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Toward a Metaphysics of Compassion


Michael Nagler


It is plain that the law against the slaughtering of animals is founded rather on vain superstition and womanish pity than on sound reason.

Compassion is the radicalism of this age.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama


The Homeric epics are the earliest and greatest poetry in Western civilization.  Often regarded as war poetry, there is a neglected side to its profound understanding of war, namely what Wilfred Owen famously called the pity of war, and what its violence does to women and to the family.  In fact, what Homer describes in both poems is the kind of society you have if the only kind of peace you know is an uneasy respite in the shambles of intermittent conflict.  This is one line of that story, spoken by the god Apollo in the final book of the Iliad, Book 24 (or as scholars say, Omega), line 54.

For look, he is outraging the mute earth in his fury.[1]

He is Achilles, the semi divine hero who represents war incarnate.  He is committing a grave offense: dragging the dead body of his enemy Hector round the camp from the back of his chariot. Apollo is trying to persuade the gods to intervene and stop the desecration, and he ends with this haunting hexameter.  In life, Hector was a warrior who in the course of defending Troy, his homeland, slew Achilles companion; but in death, the Greeks believed, he no longer belongs to his city or to Achilles, who slew him in turn. He belongs to the earth. Whoever he may have been in life, in death Hector belongs to the cycle of nature itself. Achilles can take Hectors lifethat is the warrior codebut not his psyche, his soul. What Achilles is trying to do now by refusing to relinquish Hectors body to the earth goes beyond that code. It is an outragein other words, violence (the same word in early Greek, hybris, means both).

Just prior to verse 54, Apollo has made a point about violence that is as sophisticated as this line is poignant:

For Achilles himself cannot but lose by doing this.

By desecrating the body of his fallen enemy, and thus violating the prevailing war code, he will destroy the very value system on which he himself depends for the meaning of his own life and honor. Again, the innate contradictions of violence. When the game goes this far and who can stop it? no one wins.

The mute earth, however, is a striking image, one with as much resonance in the Vedic poetry of ancient India as in Homers tradition (the two were distantly related), and it resonates to this day. The mute earth is Draupadi, whose humiliation at the court of the Kurus launches the gigantic Mahabharata war; she is Sita (furrow) abducted by the archdemon of the Ramayana epic, she is the Trojan woman of Euripides classic plays, she is whatever and whoever cannot make her voice heard in distress, she is all that is vulnerable. Achilles killed many, and the warrior code absorbed that; what Achilles is killing now is pity. No culture can absorb that, and live. I would like in this chapter to talk about pity, to evoke it and connect with it a concept that may help us understand as well as feel it.

Who will hear the cry of the earth?[2] Apollo has been magically protecting Hectors body (and Achilles status) from harm while the hero vainly drags the body of his fallen enemy around his camp. Now he persuades the other gods to intervene, since nothing less than the whole value system, and by extension the world order, is at stake. Interestingly, there was a plan to steal Hectors body, but the gods did not go along with it. That would not work because what the system needs is the heros change of heart. Although Homer doesnt explicitly talk about interior life as we do, he clearly tells us when the gods refuse to steal Hectors body that the change has to be inside Achilles; it has to come from his will.

Achilles motherThetis, a goddesssoon comes to persuade him, with very maternal logic, to give Hectors body back to his family for proper treatment, but its almost unnecessary; the hero has already changed. The great scene that follows, between Achilles and Hectors father, Priam, when the old man steels his courage to kiss the man-slaughtering hand that took his sons life, is a gripping climax of hard-won reconciliation; with it, the poem is ready to wind down.

Achilles destiny speaks to all of us. On our own scale, we too become blind to pityand like him we can all open our eyes again. Absent Homers genius and his tradition, perhaps the following thoughts and images can help.

