Reclaiming Our Global Dignity As Human Beings - We Must Be The Change Satyagraha - The Process of Non Violent Action
by Dr Michael Ellis


Saint Augustine said that "And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tide of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars and pass themselves by"

Indeed I think here St Augustine is attempting a measurement of the soul. Petrarch the Italian poet in 1336 said that the soul is a spacious as the grand vistas before us. Space is internalized, Soul is externalized. In fact we are on a continuum nature is so full of soul and has to now be painted that way with subtle gradations of color and perspective and we are full of space and vast countries and landscapes of soul.

Our soul is the very nexus of change that has occurred through evolution from the initial big bang 13 to 15 billion years ago. After that initial explosion from fiery hot dense magma, the universe became a sea of hydrogen. By 1 billion years the galaxies had started forming. From those galaxies eventually came the Milky Way and human life. We can say that we come from hydrogen atoms and yet that hydrogen has since blossomed into elephants and roses and human beings. There is a creative principle at work in the universe of which we are very much a part.

Brian Swimme like Ouspensky the famous philosopher and disciple of Gurdjieff sees nature as being an extension of us. There is for them like for Petrarch a subtle voice and presence within the context of nature which in our more receptive moments we can sense and feel.

According to Otto Scharmer who teaches business studies at Stanford University there are two kinds of knowing. One is the kind of knowing which is old paradigm stuff in that it is it is linear, replication and rote. It is the kind of knowing that is based on text books and authority and uses a logic which has been described as coming from the left side of the brain.

The other type of knowing is based not on downloading information but based on retreat, reflection and intuitive response. Unfortunately within the context of our society our collectivity and preconceptions often block the intuitive process.

This blockage has been called by some brainwashing by MEMS or the subtle encoding of our brains by the expectations and current values and preferences of a materialistic society. In the spiritual traditions it has been called delusion and is represented by a lack of awakening.

In a society in rapid change we have to take into account the prevailing tendencies, the big changes we are facing now are;
1. Globalisation
2. Creativity
3. Individuation on a global scale

In terms of politics we are now subject to more overarching transnational or global institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and also subject to the immense power of transnational companies.

In terms of creativity our society is becoming more interconnected by transport and by the internet. More effort is being put into entertainment and also design in all aspects of human activity especially the internet. About 10 years ago about 8% of people were involved in America in creative pursuits. Currently the number is around 20%. This creativity is also tapping into the spiritual side of people. This spiritual side is an aspect of consciousness or interiority which is separate from institutionalized religion.

Because of the rapid explosion of knowledge and information particularly within the context of the world wide web people are having a greater say in how they feel and how they express themselves. Nowadays a reputable website has to have a blog on it where people can post their views. Blogs represent the individuation of interconnected freedom.

What this says about business and about the system generally is that a new social technology is being created in which we need to navigate between the levels of collective capacity and individual action. What this means is that in order to contribute creatively to the emerging whole we need to pay particular attention to our souls.

In this global society of rapid transformation and change to access our soul is to access the very nature of who we are. It is a journey within, a pioneering approach to the depths of our minds in the past recognized as God. The 21st Century indeed is an era of exploration of God consciousness which is seen to be a process of inner enquiry and meditation.

This process is a work of individual evolution enhanced by collective ideal. Brian Swimme says we are now at a phase shift in evolution. This means that the changes that we are facing now are as vast as the extinction of the dinosaurs 95 million years ago. And indeed our planet is currently undergoing enormous ecological change and an extinction rate of 30,000 species a year, which is 100,000 times more than normal.

So the question is can we access and explore the spiral of conscious evolution and yet embrace all others at different levels of their journey.

This is where the process of Satyagraha comes into force. This word coined by Ghandi literally means clinging to the truth that we are all one under the skin and that there is no such thing as a win/lose confrontation because all our important interests are really the same, as we all want unity and peace with each other. Satyagraha is the process of non violence which Ghandi the great avatar used Ghandi came to this understanding and realisation through a period of systematic discipline and intense personal growth. In Africa in the early 20th Century he launched a careful campaign to rescue the dignity and rights of 100,000 Indians. The great work that he subsequently did in India he had prepared for over many years.

