Monday 21 December 2015

Being prepared for understanding William Arkle

I have derived tremendous spiritual nourishment from the writings of William Arkle. Indeed, over the past couple of years I have studied his available work with perhaps more detailed attention than I have ever given to anything.

Since there were multiple examples of synchronicity pointing me at Arkle dating from 1977, how did it take me so long to engage with his work? And would it have been better (better for me) if I had taken one of these opportunities and got to know Arkle personally before he died in 2000?

It is quite possible that in failing to get to know the man I have stunted my spiritual development irrevocably. But on the other hand, by Arkle's own scheme of understanding, this may have been an example of progress by trial and error, and learning from mistakes; such that eventually my understanding will be deeper than if I had known the man, and had absorbed his teaching more directly and easily.

In particular, it seems probable that I would not have been prepared for Arkle until very recently - and that I simply could not have understood his work at any time before I actually did.

Most obviously, I was not a Christian until 2008 and would have lacked that necessary context. But even more exactly, it was not until late in 2012 that I had clarified my Christian faith to the point of realizing that I believed Mormon Christianity specifically and fully.

Once that background was in place, I was ready to receive Arkle's teachings within that framework; so that I could benefit from his many detailed clarifications, but without becoming entangled by his 'errors'. For example, Arkle's proposals of multiple reincarnations as normal and necessary for Men, or of Angels being a separate creation from Man.

(I now interpret these as being Arkle's misinterpretations of genuine revelations that were actually related to pre-mortal spirit life, the voluntary status of incarnate mortal life, and the doctrine of multiple levels of post-mortal salvation.)

I hope the above interpretation is not just Pollyanna-ish, everything-is-always-for-the-best, wishful thinking - but that in this specific instance perhaps things really did work-out as-well-as (realistically, and given my own deficiencies) they could have done.

Friday 11 December 2015

The psycho-spiritual groups we need, and which are provided, for raising our level of consciousness

Hope and courage may be sapped when an individual has worked-out what is going on in this world, has recognised God's plan for our salvation and progression towards divinity and begun to work toward it... and then finds himself (apparently) alone, isolated, without any visible means of support.

Yet, the difficulties of raising our level of consciousness, the obstacles in ourselves and from the world about us, are so great that the task is impossible to achieve alone. So, the seeker and striver cries in his heart: where is my Fellowship of the Ring? The answer is that although we are seldom part of any recognisable physical group of any significant size, strength and cohesion; we are indeed part of groups, indeed hierarchies of groups, at a spiritual and psychological level - can we but become aware of them.

 Because help and guidance are necessary, they are provided; but (as always) they can only be given if they are accepted, and they will only be given on condition of our own voluntary efforts - otherwise help and guidance would prevent, rather than assist, our education and growth. Thus, we will be put in touch with the most suitable group for our needs and our situation; and we will be shown the next step - and enabled to take it.

This help on condition of acceptance and effort can be termed Passive Help - and it is the main way that we are helped. Active Help is rare since it is only truly helpful when we lack responsibility or are unprepared and unable. We are never alone, never without supervision, never without fellowship - however, we are not prevented from making mistakes (from 'burning our fingers'), nor from experiencing their consequences; especially with respect to pride.

Pride is the major problem, so pride must recurrently be humbled - pride must again and again be brought to self-awareness with the possibility of repentance. Only when we get past the false interpretations of pride can we see through to our real selves in our true relation to God.

How may we recognise the main group to which we belong? Not by a common vocation nor by proximity or frequency of meeting; but by a particular Quality of Attitude - it is by this that we stimulate and inform each other by indirect, even roundabout, means - often through what may seem to be coincidences but are in fact communications. This we mutually recognise.

It is not easy it is not meant to be easy - but the potential to discover and work in these psycho-spiritual groups is always possible and unobviously pervasive.

Paraphrased from the chapter The Problems - in A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle (1974)

Thursday 3 December 2015

You simply cannot do everything all of the time. Experiment and waste go together and lead to discovery

&ME "My cup runneth over" and I am concerned to catch the valuable life experience and not allow it to go to waste doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. There are so many possibilities to choose from in my creative play.

GOD You simply cannot do everything all of the time. Experiment and waste go together and lead to discovery, so don't become anxious about results. Try to enjoy the process itself which allows for lateral thinking and lateral diversions.

The new things are not found where you expect them to be. We can't live "new beginnings" without letting go of the "old beginnings" and allowing them to slip away. All that is really valuable will come back to you when it is needed. This is part of The Game of life which requires forgetting and letting go with good grace and a sense of non-importance of ones valuable Self.

