What is the reason that the Tower of Babel cannot be finished? What is the legend trying to tell us?
Consider that each man speaks a language of his own begot of his understanding of any word. Where his understanding stops, or veers off in tangent, the babble of words falling upon his inner or outer ear serve only to confuse the issue and disperse the force of those who strive to control his thinking. Thus, he can be conditioned so far and no further – no utopian dream can permanently adjust him to Homo sapiens’ insufficient lot in life: the tower cannot be finished because man, himself, is not finished. Man is only partially conscious, his body is an expression of mind power only partially in use; and powerful as it is, the subconscious is not the end of his being.
The subconscious is constantly trying to make itself the distinctive, identifying factor of the human being, attempting to “reach heaven” on its own while overriding the Authority-Ego’s proper administration.
Dr. Rolf Alexander likens the subconscious to a factory that needs an over-all understanding to direct and coordinate the know-how of each laborer. But he sees that the “factory” does not identify the man: “Search as we will, we can never find the reality we all hunger for in the conditioned illusions of our subconscious, nor in our intellects which are oriented to these illusions….we must return to the task of developing the instrument of conscious perception abandoned by us in childhood – the true personality.” This echoes Jesus: one must become as a child to receive his name, to enter the kingdom of God within him.
But even though the subconscious is trying to override its proper jurisdiction, it is still a necessary part of the picture; life is impossible without it:
If one accepts the teaching of Jesus as revelation of the Authority-Ego in man operating from the unconscious domain, then one accepts the concept that the over-all understanding to direct and coordinate the subconscious is there; and that the yoke of the subconscious mind has been assumed by Self in order to enter life through nature’s avenues, for nature appears to operate the animal kingdom through a subconscious, mechanistic process – that is, through converting experience into instinctive, conditioned responses.
Jesus indicates that the Authority-Ego has willingly taken this yoke upon Self because through the subconscious mind’s working, the burden of accumulated knowledge is carried easily; because of it man learns rapidly; and it relieves him of the operation of his mechanistic body. As symbol of Authority-Ego, Jesus
says to the ego-group:
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me…
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light…
These words and the Babel legend indicate that man need not fear the hold his subconscious mind has upon consciousness, for man cannot be confined within its limitations or be enslaved by its mechanics – he is more than the “computer” that operates for him.
So what about the themes of language and communication we explored in part 1? We will return to these in our next post. Until then, peace…