March 30, 2008
Satyagraha and Western Society?
Mahatma Gandhi was one of the most influential leaders during his time. His ideas were all formed through a mixture of different religions and philosophies. He used these various influences to form Satyagraha, which was “a way of life combing truth, love and firmness with an insistence on physical and spiritual courage and sacrifice” (Gandhi 444). After reading some of the essays Gandhi wrote about Satyagraha and comparing it to Western society, I concluded that although his ideas would benefit us as a whole, they wouldn’t work in our society. Americans have separated church and state for hundreds of years and still today we have issues about prayer in school and outcast religions to us are obscure. If western society would try to adapt Satyagraha and use it as a frame for all aspects of our lives then we would come across limits and benefits. In the end if Satyagraha were to be embraced, then we as a people would be in a better state, but at what cost? Put your position here.
Some of the limits of Satyagraha would be individual, while others would be from society as a whole. Gandhi wrote, “Only those who realize that there is something in man which is superior to the brute nature in him, and that the latter always yields to it, can be Passive Resisters” (446). He says this because a person has to be at a higher spiritual level to follow Satyagraha. “For this exercise, prolonged training of the individual soul is an absolute necessity, so that a perfect Passive Resister has to be almost if not entirely a perfect man” (Gandhi 447). One of the individual struggles would be trying to find this perfection in man. Even Gandhi himself knew that you had to look deep into your own soul to follow Satyagraha. Mediation is the closest some Americans have come to finding spirituality, but is looked upon as comedic at times and some Americans believe it to be a...