Do not fear to waste your time and energy, you will never run out of them and the "Crisis" in the World is only solved by those who follow the best instincts of their Spiritual Nature. As these work out all together, so each one of you finds yourself holding and demonstrating a bit of the necessary jig-saw puzzle of life...

By William Arkle - written in the last few weeks of his life. 

For as long back as I remember I have had frequent periods - usually in the afternoons, when I worried about wasting time worrying instead of getting on with ... something important.

I neither seem to enjoy the freedom of this time, nor yet actually 'do something useful' with it (such as what I ought to do, or might help other people) but witter and fritter.

There have been vast changes in my life across the decades - yet this characteristic endures.

So, the words of William Arkle, the final distillation of a lifetime of spiritual enquiry and insight, are something I find reassuring and inspiring. In particular, they encourage me not to make matters worse by adding futile and ineffectual worry to the situation.

It is even a genuine possibility that (up to a point) the waste of time is not - but some kind of deep preparation, or even growth - and that the busy efficient productive spells have been the real waste.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

What is being communicated in William Arkle's paintings? Sunny optimism in the long-term

I recently posted four paintings done by William Arkle in (probably) the 1950s -

These are strikingly simple, child-like and 'na├»ve' in style - apparently rather superficially and idealistically happy images in luminous colours... Many other, somewhat similar, examples can be found here:

So, what was Arkle getting-at by painting in this way?

First, we must acknowledge that what he did was deliberate - it was not because he couldn't paint in any other way. An engagement with his work, and knowledge of his biography, makes clear that he was an extremely tough thinker, and a practical man. He had the typical inner strength of a genius - and the confidence of a seer.

Plus - his vision of life was deep and profoundly true (in essence and outline).

So where is the horror and corruption of life? Why did he paint to exclude this - apparently as if he was a sunny optimist who was unaware of anything else?

The answer would seem to be that sunny optimism is the true-est and deepest attitude to life - to any life... in the long-term.

We ought to be simple optimists - but over a large timescale.

And we must not - as Arkle never did in his work - lose sight of the tiny and vital aspects of life. Arkle's paintings combine overall happy optimism in the long term - as often depicted by tranquil cosmic figures hovering over landscapes, or light emerging from things, places people - with little scenes of ordinary human life: people (sometimes tiny people) standing and sitting, holding hands, at work, walking, playing, on holiday, boating, eating and drinking...

Why no horror, pain, corruption? Because in the end is does not matter very much to those who choose to become divine friends of our Heavenly Parents. Sooner or later - but probably later - it is not negated but swallowed-up and put into perspective in the fulfilment and creativity of love. Suffering is subordinated to delight - this is what the pictures show.

What about 'other people'? The universe is set-up such that they are given what they want. But how if they want not to be with us? Well, would we prefer that they were forced?

Yes, but how if those we love are fooled, duped, misled into self-damnation. This is indeed tragedy - but in a universe presided over by a wholly Good creator, we know that this tragedy is expressed mostly in term of delay - not exclusion.

Arkle's paintings tell us that the powers of evil are simply wrong. They are mistaken about teir own power. They have much less power than they suppose - and that mainly to delay, confuse etc. but not to damn.

Their triumphs are fragile - even their own evil self-will is in constant peril of repentance...

Saturday 7 November 2015

Some 1950s watercolours

I got these from William Arkle's son Nick's open Facebook pages - I post them here so the images may not be lost to posterity.

Friday 23 October 2015

Will, Providence and Winston Churchill

This exposition is edited and adapted from William Arkle's A Geography of Consciousness pages 213-4:

We sometimes consider the human will to be something like a show of psychological strength and virility. And providence or fate, therefore, may seem to be a product of mastery by some individual's will. But the true will works in a manner that is almost completely contrary to this idea. 

The true will achieves its purpose in harmony with every other will. This happens by the true will working behind the scenes, along with all other wills, at a level far behind the surface of things. 

The true will recognizes the value of all things, and aims to be harmless towards every form of life, by working quietly and patiently, and eventually bringing-together and arranging all the correct factors in the correct place and at the correct time.

So, by the time we observe the will at work in some way which seems providential, this is merely the endpoint of a vast and complex and extremely subtle arrangement of factors which have been coming-together over a long period of time. 

So subtle; that the appearance is one of a staggering multiplicity of coincidences, or a providential event of extraordinary improbability.

