It Doesn't Matter If You Believe In It

Kazu Haga

Reading by Liz Helgesen (Download file)

Awakin FeatureGravity is a universal law of nature. It doesn't matter if you believe in gravity. You are still governed by its laws, and there is no way for you to escape it. The laws of gravity govern human bodies and celestial bodies.

Nonviolence, to me, is an explanation and an articulation of the universal laws of conflict. It doesn't matter if you believe in it. You are still governed by its laws, and there is no way for you to escape it. The laws of human conflict govern interpersonal conflict and global conflict. 

To me it doesn't matter if you think you can use violence to achieve a just society. The violence you use or the violence that is internal to your movement will be reflected in the change you bring about, because that is a universal law of nature. I believe that it doesn't matter if you think hatred and resentment can sustain you. It will ultimately eat you up, because that is a universal law of nature. I believe that it doesn't matter if you think that love is sappy and weak. Cultivating love will fulfill you and help you achieve your potential, because that is a universal law of nature. I believe that it doesn't matter if you don't trust in the laws of interdependence, what happens to me directly will affect you in some way, because it is a universal law of nature.

Nonviolence isn't some naive, dogmatic or judgmental belief that hatred and violence are "bad" and that compassion and love are "good". Concepts like "good" and "bad" are ultimately relative and have no relevance to the universe. Violence isn't "bad" and love isn't "good", they simply exist. Nonviolence is simply an exploration of the impact of violence and love onto human experience, and an attempt at understanding the laws that govern them. It is the science of understanding conflict, much like cosmology is the science of understanding the origins of the universe.

If we invest into systems that harm human beings, if we invest in a culture that isolates people, if we invest in a world view that divides communities, we will move away from Beloved Community. Because the ultimate structure of the universe, the unalterable and universal laws of the universe dictate that. The universe doesn't "care" if we reach Beloved Community or not. The universe doesn't "care" if we fulfill our potential as species. The universe simply exists, and its job is to continue to create balance and order. It is up to us, as species, to understand these laws so we can move towards Beloved Community.

Kazu Haga runs East Point Academy, where they "work to build a powerful, nonviolent army of peace warriors: leaders and active participants invested in creating, supporting and nurturing the Beloved Community." Excerpt above is from his upcoming book Healing Resistance

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion that nonviolence is the science of understanding conflict? Can you share a personal story of a time you realized the effect of interdependence, even without a belief in it? What helps you nurture beloved community?

Add Your Reflection:

7 Previous Reflections:

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    On Feb 22, 2019 SSSSSSSSSSSSSSS wrote:
    This article reminds me of Hafiz's poem where he writes,
    'Even after all time, the Sun never says to the Earth, 'you oweme.'
    Look what happens with a love like that,
    It lights the whole sky.'
    We too can light the world and be beacons of hope if we care to be selfless rather than selfish

    1 reply: Alizeh | Post Your Reply
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    On Feb 19, 2019 Patrick Perching Eagle wrote:
    At the Center of the Universe, of all things, is a Relationship — Divine LOVE, the Source of Beloved Community from which all things emanate. This is perennial Truth that mystics, indigenous people, and most faith traditions hold as common knowledge. }:- ❤️ anonemoose monk

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    On Feb 16, 2019 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    The central theme of this thoughtprovokingarticle written by KazuHagais stated in the the last two sentences of this article, As Kazustates," The universe simply exists and its job is to continue to create balance and order.It is up to us, as species, to understand these laws so that we can move towards Beloved Community." When we do not follow this universallaw of love, we move away from Beloved Community. We divide communities- as us against them, create rifts and conflicts and violence. We sustainthese conflicts and harm us as human beings and nature.
    We are interdependent. When we break this natural law of living, we pay the price of our actions.We do not have to believe in this. We see it. We experience the harm caused by our unmindful actions. In our workplace, we work as a team.We are interdependent. We cooperate and collaborate. We create balance and order for our Beloved Community.We feel fulfillment, personally and inter-persoanally.
    Namaste!

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    On Feb 16, 2019 David Doane wrote:
    Nonviolence isn't the science of understanding conflict. Nonviolence isn't a science any more than violence is a science. They are both ways of being. Playing on sports teams comes to mind as an experience in which I realized the effect of interdependence before having a real belief in it. Our interconnectedness and intereffectiveness were obvious on a team. The team is bigger than the individuals. Players sacrifice to the team and create the team, and the team carries the players. What helps me nurture beloved community is knowing that we are part of one entity, one action -- we are in this together, we sink or swim together -- what I do for the team I do for myself and what I do for myself I do for the team. It is best for me to nurture beloved community and it is best for the community for me to be loving. All this is true for every system, be it a friendship, a marriage, a family, a team, a nation or the world. If you believe it or not, it's the way if is.

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    On Feb 15, 2019 susan schaller wrote:
    YES. Kudos to Kazu! Reminds me of Gandhi's simple formula. One is never alone fighting injustice. Truth is always a companion, and truth always wins (even if we don't see it in our life time). Truth and reality is that we are united.We, humans, cannot be fully human alone. We have to be in community or we die, spiritually and/or physically. Violence always separates, against the ruling law of nature. Non-violence or love unites. Union is the ultimate Great Reality.

    1 reply: Amy | Post Your Reply

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