Earlier this month [May 1998], several members of the Iraq Sanctions Challenge stood at the bedside of Mustafa, one of at least a dozen dying children in a crowded, wretched ward of the main hospital in Basra, Iraqs southern port city. His mother, tall, thin and quite beautiful, sat cross legged on the mattress beside him, waving away flies, as the doctor explained to us that the child, hospitalized for the past twenty days, now suffered from dehydration, diarrhea, acute renal failure and extensive brain atrophy. Lacking equipment and medicine to diagnose and treat Mustafa, the doctors could only stand by, helpless and frustrated, while the childs condition worsened. Ima Nouri, his mother, is 35 years old. Her serious eyes, large and luminous, followed us as we paused before each bedside. She seemed surprised when we asked her to tell us a little about herself. We learned that she lives in a rural area north of Basra and has two children at home whom she misses very much. We asked the doctor to tell her that we are so very sorry, that we want to tell people in the US her story, that we will try hard to end the sanctions. She smiled slowly, nodded. Then we mentioned that people in the United States were celebrating Mothers Day on this day and asked if she had a message for mothers in our country. Ima suddenly became animated. Yes, she said, I have two messages. First, tell them, from Iraqi women, that these are our children and we love them so much. Stroking Mustafas face, she continued, Ask them to please try to help us protect them and take care of them. And, for American women,I want them to feel what I am feeling.[3]

The word compassion means literally suffering with. Of course it hurts. But when we suffer with others we grow, when we close our hearts against them we die within. In Hebrew, the word for compassion is rehamim. It is the plural of rehem, womb. To have compassion is to be toward someone, in a littleor not so little way what every mother is to her own child.

Let us take these insights into our historical context. The painting that you see here was done by Joseph Wright of Derby in 1768, sixty-four years after Sir Isaac Newton taught that matter was built up of solid, massy, hard impenetrable, moveable Particles; in other words, near the beginning of modern materialism and its decisive break with the ancient traditions in which human beings had an organic relationship with the living earth.

The adult facing us in the painting is a traveling science lecturer, if you will, a traveling preacher of the new religion, demonstrating a vacuum pump to the rapt onlookers. He is pumping the air out of a glass cage, and to make that fact visible there is a bird inside the cage. By watching the bird gasp for breath, in other words, they can see that theres no more air in the cage, and be impressed with what technology can do. But what other impression are we to receive? The real dramatic interest in the painting is the children. For them, this is not about the wonders of science. In their innocence, they do not follow the explanation about the pump and the air; they just think a man is killing a little bird. The real story of the painting is in the contrast between the glazed lecturer holding the audience spellbound, a kind of high priest of technology, and the distress of the childrenand the fact that they are children, and the adults just ignore them. When we hurt nature, it is not that we lack warnings. The real tragedy is to ignore those who are still aware of what were doing.  In the Iliad, Hector and his wife, Andromache, laugh at their little son, Astyanax, when he is frightened by his fathers war helmet. Shortly after that laugh, however, Achilles kills Hector in that splendid helmet, and shortly after that the victorious Greeks throw Astyanax from the city walls so he cant grow up and avenge his father. Who is to be laughed at? Whose vision was more realistic?

Flaubert, who saw An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump in 1856, noted in his journal, Petite fille qui pleure. Charmant de naivet et de profondeur. That is,

A little girl crying. Charming in its naivete and profundity.[4]

It is the naivete (if you want to call a childs unmediated awareness of life naive) that is the profundity.

Today we stand at the other end of the arc that began when Wright painted his enthusiast demonstrating the vacuum pump, and the power of man over nature. Science and technology have taken over in a way that even the most enthusiastic rationalists in his eighteenth-century audience could hardly have imagined, and we now stand, or we should, aghast at the results. What we have done to the environment, and to the fabric of human life within that living environment, could not have been imagined in 1768. Spinoza to the contrary notwithstanding, we must take womanish pityand we must understand that it goes along with, rather than standing in conflict with, sound reasoning. We can no longer afford to set aside the simple, unmediated responses of the children.