When we notice that a strong and able individual (a 'great man') appears in political life at a very critical time, we may say that 'the time produces the man'. This may partly be true; but in reality the necessary individual may be present at the critical time because the crisis and that individual's being were inseparably connected by that individual's true will from a long time previously. That individual's true will was able to foresee the confrontation of the forces which created the crisis.  

In effect, the true will of the great man designed-itself to be present as an individual person, exactly in order to be able to take part in the crisis which required it.

Winston Churchill is a case which comes to mind. 


Tuesday 13 October 2015

Twelve steps on the path to escape alienation and evolve towards higher consciousness

Derived from A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle (1974) - Chapter Six "Problems" pages 108-114

1. The difficulties of improving and increasing our level of consciousness are so many and so great that we cannot achieve this alone.

2. Therefore help and guidance are necessary; and will always be made available.

3. But we must use our own initiative if evolution of consciousness is to occur - because the process depends upon building our true-self (our soul) through experience.

4. When we express the strong resolution and desire to understand and enter-into the deeper meanings of life - then some agency will put us into touch with a suitable group to assist the process.

(By agency is meant a supernatural personal purposive entity - such as an angelic being or the Holy Ghost.)

5. Making contact with a suitable group may be regarded as destiny, or just random luck - but that doesn't matter either way.

6. Then we come to see the beginnings of the next step.

7. We must take the next step ourselves from our innermost and most-fundamental being; because what we are building is our own directive ability.

8. When we have taken that step, help will be given as needed - this may appear as serendipity, personal miracles, lucky breaks...

9. As a rule, active external help is restricted to situations for which we are not fully responsible, where we cannot cope or understand, or are unprepared or incapable.

10. External help therefore reinforces the primary goal - reinforces our will - it does not take over from it.

11. When we are on the path towards self-knowledge and higher consciousness, we will never be truly alone nor without supervision.

But supervision may allow us to 'burn our fingers', if this is a lesson we need to learn and this is the only or best way of learning it. For example, pride often needs painful experiences to expose and tame it.

12. As progress is made, our true-self and our short-comings, errors, and lapses become more obvious to us. Our self-evaluations become more accurate. For instance, the personality - often, mistakenly, prized and developed - is shown to be merely a means to an end.

Friday 25 September 2015

Understanding the creator's rationale for the plan of existence

The ideas of William Arkle are based upon his imaginative identification with, intuitive understanding of, and (I believe) direct mystical revelation concerning the purpose of God, the Creator in manifesting this world. All his work is an exploration of this theme,in its many ramifications.

I have edited the following from a little, self-published booklet called Equations of Being: notes on the nature of love - originating from Arkle's home in Backwell (the village in Somerset, England where I spent all my school years) - which seems to date from about 1980. 

I would advise copy, pasting and printing-out the excerpt below; if you want to get the most from it. 


By trying to put ourselves in the position of the Creator whose nature is love and spiritedness, we may be able to draw conclusions which help us to understand and accept the situation on Earth as we find it at the present time. 

We may come to realise that the difficulties of life, while often painful, are also extremely valuable if we can view them as a part of the process of making us into real and responsible individual spirits who can become companions of the endless life in which the Creative Source wishes us to meet Him.

I wish to suggest that we put ourselves in the position of this Creative Source, the God of what we love, and begin to see things from the position we would be in if we were about to make the plans for this scheme of manifestation of which our worlds are a part.


When we put ourselves in the position of this Creator, it is then that we have to look more closely at the nature of love, and try to understand the principles which it contains. Unless we can do this we cannot begin our designing, for we will not be clear about what we are trying to achieve.

We might, for instance, try to design a scheme which would be like a continuous, perfect, summer holiday situation. We would begin with the idea of ease and happiness in mind. We would find that our schemes did not contain responsibility or difficulty. 

I think we would find that our plans would take for granted that it was easy to include other people in our perfect world; but we would make up a perfect and easy world where everyone was like ourselves; and where all the things that really mattered to us were simply put into the picture, ready made.

All our schemes would contain other people, for none of us would want to be lonely, and all of us would sooner or later begin to realise that other people were an integral part of all that we enjoyed about ourselves.

But we would rapidly discover that a sort of mythical ‘deckchair on golden deserted sands’ situation was a trap. A little would be pleasant, but only because it is what we are most short of in our experience of life as it is on Earth. Even if we allowed ourselves a companion, or even a family, we would find that there was still a lot wrong. The family who sat about with us would soon get restless - as we would.


