Friday, June 24, 2011

Looking Into Gandhi

Lately I've had an interest in Gandhi, so I've started in the first place I could read up on him, wikipedia. I have no doubt his pacifism was too extreme and there are also some strange rumors...well, about him and young girls. But I'm not really looking for a savior.

I liked this part of the article:

"The pivotal and defining element of Gandhism is satya, a Sanskrit word usually translated into English as truth, whose literal meaning is 'what actually is' (deriving from the root verb as meaning 'to be'). The principle of Satya as espoused by Gandhi needed that Truth must pervade all considerations of politics, ego, society and convention. Gandhi did not consider himself to be a pacifist, socialist or on any definable spectrum of politics. He professed to adhere to the pure, existing facts of life to make his decisions.
Gandhi’s commitments to non-violence, human freedom, equality and justice arose from his personal examination."

I'm still learning, so its a bit early to say too much about Gandhi. What I admire him for, more than so many others, is his skepticism towards violence. Too often in life we become passionate with a cause and move to demonize whatever group is opposing our cause. And then the dehumanization and violence comes in.

This quote only raises my opinion of Gandhi. "Personal examination" or at least examination of our own beliefs, is the method by which we avoid offensive dogmatism.



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