Friday 17 June 2016

The final words of A Geography of Consciousness

Once upon a time there was a wonderful God sitting on his throne amidst a great light who's expression was of magnificent beauty, glory and power. 

Around the throne were countless people enjoying his presence and worshipping him with songs and praise. But one of that number noticed that every now and again God gave him a wink

At first he thought it must be an illusion but it happened again and again. 

Finally, one day the crowd moved and drifted about in such a way that he came very close to God. Then again he saw the wink and the look straight at him, just him amongst all those others, and he heard a whisper: Hey, come round the back after that last show, if you can spare the time.  

Well of course he did go. So after the last performance that night, round the back there was this God waiting. 

Hallo, God said, come up here to my little hill overlooking the sea, I would like you to come and sit with me on my lawn and Daisy patch. We can have a cup of tea together and a pipe and look at the view. 

I love to take my costume off at the end of the day and relax. Although I have all that worship and praise, there are times when I like to get away from it all and be quiet. I like to come here and look at the sea on a lovely day, with the mountains beyond and the feeling of this little garden up here on the hill. 

For although I have so many beautiful children to look after and enjoy, and although they say such nice things about me and serve me in every sort of way... I get so lonely. 

You see, I don't have many friends

No one recognises me after the show when my make-up is off. I have to be like you saw me, for they all expect it of me; but I am more delighted than you can imagine that you have come here with me so that we can sit together and I can show you this small garden and the view from my heart. 

From the Conclusion to A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle (1974)

In these final words to his difficult and abstract book, Arkle provides this simple vignette to emphasise some of his key messages.

1. What God most wants from us and from all of creation, ultimately, is friendship - that is to say, mutuality in its highest and most creative form; but also in its humblest and most homely form.

2. God's motivation in this can be understood as loneliness, the lack of anyone like himself to be-with - or, more positively, as a deep and endless delight in companionship.

3. Therefore, creation is structured such that we can, over long stretches of time and with considerable effort (and only if we choose and want this) learn from experiences to become more-and-more like God until we are eventually on the same level.

4. Therefore, ultimately, God does not really care much for being praised and worshipped, especially when it gets in the way of developing a close and evenly-balanced relationship. 

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Letter from a Father - by William Arkle

[Arkle's Magnum Opus - in my opinion - hastily copied as a rescue while the Bill Arkle web pages are down.]

Letter From A Father
This is a simplified and direct interpretation of the understanding I have of reality and it is written as a letter in order to emphasise the qualities which are most important in life and most easily lost in formal literature.
My Dear Child,
In the beginning before time was, your mother and I had a longing in our heart to share our values and the substance of our being with others who could rejoice and be glad about them as we are glad about them. So we considered how we could do this. We realised that to make living beings directly and ready formed was one way, and to make the seeds of this, and plant them in a situation which would cause them to grow in their own way, as a gradual process, was another.
There were two things we had to bear in mind. We had to decide how important to us it was that these children were real and not remotely controlled puppets. And we had to decide how we could guide and teach them what we knew they would have to learn without them losing the position of judgement for themselves over the values which we already knew to be good.
We had to think of a system in which we could sow these potentialities of our own being as individual units so that they would grow and realise their potentialities as actual abilities. In the process we would have to be careful not to dominate them too much or we would destroy their individual differences and the integrity of their reality. But we also understood that they would have to grow into a certain type of person if they were going to be able to understand what we had to show them and give to them. And of course we realised that they would begin their growth as our children, but that what we really longed for was not that they should be our children, but that they should slowly mature and become our companions and friends.
For our longing was to share this undemanding gladness in other centres of being who were in harmony with us but who were truly independent individuals to us. We understood this relationship to be the most delightful, and one which was open to endless variations, and these variations seemed to us of the greatest value since they had an absolute creative context between them. I mean that when we had companions who had matured to this position, and had decided to accept your mother and myself as their friends, and one another as friends, then there would be an endless variety of possibilities for future projects of creation in which we could all share and which would give us tremendous enjoyment in the doing of them together. For we are not limited in any way that matters and there is nothing that we could not try out as an experiment so long as it seemed to us to have in it that integrity and affection which is the very basis of our nature.
In order that your being should mature slowly and fully, we had to think of a way to bring experience to you which would awaken you without overwhelming you, and in the process of awakening you enable you all to become different in your individual ways. As you already know, the quality of wholehearted affection and the quality of integrity or stability were two of the qualities most important to understand. Knowledge, both factual and of qualities, was also a part of this.
I want you to understand just how subtle this process of growth and development had to be in order to retain the fundamental factors which carried the real value of your very being and which would give you absolute value of being which would, to you yourself and to your friends, be recognised as a gift of the very best of our ability. For it is only the very best thing that your mother and I will allow ourselves to give to you, and over this we have to take the responsibility and over this our decision is unshakeable. So we had to design a school with classrooms and playgrounds, and invent a curriculum which would not only cover all the qualities we wished to talk to you about, but also would allow you plenty of time to assimilate these qualities, each in your own way. You see how the individuality of your own being was of the essence of the matter from the very beginning. You were the one who was eventually to become aware of your own uniqueness and individual value, and you were to learn to carry the responsibility that goes with this gift.
We, most of all, felt as our deepest and dearest wish, when the time came that you understood what it was that we had undertaken on your behalf, that you would be glad, and choose to take up this option we have offered to you as our most loving gift, and live together with us as your friends and helpers. But, as you know, in the case of friendship, the relationship between the two sides must be one of perfect balance and understanding and has to be freely and spontaneously taken up and maintained. Therefore our purpose was to bring you to a stage in your experience when you could understand what we were offering as friends, but we had to arrange for you to have an alternative open to you, for friendship and love cannot be thrust upon people or they cease to be real.
Now, if you will follow me carefully I will try to explain what the alternative was. If you have understood that our personal love and friendship was one way for you to take, then our impersonal eternal being was another way for you to take if you so chose. In both cases you would come to eternal life, as this was the basis of our gift, but if you did not notice or did not respond to our personal nature, then you must be in a position where you could respond to all the qualities that we hold to be valuable but which do not involve our own personal love or friendship, thus uniting with our impersonal aura or being, which is itself bathed in love. If this seems to you to be too involved, then let it go for now, since it does not matter until it feels to you that it matters. Already we have laid the ground for the great problem which faces you in the world today and, so far as you know, has always faced your lives on earth.

