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Pilgrimage to Nonviolence

--by Martin Luther King, Jr. (Nov 15, 2011)
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First, it must be emphasized that nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method because he is afraid or merely because he lacks the instruments of violence,  he is not truly nonviolent. This is why Gandhi often said that if cowardice is the only alternative to violence, it is better to fight … The method is passive physically, but strongly active spiritually. It is not passive nonresistance to evil, it is active nonviolent resistance to evil.

A second basic fact that characterizes nonviolence is that it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. The nonviolent resister must often express his protest through noncooperation or boycotts, but he realizes that these are not ends themselves; they are merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent … The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.

A third characteristic of this method is that the attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who happen to be doing the evil … We are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may be unjust.

A fourth point that characterizes nonviolent resistance is a willingness to accept suffering without retaliation, to accept blows from the opponent without striking back. ‘Rivers of blood may have to flow before we gain our freedom, but it must be our blood,’ Gandhi said to his countrymen. The nonviolent resister … does not seek to dodge jail. If going to jail is necessary, he enters it ‘as a bridegroom enters the bride’s chamber…’  “What is the nonviolent resister’s justification for this ordeal to which he invites men, for this mass political application of the ancient doctrine of turning the other cheek?” The answer is found in the realization that unearned suffering is redemptive. Suffering, the nonviolent resister realizes, has tremendous educational and transforming possibilities.

A fifth point concerning nonviolent resistance is that it avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also refuses to hate him. At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love …

A sixth basic fact about nonviolent resistance is that it is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. Consequently, the believer in nonviolence has deep faith in the future. This faith is another reason why the nonviolent resister can accept suffering without retaliation. For he knows that in his struggle for justice he has cosmic companionship… a creative force in this universe that works to bring the disconnected aspects of reality into a harmonious whole.

--Martin Luther King. Jr., in Stride Towards Freedom


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On Dec 15, 2011 Catherine Todd wrote:

Thank you again Tristan, for your incredibly honest and thoughtful comments. I have been thinking about your words ever since. Much to learn here... so far to go, so little time (teaching an old dog new tricks?) but perhaps we have as many lifetimes as we need?  Gracias to everyone here.

"The winds of grace blow all the time; all we need do is set our sails."

Please show me The Way.



On Dec 6, 2011 Tristan wrote:

The problem is that one has to be almost 100% non-violent through and through in order for it to be effective. If unknowingly you still have some traces of natural human violent reactions in your subconscious, vicious people can smell it, and they just see you as a coward for avoiding violence. I practiced non-violence with deepest motivation and commitment, but have been told recently to get in touch with my true inner feelings so here it comes out... my father* is a vicious, cowardly motherf*#$%r (truly!); my subconscious was trained from before I can remember and it doesn't seem to be (fully) following my advice. People say I'm amazingly peaceful and patient, but if someone attacks me in any serious-injury way, that "smash his head in" mode in my brain comes back from "nowhere", even tho I feel deepest sympathy for these idiots too. *(mental ill guy perhaps?? I can say I only retaliated once ever, punched him in the face and felt terrible about it for years.)  See full.

The problem is that one has to be almost 100% non-violent through and through in order for it to be effective. If unknowingly you still have some traces of natural human violent reactions in your subconscious, vicious people can smell it, and they just see you as a coward for avoiding violence.

I practiced non-violence with deepest motivation and commitment, but have been told recently to get in touch with my true inner feelings so here it comes out... my father* is a vicious, cowardly motherf*#$%r (truly!); my subconscious was trained from before I can remember and it doesn't seem to be (fully) following my advice. People say I'm amazingly peaceful and patient, but if someone attacks me in any serious-injury way, that "smash his head in" mode in my brain comes back from "nowhere", even tho I feel deepest sympathy for these idiots too.

*(mental ill guy perhaps?? I can say I only retaliated once ever, punched him in the face and felt terrible about it for years.)

After all, I used to lie paranoid in my bed night after night wondering if I was going to die...

I actively Love everyone I interact with... but don't anymore expect anything more than an imitation of Care from these animals called humans, "loving" when it suits their emotions. (Sometimes I am deeply surprised tho.) I experienced so many of these sh*#s not only in my own family. They belong in a veterinian's compound -- I'm not touched by their "inner humanity". Every animal has a soft side.

