Wednesday 20 June 2018

The necessarily Christian metaphysics of Self-Remembering: William Arkle on 'Paying Attention' in this life

From a (probably early 1990s) audio-lecture by William Arkle: Discovering your soul's purpose that can be found at the Wessex research group website. Transcribed from about 1 hour 13 minutes, and edited a little for clarity...

What we want to do to get the full benefit of God’s lectures is to be fully present

But we can’t be fully present if our soul is not with us in the ‘classroom’. That means being a physical body and personality, who – at the same time - knows he is a soul. 

Then you are fully present in God’s lecture. However, if your soul is not happy being in a physical body, and is trying to get out all the time; you’re not really going to be paying attention to what God wants you to pay attention to: why you are in this particular classroom, at this particular moment

That’s an argument for paying attention; but paying attention with all-of-you instead of just a bit of you. 

'Paying attention’ means paying attention to all of the things to do with physical life – which includes your motivation and sense of purpose.

Here William Arkle is developing one of his primary metaphors for mortal life, which is that our own actual Life is ultimately to be regarded a personally-tailored set of experiences; from-which God hopes we may learn that-which it is most-important for each of us personally-to-learn. Thus he terms mortal life a 'university', and the key experiences of life he terms the 'lectures', from-which we need to learns the intended 'lessons'.

Paying attention is necessary, and paying attention in the proper context is necessary. That is, we need to be aware that we are living in God's creation, in which God is present, and that our actual life (your life, my life, everybody's life) is neither random nor passively-determined; but has specific meaning and purpose.

So we need to pay attention in awareness that our life (Here! Now!) is a communication, a message, from God; or, more exactly, that there is intended knowledge to be had from it - and not general instruction but specific lessons that we personally need.

This way of paying attention does not require special powers of health, clarity or concentration - because it is a paying attention by the 'soul' itself - that which is divine in us, and which is (therefore) eternal and immune to sickness and impairment. It is, when achieved, self-recognisable and self-validation - not least because this kind of attention is instantly (albeit, usually, very temporarily) lucid.

This is sometimes termed 'self-remembering' but those who call it that often neglect that without God acknowledged as as our loving creator and parent, self-remembering/ paying attention is merely a psychological state, of no particular value.

For self-remembering to be significant, for it to be meaningful; it must be known as a part of the mutual divine purpose; of our personal affiliation to God's on-going work of creation.


Rich said...


Any luck finding anymore recordings of Arkle? I remember there was some talk of a basement and retrieval. It is so wonderful to hear him speak his words.


Bruce Charlton said...

@ads - According to Nick Arkle the main possibilities to look forward to, although not imminent, are a digital version of the video of the 1977 BBC TV documentary; and some tape recorded interviews from about 1990-ish.

Those tapes you ask about, of further lectures to the Wessex Research Group, reportedly exist in an unsorted mass of similar cassettes, but have not yet seen the light of day/ been digitised/ web-published.

I shall keep you and other people informed via this and my William Arkle blog, as and when...

Rich said...

Thank you, Bruce.