Masters of Health Magazine January 2018 - Page 47

While the times have changed, the patterns of colonisation stay the same, based on violence, destruction of people’s freedoms and economies, taking what is not yours, collecting unjust rents on what is not yours, creating constructs of divide and rule, and supremacy. And the patterns of liberation and freedom are perennial – truly circular, (unlike the “Zero” of the mechanical mind, which begins and ends with emptiness). These contours of freedom shape the path for the Resurgence of the Real.

Satyagraha is the deepest practice of democracy -the moral duty to not cooperate with unjust and brute law and exploitative and undemocratic processes. This is the first step in breaking free of an enslaving, colonising system. “Satyagraha”-the force of truth- is Gandhi’s word for non cooperation with systems, structures, laws, paradigms, policies that destroy the earth and rob us of our humanity and our freedoms, that crush our potential for compassion and sharing, that atrophy our hearts, our minds, our hands.

Our freedoms are gifts of Civil Disobedience and Satyagraha. In 1848, Henry David Thoreau coined the term ‘civil disobedience’ in his essay on why his commitment to the abolition of slavery led to his refusal to pay poll tax. Higher moral laws compel citizens to disobey lower laws that institutionalise injustice and violence.

“The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice” – Thoreau

“One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“As long as the superstition exists that unjust laws must be obeyed, so long will slavery exist”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Swaraj – self organisation, self rule, self governance, autopoesis – is the basis of Real Freedom in Nature and Society, beginning at the smallest level, emerging at highest. Resistance by itself does not create freedom from oppression. We need to also sow the seeds of real freedom in our imagination, in our daily lives, through our everyday actions, and our diverse and multiple relationships.

Swadeshi is self making, based on local resources, indigenous knowledge, and community. It allows the expression of our fullest creativity as human beings and as Earth Citizens. In Swadeshi, we are co-creative with nature’s intelligence, creativity, and regenerative potential, and the creativity and intelligence of our fellow human beings. Co-Creativity with nature combines production with conservation. It is not extractive, polluting, degrading to the planet and to human communities. It is the foundation of sustainability. It is the core of economic democracy. It is the source of Real Wealth, of well being and happiness for all.

Real Freedom and Real Wealth creation call for the practice of Satyagraha, Swaraj, Swadeshi in integrity and integration. Resistance without another imagination rooted in the real, combined with constructive action, will not create another world. Sowing the seeds of freedom is not imaginary, it is a real act, an act in which we become one with the Earth, one as community, and one in our hands, hearts and heads.

The violent dictatorships, of today and yore, divide. They divide us from the Earth, and our capacity to create with the Earth, so we are compelled to buy what we need as junk commodities -our food and clothing, our knowledge and information, our friendships and “happiness”.They divide us from each other. They divide us from ourselves, crippling our capacities to think free, be free, live free, our capacity to create and produce. Oneness is our being, our source of power. Our power to resist nonviolently. Our power to co-create, nonviolently.

-Dr Vandana Shiva

From book by the author