The fall of “Babylon” or “Babel” seen as signifying the fall of religious esotericism

The Hebrew word for “Babylon” is actually babel—as in, the “Tower of Babel.”  Most English translations of the Old Testament translate babel as “Babylon,” but the English word “Babylon” is of Greek derivation (the Greek word is babylōn or babulōn, depending on how you choose to transliterate it).  That means that whenever an Old Testament prophet railed against “Babylon,” what he actually had in mind was “Babel”:  the very same “Babel” that we all associate with the “Tower of Babel” and the “confusing of language” or “confusion of tongues” that purportedly took place there.

Furthermore, since much of the language and symbolism in the Book of Revelation is taken from the Old Testament prophetical writings, that suggests that when the author of the Book of Revelation wrote about “mystery Babylon” or “secret Babylon,” what he actually had in mind may have also been the “Babel” that we associate with the “Tower of Babel”—and, in turn, with a “confusing of language” or “confusion of tongues.”

That this is indeed what the author of Revelation had in mind is suggested by Revelation 17:1, in which the famous “great harlot” of Babylon is described as “sitting upon many waters.”  (Why “many”?)  Then, in Revelation 17:15, the angel says to the author, “The waters that you saw where the harlot sits are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.”  Compare this to Genesis 11:6-9.

The Bible is a deeply esoteric book.  But it is my position that the Bible is not only an esoteric book—it is also, from beginning to end, and more than anything, a book about esotericism.  Moreover, I believe that the enormous importance of the symbol of “Babylon” in the Bible is due to its association with the notion of a “confusion of tongues”—which I think is really another way of saying:  Esotericism.  In other words:  Riddles.  Enigmas.  “Dark sayings.”  Cryptic parables.  Encoded meanings.  Allegorical symbols.  Obscure allusions.  Gibberish.

The Bible is one of the most paradoxical books ever written, because, even while being so thoroughly esoteric, it is my belief that the Bible’s most central and important “inner meaning” is that it is completely opposed to all esotericism, and looks forward to the day when it will cease to exist.  When a person makes an effort to look for evidence of this particular “inner meaning,” while expecting to find it, it is actually not all that hard to find.  While it’s true that the authors’ understanding of that meaning must have been partly unconscious, I nonetheless believe that this was the most central “inner meaning” that they wanted to convey to the reader.  It was a meaning that some “part” of each of their unconscious minds was, through the use of obscure symbolism, trying to “smuggle past” the “guards” set up by some other “part” of each of their own unconscious minds—the same kind of resistant psychological “part” that could also be found in the minds of many of their readers.

In short, there is reason to think that the symbolic “fall of Babylon” should be regarded as signifying the end of esotericism.  My own position is that religious esotericism is actually just a form of lying—in fact, an exceedingly dangerous form of lying, one which has had a catastrophic impact on humanity.  And there is reason to think that the author of the Book of Revelation—whether consciously or unconsciously—agreed with me, since it seems he believed that when the symbolic “Babel” or “Babylon” fell and the symbolic “new Jerusalem” came into being, the Lie itself would come to an end as an active force in the world.  (As proof, notice the special and repeated emphasis that the author gives to lying and liars in Revelation 21:8, 21:27, and 22:15.)

Writings from the “Against the Lie” essay available

I am including links to two versions of Part I of my essay Against the Lie, as well as two versions of a section taken from Part II of that same essay entitled “The Relationship Between the New Testament Figures of Mary, the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved, and Mary Magdalene.”   The first version of each document has most of the footnotes removed, and the second has all of the original footnotes still in it.  I recommend starting with the first version, since the main text can be difficult to read in the version with all of the footnotes retained.  Then, if, after reading the first version, you’re still interested in reading more about my ideas on this and related subject matter, you can go on to read through all of the footnotes in the second version.


Against the Lie
(Part I)

Shortened version  (98 pages):   Word    PDF
Full version  (175 pages):   Word    PDF


Mary, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” and Mary Magdalene

Shortened version  (9 pages):   Word    PDF
Full version  (20 pages):   Word    PDF

Continue reading “Writings from the “Against the Lie” essay available”