Spiritual edge: challenging the hierarchy of place on the path to Wholeness

As we form a SELF by building the 5 edges–physical, emotional, thinking, sexual and spiritual–we set the foundation for owning our lives and creating Wholeness.  The Spiritual edge is the last piece in the formation of a true and loving SELF.  We say it is complete when you can operate your life from this perception: “I am greater than no one, no one is greater than me.  In everyone shines love and as I see love in me, I can see love in thee.”

When I share this criteria for completing the Spiritual edge–most folks shake their head and say “I live the exact opposite!  I think some or most people are better than me and occasionally I”m better than another.”  And I acknowledge–this is how most everyone runs their life–and exactly what we’re challenging by bringing forth wholeness and breaking out of the reactive/status quo.

And it needs to be challenged because it is harming us all.  Recently I heard Jim Grimsley, author of “How I shed my skin” describe the Southern hierarchy of place.  I was blown away as he so succinctly described how we all learn to know our place and accept as natural that some should be deemed “greater than or less than”.  Here’s what he wrote–

“Place is hierarchy, above all. This sense of Southern place, and of any Southerner’s given place, is entwined with that other notion of attachment to the land. The Southerner was indeed expected to know his place, not simply in a geographical or mythological sense, and to accept this place and adhere to it. The Southerner had a position in the social order: white trash, slave, merchant, overseer, paddyroller, artisan, master. This functioned as a kind of temperature, which moved up or down with one’s fortunes or behavior. Knowing your place in the world and accepting it, paying respect to your betters and giving a good kick to those beneath, these were and are part of the Southern order.

A Southerner accepted his station in life but tried to find the means to rise above it. That same Southerner accepted the station of others in life and tried with all his might to keep them in it.  The Southern world spent much of its energy deciding who was entitled to advantages and who was not, and most especially who was better than whom. The social hierarchy was complicated and endless, Southern memory long and vengeful. Violations of the social order, lack of respect for one’s betters and their relations, brought quick retribution along with slow and thorough revenge.

God never put us equal onto the earth. The very notion was absurd. God put us in a hierarchy, some better and some worse, and He gave us life so that we could discover who was the better and who was the worse. Southerners have never believed in equality, even when they have believed in some kind of democracy. The two ideas have never had much association with each other.”  Page 73-74, from “How I shed my skin” by Jim Grimsley Algonquin books of Chapel Hill

This belief system is not confined to the South of course.  His description can be transposed to many other cultures with a tweak or two here or there.  It is leaving this story behind and moving to the 6-10 side of the Wholeness Continuum that has to happen now.  Knowing that we are all shining love, we are all on the pathway to wholeness and the greater than/less than story no longer has a place.

You change that story by starting with you.  You learn to build your Spiritual edge and come to know your SELF as a human on a journey of love for SELF and love for all.  It is a great way to live on an individual level—and imagine what it could be like to live in a world where everyone knew this.  It is possible–and it starts with you.

 

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