So we would want to explore a bit, go for a walk, see something new. We may go for a swim. Swimming and short walks, on a perfect beach in perfect weather, with all our loved ones about us; such might be a beginning...

But the walks would have to get longer and the swimming would have to include diving. The diving would lead to exploring the seabed and the walks would become voyages of discovery. We would wish to feel that family or friends were on the sands for us to come back to, but we would want to feel free to explore, we would want to feel free to experiment with different sorts of walking and swimming, different combinations of walking, swimming and sitting in the sun...

We would wish to talk to our companions, we would wish to enjoy their company. We would wish to laugh and have a bit of fun. And we would need for them to be real in their own right, so that the laughter and fun was real and full of surprise and the unexpected. 

(Because if we had programmed the other people to be just like ourselves, we would find it very difficult to keep up the pretence of enjoying their company, their fun and their affection. For pretence it would have to be, since we were merely entertaining ourself in other guises.)


If we looked into the matter further, we would discover, if we play with this problem, that whatever form we take and whatever environment we take it in there are certain basic requirements which stem from the nature of love itself. 

Our sense of loving to explore and experiment is as real as our love of basking in sunny happiness. And our sense of love needs other people to do these things with. We require fun and delight with other peoples company, and these other people need to be just as real as we are. 

So, a big problem is that any idea of existence requires us to people our world with beings who are different from ourselves, who most certainly must not have been programmed or brainwashed by us in any way. In fact we find that other people who are as real and independent as we are, is something we cannot do without.

So we face this situation that when we start the scheme off, we have to accept that other people might wish to do things that did not appeal to us. We would have to learn to accept one another’s different approaches and the fact that although we may have designed the scheme, we would have to give to others the same rights as we have. We would have to hand over the control and outcome to other people.


Against this argument is the realisation that a creative scheme has to ensure that the freedom which is allowed to the other individuals who live in it is handed to them gradually as their responsibility grows and is able to bear it safely. 

Because although we need to give to our friends, to who we wish to live-with in our designed creation, the freedom and independence which makes them real to us and therefore makes the experience of their company completely valid; we would not wish to reach a stage at which we ourselves were over-ruled by them.

So, when we begin to imagine ways of bringing our companions into our creative scheme in such a way that we can give to them their own reality, and give it to them in such a way that we do not dominate them, we realise what a subtle thing this process will have to be...

Such companions will eventually have to be given the same creative reality as ourself, the creator, but they will begin their lives in a condition of great potentiality - a potentiality which will be entirely unrealised by them.

So our scheme of creation will have to be largely educational to start with; before our friends will have grown-up enough to enter into its delightful creative purpose with their own unique individual ways of looking at things and doing things, and with the responsibility which will ensure that their desire is to enhance all things and not to destroy or diminish.


We will need to help our friends to come to themselves gradually, and take the gift of their own reality upon themselves deliberately, by their own choices.

We will have to discover ways of showing them why the good and the beautiful qualities are considered by us, the creator, to be good and beautiful. And the only way we can do this, is by giving them a taste of the opposite qualities in order that they can knowingly say to themselves: ‘I have experienced beautiful and good attitudes which seek to enhance all things; and I have experienced ugly and evil attitudes which seek to diminish and enslave all things, and I chose the good and the beautiful and will always resist the opposite’. 

This is our world. 


In conclusion, when each of us, now, is considering our situation in life, we need to consider whether we would prefer to be given a very full and thorough education, in which difficulties acted upon us to strengthen all our characteristics which we feel to be valuable - because this is the situation of our actual world.  

Or would we have preferred an easy form of education in which we could obtain a token reality for ourselves in circumstances which required little effort on our part?

Or, again, would we have preferred to have been created with all our individuality ready-made and programmed into us? In which case we would not need education, for we would simply respond with the conditioning already at work in our nature, effortless and automatic and not within our power to change. 

In the long run I think we realise that the difficult and thorough way - the way of our actual lives in this world - was what we most wanted; because, above all, we wish to be real.

We want to be valuably real, and we do not want to be artificially valuable.

Monday 31 August 2015

Working to develop our gifts and powers may do harm (when motivations are bad)

This is William Arkle writing in the persona of God, who is writing a letter to us to explain himself:

You are in a situation where your own private world which you live in will be what you make it. If you allow it to be dominated by the wishes of your physical nature, you will feel alien to it even if you are carried along by it. If you feel like a stranger to yourself it will make you unhappy, and you will doubt your own true identity, and you will lose faith in all the higher values in life.

