Category Archives: Clarifying Gandhi

A collection of articles by Dr. P.K. Willey on Earth Ethics and current topics, authored with the aim to give the reader a clearer idea of who Gandhi is.  The series Clarifying Gandhi is published also in King, T. (Editor and Publisher) Neighbors. Ashford, CT, USA  which has a thankful limit of 1500 words per article.  Hence their brief and concise style.

Clarifying Gandhi # 11: Self-Governance with the ideal of Non-possession

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an Ocean. If a few drops of the Ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. – Gandhi

We should have been prepared for it, yet CT State layoffs have come as a shock. We had forewarning, everyone knew about the budget shortfall; Gov. Malloy went to public meetings and addressed the issues. Yet, with all the taxes we pay, are layoffs the only answer?

As a leader, Gandhi gave the planet a demonstration of great governance by adhering to the ideal of voluntary poverty. He insisted austerity measures begin in personal lives of leadership, and Continue reading →

Clarifying Gandhi # 10: Election Education for Refining Democracy

Note:  This article was originally published as Feeling the ‘Bern’ with Gandhi 80 years ago in India  and has been altered to include some of our President’s efforts to refine our democracy.

“The penalty good men pay for indifference to politics is to be ruled by evil men.” – Plato

“I am a lover of my own liberty and so would I do nothing to restrict yours.”i – Gandhi

The 2016 US Presidential election saw the nation getting an education:  President Trump won on the principle of Swaraj, self-reliance, made in one’s own country, including the role of the Christian religion.  Candidate Bernie Sanders elucidated the meanings of socialism, and what it Continue reading →

Clarifying Gandhi #7: Gandhi’s Gifts to Speech

Speech is the most potent weapon and tool that we have in our persons. To help maintain peace in society and among all aspects of human relations, speech has had careful prescriptions, restrictions and safeguards placed upon it, sanctioned some way in all religions, indigenous societies, cultures, common sense, and conscience.

Critically examined, it is clear that Gandhi worked Continue reading →

Picture of Gandhi and Kasturba

Looking with Gandhi at Advancing Common Sense: the Necessity of Devotion, and the Role of Death

Individual liberty is allowed to man only to a certain extent. He cannot forget that he is a social being and his liberty has to be curtailed at every step. – Gandhi[i]

Common Sense, the Social Aspect of Conscience

Human civilization shares a great commonality of understanding that transcends religions, creeds, cultures, and politics: our common sense. To advance common sense is the socially functioning aspect of our conscience. Behind every exercise of common sense is a tie to conscience. The role of conscience in advancing common sense, is to seek the fulfillment of love from within us, for all life.

For example, corporate person-hood: common sense tells us that a business is not a human being, and does not deserve the rights of a human being. Furthermore, a real person is accountable for their actions. The anonymity of corporate person-hood means that no specific person(s) is responsible for corporate actions. Common sense sees no person who can take accountability. Conscience finds the role of business is to serve the welfare of society. Greed at the expense of other people’s welfare is hurtful for genuine harmony, peace, and the fulfillment of love. Continue reading →

An Open Letter to Arundhati Roy by an American (Clarifying Gandhi #s 3, 4, 5. & 6)

© P.K. Willey Ph.D.

Dear Arundhati Roy,

Greetings! I have been peripherally following your writings, interviews, and efforts since 2008, when first introduced to your 1999 essay, “For the Greater Common Good,” via the Narmada Bachao Andolan website. That was my first awareness of your brilliance as a writer, your wry sense of humour, your sheer, fearless pluck, your social daring, and your patently sincere good intentions. I am touched and inspired by your profound concern for India and for human justice.

In this essay, I saw also your view on Gandhi – frankly a school girl’s view. Following your activities, I now see that a misinformed view of his thought and action has led you to misrepresent Gandhi unfairly to the public around the planet. Continue reading →

Clarifying Gandhi #2: the Machine and the Village

One of the big areas of confusion about Gandhi, are his views on technology and machines, and how they relate to his ideals. This angle on Gandhi, like the food-chain, finds building-blocks with duty, varna (social ordering), trusteeship, his vows of non-possession and non-stealing, education, and much more. Indeed, to paraphrase one of our great American sages, John Muiri, it is difficult to pull out a single subject in Gandhi’s thought, without finding that it is hitched to everything else.

For Gandhi, his views on machines were guided by his certainty that:

“God of truth and justice can never create distinctions of high and low among His own children.”ii

At age 55, Gandhi returned to India in 1915, after nearly 27 years abroad in UK and South Africa. Industrialization had dawned heavily in the western nations, noisily processing the spoils of resources and labor from the colonies. His two community experiments in South Africa had shown him the value of communal living in pursuit of high ideals, bodily labor for the common good, simplicity, austerity, and a close relationship with Nature. Continue reading →

M.K. Gandhi

#1 Clarifying Gandhi’s Earth Ethics

Many people think that Gandhi stands for vegetarianism, and passive resistance. Yet does he really? What did his stance on these topics really mean?

Gandhi (1869-1948) was an evolutionary revolutionary. He kept on reforming and expanding his outlook and personal philosophy throughout his life. You can find a Gandhi quote to back up anything. Yet of his written works, at age 63, Gandhi said: Continue reading →