Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

Technology: Daily Metta

“I would not shed a tear if there were no railroads in India.” ~ Gandhi, in Louis Fischer’s A Week With Gandhi, p. 55 We keep saying that Gandhi was not a Luddite, but he could veer pretty close, especially in conversation with friends he wanted to shake up a bit. What Gandhi wanted to… read more

Live and Move: Daily Metta

“We have to live and move and have our being in nonviolence even as Hitler does in violence.” ~ Gandhi, Harijan, July 21, 1940 In practical terms, “live and move and have our being” would mean that our education (including its most powerful form, the mass media), our economy, our judicial system, and in short… read more

Dictators: Daily Metta

“Dictators have always found ready response to the violence they have used.” Not just dictators, but violent extremists. Imagine what would have resulted after 9/11 if this country (and others) had gone in for a thorough-going nonviolent response instead of the rage for revenge and paranoia for “security” we followed.  The extremists (whoever they were,… read more

Ahimsa: Daily Metta

“Ahimsa means the eradication of the desire to injure or to kill.” ~ Gandhi, CWMG, XIV, 463 Once again, intuition, spiritual insight, outruns scientific knowledge. Gandhi could not have known that a-hiṃsā is most probably what linguists call a desiderative based on the root √han, “injure, strike, slay,” i.e. that is indicates the desire or… read more

Advertising: Daily Metta

“A democrat must be utterly selfless. He (or she) must think and dream, not in terms of self or of party, but only of democracy.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma, 5.104 Would it not be safe to say that the system we have at present here, to one extent or another, in other democracies so-called has produced… read more

Gandhi’s Birthday 2016

October 2, 2016 is the 147th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. A time for reflection, no doubt, and today that’s bound to be sobering. Violence is eroding the human mind, body, and spirit, indeed life in general, almost—but not quite everywhere. It is just about everywhere that most people would ever look, i.e. the mass media.… read more

No Delusion: Daily Metta

“I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of causes. Experience convinces me that permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence. Even if my belief is a fond delusion, it will be admitted that it is a fascinating delusion.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, December 11, 1924… read more

Home-rule: Daily Metta

“To prepare for home-rule individuals must cultivate the spirit of service, renunciation, truth, nonviolence, self-restraint, patience. They must engage in constructive work in order to develop these qualities.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, January 8, 1925 This is a tall order. It’s very helpful for us to consider it, though, because we see so many cases… read more

Fasting: Daily Metta

“There is considerable force in the warning given by the Prophet against his disciples copying his fasting over and above the semi-fasts of Ramzan. ‘My Maker sends me food enough when I fast, not so to you,’ said the Prophet.” ~ Gandhi, Gandhi’s Health Guide (Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 2000), 177-8 If you put together… read more

Respect: Daily Metta

“Man does not live by bread alone. Many prefer self-respect to food.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, February 5, 1925 Which is why some will go so far as to fast from food, if necessary “unto death,” to restore their dignity—or that of their religion or their people. We forget, in some of the shouting matches… read more