 You may disguise the situation to the people around you but inside yourself you will feel lost and helpless and degraded.

My work is to increase your sense of reality to yourself, and make it feel of great value to you, without it spilling over into pride and selfishness. The balance between the over-subdued nature and the over-inflated nature is not easy to keep, and is a necessary balance to be achieved before other values can be built in.

The balance between the over-subdued nature and the over-inflated nature is not easy to keep, and is a necessary balance to be achieved before other values can be built in. The foundation lessons to be taught are thus integrity and responsibility, combined with affection and sympathy, but added to an ability to feel a balanced importance in the scheme of things. 

It is not an easy thing to believe you have great value and ability, and at the same time maintain a temperament which does not try to show off and impress people, and perhaps even dominate them. 

Every new gift I give you with trepidation because I know you are more likely to misuse it before you learn to handle it correctly, so, to me, a gift can appear like an ordeal and a temptation, and I am worried when I see some of you working to achieve special powers which may well be your downfall so far as the graceful balance of your temperament is concerned. 

On the other hand, I am glad when I see you developing gifts as a result of loving aspiration and wise discrimination, for such gifts I know will surely benefit you and all those associated with you.


In our culture there is a tendency to assume that gifts and abilities ought to be developed - people should make the most of themselves -- in general, the idea is that power and capability (in persons or in our groups or nations) are 'a good thing'.

But from a divine perspective there is a big problem - and it is a problem that we can see with many geniuses - especially the most recent twentieth century geniuses.


Gifts are potential abilities to affect the world - Gifts are Power.

Is power a good thing? It depends on what you do with it: But we would agree that giving power to an evil person, or even just an irresponsible person, is a bad thing.

Bad, that is, from a divine perspective, even when the specific person with power got what they wanted. And bad from the perspective of that individual's 'graceful balance of temperament'.

(Think of Gollum and the Ring of Power - Gollum 'wanted' to possess the Ring, but it was bad for Gollum's balance of temperament, and bad from a divine perceptive that he should have it.)


I think this used to be much better understood than it is nowadays: That before someone has power, they need already to have learned the foundation lessons of integrity, responsibility, affection, sympathy, balance...

It applies to individuals, and it applies to nations and cultures. Yet not only are the foundation lessons neglected, they are not even attempted!

The situation is perilous enough when dealing with natural (divine) gifts - but the worst possible situation is when people, nations, cultures are systematically and successfully working to achieve special powers without any recognition that powers are intrinsically likely to be corrupted. And this applies to powers of all types - including medicine and healing, including art and literature, including housing and clothing... But obviously so in terms of science, technology, and bureaucratic organization.

Insofar as we fail to perceive the probability of hazards, we have chosen to misuse power - while blinding ourselves even to the possibility of misuse.


The situation is really very simple: it is a matter of motivation. From the divine perspective; gifts and powers in the hands of the badly motivated are a horror - and only in the hands of the well-motivated are they a good.

Since everybody claims to be well-motivated (even Gollum) - but nearly everybody is this requires discernment on the basis that people tend to be self-deluded and dishonest about their bad motivations - and what people say about their motivations needs to be compared with their actions; and their ability to maintain good motivations in the face of temptations needs to be evaluated: power does intrinsically tend to corrupt, and corrupted power is far worse than no power.

The divine perspective would therefore seem to be: Better no geniuses than corrupted genius; Better no breakthrough innovations than those which would be used with bad motivations; Better cultural decline and extinction than an unstoppable evil empire.


In other words, from where we are, and as we are, and what we want to be - gifts and powers, energy and determination will all do more harm than good - much more harm than good; and we cannot use the excuse that we have evil enemies and it is 'us or them' because - from a divine perspective, we may both be bad, but we may be worse because of our superior gifts and powers...


Therefore - the situation is that on the one hand, we in The West we have cultural decline (decline in power, achievement, capability, efficiency, courage and will) because we have rejected Christianity - because we no longer place religion above all other considerations; and on the other hand we should not even allow ourselves to hope that Western cultural decline is reversed until after there has been a Christian revival, a Great Awakening.

And if religious revival does not happen (as seems all-too-probable) then it is better that we do not reverse Western cultural decline.

