The following is excerpted (and lightly edited, for clarity) from pages 238-9 in the Conclusion of A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle, 1974:
I find it difficult to accept that God allowed the situation of our world to become what it is without a reason.
While God would not deliberately push us into a condition in the world where we forget the higher part of our nature, and so commit behaviour which is not good; it is possible that He deliberately allowed us to wander in that direction, of our own accord, for a very definite reason. This reason being to increase our ties with earth and increase our resistance to Heaven, so that we eventually become more centred in the midst of God's creation, rather than at the top end of it.
While we must know the heights of Divine Heaven as well as the depths of the earth, we must also remember that God is 'outside' both Heaven and earth. In this way, it may be that the Treasure He seeks, that we His children are meant to find, lies in the centre or heart of manifestation; and really is signified by the expression of a personification of our nature.
Perhaps the Divine power and glory of the enlightened soul is made to understand a further dimension of value in the uncomfortable and limited restriction of the earthly personality? Perhaps the value God seeks in us is not our perfect unalloyed Divine Being Bliss; but the humble and imperfect yearnings and sentiments that our soul feels in the crippling form of the human situation?
The compression and pain of our earthly situation breeds a simple love that does not feed on pleasure, not even Divine pleasure; instead it feeds on a 'craggy' determination, often beyond the hope of any reward in the form of happiness or joy - to improve the lot of those it loves.
To my understanding this creates a love between persons, and the souls of these persons, which teaches them something about the nature of love which would not be learned in the experience of liberated divine bliss, or by devotion to perfection as we understand it.
The highest teachings we have ever received on earth seem to me to say:
'Do not take any notice of miracles or powers: God can make these happen any time. Instead, seek to understand the nature of the love that brought you forth. This love is not interested in power or glory or even perfect behaviour; but has something to do with the response that only you can make, because there is none other like you'.
For most of its history, the Christian religion has taught that every Man is flawed by original sin (so that he is rotten at heart) and this world is fallen from an original perfection.
'Therefore' (assuming this was correct) we would naturally expect the world to be a terrible place; and we would not be surprised if each person's mortal life was a complete waste of time - and that it would have therefore been better never to have been born in order to avoid the suffering.
However, Jesus did not say this - and there is no compelling reason for a Christian to believe it; indeed the original-sin/ fallen-world assumption does not make metaphysical sense.
In contrast; Arkle assumes (as, surely, all Christians ought to assume - but often forget) that a creator God who loves each person as a son or daughter would (surely!) design this world such as to provide what each son or daughter most needs.
God would not create a situation in which mortal life was worthless and then insert each of his beloved sons and daughters into this situation, to suffer inevitably and with only a chance of an acceptable outcome.
That is not the act of a loving creator-father; ergo it is Not True.
Before saying what is true, we need to clarify that 'What each son and daughter needs' must be understood to include the context that we are each eternal beings who lived before, and will continue to live after, this mortal life.
So what matters most is what is needed for the life to come, the Life Everlasting in the Kingdom of Heaven, reachable only via death.
Thus it is reasonable to describe mortal life as an experience for learning. And when we find this world to be one that is hostile to 'Divine Being Bliss' and to human 'perfection', this tells us that these things are Not what God most wants from us or for us.
By looking at the actual experiences of our specific life, we can 'reverse-engineer' what God wants us to learn from them - at any rate, it is our task to learn as best we can throughout our lives, from our lives. And a life of learning from experiences will have a very different character from a life of blissful perfection.
Furthermore, each of us is a distinct individual (there is none exactly like us); and we must presume that this was not due to God's inability or against His wishes.
Apparently, it is from the experiences of each person's own specific life from which we are each supposed to learn; and we are presumably each expected to 'respond' to earthly mortal life in a way that only we each can respond.
In conclusion, a well-lived Christian life would be expected to be unique; but broadly to have something of the character of "a simple love that... feeds on a 'craggy' determination, often beyond the
hope of any reward in the form of happiness or joy - to improve the lot
of those it loves."
Life is not full of troubles because we are crippled by original sin in a fallen world; but because the world is fit for its purpose of providing the kind of experiences we most need to learn from - aiming at the best possible life beyond death of the mortal body.