Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

Imagining the Unimaginable

Last week the quiet town of Waseca, MN narrowly avoided becoming “one more in a long list of school shootings” (I will come back to this language of the CNN report).  A boy, 17 years old, had plotted to kill his family and bomb the town’s junior and senior high school, to “kill as many students… read more

My Homage to Martin Luther King Jr.

My Homage to MLK by Michael N. Nagler I never knew Martin Luther King, Jr., but I grew up politically in his America. My personal awakening to nonviolence came one day in Greenwich Village when I happened to listen in to a radio broadcast covering a Civil Rights rally going on somewhere down south.  A… read more

Trayvon Martin: The Neglected Story that Implicates Us All

After World War II, US Navy personnel carried out an experiment in germ warfare. They spent several days spraying lethal bacteria into the fog around San Francisco Bay. The “experiment” killed at least one person, whose grandchildren sued the government years later when the facts became public under the Freedom of Information Act. Norman Cousins… read more

Who was Badshah Khan?

  Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan came to be known, over his objections, as the “Frontier Gandhi.” (Wikimedia) If you watched Malala Yousafzai’s much discussed and inspiring speech to the United Nations last week, you may have heard this courageous teenager — who was shot by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education — refer to Badshah Khan as a… read more

Unity in Diversity

  Unity in diversity (the term seems to have been coined by the philosopher Hegel) is a central aspect of the nonviolent worldview.  In nature, unity in diversity is an essential organizing principle of Life.  At first appearance, of course, it is a bit paradoxical: on the one hand the mystics of all ages, along… read more

Could the Sea Be Conscious?

The deeper science peers into the universe, whether it be the remotest reaches of space or the sea’s depths the more we must marvel at the intricate, subtle, and marvelous texture of reality.  This study confirms for us once again that cooperation has been and remains a far more potent factor in life and evolution… read more

Women and Combat

by Michael Nagler, originally posted on Feb. 4, in Tikkun Daily. Alongside horrifying pictures from the New York Times showing very young boys being trained to fire assault rifles (“Selling a New Generation on Guns”) comes the news, welcome in some quarters, that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered the military to admit women to full combat… read more

In response to the Newtown massacre: a spiritual practice

We have not used this blog heretofore to recommend a spiritual practice, but felt called upon to offer something to the many who have come to this site or otherwise contacted us.  In the days to come, as we process our grief, there will inevitably be a current of fear that deters us perhaps from… read more