To explore the science of nonviolence is more than a study of books or movements. When you get down to it, really, we could say that it is the exploration of the universe itself. What laws govern nature, human interaction, the mind, spirit, and the body? What is the nature of love? What is the most effective form and use of power? How to harness this knowledge skillfully? These are not poetics but concrete questions that can be hypothesized, tested, practiced and implemented — as deeply or superficially as one would like. I’m reminded of the way that the Chandogya Upanishad puts it, “As vast as the world without is the world within the lotus of heart.” Similarly, there will not be a point when we will come to the end of nonviolence. There’s always something fresh and new about it because through it we expand and increase our awareness of who and what we are. This is not mere speculation: one by one people around Gandhi attested to finding the courage and power to challenge themselves in ways that they never thought they could. Think of it.
When Nai Talimist Srimati Ashadevi Aranyanayakam was asked in an interview for the film Gandhi’s India, “Don’t you think that Gandhi did not take into account the limitations of human nature?” She burst into blossom, like a flower, with her hands raised and her eyes joyful like a child of three and said, “There are no limitations to human nature.” Hypothesis or conclusion? We’ll have to try it on ourselves.
Do you put a limit on your capacity for nonviolence? What would happen if you relaxed that limit a bit? Try it out.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 firstname.lastname@example.org