The essence of Satyagraha is based on the essence of truth in every individual which can never be destroyed. It is been called reason and a kind of humane awareness. It is also spirit of humanity, an ability to awaken the dormant humanity in another individual. Indeed the new science of consciousness shows that we possess mirror neurons and vibrational patterns within ourselves especially within the brain and the heart which mirror and can also entrain other people's brains, hearts and minds as we pick up external vibrations like sensitive tuning forks. We are all very much connected.In a state of coherence and love we can influence people around us to entrain into a similar state which thereby creates empathy and rapport.

The basis of Satyagraha is probably the most significant process we can use to change the world by recognizing our interconnectedness and interdependence with all humanity and all life.

With so much injustice occurring on the planet the non violent process of Satyagraha is a way of achieving resolution of conflict. The Satyagraha means that violence can never be used in the process and that injustice is not attacked in terms of person but in terms of the system. The whole purpose is to set in motion forces that will lead to a new equation of reconciliation.

At the moment in the history of the planet there needs to be a reconciliation on many fronts including reconciliation between families, communities, businesses and governments and also with nature herself.

The change requires a letting go of old notions and letting a new self emerge. This process is almost like letting go of your preconceptions and going forth into a different world which although uncertain can enable the creative imagination to work more effectively. In this process there are two questions which are, Who is myself? --- What is my highest possibility? And secondly: What is my work? --- What am I here for?

This form of meditation is in fact a collective process. In meditation we may suspend our thoughts, redirect ourselves and let go to higher possibilities. And in the process we effect not only ourselves but also the people around us.

The individual within the collective and the collective within the individual is the new spirituality. When one person is able to participate in the process of emergence and evolution on this planet accessing deeper realms within his or her soul or consciousness this directly affects society, space and time and contributes towards collective emergence.

The new Copernican revolution shows that we are all connected, that everything maintains itself at the expense of everything else and that the universe and our environment is in fact a biological quantum reality whose infrastructure is pure love. This realization where the observer influences the observed whether it be living or non living has been up to now against the very tenets of science. The added corollary to this statement is that the whole nexus of that which is interior and that which is exterior is joined by this powerful force and energy of love. This love is not an imposed hierarchical authority but a ground work of the universe itself and is accessible by all humanity.

"Psyche is endowed with a dignity which philosophically gives it a position equal to the physical being" Carl Jung

"The human being is that space in which the comprehensive compassion that pervades the universe from the very beginning now beings to surface within consciousness. That's the only difference, we didn't invent compassion, but it's flowing through us - or it could." Brian Swimme


Dr Michael Ellis
Dr Michael Ellis Chief Editor and Creative vision behind The New Paradigm Magazine is an English trained Doctor with over 20 years of General Practice experience both in the UK and in Australia. He has higher qualifications in general medicine and paediatrics. He has a special interest in mind/ body medicine and in optimising the physical, mental and emotional health of the individual. As well as his medical qualifications, Dr Ellis also has qualifications in Literature, Arts, Philosophy and Social Psychology. He also has Naturopathic qualifications. He is Co Founder of The Centre for Change and The Medical renaissance Group Dr Ellis is a writer and author. Dr Ellis founded and convened an international conference - Conference Earth: Humanity and Planet Earth - 2001 and Beyond. This conference was held at and supported by Melbourne University on 17-19 November 1995 with 400 delegates, 50 workshop leaders and 10 international speakers attracting national media coverage. This series of Mindquest Conferences is now supported by the Research Institute "The Centre for Change" co founded by Dr Ellis in 2000 and he has since conducted regular seminars at Swinburne University, Melbourne on a wide range of topics related to the achievement of World Peace. His invited speakers have all been Leaders in their chosen fields. With Dr Pavel Kasyanov in 2002 he presented the paper entitled Transition to a Sustainable Civilisation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.