The plight of children today makes Dickenss London seem like a paradise. In the decade 198595, two million children died in wars, and nearly half a million fought in them. Somewhere between four and five million were forced into refugee camps around the world, twelve million were left homeless, and some two hundred million were engaged in child labor. In the United States, six million children under age six, thats one out of four American children from that age group, live below the poverty line. Juvenile crime increased 50 percent in the five years from 1989 to 1994 (though at the moment its participating in the downturn of violent crime). Los Angeles superior court justice Charles W. McCoy Jr. noted that when a juvenile is tried in court, more than half the time no parent even shows up.[5] And economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations have killed a million children in Iraq.

By the time we see Achilles dragging Hectors body behind his chariot the way American soldiers dragged the body of a Vietcong soldier behind their tank in an infamous photograph, the way three KKK members dragged a black youth to death in 1998, the hero had lost all sense of compassion in the madness of battle. He lost what the Greeks called eleos and aids, pity and respect, and became more like a lion than a man, capable of eating his enemies like a savage beast; but when his mother comes to him with the gods message he comes back to his senses. If we still think of Homer as war poetry, it may be surprising to encounter such a change of heartsuch a recovery of heartserving as the climax of an epic that furnished war ideologies to two millennia of Western cultures, but it is not unrealistic; weve seen several such recoveries in the preceding pages. There is nothing unrealistic about the tension between compassion and savagery in the same person, because that is the condition in which we find ourselves.

Dumb Earth, or Deaf Humanity?

It is fitting that when Homer wanted to image humankinds crying need for compassion, he depicted a warrior outraging the dumb earth, oblivious to a pain that only the gods could hear. It makes me think of the stunning line that is said to be either a Russian proverb or a line of poetry, Every bullet finds its target in a mothers heart.

Regaining a consciousness of nonviolence is very much a matter of seeing connections. Recently one of my students offered, as we were groping for a definition of violence, If you damage anything youre damaging the big picture; for example, the earth. It should be so much easier to see this today, when fiendishly destructive bombs and rockets, not to mention chemicals and toxic organisms, are hurled at our enemies, and how prescient Homer appears to have sensed this connection when warriors were fighting one-on-one with swords and spears. His was the poets deep vision that sees that violence is violence, damaging the whole picture, as only the gods or in our language, our own higher consciousness detect. Homer was a genius, but he also had an advantage over us. He believed in a worldviewand sometimes I wish we still couldthat Earth is alive.

The Greeks also had a myth that Agamemnon had to sacrifice his own daughter so he could get to Troy for the war of all wars. The myths meaning is unmistakable: that war fighting and the family, the traditional preserves of men and of women, are in eternal opposition. It is either one or the other, because underneath all complexities they are based on fundamentally different values: destruction and preservation, triumphalism and nurturance. But in our age, when mothers appear in the news in their combat uniforms, leaving their children in America so they can go and bomb other mothers children in Iraq and elsewhere, what will awaken us?

From Paradox to Paradigm

In the summer of 1938, Niels Bohr, the Grandfather of Quantum Theory addressed an international gathering of physicists in Copenhagen. Bohr was best known to the general public for his famous theory of complementarity, describing the built-in limit to human understanding of the outside world, meaning that to completely describe anything out there we always need at least two mutually exclusive models, like a particle and a wave. The thing we want to know aboutbe it photon, electron, or any quantum entity, which ultimately means anythingis neither a particle nor a wave; it will appear as one or the other depending on how we observe it. On the occasion of this distinguished international gathering he applied his famous idea to things rather bigger than the electron.

We may truly say that different human cultures are complementary to each other. Indeed, each such culture represents a harmonious balance of traditional conventions by means of which latent possibilities of human life can unfold themselves in a way which reveals to us new aspects of its unlimited richness and variety.[6]

At this shocking suggestion, Richard Rhodes laconically pointed out, The German delegation walked out. As well they might. They were, after all, Nazis first, and scientists afterward. This was not just Jewish physics they were listening to (Bohrs mother was in fact Jewish), but a worldview utterly inimical to Nazi values, a challenge to their whole concept of human being, and human value. Totalitarianism, in Hannah Arendts famous definition,

strives not toward despotic rule over men but toward a system in which men are superfluous.[7]

Bohrs idea, that every race and community and even every individual has his or her role in the scheme of things, and that we need one another if any of us is to be fulfilled this is gall and wormwood to all forms of Fascism. And therefore may well be the worldview to underpin a future of compassion.

