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The Myth of the Spiritual Hierarchy

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posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 02:26 PM
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The Myth

of the

Spiritual Hierarchy



1.

In my travels and dealings with the self-proclaimed spiritual ones, whenever I was asked if I agreed with their assertions, and I gave them the honest truth, there always seemed to arise a superiority complex immediately after. Rarely are the accepting of my views. Especially when I express that I have no other-worldly or supernatural interests, hopes and wishes, that my existence is purely terrestrial, and I am concerned with the things on this world rather than the next, I am both implicitly and explicitly deemed inferior, lower, and impure, before they have even had the chance to know me. It is obvious their doctrines speak for them when this happens, and it is therefor natural for them to bestow upon me whatever doctrinal labels they have in the spiritual repertoire in order stigmatize myself under a blanket of inferiority, while only ever exposing their own.

This superiority complex has manifested in nearly all religions, wherefrom such stigmatic myths as the “infidel”, the “unbeliever”, the “atheist”, the “untouchable”, the “sinner”, the “heathen”, the “pagan” were invented by those who figured themselves to be atop some invisible spiritual ladder and hierarchy, to slander those who saw what their authority amounted to. This has been a grave and fatal error that exists to this day, where a simple grouping of letters, a name, is all the justification one now needs to discredit someone, to kill someone, to burn them at the stake, to behead them, to inflict genocide.

2.

We must ask ourselves: Who is more absurd? An insane man who believes himself to be king? or a king who believes himself to be king? At least the insane man is honest.

It is always amazing to witness the extent to which acolytes deified their master, and how much effort must go into perpetuating the lie that one is more pure, more holy, more sanctified than another. Witness the godmen of India, for instance Sai Baba, who only needed enough credulous people around him to believe his petty sleight of hand illusions so that he may amass much wealth and power. Witness the pope, the priests, the Dalai lama – men who have been told that they sit atop a non-existent spiritual ladder with you somewhere far below, and that we should look up to these men as ideal, authoritative and pure, and that we should hand over to them whatever little wealth we do have, so that we may attempt to purchase some of their divinity, or at least to put it on lay away.

3.

I would like to believe that the philosopher Shakyamuni would have renounced the title “Buddha”, and that this bestowing of a nominal crown was a product of his overly religious acolytes still unable to awaken themselves from their dogmatic slumbers and superstitions. They could not conceive that he may be “just a man”, as such an image was so dangerous to the prevailing Brahmanism and Vedism of the culture, so instead, reimagined him as a perfect or awakened being. We, of course, cannot know if he took the title upon himself or not, but his famous saying "Birth does not make one a priest or an outcaste. Behavior makes one either a priest or an outcaste" is indicative of his dislike of the invention and use of spiritual hierarchies. He makes it clear that value is derived from individual merit and conduct, not caste.

The greatest wisdom of the Shakya sage is precisely this: that he was a human being. This human being was unfettered from an imaginary spiritual hierarchy, where one is above or below another, where one’s teachings are above or below another. He created his own truths, his own Dhamma, by virtue of his humanity, at the expense of other so-called truths, and he was seen by others as a Buddha. The term was only ever honorific, a title and not a truth, but the ever-ironic followers deified him, mythicized him, endowed his story with magic, ghosts and impossibilities, destroying his humanity with superstitious lore, propping him up higher on an imaginary spiritual ladder with many rungs, and in so doing, limited every other human being below him in a sort of caste. Now, one cannot become a fully enlightened “Buddha” by following Shakyamuni’s insights. The best they could ever hope for is to become an Arahant.

4.

One could just as easily accept another as a spiritual equal, without resorting to any superiority complex, condemnation or shame tactics, while at the same time finding a legitimate interest in someone else’s beliefs all while sharing them without fear and dogma – and then both can go on their merry way. But, as can be shown, once a conflict of interests comes into play, the superiority complex rears its head, and the spiritual caste is acted out.

The spiritual caste is only ever rhetorical, and never an actual state of affairs. This can be noted by the use of such terms as “higher” when referring to a certain category of beings, and “lower” when referring to another. The use of “higher selves”, “higher existence”, “higher realms”, “higher states” are instances of this rhetoric. The idea that heaven is above, and hell is lower; that the kingdom of God is above the kingdom of man. Masters ascend and never descend. Of course, none of this has been shown to be true in the history of mankind, and none of these “higher” or “lower” points of references and opinions are in relation to anything but themselves. If they are not relative to a point in time and space, they cannot be higher or lower than anything. No one has ascended anything until they do so literally, and are witnessed floating into the sky; nowhere is anyone really above anyone else, except in the lie they perpetuate in their minds.

5.

No one is more or less spiritual than another. Indeed, one may act more or less spiritual, but one never is more or less spiritual. One may act more or less awakened, but one never is more or less awakened. We are not metaphors. The spirituality is in the behavior, in the actions, of the embodied, concrete and living human being. Our actions are more or less pure. Our actions and behavior are more or less Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and so on. One can behave like a Buddha or one can behave like a devil. We never become anything higher or lower, anything above or below, anything more or less.