Letter From A Father Continued
I have always heard you ask why I allow the terrible things to go on in the world between man and man and between man and nature. You not only wonder why hatred and anger and fear should lead people to do unspeakable things to one another, but you have wondered why the universe seems to be indifferent to your very existence and to be unconcerned which way you act. Indifference is one of the worst responses to feel coming to us; we would quite rightly prefer praise or blame to this cold and empty feeling.
The value of my answer to you will only increase as your understanding increases, so you must try very hard to see the problem from my end or you will never understand it at all. I hope that all of you, when you were children, remember a time when your parents acted for you in such a way that it infuriated you, when they acted as though you were not there, or as though you were only an extension of themselves. Perhaps they apologised to someone on your behalf instead of letting you do it yourself, or they got you out of some trouble by using influence which you knew was unfair and left you, as a person, out of the reckoning. You knew that, when you were not allowed to carry the consequences of your own actions, you lost some vital essence in your own being.
These consequences may be good or bad, but carry them you must, or you cease to get the feeling that you matter, or really exist at all. And this is the truth of it, and you were quite right to consider it to be a devaluation of your nature. Now, I have to see to it that this does not occur at the level of your true being, your soul, as you feel you must not let it happen at the level of your personality or outer self. So I have made your school in such a way that it becomes real to you and does not remain a game.
I and your mother have hidden ourselves away amongst you in order that you should not escape too easily your lesson in responsibility. This lesson in responsibility must not be in half measures for it is just as important to your understanding of our highest qualities as the lessons in sympathy, affection and beauty. Responsibility and integrity are your strength to appreciate the significance of loving kindness and beauty. For kindness and beauty are nothing if they are not wedded to strength, and strength is nothing if it is not wedded to kindness and beauty. Such is the beginning of my answer. However, another big hurdle will be facing you and that is how you are going to find enough time to do what, you now know, you have to do.
In order to help you to understand my attitude towards time I must explain what time is as a part of the carrying out of my undertaking for you. If you can imagine that what I have to say to you and teach you were written down in a book, then time is that interval of consciousness which is necessary for the contents of the book to be read and understood by you. Since you realise that each one of you is a little different to the other, you will also realise that some read quickly and others slowly, but also some assimilate what they have read quickly and others more slowly.
You see here an infinite number of requirements, and you also see that to read quickly is one thing, but to fully understand the significance of what you have read is quite another. To put you all together in the same situation, and expect you all to respond in the same way and in the same time, would be completely contrary to my hopes and expectations for you. So what I have done is to design a curriculum which allows each of you to grow and respond in your own time, and in your own way, and thus the complexity of time is as the complexity of this condition of our collective engagement in the use of consciousness. Or shall we say it is in fact a meal that we all eat but which we all differ in the way we eat and digest it. So time is not what it appears to be, it is only what you require it to be to receive into yourselves its content.
Now you ask me how you can do this in one lifetime, and you also show me the unfair positions that some of you start from, and you doubt if I can possibly say anything that can help you on this score. Well, I can help you, but only if you will pay very close attention to me, and do not let the essence of what I am saying pass you by.
You must realise that you see my creation from one end of it only. You discover yourselves to be born of a mother into the physical body of a baby, and you grow in body and understanding from the position of that young child, but you know nothing about the work that went into my creation before this birth of yours occurred. While understandably you take the world and the universe for granted, the familiarity of your surroundings causes you to forget that they are neither fully perceived nor fully understood by you. You become involved in trying to survive as a personality, and you forget that the stage on which you are acting is not only made by me but also has to be continually maintained by me and my helpers.
This stage on which you act is a schoolroom in my university, and as you would not expect one of your children to learn all that the university had to teach in one day of attending class, so I also never expected you to spend but one day in the classroom. From where I now speak to you, one lifetime on earth is but one day in your classroom in my university, and, when the evening comes, I look for you to come home, where you will be nearer to me and where I can give you rest and refreshment to make you ready for the next day at school.
Now you understand how I see you and how I created you. You realise that I am asking you to think of yourselves as essentially fragments of my own being. But the nature of your being is given to you as a growing potentiality, and not as a ready-formed thing, so that you can weave and wander a pattern of your very own through the classrooms of the universe, and in doing so weave a pattern of your very own into that being which I have given to you as your own.
Thus is your value to yourself and to all other selves built up, but, while you weave an individual pattern into your own essential nature, there is much that we will find that we have in common with one another. For my responsibility was that you should grow into the sort of person who could appreciate the very things that I hold most dear, and wish most deeply to give to you, so I could not let you grow into just any sort of person; I could not allow you to develop your nature in such a way that you would become alien to the basic qualities that I know to be good; I could not give you total freedom, and you would not thank me if I had, for you are beginning to realise that such a freedom is not freedom at all but is licence, and can lead to degeneration and self-destruction. For you can destroy yourselves if you persist too long in attitudes that neither your being nor your outer nature were designed to withstand.
Our alikeness to one another comes from the fact that, although we are all weaving different patterns into our nature, the warp and woof of that nature is already given, and the wools and cottons you weave your designs with are provided by me, and are of my nature. So, whether we arrive at a personal or impersonal relationship eventually, we will always be able to rest in this perfect harmony which is already present in our separate individual beings.
If you do not accept that you are a piece of my living being, temporarily inhabiting a physical body, then I will not be able to take you much further in understanding your position in the universe, but if you begin to perceive that you are essentially an inhibitor of a body, as a diver inhabits a diving suit, then you and I will be able to make headway together, and I will be able to draw you closer into the beauty and aptness of the scheme I have chosen for you. For you will also accept that, when the diving suit is worn out, you leave it behind, together with the element it has been operating in, and you will return to the surface of the ocean where the air exists that has been pumped to you down the life lines of your diving suit. This is a cumbersome and heavy thing, but necessary if you are to start by exploring the lowest levels of creation before climbing to the mountain tops.
