Metaphysicists emphasize the difference between a temporal causal series, and a hierarchical causal series. The most commonly used example of a temporal causal series is falling dominoes. While the most commonly used example of a hierarchical causal series is a hand pushing a stick, pushing a rock. But in fact these two causal series are identical, and they’re both temporal.
In the example of the falling dominoes a force is applied to the first domino and this force then passes in order from one domino to the next as long as there are further dominoes. Which depends entirely upon what happened in the past. If more dominoes were set up, then they’ll continue to fall, if not, they won’t. It’s all determined by what happened in the past. In the case of the dominoes, someone had to set them up.
The case of the hand pushing the stick, pushing the rock is exactly the same. Someone in the past had to push the stick. If they didn’t, the rock stops moving. What the hand is doing now is only relevant to what the rock will do at some point in the future.
Every causal series is temporal, it’s determined by what happened in the past.
Thus there’s no such thing as a hierarchical causal series. Stop setting up dominoes, and the dominoes stop falling. Stop pushing the stick, and the rock stops moving. It’s all determined by what happened in the past.