Monday, March 13, 2023
#72 / What Route To Change?
If we (if you or I) were to decide that there is an urgent need to change the world...
IF we were to decide this, a question would then arise. What is the best way to do that? How do we do something that goes beyond mere "observation" and that leads to the kind of "action" that can produce fundamental changes in the real world realities we currently inhabit?
Do we need to find some route to "metanoia," a level of individual change that is transformative for large numbers of people? That kind of change is classified by Wikipedia as "theological," meaning that "metanoia" requires a profound spiritual change among individuals.
That's a tough one, right?
Maybe more achievable, but not much more, it seems to me, might be aiming for significant and substantive "political change." We do "live in a political world," and a movement of individuals who organize to make truly fundamental changes to the economic, social, cultural, and political realities that now prevail can definitely lead to real changes in the realities that are now flashing "danger" signs with increasing intensity and frequency.
If you agree with me that we do, in fact, need large-scale, fundamental, transformative change (and I hope you do), and if you are "serious" about wanting to make that kind of change happen (given the urgency of the dangers we know we are facing, locally, nationally, and globally), then the question I am posing is obviously pertinent. I also think the answer to that question is pretty obvious. What do we need: metanoia or a political revolution? The answer is:
It strikes me that one of my "Five Guys" could be considered someone who managed to deploy that "both/and" approach to the need for fundamental change - and he made it work.
Gandhi called for both spiritual change and he called for and helped organize a widespread political movement that achieved India's liberation from the clutches of colonial Britain. The United States did that, too, you may remember - achieved its freedom from British rule - though without quite as much "metanoia," and relying more on the "revolution" thing.
In short, I am suggesting that those who are "serious" about meeting the challenges of our time could do a lot worse than to read up on Gandhi. If ours is a time that requires both individual, spiritual change and a political revolution, Gandhi has some good advice.
Here is a link that recommends six books. I've only read two of them, Gandhi's autobiography, My Experiments With Truth, and The Life of Mahatma Gandhi, by Louis Fischer.
How about reading up on Gandhi? Recommended!
(1) - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Icon-round-Question_mark.svg
(2) - https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/01/world/gallery/gandhi-life-in-pictures/index.html