The diving suit is helping you in ways that I have not yet explained. It is restricting your activity and behaviour while you are still learning to do it for yourself and by yourself. This heavy restriction and resistance of the diving suit, and the weight of the water of the oceans, is slowing you down so that you can witness and observe in slow motion the meaning and value of what you are doing. If you were suddenly to be transported to a free and more responsive condition, you would be unable to maintain your balance or self-control. You would miss the slow but most important introduction to all your classes in my school, and you would not be able to follow through the meaning and significance of the lessons that are being taught in higher classes.
For you are learning the lessons of integrity, affection, kindness, beauty and honesty. You are learning to differentiate between the outer nature, that you experience the world with, and the inner nature that considers what it has experienced and which make a structure of values out of this experience, and you are then learning to try and live by the best of the values that you have discovered against the resistance of their opposites. Thus you are becoming strong, but strong in what you deem to be good. When you have become strong enough in this way, then the heavy opposition you feel will no longer be necessary for you, and you will be able to move on to less restrictive and less basic lessons.
This separating out of the inner attitude of your being from the outer attitudes of your personality can be quite dramatic, and is spoken of in your religious language as being saved or 'seeing the light' or 'finding oneself’. When we behave badly, we say we forget ourselves and this is a good analogy of the deeper condition that exists all the time.
When the inner nature is perceived, and believed in, it immediately brings us close to the essential nature of my being where we find all those pleasing things that have the most fulfilling effect upon our nature, and help us to feel that we are being more fully ourselves. I know you think you are searching for happiness. But really you will find that this is not so. What you search for is fulfilment or the exercise of your whole being nature; this produces the condition of happiness but you will then be too busy to notice. If you try to capture happiness for its own sake you will find it illusive, for it only exists as a by-product of your success in living most fully and truly the values and responsibilities of your own individual nature.
If you identify yourself with your outer personality only, then the fulfilment of these outer needs and ambitions will not satisfy you, but if you link the outer with the inner, so that you work hard in the world to fulfil in the best way you can the ideals of your inner nature, then you will not only make great progress in understanding, but you will also know that you are doing so. This certainty is most helpful in building up your confidence in the delicate and more ethereal side of life which you find is hard to hold your faith in.
This faith in what you know to be good, in the face of harsh opposition, is the only way I can strengthen the roots and foundations of your being, and it is only upon this strengthening that you and I can build together something that will last, and which will be your own unique self, but do not think that I am asking you to feel that the physical world experience is in any way unfortunate or lacking in importance towards the total aim of my endeavour. If you will bear with me further, I will try to explain to you why the contrary is the truth of the situation.
I would like you to consider that, in your own experience, if you intend to manufacture something which has not been done before, you do many calculations and drawings on paper, and you have many consultations with your helpers before you consider starting work on the material object itself, and you know that, however careful and accurate you have been in your planning stage, that the problems of putting the ideas into actual physical working condition are always great and always contain some unpredictable elements. You know well that to carry an idea about in your head is one thing, but to make that idea an actual physical reality requires the effort and focus of your whole attention, craftsmanship and art.
How many of you can picture a beautiful work of art in your imagination, often in great detail, but you do not begin to put it into painting or musical form because you know you lack the ability, and you feel that you would destroy the very beauty of the thing if you tried, and that would be hurtful to you. You know that you can live and be creative in your imagination, but that you only really get to grips with such a creation when you try to put it into its most objective and concrete condition, namely in that slow, resistant and demanding world outside you, the physical world.
Now the same situation applies to your mother and me and our sincere and affectionate undertakings on your behalf. We have planned and calculated in the freedom and responsive condition of our imagination, and then we have gradually and carefully transferred the results of our least restricted imaginative consciousness down through more and more solid and resistant forms, and conditions of manifestation or manufacture, until we reached your physical condition, which was the most demanding and most difficult that we could achieve. For we could not go beyond that which we could safely manage, but we had to go to the very limits of our ability in order to draw out the greatest benefit and treasure from our endeavour. Your individual reality is the benefit, and your eventual gladness in it is our treasure, so you see that the very difficulty and opposition of the physical universe that you are in is also the very measure of your value to us.
If we had not cared so much about the reality of our gift to you we would have spared you and ourselves the pain and difficulty of this extreme form of concrete and differentiated experience. As it is, we very often stand outside the railings of your playground and weep over the bullying that goes on amongst you, and we are tempted to interfere when we know that we must not do so. For, if we did interfere at the wrong time, we would immediately detract from the essential condition of individual responsibility which you must be taught to take up for yourselves and know to be an essential part of your reality. For, if you do not accept this responsibility, then you cannot accept or receive the gift of your own individuality.
This is our gift to you, and understandably you feel more inclined to hate us for it than thank us, for its birth in you must be painful as well as joyful. This you will shortly understand. The fact that you would have to experience pain and joy in order to know good and bad, and better and worse, was known to us from the beginning, but many of the details and consequences of this remained for us to resolve as they occurred.
You can be sure that the physical universe is my greatest handiwork, and in it I achieve my most valuable and creative work, and, if this physical condition is where I do most of my work, you can be sure that it is here that I am giving you my very closest attention, even if, as I have said, I hide myself from you and do not interfere with you.
At this point of my effort, every aspect of my nature comes together in its most concentrated and differentiated condition. To put it another way, my more adaptable and responsive stages of creation, which you call heaven and paradise, do not contain the earthly condition, but the earthly condition does contain the other conditions of my manufacturing process, from the most heavenly and tenuous, down through the intermediate stages of formation, to this, my most highly defined and slowed-down condition. Although you only gradually become aware of the presence of these more delicate stages of my work, they are nevertheless all around you, so it is here that you can get the greatest understanding of my nature in its detailed significance, and it is here that I continually learn things about you and about myself.