Because Nazism represents the logic of violence carried to its ultimate and unsubtle conclusion, we can see in it several things that go along with the decision to use brute force to get what we want, though the connection may not be immediately obvious. The first of theseand probably the first thing to consider about any worldviewis its image of the human being. Hitler was kind of blunt about this. Its said that he once explained to an American journalist,

You know, every man has his priceand youd be surprised how low that price is.

Violence is keyed to the lowest image of the human being. Nonviolence is keyed to the most exalted. This is one of the reasons violence drives us apart, while nonviolence appeals directly to the mysterious unity among all of us, which is the hidden glory in each of us. It is one of the reasons that a nonviolent attitude leads to works that confer a sense of meaning, while a life of violence confers at best fleeting and shallow satisfactions. From todays Germany, where many youth have taken a lead in putting the Nazi legacy behind us, I recently received a handsome brochure blazoned with Nonviolence along one side and Self-image across the bottom[8] - an intuitively right connection.

Bohrs words take us to a central insight.  Every biologist knows that the essence of life is diversity; but the Nazis held that life was an extreme hierarchy such that only one race, one regime, ultimately only one person, was legitimate, clean, or whatever, while everyone else was with us or against us, fit only to be assimilated into the One Way, by force if necessary.  We might call this worldview disunity through uniformity. Unfortunately, its occurrence is universal. The most direct antidote to Fascism on this level is the very different idea Hegel called unity in diversity. As a frame of reference, unity in diversity is a way to acknowledge the unique value of each life, through grasping its connection with all of life. Note Bohrs expression, The latent possibilities of human life can unfold themselves.[9] This is exactly the definition of nonviolence that a young fellow Northman, Johan Galtung, would propose some years later: the fulfillment of the individual. Conversely, Galtung would define violence as any avoidable compromise of human needsanything that inhibits that fulfillment[10]. In this spirit, the Dalai Lama, speaking from the margins of the UN NGO Human Rights Convention in 1993, said,

If we are prevented from using our creative potential, we are deprived of one of the basic characteristics of a human being.

And he added,

It is very often the most gifted, dedicated and creative members of our society who become victims of human rights abuses. Thus the political, social, cultural and economic developments of a society are obstructed by the violations of human rights.[11]

There is therefore a close connection between compassion which is really the force that holds family, society, and the planet together and the concept, or vision, that all life is precious at once in its diversity and its unity. Bohr was apparently trying to trace the extension of biodiversity, which we understand relatively well, to cultural and individual diversity, which we do not. Unity in diversity is, if you will, the theology of compassion.

There are now more than six billion individuals in the human family, and growing. That does not matter. From the standpoint of unity in diversity each of them is invaluable. The reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States, euthanasia, materialism, grotesque human rights violations, and the deterioration of the family and the support systems that nurture a childthese are all ways we are compromising that insight.  We are doomed to keep making that mistake as long as we see no other choice but violence to control disorder, i.e. violence. But for the man or woman of nonviolence life is sacred, i.e., invaluable; and while the sum total of all life is in a way more precious than that of a given individual, in a way it is not. Infinity equals infinity.

In totalitarian logic, one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic[12] or as Ronald Reagan said, if youve seen one redwood tree, youve seen them all. Nonviolent logic does not work that way. Rather, each is good, and taken all together very good, for our Lord made all things very good.[13] So to the nonviolent, a million deaths is a million tragedies, even though our imaginations may not be able to grasp that enormity. In a way, a million deaths is not worse than the death of an individual: nothing is worse than the death of an individual. Thats what the sanctity of life means.

