The Babylonians wanted to be together, to build and live as one commune, with mutual respect and love for one another. As it is written in the story of the Tower of Babel: “And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make ourselves a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the entire earth” (Genesis 11:4).
The Creator, however, wanted their connection to be according to His conditions and not theirs. This is why He mixed the languages, leading the Babylonians to quarrel, which led to the tower’s destruction.
In the spiritual sense, the Tower of Babel is an egoistic elevation of corporeal life, where we wish to live according to “love your neighbor,” but based on egoism. That is the main mistake, the idea of not needing the Creator’s help for the mutual construction of a well-connected society, that people think they can achieve and sustain unity on their own. In principle, the construction of the Tower of Babel was by and large at the heart of communism and various revolutions, the idea of “peace to huts, war to palaces,” that the populace would manage on its own.
The construction of the Tower of Babel is a state of the highest possible egoistic construction, beyond even a person’s loftiest goals in material life for the heights of wealth, honor or power, because it aims at a goal that we wish to remain with us forever, whereas it is clear to a person that the other goals are transient and bound to perish in this corporeal life.
Precisely the idea of building a tower “up to the heavens” is the key problem, i.e., the thought that we can construct our own connection without making contact with the Creator. What is it that the Creator does not like in such a setup?
“And the Lord said, ‘Lo! [they are] one people, and they all have one language, and this is what they have commenced to do. Come, let us descend and confuse their language so that one will not understand the language of his companion.’ […] And the Lord scattered them from there upon the face of the entire earth, and they ceased building the city.” – Genesis 11:6-8
The Creator does not let the Babylonians reach a common egoistic outcome. In order to truly unite and enjoy our connection, we need to insert the Creator into the picture, that we unite in order to fulfill His will, not our own. Therefore, in order to build a tower that will not collapse, we need to build connections to each other of mutual love and bestowal, but these connections should be for the sake of the Creator.
What does “for the Creator” mean? “For the Creator” does not mean for the sake of some kind of God “up there somewhere” so high up that He is invisible. “For the Creator” rather means a connection between us that we elevate above ourselves, i.e., “love your neighbor as yourself,” where above such a connection, we raise the ideal of the Creator who created this perfectly-connected state above our egoism. If we build a tower not for ourselves, but for the sake of the other—for the benefit of others in order to benefit the Creator—then such a tower will last forever.
Why, then, if humanity underwent the experience of a failed egoistic construction, have we continually tried building new and different egoistic towers throughout history? It is because we as a humanity have needed it. Whether they have been towers, pyramids or mausoleums, we build these constructions out of our inner egoistic necessity to build a place for our egoism—and we are still building such towers.
We will stop building these constructions when we will reveal the Creator in our connections. The revelation of the Creator will completely cover our dreams, plans and future. In other words, when we reveal the Creator, we will understand that our efforts to build egoistic towers were all in vain.
With all the wars, suffering and bloodshed in the name of the myriad egoistic towers we have tried to build throughout history, it might seem as if the Creator is very cruel for not revealing Himself sooner, but this is an incorrect view. We need to understand that the Creator becomes revealed under specific conditions, that we need to match His form of total love and bestowal in our connections with His form of love and bestowal. We have never organized ourselves in such a manner. Yet it stands that if we resemble the Creator’s qualities of love, bestowal and connection, i.e., if we are like Him, then we will attain His revelation.