A couple of weeks ago, we were having a conversation at the Shabbat table that centered on the question, If you had the opportunity to go back in time to when you were 18 years old and live your life over again, but with the advantage that you would be able to retain all of the knowledge and wisdom that you had gained throughout your current life, would you go back? Further, if you had the opportunity to repeat this procedure, would you repeat it? And if so, would there be a limit to the number of times you would be willing to return to age 18 and live those years over and over again, trying to perfect them more and more each time you re-lived them?
Similarly, Elon Musk revealed an interesting fact in a recent interview with Bill Maher. He said the following about the motivation driving the development of artificial intelligence (AI): “Some people want to live forever or for a much longer period of time, and they see digital super-intelligence as the only thing that can figure out how to get them to live forever…to figure out longevity.” The word ‘longevity’ is rather flexible and can include biological or sentient longevity (some form of uploading of human consciousness and merging it with advanced hardware and software).
Either way we look at it, the question becomes (and perhaps always was), If it were possible, would we want to live forever in this world, either biologically or digitally?
Let’s frame the question with a little perspective. What is the purpose of this world, known as Asiyah, the World of Action? Was it created to be mankind’s abode or inheritance forever? As is known, Adam ha-Rishon was not even created in this world. Rather, Adam (male and female) was created in a higher world known as Yetzirah, the World of Formation, currently the main abode of malachim [מלאכים, angels]. Adam and Chavah only began to inhabit this fallen world as a result of the sin committed in Gan Eden. Therefore, le’chatchilah [לכתחילה, from the outset] this world was not supposed to have been our world. It only became that way bedi’eved [בדיעבד, after the fact]. Therefore, from the Torah’s point of view, the purpose of this world is clear: to give us the opportunity to rectify our original sin, to repair the damage done by that sin, and to be worthy of ascending to the state wherein we were originally created—essentially getting back to the beginning. Once we accomplish that goal, then, and only then, can we continue on with the ascent to even higher worlds and states of consciousness that Hashem desired of His most prized creation from the very beginning.
Therefore, the goal of our existence certainly doesn’t seem to be perpetual life, in whatever form, in this lower world. By design, it exists only to satisfy a temporary need. That being the case, why would anyone set as a goal eternal life in this lower world? To answer that, we need to consider the beginnings of human civilization.
Shortly after the flood, mankind came together on a project so monumental in scope that if they had have been successful, nothing would have been outside of their reach. What were those in charge actually trying to accomplish? Let’s read the account together.
It begins (Bereshit 11:1): וַיְהִי כׇל־הָאָרֶץ שָׂפָה אֶחָת וּדְבָרִים אֲחָדִים (And it came to pass that everyone had one language and unified words). Why mention both language and words? Aren’t they the same thing? Although different explanations have been given, Rashi’s first explanation is that ‘language’ refers to Hebrew and the ‘unified words’ refers to a common plan. He says that the essence of their plan was: לֹא כָּל הֵימֶנּוּ שֶׁיָּבֹר לוֹ אֶת הָעֶלְיוֹנִים נַעֲלֶה לָרָקִיעַ וְנַעֲשֶׂה עִמּוֹ מִלְחָמָה (He has no right to select for Himself the upper realms; we will ascend to the firmament and make war with Him). Don’t misunderstand. They weren’t so naïve to think that they could reach Heaven literally and fight a war against G‑d literally. They were sophisticated people, much like many of the global movers and shakers today; they speak and act through symbols. As an example, why do you think that the European Parliament building in Brussels was designed and built to look like the Tower of Babel as depicted in the famous painting by the Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder?
They found a valley in the Land of Shinar which they felt was suitable and began their project (11:3): וַיֹּאמְרוּ אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ הָבָה נִלְבְּנָה לְבֵנִים וְנִשְׂרְפָה לִשְׂרֵפָה וַתְּהִי לָהֶם הַלְּבֵנָה לְאָבֶן וְהַחֵמָר הָיָה לָהֶם לַחֹמֶר (And they said to each other, ‘Come, let us make bricks and burn them in fire’—and the bricks were for them stone, and the bitumen was for them plaster). If would have been better had they been able to use stones, but they didn’t have any in the valley; therefore, they created simulated stone out of brick. Rashi says that the purpose of the plaster was to plaster the walls. It wasn’t mortar to cement the bricks together (perhaps they fitted the bricks together so tightly that they didn’t need mortar); rather, it was used to make everything look good. Perhaps they wanted to hide the fact that the structures weren’t actually made of stones. Keeping up appearances is important, right?
Supportive of what Rashi said was the essence of their plan, it is stated in the next verse (11:4): וַיֹּאמְרוּ הָבָה נִבְנֶה־לָּנוּ עִיר וּמִגְדָּל וְרֹאשׁוֹ בַשָּׁמַיִם וְנַעֲשֶׂה־לָּנוּ שֵׁם פֶּן־נָפוּץ עַל־פְּנֵי כׇל־הָאָרֶץ (And they said, ‘Come, let us build for us a city, and a tower with its top in Heaven, and let’s make a name for ourselves lest we be scattered throughout the world). If they just wanted to live together in peace and harmony, why build the tower? All they really needed from a practical point of view was the city itself. So what was the point of the tower? The tower was to be the tangible expression of the project, the symbol of their global strategy for centralized power and control. Their desire to reach Heaven meant that they wanted to be in place of the Holy One, blessed be He.