So don't know what to do other than... I'm just plotting my own course; if anything I do inspires, I'm totally willing to share...

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On Dec 6, 2011 Catherine Todd wrote:

Yet what makes Martin Luther King's life "worthwhile" if he DID in fact practice nonviolence, and he was shot and killed for it in the end?

That's the part that I cannot understand. Are we to give up our "will to live" in the process? We who are still "attached to the physical world?"

Do we simply expect to "rise again?" I'm not that far along. I will fight back to preserve my own life. I fight fire with a nuclear bomb.



On Dec 6, 2011 Catherine Todd wrote:

kvakutty wrote: "Non violence is the highest virtue. It means not haming another by thought word or deed..."

This sentence, in all it's stark reality and simplicity, really struck me.

I would say that I NEVER "harm another by deed" but I will ALWAYS harm another by word. In fact, I was raised that way, and I am completely justified in my own mind; it's instantaenous and it's so wrong. Now I really have something to think about. Think, Practice, Do. Become. Gracias, amigo.

 

 



On Dec 6, 2011 kvakutty wrote:

Non violence is the highest virtue.

It means not haming another by

thought word or deed.  Our very

civilization is founded on that.



On Nov 18, 2011 Edit Lak wrote:

I beg to differ on;'Cooperation is the most difficult thing, ever. If your cooperation is not returned, it means it is not welcome. Just let it be. Don't fret about it. Turn the page.’In life, this does not mean it is not welcome, It actually means it is’ not learnt from yet’ If cooperation is not returned, it is because it is not’ learnt’, and I don’t mean academically, spiritually nor disillusionly. I mean from The ‘I SELF’, without learning from the ‘I self’ first and being inquisitive and active and practicing in everything, and failing in most, then returning to the inquisitive, active, practicing, everything and the failing again, then nothing, or the experience is not learnt..    The beauty of the spirit is that it’s wild and genuine progression to discuss, see and to explore in the ‘whole’ of everything is limitless, and limiting self, spirit, life, and universe to a no experi  See full.

I beg to differ on;

'Cooperation is the most difficult thing, ever. If your cooperation is not returned, it means it is not welcome. Just let it be. Don't fret about it. Turn the page.’

In life, this does not mean it is not welcome, It actually means it is’ not learnt from yet’

 If cooperation is not returned, it is because it is not’ learnt’, and I don’t mean academically, spiritually nor disillusionly. I mean from The ‘I SELF’, without learning from the ‘I self’ first and being inquisitive and active and practicing in everything, and failing in most, then returning to the inquisitive, active, practicing, everything and the failing again, then nothing, or the experience is not learnt.. 

 

 The beauty of the spirit is that it’s wild and genuine progression to discuss, see and to explore in the ‘whole’ of everything is limitless, and limiting self, spirit, life, and universe to a no experience is rejection. Once the spirit comes into the experience, that then starts to become a wider ‘experiences’ then and only then can a growth area of the ‘being’ be had, otherwise, the limitations of the experiences forces the point, and that in itself is a rejection and refusal to the moment. 

 

Remember, for something to pass through us, a pain a memory an experience, a question a 'Learning'  may take pain, so nurture the growth and use self-cooperation to aid..

So, to the beauty of the questions asked, let you’re/ our learning continue and don’t restrict your minds..  If you choose,  don’t turn the page, but learn to say 'okay' from where you’re at, and then travel on in good heart, as our individual journey may just return us to the ‘page’ where we started that question, experience or journey from....  As we are all the experience’S’ in the questions we ask...

Thanks

 

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On Nov 18, 2011 Thierry wrote:

To Catherine: cooperation is the most difficult thing, ever. If your cooperation is not returned, it means it is not welcome. Just let it be. Don't fret about it. Turn the page.



On Nov 18, 2011 Ram wrote:

From the movie "Gandhi"... I love this small 2-minute clip, its very much related to this topic... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRdIGzFtM24&feature=player_detailpage#t=1031s (at 17:11 minute)



On Nov 17, 2011 Somik Raha wrote:

Catherine wrote: However, I can say with a certaintly, that I have NOT found that "kindness begets kindness" as you say. Did the "kind" and innocent Jews receive "kindness" at the hands of the Nazis, or did they all "deserve it" somehow via acts of karma? That's where all this falls down for me. Along with the reaction and problems I am having with this current nonprofit, who apparently has something to hide. Did I bring that on myself by asking for information? Was I not "kind" enough in my simple, factual request?   If we go deep into the Nazi regime, we find two things. First, people, Nazi or otherwise, have a strange tendency to bow down to authority (and you refer to this). So, when given an order from above, they mindlessly follow it. People during that time in Germany were at the pinnacle of culture, and yet, their ethical apparatus failed them. How do we know if that is a whitewash, or if they really felt something  See full.