Only here are you in the best position as spectator to judge and value the qualities of being and consciousness as they work out amongst themselves in practical situations, so here also is the best position to learn wisdom, but I do not wish to make your work and my work sound easy. The situation is such that it can demand and absorb our very best efforts all the time. This means that, if you or I do not respond to our position as teacher or learner sufficiently well, then troubles and difficulties set in which demand special remedies.
For instance, I know you wish to ask me why there should be so much illness and disease in your world. One answer is that the collective feelings and thoughts, as well as actions of the people of earth, have for so long been contrary to those of kindness, affection and sympathy that the physical and psychological atmosphere has been contaminated by them, and weakened from my true intent by them, but, as I have told you, even if it takes a long time you must as far as possible live out the consequences of your activities.
Now, if the atmosphere of your world contains the energies of your wrong thoughts and feelings, these energies, as any scientist will explain to you, will have to go somewhere and cannot be immediately dissipated or neutralised. Their effect is therefore to cause pockets of inharmonious imbalance in that delicate scheme which we call the balance inherent in all creation. Without this balance there would be no stability, and without this balance the inter-related and complex activities of living cells and organs become disorganised, and produce contrary results to those that they should produce, but I want you to understand that disease and suffering is not a thing that I would wish on you, and, if you will believe me, I suffer these pains with you and for you although I cannot just take them away from you since they are part of that context of responsibility that is your essential burden.
There are so many other things I wish to say to you that I must allow you to carry this argument into all the practical situations for yourself, for the effects of this sternness on my part, and the painful savouring of them on your part, are unlimited and form the strong and unflinching basis of my work with you on your own reality. If such disease and pain, malformation and destitution were the end of things for each of you, then it would be different, but, as I have tried to explain, you do not know it but I keep you and cherish you in ways that would amaze you, and I am not averse to repeating lessons and situations in your schoolroom on earth until you understand what I have to say. And if those 'days' be very many, and each day a lifetime in your sight, then try and understand my purpose all over again from the very beginning, and realise that time and the world are at my service and were formed by me to teach you the one thing that seems to you beyond the bounds of your wildest dreams, which is my divine affection and the qualities that go along with it.
Whether this divine quality of consciousness be taken up on a more or on a less personal basis, the same loving concern is shed from me and from your mother upon each one of you, and the personal relationship we take upon us is between you and us individually, and no other person has any say in what it is or how we make it, for there lies one of the endless mysteries of our love.
One of the most important ways I have chosen for you to learn what is vital for your understanding is to find yourself a part of a family situation on earth, for here you are able to go though the experience in one single lifetime, and with unbroken continuity, the experience of being a child, a mature individual and a parent. In this situation, if you will only learn to pay close attention to it, are all the mysteries of the universe that matter to you. If you take the trouble to stand apart and observe closely all the relationships that exist in your family situations, you will be able to observe as completely as you will how the problems of life arise, why they arise and how they are solved. The family situation is a very special gift to you and one day you will be surprised that you took it so for granted.
I have not yet explained to you that you are not my only children, and that I have not brought you all up in the same way. I explained that I have gradually brought the physical universe into being by planning it and organising it at more ethereal levels of manifestation where the stuff of manifestation is more responsive and mobile. These levels are called by you more heavenly levels of being, for in them everything is more in harmony and more expressive of the intense beauty which to me is so valuable.
As these ethereal forms of manifestation were brought into existence, so did I cause other of my children to be born into them. They grew up and matured in these conditions where their attention was filled with the direct and indirect presence of your mother and myself. We wished them to become familiar with us in this way because we were going to need them as helpers while our plan of creation grew outwards from us to more remote and unconditioned levels where our personality also became less dominant, and where other personalities, your own, would in future time be able to grow up in a slower and more difficult environment but a more independent one.
You understand that, at this very point in my description, you are face-to-face with one of the great secrets of my work, which, until now, has been kept hidden from you for the children of heaven have never had that independence that you have had. They have been through happier times, but they have had greater need of me and my strength, for they were not weaned at the beginning on the strength and independence which you have been weaned on. On the other hand, without their loving help which they have given to me, I could not have undertaken this difficult outer classroom work where I need them to guide and instruct, to maintain and repair the classes, classrooms and playgrounds on which you thrive and on which your reality and future depend.
Slowly you will come to understand that the standing alone and apart in my universe, without being able to detect me directly, is a gift to your development which my other children have not had. This gift is a painful gift for much of the time, but the depth of the understanding it produces is far greater than the understanding produced in the happy states of heaven where the qualities of my being are dominant. For joy and delight fill the days of these heavenly children, but such lessons are one-sided and do not teach them the intrinsic values of such delights because they are not valued against the experience of their opposites. You, on the other hand, value all these opposites from the very beginning and in so doing gain an insight which is beyond my ability to explain to you at this stage, but I can say that your more detached and objective judgements will one day put you in a position where the added depth of your understanding will show you the merit of my endeavour.
My heavenly children help me to guide and teach you, and some of them come to earth and join you in your present situation as ordinary human beings; thus they come partly to give you a little of heaven, and partly so that they can experience a little of this earthly situation themselves, and so gain in wisdom and knowledge of me from another direction, so be quite clear about the fact that, although they help you now to overcome many of your problems, one day you will be able to give to them the fruits of your experience, and you can be sure that when that time comes you will do it very gladly.
Try to become clear in your own understanding how you feel towards your own children of earth. When you feel clearly the real depth of the attitudes you should properly find within yourselves towards them, then nearly all of the questions you have about my attitudes towards you will be answered. For, if you have not yet learned to love your own children properly, then you are not yet ready to learn how I feel towards you. If you are not aware that your responsibilities towards your loved ones are an exact analogy of my responsibilities towards you then you have not begun to understand why I have put you on earth.

