The Heavenly Tower

The Heavenly Tower

A Chapter by Robert Ulysses Wright
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The people of Babyl have decided to create a monument dedicated to their precious Mother Goddess, Ishtar. One angel sees the threat that such unity poses and takes moves to remedy it.

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The sun bathed the Mesopotamian Plains of Shinar with a heat wave not seen in a long time. As a group of laborers toiled over the parched earth, others brought large jars of water from the nearby wells to quench the thirst of those that cleared the ground in preparation for the surveying that followed. It was exhausting work but they gladly followed the orders given to them by the civil engineers. The laborers were guided by an ideal, a common goal inculcated into them by the temple priests of Ishtar, the beloved mother goddess of the surrounding lands. Though sweat poured from their bodies, they continued the work commissioned by the ruler of the sprawling city of Babyl, Namroo. He was the grandson of the great hunter and founder of the metropolis, Nimrod.

“Move the oxen and be careful not to disturb the survey rods!” hollered Shebah, Namroo’s cousin and chief architect of the city.

Together, King Namroo and Shebah formulated the plans after consultation with the temple priests to construct a tower that would reach to the sky, the Tower of Heaven. A structure so high it could be seen for great distances, beckoning onlookers to come to the magnificent city and partake in the worship of the One through whom all life came to be. A tower whose height would provide a gateway to the glorious realm and a path for Ishtar to descend to be among Her loving children. It would be their crowning achievement.

“Take the spikes with you and begin constructing the grid!” Shebah commanded. “Scribes, take note of this day. For this was the day when we as the inhabitants of this land began the task of ascending to the clouds.”

As the day passed, the work progressed swiftly, carefully choreographed by Shebah and her crew of well disciplined and highly technical artisans, mathematicians and engineers. They would be involved in every phase of the construction, down to the tiniest detail. It had taken years to assemble the right people and draft the plans. Namroo himself sought out the best and even sent recruits to far off lands to entice the most talented engineers that money could buy. Promises were made and he would assure them of great reward if they helped in the design and construction of the Heavenly Tower. Most however, came from Babyl. They were not new to construction, after all their ancestors had built the foundations of the great city. Through the years they honed their skills at making buildings, roads, homes and the Temple of Ishtar, a beautiful and grandiose place of worship for the chief god of the city. Now it was up to the next generation to continue the legacy; the opportunity to make a name for themselves and literally cement their place in history.

Several months later, early in the day, a great multitude began to assemble at the construction site. Preparations had been made to celebrate the placement of the cornerstone. The temple priests were present along with thousands of Babyl’s inhabitants. Slaves and artisans, wealthy landowners and peasants gathered together to partake of the festivities. Smoke billowed from urns burning incense. It filled the air with a reminiscent smell usually found only at the temple site. All awaited the arrival of the king along with his entourage of servants and concubines. The army was also assembled with numerous chariots and horsemen. The air buzzed with anticipation as the cool morning slowly gave way to the rising temperatures. Though the hottest days had passed, the plains of Shinar still retained enough of the remaining summer heat to make everyday living a challenge. Only the Euphrates River with its cool waters provided relief.

The trumpeters blew their heralding cry, announcing the arrival of King Namroo and the crowd went silent. The carpeted pathway guided the way to the tent which was setup with a platform and throne overlooking the nearby cornerstone. The people strained to get a glimpse of the majestic King Namroo, approaching from the northwest, carried aloft in his royal carriage by a squad of muscular men. They arrived at the tent and gently lowered the portable coach. A servant placed steps the King’s feet and from the carriage appeared King Namroo dressed in purple and gold. All in attendance bowed down in reverence as the King of Babyl took his place at the throne.

“People of Babyl and guests of far-off lands, welcome to this most joyous of occasions,” bellowed Shebah, “for today we will consecrate the start of the long awaited Tower of Heaven. We set our sights on the clouds, but soon we will be among the clouds to open a way for our beloved Mother Ishtar to come to us, that we may forever be with Her. Love and life everlasting, will be ours as it was written in the sacred scrolls. Let us this day honor Her, with our pledge to complete this edifice with all our strength, with all our minds and with all that is within us! We will not fail for we are one! We are united in spirit and united in the belief that nothing is impossible to us!”  

The crowd roared in approval, hands waving in the air as the crescendo peaked. Shebah raised her arms to quiet the crowd.

“My King, I present you with the sacred oil of the temple. I humbly ask you to sanctify the cornerstone of the great Tower of Heaven.”

Namroo rose from the throne, took the flask from the kneeling Shebah and walked over to the block of rock perfectly placed at the corner of the vast foundation, now prepared to receive the numerous building blocks sure to follow. As he poured the ceremonial oil on the cornerstone another roar of approval rose up to greet him. This special day would be remembered by all who witnessed it for it signaled the beginning of a new era of unity.

