Friday 3 January 2020

The Play of William Arkle

The Seeker by William Arkle

Foreword by William Arkle for his web site

(These web pages were created by Michael Perry in consultation with Arkle, about twenty years ago shortly before Arkle died; and for many years this was the only significant web presence of William Arkle - and it was the source of my own informed engagement with Arkle from 2008. Sadly the site is now gone.)


I very nearly called this web site 'The Play of William Arkle', and then I felt that it would sound rather too casual for most people and even an insult to the endeavour that is brought to the resolving of the mysteries of life.

The reason that the word 'play' suggested itself is that the journey of understanding seems to lead from the level of human survival as a personality in this world, through to a spiritual view that takes survival of our spiritual self for granted; and then on again into the appreciation of the all-encompassing smile of our Divine Creator.

This Divine Smile says a very simple thing, which is that the everlasting nature of its Spirit can have only two options: either it remains in its Absolute condition of Blissful non-action; or it can engage in action through the creation of play-grounds. This means creating theatres of time, space and lots of things - from a condition of no action or time or space or things.

Our Creator felt that the first choice of 'no action' could becoming boring because there was no adventure, surprise or growth involved. The livingness of The Spirit felt itself to be in need of such adventure as an expression of joyful love and fun. So the second choice came about purely for the exercise of joy and love and fun.

The only word I could find to cover the activity of joy and love and fun was the word play, but unless it is approached in the right way the word does not carry the correct significance. And thus the whole of this web site is a journey into the understanding of The Creator's view of the word play.

You will find that my own earlier understandings moved gradually into this way of talking about our reality. It seemed to become more and more light-hearted while being able to sympathise with all the conditions of growth which can feel to be the conditions of fear and anxiety. Thus the big game of life at play has conditions within it which can descend to the very opposites of its initial intention.

These opposite conditions are the result of our Creator deciding to give us the Gift of being able to become real players in our own right at this adventure which is being undertaken. This is why the picture book was called The Great Gift and why the writings in it referred to God as being our friend in this one life endeavour. Later on this was changed to the expression God, The Player Friend.

As for me, I have kept the name William Arkle. I like the name because it implies that my Will is doing its best to be a small expression of the Ark of Life, The Heart of the Creator Friend.

However my close associates now find me calling myself Billy The Kid.


Here Arkle is saying that the first and deepest question about divine creation is why did God do it? Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is there action rather than stasis?

And Arkle is saying that this is to do with the nature of God, the kind of person that God is. Like a young child; God has an enjoyment of play.

(With 'play' Arkle, very typically, chooses a simple and 'childish' word for the most profound of his metaphysical beliefs - 'friend' would be another example.) 

As a child's favourite activity is to-play - rather than do-nothing; so with God.

So God made things happen. For a while, perhaps, God 'entertained himself'; and thus will presumably soon have discovered that solo make-believe does not satisfy for long (too predictable) - and soon one craves 'playmates', people like oneself to play with.

Play needs other-people. In this instance, other gods. Thus the whole purpose of creation.  

Of course a child does not want to play always; and wants to eat, rest and sleep from time to time - but these are mainly in order to prepare for more play.

The same with our reality, this creation. There are some persons (and some religions or ideologies) that focus upon 'eating' (sensual gratification - e.g. sexual gratification, euphoria), and others that focus on the hope for rest/ peace/ sleep (Nirvana).

But for most people, most of the time; play is the primary thing - if, by play, we ultimately mean the only endlessly rewarding 'play' which is the divine work of loving-creation in heaven: the Great Gift of Jesus.

(Which we sample and approximate in mortality in the life of loving families; and in the life of human creativity (experiencing, learning, doing, making) in its multitude of individual types - games, sports, pastimes, hobbies, arts and crafts...)

Arkle - shortly before he died, tells us here that called himself Billy the Kid. Why?

My guess: because a free, conscious, chosen return to the basic situation of the child is the purpose of life. Life is a cycle, but not a recapitulation.

To become again As a child (which Jesus is said to have commanded us); 'as' a child means not to be a child, but to live as grown-ups, as a child live (and as we ourselves once did).

For instance: a child cannot plan - adolescents plan with obsessive self-consciousness - the spiritually mature human adult chooses Not to plan; but again to live spontaneously and as improvisation.

And in perfect love (which casteth out fear).

(And, thereby, at the last moment - unpredictably, unstoppably - to thwart all plans and schemes of evil! Evil is beaten by Not plotting-against evil, but by doing Good; as a child.)

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