Because - motivated as we now are - with our policy, propaganda and multiple laws and regulations systematically enforcing explicit moral inversion (a situation of depravity previously unknown in human history) - we are already and are still much-too-powerful

So enhancement of Western power, achievement, capability, efficiency, courage and will in the absence of prior religious revival would (from a divine perspective) likely be regarded as one of the worst possible outcomes.


Three sentences by William Arkle

1. We must seek not to concern ourselves with God so much as to concern ourselves with what concerns God. 

2. We must stop supposing either that we are an accident within an accident or wholly a cause within a cause.

3. It will assist us to consider the significance of the family unit as we experience it for ourselves, and to reflect that it may hold within it the secret of the underlying pattern and purpose of the whole of the manifested universes.  

Selected from page 206 of A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle (1974)

What makes good or bad luck?

Consider the basic situation.

Since we were alive pre-mortally, we differed even before incarnation - differed in our needs. God therefore must have placed us in particular times and places, and with particular parents in particular situations, for some reason concerned with the kind of experiences we could expect. This would mostly be related by what we needed most to learn during our mortal lives to equip us for resurrected post-mortal eternity.

So, we were placed here on earth, in a world which God created, among people, animals, plants and minerals that God also created. Everything on earth was shaped from the stuff of the universe, everything is therefore alive - albeit in different ways.

Furthermore, everything is - to widely varying extents - conscious and in communication with everything else.

Therefore life on earth is all about relationships - the relationships between innumerable (more- or {usually} less-conscious) entities in-communication.

All the entities, every-thing, on earth can be regarded as a matrix or web: each entity influencing and responding to everything else; some entities much more powerfully than others; and sometimes entities will align together collectively  - either defensively or aggressively - and thereby amplify their influence.


Luck can be explained in terms of the relationship between each of us and the web of other entities. Other entities in the web respond (individually and collectively) to our personal and collective human attitudes and behaviours - and that is the reason for luck; whether good or bad.

Bad luck may be a response to our own selfish, insensitive, aggressive, exploitative attitudes and behaviours being resisted by individual or collective responses from the matrix of living things (i.e. the web of other-entities); or this reaction may be against some group we are in - the species, a nation or smaller grouping.  In sum, bad luck is characterized by a relationship that is prideful, hate-driven, old, impersonal, careless: negative.

Good luck is the opposite - it happens when the relationship between an individual (or group) and the matrix is empathic, care-full, altruistic, warm, positive; that is, when the relationship is characterized by Love.


It is vital to remember that this system is not set-up to optimize our mortal health and happiness; but to provide the situation for providing the experiences necessary for developing our post-mortal resurrected lives.

Therefore, true luck is not referenced-to our current state of pleasure or suffering.


From this above metaphysical scheme, it can be seen that there is, on the one hand, no randomness to our lives - we are under God's care. But on the other hand, we are free agents with choice; and so is everything else in this world; not just the other people, but every-thing in this world.

We are subject to the consequences of our own choices and behaviours, and also subject to the consequences of the choices and behaviours of the other entities of the world. And as each of us is a sinful, weak, imperfect entity; so too (in their very different and diverse ways) are the other things in this world.

Just as we can be spiteful vengeful, self-centred - so too ca the matrix of things with which we are necessarily in relation.

Hence good and bad luck are not 'a matter of luck', not random, nor imposed individually and specifically at the will of God; but most a matter of the consequences of choices.


The above argument is adapted from the chapter entitled 'Justice' in A Geography Of Consciousness, by William Arkle (1974).

How to meditate

How should someone set about meditating?

I think it is important to recognize that there is no standard method for meditating well - by meditating 'well', I mean such that meditating 'does you good, that the meditating has a positive (Christian) effect.

Learning how to meditate therefore seems to be one of those tasks which each person must tackle for himself - and this is how it is meant to be.

Of course there are many 'standard methods' of meditation which are taught, and which people practice. There are many 'school's of spiritual practice. But (and each person will need to reach their own judgment on this) I do not find any of them to be effective in the job of making a better person. The feeling or 'vibe' I receive from those people who practice a standard form of meditation, and advocate it - and tell you how much it has changed their lives, is generally not good.

My impression is that trying to standardize and formalize meditation is an intrinsically bad thing - it leads to problems like fakery, spiritual pride, sensation seeking; and it easily becomes a tool for power seeking.

I think we are intended to chisel-out our own method, and that learning how to meditate is part of making meditation into a good and helpful activity (because it can, of course, be the opposite).

