Rebelling Not Against, But For Something

“Every act of rebellion expresses… an appeal to the essence of being” — Albert Camus.

Hierarchies serve an essential function: to pass knowledge down from those who know more, and have more experience, skill, understanding, and wisdom, to those who have less. This is the same, whether it is a martial arts school, a fraternity such as Freemasonry, or an esoteric society, etc.

But hierarchies can become stuck. The members of the group end up worshipping — or at least deferring to — the positions, officers, titles, etc., that are above them in the hierarchy, rather than being actively involved in the work, which becomes subsidiary.

When that happens, the group begins to focus on the “business” of the group, holding meetings to arrange other meetings, and so on.

However, functioning hierarchies foster a spirit of rebellion. But, crucially, this rebellion is not against the hierarchy, but, rather, for it, and in support of it. It is a rebellion against one’s own lethargy, and one’s own lowly place. The functioning hierarchy, in other words, cultivates the realization that the point of the structure is to encourage growth. And it cultivates that dynamism of spirit that ensures its members will take initiative and will contribute, rather than deferring to those above.

The functioning hierarchy encourages its members to move through it, not just for oneself, but for the good of all of its members, so that higher levels of knowledge are preserved and so that there are more people who can pass knowledge and skill down.

Despite the jargon they often speak in, today’s critics and rebels bring nothing either new or deep.

The answer is not to rebel against, but to rebel for something.

This is difficult. It will require studying the things — and perhaps even the people — you dislike and asking yourself what good there is in them. It will mean asking, and finding out, where you were wrong. With the good you find, cultivate yourself.

If you are part of a group or society, rebel: take the initiative and contribute positively. Teach yourself, teach others, use your skills and talents to improve things.

Practitioner of esoteric spirituality, Dharma, and martial arts, Angel Millar is also an author of books on Freemasonry, the occult, and Islam. His writing has also been published by The Journal of Indo-European Studies and New Dawn magazine, among others.
Practitioner of esoteric spirituality, Dharma, and martial arts, Angel Millar is also an author of books on Freemasonry, the occult, and Islam. His writing has also been published by The Journal of Indo-European Studies and New Dawn magazine, among others.

2 thoughts on “Rebelling Not Against, But For Something

  1. Another great essay! I’m hoping I can get my sons to read your blog; you both bring such necessary perspectives on a startling range of topics. Most excellent.

    Once upon a time, hierarchies were true and real; that is, they reflected a sacred order, and one had to prove real work done inside oneself to ascend. If one wanted instruction, one would approach a teacher in that lineage with a ‘question’ in some form. When one had wrestled with and mastered one’s early questions, and their first teacher was stumped by the new questions, one would ‘level up’ to a more experienced teacher in the hierarchy. In this way, living knowledge was cultured, deepened and preserved. Titles, where they existed at all, were of distant secondary importance.

    As you point out so essentially, these hierarchies existed FOR, not against. We humans need to remember, and soon, how to self-assemble into communities that culture and preserve the deeper ways of knowing, and effective ways of being in this world, in service of all Life. Where we can come together, remembering, FOR Life, we can overcome the divisive forces within ourselves and our world, and begin to understand the powers and strengths of something we have very confused ideas about: Unity.

    Liked by 1 person

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