Wednesday, 18 April 2018

What is the greatest imaginable gift?


Excerpted from The Great Gift (1977), by William Arkle:

If we achieve the ability to observe clearly from the ground where this imagination is free and relatively unconditioned we can begin to ask ourselves the question, "What is the greatest and most valuable gift I would like to be given?"

We should take a long time to delve into our whole private universe to come-up with the best possible answer. I think that the answer we would find we arrived at would be that the greatest and most valuable thing we could ever wish for is 'Ourself'.

We would find, I believe, that, when we had become satiated with all the immediately beautiful and delightful things that our imagination first of all thinks it would like, such as 'the heavenly life' with all the attributes of peace, beauty, serenity, love and bliss, then, and only then, might we begin to realise that there was something we might learn to value even more.


This deeper value, I feel, would be based on our realisation that we were not able to use and develop our independent creative and responsible faculties in such a heaven.

Now these independent creative responsibilities require all our integrity and effort to function properly because, if we look at them, we will discover that there is only one thing which they want to be engaged in, and that is the discovery and expression of 'the impossibly beautiful and valuable thing'.

Our real independent spirit is not truly interested in doing the possible beautiful things, although it does them as a proper part of its natural and responsible behaviour. This spirit is more truthfully always preparing to take a deep breath and try to do some wonderful thing that it can only aspire to and cannot already achieve.

This is a fact which stems from the truth of our Being which reflects the nature and attitude of the Creator.


I shall now turn the tables and say that, if we next use our independent imagination and put ourselves in the place of the Creator, there is nothing we will be able to come-up-with as a more worthwhile thing to create than a means of bringing into existence some other real independent beings with whom we could enter into creative living as friends and sharers of one another’s experience.

And then we can look at what we consider the nature of friendship to be, and find out why it becomes such an important part of our experience.

We have a deep desire to share our independent imaginative and creative living with other independent beings.

To bring an impossibly beautiful thing within the scope of our expression is a very desirable achievement, but to be able to share the values of the achievement with other independent sources of appreciation and valuation, such as another person who is your friend, is even more desirable.

We feel that to get the greatest benefit from our creative endeavours we must share the fruits of the endeavour with others.


From the essay Creative Friendship.

4 comments:

  1. I have to admit I used to skim or skip your Arkle posts, but he's starting to grow on me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Wm - It took me more than 30 years, so you're doing well...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Like all gifts, the gift of ourself only works right if we use it to help others.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Jared - I don't quite agree; at least not if helping-others means what it usually does.

    Loving God, and our 'neighbour' (which needs interpreting) is the essential for using the gift of our-self. That may not involve helping; it may be more of being an harmonious co-worker in on-going creation. Of course, ultimately, this does help everyone who has accepted salvation; but that might be some way down the line.

    ReplyDelete