Tag Archives: Soul

“Seven Thoughts on Love” by Musa Askari

LOVE: A question, an idea, a goal, one of those elusive things that has pre-occupied humanity constantly. Therefore my first thought on love is that it is a “Constant”. Never failing and all Embracing. Crossing all categories of identification and limit. Running through them as like wind rushing through the trees and the leaves flutter all of a sudden coming to life. At times the wind rushes with such speed it overpowers, at others a gentle breeze of embrace and we rest in its arms. It is One & Many and yet no thing in one place or locality. Therefore my second thought is that it is “non-material, not physical” and thus available to all at one and the same time despite the differences in expression it may take in our lives – One Love. Leading by consequence to my third thought, one cannot speak of Love without speaking, or better still, “Remembering” one’s Being as non-material also, namely Soul. For me Love’s origin, in our lives, springs from the depth and breadth of Soul. The individual Soul and above it the Universal Soul. Love is that insignia, that spark within the Soul, that seed, which is pure “Longing”. Yearning to be whole, to be complete, to come to a rest after much wandering. It is love within the Soul that drives it, nay, compels it to yearn and long for its Source, once it realizes it has a Source, if it realizes it has a Source. Therefore, my fourth thought love is also a “returning home”. A fullness of Being.
 
If I had a choice of either constantly feeling Love’s embrace through Soul or choosing that from which the Loving Embrace originates, its Source, I would give up love and choose the Home of Love instead. For what could be more “Loving” than that which inspires the Love I feel and seek, which my Soul feels and seeks? Therefore, my fifth thought, love is also to perhaps “forsake love”, to give it up at the final stage of Soul’s journey. After much wandering and longing, love has brought my Soul from shore to shore, over still and raging oceans only to realise to cross that last threshold there can be no duality. “Do not say two. Say One!” (Hasan Askari). I must give up even the feeling of love and be within, as they say “In-Love”. The ship of the seas is no use now. The journey is of another kind. There in that Realm Soul purified of all its ills and hypnosis, filled with the Vision of Visions, there nothing what I think of love or feel is of any use. What gift can I bring to the Giver of all gifts? No gift will suffice except my very Being, my Soul. I bring it back as it was given, “empty” of all projections. Empty with only that remaining which was given in fullness. “Wheresoever one looks, one sees the Face of one’s Glorious and Majestic Lord” (Quran). It is forgotten that this ayat (verse) is more about the Soul than anything else.
 
What more drop of love can I add to the Source of Love itself? Then I, as Soul, realise with tears of joy and thankfulness, the Love within my Soul which drew me near to the Source, powerful and wondrous as it was, the wind in my sails, is nothing but an image of the Reality of Love. I give up the image and turn to the Original. Where Love is complete, simple, a Unity of all unities. Therefore my sixth thought, love is “pure”. And after such purification there is perhaps only one thing to do. Be humble with bowed head, to wait in patience for the “Beloved” to arrive. At that threshold one does not enter by one’s will for personal will was left far behind in the earlier stages of the journey. One is invited to enter at the behest of the Beloved – to be “in” Love. As the bride waits for the arrival of the bridegroom, an image well illustrated within the Indian custom as among others. And for that invitation, for that recognition, one would wait an eternity if one had to. This is “loyalty” at its peak. For there is no other to turn to. That is why perhaps we now can have a clue in the beautiful adage, “Home is where the Heart Is”.

One may be wondering why I have not referred to Beauty. Ah, but what to speak of Beauty at this stage, All is Beautiful. Love & Beauty are in Union now. And that is my seventh thought; “Beauty” itself. It drew me from the First and draws me to the Last. Should one be invited to enter in to that “Presence”, the journey continues and I cannot speak on that at present for that is Mystery, Beyond Being.

There is knowledge of Unity-Oneness (Tawhid) and then there is Unity-Oneness it-Self. The two are not the same. Words are of no use at that highest stage.
 
With such a vision, with love considered, in my view considered properly with Soul, one can then engage with the world, with family, relationships, friends, neighbours, “strangers” (in truth there are no strangers to the Soul), seeing that behind all such relationships is the same Love, one-many. “In Love” there is no such thing as the “other”. All are One. Then one may say with utmost sincerity, “Your soul and my soul are one Soul. Your God and my God is One God.” (Hasan Askari).

Of particular interest, spiritually, across diverse traditions, has been and remains the relationship between Master-Disciple, Guide-Guided and Teacher-Pupil. That relationship sits within my heart and Soul all the days of my Life. Beyond grateful to have known it and know it still.

The pendulum swing of Life. Life as a Soul, un-embodied, embodied and un-embodied once more. On the upward swing “we are of God and unto God we return”. On the downward swing, “we are of God and unto God we return”. Only as Souls can one recite this. 

