Possessing the truth vs. Pursuit of truth

Passive Violence

" … it is passive violence that fuels the fire of physical violence […] How can we put out a fire if we do not remove the fuel that ignites the inferno? […] Nonviolence is not a strategy that you use today and tomorrow to give it up, it’s not something that turns you into a humble and easy-to-manipulate person either." (Arun Ghandhi in the preface to the book “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg)

Arun Gandhi also said:

The relationship between passive violence and physical violence is the same as the relationship between gasoline and fire. Acts of passive violence generate anger in the victim, and since the victim has not learned how to use anger positively, the victim abuses anger and generates physical violence. Thus, it is passive violence that fuels the fire of physical violence, which means if we wish to put out the fire of physical violence we have to cut off the fuel supply.”

“When my grandfather developed his philosophy of nonviolence in South Africa and wanted an appropriate word to describe it, he could not find one. He rejected “passive resistance” and “civil disobedience,” saying there was nothing passive or disobedient about the movement. He even offered a reward to anyone who could come up with a positive English word to describe what he had in mind. Alas, no one could.”

“Gandhi decided a Sanskrit word might be more appropriate, as he was planning to move back to India and lead the Indian struggle for freedom. He found satyagraha, a combination of two Sanskrit words, described his philosophy the best: satya, meaning “truth,” and agraha, meaning “the pursuit of.” Thus, satyagraha means the pursuit of truth, the opposite of the Western concept of possessing the truth.”

Nonviolence, therefore, can be described as an honest and diligent pursuit of truth. It could also mean the search for the meaning of life or the purpose of life, questions that have tormented humankind for centuries. The fact that we have not been able to find satisfactory answers to these questions does not mean there is no answer. It only means we have not searched with any degree of honesty. The search has to be both external and internal.

“We seek to ignore this crucial search because the sacrifices it demands are revolutionary. It means moving away from greed, selfishness, possessiveness, and dominance to love, compassion, understanding, and respect.”

#Grandfather liked to tell us the story of an ancient Indian king who was obsessed with finding the meaning of peace. What is peace? How can we get it? And what should we do with it when we find it? These were some of the questions that bothered him.

Intellectuals throughout his kingdom were offered a handsome reward to answer the king’s questions. Many tried but none succeeded. At last, someone suggested the king consult a sage who lived just outside the borders of his kingdom.

“He is an old man and very wise,” the king was told. “If anyone can answer your questions he can.”

The king went to the sage and posed the eternal question. Without a word the sage went into his kitchen and brought a grain of wheat to the king.

“In this you will find the answer to your question,” the sage said as he placed the grain of wheat in the king’s outstretched palm.

Puzzled but unwilling to admit his ignorance, the king clutched the grain of wheat and returned to his palace. He locked the precious grain in a tiny gold box and placed the box in his safe. Each morning, upon waking, the king would open the box and look at the grain seeking an answer, but he could find nothing.

Weeks later another sage, passing through, stopped to meet the king, who eagerly invited him to resolve his dilemma.

The king explained how he had asked the eternal question but was given a grain of wheat. “I have been looking for an answer every morning but I find nothing.”

“It is quite simple, your honor,” said the sage. “Just as this grain represents nourishment for the body, peace represents nourishment for the soul. Now, if you keep this grain locked up in a gold box it will eventually perish without providing nourishment or multiplying. However, if it is allowed to interact with the elements - light, water, air, soil - it will flourish and multiply, and soon you would have a whole field of wheat to nourish not only you but so many others. This is the meaning of peace. It must nourish your soul and the souls of others, and it must multiply by interacting with the elements.”#

Well, I recognize that this story inspired me.

I guess people are “the elements” as well, or not? What do you think?

I’m glad that SoFA founders and so many SoFA members didn’t keep “the grain” in a gold box, but let it interact with “the elements” (including us, the people) and so let them multiply and nurish the world. Thank you! :pray:

Adrian, your friend.

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Yes, we learn by interactions, both peace or aggression we do observe first and copy it.
Since every thing we have is the choice of willing to act, every act is determined by our soul or the condition of our soul. Then if we nourish our acts (using our mind to choose the right thing to do) then we nourish our soul, ergo we act righteous.
When we act lovely and truthful towards “the elements” or the people surrounding us, the seed of love and peace have a chance to grow.

Mario Hernández

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