Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

Our Dignity: Daily Metta

“My goal is friendship with the world and I can combine the greatest love with the greatest opposition to wrong.” ~ Gandhi, Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 424 Every human being has dignity. When we teach ourselves to keep this simple idea in mind, friendship with everyone is no longer hyperbole, but a real (and… read more

Conscious Agents: Daily Metta

“Man is the maker of his own destiny, and therefore I ask you to become makers of your own destiny.” ~ Gandhi, Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, XXVI p. 294 Gandhi’s vision—of life, of human nature—is in so many ways an opposite and a remedy to today’s popular beliefs. He is very much a prophet… read more

Unconquerable: Daily Metta

“The proper way to view the present outburst of violence in the world is to recognize that the technique of unconquerable non-violence of the strong has not been at all fully discovered as yet.” ~ Gandhi, Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 147 Gandhi made this statement close to the end of his life, in 1948.… read more

The Nonviolence Effect: Daily Metta

“I do not believe…that an individual may gain spiritually and those around him suffer… I believe in the essential unity of man and, for that matter, of all that lives.” ~ Gandhi, Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, p. 223 The concept of a spiritual “field” operating throughout spacetime in somewhat the way gravity does, or electromagnetic… read more

Right Means: Daily Metta

“When there is no desire for fruit, there is also no temptation for untruth or himsa.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma, vol. 2. p. 311 To revisit the excellent Daily Metta of March 1st: The Gita’s “theory of action” (as we like to call it). It is quite nuanced, but it’s main tenets can be summarized as… read more

Victory: Daily Metta

“He then went on solemnly to declare in the name of God that he would never submit to that law, and advised all present to do likewise.” We are, of course, in the Empire Jewish Theater in Johannesburg, South Africa. The date is September 11 (!), 1906, and the speaker being quoted is one Seth… read more

The Secret: Daily Metta

“Everyone should realize the secret that oppression thrives only when the oppressed submit to it.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma vol. 7, p.192 This is where Gandhi’s vision overlaps with that of the “strategic” school of nonviolence that emphasizes the withdrawal of consent as the major power of nonviolence, and traces the idea back to the French… read more

Unity of Purpose: Daily Metta

“To me I seem to be constantly growing. I must respond to varying conditions and yet remain changeless within.” ~ Gandhi, Mahatma vol 2, p. 265 With characteristic humility, Gandhi says that he “seems” to himself to be constantly growing. He was, of course. Because his firm grasp on the unvarying principle of nonviolence allowed… read more

No Guarantee: Daily Metta

“The hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the rising sun of suffering without anger and without malice.” ~ Gandhi, from Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, XXVI, p. 159 Let’s be realistic. It’s important to realize that while our hard-hearted opponent must be changed by our suffering without anger or malice, her or… read more

Start With the Core: Daily Metta

“The hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the rising sun of suffering without anger and without malice.” ~Gandhi, from Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, XXVI, p. 159 Where to begin with this seminal declaration. Let’s start with the core. This is the essential dynamic, or the magic, if you will, of nonviolence,… read more