From Love, With Love and In Love now and forever.  Amen!

*(photograph, January 1995, Hasan Askari & Musa Askari)

*(Thank you to Rahul Singh for asking me about “Love”)

“A Day Like Any Other” by Musa Askari

Liaqat Begum w/o Syed Hasan Askari
Liaqat Begum w/o Syed Hasan Askari

On the passing of my mother written in 2007: by Musa Askari

Liaqat Begum

It was a day like any other. The dawn light would emerge slowly enveloping the night. The stars would fade in the sky and the sun would rise brining with it all the glory it had to bestow upon the earth. This rising would remind all those with eyes to see that the Universal Soul was taking its place upon the Throne of creation. The Universal Soul emanating as a ray of light from the Sun of all suns, One who sustains all that simply; is.

On such a day she would rise from her sleep that morning perhaps with no idea that this was the last day upon the earth. That the ordinary everyday things she did every morning and afternoon would take on greater significance simply because it would be the last time she would perform them.

The last time she would look at herself in the mirror and see her reflection looking back at her as she preformed her morning ablutions and combed her hair and put on her clothes. The last time she would see an image of her image. An image that was a reflection of her very soul.

The last time she would prepare food and eat her last meal or take a sip of water or take a cup of warm tea into her gentle hands. How was she to know that as she held that cup so carefully it was the same way God had held her all throughout her life?

The last time she would tend her garden and clean the weeds and turn the soil so that it would breathe with more ease. The last time she would smell the fragrance of a flower or feel the earth in her hands. The very dust from which her Lord had made her body is what she tended to. This earth that she tended was a creation of the inner peace that always resided within her soul, alas that she could have tasted this peace more in her life.

The last time she would feel the wind upon her face and hear the flutter of birds’ wing and their song. The last time she would wipe her brow or feel a rain drop fall in to her hand.

The last time she would pray salat to her Maker and offer up her last prayer.

The last time she would speak with another, a son, a daughter, her grandchildren, her brother, her husband.

Then would come the time when tired and fatigued from her toil in the garden she would take her last footsteps in to the house. The footsteps that began when she first walked as a child in to her mothers’ arms were now about to end. The last thoughts that passed through her mind and the last memory, recent or old, that would flash across her consciousness. The last time she would lie down never to rise as a body again. The last breath as she slept and everything within her came to rest and she was returned from which she came. May God have mercy on her Soul.

Her last day was a good day. With her tending the garden she left a sign for others. Always tend to the garden of your mind. Clear out the weeds of thoughts that infect your emotions and distract you from yourself and from those you love and have hurt you. Remember they are weak also. Having done that pay attention as time passes to new weeds and clear them. Having done that turn the soil of your mind and regenerate with new flowers and let kindness blossom like a spring morning. Then you will see and feel that you are becoming free and able to see things as they really are.  

On the passing of a loved one we often think of ourselves here and when was the last time we saw them, held them, talked to them and heard their voice. It is also worth taking time to ponder what was their last day like? What was it like to have done the normal things for the last time?

It was like any other day.

Therein, hides the beauty and kindness of God to my dear mother. That on taking her back He will not alarm her. He will not let fear come into her heart on the last day by letting her know it is the last day. Not on this day.

To Him belongs the Dominion, to Him belongs the Command.

In the very everydayness He has enveloped His Mercy to you on the last day. In the ordinary hides often the extra-ordinary. That God has weaved his taking you back in to the very fabric of your outward existence. When he is able to do this in your outer life what can he not do for you in your inner reflective and meditative life?

The inner life is what remains enshrined in the soul. This is the insignia within the soul of its association with body and leaving it again. The inner life has now burst through and can wait no longer to be the outer life of the soul. God is truly kind in helping with this transition by not alarming you on the last day.

As in birth a baby does not know it is about to be born so in death the mind and heart do not know with certainty that this is the day. He is the First and the Last. He is there at the birth of your life in this world, from the first cell to the passing of your life from this world. Why would he want to alarm you?

Every Day and Every Night and throughout all the days and nights He is ever-present. In such a presence we are humbled and truly kind and forgiving to each-other. By such a presence peace makers act and peace is bestowed and troubles are left far behind.

Every Day God gives you back your soul and so you rise to see your loved ones again and live another day until the last day. So live now until whatever day that be, live not in the past but in the now. In the everyday and ordinary God is to be found also.

She closed her eyes, she was tired now and wanted to rest and God heard her call and I pray she rests eternally and the flowers bloom eternally.

Oh my mother I remember you this day.

Salam alai kum. Salam alai kum. Salam alai kum.

