Full title: “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour” by William Wordsworth
“What have you not asked for?
“I did not ask to be born,” he said. “I did not ask for my eyes. I did not ask for my face. I did not ask for my ears. I did not ask for my hands. I did not ask for my feet. I did not ask for anything that one may call a Body. I did not ask for I did not even know what even a body was. I did not ask for my Parents. I did not ask for my Family. I asked for none of these things for I had no idea of what they were. I did not ask for companionship. I did not ask for friendship. I did not ask for food to eat, for shelter nor for warmth. I asked for none of these things for I knew not what they were. I was in no lack or want of any such thing.”
“Who are you to not ask or need for such things?”
“All I know, all I remember, all I recollect, and know to be true, the one certain thing, that I am a soul. Yet I did not even ask to be a soul.”
“I did not even ask for my name. All these, given not by myself to myself. Given unknown and unbidden by the Giver of All. For what purpose, for what reason unknown to me and I shudder to ask. That I cannot ask.”
“If all such have been given and given in abundance with no memory of my calling for them, who is the Giver that gives as such? Pray tell so that I may give thanks and thanks in perpetuity. All I ask is to whom I offer this thanks. For thanks and much more is due. That is the only thing I can ask. To know where the offering of gratitude is to be placed.”
“But first I must pay attention to this Body ahead of that offering. Where is the place for wadhu (ablution)?”
22nd August 2021
Thank you to @Laura_VC_Lee of Women’s Banner Group & @SocialistTank & to @NEAgainstR for inviting me to say a few words at Today’s Newcastle Demonstration for Afghanistan
“If you believe in a peaceful world you believe in giving refuge.”
“You behave as if there is nothing in this world to learn from. That all your materialistic theories from economy to climate to the universe and all your religious theologies from here to hereafter and beyond are enough.”
“I have conquered many lands, east and west,” he said. “I have usurped many Peoples and enslaved their bodies and later enslaved their minds for generations. What has the conquered to teach the conquerer? I have sold them co-operation laced with only a drop of unity as the tool by which to better themselves knowing full well it is a fallacy. While gifting them the illusion of co-operation I have left intact their collective identity self interest all times. After all the conquerer needs an ally from among the conquered.” he retorted.
There was a long pause.
“Why do you cry?” asked the so-called conquerer.
“For you.” He replied.
“For me?” laughed the conquerer.
He looked at the conquerer deeply. Through him and said,
“No. I am not addressing you here.
I am addressing and crying for your nobler and loftier Self everywhere. Whom you do not even know. Your very Soul. Whose enlightenment and liberation in which you have a hand. Though not totally but nevertheless significant. As like an oar has a “hand” in the movement of a boat. Yet you go in circles with only the oar of your self-interest. Even a Conquerer cannot escape karma, kismet. It too is a “subject.” Despite all your conquering of the world of body you have not even begun to conquer your greatest height. Your self. Your soul.”
“How do you know? asked the conquerer.
“Because all your energy and time is expended away from you. Everything you do is in the outer. Even in your sleep you scheme. When you awake it is illusory. You are still asleep. Sleep walking through life.”
There was a long pause.
“Why do you cry?” he asked the conquerer.
That’s one of the ways to open the inner door. Solitary Silence. You don’t co-operate with silence. You don’t negotiate with it.
Set aside the missionaries & proselytisers of collective hypnosis. Of division & enmity. They have no good news for the Soul. To keep us enraged & unstable against the quest for Justice is their act. The choices become clearer by the day & yet we travel by a starless night. Night is inner Freedom, Solitude & Remembrance. Daylight is outer Freedom, Companionships & Remembrance. Justice, however, blind as it may be, recognises no boundary of Night & Day. Daylight is Consciousness unmasked. It is in Daylight the hypnotists have no influence. Rejoice for the coming of Daylight. Blessings to the Soul of Rumi from a grateful dervish.
Jennie Formby is a lifelong Trade Unionist and Former General Secretary of the UK Labour Party who served with Former Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. The importance of Dialogue and what it means in a Union and Socialist Movement. What is The Movement? Journey as a Socialist. Working with and witnessing the Humanity of Jeremy Corbyn. Democracy Review. Anti-Racism. Community Organising and more. Thank you Jennie for taking part in this Dialogue.
Laura Daly is an Activist for Social Justice, a Socialist, and a Feminist. Co-Founder of Socialist Think Tank (SST), a Left Media Outlet Youtube Channel. Laura is a founding member of the Women’s Banner Group and also CLP Secretary for Sedgefield Labour Party. We dialogue on the meaning of Dialogue, how lockdown has altered activism and the opportunities it has created online. Spiritual outlook, religious influences, and how socialism can be an expression for a kind of secular spirituality. Women’s Rights, the challenges of being a woman in a socialist movement, concluding with a powerful reading of prose by Laura.
Musa Askari Dialogue podcast with Chris Ramsbottom who runs The Amethyst Centre in Coventry, which is a complementary therapy and training centre. Part of the work of the centre concerns the spiritual side of life, and Chris runs a spiritual development group at the Centre The “Walking the Path” podcast grew out of the spiritual development side, in wondering how to maintain that work during a time of lockdown. (Listen to the podcast)
Chris writes, “Musa tells us of the influence of his father, a Sufi Muslim but also an interfaith leader, and also about the way his spirituality expresses itself in his own life and beliefs. His website, Spiritual Humanism, is the place that Musa has opened for discussion on the intersection between spirituality and humanism”
Thank you to Chris for inviting Musa to Dialogue.
Podcast available via web https://anchor.fm/walkingthepathwithchris
Or via Spotify https://open.spotify.com/episode/0alV4DwM41KN2Yoz0zxz56
Andrew Feinstein is a former South African MP who served in the Government of the late President Nelson Mandela. He is an Author and Peace Campaigner. We dialogue on matters relating to the spiritual dimension of anti-racism. The spirituality and humanity of President Mandela. The inhumanity of war. The inner journey as a Humanist and the quest for Peace and Justice.
Andy McDonald is a Labour Party Member of the UK Parliament for the Constituency of Middlesbrough. He is a Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights and formerly Shadow Secretary of State for Transport.
During the Dialogue we cover topics such as the importance of Dialogue, Right to Protest as one of the cornerstones of Democracy, Toxicity of Social Media & Spirituality. He ends the Dialogue with a powerful quote from Maya Angelou.