Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Non-Harming

Non-harming is an ongoing process of simply regulating our thoughts, words, and intentions to create benefit, rather than harm for ourselves, and others.

Non-harming is the umbrella under which many virtues, such as non-violence, peace, acceptance, truth, humility, mercy, and forgiveness flourish. Since ‘Non-harming’ is an ongoing endeavor, it calls for one to conduct all matters, grand and public, or small and domestic, to be attended to in accordance with the laws of nature of cooperation, compassion, and harmony. Non-violence is the law of the human race and is infinitely greater than and superior to brute force. The spirit lies dormant in the brute and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law-to the strength of the spirit....

The rishis who discovered the law of non-harming in the midst of violence, apathy, and aversion were greater geniuses than Newton. They were themselves masters in the use of arms, but quickly realized their uselessness, and taught a weary world that its salvation lay not through harm and violence but through love and sacrifice.1

So where do we practice the art of ‘Non-harming’’?

Each day, grounded in our daily interactions with others, we have the ability to encourage non violence, humility, and forgiveness, while reducing, ill will, hostility, and aggression. 2 Gandhi once told Life Magazine and I quote, I learnt the lesson of non-harm from my wife, when I tried to bend her to my will. Her determined resistance to my will, on the one hand, and her quiet submission to the suffering my stupidity involved, on the other, ultimately made me ashamed of myself and cured me of my stupidity in thinking that I was born to rule over her and, in the end, she became my teacher in non-violence.

Why does the world refrain from the practice of non-harming

The attributes of non-harming avails one the full protection to self-respect but not to accumulation of wealth, might, pomp, and pride. And since this world has bound itself together by the thread of shame, people have begun worshiping materialism more than spiritualism, as a result, good is travelling at the pace of a snail. The cultivation of this compassionate nature requires that one throw themselves solely onto the mercy of the higher morality which governs us all. But then treading this path my friends requires a great degree of faith which the common folk are subtely discouraged in acquainting oneself with. It is vehermently reiterated to us that this is the way of the foolish and in order to ensure that this manipulation is deeply ingrained throughout the psyche, our every revolt against love and compassion is applauded in the name of individualism and valour. We do not realize that whenever we succumb under the preassure of our anxious bundle of nerves to rely on our own tiny might than on faith, forgiveness, and mercy we seperate instead of unite, degrade than rather elevate.

It is not so much as to what we are doing, but how we are doing it and one of the most important things to remember is that non-violence is about action, not inaction. When we do not demand or expect that events happen as we would wish them to but accept as they actually happen and are; then Non-harming is possible.2 Hence, acceptance is the first aware insight one must shed light upon. When you set sail towards non-violence do not expect that the journey will be one of calm sailing, no. There will be continous risk of running aground in these subjectively unchartered waters. As a result, use of discretion will be needed.

Non-Harming Related Motivations

Acceptance

Acceptance can only be rightfully exercised when one comes into contact with a person towards whom one is having or showing a dislike or distrust that is derived from prejudice. As a result, one of the main attributes of acceptance is humility. There can be no acceptance where there is no humility.

Discretion

The ability to avoid words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness stands between illusions and the truth; between the world you see and that which lies beyond; between the hell of guilt and heavens gate.3 Forgiveness is a difficult concept to grasp for many. Saying “I forgive you.” and moving on is not forgiveness because forgiveness is hardly between you and the subject or person in matter.

Forgiveness is an ongoing work. Hard work, of recording whenever the feelings of ill-will, disdain, and aggression arise under its many guises. Sometimes you won’t even know that the obstructive emotion percolating is in relation to a particular person or transgression until at later date. That is why the scientific recording and analysis of thoughts, feelings, and intent is so important, and this is where this software comes to your aid as a blessing - a true tool of spiritual science.

So forgiving someone does not mean that you will stop feeling the rage, resentment, bitterness and the seething vindictive intentions, which come with a heart that is hurt. They will be there. It always has, even before the incident which now cause you such anguish.

Forgiving someone or something else is learning to love yourself. Yes. It is birth of love and as all birth it will hurt in the beginning and there will be tears. Soon the pain and tears will be transformed into insight and clarity. And as your clarity deepens there will emerge tranquility and this peace of mind is love. So in the end, forgiving someone else is learning to love yourself. It is the birth of just one of your soul mates.

Mercy

Mercy is the power exercised by one who is in a position to rightfully, under the law and order of the day, able to punish, but chooses to exercise the liberty of compassion.

Non Stealing

Not taking by capricious means. This begins first in mind. We need to track in thought, "Am I being lazy at work, thus stealing time from my employer." Am I being idle at home and using time available to me in idle pursuit and listless entertainement, thus stealing time from evolution. Am I denying someone their right, thus robbing them off their freedom.

Nonviolence

Non-violence is passive resistance to evil by love, spiritual force, and reason, rather, than the use of physical force or emotional violence. Non-violence is the basis of the search for truth. This search is vain, unless it is founded on principles of non-harming as its foundation. Truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills. For nonviolence to be strong and effective, it must begin with the self, without which it will be nonviolence of the weak and cowardly. A coward is a person who lacks courage when facing a dangerous and unpleasant situation and tries to avoid it.

A man cannot practice ahimsa and at the same time be a coward. True nonviolence is dissociated from fear. Gandhi felt that possession of arms is not only cowardice but also lack of fearlessness or courage. Gandhi stressed this when he said; “I can imagine a fully armed man to be at heart a coward. Possession of arms implies an element of fear, if not cowardice but true nonviolence is impossibility without the possession of unadulterated fearlessness.” In the face of violence and injustice, Gandhi considered violent resistance preferable to cowardly submission. There is hope that a violent man may someday be nonviolent, but there is no room for a coward to develop fearlessness.

Truth

Truth is only valid if lived. It has no use in books and debates. Truth is an endevour which is strived for by an individual through a sincere effort in practice of a principle which demonstrates not a hint of self-interest. In such selfless search for Truth nobody can lose his bearings for long. Directly he takes to the wrong path he stumbles, and is thus redirected to the right path. Therefore the pursuit of Truth is true bhakti (devotion). It is the path that leads to God. There is no place in it for cowardice, no place for defeat. It is the talisman by which death itself becomes the portal to life eternal.3