Satyagraha has a double meaning: It signifies a determined holding on to, a grappling with truth, while at the same time it implies the force that arises from that grappling, what Gandhi called ‘soul-force.’ It stands for both the means and the ends, the struggle and the force that is generated in the struggle. As heat is generated by friction, Gandhi contended, power is released from writhing the depths of the human spirit in its struggle toward truth.
— Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, or Badshah Khan, the “Frontier Gandhi”
In this week’s quote, Badshah Khan highlights two sides of satyagraha, which Gandhi used to help lead the people of India to liberation from the British Empire. I use this quote to guide us in the exploration of soul force — explaining how a journey towards nonviolence begins with a grappling with the truth, and that grappling can cause sparks that wake us up from the distractions of everyday life.
A part of the process is struggling with truth, deeply engaging with the things that challenge us, and finding the sensitivity, openness, and clarity along the way that help us see where to go from here. Lastly, I invite us to dive into the effort to see what it ignites in us.