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Loka Alert 9:5 (September 10, 2002)

GANDHI'S LAW


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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

At this time of national reflection, we share these words from Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi (1869-1948) has been an inspiration to the Loka Institute, as to so many others. He developed the basic techniques of non-violent social action and led some of its most effective applications ever, first in South Africa and then in India. He also was one of the first to promote critical thinking about 
Western technologies, and the concept of appropriate technology.

Gandhi's commitment to non-violent social transformation  
his "experiments with truth" as he called it
demonstrated new ways to resolve conflict creatively,
while honoring the humanity of all:


We must either let the Law of Love rule us through and through or not at all. Love among ourselves based on hatred of others breaks down under the slightest pressure. The fact is such love is never real love. It is an armed peace. And so it will be in this great movement in the West against war. War will only be stopped when the conscience of mankind has become sufficiently elevated to recognize the undisputed supremacy of the Law of Love in all the walks of life. Some say this will never come to pass. I shall retain the faith till the end of my earthly existence that this shall come to pass . . .

. . . Non-violence is a weapon of the strong. With the weak, it might easily be hypocrisy. Fear and love are contradictory terms. Love is reckless in giving away, oblivious as to what it gets in return. Love wrestles with the world as with itself and ultimately gains a mastery over all other feelings. My daily experience, as of those who are working with me, is that every problem would lend itself to solution if we are determined to make the law of truth and non-violence the law of life. For truth and non-violence are, to me, faces of the same coin.

Whether mankind will consciously follow the law of love I do not know. But that need not perturb us. The law will work, just as the law of gravitation will work whether we accept it or no. And just as a scientist will work wonders out of various applications of the laws of nature, even so a man who applies the law of love with scientific precision can work greater wonders. For the force of non-violence is infinitely more wonderful and subtle than the force of nature, like for instance electricity.

The person who discovered for us the law of love was a far greater scientist than any of our modern scientists. Only our explorations have not gone far enough and so it is not possible for everyone to see all its workings. Such, at any rate, is the hallucination, if it is one, under which I am laboring. The more I work at this law, the more I feel the delight in life, the delight in the scheme of this universe. It gives me a peace and a meaning of the mysteries of nature that I have no power to describe.
--Mahatma Gandhi--


(Reference: From _ The Essential Writings of Mahatma Gandhi _ edited by Raghavan Iyer, 1996, published by Manzar Khan, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, pp. 242-243.)

With warm regards to all, from the Board of Trustees of the Loka Institute. We welcome your comments and reflections -- you may reach us at Loka@Loka.org.


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