Catherine wrote:
However, I can say with a certaintly, that I have NOT found that "kindness begets kindness" as you say. Did the "kind" and innocent Jews receive "kindness" at the hands of the Nazis, or did they all "deserve it" somehow via acts of karma?

That's where all this falls down for me. Along with the reaction and problems I am having with this current nonprofit, who apparently has something to hide. Did I bring that on myself by asking for information? Was I not "kind" enough in my simple, factual request?
 
If we go deep into the Nazi regime, we find two things. First, people, Nazi or otherwise, have a strange tendency to bow down to authority (and you refer to this). So, when given an order from above, they mindlessly follow it. People during that time in Germany were at the pinnacle of culture, and yet, their ethical apparatus failed them. How do we know if that is a whitewash, or if they really felt something was wrong? All you have to do is look at how many people either committed suicide or died every day with their guilt. And those that didn't were hounded all around in society (as Nazi war criminals). There should be no doubt in your mind that most people of that time paid a big price for being a part of the regime. Getting to the Jews, we may presume that many were kind to others and led lives of service. The test of whether that brought back kindness is how much loved they were in their own communities, and there too you will find that many well-respected and loved people existed and were sent to the gas chambers. 
 
Second, the Nazi phenomenon was a unique event in our history, made possible by a tremendous concentration of power and dehumanization. You might be surprised that the first counting machines were developed in Germany to tabulate the census, which was used to identify where all the Jews where. Massive deception made it possible to hide the brutality that was to unfold. If the local Germans had known what was up, I wonder what would have happened. As an example, when German society found out that autistic and mentally challenged children were being killed under a program for that was deceptively labeled. When the public found out, the government had to stop it. The extent of secrecy was so massive that not until World War II ended did people find out what went on at the camps. Mass cruelty is possible (I find) when massive secrecy is at play.
 
More later...  

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On Nov 17, 2011 Catherine Todd wrote:

Thank you Somik and everyone here for their take on the idea and practice of nonviolence. I am involved in a dispute right now with another nonprofit, and while I know that we are all (supposedly) working towards the same goal - that of "helping others," I can see that ego and defensiveness, hostility and fear is ruling the day. And I am playing a part in it with my own reaction. So I am reading all this with great eagerness, as I can't see a way out of this dark void I found myself thrown into (or jumped into, I don't know which), so this discussion carries great importance to me in the real world of NOW.I will continue to read with interest and hope I can find what I came here to learn.  However, I can say with a certaintly, that I have NOT found that "kindness begets kindness" as you say. Did the "kind" and innocent Jews receive "kindness" at the hands of the Nazis, or did they all "deserve it" somehow via acts of karma?That's w  See full.

Thank you Somik and everyone here for their take on the idea and practice of nonviolence. I am involved in a dispute right now with another nonprofit, and while I know that we are all (supposedly) working towards the same goal - that of "helping others," I can see that ego and defensiveness, hostility and fear is ruling the day. And I am playing a part in it with my own reaction. So I am reading all this with great eagerness, as I can't see a way out of this dark void I found myself thrown into (or jumped into, I don't know which), so this discussion carries great importance to me in the real world of NOW.

I will continue to read with interest and hope I can find what I came here to learn.

 

However, I can say with a certaintly, that I have NOT found that "kindness begets kindness" as you say. Did the "kind" and innocent Jews receive "kindness" at the hands of the Nazis, or did they all "deserve it" somehow via acts of karma?

That's where all this falls down for me. Along with the reaction and problems I am having with this current nonprofit, who apparently has something to hide. Did I bring that on myself by asking for information? Was I not "kind" enough in my simple, factual request?

 

How are we to maintain composure in the face of selfishness, iies, blame, shame, intimidation, threats and more? If someone throws a stick of dynamite over the fence into my yard, I am going to pick it up and return it. There is no way I would let someone blow me up out of "compassion" or any other reason. I don't start fights, but I will step up and put an end to them. I don't do it with force, but I use the opposition's own fear against them. They use their fear against themselves, and that is what finally makes them stop themselves.

