From Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw
In Man and Superman, Shaw makes Tanner jeer at Octavius's "pious English habit of regarding the world as a moral gymnasium built expressly to strengthen your character in...", but this is precisely how Arkle does regard it, ultimately.
From Colin Wilson's introduction to A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle.
The idea that this world is a 'moral gymnasium' seemed so absurd to Bernard Shaw - so obviously refuted by experience - that he merely needed to identify its covert presence it in order to refute it.
The idea seemed absurd because Shaw was assuming that this mortal life was the only life - and therefore "other people's necessities" (implicitly their material necessities - shelter, food, decent standard of living) in this mortal life, ought always to be regarded as more important than the self-satisfactions of individual moral improvement.
This was assuming the truth of a pragmatic and materialist viewpoint which has been - in fact - an unconscious metaphysical assumption for many people only since the nineteenth century and in The West.
Thus Colin Wilson, born some three generations after Shaw and writing in the 1970s, likewise unconsciously and unthinkingly assumed that when his friend - the spiritual philosopher William Arkle - discussed this mortal life in terms of its being a 'university' for individuals in which individuals might learn - he was talking of the same thing as Shaw.
Yet there was a vast and crucial difference between Shaw and Arkle - because what Shaw was mocking was the idea of the world being 'designed' to make better men during this mortal life and before their death; Arkle was talking of experiences in this mortal life contributing to spiritual (including moral) improvement after this mortal life and biological death.
Shaw and Wilson were both taking for granted that Men were extinguished at death; but Arkle explicitly stated that Men lived eternally.
Of course, at another level - and when he was thinking about things more consciously - Wilson knew perfectly well that his friend Bill (who he visited and stayed with many times) believed in a life beyond death; indeed Arkle believed in multiple reincarnations (perhaps in multiple universes) leading up to some Men becoming fully divine-friends and co-creators with God, the primary creator.
But I think it is a telling lapse of Wilson's that he forgot this vital distinction when writing about Arkle - and I believe that Wilson forgot it because he did not (at that time, anyway) share Arkle's belief in life after death; and in particular Wilson did not share Arkle's conviction of a personal creator God who had designed this world as a 'university' within-which Men might have experiences from which they would incrementally learn to become higher and more divine spirits.
Or perhaps Wilson remembered after he had written that section, which was why he added (but did not explain) "ultimately" - because that was indeed was Arkle meant.
In conclusion - I agree with Shaw and Wilson that this world is not a moral gymnasium designed to make Men better in this life; but I also agree with Arkle that this is indeed, and ultimately, a kind of 'gymnasium' in which we can (if we choose) learn to improve our-selves - with the important proviso that that improvement is manifested, not in our mortal, but in our eternal life.