines
Whose gloomy glory lines the obsequies
Of the gaunt Claudian Aqueduct along
The lone Campagna to sepulchral Rome,
A Northern youth, companionless, reclined,
Pondering on records of the Roman Past,
Kingdom, Republic, Empire, longwhile gone.
Hard-by, through marble tomb revivified,
Rippled and bubbled water crystalline,
Inwelling from the far-off Sabine hills.
When lo! upon the tomb's deep-dinted rim
Slowly there broadened on his gaze two shapes,
Material embodiment of those
The great Venetian in resplendent hues
Upon the canvas lastingly portrayed,
Christened by fame Profane and Sacred Love.
One was in rich habiliments arrayed,
With dimpling folds about her rounded limbs,
And heaving corset of embossed brocade,
Compressing beaker for her brimming breasts.
Jewels were in her hair, jewels entwined
Themselves round her columnar throat, and thus
On him she gazed unshrinkingly, and seemed
Sensuous seduction irresistible.
The other in nude innocency clad,
All save veined vineleaf cincture round her waist,
Sate with her gaze averted, and beheld
Only her image trembling in the wave.
Her had he fain accosted, but the dread
Of violating her aloofness checked
The movement of his mind, and held him mute.
So to the One resplendently enrobed,
Familiarly fearless as herself,
He turned, albeit his thought was otherwhere,
As elsewhere his desire, and boldly said:
``If with your earthly seeming be conjoined
Gift and capacity of earthly speech,
Speak to me, earthly, an you will, and break
The all too spacious silence with your voice.''
Her curving lips, whose fulness seemed to pledge
Intoxicating kisses, drooped apart,
And to her orbs upsurged volcanic fire,
As she with prompt unhesitating voice,
Commanding more than musical, rejoined.
Whereat that Other ever and anon
Would for a moment turn to him her face,
To note the interpretation of his heart
And wavering of his will, and then once more
Her look averted to the Sabine hills,
And cloudless vault of overarching Heaven.
Profane Love speaks
``I am the Goddess mortals call Profane,
Yet worship me as though I were divine;
Over their lives, unrecognised, I reign,
For all their thoughts are mine.
``I was coeval with the peopled Earth,
And, while it lasts, I likewise shall endure,
For Destiny endowed me at my birth
With every mundane lure.
``Men rear no marble temple to my name,
No statues mould in Minster or in mart,
Yet in their longings silently proclaim
My throne is on their heart.
``Unto the phantom Deities of air
They pay lip homage, carven altars raise,
To these bow down with ceremonial prayer,
And sycophantic praise.
``With them I kneel, but neither praise nor pray,
While tapers burn, hymns float, and organ rolls,
Because I know that there too can I sway
And stupefy their souls.
``Their pompous flatteries are not for me,
My panegyric is the secret sigh:
Wherefore should mortals monuments decree
To Me who cannot die?
``I am the fountain of wealth, titles, power,
'Tis I ordain the pedestal and bust,
When there doth toll the inevitable hour,
The hour of death and dust.
``Ruby, and pearl, and diamond, and the ore
Torn from the entrails of the Earth, are mine;
Mine are the cargoes shipped from shore to shore,
Spices, and silks, and wine:
``Wherewith men buy what crafty barter brings,Greater the gain, more hazardous the risks,Toil from the many, coronets from Kings,
And lust from odalisques.
``If such content not, since your hopes aspire
On heights of popularity to tower,
I can conduct you on yet swifter tire
To winning-peak of Power.
``Then without scruple, pity, or restraint,
Cleave you your conquering way; for there is nought,
Of all that worldlings crave and hirelings paint,
But can be seized or bought.
``Myriads from mine and furrow, quay and loom,
Shall congregate to hear you pledge and prate,
Hailing you heaven-sent warder-off of gloom,
And Saviour of the State.
``And lissom sirens, temptingly attired,
With heartless hearts, self-seeking as your own,
By your sonorous phrases will be fired,
And gather round your throne.
