The active non violence is neither passivity, nor fatalism, nor abandonment, nor moderation, nor neutrality, nor cowardliness. On the contrary, it is the defence of justice with courage and decisiveness, disregarding the risk and without the use of violent actions. The injustice will not disappear all by itself and the human rights will not be respected through the spontaneous generosity of the wielders of power. We need to fight, but fight without violence. System is like Lernaean Hydra.
If you cut off his head, two or three will pop out instead. Only the fire of awareness can burn down radically and permanently evil which has insidiously penetrated into the hearts of people. The division of people sharply into two groups—either good or bad— is very simplistic and dangerous, whoever holds the knife. Good poor against bad rich, good workers against bad bosses. The Oppressed of yesterday can easily be the oppressor of tomorrow and this cycle of violence and exploitation can continue indefinitely. Several examples prove this point. Many rebels of yesterday were easily transformed to slipper- bourgeois, when they came into contact with money and health. The proletarian revolutions not only did not succeed to erase the class differences, but has created new ones.
The names are changed but the same scenario is being repeated because the people remain unchanged, with a few exceptions that do not disprove the rule. In early times, hippie were innocently supporting that when the old men will be disappeared (more than thirty five years old), the world will be a paradise, in which all will live in peace. Many new generations are been since then, but unfortunately they didn’t succeed to remain new at heart and fresh in mind.
Unfortunately, the rebellion has always a date of expiration. Other young men are followed but they are not seemed to learn from the past and believe they are the only real rebels, as the previous were weak and fake. If we don t thoroughly understand the human psychology and the deepest motivations, the unconscious mechanism and the absence of consciousness, we are doomed to repeat monotonously the same mistakes. This is the main message of “LIGHT IN ACTION”. I change the world by changing myself. I become the change, I want to see in society and at the same time I am fighting to impart the fire of change to other people. No peaceful society can be via violent actions. By following the command “an eye for an eye” we are going to end up living in a society full of blind. The defender of violence, having rationalized their unconscious strain, tries to relate the non violence to the acquiescent fatalism and the unfair justice. Nothing could be more wrong!
The active non violence is the weapon of the strong who risk their safety for the defense of Universal values. It seems reasonable to fight about your fair special interests; however it is ethically better to strive for justice and for the Common good. The non violent is not in favor of a peace covering up discriminations, corruption, abuse and state violence. Great Peacemaker himself said: “Think not that I come to bring peace on earth.” “I have come not to bring peace but a sword.” Obviously the word “sword” didn’t t mean massacres, but the distinction between the real and the false. Peace attempting to reconcile the incompatible is still violence !
Without justice there is no real and viable peace. The non violent spiritual activist strives to remedy the misfits and this fight is not easy at all. What distinguishes him from a common rebel, are the means and not the end. Every revolution aims to establish a better order and justice, although the means are not justified by the end. The violent rebels want to break the monopoly of state violence, although at this level, their arms are powerless and their brigades limited…. The major riots were based on massive mobilizations representing the view of the vast majority of people. The urban guerrillas, in the western societies at least, reflect the philosophy of small, socially excluded groups, particularly young people, who attack the system, like Don Quixote the windmills.
The assassinations, the explosions, the arsons and the vandalisms absolutely do not bring together the wronged, but on the contrary are rejected by them. So the defender of violence marginalized, are being led inevitably to the self destruction, while they are strengthening the legitimacy of the riot police. The state violence and the terrorist violence consist a perfect pocket pair. In the beginning the non violence seems impotent and ineffective compared to the striking power of weapons, this fact being the consequence of her misapplication.
To have enough power, the movement of non violence has to create a kind of critical mass, with organization, and knowledge of the basic rules for action to be taken. This is the main purpose of the “Manual of Spiritual Activism”: to provide the theoretical basis and the practical instruments necessary for the organization of a great non violent change movement. The conscience change as well as the spiritual culture is the favorable breeding ground for the seeds of “Eutopia” .
We have no illusions that this maturation will happen very quickly but, on the other hand, all violent and abrupt changes have failed because the world was unprepared and there was no truly alternative and functional plan.
P.S. Excerpt from the “Spiritual Activist’s Handbook”