A fly buzzed above the crowd. Flying in dizzying circles it avoided the swats of the onlookers but stayed close enough to hear the king’s announcements. It had heard enough. It flew straight up into the sky. Through the clouds it wings carried it faster and faster. Soon it escaped the grip of the Earth and momentum continued to carry it into the blackness beyond.

Far above, in the heavenly realm adjacent to the physical universe, stood the Goddess looking over the vastness of the universe. The Great Mother saw the movement of the galaxies and the individual stars within them. The universe was alive with a harmony only She could hear. It was a soothing sound, an orchestra of energy permeating all of creation. The seemingly empty void was alive with light and sound and she enjoyed its unceasing melody. Nearby, the throne of the Goddess was enclosed by an emerald curtain, appearing like an aurora borealis that danced about the seat of power and glory.

No human could witness it for they were not capable of seeing this splendor. It was not meant for frail physical eyes, but spiritual ones. The kind of sight achieved through meditation and enlightenment and acquired through spiritual cleansing of the mind and deliverance from crude thoughts of selfishness and hatred. Only true humility and self sacrifice coupled with an undying love could see this place. It was a sanctuary of peace, tranquility and harmony; a place of joy and transcending oneness. It was home to the Mother of all Creation, Asherah.

She saw the approaching messenger and resumed the coveted position on the throne. Her fiery eyes illuminated a path for the approaching angel and he glided to a stop before the throne of glory. He was covered in black bristling hairs. Gray skin offset his red faceted eyes. His lips curled into a maggoty smile, the tiny creatures writhed between his teeth. To the goddess it was a beautiful sight.

Speak Beelzebub, what is your message.”

“My Mistress,” his voice was a symphony of buzzing wings, “the people of the Plains of Shinar are in the process of building a great tower able to reach far above the plains. They are calling it the ‘Tower of Heaven’.”

How do you feel about this?”

“I could see the mortal’s emotions while I was among them. There was a feeling of joy and unity. To have the mortals of the region united by this purpose, would no doubt decrease future conflicts there. This must please you greatly.”

What is the purpose of this great tower, my child?

“Its purpose is to allow the people of the earth access to you. You are known as Ishtar and they believe the tower will allow you a path to the earth. They seek to have a closer bond with their beloved goddess.”

Beelzebub, you have done well. Go in peace.”

The angel rose slowly and began his slow descent back to the world of humans. His body disintegrated into millions of black flies. They spread out across the world, eager to listen, eager to learn. One fly finds the shoulder of a particular angel and tells of all it has learned.

 

* * *

 

The years have slipped away along the Plains of Shinar. Just outside the city of Babyl, a tower unlike any before it reached high into the firmament. Neighboring kingdoms, seeing the progress of the great tower, offered manpower and expertise along with materials to complete the project. King Namroo was delighted. The inhabitants had united under a great cause as the collective society worked in harmony to build the massive structure. Now, it dominated the landscape and soon a grand celebration will take place at the base of the monument.

During the construction phase, the work was non-stop and grueling. It went on throughout the day and sometimes into the night. Except for the occasional feast or religious observance, work continued unabated. Shebah, the chief architect, demanding as she was, made the work fulfilling. She took care of the workers and made sure they were well fed. She also employed shifts so as not to wear them out and provided time away from the site for the most diligent workers. A meticulous woman, Shebah did not tolerate any mistakes. She would scold but not punish. It was a radical departure from the normal task masters of her day. Usually whippings and imprisonment were the norm. Not for Shebah. She would not tarnish the Tower of Heaven with any form of evil or cruelty. It had to remain pure or Mother Ishtar would turn away from their creation. This idea was understood by all: there shall be no violence committed on the site. The Heavenly Tower was not to be defiled or desecrated in any way. Doing so would ruin the greatest wonder of their generation and the legacy they felt was rightly theirs.  

Perched atop the dome of the city temple, a lone figure observed the massive tower now clearly visible above the horizon. The square-shaped structure, with its gradually narrowing levels and a small columned feature at the pinnacle, required enormous effort to build. Lucifer knew the people were of single purpose and their desires were focused on the worship of and communion with the Goddess of Creation, Asherah. To allow this to continue would jeopardize his plan. He dismissed the small fly perched on his shoulder and summoned his tight knit group of subalterns.

“Abezethibod, Arakiel, Azazel, Baraqiel, Ezeqeel, Kokabiel, Paimon, Penemue, Sariel, Semiaza, and Shamsiel, I summon you to stand before me!”

Immediately, the winds started to blow and the earth trembled slightly but the inhabitants of the city did not stir from their sleep. Just above the Temple of Ishtar a small gathering of powerful angels formed. One by one they appeared as flashes of light. Each one exhibited his own particular frequency. The clandestine meeting began as soon as the angels formed a circle around the central figure.

“My brothers, it pleases me to have you in my presence.”

“Chief Brother and Morning Star, we heard your call and are ready to follow,” answered Paimon, one of the top commanders in the angelic army.

“You are my closest confidants. What is spoken here tonight must remain between us” said Lucifer. The angels nodded their agreement.     

Lucifer was proud of his inner circle of like minded servants, each wise in his own way and loyal to their hierarch. The fellowship they had was unusual in its strictness and obsession with discipline and perfection. It troubled the other angelic hosts but they dared not speak out of place for they had great respect for Lucifer. The ranks were tight and orderly. Everyone knew their position and adhered to it.

Lucifer continued, “It seems we have a dilemma my friends. That tower there. It is quite a sight is it not?”  

“It is a curious little thing” said Shamsiel the Architect.

“It is an eye sore” responded Kokabiel, Angel of the Stars.

“They have taken their innate tool-using-skills and progressed beyond what we predicted,” Paimon interjected.

“I find them entertaining. The people of this world are always looking to control one another. Their scheming is most amusing,” offered Azazel.

“These people are most creative and energetic. They absorb what we give them and look for ways to improve on it,” noted Shamsiel.

“Though they have limitations, it does not limit the possibilities of their accomplishments. They have but to dream it and it becomes reality,” stated Paimon.

“Such a variable is too great to leave unchecked. It obfuscates the future. This must be remedied right away” Lucifer said, almost disinterested. “But how?”

He left the question open. The other angels started to think. Impulsive Azazel was the first to speak.

“We could tear the tower down!” The other angels turned to face him. “Sariel could easily smite it with a mighty blow.”

“It would be a simple task,” agreed Sariel as he examined the massive bulk that was his body.

“We destroy the tower and show the plainsmen what happens when they get too close to heaven!” exclaimed a giddy Azazel. Some angels mumble agreement but Lucifer made his disappointment plain.

“Brother Azazel, brother Shamsiel. Would that not attract unwanted attention?”

Azazel and Shamsiel shrank back from the circle.

“I could cause the earth to quake” added Arakiel the Angel of Earth. “It would seem a natural occurrence to any who were watching.”

 “Clever, but there are no fault lines to be found in Shinar. An astute observer would notice this discrepancy” responded Lucifer. The other angels scratch their heads. They were at a loss.

“Now now, these are all great ideas, but they do not solve the heart of the issue.”

“What would that be Chief Brother?” asked Baraqiel the Angel of Lightning.

“If we destroy the tower, could they not build another?”

“They could indeed” said Ezeqeel.

“Where does the idea to build a tower come from?”

“It comes from the mind” said Penemue the Wordly.

“Yes. So to stop the building of this and subsequent towers…”

“We strike at their minds,” finishes Paimon. “What a brilliant idea.”

Lucifer flashed a brilliant smile. He had pushed them this far, now he would lead them the rest of the way.

“We cannot simply make them forget how to build. That would be disastrous. Rather than take a variable away, we should instead add a variable.”

“Confuse them?” asked Abezethibod, an expert in manipulating the thoughts of others.

“Exactly brother. Take Penemue with you and go around the city. Fill their minds with more than they can handle. I shall stand atop the tower as the conduit, Arakiel shall be my base and Baraqiel will be my catalyst. We will use our skills to change the course of history. In one brief moment of illumination...” said Lucifer with a shudder of anticipation, “we will alter the fate of the world.”

The angels marveled at the wisdom of their leader. Lucifer was not only the wisest of the angelic host; he was also the most beautiful. His accoutrements were superior and dazzling. Surely he was the envy of all who gazed upon him. Their admiration for Lucifer fed him even more pride and he took hold of their addicting zeal.

“Truly you are the greatest among us Lucifer,” remarked Paimon.

“I am what I am because of you, my brothers. Let us begin our work.” proclaimed Lucifer.

“Let it be done according to your will, Chief Brother,” the group pronounced in unison. They dispersed in an instant. Abezethibod and Penemue phased into the realm of immaterial. The thoughts and dreams of the people of Babyl drifted in all directions. One by one Abezethibod grabbed the strands. Penemue tied the strands together into a beautifully intricate knot. Arakiel stood beneath the tower, grasping the earth around him, anchoring their spiritual energies into the very soil. Baraqiel flew high into the sky gathering clouds and suffusing them with his power. Lucifer stood atop the tower, arms crossed, watching his brother’s work. Deep in his heart he could feel the light of knowledge stirring, burning. Azazel, Paimon, Shamsiel, Kokabiel and Sariel stood around their Chief Brother, each positioned equidistant from the other.