``Platform and Senate, Cabinet and Court,
You shall cajole, convert, or overawe;
Whithersoe'er you speciously disport,
Your wordy Will be law.
``But many and many a worshipper have I,
So cannot grant monopoly of power:
Others there be who fain would climb as high
As you, and have their hour.
``Then their ambition with your own will shock,
And they awhile on foremost seat may reign:
Men's favour is a quicksand, not a rock,
And veers like gust and vane.
``Then must you with invectives fume and rage
All through the land, denouncing evil times,
With histrionic passion; 'tis a stage
For mountebanks and mimes``Slandering the foes who slander you, and so,
If thousands hate, thousands will hail, your name,
Till you in notoriety shall grow,
The herd confound with Fame.
``Them that o'erwhelm, vindictiveness o'erwhelms,
So nought shall you from Fortune's wheel entice,
Gambling for Self's predominance with Realms
And Empires for your dice.
``If with the years male energy should wane,
Orders and honours on you shall be shed:
Thus will you still in man's remembrance reign,
A halo round your head.
``And when at length the End of all life's ends
Doth with the little lay the mighty down,
And domination finally descends
Graveward without its Crown,
``Processions populous, bedizened hearse,
And mourners ermined shall your dust convey
To pompous tomb, and vying prose and verse
Protract your little day.
``What though your name grow faint, as time recedes,
Like scarce-heard wave upon a far-off shore,
And wax the record of your words and deeds
A voice and nothing more,
``You will have drained all that the world can give,
All boons and blandishments of Love Profane,
Success and homage, for which sane men live,
And all the rest is vain.''
She ceased; and, as she ceased, then Sacred Love,
That ever and anon meanwhile had bent
On him her look, and smilingly surmised,
From his vague gaze and inattentive ears,
That he was only waiting for Her voice,
Like to the moon fleeting through fleecy clouds,
Her undissembled beauty on him bared,
And with a voice like sylvan rivulet
That haunts the woodlands, muffled half by leaves,
Serene and slow with silvery clearness spake.
``In the unseen first-fostering of breath
Whose secret is by Science vainly sought,
Uncertain borderland 'twixt Life and Death,
I share the silence of the Mother's thought.
``Her love is not more anxious than is mine,
Together we await the human cry,
For even then I, Sacred Love, divine
If it will grow to voice that may not die.
``And I its foster-mother am, and feed
Its suckling dreams, and watch it waxing strong,
Giving it for its plaything moorland reed,
That it may grow and ripen into Song.
``For Love Profane doth sleeplessly await
Its coming, to mislead it on its way,
Whispering, `Become what Greatness deemeth great,
Till mighty Rulers recognise your sway.'
``I listened tremblingly while Love Profane
Strove to entice you to the worldling's throne,
Along the worldling's way, but strove in vain.
Now hath She gone, and we are here alone.''
His gaze that had on Her who thuswise spake
Fastened, since indivisibly intent
Upon the cadence of her voice, quick turned
At these last words, to look for Love Profane.
But lo! its effigy from marble rim
Had vanished, like the face of Roman sway,
Kingship, Republic, Empire; and the flow
Of water welling through the rifled tomb
Was the sole sound he heard, until her voice
Melodiously measured, spake once more.
``Rise and come near to me, and take my hand,
And lay your cheek against my cheek, for sign
That you henceforth will know and understand
That all the children of the Muse are mine.
``Your parent am I, though I seem so young,
It is my birthright never to grow old;
Young shall I keep so long as songs are sung,
By such fresh offspring gladdened and consoled.
``I was beside the font when you were brought
Into the granite-pillared House of Prayer;
Smiled at your loneliness when first you sought
To sing away your load of childish care.
``Rapture maternal fluttered in my heart
When you yourself disdainfully denied
What worldlings prize, and chose the better part,
Wending where now I find you at my side.
``I know your present sorrow, since you fear
I have forsaken you and left you lone,
And Rome has silenced what you held so dear.
Wait! from the unseen seed the flower is grown.
``Rome is the tomb of Heroes, and of Kings,
Consuls, and conquerors, and world-wide sway:
What wonder, should it silence him that sings
Before he learns what he must sing and say?
