When you think of people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, we see a fine example of a non-violent approach toward change. Does taking such an approach bring about inner growth in the individual? Is our spiritual development augmented?

If so, how does this happen? What is it about a non-violent approach that would yield more benefit to our growth and development than some other approach?

asked 23 Oct '09, 10:39

John's gravatar image


Well this question has so many layers to it that we'll try to peel them off One by One ;)

First and, in my opinion, first answer that comes to mind is that violence is a product of feelings and states of being that are incongruent with our natural state of existence. That state is bliss, constant excitement and unconditional love.

When an individual acts violently towards another the basic emotion his experiencing is fear. They may be many kinds of fear -- fear of rejection, of losing something, of not having enough, of feeling more worthy of something then others.

Basicly when you stop using violence as one of the means of disarming the conflict and you act from the place of your core self, your natural self which is unconditional love, their is no way you would even consider using violence against that person. Why is that? Because you will recognize that wa are All One, that everyone you meet is basicly YOU playing out a diffrent part, a diffrent sceam if you will of reality he is co-creating with YOU.

Now what I believe you don;t stop violence to grow, you grow and stop violence. This is because you are able to look "outside" yourself as to speak and to ask "What would be the best thing to do in the situation?" If you recognize another person as actually BEING you in another body you would never want to harm yourself. You would rather let that person kill you then to use violence on her.

Why would you want to do that? Because you undertand that EVERYTHING that is happening is your creation. Every interaction with every person you had in life and will have was cleverly orchestrated by YOU and the beings involved. It means that every act, every behavior is pre-arrenged. You came to a consensus with those beings even before you were born to experience physical reality. So either if you've been sexually abused, tortured, had abusive parents or just felt unworthy to live, it is because YOU have a certain theme to explore in this life. YOu made the decision long before you got here and once you realize you have been pulling the strings all along you can relaxxx.. You can acknowledge the beauty of the dance, the synchronicities that come to you and embrace not only the people who serve you in a positive way, but those who "seem" to hurt you. You see their is no "out0their". Everythings happening in YOU and by your consent.

People think "ok, so what about all the wars, people killing eacother? how is this serving anyone?" For for first you can look at it and CHOOSE not to behave in that way. That is one way that you can get a positive result out of a negative situation.

You see for us to make our reality make sense two things have to happen. First of all we're given the circumstances and second of all we CHOOSE the way we want to react to them.

Let's say for an example thet your girlfriend dumped you. You can a) feel miserable, blame her for everything, call her names etc. or b) You can thank her for the gift she has given you of showing you that it's time to change and ask have can you change yourself to be better in the future and don't make the same mistakes.

So the circumstance is tha same but what you CHOOSE to make out of it is the effect you will be getting! Guaranteed.

So ALL the violence, All the pain that human kind has been experiencing to this day is coming to an end. More and more people are awakening from the dream of forgetfullness and remebering of their core nature. Those people will be willing to die then to "fight" using violence. Of course violence is the most primal way of fighting but being strong in spirit, praying for the ones that hurt us, sending them compassion and unconditional love makes us "unmovable" for them. And at the same time it gives them the chance to change their ways. It lets tham "rub of" our light and show them that they can CHOOSE what they experience.

That's what Jesus meant what he said to turn the other cheek. He would rather die, and he did, then he would resort to violence. He loved his perpetrators so much that he let them kill him because his light was to much to handle for them.

That was then, now is NOW. Now people are more aware of what's going on. More and more people are doing their part in awakening Christ conciousness in them. Because that's what the second coming of Christ is. It is awakening of the Christ conciousness in every One of us as individuals. And it's happening right NOW.


answered 23 Oct '09, 16:02

wildlife's gravatar image


Good answer, wildlife! I'm waiting to see a few more answers, too, but you're in first place at the moment (well, I guess you're in last place, too)! :-)

(24 Oct '09, 01:45) John

Hopefully we don't run of places :-)

(24 Oct '09, 01:47) wildlife

A person's non-violent approach toward change shows his reverence for life. He understands the value of life and honors it; is compassionate and loving. We are all responsible for one another; protect one another; and must live in harmony.

