And the one thing you cannot contradict without being metaphorically burned at the stake?
Of course, it's equality. This is the first principle of modern Western democracies and it is applied to wider and wider fields. But what is its basis? Does it derive from the study of nature? One would assume it must but when you look for a possible origin, it is hard to find. For equality does not exist anywhere in nature and the belief in it has no rational basis since people are wildly different. They are not the same so they are not equal. It's that simple. In fact, no two things in the created universe are the same. The only things that are so are machine-made things that we describe colloquially as having no soul. This leads me to think that perhaps the contemporary belief in equality is a consequence of the denial of soul which I take to be the founding principle of modernity. For modernity is based on the separation of Man from God. That is its defining characteristic.
No doubt the ideological belief in equality was also a reaction to the pronounced inequality that existed in the pre-modern age. But, like many reactions, it was an over-reaction and we went from one extreme to another. The idea of the oneness of humanity, which gained increasing currency from the 18th century onwards, though deriving ultimately from Christianity, was also a big factor. An inner oneness should not negate outer differences but it has been used to do precisely that. Once again, we have the distortion of a spiritual principle by misapplying it to the material level.
Equality taken to its logical conclusion means everyone, or even everything, is the same. There is no better and no worse. Everything is reduced to a uniform level which means that the idea of quality is destroyed. You can either have quality or equality. You can't have both. We now live in an age in which quantity takes precedence over quality and it is therefore inevitably an age of general decline, intellectual, moral but most of all spiritual.
We need somehow to restore balance but that will require such an upheaval in our current way of thinking that deeply entrenched beliefs which have grown up over 200 years will have to be thrown out. The idea of hierarchy will have to be reestablished in some form, and people will have to accept that, though we are all one on some level, as far as this world is concerned, we are not equal. Perhaps if we replaced the word equality with justice we might make some progress. Equality means nothing. It describes nothing real. All human beings deserve justice but if you regard them all as equal you will destroy civilisation as, in fact, we are destroying it now. Besides, can you restrict equality just to people? Once you have started, where do you stop? These things have a tendency to move on to the next stage once they have established themselves, and even now there are many people who regard human beings and animals as equal.
Men are by no means equal on the earth plane but that is not a reason for dismissing anybody. With these words, the Masters have summed up the situation. All human beings have intrinsic value in the eyes of God and all have the potential, eventually, to become godlike. But that potential has been realised in some few completely and in some not at all, and in between those two extremes there are as many shades as there are souls. By giving in to the illusion of equality we are actually destroying spirituality because we reduce it to something that no one has more of than anyone else. It becomes something that is within us all to begin with and does not need to be grown and developed. That both devalues the individual and flattens the transcendent. Goodness, truth, beauty and holiness are made meaningless. That is the true end result of egalitarianism.