“The more we give up our attachment to the physical frame of the person we love, the purer and more expansive our love grows.”
–Gandhi (Letter to ashramite Prabhudas, 2-2-18, from Day to Day with Gandhi, vol. 1, p. 21)
Another term for nonviolence is love-in-action. It’s not always an apt term, because what is not active about love? When seen in its true form, it’s ever active, ever at work.
Love is both a precious and infinite resource–the more we love, the more we are able to love, and the deeper we can love others. It has no limit. You never reach the “end of love.” While other people can teach us lessons about love, they are not the source of love. Love is its own source and we are expressions, embodiments if you will, of it, not the other way around.
The more powerful we make our love, the “purer and more expansive” it becomes, the more powerful we become. When we resist, we do it in the name of love, not in the name of hatred. When we create, we create not for the few or even simply the majority, we build for everyone. That’s love.
Gandhi is always practical. He’s giving us insight into how to achieve this power: if we find ourselves attached to loving someone’s physical frame, we can learn to love them more by attaching ourselves to what is within them that is in everyone. Our beloved comes alive in all, and so we will want to work for all, to serve all to grow closer each day to them by always keeping our vision fixed on them in all. Doing so, we can find and experience love’s highest fulfillment, which Hollywood can hardly dream of.
Experiment in Nonviolence:
Think about Gandhi’s advice for today. Do you have a relationship where you might begin to apply this teaching in your life? Dare to try.
Daily Metta 2015, a service of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, is a daily reflection on the strategic and spiritual insights of Mahatma Gandhi in thought, word and deed. As Gandhi called his life an “experiment in truth,” we have included an experiment in nonviolence to accompany each Daily Metta. Check in every day for new inspiration. Each year will be dedicated to another wisdom teacher.