Inflicting harm to a fellow human as a result of anger, will only create more suffering and hatred. In this manner, man does not allow himself to grow.


answered 24 Oct '09, 14:12

Celine's gravatar image


edited 24 Oct '09, 14:35

What about inflicting harm in order to prevent someone from doing violence to the people you love, especially your children who rightly trust you to protect them?

(04 Nov '09, 05:58) John

"Ahimsa: Ahimsa is defined by Patanjali as “Abstinence from injuring and killing”, i.e. non-violence. This virtue has to be particularly practiced by the Yogi and is also perhaps the hardest to perfect. The term itself is relative and does not necessarily mean “no violence at all under any condition”. Rather, it means that the mind of the yogi is to refrain from hate and violent thoughts, and that even if violence is necessary in a situation, it is done only according to the merit of he who receives it. Ultimately it should be avoided under any circumstances, but depending on your duties that may change. For example, a ruler can not always practice such strict Ahimsa as it may put his country in jeopardy. Rather he should be chivalrous to the upmost if any violence is to be enacted out at all. Refrain from mental violence as well, for this is very damaging to the mind. Do not insult or feel hatred of others, especially if unwarranted. Let vibrations of peace emanate from you. If there is ever a peaceful way out of something, it should be done. Perfect Ahimsa develops the Bhuta Siddhi which allows the Yogi to tame wild animals with his mind. It is the cultivation of Ahimsa which plays a large part in the peaceful vibrations of a God-Realized man. Ahimsa is easy for one who has overcome his false-ego (Ahamkara) and attachment to this world of illusion (Maya)."

It's an extract from "Yoga: its method and practice" by Chris Murphy.


answered 24 Oct '09, 14:30

Asklepios's gravatar image


edited 04 Nov '09, 14:14

Thanks for sharing the quotation. Good balanced approach.

(04 Nov '09, 05:54) John

No, I believe it is more than that actually. Not so much as non-violence leads to spiritual growth as much as it is a part of spiritual growth and maturity. One could be non-violent because he is scared, shy or timid. This non-violence purpose is to avoid getting or being hurt by others. This does not lead toward God but actually away from God. Fear is not trusting and loving and hence is a turning away from faith.

There is something more here, as we grow bold in God and grow our faith that we can walk through Hell on Earth and not fear getting hurt and at the same time only have love in our hearts this is the spiritual growth. Then non-violence is a choice not out of fear but out of love.

This loving your brothers and sisters of the earth is ultimately loving God and being like God. This is the walk Jesus walked in when at any moment he could have called on the wrath of God to kill off all those people that were, beating him, spiting on him, whipping him, cursing him, making fun of him, laughing at him hanging on the cross beaten and bloody. His love was so great for us he allowed this all as this was the grand plan to buy everyone of us back from Satan. He knew that he had to be torn down to be raisin in three days and with this great raising he as well pulled all of us that accept his offer with him into the light of God. All those that accept the offer died on the cross with him to be arisen as new creations in Christ saved and knowing God personally. This non-violence was the natural outpouring of such love for us that he even asked the Father to forgive those that did that to him because they did not know they were being used by Satan to torture and torment Jesus. They did not know what they were doing, they were used and too blind to see that.

Most that do violence are as well being used by the enemy to bring you down, and lead you away from God so that you may be led into temptation and violence yourself. So as we are non-violent in our response and praying for those that hurt us we are seeing the truth that these people need our help and need God, they are being used as tools for our destruction and fall into depression. They, "Know not what they do." and should be forgiven because they are (hopefully only temporarily) out of line with God. As they are out of line with God, they are mistaken in their judgment, and chosen choice of action, hence violent.

So the more we align with God the less we feel violent, so it could be said non-violence is a side effect of spiritual growth, spiritual growth (Reaching toward being like God, and knowing God personally) is a choice of free will.