For a Christian, there can be some general guidance - in terms of what you are looking-for. Here is William Arkle speaking:

You have something in you which can give you exactly that essential faith. And that something is a little spark of God's own divine flame. It is there. To understand that God's own divine flame is there in you, is the most vital component of what you need to know about this process of mortal life; because once you can read that inner spark of God for yourself, then you can get all the necessary answers for yourself: and then your faith grows into certainty.  


Educating the Angels

It recently 'struck me' that - assuming angels are beings with free will, and are indeed of the same 'kind' as Men and Jesus Christ (as Mormons believe) - there is no reason to assume that angels are perfect or infallible; and, on the contrary, every reason to believe that they are learning, progressing by trial and error - as we are.

Angels are, indeed, engaged in a process of education by experience - but approaching this educational process from the top-down (rather than from the bottom-up, as are we).

I tend to assume that, because they reside in Heaven in close contact and communication with the Godhead, angels are always well-motivated, always doing their best, always Good - but I suppose that their knowledge and abilities and foresight are all limited.

They must therefore make mistakes and perform their jobs (to some extent) sub-optimally. 

So, on this basis, real life angels may be much like that most famous of fantasy angels: Gandalf.


Note: this insight owes much to the ideas of William Arkle, for example: Discovering your soul's purpose at

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Divine Love seems to modern perception merely simplistic, childish and sickly sweet


The Face of Love by William Arkle

Note by the painter: This is another attempt to portray the almost shocking quality of pure Divine Love, which to us who are unprepared for it appears to be both childish, and perhaps even sickly sweet.

But we must realise how diminished our sense of spiritual judgement has become and it is most important that we learn to read and respect this purity of attitude and recognise the value and strength which it contains.

We may even say that this is the quality of love we all dimly seek but have become ashamed of and have hidden away behind a substitute forms of aspiration.

From The Great Gift, by William Arkle (1977). 
William Arkle is probably indirectly responding here to some comments of Colin Wilson in the Introduction to his earlier book A Geography of Consciousness (1974). Although generally very positive about Arkle, Wilson is critical of the paintings, with comments such as:

Although it was striking... it was not, in the last analysis, a good painting... in spite of its abstract nature, it lacked real complexity. [The paintings] all revealed the kind of mysticism that Blake communicates... the feeling that the world is basically a beautiful and good place, and that man only fails to see this because he shuts his eyes to it... I still found them unconvincing. 

I hesitate to the use word naive, but that is certainly one of the artist's faults. The trouble is that we live in a complex age, and affirmation - whether in music, painting or poetry - has to take account of the discords as well as the harmonies...

The major writers, artists and musicians of the past hundred years have tended towards pessimism, and their pessimism has seemed more convincing than the optimism of the eighteenth century rationalists...

[One painting] is a tall, castle-like building in a landscape... but the colours are all too light and glowing; pinks and pale-blues and apple-greens. It is all sweetness and light... it reminded me of a Sunlight Soap advertisment...


Colin Wilson's comments are not malicious, and they do describe exactly the secular impression of many of William Arkle's paintings.

But the fact is that Arkle was a well-informed individual who had trained as an engineer, served in the military during world war two, and was indeed a tough-minded mystic  - as can be heard from a lecture, discussion and question session here recorded:

So we can assume that Arkle knew exactly what he was doing in making the painiting so simple, childish, 'soapy' clean and sweet - and that he was doing it for a reason which seemed to him more important than the obvious objections.

Arkle's paintings strike us as simple and child-like because that he precisely how he understood divine love. And, the fact that we may regard his pictures as naive, child-ish, simpl-is-tic, sickly sweet and one-sidedly optimistic in a complex and pessimistic age... well, that is because we are corrupt.

Our sophistication is decadence; sophomoric, not adult. Our demand for pessimism, complexity, ambiguity is due to our selective-blindness to hope and goodness.


If Arkle is correct; then one major reason that we live in a secular, nihilistic, alienated, pessimistic age is that we have come to regard with a mixture of disgust and disdain the purity, simplicity and child-like nature of divine love.

To us, the real truth seems too easy to be true - in our pride, we covertly want truth to be so difficult that only an expert, intellectual, aesthetic elite can perceive it (with - naturally -  ourselves, as an integral part of that elite).

In a world where actual divine love is Kitsch - we are pre-immunized against life, meaning, purpose, hope, and God.


Wednesday 25 March 2015

Last thoughts of William Arkle

According to Michael Perry, William ('Bill') Arkle experienced an 'intensely creative period' in the months leading up to his death in October of 2000.