Now, Gandhi, as a traditional Hindu, had a solid metaphysical basis for this principle, and he liked to quote a traditional wisdom proverb that articulates it: yatha pinde, tatha brahmande, as with the fragment, so with the whole. Otherwise put, the macrocosm is in the microcosm. Everything that exists out there exists in here, as philosophers say, in potentia. This is not the way we generally view things; but why should we think that when were walking around in our normal buy-and-sell consciousness, were seeing things as they really are? Quantum physicists, mystics, the worlds faith traditions with their awkward belief in the sanctity of the individualand a lurking suspicion in all of us in our more reflective moments, keep returning to this vision. This vision prompted George Orwell, for example, to muse, as he watched the movements of a young Hindu over whose hanging he was about to preside, One life less; one world less.[14] This is what drives good citizens to the picket lines when the state decides it has the right to snuff out a life, what makes them say the death penalty is the supreme moral issue of our time, as a recent mailer from Death Penalty Focus said, because life is so precious that we dare not snuff it out under any circumstances, however impractical that may appear. The challenge instead is precisely the reverse: to make the supreme value of each life the basis of our practicality.

As far as our bodies are concerned, a ridiculously small fraction of our DNA is ever used, while the rest lies latent; analogously, in our consciousness there is enough information in each of us to regenerate a world. It only took one individual, waking up to his potential, to break up the colonial system and evaporate the myth that it is natural for the weaker to lie down before the stronger.[15]

One fall day in 1943, seventy-two hundred people, virtually the entire Jewish Danish population, were smuggled out under the noses of the occupation by the Danish underground. The motley flotilla, made up of fishing vessels and everything that would float, pitched and tossed in the rough sea, but made Sweden with its huddled, seasick cargo by morning. Then, just when everyone thought they were finally safe, word came that the king of Sweden was afraid to give them asylumfrightened of the Nazi presence. Perhaps he feared it would even jeopardize Swedens neutrality.

As it happened, though, a famous Danish physicist was hiding out in Uppsala. When he heard about the dilemma he calmly sent word to the king that if the refugees were not taken in he would turn himself over to the Nazis. The king immediately relented and accepted the refugees. Moved by political expediency or awakened compassion, he responded perfectly to Niels Bohrs Satyagraha of one.

Heart Unity: Diversity As Community

If we give up on the sanctity of life, which we in the Western world are also doing for the convenience of assisted suicides, of abortions, for the convenient delusion that executing criminals makes the rest of society safe we are giving up on the principle of our civilization.

Of course, the idea of unity in diversity seems a bit paradoxical: The more clearly one studies the character of individual human souls, wrote Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook,

The more baffled one becomes over the great differences between personalities It is, however, precisely through their differentiations that they are all united toward one objective, to contribute toward the perfection of the world, each person according to his special talent.[16]

(my emphasis) Nonviolence gives us a simple way to resolve this paradox. The unity were talking about is heart unity; its a unity beneath the surface while the diversity were talking about is on the surface a diversity of outward characteristics. Gandhi never wanted Muslims to give up their religion or Brahmins to stop teaching or performing rituals and depend on khadi to make their living; he wanted everyone to stop feeling superior, or inferior, to each other.  Brahmins would stay Brahmins, Christians would become good Christians, but everyone would identify with others welfare. And, as weve seen, he invented the term heart unity to designate that.

Heart unity operates on the vision that we are one in our underlying consciousness, which has no divisions. In practice I get in touch with that unity when I want you to be fulfilled, and that means in the way you can be fulfillednot necessarily the way Id be fulfilled. That we can and should both be fulfilled is a cardinal principle of faith in the world of Satyagraha; that we have different ways of getting there is equally cardinal. In this way unity of aspiration, down there in the heart, supports our diversity of attributes, of individuality on the surface. You really cant have one without the other. Unity is the signature, the fulfillment of our inner life, just as diversity the natural characteristic of our outer life. Now, Gandhi did want Hindus to wean their Muslim brethren from cow slaughter, by means of love; he wanted Brahmins to take some time to do bread labor, but voluntarily. Accepting everyone does not mean accepting everything. Similarly, as the world grows smaller, opportunities to learn from one another increase, but the value of imitating one another does not. The attempt to force unity on the surface (where its really uniformity) always turns out to require some kind of domination and/or dependency: belief in that kind of unity drove the Fascists out when Bohr described the real thing.