The spiritual hierarchy is a farce perpetuated by those who imagine themselves as superior in some purely nominal way. Get them alone, face to face, eye to eye, on equal ground, away from the rhetorical cries of their tribalism and ideologies, see them for what they are, unfettered, and witness their humanity return – an awakened one becomes a man.




posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 02:45 PM
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Please don't take this the wrong way.

If there is one realm wherein robbery is impossible, it is the realm of which you speak.

The realm of spirit.

You will need a lot more than luck to proceed.

# 281



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 03:34 PM
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Well written and stated.

However, this attitude doesn't only exist among those who claim spiritual enlightenment. It also comes from those who claim nothing, and see themselves as superior to those who believe in nonsensical "fairy tales", such as a spiritual hierarchy. So the door swings both ways. We're a tribal species, and my tribe is always better than yours.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 04:31 PM
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a reply to: Klassified




However, this attitude doesn't only exist among those who claim spiritual enlightenment. It also comes from those who claim nothing, and see themselves as superior to those who believe in nonsensical "fairy tales", such as a spiritual hierarchy. So the door swings both ways. We're a tribal species, and my tribe is always better than yours.


Very true. The assumption that one is superior to another is a myth. No one can rationally see one as more spiritually superior than another. As such, your distinction that I see myself as more superior than others is your distinction, not mine.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism
I don't believe I singled you out. I was speaking in general of those who do have such an attitude. If you're looking to be offended, at least be offended over an actual personal affront.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 04:45 PM
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If what you stat is true.

Then all things on this planet would be exactly the same. There would be no differences in anything every thing would be the same color all things would be the same shape all things would be the same size all things the hole earth would be a great ball of nothings. Like a blue ball and that is all that would be.

We reflect the heavens and the universe and there is a energy or frequency Hierarchy one only needs to look at ones self all is present all is exactly the way it should be.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 05:00 PM
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a reply to: Klassified




I don't believe I singled you out. I was speaking in general of those who do have such an attitude. If you're looking to be offended, at least be offended over an actual personal affront.


My apologies. I'm not looking to be offended, nor have I implied it. Who "in general" shares this attitude, and see others as inferior?



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 05:00 PM
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a reply to: Lokahi

I do not understand how the acting out of myth implies everything would be the same.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 05:17 PM
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Aristotle taught, that in any society/state the form of religion practiced was fashioned after the form of government.

My own take, is that hierarchal attitudes can be traced to Akhenaten and the advent of monotheism in the form of patriarchy.

As above, so below. If we have one godhead and a hierarchy beneath above- then we would have a leader/underling below.

Tribal religions/government usually had a pantheon above.

just my thought about it, without getting in too deep .



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 05:19 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

Why should they give you respect when you flat out tell them that you do not respect them?

If there is nothing spiritual then you cannot respect anyone, nor anything, more so than any other thing, least it be some contrived value in vain - something made up by a man and is a system of pretension that he alone has created, and holds himself to be god of.

Think about it.
edit on 9/7/2014 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: Bleeeeep




Why should they give you respect when you flat out tell them that you do not respect them?


No where did I say I didn't respect them. Because there are a variety of perspectives does not mean they are all valid.


If there is nothing spiritual then you cannot respect anyone, nor anything, more so than any other thing, least it be some contrived value in vain - something made up by a man and is a system of pretension that he alone has created, and holds himself to be god of.

Think about it.


According to what? According to some contrived value in vain. It isn't in vain, however, if it involves real things.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 05:41 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism


Who "in general" shares this attitude, and see others as inferior?

As I stated in my first post. The attitude that exists in some of those who believe in a spiritual hierarchy, can, and frequently is, also be shared by those who don't. No hidden meaning.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 05:53 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

I went and visited a spiritual retreat for Buddhists who collect money from the public in exchange for their tourism. I was trying to ask one of the monks about the bells they rang and what the significance was, and he departed from me in anger, presumably because I was interfering with his serenity. Can an egoless one really be angered or annoyed? I thought they were to sacrifice the self and be totally detached from the things of this world?

No matter how much people deny themselves, they can never truly escape. In this way, people like you have already won.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: Klassified




As I stated in my first post. The attitude that exists in some of those who believe in a spiritual hierarchy, can, and frequently is, also be shared by those who don't. No hidden meaning.


As I asked in my reply, who are you speaking about? As in, can you give me an example or two? What "attitude" are you alluding to in so few words?



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: Nechash




I went and visited a spiritual retreat for Buddhists who collect money from the public in exchange for their tourism. I was trying to ask one of the monks about the bells they rang and what the significance was, and he departed from me in anger, presumably because I was interfering with his serenity. Can an egoless one really be angered or annoyed? I thought they were to sacrifice the self and be totally detached from the things of this world?

No matter how much people deny themselves, they can never truly escape. In this way, people like you have already won.


