The hierarchy of Spirit exists not only on a continuum of knowledge but of vibration and of service or responsibility, those who are ‘higher’ having an energy or vibration that is closer to the Source or Mind of God.
There has been much confusion in our current understanding of the meaning of spiritual ‘hierarchy,’ as it has become associated with inequality and also with the dominance or power of one being over another. At the root of this confusion is the analogy one may hold between the ‘hierarchy’ of Spirit and the ways in which we perceive hierarchy in our social and political life. This results in distortions of mistrust and projection that are based on the assumption that a hierarchical relationship of Spirit is a relationship of power and superiority of one being over another, and that in entering such a relationship one may be asked to give up one’s personal freedom or sense of inner truth.
This is not the way of Spirit, but the way of the human expression of the motivations of fear and need. Within the human landscape, fear of not having enough causes individuals or groups to want to dominate or control others as a way of instituting security. Beyond this, some go to further extremes of wanting power for its own sake.
Over the ages of humankind, all beings who pursued a spiritual path have learned not only from their own soul’s truth, but from those who came before them as teachers of Spirit and of truth.
The hierarchy of Spirit is not like this. It is a hierarchy of knowledge, a hierarchy of vibration, and a hierarchy of responsibility, the ‘higher’ being a matter of an energetic capacity that is closer to the Source of Life. All of life exists in a hierarchical structure related to knowledge. Children learn from their parents, and without parental knowledge passed down to them, would have an extremely difficult time operating in the world. Students learn from teachers of all kinds, and do not initially assume that they know what they have yet to learn. While it is true that some teachers do not pass on useful knowledge and that some claim a self-importance and superiority over students that is emotionally based, many teachers genuinely want to pass on what they value in the way of knowledge to their students. As an example, those who have studied a language and are fluent in it have more knowledge and more capacity to instruct others than one who is just earning to speak. One could list many examples within human experience of the hierarchy of knowledge.
The hierarchy of Spirit exists not only on a continuum of knowledge but of vibration and of service or responsibility, those who are ‘higher’ having an energy or vibration that is closer to the Source or Mind of God, with knowledge that has achieved a greater degree of oneness with this Mind, and an area of service commensurate with this vibration and knowledge. There is no hierarchy in the spiritual world in which the ‘higher’ does not serve the ‘lower.’ The principle of oneness characterizes this world, and so on the ‘higher’ level, each is perceived as ‘part of’ the other in essence and in Being, and help is given to all to attain this awareness as part of the plan for Creation.
One who knows less has a lower frequency of vibration and a smaller area of service to others and is on the ‘lower’ end of the spectrum. Yet, this is not a matter of inequality of worth or value, but a matter of youthfulness and of the need to learn more. Just as we would not say that children are less valuable than their parents though they know less, so, too, is it true within the spiritual world that those who have more to learn and more to grow into are not less valuable or worthy. They are of the same vibration as the ‘higher,’ but have yet to learn how to ‘be’ this.
Spiritual hierarchy exists to serve, and its area of responsibility is the entire universe, with some beings having vast areas of the universe to tend to, and others more focused in particular times and places. Responsibility to serve comes from the already accomplished level of integration of each being with love and oneness. Where these are not realized, or realized only in part, one cannot rise in frequency of vibration and therefore one would not be ‘higher’ in the hierarchy.
Of course, one can think or believe that one is ‘higher’ than one actually is, and this has been the source of much mistrust of spiritual teachers and leaders on the human level, as it has been the downfall of these same teachers and leaders as well. Here, the ego has taken over in ways that the individual does not notice or does not admit, and so that being is no longer truly in service to others but is in service to themselves and to their own needs. In this sense, they have departed from the truth of their own light and the responsibility that this light carries.
For human beings, much mistrust of spiritual authority has developed, particularly in the United States where individual freedom is so greatly prized, and where the fear of loss of freedom and equality has been stronger than in other places. Here, too, examples of misdeeds by spiritual teachers and leaders has taken a large toll. The fear of disempowerment because of the great value placed on personal freedom is very strong in the United States, as is wariness based on the history of misconduct on the part of former spiritual leaders. This has created a suspiciousness of those who stand in their own spiritual authority or claim to do so.
In this time in which spiritual knowledge is greatly needed and is being sought by many more than had been the case previously, it becomes very important to be able to distinguish true spiritual authority from false spiritual authority so that one does not become influenced by what is false pretending to be true. How does one make this discernment?
The best way of doing so is to anchor in the vibration of love. Love that is a deep and true vibration that emanates from another must be the key to discernment, for the words of spiritual knowledge may be present in another, but the vibration of love that desires to serve may not. One must look for the vibration of love and its consequent devotion, humility, and service to know whether that which represents itself as having more knowledge, vibration, and responsibility actually possesses these attributes.One cannot discern this with the mind, but must discern it with the heart.
Over the ages of humankind, all beings who pursued a spiritual path have learned not only from their own soul’s truth, but from those who came before them as teachers of Spirit and of truth. Today it is the same. One must learn as a primary focus from the truth within oneself and from the Divine within, and also from those who are felt to resonate with that truth who have come to transmit spiritual knowledge. The aversion to hierarchy must be replaced by a sense of discernment so that one can check with one’s own inner knowing to see what resonates with the truth and love in another. The principle of ‘resonance’ is what empowers the self to remain faithful to itself, and to not give oneself away. Truth that is one with the divine Source will awaken the Divine within oneself and create the feeling of resonance. Though this singular Truth has many forms that it may take, the principle of resonance will lead each individual who pursues spiritual knowledge to find the right path and the right teacher for themselves.