Hierarchy or hierarchy – what’s in a Word?

How and why does a word become twisted, distorted and end up with a meaning so distant from its origin that the bastardised version implies the opposite of the truth the word was intended to represent and express? This has occurred with a great many words in our language. A great example of this is the word religion, where the activity of divine connection within oneself has been intentionally tampered with to mean an institutionalised, often suppressive set of man-made ideals, beliefs and rites.

Of equal travesty to the bastardisation of the word (and so the activity of) religion, is the travesty perpetrated upon the word hierarchy and its activity on Earth.

Most of us cringe and recoil when we hear that there is a hierarchy to kowtow to, as it were. For many, there is often a sense of forced and somewhat reluctant compliance with a ladder of external authority, which appears to impose upon all the lesser or inferior members within its tiered, hierarchical structure. There is usually a clear system of grading, as for example in the Catholic Church, where a man starts out as curate or priest and may rise to bishop, archbishop, and cardinal or, in theory, Pope. These all preside over their faithful flock – the laity. The authority clearly resides in the higher ranks and is structured to have authority over the lower levels. Similarly, we have a ranked structure in the military, from the many foot soldiers or privates through to non-commissioned and commissioned officers and ultimately, to generals.

This type of ranked system or hierarchy also exists in education. Teacher aides being ‘lower’ down the scale, followed by teachers, deputy principals and principals and onto regional coordinators and, in Australia, on to State and Federal government coordinators. Within classrooms and universities there is an intensely competitive hierarchy of academic ranking according to one’s demonstrated levels of achievement.

There are usually hierarchies in health departments, corporations, governments, among and within sporting teams, between countries, within countries as caste and class structures, between men and women and even in school playgrounds as well as in…. our own homes.

Wherever we look we can discern systems of grading and of rank, usually associated with generating aspiration, comparison, competition and differential rewards. Such rewards may be financial or status based: they may be rewards of adulation or simply everyone knowing who you are, emulating you or having to acquiesce to the authority inherent within the higher role. We may claim to be democratic, but at the end of the day a soldier has to follow orders, as does a priest; the job of any sports team is to beat another, a teacher has to teach what has been set down as a curriculum. In each of these cases, failure to comply (also known as insubordination – not going above your rank) can mean loss of job, status or role. In fact, some of us may even fear dropping to a lower rank within our respective hierarchies.

Such hierarchies form the fabric of our world and yet many within them feel frustration and resentment because there are more occupants in the lower echelons than there are high-ranking officers – across the board. Additionally, there is often corruption within these systems themselves.

They present and posture as meritocracies with the inbuilt ideal of equality because all apparently have equal access to rise through the ranks through one’s own choices. The tension in the physical body of many millions belies these claims, indicating that many of us are aware that progression through the ranks often depends upon who one knows and the extent to which we are prepared to sell out our personal integrity to rise through the ranks. It is often observed that the motto and philosophy of ‘every man for himself’ runs rampant in our worldly hierarchies. For others, the sheer weight of the number of people involved brings a sense of not counting for anything, of being a small cog in a huge machine and of being insignificant – just a number.

So in our world, hierarchy has come to mean this morass of rank, competition, comparison, inferior-superior levelling and differential reward with its inbuilt fear and tension. This is what keeps our world a’turning.

However, is there a true and original meaning of the word hierarchy and is there anywhere it is lived and expressed? The answer is Yes on both counts.

Hieros in its Greek origin refers to what is sacred (1). The suffix -archy, from the Greek -arkhe, means the beginning, origin, first place (2). By origin, the word hierarchy is associated with returning to our sacred beginning – a far cry from the morass of twisted versions of hierarchy we have in the world at large, including religious hierarchies.

To return to our sacred origins requires us to be aware that we have such an origin in the first place. Enter the Ageless Wisdom, presented by Serge Benhayon in our current time and by a known lineage of many other great teachers throughout our history. The Ageless Wisdom presents the fact of us all as equal Sons of God returning to the awareness and livingness of this. Supporting our return are our fellow brothers whose more evolved state energetically supports and inspires us to re connect with our true, innermost nature and to deepen this relationship with ourselves, with them and with our Divine Father – God. Such teachers and Soul-connected people offer a magnetic pull back towards our sacred and divine origins.

Within this truth, authority arises from the expression of one’s Soul or innermost connection and so we all truly have equal access to authority. In this system, we all have a part to play in pulling each other back to our sacred origins and in reflecting this truth through the quality of our relationships with each other.

There exists a Hierarchy whose members serve in a number of roles, depending upon the depth of their connection to Soul, to humanity and to God. Some members of The Hierarchy are well known – for instance Jesus, the Buddha, and St. Germain. The Ageless Wisdom presents that there are many others who, having ascended out of the desire or attachment for this creation, also support us all in Brotherhood to do likewise when we are ready to do so. These beings may be on Earth in a physical body or they may be in the subtle dimensions surrounding the physical. Either way, and in contrast to the ‘every man for himself’ model, they work to support everyone to return to our sacred origins. Collectively, those who bring this lineage of the Ageless Wisdom have lifted humanity out of a recurring series of Dark and often brutal Ages throughout our history.

So there does indeed exist a true Hierarchy, which represents and lives the truth of this word in its original meaning and activity. Far removed from what our worldly hierarchies reflect, the true Hierarchy is based upon Brotherhood, the equality of us all as Sons of God and the magnetic pull of true authority and love, expressed and lived for all.

A significant difference between the true representation of this term and the false version is that, whilst the former absolutely respects and honours the Divine free will of each of us, the latter often seeks to suppress the expression of this free will and to force all to live under its own self-serving dictates.

Whether we choose and align with the truth of Hierarchy or with the bastardised version of this word and its activity is entirely down to each of us, but it does rather beg the question of why we would choose the false version in the face of its widespread corruption and repression of so many to serve the vested interests of a few.

By Coleen Hensey, BA (Hons) Grad Dip.Ed

References:

(1) Etymonline.com. (2018). hierocracy | Origin and meaning of hierocracy by Online Etymology Dictionary. [online] Available at: https://www.etymonline.com/word/hierocracy [Accessed 5 Aug. 2018].

(2) Etymonline.com. (2018). -archy | Origin and meaning of suffix -archy by Online Etymology Dictionary. [online] Available at: https://www.etymonline.com/word/-archy [Accessed 5 Aug. 2018].

Further reading:
Energy in words
True Religion is Simple
The Power, Play-full-ness and Truth of Words…

286 thoughts on “Hierarchy or hierarchy – what’s in a Word?

  1. The two versions of hierarchy could not be more different. The bastardised version is based on self, inequality, comparison and recognition. The true version is based on the all, equality and equal authority, and the honouring of each other in our true purpose to return to our divine and sacred origins.

  2. Yes, Coleen, it is the responsibility of each of us to not kowtow to the bastardised versions of things but to hold true to standards that we know within us.

  3. It looks like we have created bastardised versions Hierarchy in human life and in our societies. We have ranks in many ways as described in this blog, but too in families where there is a ranking in parents and children and often in between the children as well. There is always people higher in rank, having more responsibility or more privileges or both, for instance when we come across an issue and we cannot solve it with the employee we always ask for the boss, or the one higher in responsibility. It is so ingrained in the way we live and human beings that we think it is normal but it is not. Firstly this interpretation of hierarchy brings separation and secondly gives a person more or less privileges and thirdly more or lesser responsibility.

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