Continuing on in the account (11:5): וַיֵּרֶד יְיָ לִרְאֹת אֶת־הָעִיר וְאֶת־הַמִּגְדָּל (Hashem came down to see the city and the tower). Hashem coming down ‘to see’ speaks of hashgachah [השגחה, surveillance, supervision, monitoring, inspection], as it says elsewhere (Tehillim 33:13): מִשָּׁמַיִם הִבִּיט יְיָ רָאָה אֶת־כׇּל־בְּנֵי הָאָדָם (From heaven Hashem looks down; He sees all the sons of man). And this tells us a lot about what the city and its tower were really all about. Those in charge wanted to keep everyone in one population center for purposes of control and surveillance (much like a gigantic prison or ‘15-minute city’), even as they themselves said: פֶּן־נָפוּץ עַל־פְּנֵי כׇל־הָאָרֶץ (lest we be scattered throughout the world). But what’s so awful about being scattered throughout the world? After all, the world was created to be inhabited (Yeshayah 45:18): יֹצֵר הָאָרֶץ וְעֹשָׂהּ הוּא כוֹנְנָהּ לֹא־תֹהוּ בְרָאָהּ לָשֶׁבֶת יְצָרָהּ (He formed the earth and made it, He established it, He didn’t create it to be desolate, He formed it for habitation). The problem from their point of view was that a dispersed population would have been too difficult, if not impossible, to surveil and control. Unlike today, they didn’t have the technology to implement a plan which they felt would work if the world’s population was scattered all over the place.
What was Hashem’s response to this attack against His kingship? It is written (11:7): הָבָה נֵרְדָה וְנָבְלָה שָׁם שְׂפָתָם אֲשֶׁר לֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ אִישׁ שְׂפַת רֵעֵהוּ (Come, let us go down and confound there their language so that they won’t understand the language of the other). What exactly does confounding their language mean? It doesn’t say that Hashem created a bunch of different languages, and that’s why they couldn’t understand each other. No, it says that Hashem confounded their language. Rashi informs us: זֶה שׁוֹאֵל לְבֵנָה וְזֶה מֵבִיא טִיט וְזֶה עוֹמֵד עָלָיו וּפוֹצֵעַ אֶת מֹחוֹ (This one would ask for a brick and the other would bring him plaster: and this one would rise against him and split open his brain). That sounds extreme. It could be that they continued to speak the same language but for some reason, their ability to understand each other was impaired.
Finally, we read the outcome of Hashem’s disruption (11:8): וַיָּפֶץ יְיָ אֹתָם מִשָּׁם עַל־פְּנֵי כׇל־הָאָרֶץ וַיַּחְדְּלוּ לִבְנֹת הָעִיר (And Hashem scattered them from there over the whole world, and they ceased building the city). That which they feared, in spite of their best efforts, befell them after all. But notice, the verse doesn’t say that they ceased building the tower! They might have been dispersed, but they didn’t cease building the tower. What’s the meaning of this? They’ve been working on building that tower ever since.
Let’s go back and summarize the story, seeing its essence being played out in our world today. In so doing, we will answer our question why some of the global elites advancing AI today want to live forever.
Now, the ‘one language’ is not Hebrew but rather computer language, bits and bytes, 0s and 1s. This is the common language of mankind today. However, the ‘unified words’ can have the same meaning as Rashi explained, i.e. a common plan to enslave the world population and rule over everyone with their own rules instead of G‑d’s laws. Just as the leaders in Nimrod’s day resented G‑d’s rulership and sovereignty, the same is true of many of the globalist leaders in our world today. They wish to build their own tower to Heaven because they resent the fact that ‘Heaven’, i.e. true eternal life, is the exclusive domain of G‑d. They want to live forever, but they can’t because true eternal life is only outside of this spacetime. So they began to build a substitute for it, but even so they don’t have the right ingredients. This is the classic irony of man’s best efforts, always having to find substitutes and cut corners and then cover up the truth of the matter. They build their hardware and software systems, but they are far from ideal, and they know it. Their systems don’t work right; they consistently crash and produce outputs that are wrong. (If you don’t think so, just try ChatGPT as an example and you’ll see for yourself.) After all, they are programmed by people, who themselves are error-prone and biased. Why would anyone expect that their outputs would be flawless? Instead of considering their ways, they seek to hide the problems and hope that the masses, whom they are desperately trying to enslave, won’t notice. In the end, Hashem will come down and let them know what He thinks. And what is the result of this coming down to see? It is the confounding of the language. This is like a computer virus that Hashem injects into their system so, even though they are still using the same language, the whole system begins to malfunction even worse than before. And this causes them to turn upon each other, figuratively referred to as splitting each other’s brains open, essentially deflecting blame wherever they can.
Shlomo ha-Melech in his wisdom said (Kohelet 1:9): וְאֵין כׇּל־חָדָשׁ תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ (There is nothing new under the sun). The globalist master plan, known as the Great Reset, is the same as it has always been. The good news is that G‑d will intervene and the criminal masterminds will destroy each other. In fact, we are already beginning to see effects of G‑d’s computer virus. So don’t get discouraged, the Great Awakening is taking place, and mankind will be freed from the prison planet being constructed by its overlords. Worldwide peace, prosperity and happiness are just around the corner.