Monday 22 August 2016

State of consciousness is the end point

I awoke from nostalgic dreams into a sad, pessimistic, weak-feeling and almost despairing frame of mind - hard to shake-off, self-perpetuating.

And yet within not many minutes I snapped right out of it, in a moment - a matter of seconds - by listening to a few words from William Arkle that reminded me what I was and of my situation. 

Instead of seeing myself in the materialistic light of 'this world' with its inevitability of transience and decline of all good things; I very suddenly remembered that I was: an unique, eternal, immortal being - experiencing this life on earth in the context of permanence and growth towards a state of fuller divinity and love. 

We don't need a complex analysis and a list of prescriptions; what we need and crave is that state of consciousness which is the end point of our striving.

Hearing just a few of Arkle's words reminded me of that 'wide-angle' state of consciousness; and the state of consciousness I then became, was itself the best possible thing that I could possibly do in the world. 

That state of consciousness was the best thing I could do in the world.  

We aren't aiming at some specific better arrangement of people and stuff the world - but are aiming at a way of being; and if we achieve this in ourselves, then that is the first - but also in a sense the last - step in the matter.

If we can be in the right way then that is what 'has an effect' - true consciousness is both end and means.


Wyom said...

It's an amazing feeling when this happens, and almost unbelievable that it can change everything so quickly. This post was more than a little reminiscent of Colin Wilson's ideas, but with the important difference that Wilson's 'peak experience'/'Faculty X' anecdotes usually seem to take place in an already serene, or at least contented, setting. It's perhaps even more noteworthy when such states come about in the midst of despair, as you've described here. (Possibly Wilson discusses this somewhere in one of his million books, but I can't recall him doing so in any of the very many I've read).

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wyom - I think Wilson called this the St Neot margin - and wrote about it several times.

He also discussed the phenomenon in his 'ghosted' preface to William Arkle