Attempting to water down the Dalai Lamas appeal to the international community for help in securing the basic rights of his captive people, the Chinese regime cynically played a card that has often been played honestly and well, namely, that this kind of interference would be an imposition of Western values on a non-Western people. His Holiness showed the flaw in that argument, using good Buddhist principles.

All human beings, whatever their cultural or historical background, suffer when they are intimidated, imprisoned or tortured. . . . There should be no difference of views on this . . . The rich diversity of cultures and religions should help to strengthen the fundamental human rights in all communities.[17]

We all have a need to serve; we all have the need Augustine pointed out to be united with each other both areas in which modern societies let us seriously down. We have an inalienable, universal need for respect, meaning both to get basic human dignity and (as Dostoevsky said) to have someone or something to respect. Nonviolence makes full use of both of these dimensions. In the famous people power revolution in the Philippines (198386), the activists coined another term for nonviolence that may be the best yet: alaydangal, to offer dignity.

There can only be one Michael Nagler (happily, some may think), and while there are certain things I think will make me happy as an individual (the opportunity to teach nonviolence, an occasional hike through unspoiled forests), my desire for happiness is the same as, and has the same validity, in every person, indeed in every creature. Violence denies both this surface uniqueness and underlying identity. Nonviolence affirms them. Active nonviolence a calling for each and every one of ususes both in its blueprint for loving community.

Today, as the world is widely convulsed by ethnic and pseudoethnic and other hatreds, people cannot remotely remember that they share an underlying unity with surface differences; they see only differences, which then take on monstrous proportions. They fall victim to an ideology that ethologist Eibl-Eibesfeldt called pseudospeciation: the illusion that others belong to another speciesthat they arent human.[18] Today it is criminals and of course terrorists, yesterday it was Communists, and who knows who may be next. 

Nonviolence helps us remember it. As an activist friend of mine recently said, nonviolence is when you humanize your enemy and let your enemy humanize you. Pick any conflictin the Middle East, in the Balkans, in Africa, in America: we would never be seeing the kind of unreasoning hate thats erupting around the world if our general worldview were not so dehumanized. There would still be problems like water rights and social entitlements; but they would be just thatproblems. You dont hate problems, you solve them.

And so the idea of the world as a machine, made up of separate, solid, Newtonian particles, even so very hard, as never to wear or break in pieces,[19] had bad consequences, as Joseph Wright foresaw. It was a new idea when he painted An Experiment and still is relatively new in the sense that it replaced a myth humanity had held for countless centuries. Realizing this, many have thoughtand I may seem to have impliedthat what we need to do is bring back that myth. It wont be easy. Having spent much of my early career studying myth, I know that along with the changes Wright was illustrating, myth itself has been weakened as a way of modeling our understanding of the world. Science became and remains, as my late friend Willis Harman often said, the main knowledge-validating system of our culture.

This is not a problem for nonviolence. Gandhi himself constantly, and appropriately, presented nonviolence as a science in both the practical and theoretical senses of that termmeaning that it could be practiced systematically and explained within the canons of human logic. From the science of nonviolence, as it develops and becomes widespread, will grow again the myth, in the sense of an agreed-upon world model, that there is life and consciousness interweaving all creation. After all, as Carolyn Merchants study so well documents, it was because our forebears, in their zeal to industrialize, no longer wanted to believe that Earth was alive that they stigmatized that concept as a primitive, animistic, superstitious belief. Today we desperately need to reawaken our innate awareness that life is sacred.  Scientific people that we are, it helps to understand to want to understand that beneath all the diversity we see lies some kind of unity that we do not.

