“You know what I am talking about,” Mack was a little frustrated. “I am talking about who’s in charge. Don’t you have a chain of command?”

“Chain of command? That sounds ghastly,” Jesus said.

“At least binding,” Papa added as they both started laughing, and then Papa turned to Mack and sang, “Though chains be of gold, they are chains all the same.”

“Now don’t concern yourself with those two,” Sarayu interrupted, reaching out her hand to comfort and calm him. “They’re just playing with you. This is actually a subject of interest among us.”

Mack nodded, relieved and a little chagrined that he had again allowed himself to lose his composure.

“Mackenzie, we have no concept of final authority among us, only unity. We are a circle of relationship, not a chain of command or ‘great chain of being’ as your ancestors termed it. What you’re seeing here is relationship without any overlay of power. We don’t need power over the other because we are always looking out for the best. Hierarchy would make no sense among us. Actually, this is your problem, not ours.”

“Really? How so?”

“Humans are so lost and damaged that to you it is almost incomprehensible that people could work or live together without someone being in charge.”

“But every human institution that I can think of, from political to business, even down to marriage, is governed by this kind of thinking: it is the web of our social fabric,” Mack asserted.

“Such a waste!” said Papa, picking up the empty dish and heading for the kitchen.

“It’s one reason why experiencing true relationship is so difficult for you,” Jesus added.

“Once you have a hierarchy you need rules to protect and administer it, and then you need law and the enforcement of rules, and you end up with some kind of chain of command or a system of order that destroys relationship rather than promotes it. You rarely see or experience relationship apart from power. Hierarchy imposes laws and rules and you end up missing the wonder of relationship that we intended for you.”

“Well,” said Mack sarcastically, sitting back in his chair.” We sure seem to have adapted pretty well to it.”

Sarayu was quick to reply, “Don’t confuse adaptation for intention, or seduction for reality.”

(Young, William P., The Shack, Los Angeles:windblown, 2007.)

1 comment:

David Ould said...

well of course, if you insist that every expression of hierarchy must contain oppression that negates relationship then this might be true.

But that claim is simply not true. Young doesn't get it and he's ended up writing a book which seeks to deny pretty much every Trinitarian doctrine of the Ante-Nicene church.

But it feels good.


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A little background reading so we might mutually flourish when there are different opinions