Friday, 12 September 2014

Time and being - William Arkle's description of a mystical experience of 'Absolute consciousness'/ a glimpse of divinization

From A Geography of Consciousness (1974) by William Arkle - pages 88-90

The Absolute [Real] Self is in a position... to experience and express the highest qualities and attitudes without distortion or compromise, for the nature of matter-consciousness at this level is extremely fine, responsive and vital; and almost devoid of the density and friction which is associated with physical matter. The experience of existence at this level of manifestation must consequently be blissful, exhilarating and free...

Since time is the result of friction, viscosity and inertia which results in opposition to movement, communication and adaptability; and since the actual experience of time as it comes to us is the same experience as space; it is the essential content of movement and the experience of movement.

If we, at the physical level, cut ourselves off from all movement in the world about us, we will cease to get any sense impressions and shortly experience the feeling of 'being' as distinct from 'living'.

This sense of being, without time or space considerations, is close to the true condition of Absolute consciousness. For a while, we still get some sense of continuing identity in some form of time sequence; this time sequence is not linked to anything which we can identify.

The result of this experience is that we are made more aware than usual of the fact that innermost consciousness is concerned with qualities and attitudes which it has to learn to generate on its own without outside stimulus. When it has learned to do this, it has also learned to be truly creative, and may be said to be a god.


I interpret this passage as describing how - in thought but not in practice, in consciousness but detached from 'the world' - we may glimpse and actually experience what it is like to be further advanced in the process variously described as spiritual progression, theosis or divinization.

Such knowledge is motivating and inspiring; and may be necessary in order that we know where we are going, what direction to aim-at, and how to recognize progress when we achieve it.  


I also find Arkle's descriptions of the nature of time (the result of friction, viscosity and inertia) and 'spiritual' matter (extremely fine, responsive and vital) - and their relation (the actual experience of time as it comes to us is the same experience as space) to be useful, and valid-seeming. They are similar to the accounts of Joseph Smith - representing another convergence/ mutual validation of Arkle with Mormon metaphysics.



Nicholas Fulford said...

He also describes almost perfectly what the experience of being in a sensory reduced tank is like. Remove almost all outward stimulation and the mind enters this type of state in less than an hour. The subjective sense of time is elongated as moments stretch into streams of bliss, and imagination freed from the moorings of outer stimulation roam the oceans of naked inspiration. It is a sense of wholeness, totality in an instant - an intimate, encompassing and unbound perfection.

Bruce Charlton said...

@NF - " It is a sense of wholeness, totality in an instant - an intimate, encompassing and unbound perfection. "

But in the absence of recognizing the validity of a metaphysical system which reveals to you its import; a sensory deprivation tank experience is at best merely a sensory thrill, and the feelings induced are just a meaningless fake.