Thursday, 28 September 2017

Problems caused by good angels? It's possible...

It isn't common to attribute problems of this world to angels - but it is a theme running through William Arkle's work.

For example - in a letter he returns to this matter:

Higher Beings such as Angels are trying to improve us and tidy us up - rather like socialists do, by putting us into a manageable form. Angels naturally abhor the mess that the world has got itself into, and harmony is to be sought at any price. But might it not also be true that God needs the mess?

Arkle sees angels as necessary and integral to God's creation of this world - but, as created persons who have only experienced the bliss and one-sided goodness of Heaven; their perspective is neither that of God, nor of us mortal Men. As such angels have free will, but limited knowledge and capacity - and their understanding is both limited and biased.

In particular, Arkle suggests that angels have a tendency to try and preemptively prevent the suffering caused by bad choices, by enforcing blanket systems of control and order. The comparison he makes with (sincere) 'socialists' is interesting - in sharing the tendency is to 'make' Men good and happy by system, by indoctrination and limitation of free will: indeed, by totalitarian surveillance and control justified by the greater good...

In a nutshell, the tendency of angels may be (albeit with compassionate motivations) to treat Men as children; and thereby keep them as children - prevent Men 'growing-up' - which tends to thwart God's ultimate hope for us (and the reason for creation itself).

It may seem unlikely that God would 'allow' this - but Arkle's interpretation makes sense if we regard creation as being for the benefit of both Men and angels; with Men and angels needing to have life experiences and to learn from them in order that both may progress towards full divinity as Sons and Daughters of God.

(Arkle regarded angels as a separate creation - while I believe that they are mostly pre-incarnate Men, as I have described previously.)

The interesting and neglected possibility is therefore that angels - not fallen-angels or demons; but good angels, with good intentions - may be responsible for some significant part of the sufferings of mortal life; and of a particular kind.

This seems like a terrible thing to say - given some traditional understandings of angels as perfect direct messengers and implementers of divine will. But maybe the observable and often extreme 'messy' situation of earthly life is the best that can be done all-round; given the extreme difficulty of what God wants us to achieve in our long, zig-zag road to full divinity ('us' being both mortal Men and angels) - And therefore perhaps indeed God needs the mess.