We only need to look around to realize that we do not live in a dull world, and that we are here to relate with a multidimensional diversity. We can understand it as "I am diverse, hence I am" because we live simultaneously with thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions, and instincts.
Noach had three sons that our Sages teach that represent the foundations or roots of intellect (Shem), emotion (Japheth), and sensuality (Ham), with which we approach a large range of possibilities to be experienced as cornerstones of the building we call life. The Torah's approach to life is unequivocally ethical, and the most adequate conductor to this approach is our intellect as the discerning power of consciousness.
Our Sages equate intellect to soul. Thus the more we discern about our circumstances in the material world, the more we live in consonance with our soul. In this sense, as they say, soul is to the body as the Creator is to the world. This means, among other things, that the soul is what connects us to Him.
Living and approaching life from the place of the soul is the only way to transcend the mirages and illusions of the material world. In a practical context, the soul encompasses the Divine attributes that the Torah instructs us to emulate. In sum, the more diverse and complex material reality appears to us, the more we need strong foundations to approach it in the most positive, constructive and uplifting ways and means.
As a Divine creation, we humans have the potential to reach out to our Creator by following His ways and manifesting His attributes. Ego's materialistic desires and illusions make us believe and feel that we are self-providing and self-sustaining entities, and they are the bricks of the tower that makes us believe and feel that we are our own god. Our Sages say that arrogance is the worst of kind of idolatry, because it does not allow one to see beyond himself. Egotism becomes the easiest way to deny anything different, and consequently diverse, from our own perception.
The generation of the tower of Babel came together united to circumscribe human life to a single ideological, cultural and social pattern; in "one language" able to turn man into a god for himself, and the rest of Creation was meant to be an accessory for man's "greatness" (see our commentary dated on October 2, 2010 in this blog).
The Creator's response was not more destruction, as with the Flood, but to give us the knowledge and awareness that every individual is as diverse as there are ways of conceiving, thinking, feeling, sensing and responding to the also diverse world where we live. Hence, the challenge for humankind is to also respond with an embracing, unifying and harmonizing approach to diversity as a Divine gift for us.
Time and again, the choice is ours. Either we build towers for ego's desires and illusions of grandeur, or we build towers in our consciousness to be closer to the Creator. Towers not built with bricks of clay but with Love to reach up to God's Love. This Love is our Essence and identity, with which we choose the goodness in the multifaceted diversity that He gave us.
"Broaden the place of your tents, and stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, stint not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs. For southward and northward you shall spread out mightily, your offspring will inherit nations, and they will settle desolate cities." (Isaiah 54:2-3)