The Eyes of Faith: How to Not Go Crazy: Thoughts to Bear in Mind to Get Through Even the Worst Days
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I hear your need. I feel your feelings. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business. I believe in the essential unity of all people and for that matter of all lives. Therefore, I believe that if one person gains spiritually, the whole world gains, and if one person falls, the whole world falls to that extent. Mankind is notoriously too dense to read the signs that God sends from time to time. We require drums to be beaten into our ears, before we should wake from our trance and hear the warning and see that to lose oneself in all, is the only way to find oneself.
My life is an indivisible whole, and all my attitudes run into one another; and they all have their rise in my insatiable love for mankind. Each one has to find his peace from within.
And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances. Brute nature has been know to yield to the influence of love. You must never despair of human nature. The law of sacrifice is uniform throughout the world. To be effective it demands the sacrifice of the bravest and the most spotless.
Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy. Measures must always in a progressive society be held superior to men, who are after all imperfect instruments, working for their fulfilment.
It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings. If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children. Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being. My life is dedicated to service of India through the religion of nonviolence which I believed to be the root of Hinduism. Non-cooperation is a measure of discipline and sacrifice, and it demands respect for the opposite views.
If co-operation is a duty, I hold that non-co-operation also under certain conditions is equally a duty. It cannot be achieved through pure personal effort. We should meet abuse by forbearance. Human nature is so constituted that if we take absolutely no notice of anger or abuse, the person indulging in it will soon weary of it and stop. Violent means will give violent freedom. That would be a menace to the world and to India herself.
To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse then starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body. Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man. I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary, the evil it does is permanent.
Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit. I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast a scale as I could. Nonviolence is not to be used ever as the shield of the coward. It is the weapon of the brave. What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.
Monotony is the law of nature.
Look at the monotonous manner in which the sun rises. The monotony of necessary occupation is exhilarating and life giving. The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. As for food, India has plenty of fertile land, there is enough water and no dearth of man power… The public should be educated to become self reliant. Once they know that they have got to stand on their own legs, it would electrify the atmosphere.
The purpose of life is undoubtedly to know oneself. We cannot do it unless we learn to identify ourselves with all that lives. The sum-total of that life is God. I want to realize brotherhood or identity not merely with the beings called human, but I want to realize identity with all life, even with such things as crawl upon earth. I hold flesh-food to be unsuited to our species. We err in copying the lower animal world if we are superior to it. I do feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.
They had also brought out the truth that man eats not for enjoyment but to live. Human nature will find itself only when it fully realizes that to be human it has to cease to be beastly or brutal. When I see a cow, it is not an animal to eat, it is a poem of pity for me and I worship it and I shall defend its worship against the whole world. The basis of my vegetarianism is not physical, but moral. If anybody said that I should die if I did not take beef tea or mutton, even on medical advice, I would prefer death. That is the basis of my vegetarianism. I submit that scientists have not yet explored the hidden possibilities of the innumerable seeds, leaves and fruits for giving the fullest possible nutrition to mankind.
Cow-slaughter and man-slaughter are in my opinion two sides of the same coin. There is no need of a teacher for those who know how to think. A wise parent allows the children to make mistakes. It is good for them once in a while to burn their fingers. Responsibility will mellow and sober the youth and prepare them, for the burden they must discharge. Real education has to draw out the best from the boys and girls to be educated. This can never be done by packing ill-assorted and unwanted information into the heads of the pupils.
It becomes a dead weight crushing all originality in them and turning them into mere automata. An intellect that is developed through the medium of socially useful labour will be an instrument for service and will not easily be led astray or fall into devious paths. I hold that, as the largest part of our time is devoted to labour for earning our bread, our children must from their infancy be taught the dignity of such labour.
Our first duty is that we should not be a burden on society, i. From this point of view self-sufficiency itself is a kind of service. After becoming self-sufficient we shall use our spare time for the service of others. If all become self-sufficient, none will be in trouble. Given the right kind of teachers, our children will be taught the dignity of labour and learn to regard it as an integral part and a means of their intellectual growth, and to realize that it is patriotic to pay for their training through their labour. Education must be of a new type for the sake of the creation of a new world.
Character cannot be built with mortar and stone. It cannot be built by hands other than your own. The Principal and the Professor cannot give you character from the pages of books. Character building comes from their very lives really speaking, it must come from within yourselves. When it is remembered that the primary aim of all education is, or should be, the moulding of the character of pupils, a teacher who has a character to keep need not lost heart.
If teachers impart all the knowledge in the world to their students but inculcate not truth and purity among them, they will have betrayed them and instead of raising them set them on the downward road to perdition. Persistent questioning and healthy inquisitiveness are the first requisite for acquiring learning of any kind.
