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Readings: Gandhi

The sum total of all that lives is God. We may not be God but we are of God even as a little drop of water is of the ocean.

(Attenborough, R. ed. (1982), The Words of Gandhi, New York: Newmarket Press, p. 83)

I believe in the essential unity of humanity and for that matter, of all that lives. Therefore, I belive that if one person gains spiritually, the whole world gains with that person and if one person falls the whole world falls to that extent.

(Attenborough, R. ed. (1982), The Words of Gandhi (degenderised), New York: Newmarket Press, p. 23)

Man must choose either of the two courses, the upward or the downward; but as he has the brute in him, he will more easily choose the downward course than the upward, especially when the downward course is presented to him in a beautiful garb. Man easily capitulates when sin is presented in the garb of virtue.

(Attenborough, R. ed. (1982), The Words of Gandhi,, p. 14)

I do not believe that the spiritual law works on a field of its own. On the contrary, it expresses itself only through the ordinary activities of life. It thus affects the economic, the social and the political fields.

(Attenborough, ed. (1982), The Words of Gandhi, New York: Newmarket Press, p. 75)

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end up by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.

(Attenborough, R. ed. (1982), The Words of Gandhi, New York: Newmarket Press)

The economics that disregard moral and sentimental considerations are like wax works that, being life-like, still lack the life of the living flesh. At every crucial moment these newfangled economic laws have broken down in practice. And nations and individuals that accept them as guiding maxims must perish.

Machinery to be well used has to help and ease human effort. The present use of machinery tends more and more to concentrate wealth in the hands of the few in total disregard of men and women whose bread is snatched by it out of their mouths.

As I look at [communist] Russia where the apotheosis of industrialisation has been reached, the life there does not appeal to me. To use the language of the Bible, ¼What does it avail a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul½. In modern terms it is beneath human dignity to lose one»s individuality and become a mere cog in a machine. I want every individual the become a full-blooded, fully-developed member in society.

Democracy, disciplined, and enlightened, is the finest thing in the world.

My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest.

...If rights of minorities are to be respected, the majority must respect their opinion and action... It will be the duty of the majority to see to it that the minorities receive a proper hearing and are not otherwise exposed to insults.

Liberty never meant the licence to do anything at all.

Good travels at a snail»s pace. Those who want to do good are not selfish, they are not in a hurry, they know that to impregnate people with good requires a long time.

(Attenborough, R. (1982) The Words of Gandhi, New York: Newmarket Press)