It seems that the Hierarchy has higher ups such as the Lord of Karma, Archangels, Kumaras etc. I am not very good in the details - maybe a Kumara is an Archangel but the fact is immensely fascinating that even an advanced being - an Archangel such as Lucifer could stumble and make a bad choice so horrendous. Or you perhaps do not believe the lore of Lucifer as the once custodian of Mother Earth....
You'd think that an Archangel is beyond faltering and making bad decisions...
What do you think?
"In the fact of the turning of the monadic Wheel covering the period of three solar systems, lies hid the mystery of monadic self-will, and the secret as to why some of the Monads refused to incarnate, whilst others "fell," and thus proceeded along the present lines of evolution. They refused to incarnate because of internal group conditions brought about through the evolutionary processes of the past kalpas. It will, therefore, be apparent that the question of what constitutes sin and evil is far more intricate than even appears upon the surface. From our limited vision, it appears to be "sin" to fall into incarnation, and equally sin or self-will, self-satisfaction, to remain unevolved upon the higher planes. Yet both groups followed the law of their being, and the solution of the mystery lies in that which is to come"
A Treatise on Cosmic Fire by Alice A Bailey. p-1090-1
"Nature abhors a hierarchy. It not a respecter of individuals", explains John Mead in Future Theosophy - A Vision. The great individuals, Buddha, Christ etc., who gave direction to the humanity never established a Hierarchy themselves.
The concept of Hierarchy perhaps is indicative of limitations of human mind which perceived that just as there is a Hierarchy around us to govern the society, there is a Hierarchy governing the Creation. It is a misinterpretation of "As Above So Below" turning it into "As Below So Above".
Also, the concept of Hierarchy appears to be contrary to the Principle of Unity.
This idea of hierarchy as something that has been projected upon the spirit world by humans is interesting to look at through the lens of astrology, if one is inclined in that direction. I'm not an astrologer myself, and am familiar only with some of the cursory details of it, but the concept of the transition from the age of Pisces to the age of Aquarius is one that I've paid a lot of attention to. As I have understood what most astrologers say about it, the prevalence of hierarchy in our society, whether we're talking about religious systems, social structures or political regimes, has been largely a feature of the Piscean age, and that the age of Aquarius brings with it a "leveling out" of all of these systems. Aquarius is evidently a more egalitarian archetype. It does seem to fit the transitions overtaking the world over the last couple of centuries.
This all just goes to show how important it is to discover new theosophies. When we come into these traditions, we begin to see our new vantage point as much wider than, say, that of the merely religious, etc. But as we can see, we carry a great deal of conditioning with us that is hard to undo, as it effects the way we perceive absolutely everything. Thus we have teachers who, in the same breath, profess the oneness and interconnectedness of the cosmos, but include in their vision of it an organizational structure that strongly resembles the ones in which they were raised, and into which they were conditioned. As enlightened as we may become, still there are always more veils to strip away.
I was told of a church minister who channeled the Lord of the Dolphins in one service..... That is about where I put these myths. rather sums things up.
I have never understood what an Archangel was/is and why they are needed. I consider this all rather a Hierarchy of Hierophants and being created into a "slot" (e.g. archangel) serves no evolvement within creation... possibly even a destructive archetype.
However - even weird Myths may be useful, sometimes.
So - unless I have either direct knowledge, or a solid reason to believe in the reality of any Myth, I assume they all are fiction. But, they usually are still very useful. If a human can use it for insight and advancement then It serves a worthy purpose. One does not have to believe a Myth to benefit from it. In fact, a Myth can be like a Koan. Use it until it has served its purpose, at which point it can get tossed out in your personal spiritual wastebasket.
They say all myth have some solid foundation in facts....no matter how remote....
It's a good question that's raised here, and an analogy has come to mind spurred on by the comments of John and Anand above.
There actually is an order in nature that can easily appear hierarchical, especially in the sense of a nested hierarchy. This can be seen in our own bodies, which are made up millions of smaller living units, cells--which in turn are made up of smaller units, the organelles, and so on. To look at this all from a viewpoint that favors a hierarchical interpretation, those units that encompass many smaller units are seen to be "higher" on that hierarchy. To these "higher" units is attributed a more "advanced" place in the evolutionary scheme, and it is from this assignment of value or "rank" that the idea arises in the first place that vast spiritual intelligences must surely be infallible, as advanced as they are beyond us.
But using the very analogy of the order of cells in the human body sheds some light on this. The human body is an amazing thing, with a beautiful harmony going on that keeps it running. All these smaller life-units work together in harmony, for the most part, without our conscious intervention. Still, there is sickness--and furthermore, we are coming to learn that many health problems and dysfunctions, our name for disharmonies that arise in the bodily system, are connected to our own decisions and actions. We are capable of totally ruining that wonderful harmony through our own faulty decisions. Why should it be any different with spiritual beings whose field of influence may happen to encompass realms greater than us? (I respect John's viewpoint on the matter, that these great beings may be mere myths, but I tend to provisionally accept the possibility of their existence, with the caveat that our understanding of what they are and what they do cannot be that accurate since by our own admission we function on a totally different level than they do. Does a blood cell know anything about being a human?).