The students should be, above all, humble and correct… The greatest to remain great has to be the lowliest by choice. Let us now cry a halt and concentrate on education the child properly through manual work, not as a side activity, but as the prime means of intellectual training. You have to train the boys in one occupation or another. Round this special occupation you will train up his mind, his body, his handwriting, his artistic sense, and so on.
He will be master of the craft he learns. If India is not to declare spiritual bankruptcy, religious instruction of its youth must be held to be at least as necessary as secular instruction. Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for confession. There will have to be rigid and iron discipline before we achieve anything great and enduring, and that discipline will not come by mere academic argument and appeal to reason and logic.
Discipline is learnt in the school of adversity. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stifled. I want all the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. Moral authority is never retained by any attempt to hold on to it. It comes without seeking and is retained without effort. There is nothing more potent than thought. Deed follows word and word follows thought.
The word is the result of a mighty thought, and where the thought is mighty and pure the result is always mighty and pure. It is my own firm belief that the strength of the soul grows in proportion as you subdue the flesh. I want freedom for the full expression of my personality. Man has always desired power. Ownership of property gives this power.
Man hankers also after posthumous fame based on power. I have implicit faith in that promise. Life is an aspiration. Its mission is to strive after perfection, which is self-realization. The ideal must not be lowered because of our weaknesses or imperfections. Nonviolent resistance implies the very opposite of weakness. A definite forgiveness would mean a definite recognition of our strength. If we were strong, self-respecting and not susceptible to frightfulness, the foreign rulers would have been powerless for mischief.
He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him.
What Is Hope?
He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so. If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time. And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm. I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps. Change yourself — you are in control. The human body is meant solely for service, never for indulgence.
The secret of happy life lies in renunciation. Renunciation is life. Indulgence spells death. He who runs to the doctor, vaidya, or hakim for every little ailment, and swallows all kinds of vegetable and mineral drugs, not only curtails his life, but by becoming the slave of his body instead of remaining its master, loses self-control, and ceases to be a man. Not to have control over the senses is like sailing in a rudderless ship, bound to break to pieces on coming in contact with the very first rock. We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body.
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. Part 4. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do. Fasting unto death is the last and the most potent weapon in the armoury of Satyagraha a policy of passive political resistance. It is a sacred thing. But it must be accepted with all its implications.
It is not the fast itself, but what it implies that matters. Not until we have reduced ourselves to nothingness can we conquer the evil in us. God demands nothing less than complete self-surrender as the price for the only real freedom that is worth having. Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful.
Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you. I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts. A thoughtless word hardly ever escaped my tongue or pen. Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. We find so many people impatient to talk. All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world.
It is so much waste of time. My shyness has been in reality my shield and buckler. It has allowed me to grow. It has helped me in my discernment of truth. The richest grace of ahimsa will descend easily upon the owner of hard discipline. For winning Swaraj one requires iron discipline. Independence means voluntary restraints and discipline, voluntary acceptance of the rule of law.
Good government is no substitute for self-government. Every person in a well-ordered state is fully conscious of both his responsibilities and his rights. Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today. So far as I can see the atomic bomb has deadened the finest feeling that has sustained mankind for ages.
A good person will resist an evil system with his whole soul. Disobedience of the laws of an evil state is therefore a duty. It is derogatory to the dignity of mankind, it is derogatory to the dignity of India, to entertain for one single moment hatred towards Englishmen. A democrat must be utterly selfless. He must think and dream not in terms of self or of party, but only of democracy. A policy is a temporary creed liable to be changed, but while it holds good it has got to be pursued with apostolic zeal.
To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect, and their oneness. No nation being under another nation can accept gifts, and kick at the responsibility attached to those gifts, imposed by the conquering nation. The spirit of democracy cannot be established in the midst of terrorism, whether governmental or popular. What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so. The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart. I call him religious who understands the suffering of others. A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion. For me, the different religions are beautiful flowers from the same garden, or they are branches of the same majestic tree.
Therefore, they are equally true, though being received and interpreted through human instruments equally imperfect. Every formula of every religion has in this age of reason, to submit to the acid test of reason and universal assent. It is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. Hence closing of eyes during the prayers is an aid to such concentration. All the religions of the world, while they may differ in other respects, unitedly proclaim that nothing lives in this world but Truth. Are creeds such simple things like the clothes which a man can change at will and put on at will?
Creeds are such for which people live for ages and ages. We do not need to proselytise either by our speech or by our writing. We can only do so really with our lives. Let our lives be open books for all to study. Spiritual relationship is far more precious than physical. Physical relationship divorced from spiritual is body without soul.
Religion is a matter of the heart. Religion is more than life. Remember that his own religion is the truest to every man even if it stands low in the scales of philosophical comparison. The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different. God sometimes does try to the uttermost those whom he wishes to bless. A vow is a purely religious act which cannot be taken in a fit of passion. It can be taken only with a mind purified and composed and with God as witness.