Letter From A Father Continued
I know, and you know, that the world has produced some strange and unpleasant ways of picturing me and doing me service. There are religions in the world of all sorts and the confusion in your minds about your own reality, the reality of the universe and about the nature of my being is a terrible tangle of fear, doubt and human shortcomings. I would like you to try and raise your eyes above all this towards the one simple and salient fact that my nature is made of a degree of love which will go far beyond any longing you have ever carried in your heart as yet, and, if such was my nature from the beginning, then such will always be the starting point for any understanding that you have of me. If your understanding tries to start from a lesser position, then it will produce for you a lesser vision and one which may well hinder and hurt you if you try to live by it or serve it in ways which would be foreign to my ways.
You often picture me in your hearts as something less than a kind and strong human being, but, if you look at all the fine qualities that the world has witnessed, and then think of me as having them even more abundantly, then you will come closer to my bigness of heart and bigness of mind. Remember, I do not look for reward or praise for my gift to you; I give it with gladness and without thought of you being in any debt to me, but you must realise clearly that the very nature of my gift requires that you must value it and love it as I do, for I too love the qualities that I value, but I do not worship them. I adore what I aspire to.
I am living, which means I have ideal objectives for which I work and to which I aspire. These objectives I love. If I worshipped them I would feel that I had an exaggerated and unbalanced attitude towards them. To love something is one thing, but to worship it is another. Worship creates a gap in our understanding and valuation and into this gap creeps fear and self-deprecation. Neither of these qualities are good in my sight, and I do not desire that you should worship me for it produces servility and fear where I should prefer friendship and affection.
Adoration is an extreme form of affection, and, as such, it is a wholesome thing for it does not destroy the adorer in any way. Hard though some of these words will be to you, it is better that you try to understand them and in so doing understand the one who draws you by the affection he has for all good and beautiful things. Love expresses itself in action and you call this loving service, but, in this context, I do not like the word 'service' for it hides the true meaning of love in action.
Love in action does not consider itself to be service or anything measured in terms of merit, but there is such a thing as service which is not love in action and is performed to make the performers feel good, or admired, or to obtain hope of a reward from some source of power they think of as their god. While you will understand that the intrinsic degree of love in service is a graded proportion, you will understand that, where there is little real love, the things that take the place of love are sometimes harmful to those involved. So you see how it hurts me to feel that you are serving me or worshipping me if the motive of love is lost or forgotten.
You will tell by my letter that my considerations are such that, in your eyes, I would appear to be what you might call humble and approachable, and quite simple where my affections are concerned. Now you examine in your own imagination the deepest and most perfect form of affection which is my love, and you will realise for yourself that there is no motivation to be above you in the sense of being superior to you.
My responsibility to you is such that I remain your keeper in the overall sense, but, if you knew with what degree of sweet care that keeping is carried out, you would no longer wonder at my 'coming down to your level' as you put it. In the past I have come to you through the kindly help of my most understanding and developed children, and one of these especially fulfilled the task of presenting you with a picture of my nature which you could witness directly. To this day there is hardly one of you on Earth who yet understands that which he tried hard to teach you. The one thing you find so difficult to bear is this very simple and wholehearted affection which I have for you and which he showed you. You would rather have me in any dress but this one.
I know you feel I should be treated with great importance and reverence, but in so doing you make me untouchable and unapproachable, thus you destroy the vision that was given to you with so much love and courage. The one who gave it, and the one he gave it on behalf, of is with you still. There is no reason why you should not gather up the threads again with more understanding and with our help, but you must get rid of your own hard hearts and small-minded attitudes.
My dear son who came to you in this loving way is called by the personal name of Jesus, but with him was my firstborn son, the image of my aspiration for you, who, as my eldest son-daughter, I have given the special task of taking charge of the middle and outer portions of my creation, so that he will keep that aspiration alive in those regions, and in order to give him that experience of such great responsibility and the wisdom that is learned through such responsibility. So my first-born son-daughter is for you all, in this special way, both father and mother to you. He will bear you up as his child until he knows you are ready to become more directly, as he is, my child. For his part of the school of the universe is the lower school, and there he works, and I along with him as any of you might need us. For, in my school, the higher and the lower continually overlap because the highest is always trying to penetrate to the lowest and most outward forms of my creation to make them more and more perfect.