This message, and its power, is universal. During a period of terrible riots some years ago in Gandhis home state of Gujarat a Hindu mob descended on a rural village.  Almost all the village men were out in the fields.  The women reacted quickly however, and took in their Muslim neighbors to hide them from the mob.  As they lived mostly in one-room cottages, it often meant hiding them in the puja corner, underneath their household altar.  The mob stormed up to home after home screaming, You are hiding Muslims in there!  Yes, the women calmly replied.  We are coming in to get them!  Then the women, one after the other said, First kill me, then only you may enter.  Every Muslim in the village was saved that day.

Who are these women?  We need their courage, their instinct, their vision.  We need their faith.  Who are they?  They are every one of us, brought to intense life by the intersection of a culture that still had remnants of humane vision and an extreme emergency.  Broadly speaking, we are all in such an emergency today, and there is every possibility that we can rebuild our culture to support us when we face our own opportunities to mobilize that kind of faith and courage.  If we succeed (and we can afford nothing less) we shall be proud of our contribution to an otherwise bleak epoch of the human spirit.

*** *** ***


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[1] At line 22 the poet himself had told us that Achilles was dishonoring brilliant Hector in his fury, thus putting the dead body and the earth, with their complementary sets of symbolic resonances, into close parallelism, and bringing his own voice into resonance with the gods.

[2] The subtitle to the German edition of Sri Eknath Easwarans The Compassionate Universe, Berkeley, California: Nilgiri Press, 1989.

[3] E-mail of May 24,1998 entitled, To Feel What Ima Feels, by Kathy Kelly of the Voices in the Wilderness, and reproduced with her permission.

[4] From the Metropolitan Museum exhibit catalogue, 6 September - 2 December, 1990, p. 58.

[5] These statistics respectively from Every Fifth Child, in Bread for the World newsletter, 4:2 (March, 1992) and the Op-ed page of the San Francisco Chronicle for March 28, 1994.

[6] Rhodes, Richard. The Making of the Atomic Bomb. New York: Simon & Schuster: Touchstone, 1988, p. 243.

[7] Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. London: Allen and Unwin, 1967, p. 457.

[8] Respectively Gewaltfreiheit or freedom from violence (German is one of the few languages with a positive translation of nonviolence) and Selbstdarstellung. This is the 1994 brochure of a regional Educational Project for Peace Work (Fränkisches Bildungswerk fr Friedensarbeit e.V.).

[9] [Bohrs expression]

[10] Galtung, Johan. Violence, Peace, and Peace Research, Journal of Peace Research, No. 3, (1959) pp. 167-191. Cp. Aldous Huxley, Means and Ends (London, 1937) p. 1: the free development of each will lead to the free development of all.

[11] Speech at Non-Governmental Organzations, United Nations World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna Austria, 15 June, 1993 (available at www.tibet.com/DL/vienna.html).

[12] This quote is variously attributed to Goebbels and Stalin; see Soloman, Norman. Wizards of Media Oz: Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News, E-mail to (www.labridge.com/change-links/GOODGRIEF.html).

[13] St. Augustine, Confessions vii.12, (my translation). The embedded quote is of course Genesis I.31.

[14] Orwell, George. A Hanging, in Ian Angus and Sonya Orwell, editors, The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell, London: Secker and Warburg, 1968, p. 46.

[15] Respectively, Mishnah Sanhedrin IV, 5 and Koran 5.35.

[16] Kook, Abraham Isaac. The Lights of Penitance, the Moral Principles, Lights of Holiness, Essays, Letters, Poems. New York: Paulist Press, 1978, p. 6.

[17] This comment of His Holinesss is also from 1993, and may be found at www.tibet.com/DL/vienna.html.

[18] Midgley, Mary. Evolution as a Religion. London: Methuen, 1985, p. 157; cf. 153: Words like rights and duties are awkward because they do indeed have narrow senses approximating to the legal, but they also have much wider ones in which they cover the whole of the moral sphere . . . Animal rights may be hard to formulate, as indeed are the rights of man. But no rights will not do. The word may need to be dropped entirely.

[19] [Newton/Wright quote]




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