Let’s go back to first principles for a minute. I have two that you may mull over at your leasure, and an implication or two.
Principle one: there is a creative force that underpins all of existance. some know this as “god”. while in it’s essence this force is infinite and undefinable, a lesser order manifestation of this force is what has initiated and guided our universe always.
Principle two: human beings have the free choice to harmonise with this force or not. The infinite contains all possiblities, but a certain quality to manifest reality makes it clear that a particular direction is favored over others. in simplest terms this direction is known as spirituality. all choices are tolerated but only the growth of spiritual consciousness is ultimately supported.
There is a divine force, a living energy that created us and guides us still, and while we have the freedom to make any choice, there is indeed a correct relationship to this force, and a myriad of incorrect ones. This teaching is embedded in the learnings of what I have reffered to in the past as the axial sages, borrowing a phrase most directly from the peerless Ken Wilber.
If we accept these two premises, then it holds an implication for the nature of authority in this world, and our lives.
If you’re like me, you were simultaneoulsy taught two things in life about authority. First, that you better do as you’re fucking told, or the system will fuck you up. And second, by your peers and by every thinking and admirable person out there: Rebel Anyway.
I submit that neither one is really an effective way to live your life. Both are symptoms of what I will reffer to here as a degeneration. Degeneration both in our understanding of authority and our relationship to it, and in the structure of authority itself and the way it is implemented in the world today.
We’ve all been taught to disrespect our leaders, our clergy, our ‘role models’ at the same time we’ve been told very clearly that if we step out of line there are dire consequences. The nut hatch or the jail cell, or the pine box.
Why is this? Quite simply, worldy authority has become severed from it’s divine source. Everyone in this time recognises it on some level, even if we don’t know how to articulate it. We do not admire, and aspire, but rather fear, and when we can get away with it, subvert.
A life that ought to be about aspiration to a wise and rightious spirit, has become a life of fear and subversion. Our relationship to the creator has become a flight from those who have usurped that authority, and we all know it.
This state of affiars warps our understanding of hierarchy. Going back to Wilber again for a second, he talks of two kinds of hierarchies: Actualisation hierarchies that facilitate an orderly teaching of wisdom and creative unfolding, and Dominator hierarchies which find thier truest expression in our history as pack hunting killer apes. Rule by force and fear. Most people are really only experienced in the latter, so far as I know. the former is a treasured exception that we hold dear for all our days.
It even warps our understanding of history to an extent. And for this I will tip in a quote from the incomparable Baron Julius Evola
For this we must be clear about one thing: it is an error to assume that the hierarchy of the traditional world is based on a tyranny of the upper classes. That is merely a “modern” conception, completely alien to the traditional way of thinking. The traditional doctrine in fact conceived of spiritual action as an “action without acting”; it spoke of the “unmoved mover”; everywhere it used the symbolism of the “pole,” the unalterable axis around which every ordered movement takes place (and elsewhere we have shown that this is the meaning of the swastika, the “arctic cross”); it always stressed the “Olympian,” spirituality, and genuine authority, as well as its way of acting directly on its subordinates, not through violence but through “presence”; finally, it used the simile of the magnet, wherein lies the key to our question, as we shall now see.
Only today could anyone imagine that the authentic bearers of the Spirit, or of Tradition, pursue people so as to seize them and put them in their places – in short, that they “manage” people, or have any personal interest in setting up and maintaining those hierarchical relationships by virtue of which they can appear visibly as the rulers. This would be ridiculous and senseless. It is much more the recognition on the part of the lower ones that is the true basis of any traditional ranking. It is not the higher that needs the lower, but the other way round. The essence of hierarchy is that there is something living as a reality in certain people, which in the rest is only present in the condition of an ideal, a premonition, an unfocused effort. Thus the latter are fatefully attracted to the former, and their lower condition is one of subordination less to something foreign, than to their own true “self.” Herein lies the secret, in the traditional world, of all readiness for sacrifice, all heroism, all loyalty; and, on the other side, of a prestige, an authority, and a calm power which the most heavily-armed tyrant can never count upon.
It’s easy to see Evola is speaking of the difference between the two kinds of hierarchy I mentioned earlier. One is a natural emergent phenomenon, the other imposes itself through force, as an abberation.
Haven’t we all loved something so much, some ideal, some aspiration, some vision of beauty and grandeur, that we would submit ourselves to it? That we would serve gladly as vessels of that light?
Some of you may say no. And this is the point.
How the fuck did that happen?