It is the faith that steers us through stormy seas, faith that moves mountains and faith that jumps across the ocean.
Ambiguous Grief: Grieving Someone Who Is Still Alive
It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. I have never found Him lacking in response. I have found Him nearest at hand when the horizon seemed darkest—in my ordeals in jails when it was not all smooth sailing for me. I cannot recall a moment in my life when I had a sense of desertion by God. I simply want to please my own conscience, which is God. Faith is not a delicate flower which would wither under the slightest stormy weather.
Faith is like the Himalaya mountains which cannot possibly change. No storm can possibly remove the Himalaya mountains from their foundations… And I want every one of you to cultivate that faith in God and religion. That faith is of little value which can flourish only in fair weather.
Faith in order to be of any value has to survive the severest trials. Your faith is a whited sepulcher if it cannot stand against the calumny of the whole world. Cultivation of tolerance for other faiths will impart to us a truer understanding of our own. One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds. My religion is based on truth and nonviolence.
Truth is my God. Nonviolence is the means of realising Him. God is, even though the whole world deny him. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained. Prayer needs no speech. It is in itself independent of any sensuous effort. But it must be combined with the utmost humility. Let everyone try and find that as a result of daily prayer he adds something new to his life, something with which nothing can be compared.
I can give my own testimony and say that a heartfelt prayer is undoubtedly the most potent instrument that man possesses for overcoming cowardice and all other bad old habits. As food is necessary for the body, prayer is necessary for the soul. A man may be able to do without food for a number of days — as MacSwiney did for over 70 days — but believing in God, man cannot, should not, live a moment without prayer. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action. I believe that prayer is the very soul and essence of religion, and therefore prayer must be the very core of life of man, for no man can live without religion.
As I believe that silent prayer is often a mightier force than any overt act, in my helplessness I continuously pray in the faith that the prayer of a pure heart never goes unanswered. Prayer is for remembering God, and for purifying the heart and can be offered even when observing silence. Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. Gandhi was a deceptively clever strategist whose frail, even saintly appearance constantly misled his adversaries into underestimating him. Robert Greene. My study of Gandhi convinced me that true pacifism is not nonresistance to evil, but nonviolent resistance to evil.
Between the two positions, there is a world of difference. Gandhi resisted evil with as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to evil power. It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love. Martin Luther King Jr. Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest living exponent of successful pacifism. He has demonstrated that pacifism in action can be a force in world politics. It proved itself, that is to say, a stronger instrument than the instrument of government by force and oppression.
Laurence Housman. In South Africa, his success was complete; in India it was very considerable; and had his following been larger and more uniformly nonviolent, his pacific instrument would have triumphed. Al Sharpton. On Gandhi after his assassination: Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth!
Albert Einstein. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence for fighting for our cause, but by non-participation of anything you believe is evil. One feels of him that there was much he did not understand, but not that there was anything that he was frightened of saying or thinking.
George Orwell. I guess the most surprising discovery was how long Gandhi remained loyal to the ideal of the British Empire, even in India. Arthur L. There are many people making a difference. I mean, Dr. King never held an office. Gandhi never held an office.
Speak Your Mind Slam
There are people who are archetypes in our society who have never held office and made a difference. Dennis Kucinich. I believe that Gandhi was correct. Non-violent civil disobedience is the only way to bring about change that allows people to enjoy the change and not get killed in the process. Edward James Olmos. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. You look at someone like Gandhi , and he glowed.
Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. Nobody sensible voted for Thatcher. For me, in political terms, the most admirable person and the most influential would have been the philosophy of Gandhi. The ideology of passive resistance worked and can work again and again.
It is the exact opposite of violence. A glorious conception. John Lydon. Johnny Rotten. Albert Camus. I am really honoured but if the prize had gone to Mahatma Gandhi before me I would have been more honoured. I am very proud to be an Indian, a son of the soil where Mahatma Gandhi and Buddha were born and they were always the great inspiration for me, in my life. Kailash Satyarthi.
As you may be well aware, marches and walks have been an integral part of our Indian tradition. Mahatma Gandhi marched several times to educate the people and also to learn something himself. Madonna Ciccone. A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back — but they are gone. We are it.
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It is up to us. Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Notify me. Description An emotion common to humankind is fear. Fear dogs our days, makes us lose sleep, ruins our relationships, and takes the joy out of living.
The strongest, best defense against that emotion is to see through the eyes of faith. As such, Ben Stein brings you ways to look at life in this way so that you can triumph over fear. Ben absorbed many of the positive thoughts within these pages at Step meetings he has attended, he has applied them to his own life, and he's found that they work. They're simple, but extremely effective. For example: - I do not know exactly why faith and surrender work. I just know that they do work.