“The world today is moving towards the ideal of collective or co-operative effort in every department of life.”
-Gandhi (Harijan, 2-5-1942, p. 39)
Through her study of the microbial universe, evolution biologist and futurist Elisabet Sahtouris can speak to the human condition from a rather penetrating angle. Life, she maintains, has been discovering and re-discovering cooperative or collective effort for billions of years. Bacteria, for instance, tried everything they possibly could to avoid working together, iteration after iteration, experiment after experiment over all that time until they finally turned to one another and became capable of greater feats of amazingness from that effort. Multi-cellular organisms, anyone? Finally.
If bacteria can discover the power of nonviolence, we, who are infinitely more complex–and yet, made of the same stuff (Fact: We are made up of ten times more bacterial cells than “human”. . . )– are sure to make it there one day, too. Gandhi’s vision of humanity moving toward cooperation, then, is more than a whimsical wish upon the waters. As we can now proudly point out that his claim is backed by modern science, let us take heart in the midst of this evolutionary struggle: we are well on our way forward in our great journey back home to one another.
Experiment in Nonviolence:
Give your bacterial self a little pep talk about its ancestors and destiny today. 🙂
Watch Sahtouris’ Tedx talk below for added inspiration.
Daily Metta 2015, a service of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, is a daily reflection on the strategic and spiritual insights of Mahatma Gandhi in thought, word and deed. As Gandhi called his life an “experiment in truth,” we have included an experiment in nonviolence to accompany each Daily Metta. Check in every day for new inspiration. Each year will be dedicated to another wisdom teacher.