How can that be wrong?

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On Nov 17, 2011 Somik Raha wrote:

 AtoZ, Catherine and Thierry, thank you so much for your comments!AtoZ, I agree with you on many counts, and will focus on the differences. Darwin's ideas have been interpreted in the mainstream as "survival of the fittest," but when we are talking about the social sphere, an alternate hypothesis is "survival of the kindest." From at least my limited personal experience and evidence I've recieved from others, it seems to me that those who are kind to others, don't manipulate others, and love unconditionally get back what they give. So do those who don't. Perhaps you can validate if you feel like harming those who are kind to you (my bet is you are inclined to reciprocate). A much broader principle than Darwin's seems to be, "What goes around, comes around." Even our planet is shaped that way :).Catherine, I can tell you where that monk story came from, but I am not sure that you would find that satisfactory. I find it much more helpful to te  See full.

 AtoZ, Catherine and Thierry, thank you so much for your comments!

AtoZ, I agree with you on many counts, and will focus on the differences. Darwin's ideas have been interpreted in the mainstream as "survival of the fittest," but when we are talking about the social sphere, an alternate hypothesis is "survival of the kindest." From at least my limited personal experience and evidence I've recieved from others, it seems to me that those who are kind to others, don't manipulate others, and love unconditionally get back what they give. So do those who don't. Perhaps you can validate if you feel like harming those who are kind to you (my bet is you are inclined to reciprocate). A much broader principle than Darwin's seems to be, "What goes around, comes around." Even our planet is shaped that way :).

Catherine, I can tell you where that monk story came from, but I am not sure that you would find that satisfactory. I find it much more helpful to test how far I can go than get wowed by legends of others. In that sense, I am totally with you. I find it helpful to locate my edge, and then test if I can go beyond it. 

To me, nonviolence is a practice that does not have prescriptive solutions (like being vegetarian or staying away from physical violence). It is far more subtle. If I take an act of violence, and claim that my mind is nonviolent, how do I know that I'm not fooling myself? One useful test I've found is this: Is my action a reaction beyond my control, or did I select that option amongst several as the wisest thing to do, grounded on the principle of seeing unity with all?

Most of the time, my answer to this question has been the former, but the latter is an important aspiration. 

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On Nov 17, 2011 Tristan wrote:

Really appreciated so many angles in all your comments. And thanks, ulzija. All advice welcome: I'm at <ge02r@yahoo.com> There's no substitute for experience.

I saw the documentary "The Grizzly Man" about Tim Treadwell who sought a non-violent, "loving" interaction with grizzly bears in Alaska. He had many emotional weaknesses, but worked out a way of interaction and lived in the wilderness of Katmai 13 summers before he got killed and eaten. Gotta guess what kind of bear you're dealing with before deciding how to implement your spirit of non-violence.



On Nov 17, 2011 Catherine Todd wrote:

AtoZ wrote: "The utopian/fantastical ideas that offer yourself to the wild beasts to verify if they eat you OR Gandhi's suggestions to the jews to offer themselves to Hitler are non-sensical at worst and naive at best and have nothing to do with reality OR the moral laws of the universe in my opinion." THANK YOU. These kinds of statements and this kind of thinking is what previously kept me away from the meditation / nonviolent movement. It's "utopian/fantastical" and ridiculous.  Where did a story get started about monks "offering themselves to wild beasts to be eaten out of compassion" get started? And that the hungry beasts refused to eat them? Even St. Francis did not go that far. Whenever I think I can't take anymore, someone comes in with reason and intelligence, and excellent explanations, such as AtoZ has. THANK YOU. I can stay here a little longer and learn something in the process. I like the idea of practicing nonviolence  See full.

AtoZ wrote: "The utopian/fantastical ideas that offer yourself to the wild beasts to verify if they eat you OR Gandhi's suggestions to the jews to offer themselves to Hitler are non-sensical at worst and naive at best and have nothing to do with reality OR the moral laws of the universe in my opinion."

 

THANK YOU. These kinds of statements and this kind of thinking is what previously kept me away from the meditation / nonviolent movement. It's "utopian/fantastical" and ridiculous.