``But you may live and die, a Voice unheard:
I promise not what I can not fulfil:
Only,-in the Beginning was the Word,
It was with God, and it is godlike still.
``But unto you, as unto all my line,
Or strong or weak, resounding or obscure,
I pledge the gifts inalienably mine,
Gifts that content and pleasures that endure:
``Companionship of woodlands, hills, and streams,
And gentle womenkind, to whom you owe
Youth in your heart, and shaping of your dreams,
And these will teach what more you need to know.
``Nature's still fresh society will keep
Your feelings young, as you each April follow
Coy maiden Spring, when she awakes from sleep
In windflower dell and primrose pillowed hollow:
``Watch Autumn wax in splendour day by day,
Then, slowly yielding unto Time's assault,
Her moribund magnificence decay,
To sleep entombed in Winter's icy vault;
``And when the boughs stretch bare and fallows hoar,
And plovers wheel about the moorland wide,
Hear the pinched wind wailing through chink and door,
With piteous prayer to share the warm fireside.
``Nature's capriciousness leaves just the same
Her inmost self; she does nor change nor veer;
Just as the seasons lend, with varying name,
Their contrast to the oneness of the year.
``The Poet's love no base-bred difference knows
Of high and low, the peasant and the peer,
Save that his tenderness more heed bestows
On humble sorrow than luxurious tear.
``Childhood's keen questioning, Youth's gropings blind,
Manhood's ambition, Age's graver part,
Alike can move his understanding mind,
And rouse his promptly sympathising heart.
``Here, 'mid the ruins that you now behold,
You will imbibe the meaning of the Past,
Learning to weigh the new by what is old,
The things that perish, and the things that last.
``Instructed thus, keep severed in your mind
The Passing from the Permanent, and prize
Only the precious heirlooms of Mankind,
Thought that ennobles, Art that vivifies.
``Vex not your mind with riddles that beguile
The unwise to wrangle over things unknown.
'Tis not for Song to enrage, but reconcile,
So to the Tower of Babel add no stone.
``But while from futile feuds you dwell apart,
Never forget to render what is due,
In hour of need, from manly hand and heart,
To the male Land whose soil engendered you.
``Should opulence, and ease, and base desire
Deaden effeminate ears to just alarms,
Sound all the clanging octaves of the lyre,
And rouse a nation's manhood unto arms,
``Save only then, no clamorous crowds must mar
The musing silence of secluded days,
Whose course should journey quiet as a star,
That moves alone along Heaven's trackless ways.
``Then will you 'mid deserted Abbey walls
Hear both the matin and the vesper bell,
The girdled Brothers chanting in their stalls,
And see the Prior praying in his cell.
``The Present and the Past shall seem but one,
Kingdoms, and Creeds, and Sceptres, passed away,
Stand out, in retrospection's noonday sun,
As Kingdoms, Creeds, and Sceptres, of to-day.
``In the fair hospitable Tuscan Land,
Where Raphael and Donatello wrought,
Sojourn, and ponder till you understand
The masculine restraint themselves were taught``Taught by the disentombed Minervan mind
That, in the days still governing if gone,
Within the rugged Parian block divined
Majestic calmness of the Parthenon.
``And when, departing hence, you wandering wend
Where the brief Attic splendour dawned and shone,
Pray to Athene she to you will lend
The golden curb she lent Bellerophon.
``Nor be the Hill Hellenic sculptors trod
Your one sole haunt, but, let who will condemn,
Kneel at all altars `To the Unknown God,'
Alike at Athens or Jerusalem.
``Siren and seraph, athlete, anchorite,
Saints of the cloister, satyrs of the grove,
In one and all seek meaning and delight,
Reigning Jehovah, abdicated Jove.
``Deem not the Oracles to-day are dumb;
They from their graves the World's course still forecast,
From things long gone expound the things to come,
And prophesy the Future from the Past.
``And not from Gothic shrine and classic urn,
From dome, or spire, or portico alone,
Study the mystery of Art, but learn
From each in turn to apprehend your own.
