Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

Strength: Daily Metta

“Terrorism and deception are weapons not of the strong but of the weak.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma, 2.20.1919 The conception one has of strength and power in nonviolence is often quite the reverse of how we conceive of them in ordinary parlance. There are numerous stories in the Indian epics of heroes who, when they need… read more

Person-oriented: Daily Metta

“The movement . . . has been conceived so as to minimize the evil wrought by the craze for amassing large fortunes through the use of dead tools in order to avoid having to deal with very sensitive human tools.” ~ Gandhi, Village Industries, p.6 Gandhi saw everything he touched on—in this case khadi and… read more

All Creation: Daily Metta

Cow protection is “a practical application of the belief in the oneness and, therefore, the sacredness of all life.” ~ Gandhi, Hindu Dharma, p.8.36 A religion, it is said, is like a path through the jungle: if no one treads on it, it gets overgrown. Cow-protection in India is a classic example. Having sometimes become… read more

Silent Revolution: Daily Metta

“Obedience to the law of bread labour will bring about a silent revolution in the structure of society.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma, 4.36 A “silent revolution” of this kind exemplifies the power of Constructive Programme. Why did Gandhi place so much hope in this one of its 18 projects? Because it would reground the economy in… read more

Truth Prevails: Daily Metta

“It is nonviolent non-cooperation which evokes the highest spirit of self-sacrifice that will wean one from the error of one’s ways.” ~ Gandhi, CWMG xxv, 392 While Gandhi tended to use the religiously-tinged language of his day, we can render this usage into a more modern idiom and say that while we all have an… read more

Logic of Love: Daily Metta

“If we had not adhered to this principle, instead of winning, we would not only have lost all along the line, but also forfeited the sympathy which had been enlisted in our favor.” ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 192 Gandhi is here talking about one of his cherished principles in satyagraha struggles, “no… read more

Law of Progression: Daily Metta

“My experience has taught me that the law of progression applies to every righteous struggle. But in the case of Satyagraha it amounts to an axiom.” ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 19 In the course of his eight-year “experiment” with the development of satyagraha in South Africa (1908-1916) Gandhi discovered two laws. This… read more

Matchless Weapon: Daily Metta

“If one takes to Satyagraha without having measured his own strength and afterwards sustains a defeat, he not only disgraces himself (or herself) but also brings the matchless weapon of Satyagraha into disrepute.” ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 188 One of the reasons it has taken so long for nonviolence to be understood,… read more

Diversity of Tactics: Daily Metta

“I would use the most deadly weapons, if I believed that they would destroy it [the British Raj]. I refrain only because the use of such weapons would only perpetuate the system though it may destroy its present administrators.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, 17-3-1927, p. 85 It would be hard to think of a more… read more

Pure Heart: Daily Metta

“As a Satyagrahi I hold to the faith that all activity pursued with a pure heart is bound to bear fruit, whether or not such fruit is visible to us.” ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 168 As followers of the Metta Center will immediately recognize, Gandhi is pointing here to the principle we… read more