Howard Thurman, “Knowledge . . . Shall Vanish Away”

There is a sense of wholeness at the core of manThat must abound in all he does;That marks with reverence his ev’ry step;That has its sway when all else fails;That wearies out all evil things;That warms the depth of frozen fearsMaking friend of foe,Making love of hate,And lasts beyond the living and the dead,Beyond the goals of peace, the ends of war!This man seeks through all his years:To be complete and of one piece, within, without. — “Knowledge . . . Shall Vanish Away,” in The Inward Journey Continue reading Howard Thurman, “Knowledge . . . Shall Vanish Away”

Ahimsa as a Science Of Love and Social Action

Impure means result in an impure end. Hence, prince and the peasant will not be equaled by cutting off the prince’s head, nor can the process of cutting off equalize the employer and the employed. One cannot reach truth by untruthfulness. Truthful conduct alone can reach truth. —Gandhiji The artist of this untitled piece, K.H. Ara, was a satyagrahi who was imprisoned for his participation in the famous Salt Satyagraha. The production of salt, a dietary staple, was heavily taxed by the British colonial administration. Satyagrahis marched for nearly a month on foot to the sea. More than 80, 000 … Continue reading Ahimsa as a Science Of Love and Social Action

The Heroism of Satyagraha

Our heroes must be spiritual. –Swami Vivekananda What does the method and philosophy of Satyagraha reveal? It exposes the heart of human nature, in all of its contradictions. The law of satyagraha compels us to act with soul force, which necessitates activation of our soul memory, our spirit consciousness. If it follows that we were still born though we do not remember our babyhood, then it is also true that our soul-force stores memories from many lifetimes through which we have traveled. Just because we do not remember our babyhood, for example, does not mean we did not exist. This … Continue reading The Heroism of Satyagraha

Satyagraha: Gandhian Principles of Non-Violent Non-Cooperation By William Stuart Nelson

Reprinted from THE JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS THOUGHT Autumn-Winter Issue, 1957-1958 CHANGE in the social order today is proceeding often violently and is frequently being resisted just as violently. Our own country is caught in a strange conjunction of Christian and democratic principles, fanatical resistence even to the belated application of these principles, and grave uncertainty as to how best the victims, the victimizers, and the innocent can escape both moral embarrassment and physical pain. Somehow, happily, men appear less reluctant than formerly to hear testimony to faith in non-violence, a testimony borne so urgently in the past by Jesus of … Continue reading Satyagraha: Gandhian Principles of Non-Violent Non-Cooperation By William Stuart Nelson

Mahatma Gandhi on Satanic Civilization

IT IS my firm belief that Europe today represents not the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan’s successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips. Europe is today only nominally Christian. In reality, it is worshipping Mammon. Young India, 8-9-1920 Neither railways nor hospitals are a test of a high and pure civilization. At best they are a necessary evil. Neither adds one inch to the moral stature of a nation. Young India, 26-1-1921 I wholeheartedly detest this mad desire to destroy distance and time, to increase … Continue reading Mahatma Gandhi on Satanic Civilization

On the Philosophy and Methods of Non-Violence: Martin Luther King Jr. to William Nelson

NOTE In the following letter, Dr. King writes to Dr. William Nelson, dean of Howard University, a historically black university in Washington D.C., in order to ask whether he knew of any books or pamphlets on the caste system in India. Here, King comments upon the significance of his trip to India, which he deems “full of meaningful insights,” decisively re-anchoring his commitment to non-violence. He expresses his desire to dialogue on these matters to Nelson. The letter is yet another testimony to the unity of India and African-America in the great freedom struggle of the twentieth century, when the … Continue reading On the Philosophy and Methods of Non-Violence: Martin Luther King Jr. to William Nelson

In Search Of Satyagraha: Richard Gregg, Gandhi, and King’s Pilgrimage to Nonviolence

Dr. King imprisoned for his leadership of the Montgomery bus boycott, 1956 In the following letter to Richard Bartlett Gregg (1885-1974), a white American pacifist and social theorist, presents his thoughts on Gandhi had a significant influence on Martin Luther King Jr., the leader of the American Civil Rights movement responds to an offer of assistance from Gregg, who had written to King inquiring if he could help with arranging the publication of his account of the Montgomery bus boycott, Stride Towards Freedom: The Montgomery Story. When asked to choose the five books that shaped his philosophy after his leading … Continue reading In Search Of Satyagraha: Richard Gregg, Gandhi, and King’s Pilgrimage to Nonviolence

The Moral Government of the World: On Faith, Reason, and Truth

I. THE SOUL-FORCE IN HISTORY In his spiritual message to the world, notable because it is one of the rare extant speeches Mohandas K. Gandhi gave in English, the satygrahi remarked that There is an indefinable mysterious power that pervades everything, I feel it though I do not see it. It is this unseen power which makes itself felt and yet defies all proof, because it is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses. It transcends the senses. God is indescribable and ominpresent for Gandhi, capable of being sensed without manifesting physically. Love is perhaps the most important … Continue reading The Moral Government of the World: On Faith, Reason, and Truth