Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

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

Universal Spiritual Humanism: Vedanta Society

“Universal Spiritual Humanism: A Necessary Paradigm for Our Times” Michael Nagler will be the keynote speaker at this special Memorial Day program at Vedanta Retreat in Olema, CA (West Marin County). Vedanta is the oldest of the major living religions of the world. It affirms that all religions lead to the same Truth—“Truth is one;… read more

Compromise: Daily Metta

“Human life is a series of compromises, and it is not always easy to achieve in practice what one has found to be true in theory.” ~ Gandhi, Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 39 The ability to compromise was one of Gandhi’s remarkable, if not baffling, characteristics.  While it often alarmed his friends, in most… read more

Sacrifice Trap: Daily Metta

“Western civilization may or may not be good, but Westerners wish to stick to it… They have shed rivers of blood for its sake… It is therefore too late for them now to chalk out a new path for themselves.” ~ Gandhi, Satyagraha in South Africa, p. 84. If it seemed “too late” in this… read more

Person-Oriented Society: Daily Metta

“I am clear that whilst this machine age aims at converting men into machines, I am aiming at reinstating man-turned-machine to his original estate.” ~ Gandhi, CWMG, 62:145 As Martin Luther King said, “We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ civilization to a ‘person-oriented’ civilization.” Not only is dehumanization the main cause and… read more

Tolerance & Study: Daily Metta

“Mutual tolerance is a necessity for all time and for all races.” ~ Gandhi,  Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 401 There could hardly be a more needed message for our day. But Gandhi will go beyond mere “tolerance” and argue that every child must be given a “reverential study” of all the world’s major faiths.… read more