 

Where did a story get started about monks "offering themselves to wild beasts to be eaten out of compassion" get started? And that the hungry beasts refused to eat them? Even St. Francis did not go that far.

 

Whenever I think I can't take anymore, someone comes in with reason and intelligence, and excellent explanations, such as AtoZ has. THANK YOU. I can stay here a little longer and learn something in the process.

 

I like the idea of practicing nonviolence while using necessary force, only when required, and without anger or hatred in one's heart. That's the part I have to learn. Thank you for these reminders and for helping me with this.

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On Nov 17, 2011 AtoZ wrote:

 @Somik RahaYou say "Gandhi's nonviolence was at the level of the mind - even a thought of negativity or hatred against another had to be watched carefully and not allowed to take hold."I have re-thought the whole concept of violence many times after growing up in a family that wouldn't kill insects.What is violence logically? It is elimination of competition (similar to survival of the fittest) in Darwinian terms. It can exist in physical domain (genes get eliminated) by outright killing or by subduing animals like man has done. How is influence/love different from violence? It is still eliminating competing ideas or forces except the methodology is bit different. But it still is elimination. We can also kill physically while being in love with the target like how it is proclaimed by certain religious sects that they can kill animals but still be in love with them. Bottomline, both love/influence and outright attacks of the tongue seek to eliminate competing ideas.  See full.

 @Somik Raha

You say "Gandhi's nonviolence was at the level of the mind - even a thought of negativity or hatred against another had to be watched carefully and not allowed to take hold."

I have re-thought the whole concept of violence many times after growing up in a family that wouldn't kill insects.

What is violence logically? It is elimination of competition (similar to survival of the fittest) in Darwinian terms. It can exist in physical domain (genes get eliminated) by outright killing or by subduing animals like man has done. 

How is influence/love different from violence? It is still eliminating competing ideas or forces except the methodology is bit different. But it still is elimination. We can also kill physically while being in love with the target like how it is proclaimed by certain religious sects that they can kill animals but still be in love with them. Bottomline, both love/influence and outright attacks of the tongue seek to eliminate competing ideas.

In the modern world of media, memes get eliminated for eg. the meme "turn the other cheek" is trying to eliminate the meme "kill the enemy". However I think a more nuanced meme "use force when necessary" should win and IS superior. 

I do believe that BOTH competition (where one loses and one wins) and co-operation (where similar/complementary memes or genes come together to gain strength) correspond to the moral laws of the universe.

The utopian/fantastical ideas that offer yourself to the wild beasts to verify if they eat you OR Gandhi's suggestions to the jews to offer themselves to Hitler are non-sensical at worst and naive at best and have nothing to do with reality OR the moral laws of the universe in my opinion.

 

P.S. Wanting to transcend the us vs them duality is like dropping acid. Do it if your aim is only to feel good. I don't think a man who has transcended duality can do much for his family or society as the reality exists today and as I see it.

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On Nov 17, 2011 Thierry wrote:

The terms 'civil resistance' or non-violent resistance refer to protest as regard to civil laws. Like those wich used to enforce segregation in some states in the USA. The context may have been different in India but still, the country was administered according to  laws established by the occupant. It was laws the people were called to resist non-violently. Speaking of non-violence at large may be very misleading. Pacifism may lead a country to be invaded! 



On Nov 17, 2011 Somik Raha wrote:

 AtoZ, I half-agree with you. I totally agree with you write that protesting with physical nonviolence while hating those we protest against is not really an example of nonviolence. Gandhi's nonviolence was at the level of the mind - even a thought of negativity or hatred against another had to be watched carefully and not allowed to take hold. For that thought is the grandfather of action. On trying nonviolence with animals, in India's age-old tradition of monks, we have heard of monks who have offered themselves to hungry animals out of compassion. Turns out the animal refused to eat em at times, and at others they did. Made no difference to the monk. The reason one would practice nonviolence, according to MLK and Gandhi, is not to strategically manipulate others, but to fill oneself with love and transcend the "us vs them" duality.  Gandhi himself wrote that he was mistaken when early on, he proclaimed nonviolence as a weapon of the weak and the coward. Later o  See full.

 AtoZ, I half-agree with you. I totally agree with you write that protesting with physical nonviolence while hating those we protest against is not really an example of nonviolence. Gandhi's nonviolence was at the level of the mind - even a thought of negativity or hatred against another had to be watched carefully and not allowed to take hold. For that thought is the grandfather of action.

On trying nonviolence with animals, in India's age-old tradition of monks, we have heard of monks who have offered themselves to hungry animals out of compassion. Turns out the animal refused to eat em at times, and at others they did. Made no difference to the monk.

The reason one would practice nonviolence, according to MLK and Gandhi, is not to strategically manipulate others, but to fill oneself with love and transcend the "us vs them" duality.  Gandhi himself wrote that he was mistaken when early on, he proclaimed nonviolence as a weapon of the weak and the coward. Later on, after he had experimented with it, he remarked that nonviolence is a weapon of the bravest of the brave. Cowards should resort to violence, according to him, so that they get brave enough to try nonviolence.

In my mind, the action is secondary - it is the thought that is primary. The surgeon's knife performs violence on a patient but with the intent to heal. Sometimes in life, we may be called upon to resist with our bodies. The real test of nonviolence is whether, whatever action has been in front of us, was carried out without a trace of hatred. That is what the ancients refer to as "fight like a yogi." Practically speaking, most of the time, when I uproot hatred, a larger repertoire of actions becomes available that do not involve physical violence. Of course, I remain open about this, as it is an ongoing experiment.

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On Nov 17, 2011 Catherine Todd wrote:

A to Z wrote: "An immature or unevolved bully can only understand force"

 

Thank you. NOW I feel I can be part of a "non-violent movement," knowing I don't have to sit there and take it, and let them kill me in the process. The trick is to withstand and overpower, when necessary, the bully without hatred and by doing the least amount of harm possible. Using the least amount of force necessary. Having grown up in an extremely violent household, I learned early on that I had to stand up for myself or be killed. I could never understand the "turn the other cheek" business until I read this exchange.

Thank you!

 

The winds of grace blow all the time; all we need do is set our sails."

 

Please show me The Way.



On Nov 16, 2011 AtoZ wrote:

In popular terminology, non-violence refers to physical non-violence. Usage of non-violence protests means that you are using violence in the domain of "ideas" or "memes" and not "genes".

Non-violence can only work against certain kind of oppositions. Try using non-violence against animals who want to eat you or human beings in the grip of an ideology bent upon destroying you to suit their religious beliefs. An immature or unevolved bully can only understand force. Peace can come from a position of strength and when backed with force.  

Although, strategically it may make sense when physically weaker to use violence in the domain of ideas (which is equivalent to using non-violence in the physical domain.) 



On Nov 16, 2011 SK wrote:

There is little doubt that non-violence is and should be the preferred method in any resistance. But shutting out the possibility of violence entirely irrespective of the situation is impractical and in my opinion undesirable. If violence is the only way to stop more violence, it becomes the preferred alternative. Buddha, the apostle of non-violence, gave tacit approval to his friend Bimbisara's account of a just war. Gandhi, in his own writings in the Hind Swaraj in the mid 1940s, acknowledged the limitations and failure of his non-violent movement. Just like it is advocated to practive non-violence without anger or malice towards the oppressor, an approach of physical violence can be chosen in some circumstances to end persistent and ongoing violence or oppression, without anger and malice towards the oppressor.



On Nov 16, 2011 ulzija wrote:

First, I would like to say thank you for posting these kind words. 

Tristan, I would like to speak to you.  I too have been raised in violence of many kinds.  In a "religious" family too.  Even more confusing.  I'm not sure if you were serious about killing yourself, but I want you to please don't and consider forgiving yourself right now for not being able to forgive the ones that hurt you.  Stay in your heart and FEEL these feelings that are coming up.  They are coming up to be released now, so that you can continue to do your work.  You will find your way back to non-violence, you are not perfect.  It sounds to me like it's time to spend some loving kindness on YOU!!!  Violence hides in the heart until you can process it, and to do that you must grieve, grieve for yourself - BE KIND to yourself while doing so and feeling.  If neccessary seek loving support.  It takes time.



On Nov 16, 2011 Thierry wrote:

I was impressed by the words of Martin Luther king jr. celebrating the spirit behind civil resistance . The context was that of the Civil Rights movement of which he was the leader in the Christian America of the early sixties. An organized, powerful and, today, historical movement inspired by the great example of Mr. Gandhi's India. When watching History in the making, as what is presently happening in some Arab countries, I may not find a movement that organized, with such inspired leadership and moral imperatives. But I find a same aspiration towards freedom, justice and human dignity. Another proof that, independant of culture and climate, this call can never be repressed.



