Thursday, 18 August 2016
In what way does God value Love? What kind of Love does he want from us? From William Arkle
It is essential to stop teaching morality in terms which can be mistaken for the philosophy of external and obvious valuation; of valuation which concedes that behaviour must be good if it is not ‘found-out’ to be bad. Rather must it be said that unless the inner aspect of one's attitude is healthy, the result of any behaviour will be psychological unrest and discontent.
One may succeed in the world and gain the adoration of many people, but if this is to fail to remain true to innermost nature it will mean failure in our own judgement of ourself and in the relating of our many parts to our whole nature. Since this is the root cause of unhappiness it is also where real success and failure lies and where one reaps and enjoys the real treasures of existence.
The essence of real religious and moral aspiration is not between ourselves and God but between ourselves and our Self. At the same time the monitoring activity of God and his many divine assistants is necessary, but not as a substitute for Self-confrontation, but rather to ensure that this condition comes about.
Aspirations towards God are therefore of the utmost value, not as a means of becoming a slave or servant of God, but in order that they can be directed towards the true goal which is the valuation of our True Self.
As we direct the love our children have for us in such a way that it enlarges their own nature and not in order to make them more devoted and servile, so our divine parents divert our love in such a way that it reflects back into our own essential nature again.
Love is therefore valued by God, not as something he wishes to possess, but as a positive expression of our highest attitude which he can receive in the spirit in which it is offered and then use for his creative work. This is the bringing of our individual nature to a condition of divine Self-consciousness.
Extracted from the close of the Chapter 'Education' in William Arkle's A Geography of Consciousness (1974)
This is a passage which is easy to misunderstand but which I have found to be important. Arkle is clarifying the kind of God wants for us by examining the kind of love we want (or ought to want) from our growing-up children.
In other words, God wants us to give our love from our deep and true self, by an act of agency - and not from the kind of servile devotion that is implicitly based more upon terror than adoration. Arkle is saying that we ought not to fear God (any more than an adult Man ought to fear his father) - but to trust in God's love.
Of course, a lot of our lives are spent growing-up - but it is important to know what is being aimed-at in full adulthood - not least so that we don't get into bad habits or have false structuring beliefs and expectations.
Arkle here, as elsewhere, is suspicious of the traditional Christian emphasis on 'worship' as the defining quality of Man's relationship to God. While it is right and proper for a young boy to worship his father - this is not a suitable basis for a grown-up child's relationship with his father.
Arkle is suggesting that the same applies to religion - and he bases this on his intuitive understanding of the fundamental reason why God (who is in fact a dyad of Heavenly Parents) created Men (their sons and daughters) and everything else.
Arkle believes that the rationale for creation was ultimately in order that some (as many as possible) Men might 'evolve' and grow from our current partial and embryonic divinity to a full divinity on the same level as our Heavenly Parents. Therefore, our mother and father in heaven do not want us to get stuck in a stance that regards them as infinitely remote - but rather as finitely (albeit vastly) remote, and incrementally approachable over time.
We probably tend to feel a superstitious anxiety about thinking or doing this; as if God was some kind of hyper-irritable and easily-offended tyrant; but Arkle is trying to reassure us that friendly affection and trusting confidence is exactly the attitude that God most wants us to have; as illustrated here:
See also a fuller excerpt of the above at: