The Third Harmony Project

What can we do about violence today?

At the Metta Center for Nonviolence, we’re working on a campaign called ‘The Third Harmony’ to raise the human image and bring the ancient art of nonviolence into the mainstream of public consciousness.

This twin development is essential for the continuation of human progress, indeed for the survival of a meaningful human life on planet Earth.

In ancient India the sages spoke of “three sources of suffering,” from the environment, from other beings, and especially from within ourselves. To be secure, happy, and free from suffering, we must establish three harmonies:

-with the environment and the universe (the first harmony),

-with others (the second harmony),

and most importantly,

-within ourselves—the third harmony.

Gandhi at the spinning wheel.

Those familiar with nonviolence history know that Gandhi instituted 18 projects to create his famous Constructive Program for the revitalization of India (represented by the spinning wheel in our logo).

Our humble effort to carry his work forward consists of weaving together three key projects in a similarly coordinated whole.

We are calling on you to get involved.

The Third Harmony campaign has three key assets:

A film for high schools, colleges, and organizations:

Documentary: The Third Harmony film tells the story of nonviolence, the greatest—and most overlooked—resource in human experience. The film, distributed by Bullfrog Films, a top educational video distributer, is in its first incarnation: a 44 minute version for community groups, as well as school and university classrooms. It is based on 35+ hours of interviews with prominent nonviolent activists and scholars, scientists, teachers, practitioners of restorative justice, and others.

A number of excellent documentaries have recounted the overlooked stories of particular campaigns, for example Bringing Down A Dictator (Serbia, 2000) and Budrus (Palestine, 2008). These films have paved the way for the approach of The Third Harmony, which is to highlight nonviolence itself: what is it, where it comes from, and how can we use it.

The film will be supplemented by a media campaign drawn from interviews not in the film, as well as a discussion guide, and curriculum for teachers.

Learn more about the documentary and watch the trailer:

A book to explore TH concepts in-depth:

Book: Michael Nagler’s latest title, The Third Harmony: Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Nature, published by Berrett-Koehler in March 2020. The book complements The Third Harmony documentary by focusing on the “new story,” with its emphasis on nonviolence (the film centers on nonviolence with its emphasis on the new story). It provides the opportunity to go deeper into the revolutionary significance of nonviolence, the new story, and the relationship between them.

Michael draws on his long experience of teaching and writing on this subject, or double subject, to reach a hopeful conclusion: that the new story cannot be completed without focusing on the human being (the third harmony), and in so doing coming to the realization that Gandhi was exactly correct: “Nonviolence is the law of the humans.”

Nonviolence rounds out the new definition of human nature toward which the new story has been making its way.  This is true because only nonviolence can really bring the new story to fruition. Nonviolence is the only way to “move the heart,” as Gandhi said. It is the only method that could bring about a great paradigm shift without creating a violent backlash.

Learn more about the book, and download a sample chapter:

A cooperative board game for teens and adults:

Board game: Cosmic Peaceforce: Mission Harmony Three is a cooperative game designed for people 15+ and optimized for 3-5 players. The game sets players on an adventure:

Here’s your mission, if you choose to accept:

The Disharmony Yuga, a galactic wave of negative forces, is freezing hearts and minds across the galaxy and it is headed directly towards us. Violence is escalating on all sides. Realizing each of us has a part of the solution to transform this massive wave of despair and separation, and with the courage to face conflict and de-escalate violence wherever we find it, the Cosmic Peaceforce embarks on a sacred mission to discover the root of the problem—and its most transformative solution.

Our intrepid team heads out across the cosmos toward the recently discovered planet, Harmony 3, in order to meet the Ancient One and recover a near-lost ancient wisdom that will heal and transform our world, granting freedom from fear and separateness once and for all.

Cosmic Peaceforce is much more than a fun game. It also serves as a mini-training in the new story and nonviolence. This is not a game of me against you or “us vs. them”: players work together to establish a greater harmony for everyone.

Learn more about the game, and find out how to obtain a copy:

To learn more or to be of service to any of these projects, including the overall campaign, please write to us at