I often hear of, or run across people who espouse all sorts of ... well, quite frankly, incoherent, contradictory ideas and beliefs.
Here's a few ideas that might reset standard thinking.
Consider some "stuff" of which the entirety of existence is composed. Not physical, not even necessarily spiritual. Let's just call it "stuff", or if you like, "energy" or better yet, "energy-stuff" (in light of Einstein's E=MC2 that matter is energy and vice versa, so "energy-stuff" accounts for both matter and energy).
Now, this "energy-stuff" is, by definition, literally everywhere, in everything, everyone one, every thought, God, Evil ... it's literally everywhere. In fact there is no place it is not. Given its ubiquity, we can say it is "one-energy-stuff"1.
If we want to believe that some spiritual beings or others are not composed of this one-energy-stuff, we need ask of what they are made. Whatever that is, it will ultimately need to be made of said "one-energy-stuff" in that said one-energy-stuff is the ground energy of all existence. No exceptions.
Now it gets interesting.
First. Hierarchies (e. g. beings who are smarter than us, God being "up there" etc. states of perfection, enlightened gurus, whatever) requires our cooperation. They get to be smart due to our support. Since we're all made of the same "one-energy-stuff", hierarchies are piles of one-energy-stuff, with smart beings sitting on top of others (all made of the same one-energy-stuff). Think of a pyramid.
In other words, we all help pile up said "one-energy-stuff" to build hierarchies, and elevate some large lumps of one-energy-stuff ("infinite beings") to be above us (sitting on us, controlling us, etc). That is, all hierarchies are constructed, be they animal-made, man-made or spirit-made.
But wait, it gets even more interesting.
Since all is composed of "one-energy-stuff" that means whatever beliefs you have about reality, it must be able to scale!1
If it doesn't scale, the idea, belief or aspect isn't reflecting the inherent universality of "one-energy-stuff" ... if there are limits or separations involved then the idea isn't reflecting the unlimited scope, presence and scale of one-energy-stuff.
Think of playpens. We put kids in them, for their safety.
When they get a bit smarter, we give them bigger playpens ... inside of houses ... with crockery, hopefully behind child-proof locks... the playpen has just been extended that's all.
Next, the child is allowed outside under adult supervision. Playpen just got a bit bigger.
Next, we get all grown up, and the playpen becomes our work, our neighbourhood, our world.
Scaling up, that's all (it's actually scaling out to include more cooperation and thus influence — see above re playplens, but we perceive it as up).
Think of kids who think their parents are perfect and can do no wrong. They look up to them, yes, but not because they're perfect or 'omnipotent' just smarter, relative to their 'smallness'.
And so it goes.
We don't go up the hierarchy, as much as we go wider. We just get more "energy-stuff" to cooperate with us.
Think of an individual within a community. All made of the same energy-stuff. But the individual (citizen, employee) exerts influence by how much cooperation he/she gets with other 'energy-stuff'.
"Powerful beings" in our communities are called leaders, or movie-stars, or whatever, but they all share one thing: they get our cooperation (usually in the form of adulation, or awe or whatever we feel we're not). But since we're all made of the same energy-stuff, it's just us lending them the use of our energy-stuff. :)
btw, Jesus was obviously onto this — about the "one-energy-stuffness of life". When he said if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, say unto the mountain move, and it will hop skip and jump into yonder sea, he understood the inherent one-energy-stuffness of life. For in order to get a mountain to move, one has to get its cooperation. We've learned enough to do "little mountains" (as tested throughout nearly 30 years of tests at Princeton University). It's just a matter of scale, that's all.
Alternatively when we realize that the universe is comprised of "universal stuff" or "us" for short, what we see "out there" is "us", writ small, that's all.
- Can we talk to God? excerpt:
Such are the potentials available within each of us. However, implicit in such statements is the need to gain the cooperation of the collective, community or gestalt that we seek to move.
For example, if we are at a rock concert, and we find ourselves being pushed in an unwanted manner or direction by the crush of the crowd, we need to gain the cooperation of the crowd to change direction, or to avert the pushing. The ‘cooperation’ can of course be gained by force or fear (e.g. by firing a gun), but invariably, the cooperation, by whatever means, is required.
The same occurs for any part within a collective – there is always the need to gain cooperation of the collective or community if we seek to have some influence upon ‘it’."