``Not least from its loved twin, melodious sound,
The universal unseen soul of things,
Whose utterance men invoke when words are found
Powerless to frame their vague imaginings.
``And, when the riper Youth that men call Age
Welcomes the closing dispensation, death,
Song that soothes sorrow and makes suffering sage,
Shall linger with you till your farewell breath.
``Not crowded aisle and ceremonial nave
Claim those that have from me life's lesson learned.
Who best have loved them bear them to their grave,
Where they near home lie `quietly inurned.'''
Then, like the cadence of a closing song,
Her soft voice sank to silence, and he felt
Her arms fold round him, and so widened his,
Eager to share in privileged embrace:
When, lo! the vision vanished with the voice,
And all he saw were the calm Sabine hills,
And all he heard, the lisping of the wave
Clear-welling through the rifled marble tomb.
But all She had said sank deep into his heart,
And what She said is truly written here.
~ Alfred Austin
1 Integral Yoga
2 The Secret Doctrine
1.07_-_TRUTH, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
That words are at once indispensable and, in many cases, fatal has been recognized by all the exponents of the Perennial Philosophy. Thus, Jesus spoke of himself as bringing into the world something even worse than briarsa sword. St. Paul distinguished between the letter that kills and the spirit that gives life. And throughout the centuries that followed, the masters of Christian spirituality have found it necessary to harp again and again upon a theme which has never been outdated because homo loquax, the talking animal, is still as navely delighted by his chief accomplishment, still as helplessly the victim of his own words, as he was when the Tower of Babel was being built. Recent years have seen the publication of numerous works on semantics and of an ocean of nationalistic, racialistic and militaristic propaganda. Never have so many capable writers warned mankind against the dangers of wrong speech and never have words been used more recklessly by politicians or taken more seriously by the public. The fact is surely proof enough that, under changing forms, the old problems remain what they always wereurgent, unsolved and, to all appearances, insoluble.
1967-10-25, #Agenda Vol 08, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
But I have wondered whether the Tower of Babel, insofar as the story is true, wasnt a similar attempt, an attempt to harmonize men? Its presented to us the other way round, but I have wondered if it wasnt that.
BOOK_II._--_PART_III._ADDENDA._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
ambition and defiance of the gods. Thence the same traditions taking form in the Bible about the
antediluvian giants and the Tower of Babel, found also in the "Book of Enoch."
Diodorus records another fact or two: the Atlanteans boasted of possessing the land in which all the
BOOK_I._--_PART_III._SCIENCE_AND_THE_SECRET_DOCTRINE_CONTRASTED, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
* As it is now asserted that the Chaldean tablets, which give the allegorical description of Creation,
the Fall, and the Flood, even to the legend of the Tower of Babel, were written "before the time of
Moses" (See G. Smith's "Chaldean Account of Genesis," p. 86), how can the Pentateuch be called a
BS_1_-_Introduction_to_the_Idea_of_God, #unset, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
The Jahwist version uses the name YHWH , which, apparently, people didnt say, but we believe was pronounced something like Yahwa. It has a strongly anthropomorphic God, that takes human form. It begins with Genesis 2:4. This is the account of the heavens and the earth, and it contains the story of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel, and Noah, and the Tower of Babel, and Exodus, and Numbers, along with the Priestly version. It also contains the law in the formjust the formof the Ten Commandments, which is like a truncated form of the law.
The_Act_of_Creation_text, #The Act of Creation, #Arthur Koestler, #Psychology
The Promethean striving for omnipotence and omniscience is
symbolized in Jacob's struggle with the angel, the Tower of Babel,
the flight of Icarus, the Faustus legend, and so on through Voltaire's
Theoretically the building of the Tower of Babel, of hierarchies of
abstractions, can go on indefinitely, or until the most general patterns
literal truth of every word in the Bible'; later on he considered himself
an atheist because he did not believe in the Tower of Babel. Neither
attitude has much relevance to the unconscious, inner motivation of his
Wikipedia - The Tower of Babel (Bruegel)