I am afraid that to those of my children who still think that the universe is some accident, and that they are in the position of being some strange growth out of this accident, my words will sound foolish, and they will be repelled by them, but they are in my school nevertheless, and, as they study the world itself more closely, so will this vision of the truth become clearer to them.
Soon now, I hope that this, my beloved eldest son-daughter, who was created and nurtured of me to be a special expression of my highest aspirations for my great family, will come among you to give you greater help and guidance. If and when he does so, I would like to find some of you prepared for what he will wish to say to you.
You must take well to heart all those deeper and simpler considerations that bear upon the matter of my everlasting and undemanding love and affection for each individual one of my children. It will not be for him to describe the especial value of his nature. He will not wish to have to claim his authority and more developed vision in the face of hostility from you. You must realise that it will be for you to recognise him and welcome him with this sweet and gentle gladness that I have tried to prepare for you.
You must try to open your hearts and minds to the great timeless sweep of the picture of my purpose that I have begun to put before you. If you would prepare yourselves, then pay attention to the basis of the affections you can find within yourself. Free yourselves of mechanistic and power interests. Realise that, although I accept all your actions towards me in the best spirit that I can, there comes a time when you must understand that the only aspect of them that I am concerned with is the integrity of the affection which they contain. This affection may be for me as a person, for beauty, kindness, love, or any ideal quality, but it must be truly meant.
Repetitive exercises which treat me as though I were some huge and insensitive robot, to be humoured and tricked into supplying what you need, are far from complimentary and what is worse is that they prevent the proper growth of your own vision of yourself and the worth of the gift I long to give you.
You will notice that I have been talking to you as a person, and using the word person, when I describe our relation to one another. Now you know as well as I do that this can be a misleading term to use for the reason that it can refer to a 'diver’s suit' with little or no 'diver' left in it. By this I mean that the outer physical personality can lose touch with the child of my being who should inhabit and control it. In fact, the child can find itself as the diver being controlled by the diving suit, and it may become identified with the wishes and desires of the strong and heavy diving suit which is a living thing and not a manufactured garment.
Thus our analogy is not a complete one for it only describes half the situation. When you use a man-made diving suit, it is an inert thing that you have to contend with, but when you inhabit a physical body it is a heavy and cumbersome garment, yet far from inert. As a living thing in its own right, your physical body can use and dominate your real identity for the sake of satisfying its own needs and pleasures, and to reduce its fears and anxieties.
You were right to think that I was making too simple a case for the situation you find yourself in, for, while you are an individual portion of my being, you are also likely to be less aware of this reality, and more conscious that you are driven from one thing to another by the needs of your physical nature which can seem to be your whole nature. Part of the work of my school is therefore to show you slowly but surely that the situation is not a correct one when you feel you are identical with your physical personality. The development and strengthening of your real identity needs this opposition, and the stronger the physical characteristics of the body it is associated with the stronger the nature of your real self will have to be if it is to determine and guide the expression of the outer physical nature.
If you find it hard to control this lower nature you will feel it to be better to inhibit this outer self as much as you can because nearly all its actions make you feel ashamed of it, but, if you succeed in being able to control the lower nature, you will wish to express yourself through it as fully as possible, and will feel that this is doing your best in living a life which you are not ashamed of but rather fulfilled through.
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 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.
I am aware of the great problem and pain that confronts those of you who are trying to live a life which is aimed at expressing those qualities that would please me. I know that the piercing point of such pain is just this very matter that concerns your own intrinsic and individual value and responsibility. It is here that faith is not enough to uphold you in the face of your own self-criticism and feelings of inadequacy.
You can visualise the task to equate the condition of your own nature, and the world around you, with the qualities you sense in my seemingly perfect nature, but when you fall or stumble you easily become submerged in hopelessness and an inner sense of guilt, and self-loathing creeps up inside you, and you are then as a person divided against himself. For one part of you has its face turned towards my sun, and the other part observes your inability and unworthiness to act with love or beauty or grace.
Such is the battlefield, and if you attempt not only to love me but also to understand me, this can make matters worse when life conditions are set against you, for then you wonder if such knowledge is not itself a form of arrogance for which you should rightly be punished and feel remorse. My answer can only be of comfort, it cannot be comfortable.

