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Agency/Freedom: Daily Metta

Michael Nagler 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.


Agency/Freedom: Daily Metta

“Mere withdrawal of the English is not independence. It means the consciousness and the average villager that he is the maker of his own destiny, he is his own legislator through his chosen representative.” ~ Gandhi, Young India, February 13, 1930

We are familiar by now with the key doctrine that “no man loses his freedom except through his (her) own weakness.” Here Gandhi specifies the all-important criterion of that freedom, namely agency (and the implied corollary: responsibility). As usual, his understanding or our inherent agency/freedom spans from an implied spiritual capacity, located within the person, to the political expression—a valuable lesson for our political culture today!

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About Daily Metta

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.

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