Permanent Good: Daily Metta

“Some of the immediate and brilliant results of modern inventions are too maddening to resist. But I have no manner of doubt that the victory of [wo]man lies in that resistance. We are in danger of bartering away the permanent good for a momentary pleasure.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, June 2, 1927

Perhaps it is because we have no collective vision of a higher form of pleasure that we run after material goods, in the hopes of some temporary satiation of our unconscious longing for a lasting satisfaction. Maybe we do not believe—or have been conditioned to doubt—that it is possible to achieve a permanent good. Gandhi is telling us right here that our very salvation as human beings lies in breaking through those doubts and taking on the challenge to find out for ourselves. He gives us an important clue: resist momentary pleasure. Let it pass as any other form of temporary agitation, like waves in the ocean. But when we get control over that agitation, the waves can subside. Beneath it, we might discover a great treasure. And we might find immense peace and inward strength—two key elements of permanent satisfaction—when we playfully and consciously resist instead of indulge our cravings for the latest iPhone or whatever.

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About Daily Metta

Book cover imageStephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.

Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.

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