The natural hierarchy:

God
Individual
Family
Community
Culture
Governance Bodies

Each level down is weaker, and subordinate to the one above it. In the natural structure of reality – the patterns baked into nature – any collective is weaker and subservient to smaller units like communities, which are subservient to individuals. To the extent the lower orders cease to serve the higher orders, they are altered, ignored, or disbanded. The more centralized, the more subservient. The more removed from the individual, the more subservient.

The world is constantly attempting to reverse this hierarchy, which always leads to suffering. Nation states are the particularly hideous form a governance body takes when it attempts to dominate the higher orders. They attempt to use or dictate culture as a subservient propaganda mechanism to control communities, which in turn control families and individuals. Brainwashing, guilt, shame, and naked violence are constantly needed to try to reverse the natural ordering and maintain the upside down structure, but it’s always in a state of chaotic flux.

God is mostly treated as outside the hierarchy. A mental plaything, or an idea to be invoked to justify tyranny. But reality cannot be wished away, and the natural law – the eternal, the source of the universe, the divine – is always the highest thing in the structure. God is not an abstraction to be invoked or imagined, but the most solid thing there is. Reality itself flows from God.

The creation stories and myths always follow the natural hierarchy, and stories of the fall follow the inverted one. God creates individuals, who then form a family, and are given dominion over their local environs, language and culture emerges, and finally interwoven institutions across the whole earth. Power flows downward. All the larger, further removed institutions are servants of the individual.

The stories of corruption begin the reversal. The temptation, though manifested through individuals, is about mankind, and whether humans as a category, the collective humanity, ought to be higher than God. It results in tyrannical governing bodies attempting to occupy the top of the hierarchy, sometimes literally equating themselves with God, sometimes trying to do away with God, and making power flow in reverse of its natural course. The individual is less important than the categories or cultural norms, which are less powerful than the state.

Attempting to maintain this inverted hierarchy is constant pain, death, and confusion. The starting place to right the ship is within each individual, since individuals are the most powerful part of nature under God. If we can reorient our own lives in accordance with the structure of reality, reality itself will begin to return to form.