The writings from this period include the Foreword to Michael Perry's web archive, and also four short prose pieces named Floundering, Enjoy the Process, Apology from God and Cup of Day

These late pieces apparently contain the fruits of a lifetime of deep reflection; but are (in my estimation) written from the perspective of someone who seems to be in the sanctified state of having his head in Heaven even while his feet are yet on the ground. Perhaps consequently, the style strikes me a peculiarly naive, and likely to be misleading or off-putting to those unfamiliar with Arkle's earlier and more systematic works.

At any rate, that is my excuse for editing these last four essays into a single, more aphoristic, piece; which is intended to capture what I understand to be the essence of the articles, in a more accessible and (I hope) acceptable form.


God is speaking throughout the following:

I smile like I do, because I know that everything that is happening is in place of nothing happening.


Experience and waste go together and lead to discovery, so don't be anxious about results. Do not fear to waste your time and energy - you will never run out of them!

We think we can lose, but we can't: there are safety nets around everything.

All that is really valuable will come back to you when it is needed.


What you see as misery in the world is often what you see in your child as he lives from crisis to crisis each hour of the day - it is the way young things grow.


Angels live and work for me in the highest realms; and as teachers they will give you the powerful and highly-organized feeling of the structures required to build and maintain the 'playground and play-ers' for the great game of mortal life.

But the point is for you all to be quite free of the initiating organization and its necessarily awesome power and energy; so we, both of us, can arrive at a mutually-friendly relationship.

But if you get too involved with the activities of the Organizing Angels, you will probably not be able to do this.

Because, unlike me, Angels are self-conscious perfectionists.


Trying to understand what is just beyond us is what I call floundering.

For instance, if 'God is everything' then 'Why does he bother with creation?' Well, why?

The answer is that God is a living God, and not a 'Done it all, that's it!' kind of God.

The unknown and unknowable is with us now - in the beauty of flowers. It feels so strange that we can grasp 'flowers' with our awareness, and yet find no answer.

There seems to be a package that includes enjoyment of the light and colour and shape of flowers now; and understanding the originating motivation of God in creation.


I detect a big amused smile being directed at me; a loving smile.

Life is meant to be an opportunity for you to live out your best joys - I want you to smile on me as I smile on you.


A letter from Bill Arkle (culled from the internet) probably from the 1990s

As a detached bystander, it was so good to get the 'AllWrite' from M100!. M100 being M to the power of 100 - wow! I love all the things you are doing with M100 and love to read about the camp and the letters from those who join in. What a revelation it is to read all those comments! A real education for me. I would love to have been involved with what you are doing but I have been dragged off, often by the scruff, to do other things. Who is dragging whom? There are so many pearls of such deep wisdom among the afterwords of your camp's participants. I am amazed.

But what you say is right: others are trying to influence the noosphere but in more simplistic atmospheric way rather than your correct amplification way. What is felt by them (the Fountain Groups for instance) is that, as with Creation, Mind overcomes Matter by its higher position in the scheme of things.

But there is much paradox in these matters. Higher Beings, Angels and, perhaps, the Nine 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?

I'm interested in looking into 'God's hidden agenda'. Books like those of El Daoud (The Gospel of Simplicity, 1959), The Winds of Truth (of the Lord Mikaal, 1950s) and Only Planet of Choice give us a vision of the way God has had to set about preparing the ground for His Dearest Agenda. He has had to use His Children, who work and understand within His Holistic Atmosphere to prepare the ground for His other children from outside that Holistic Atmosphere, whom He hopes will grow too. This is in order to achieve the radical self -programmed Self who is the result of chance and disobedient (unobedient, really) living, in a very complicated and richly-endowed human soup.

This agenda leads to enemies of Creation and of Himself - yet it is the only way to engender real friends of Creation and of Himself. Friends who, unlike devotees, have independence and 'cheeky' self-valuing to live from. By cheeky, I mean that unafraid directness of the child when it is 'in trust' with someone - it asks leading questions and questions the answers. As I see it, devotees and obedient helpers cannot take the extraordinary step of friendship and the strong independence and freely-given affection that makes this work. Only friends can relieve the loneliness (and even incipient boredom) that I feel God suffers from. Praise and devoted affection won't relieve it!

I hope I am not engendering incipient boredom in you by all this! But it comes in the nature of the blessings we want to bless the world with - it may not be quite the same as the blessing we want to bless God with. Can you come and eat cake with me again?

All good things, Bill.