10. Healing the Hierarchy

Contributor: Ellen E. Swanson
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Can we heal the linear hierarchy by merging it with the circular mandala? The energy of the linear is electrical. The energy of the circular is magnetic. We unconsciously began the merger long ago when we developed use of electromagnetic energy. How can we now consciously merge the two paradigms respectfully?

First, the linear needs to be strengthened in a healthy manner. Think about the Interstate 35W Bridge across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. It was a linear structure with gusset plates that rusted and led to its collapse. Now think about bridges that last for centuries, stone-arch bridges. The slight curvature lends the bridge strength because there is more flexibility for weight variances and distribution. In the traditional linear model, strength is constantly tested by rigidity needs. The flexibility in the curved model allows for slight shifts that happen in weathering the literal and figurative storms that come along. Thus, the stone-arch bridge model is stronger in a healthier way.

Could this apply? Let’s start playing with it. Be aware of your felt sense as you view all the images provided. This first image lays the foundation for the merger.

A Healthier Linear Template

At this point, aided by creativity, we are ready to merge the two paradigms in a healthier manner, and again find we have already done this unconsciously. See what the next image reminds you of…

Merging two paradigms, Step one

Yes, it is a satellite. The mandala is the sending and receiving dish of the satellite. The arched model provides the energy panels. Satellites have a few jets at the rear that keep them on course, making small directional corrections when needed. Much like a satellite’s course-correcting engines, leaders then become the power behind and with, not power over. The leaders provide direction for the creative force of synergy, which empowers all to give from their strengths.

Remember there is a long history of suppression by the hierarchical ‘power over’ modus operandi. It will be important to give the circular paradigm some time to heal from all that suppression, and the linear paradigm time to get adjusted to and feel appreciation for its healthier self. Healing is a sacred process, and when deep healing occurs, it includes compassion. Perhaps we could use this next image as an interim visual where this healing could occur.

Merging two paradigms Step 2

Here the arched model has become a container. A container with no contents is empty. Contents with no container float away and disappear. There needs to be gratitude for the other as each paradigm does its healing work. This is congruent with the holistic nursing theory concepts of health as an expression of life process, balance, and integrative practices.

At some point, there is readiness for the final phase where we return to the oneness from which all originally sprang forth. As imperfect beings, we do the best we can to recognize the sacred union within each of us and between us. In this sacred garden, we blossom and grow. The next image depicts this merger.

Merging two paradigms Step 3

This is Nature’s paradigm. We all have feminine and masculine energy in us, regardless of gender, and balance is improved when we utilize this. When the masculine and feminine energies integrate—we’re capable of becoming flowers full of awe, mystery, and wonder.

Holistic nursing concepts source:

Frisch, N. (2013).  Nursing theory in holistic nursing practice.  In B. Dossey & L. Keegan (Eds.) Holistic nursing a handbook for practice, 6th Ed.  (pp. 117-128).  Burlington, MA:  Jones and Bartlett Learning.