I love words. Especially those which are so difficult to define. Ineffable, and of course, halcyon. Then there are the words in each language that are nearly impossible to translate. I have often dreamed of creating a language of all the inexplicable, untranslatable words. And I’ve wonder, if we did, would we have a language that brought us closer to the meaning of life?
You know the origin of the word “babbling”, don’t you? It comes from the story of the Tower of Babel. Man built a tower trying to reach heaven. God destroyed the tower and scattered the population to the corners of the earth, giving them all different languages to thwart their vain efforts. It’s a strange story if you try to tease out its meaning. It can’t just be a lame attempt at describing why there are so many languages, can it?
Travel always makes me contemplate the mystery of the human experience–the differences we hold so dear to try distinguish ourselves from the “others”. But the more I learn, the more I see our similarities. And the more I see how what differences there are, serve to enhance and enrich what appear to be fundamental truths.
And so I wonder… as with language, if we consider together our world views, consider the sum total of our religions, and embrace all the diversity of our racial differences–and their similarities… would we then, together, come closer to touching the mystery that surrounds us?
Would that, in a sense, reverse the diaspora that was wrought after the destruction of the Tower of Babel? Could that be the lesson of the story? Could it be that our challenge in this life is to bring all people back together, to mingle our knowledge and thereby build a true tower that reaches heaven?