That doesn't sound very spiritual. I would argue that no one is really egoless, but they only act that way. In a sense, they use the ego to pretend they are without ego.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 06:26 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism


No where did I say I didn't respect them. Because there are a variety of perspectives does not mean they are all valid.


If nothing is spiritual, that is, nothing is divine, and there is no divine value system, then any and all value systems are complete bull# that are made up nonsense. If that is the case, you are then implicitly stating that they (whomever you are addressing in the OP) truly have no value outside of your man-made system, which is itself (your man-made value system) logically worthless, as it is just made up by a man's irrational feelings of worth.


According to what? According to some contrived value in vain. It isn't in vain, however, if it involves real things.


You are saying what? That anything that can contemplate "real things", and has feelings enough to contemplate value, can then create true value?

Unless there is something divine which has created true value then everything else is bs. You cannot just say "okay it has x value so it deserves x amount of respect" unless you are spiritually divine or know divine truth - logically, it does not work. Logically, it is just feelings which you are talking about when you consider value, if there is nothing spiritual and there is no divine value system.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: Bleeeeep


If nothing is spiritual, that is, nothing is divine, and there is no divine value system, then any and all value systems are complete bull# that are made up nonsense. If that is the case, you are then implicitly stating that they (whomever you are addressing in the OP) truly have no value outside of your man-made system, which is itself (your man-made value system) logically worthless, as it is just made up by a man's irrational feelings of worth.


But if the idea of a divine value system is made up nonsense, then the assertion that divine value systems are needed to value anything is also made up nonsense. There is nothing irrational about man contriving values. It is very irrational and illogically worthless, however, to assume we need a “divine” set of values in order to decide value. It is invalid, "bull#", and purely circular to make such a claim.


You are saying what? That anything that can contemplate "real things", and has feelings enough to contemplate value, can then create true value?


“True value” or any sort of absolutism is a myth, and the very fact that there are wide varieties of value systems, and not one all encompassing divine value system, show that there is no such thing as a divine legislation of rules and value judgements. The only thing in the universe that can be shown to make value judgements in favor of mankind is mankind.


Unless there is something divine which has created true value then everything else is bs. You cannot just say "okay it has x value so it deserves x amount of respect" unless you are spiritually divine or know divine truth - logically, it does not work. Logically, it is just feelings which you are talking about when you consider value, if there is nothing spiritual and there is no divine value system.


It is spiritual hierarchies that explicitly and implicitly state “x has value so it deserves x amount of respect”, while at the exact same time proving they are in no way more or less spiritually divine than another to do so. Their value systems are built upon a foundation of lies and irrationality, requiring contradictions, paradox and irrational spiritual hierarchies and claims to divine authority in order to makes their value judgements seem any way credible. Whereas value systems not built upon that same assumptions, can be built upon validity and actual states of affairs, and reasonable behavior and conduct conducive to the needs and desires of real living beings.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

With all that said, aren't you doing the same thing? I mean, aren't you showing a view that rises above the other in a perceived higher order of thinking? Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed reading it, but the thought occurs that you have some foundation for your view, which then comes across as rising above the rest. To me, the key is the foundation that a platform rests upon. I think yours says, "Judge not lest ye be judged," which is a pretty sure foundation.

This whole argument gets into the axioms of truth around us. If I state something I think to be true, there could always be a higher axiom that resolves a perceived paradox below. For each degree of understanding a person contains, there are always those who are either above or below that standard. Degrees are really one thing--translational symmetry of an original.

In physics, this is the law of invariant symmetry. No matter how you rotate a platonic solid, it remains the same, continually repeating. One person might see an edge and describe it, while another person describes a flat surface. As it rotates, both perspectives are true. If you study the relationships in nature to the strong nuclear force, you quickly realize that all of nature is one thing. It is simply translated by the observer, which then provides a perspective, no less valuable than another. While I respect your view, I beg to differ on the value of the other person's perspective. Spirituality is reaching for the ideal archetype. I assume this may be your point, although your own view seems to isolate your opinion to that of a single perspective.

If it is true that higher axioms are pointing to one original, is it possible that a hierarchy exists for intelligence, wisdom and understanding to reach toward?

I find the notion that we have nothing to strive for a hopeless state. My personal belief is that one standard has been reached that is perfectly invariant and symmetric. The rest of creation descends from this as a translational symmetry reaching for the original.

That's my personal perspective.
edit on 7-9-2014 by AlephBet because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 07:51 PM
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There are levels of awareness. It is through self-awareness that the levels exist. Ever heard of the 'God particle' ?

It works in a circle.

Anything that involves 'higher' or 'lower' is a frame of reference. Anything else is the ego talking.

No one is more or less spiritual than another - false.

Some don't even have a soul, whereas some have nothing but their soul.

One is as spiritual as one is blessed - that is all.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 08:03 PM
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A myth is something that has not been deduced.

An example being Atheism.

Any thoughts?
edit on 7-9-2014 by Kashai because: Content edit







 
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