Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

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

Grief is Not Enough

Michael N. Nagler     Originally posted at Tikkun Magazine:         “We are heartbroken, yes. But saying that will fix nothing. It won’t bring anyone back, and it won’t keep this from happening again.” This lament by Lisa Belkin in yesterday’s Huffington Post is self-evidently true.  Our hearts have been broken… read more

Gaza: A time to reflect

by Michael Nagler This partial check to the mad violence unleashed last week on Gaza, while it comes as a great relief to all of us, should also be an opportunity to refocus our determination that this violence stop happening, and never happen anywhere again. The big picture is this: we live in a violent… read more