When we want to strike out at others, "He hurt me so I will hurt him back!" We are like children in a play pen that are both grabbing and pulling on the same toy and yelling at each other "Mine, Mine, Mine!!!" while beating each other over the head with other toys. This is why it says in:

1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things."

Because as we grow spiritually we as well mature into spiritual adults that see violence as non-constructive to the situation at hand. As we grow spiritually we grow in love together with God and to love God is to love all of God's creation as well because there is God.


answered 09 Sep '12, 20:53

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

edited 09 Sep '12, 22:45

Yes, in heaven. Non-violence in a jungle is suicide. so the choice is not violence or non-violence. we must build this ''kingdom of heaven'' on earth first. that's our choice. if that is done, and only then .. non-violence will become our nature. no need to do anything or take any more choices to experience it. now, the question is .. how to build this kingdom ? my answer would be evolution. evolution is our true mirror. if we deserve this heaven on earth, we will get it. if not, then we are the next dinosaurs. from watching the news everyday I can see what our choice is. can you ? .. so in my opinion. non-violence is still an individual choice. but would it affect our destiny as human race ? .. I doubt it. why? .. well, let me say it this way : vegetarian dinosaurs were cute, but did that help ? :-)


answered 04 Nov '09, 14:55

Adel's gravatar image


Being cute usually works for babies. :-) Do you think the choice for non-violence made by individuals accelerates the evolution of our nature within the general population?

(05 Nov '09, 07:52) John

That's a different individual choice. by nature, the majority wins. but if the individual affected the awareness and choices of the majority then yes it will accelerate the evolution. or at least delay the negative impact of choosing violence. that's what I believe Gandhi did. but since no other individual had the courage to take the same choice after him or after Martin Luther King, everything was back to normal in few years. now, we go to war over stupid things and when we remember anyone of them we say what a good man he was - God bless his soul, then get back to fighting and killing!

(05 Nov '09, 14:05) Adel

When you take up the non violence torch of life. You are taking up an very heavy cross to bear for there will be times you will be mis-treated so badly both you and your family and you will be mis-understood by some and encourage by a lot and understood by an few and hated by an lot.

So, it will take strong faith in Jesus, God, or to some Universal Consciousness to make it through whatever it is you are suppose to do and do it non-violently for it will not be an easy task to do and the physical pain will be very very bad but the emotional pain will be worser and sometimes you will be mis-understood by the very ones you are trying to help also.

You will be like Jesus in the graden an ask God to remove this cup from me Lord if possiable for he went an pray and ask 3 times before he realize it will not past this was something he had to do and it was for him to do so it would be for you to do it but not without an price and probably in the end it will probably take your life. It is an cross very few can bear for when someone is mis-treating you and your family or the ones you love that is hard to take and they will do it again and again and you will be pushed to your ultimate limits as an human beings for human beings can be something else they can show an lot of hatred, anger, evil, meanness and just plain igorance as to what they are really doing violiantly towards another human being.

Yes, I know other forces of entities, beings, angels, demons, and, creatures also come into to play in this human and physical war that will be going on all at the same times in the reality and spiritual world they will also be influences things to help or hurt you and your plans as well.

You will have to be more stronger in your faith and spirituality than physically. Like I say who ever bears that cross of life it is an hard and painful cross to bear only and few are able to do it.


answered 05 Nov '09, 11:55

flowingwater's gravatar image


edited 05 Nov '09, 12:02

So what brings about inner, spiritual growth in the individual? Is it that non-violence is a challenge to be strong in your faith?

(07 Nov '09, 04:06) John

Yes, non-violence is an test of your faith. Maybe you can handle what is done to you but when it,pain, hatred,beatings, the sheer pleasure of mis-treating someone else is hurled at the one's you love yes, it can be very hard; you might the tested down to the core of your being which is your faith. The bible tells you to turn the other cheek but how many of us if surprisingly someones comes up to you and just slap with sheer force that you are knock backward would not hit back before they knew it? Or if someone get a bat and hit your back as hard as they can while you are knee down praying.

(08 Nov '09, 03:54) flowingwater
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