Political Aspect: Daily Metta

“I would ask you to forget the political aspect of the program.  Political consequences of this struggle there are, but you are not to concern yourself with them. If you do, you will miss the true result, and also the political consequences.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, March 19, 1925

It is easy to forget that Gandhi, one of the most politically consequential figures of our time, did not act directly on the political level of society, or humanity. It is easy to forget that our political arrangements are secondary, they have a cause in deeper cultural and ultimately spiritual realities. As he goes on to say, “We are endeavoring to rid Hinduism of its greatest blot,” of an “age-old prejudice,” and that kind of thing can be touched only superficially (and often not permanently) by laws and voting. The American Civil Rights movement was able to cap its successes by laws and voting, but those successes, incomplete as they were, had to be won by “moving the heart.” When black Americans took to nonviolence their status shot up, even in the eyes of those who had harbored an “age-old prejudice” against them. We should bear this in mind, because there are forces at play trying to reverse that progress.

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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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