Soon Penemue and Abezethibod had gathered all the wayward minds of the citizens of Babyl as they dreamt. They flew the massive knot of dreams into place above the tower. Lucifer closed his eyes. The ritual had begun. High above Babyl, Baraqiel heard Lucifer’s unspoken command. He unleashed the combined potential of the clouds above the city. A brilliant flash erupted across the sky and struck the top of the tower. The five angels absorbed the energy and channeled it into Lucifer. Lucifer felt the overwhelming force of Baraqiel and the others gathering into him. It allowed him to bring his true nature out in this mundane world so far from Heaven. Down below Arakiel directed the excess force harmlessly throughout the ground. Lucifer felt the strain of the activity on his brother deep in the earth and decided to work faster. His being erupted into a light that no human could witness and survive. The Light of Truth. Absolute Enlightenment. Perfect Understanding of Creation. He brought it forth from himself and forced it to flow into the knot of minds positioned directly above him. In the immaterial realm, Abezethibod and Penemue shielded their eyes. The brilliance of their Brother was almost blinding, even to them. The energy latched onto the intricate knot and the dreams of the people erupted in a display of glorious ecstasy. Profound secrets were leaked into the images dancing in their minds. Secrets they would never understand. Secrets that would change their nature forever.

 

* * *

 

The sun peered over the distant mountains while their shadows gradually descended down the eastern face of the Heavenly Tower. An unusually cool morning breeze engulfed the city while the people of Babyl slowly emerged from the nights slumber, groggy and weak. Some of the inhabitants should have risen by now yet they had not the strength to lift themselves from their beds. It was as if they had spent the night in drunken festivity. Most lied around staring at the walls wondering why they felt so strange. The festival to celebrate the tower was scheduled for later in the day yet they had not the excited anticipation that accompanied them to bed last night.

Slowly the people staggered to their feet. The women folk began preparing meals for their families while children looked for toys to play with. In the wealthier homes, the servants were also preparing the morning meal for their masters. The inns, packed with visitors from nearby towns and villages meet at the tables. Conversations around the sitting areas began and all seemed normal again. Around the city people greeted each other but blank looks instead of smiles greet them back. Some sensed this was a kind of amusement being perpetrated. Others are getting annoyed. Neighbors demanded they speak intelligently to each other. Slowly their voices rose in hostility toward one another and it was not long before fights broke out. Others are frightened at what was happening. Family members sought each other out looking for comfort. Some could understand the strange dialects but others sounded completely foreign. The City of Babyl was plunged into turmoil.

“Great King, I beseech thee, please command your servants to obey my orders,” pleaded one of King Namroo’s concubines. He looked at her as if he had been insulted.

“Get out of my sight you silly woman. Come back to me when you cease this absurd game!” he hollered back.

The court advisers appeared before the king and bowed down.

“I have heard reports of trouble from the people of the city. What have you to say about this?” asked the great king.

Only one of the advisers understood the king and so he explained to the ruler of Babyl the strange events occurring throughout his kingdom. The king was dismayed and demoralized. He knew something went wrong but was not sure exactly what. He stared out through an opening in the royal hall and saw the great tower.

“Could this be about the tower? Has someone defiled the great monument to Ishtar? I demand to know the answer. Find the ones responsible and bring them to me immediately!” He roared to the advisers.

Using hand gestures to one another, the advisers departed the presence of the irate king.

“After all the work we have put into making the great tower, this is our recompense,” King Namroo lamented. “There will be a reckoning. Someone will pay with their life. They and their families will be obliterated. Perhaps Mother Ishtar will forgive us and restore our unity. I will do all in my power to make it right again,” the anguished king muttered to himself.

A generation passed and the people of the Plains of Shinar were scattered by their differences to distant lands. Only nomadic tribes passed through Babyl now. At the base of the crumbling tower, trees and shrubs grew unabated. Their presence damaged the tower in many places and so it became unsafe to climb. Birds also make their home in the cracks and crevices, their excrements marking the locations. Goats hopped about on the steps, playfully chasing each other. The once pristine tower now resembled an abandoned ziggurat, dusted by wind blown sand. The few residents left in the nearby city no longer care for the decaying edifice for they have more pressing needs. Just outside the city, at the base of a small cliff lies a half-buried sign made of cracked, broken marble. Covered by dirt and decay, the sign read: In dedication to our Beloved Mother Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven.



© 2010 Robert Ulysses Wright


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What an intertesting retelling of the story of Nimrod and his tower. You are obviously well versed in your knowledge of Judaic literature. Your writing is eceptional as well and a pleasure to read. Highest marks.

Posted 11 Years Ago



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Added on October 16, 2010
Last Updated on December 25, 2010
Tags: bible, babel, tower, heaven, god, angel


Author

Robert Ulysses Wright
Robert Ulysses Wright

Seattle, WA



About
I am a writer. I enjoy history, biblical literature and the interactions of humans as they journey through life. I hope to get to know you all a little better as we journey together on this quest to f.. more..

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