Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Theosis/ Spiritual Progression/ Making Divine Friends

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I am pondering the work of William Arkle -

http://www.billarkle.co.uk/

by fitting his ideas into my existing scheme of understanding, where they seem to explicate, enrich and expand some vital elements.

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My understanding is that - thanks to the work of Jesus Christ - salvation is ours if we choose it; and the main purpose of Man's mortal life is 'theosis' - becoming more like God.

This entails following God's rules - because they are a summary of the intrinsic constraints of reality - but beyond that our job of theosis is creative (recalling that all creativity is within a framework).

Arkle's (strange) terminology has this in terms of a divine friendship. The main motivation God had for making Man was to have friends - and with this end he seeded sparks of his divine fire into each Man - this inner spark is then 'surrounded' by the products of our own choices and efforts.

But Men need to grow and develop to become loving friends of God (first commandment) - and the mortal context is loving family and other humans (second commandment). The growth and development are essential if we are to be real and distinct individuals, and not just clones or copies (because we want our eternal friends each to be different, and each also to continually develop, to grow).

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So we are to 'make' ourselves into friends of God and assist in the 'making' of other friends for God (and ourselves) - this is Arkle's way of explaining theosis in down-to-earth terms.

So theosis is this creative project (within constraints of reality) to choose and grow into divine friends of God. It almost-inevitably involves trial and error, but the experiences of temptations, and even errors, will be educative if they are unintended and repented.

Thinking of theosis as creative opens-up a positive an engaged attitude to life; and emphasises that the 'perfection' of mortal life is in its striving and growth towards a nature both divine and distinctive - not in its freedom from error nor conformity to a pattern.

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