Letter From A Father Continued
My dear child, I have placed you in a hard school for I am endeavouring to give you an outright gift of your own being, and the intelligent and loving understanding to go with it. If I give you the power of intelligence, without the love and wisdom to go with it, the result you know can be horrible, and can only bring misery upon you, so it is my duty to allow you to experience all the forms of pain in order to save you from the extreme mistakes which would lead to the breakdown of your nature and exclude you from that eternal reality to which I would lead you. So, while I have tried to make light of your shortcomings in my sight, and while I have tried to make you feel why I forgive you all your mistakes, and why you should forgive yourself your mistakes, there must be a recognition in you of the factors involved, and that is why, at this time, that I am trying to show you more of myself and more of what it is that I am educating you towards. For if you begin to understand these biggest factors in creation then you will find it easier to orientate yourselves around them and find that you can avoid many of the problems and pains that at present seem to be unavoidable.
If I can make the vision and motive of 'my sun' clearer to you, then, when you turn to it, it will supply you with strength and understanding which, added to your faith, will uphold you more firmly in times and conditions of adversity. The sun is held for you within the innermost heart of my nature, and it was from this heart that my aspiration was personified for you in the nature and being of my eldest child who loves you as I do. For, in personifying him, I have clarified my aspirations to myself, and at the same time created a living guide, helper and friend for your benefit, to ease the difficulties of your growth and comfort you by his presence, but you say to me, please comfort me and ease my pain all the time, and I say to you that many of those pains you must bear yourself until you realise that you are the cause of them. You see, it is nearly true that, if I would really punish you, I would give you what you ask for in your prayers to me.
I am sorry to have to place this predicament so squarely before you. However, you can take comfort from the fact that I would not be writing to you in this way if I did not consider that a great many of you were ready to move on with me to this higher and more complete form of understanding. The uncompromising nature of my position towards you would be a terrible thing if I were not able to make you understand the affectionate regard for your own being which I hold as my most sacred trust. I bind up your wounds with tears in my eyes, and these tears are neither of joy nor sorrow but of some unfathomable mixture which stems from my innermost love to give, and to share, and to participate in experience with friends.
Slowly and gently, I must allow my gift to dawn upon you, for too much at once would shock and frighten you. You need time to constantly adjust towards it if you are to retain your identity in the process. If you should lose or give up your own individual identity then I have lost the essential part of my gift, which is to have someone to give it to. You will have lost not only the understanding of the completeness of my endeavour, but you will also have given up that separateness of identity from which you could have loved and enjoyed my friendship.
To some, my words will seem like heresy, but I do not want merely to love myself through you as mirrors. If you are afraid to be yourself for my sake, with all your faults, then you have taken yourself out of the very soil in which I could have nourished you. Remember that it is the identity of your own children that you love, and, when you bid them to be unselfish, you do not intend them to either give up or devalue their identity.
You do not wish to have perfect children any more than I do; we both want to have real children, so if I give you the gift of being a real individual it would be an unworthy thing if I were to take it back from you again. On the other hand, like all gifts, I cannot force you to take it.
So there are some of my problems: I can hold out my loving aspiration for you, but I cannot force the matter to a conclusion for that would be to destroy the nature of the gift. What I can do is to continually meet you halfway, and draw you carefully into a fuller understanding of my purpose, and, in so doing, put you closer to a position where you can say to me, 'Yes, I understand what it is that you are trying to give me, and why it is such a difficult thing to do, and I am amazed and overwhelmed at the degree of care you have for me, and the gift you would enable me to take up.'
But we have a long way to go, for some of you consider that the universe is but a mirror for me to view and adore myself in. If that were the case, can there be any merit in such an objective? A human being who did such a thing would be considered to be vain and foolish. How much more should I deserve these terms? Some say that I am like a man who wakes up in bed, goes over to a mirror, stares at his beauty for a time, and then gets back into bed and goes to sleep, to wake again another day in order to repeat the same action. That action is not worthy of any of us.
It is true to say that I love those qualities that I hold most dear in my nature, knowledge and experience, but is it more likely that I should play a game with myself in manifesting myself as many people if I could bring to birth real individuals to share my treasures with? Those who think so do not believe that I am the 'worthy one' they say I am. They secretly believe I am a pretender and a taker-back of gifts and insincere in my play, so I am sad when such half-love is imputed to me; I am sad when my gift is feared and thrown back in my face, but, while my gift demands much of me, I know it also demands much of you.
Because I know what I have put into you, I know that I am not expecting too much of you. However, I realise that I may reach a point in our development and relationship with one another where you are not able to take up more than a part of my gift, so I have allowed for you to come back into my house and be with me until I can arrange some other classrooms in some other playground where I can again send you to school and show the subtlety of the situation to you in some way that will enable you to be glad of it with your whole heart.
Such time as this would seem a long time to you, but remember that time to me is a very different thing. To me it is the correct intensity of expression of the things that I wish to talk to you about and to show you. It is exactly a measure of the proper growing pressure that I consider appropriate in any situation to make the best use of that situation. Too much intensity and hurry would burn your nature, and too little would leave you fast asleep and untouched.