Peace be upon you. Peace be upon you. Peace be upon you

The Grand Canyon

By Hasan Askari from his book “Alone to Alone – From Awareness to Vision”

As he stood before the Grand Canyon, he was told by one of the guides that he was facing two billion years of rock. “Two billion years and one minute”, he said. The guide looked perplexed. “That one minute just included us standing right before the canyon”, he explained. But a voice older than the canyon seemed to reach him, saying: “You are not recalling another minute before the canyon was formed”. He remembered then he was more ancient than the Grand Canyon.

Within a split second or even less he was standing before the house of Porphyry in distant Sicily. It was late afternoon in one of the last years of the third century. As he approached the house, he could see Marcella, Porphyry’s wife, sitting in one of the windows looking towards the small pathway he was climbing to reach the house. She waved her hand. It looked like a white bird rising a little from the branch of a tree and settling down again. She opened the door, and with her usual calm led him into the house. She was holding a file of papers. As she sat down, she said, “Porphyry is in Rome one some business. He will be back within a couple of weeks. This is his letter. I think I should share it with you.” She handed over the letter to him. He started reading while she got up to prepare something for him to eat.

As he started reading the letter, he knew with tears in his heart that though there were several knowers, knowledge was one: “If we were just a body, one in Sicily and another in Rome, you are far away from me, and I very much yearn to return as soon as possible. But I know, as you also know, that we are more than a body, and therefore I am with you and you are with me”.

Marcella sat down after passing on to him a plate with some bread and cheese. “Are you alright?” she asked. He looked at her wondering how much she was aware of his distress, of his wanderings, of his sorrow. “I should tell you something, my friend”, she spoke with affection, “you will be on this earth again a few hundred years hence, and after many years of quest you will fall in love with the teaching of Porphyry’s Master”. He waited. She continued: “Philosophy and Prophecy will unite once again. But you must not waste that opportunity.”

She appeared then as the High Priestess of the second card of Tarot. “Do not concern yourself with how I appear to you,” she had already read his mind, “Let me tell you that you appear sometimes as the Magician, the Hanged Man, and the Fool all at once.” He could not control his tears. She took his hands and held them gently and her eyes were on the ground. A strange light shone on her face. The sun was setting on the sea. A cool breeze was blowing.

He asked, “What will be that time upon the earth?” She did not reply.

Inter-dependence as an agent of Unity

To  say “All” implies Unity. Thus “All” diversity in the sensible realm if it is to possess unity; how does it display or present that unity? A unity that is not of its own. As beauty of a particular form is not the forms’ full possession. Beauty being bestowed. Unity in diversity is equally bestowed. The unity of the body for example. All organs operating in harmony, unaware so to speak, of each others’ particular function and purpose; yet inter-dependent. To interpret the inter-dependence proving hazardous for the body. It is perhaps inter-dependence which implies a unity making order.

Inter-dependence thus being the agent of a Unity above it. Unity working through inter-dependence to bestow on body “health”. Inter-dependence between bodily organs implies also a limit, a term, a period of time. For the material world is prone to wearing. A cliff face today is not the same cliff face in exact from decades ago having been weathered over time. Inter-dependence relating to the life of the body has a limited term. It cannot go on eternally.

Inter-dependence with body requires each organ working to its potential and purpose. Should one organ fail or weaken the consequences of that failure are not limited to only that organ leading to other “weakenings”. Lungs may fail, circulation may be affected and so too the heart. Therefore, inter-dependence within the body is more than co-operation to sustain bodily life. Inter-dependence perhaps has its roots in a metaphysical origin. It is an image of something else. It exists so long as soul is conjoined with body one could postulate. Returning to a potentiality or latent phase within the soul when soul is free from association with body which is an image itself.

Are there any such other interdependencies pointing to a Unity in diversity within humanity? Thought for example. The power of an Idea. Love, Kindness, Generosity, mutual regard and other loftier Values. Diversity does not have to imply competition and exclusivity of claim; one-sidedness. That we know in its worst form as totalitarian and oppressively forcing conformity. Unity as stated in brief here is not conformity. When we say “All” we truly mean “All-Diversity” universally as The Unity and not our own collective lesser “all” of race, ethnicity, creed, language, culture and religion divisively expressed. Unity has no requirement to mean uniformity – like for like in other words. If  unity does fall to mean as such to conform and be uniform not only in outward social customs (secular or sacred) but also in control of our thought then it is not strictly a unity but instead a force for dis-unity as it will be in competition with other groups (secular or sacred) who equally claim unity as their sole possession. On the other hand when Unity is understood to be present in like AND un-like; Unity seen in such a way can help one to overcome conflict and opposition.

By Musa Askari