Furthermore, in our field of interaction with other human beings and towards the larger "organism" of which we are a part, things are far from perfect. Look at the world around us! We are causing mischief on a scale so much wider than the scope of a single-celled organism's field of activity that it boggles even our minds. Clearly the idea that larger centers of consciousness are necessarily less fallible than smaller ones needs revision.
grrrbrrrrr ... in a most dangerous mood today so if the admins must delete what I'll write, let them do so... why don't people allow themselves some room for understanding before accepting or rejecting?
Sorry, but my opinion that capital letters do create misunderstanding is stronger now than 15 minutes ago.
Andrasm, from what you've written the aim of the thread is not clear to me... is it about "Hierarchy" or is it about the possiblity of anyone being beyond faltering and making bad decisions? Why would I think that any "Archangel" or whoever is beyond making a bad decision?
I'm against the idea and ideal of perfection because I see it harms, it is an obstacle to clear thinking in our situation. As an ideal its effect is frustration, because we all are everything but "ideal"; and as an idea it is useless, because it means "finished", utterly complete: a corpse, in human terms.
I make mistakes everyday, it's my only chance of learning in this world.
We humans are the custodians of Mother Earth... and I am ashamed of our behaviour... deeply ashamed.
Duane, I'm sorry but I don't think a quote from "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire" is of any help here.
Anand, you take "Hierarchy" with the capital letters and quote John... but I don't see any explanation, just an statement about abhorrement... now, why do you write about "great" individuals and then deny any "Hierarchy"? ... you've already made one when you say that some individuals are "great"... I will not tolerate you placing yourself lower than any Buddha or Christ... I say that any individual can be called "great", taking "individual" as "undivided", that is, a wholesome human being.
Why do people read the word "Hierarchy" and then the image of a pyramid comes to their minds?
Daniel, no "new theosophies" to discover... I understand theosophy as ageless wisdom that comes from the soul. It belongs to everyone and it is up to everyone to decide to listen to the soul today, or to let it for any "tomorrow" or any imagined circumstance in which it'll be "easier".
John, HPB wrote that the best black sorcerers and demon channelers are church ministers, so nothing new under the Sun... anyway, I am really fond of destructive archetipes like Lord Shiva and Lady Kali.
Well, I don't understand your idea of "useful", I don't understand why to mix "solid reasons" and "believe", I need solid reasons to ACCEPT the ideas that I do dislike (which are many), and I keep on disbelieving.
I've never been able to understand this "believe/disbelieve" issue, it's really strange to me. I tried to when I was younger, and now I'm tired.
Hierarchy is the way nature works, but I prefer not to use this once holy word, because it has suffered much abuse.
Can anyone of us produce his/her own air? So we all depend upon the one who provides us with air.... has this planet the energy to evolve an ecosystem on its own? It seems not, since plants rely on the energy from the Sun, so we all depend on the Sun...
Has anyone learnt English language by himself? Are teachers respected? Are teachers aware of the sacredness of the art of teaching? Is there anyone willing to learn?
... well, I've succeeded in avoiding bad language ,so I don't think it'll be deleted....
I loved your post! I found myself cheering you on as I read it. Beautiful, you are really neat.
Indeed the word "Hierarchy" brings up the image of a pyramid structure to the mind. And so it does to a large number of people. Words do have different connotations to different people but its commonly used perception is that of pyramid type structure in our day to day life.
John Mead has given example of how nature does not support Hierarchy and that is why the link was included.
Dan has explained well how interconnected systems within the body function as a whole. That arrangement is perfect but is not Hierarchical, as one component complements another. In a Hierarchical structure one component oversees another.
Nature does build hierarchies all the time. However - the point is it destroys them as fast. My body may appear as a nice working hierarchy now, but it will be dust in a relatively short time. In this sense Nature abhors hierarchy since any individual hierarchy will ultimately dissolve and randomize. Nature is a builder, but an incredible destroyer as well. Basically this is an inevitable effect of entropy. The sun adds energy (and is a huge low-entropy source) into our planet and allows these structures to form, which then die and so new ones evolve. (Then the sun dies, sorry)
Nature loves evolution, and supports new evolvement in most all directions. New evolvement creates new structures which also destroy the other older structures (hierarchies).
Human beings are actually an interesting example of how hierarchies form but then destroy themselves. No human-formed hierarchy has survived over time. Governments last a few centuries and then self-destruct because of the inherent Nature of human beings. I want my hierarchy not yours <G>.
That is the direction I was coming from when mentioning Nature's disdain for hierarchy.
I should also point out that "as below, so above" is in (a part of) the hermetic law stated in The Emerald Table. So - I would say spiritual governments are probably unlikely. (that may liven the discussion some!!). Dione Fortune nearly said that in her book on Psychic-attacks. More or less a lot of flat structures working together. That is not a hierarchy in the sense used here. Coalitions never seem to last either.
I am thinking of a different kind of a hierarchy. The one that the name hierophant is related....(very well possible that the words are not related :)
Yes, the words are related, as hieroglyph, etc... ;-)