On Nov 15, 2011 Marianna wrote:

Beautiful guidelines for pracitce in these times of activism. This would be a great thing to print and distribute at Occupy Wall St. rallys everywhere. Thank you for sending them, Nipun.



On Nov 15, 2011 Tristan wrote:

Thank you. Wonderfully expressed. And by Shradha also. I have long seemed to practice this. But I was told recently to get in touch with feelings I was unaware of under my peaceful demeanor, to unblock childhood memories. I've been trying, and now I must admit I feel hatred at the thought of every member of my abusive immediate family. So the feelings are opposite to my deepest motivations, and I must accept that and see how things might change. I have trained myself very well over decades now to not base my actions on my feelings. It feels tho that maybe some of us who had these cowardly haters (I feel deep sympathy/empathy for their own pain, but abhor their reaction to it that they inflict on others) get inside our head when we were too young to understand, may fall to pieces emotionally practising what MLK has so wisely advocated. May need to kill myself to avoid getting sucked into this internal and external violence that the petty subconsious of an emotionally malformed animal de  See full.

Thank you. Wonderfully expressed. And by Shradha also.

I have long seemed to practice this. But I was told recently to get in touch with feelings I was unaware of under my peaceful demeanor, to unblock childhood memories. I've been trying, and now I must admit I feel hatred at the thought of every member of my abusive immediate family. So the feelings are opposite to my deepest motivations, and I must accept that and see how things might change.

I have trained myself very well over decades now to not base my actions on my feelings. It feels tho that maybe some of us who had these cowardly haters (I feel deep sympathy/empathy for their own pain, but abhor their reaction to it that they inflict on others) get inside our head when we were too young to understand, may fall to pieces emotionally practising what MLK has so wisely advocated. May need to kill myself to avoid getting sucked into this internal and external violence that the petty subconsious of an emotionally malformed animal demands. So be it. "It must be our blood"

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On Nov 15, 2011 Shradha wrote:

True freedom is freedom from hate !



On Nov 15, 2011 Shradha wrote:

There are forces of good and forces of evil. Both oppose and fight for their dominance. Dominance is control and control is like water , in never stays in one place. And if it does it stagnates and stinks.Dominance gives a sense of power , superiority and thus security. However , dominance which is won by force comes with deep fear of losing it and thus the person struggles to keep a hold over that power and retain a sense of superiority by paying a huge cost...At the Cost of one’s own peace. Dominance comes in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual forms. The ego is motivated to achieve superiority when it is insecure and ignorant of the true nature of peace. Thus many people in the society are suppressed and controlled to satisfy the collective ego of the superior races , be it at an employer level or even the religious priests. Even homes suffer the same consequence at a smaller level. This struggle for power between good and evil has a pattern like the dawn of day an  See full.

There are forces of good and forces of evil. Both oppose and fight for their dominance.

Dominance is control and control is like water , in never stays in one place. And if it does it stagnates and stinks.Dominance gives a sense of power , superiority and thus security.

However , dominance which is won by force comes with deep fear of losing it and thus the person struggles to keep a hold over that power and retain a sense of superiority by paying a huge cost...At the Cost of one’s own peace.

Dominance comes in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual forms.

The ego is motivated to achieve superiority when it is insecure and ignorant of the true nature of peace.

Thus many people in the society are suppressed and controlled to satisfy the collective ego of the superior races , be it at an employer level or even the religious priests. Even homes suffer the same consequence at a smaller level.

This struggle for power between good and evil has a pattern like the dawn of day and night.

Does the sun really set ? No. It simply appears to set and thus is the victory of good over evil and vice versa is a phase before the next cycle sets in.

Good is no good if it merely is the opposite of bad. “God”  in “his” goodness loves both the good and the bad. The rain falls on the cop and the thief.

Is the thief really bad? Have not the rules of an unjust society really made a thief , a thief?

Was not he too a small child helpless in his mother’s arms? And so was the cop.But the social conditions makes the clothes of good and bad for the cop and the thief.

