system of elements with multiple levels or tiers that are subordinated to each other
Hierarchy is an arrangement in which some objects are represented as being above or below others.
- As is well known, the five kingdoms of nature on the evolutionary arc might be defined as follows: the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, the human kingdom, and the spiritual kingdom. All these kingdoms embody some type of consciousness, and it is the work of the Hierarchy to develop these types to perfection through the adjustment of Karma, through the agency of force, and through the providing of right conditions.
- Alice Bailey in Initiation, Human,and Solar, Lucis Trust, 1922, p. 20
- This Hierarchy is composed of Those Who have triumphed over matter, and Who have achieved the goal by the very self-same steps that individuals tread today. These... have wrestled and fought for victory and mastery upon the physical plane, and struggled with the miasmas, the fogs, the dangers, the troubles, the sorrows and pains of everyday living. They have trodden every step of the path of suffering, have undergone every experience, have surmounted every difficulty, and have won out... Their apprehension of the freedom that comes through... the purificatory fires, suffices to give Them a firm hand, an ability to persist even when the form may seem to have undergone a sufficiency of suffering, and a love that triumphs over all setbacks, for it is founded on patience and experience. These Elder Brothers of humanity are characterised by a love which endures, and which acts ever for the good of the group; by a knowledge which has been gained through a millennia of lives, in which They have worked Their way from the bottom of life and of evolution well nigh to the top; by an experience which is based on time itself and a multiplicity of personality reactions and interactions; by a courage which is a result of that experience, and which, having itself been produced by ages of endeavour, failure, and renewed endeavour, and having in the long run led to triumph, can now be placed at the service of the race-
- Alice Bailey in Initiation, Human,and Solar, Lucis Trust, 1922, p. 21/5
- You moralistic dog—admitting a hierarchy in which you are subordinate, purely that you may have subordinates; licking the boots of a superior, that you may have yours in turn licked by an underling.
- Kenneth Burke, Towards a Better Life (Berkeley: 1966), p. 9
- I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.
- Noam Chomsky, Language and Politics (1988) p. 775
- Since equality is in fact impossible, and since, despite all attempts at reducing everything to one level, the differences between one man and another cannot in practice be entirely suppressed, men have been brought, illogically enough, to invent false hierarchies, whose higher ranks claim to take the place of the only true elect; and these false hierarchies are built up exclusively on the basis of relative and contingent considerations, always of a purely material order. This is very obvious from the fact that the kind of social distinction which counts the most in the present state of things is that based on wealth, that is to say on a merely external superiority of an exclusively quantitative order, the only superiority, as a matter of fact, that is consistent with democracy, based as it is on the same point of view.
- René Guénon, The Crisis of the Modern World (1927), p. 98
- Can humans exist without some people ruling and others being ruled? The founders of political science did not think so. "I put for a general inclination of mankind, a perpetual and restless desire for power after power, that ceaseth only in death," declared Thomas Hobbes. Because of this innate lust for power, Hobbes thought that life before (or after) the state was a "war of every man against every man"—"solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." Was Hobbes right? Do humans have an unquenchable desire for power that, in the absence of a strong ruler, inevitably leads to a war of all against all? To judge from surviving examples of bands and villages, for the greater part of prehistory our kind got along quite well without so much as a paramount chief, let alone the all-powerful English leviathan King and Mortal God, whom Hobbes believed was needed for maintaining law and order among his fractious countrymen.
- Anthropologist Marvin Harris, Our Kind: Who We Are, Where We Came From, Where We Are Going (1989)
- Hierarchy has had six thousand years of trial. It will never succeed for long in any form.
- George L. Jackson, Blood in My Eye (1971), p. 130
- Verily, the immutable cosmic law of Hierarchy is so much ignored at the present time. But humanity must once more recognize this law. The principle of Hierarchy is a leading law, verily the giver of Life. Therefore, we must imbue our consciousness with understanding of this law if we wish to grow and to contribute our share to the General Good.
- Helena Roerich, Letters of Helena Roerich Volume I: 1929-1935
- I continue to write about Hierarchy, as this concept, which embraces the complete foundation of life, the evolution of spirit and all constructiveness, is not yet correctly understood. We must hasten to comprehend it, as we have little time because the severest Armageddon is raging. Only by accepting with all our heart the great principle of Hierarchy can we broaden our consciousness, which is so necessary for success.
- Helena Roerich, Letters of Helena Roerich Volume I: 1929-1935
- Our poor humanity, with its one-sided preoccupation with materialism (the church, too, serves materialistic bases and demands) needs more than ever before the realization of the Higher World and the leading concept of the Guru-Hierarch. Humanity's disease is chaotic thinking and lack of self-discipline. The slaves of yesterday revolt primarily against the leading concept, against discipline, and against cooperation. Only a king of the spirit realizes the significance of Hierarchy, for, in order to rule, one must first learn to obey. The principle of the leading concept must be affirmed in the consciousness of humanity if it wishes to progress. But, of course, all fanaticism is frightful, since it is the offspring of ignorance and ends in zealotry. It is actually the antipode of true devotion and reverence.
- Helena Roerich, Letters of Helena Roerich, Volume II: 1935-1939