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BK Blog Post
Posted by Michael Nagler.
Michael is founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the author of Our Spiritual Crisis and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, which received a 2002 American Book Award and has been translated into several languages.
Gandhi saw everything he touched on—in this case khadi and the village industry programs—as an aspect of Reality, and specifically human reality. He could deal with the smallest details and the biggest picture, so to speak, in the same breath.
Here he offers an eye-opening insight into the deadening effect of modern industrialism: how through it persons try to avoid dealing with living persons and attempt to escape into the world of dead machinery. A fatal mistake. We go to war referring to a city of living people as a “target” and give names of living things like “little boy” and “fat man” to the deadest and deadliest of entities, atomic bombs.
While discussing a simple program of economic uplift, he has laid his finger on a flaw at the heart of modern industrial civilization. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be the first to agree: “We must rapidly begin the shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ civilization to a ‘person-oriented’ civilization.”
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Stephanie Van Hook, the Metta Center’s executive director, launched Daily Metta in 2015 as a way to share Gandhi’s spiritual wisdom and experiments with nonviolence.
Our 2016 Daily Metta continues with Gandhi on weekdays. On weekends, we share videos that complement Michael Nagler’s award-winning book, The Search for a Nonviolent Future: A Promise of Peace for Ourselves, Our Families, and Our World. To help readers engage with the book more deeply, the Metta Center offers a free PDF study guide.