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.


JeejandDinda said...

My immediate thought on this is how this seems analogous to the way mothers and fathers complement each other; the mother always 'erring' on the side of protecting from harshness and *preventing* the problem through indoctrination, the father trying to get us to grow up and insisting that we accept responsibility and consequences for our choices, even the ones we made without sufficient understanding, so that we can learn to think things through and be strategic.

My brother has said that Heavenly Mother is might be covering her ears and eyes and saying something like, "Tell me when it's over!" I tend to think the concurrent oppositional influence of both masculine and feminine produces superior results. So the feminine influence gives people the sense of self-worth essential to self-preservation (even though we don't deserve it), which I tend to think makes up for the "messiness".

Chiu ChunLing said...

While I don't reject out of hand the idea that angels may understand the directives they receive of God imperfectly, I would tend to assume that God does not give angels authority to intercede in the lives of mortals disproportionate to their understanding of fundamental principles like the essential nature of love...which is a earnest desire for the fullest freedom and personal development of another.

Thus while there may indeed be angels who do not totally comprehend that destroying the freedom of men is utterly contrary to salvation and love, they would be restrained by the commandments of God from reckless intercessions based on their lack of understanding. Thus they would have far less influence over the affairs of men than those fallen beings (both men and devils) which pay no heed to God's instructions, and usually have no sincere interest in the actual happiness of others.

I am of course influenced by my own experience as someone who, from a very early age, was able to engage in lucid discourse with people who did things to me "for my own good" and thus easily distinguished those who were merely mouthing justifications and those who were sincere (whether any discrepancies between their and my idea of "my own good" was the result of my misapprehensions or theirs). That is not to say that all differences in the ideas that I or others have about "my own good" are settled, but only in earliest childhood were there cases where I wasn't competent to inquire with perfect success as to whether the concern over it was genuine or feigned.

Bruce Charlton said...


I had not considered that some angels are men, and some are women - and they will be different.

This may, indeed, be a part of the difficulty; since only the 'dyad' of a (resurrected) man and a woman in celestial marriage is the complete/ whole Person/ Man - so all pre-mortal spirit angels are necessarily incomplete and partial in that way...