Another question you would like to ask me is why I should need so many children around about me in this scheme of mine. Why would not twenty or fifty be enough? To begin with you do not yet know the depth of my nature. You do not yet know just how much I have to give. If what I had to give were just a simple thing it would not require an elaborate situation to give it in, but what I have to give is most elaborate, and so, to create the necessary width of understanding, I need to find expression for all my qualities, and lay them all out for you to see. As many of these qualities have to be lived, so I need many different children to live amongst one another.
My plan was vast in your sight because my being is vast also, but do not let that be a cause to think that any of you do not matter to me; you matter to me all as individual children and also as players in my play. If you do not play your part, who is to do it for you? No one can, and it thus leaves a gap in my book. As my book is a long one it needs many words and you are both my children and my words to one another. You are all players in my orchestra, and I cannot make the sounds I had hoped for if any of you are unable to play the individual parts that make up the whole piece of music. My orchestra is not like yours. In my orchestra no two parts are the same but they are all needed to make up the true beauty of the sound I have visioned.
When you take notice of the complexity of the atomic and sub-atomic world I have made, you will more easily appreciate that the content of my book may well need you all to say fully and completely my message, while at the same time be able to contain you with the same measure of my attention between its covers. I need a large family because I need to express a large number of characters, so do not think only of rushing to my heaven, for it is not necessarily in heaven that you will be able to learn the part you have to play.
Remember that where character is concerned it is the hardest experiences that stamp the deepest patterns, and, when you think of my music, try to remember that it is a continuous creation and not a single piece that is to be repeated. I have no desire to repeat my music, rather do I spin it newly all the while, so what you add to it now, and at any other time, is continually affecting the performance.
You and I are making this music now, and each of your sounds is valuable to the effect, and I am the one who all the time gathers them in and weaves them together into a whole of constantly changing music. Thus I even make use of the discordant sounds since they all express in some way the reality of the complete situation. Not that I would have you think that I sit back and coldly conduct this music, or feel any pleasure from discordant notes. I am doing many things at the same time in ways that you would not yet understand, and each discordant note pulls at my heart and my sympathy.
My music is not made to entertain, it is the expression of our endeavour, and effort, and suffering, woven together with the beauty of the beginning and the end. It is the sound of the whole book as it is being read by you all. It is this very music that I use to order and adapt my school to the needs that I sense in it. It reports to my sensitive ear the exact condition of my whole work and my nature responds to its beauty and its needs.
So you begin to realise that I am both he who stands apart from my whole work to view it objectively, and also he who can be within you, or at your very elbow as another physical person. There is no position that I cannot take up in my work if it so pleases me. Those of my children who were born into heaven, and who later came to work with me in this outermost earthly condition, in order to bring you, their other brothers and sisters, to life, have acquired much of the experience of this testing condition, which they have added to their experience of heaven, and the blending of the two has given them much wisdom and understanding. These are therefore working among you already as my mature friends and companions, although they may well not care to make their activities known in any obvious way. These are neither angels nor men of earth ,but they are the staff of my educational faculty.
You yourselves will have to decide if anyone you meet as a teacher is teaching my book properly or not. You will have to find one who teaches in a way that suits your particular temperament, but they are all helping to lead you from class to class of understanding and experience, even if, at times, they cause you to feel they must be at cross purposes. But to those who teach my heart of hearts the misunderstandings can be seen as a necessary preparation in the need to use your discerning powers and widen the basis of your valuations.
I would like you now to be able to view the world in the perspective that I have given you so that you can feel that no great calamity has occurred, and that I have not made some serious error. I would like you to be able to understand that what you refer to as 'the fall' was indeed a falling away from the conditions of heaven, but not a falling away by accident.
You will now be able to realise that heaven is still about you, but that you have arrived in a condition of greater differentiation and testing than heaven could ever have. This very differentiation and opposition is absolutely necessary to the longing I have for you to develop strong and different characters within the context of loving kindness. So it was necessary that you should know hate and cruelty if you were ever to know the real meaning of love and kindness and the significance of your own ability to view all things objectively as I can. So I had to stand by, and let you make mistakes, and let you think you knew best about everything just as you do with your own children.
Life was not meant to be comfortable for those to whom 1 would give my gift of individuality. How could it be? You now understand that I could have taken many other easier ways out in your education, but I chose the hardest one for your sake because it was the only thorough one.
I know that when you understand all this you will forgive me for being so stern towards you when I could have relented, and you will understand that this very unrelenting attitude was founded on the absolute rock of my integrity which is as valuable as my affections both to myself and to you. What would my loving affection have been worth if it were lacking in this unmoveable strength and integrity? It would one day appear as a terrible disappointment, and all the more terrible because of its seeming beauty which was unfounded.
Your loving father.