Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gandhi's paralogical logic of ahimsa (a selection)

What follows is a selection from Gandhi on Non-violence.

1- Ahimsa means a steady progress with discipline.

2-  The power of the satyagrahi is greater than if he were violent.

3- There is no defeat in a-himsa.

4- In a-himsa the bravery consists in taking the brunt, not in killing.

5- The satyagrahi should never have any hatred toward his opponent... must be prepared to suffer until the end.

6- ...truth never jimsa a cause that is just.

7- A satyagrahi is never vindictive. He believes not in destruction but in conversion.

8- A-himsa presupposes the ability to strike.

9- ...injustice must be resisted. A-himsa is better, but where is does not come naturally jimsa is both necessary and honorable.

10- So long as one retains one's sword, one has not attain complete fearlessness.

11- A-himsa is impossible without self-purification.

12- A weak man is just by accident. A strong satyagrahi is unjust by accident.

13- A satyagrahi is dead to his body even before his enemy attempts to kill him, i.e. he is free from attachment to his body and only lives in the victory of his soul.

14- A non-violent revolution is not a program for a seizure of power, it's a program of transformation of relationships ending in a peaceful transfer of power.

15- No man has been able to describe God fully. The same goes for ahimsa.

16- Man as animal is violent but as spirit is non-violent. The moment he awakes to the spirit he cannot be violent.

17- It's better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts than to put the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. Violence is any day preferable to impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent. (impotent = no reaction)

18- If we remain non-violent, hatred will die, as everything does, from disuse.

19- Ahimsa cannot be preached. It needs to be practiced.

20- Ahimsa succeeds only if one has faith.

21- Ahimsa is the supreme law.

22- Ahimsa is the only true force in life.

23- If one has pride & egoism there is no ahimsa. Ahimsa is impossible without self-control.

All excerpts taken from Ghandi on Non-Violence, New Directions Paper book (New York, 1965)