I am not justifying what is bad. But its high time to get over with the drama between good and bad and strive for mercy beyond these forces. Unfortunately “God” is merely a term defined by the so called “good” superior forces and this referred to as a Male force by many religions.

If we love our enemies , we will win their friendship and love rather than add to the hatred, this is a beautiful line by Martin Luther king Jr.

A simple maths equation says:

(-5) +10 =+ 5 and (-10)+ 5 = -5  

Between – 5 and +5 lies 0.

A place of stillness. Its times we learn to accept the forces of evil and not fight them superficially.Rather with deep stillness , understand them with non violent drama.

Only then some condition may emerge which will redeem us from suffering caused by the human drama.

 

Its time to understand words like Mercy and Grace.

Some say that this will favor the lazy but the so called justice will only make wars between good and evil.And when is something really good.

The Good which we have defined is no good if it is jealous, wanting superiority, and will love those who love him/her.That is a mere opposite polarity of bad.

 

Goodness is Divine. Full of mercy & grace.

Something that cannot be explained in human language because it does not belong to the human realm.

 

Shradha Bhonsle/ Singh

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On Nov 14, 2011 Edit Lak wrote:

Thank you and welcome to LIFE LESSONS 101  - ‘‘A second basic fact that characterizes nonviolence is that it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding’’  In 2011, is this simple act still so difficult to understand? Does ego have full control?  and we are the uncontrollable,  do we have a higher intelligence to read this and understand, I’m in a quandary at the moment still reading this passage over and over again to find out where we don’t get it.. So, many portals - answers are given,  given from this passage and other passages,  throughout time like this one, with the same passion and commitment , but why don’t we understanding this in the modern world ???  Thank You Mr Martin Luther King Jr . And thank you to your father, who indeed also had great spiritual strength.. It just goes to prove the ‘ Voice’ of reason , compassion and empathy has t  See full.

Thank you and welcome to LIFE LESSONS 101  - ‘‘A second basic fact that characterizes nonviolence is that it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding’’  In 2011, is this simple act still so difficult to understand? Does ego have full control?  and we are the uncontrollable,  do we have a higher intelligence to read this and understand, I’m in a quandary at the moment still reading this passage over and over again to find out where we don’t get it.. So, many portals - answers are given,  given from this passage and other passages,  throughout time like this one, with the same passion and commitment , but why don’t we understanding this in the modern world ??? 

Thank You Mr Martin Luther King Jr . And thank you to your father, who indeed also had great spiritual strength.. It just goes to prove the ‘ Voice’ of reason , compassion and empathy has the ‘Truth’, and those ‘truths’ move the world to a better non-violence place...   

 

Thanks

E

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On Nov 13, 2011 Ricky wrote:

As soon as we believe we are separate from others, we judge.  This leads to violence of heart, spirit, or even on the physical plane.  Nonviolence drops judgment away, and as we practice the understanding that we are all One, there is a healing that occurs more complete than we ever had imagined.  And this healing begins with us...



On Nov 13, 2011 Catherine Todd wrote:

I'll try.



On Nov 11, 2011 Conrad wrote:

You have my gratitude for giving me the opportunity to respond. Great lessons in nonviolence come from reading and reflecting on this kind of highly inspirational writing. Being frequently kind is a high form of nonviolence.. I continue to be very impressed with the quotes about kindness appearing below: Warm and kind regards to everyone.Mohandas Ghandi: “All we need is to be kind.”  Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --Philo     A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles. --Washington Irving I prefer you to make mistakes in kindness than work miracles in unkindness. --Mother Teresa   A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. --William Arthur Ward   “ My religion is kindness.” Dalai Llama Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. --Henry Jame  See full.

You have my gratitude for giving me the opportunity to respond. Great lessons in nonviolence come from reading and reflecting on this kind of highly inspirational writing. Being frequently kind is a high form of nonviolence.. I continue to be very impressed with the quotes about kindness appearing below: Warm and kind regards to everyone.

Mohandas Ghandi: “All we need is to be kind.”

 Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --Philo

 

 

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles. --Washington Irving

I prefer you to make mistakes in kindness than work miracles in unkindness. --Mother Teresa

 

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. --William Arthur Ward

 

“ My religion is kindness.” Dalai Llama

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind. --Henry James

 

 

 Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Theodore Rubin “ Kindness is more important than wisdom, and when you realize that  it is the beginning of wisdom.

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