Mahatma Ghandi became famous for his leadership using "non-violent resistance". Of course "non-violent resistance" is a contradiction in terms. There is nothing that does more violence inside myself than resistance. All I have to do is feel inside myself with honesty to see that resistance is violence.
Despite Ghandi's popularity, his so-called non-violent demonstrations were nonetheless a form of resistance and since it is an immutable scientific law that resistance creates resistance many people were killed or wounded as a result of Ghandi's leadership. If I were to consider being killed or beaten bloody a kind of success, only then could I say Ghandi's resistance was successful.
As much as Ghandi was said to have admired Jesus, he never understood that Jesus did not teach the outer appearance of non-violence as much as he taught non-resistance altogether. Even a thinker like Ayn Rand who never meant to start a religion would admit that Jesus was recognizing something crucially important when he taught, "Resist not evil."
Like Jesus, Ayn Rand's ideal fictional heroes ... John Galt, Judge Narragansett, Midas Mulligan ... did not resist what they perceived as "evil". Like Jesus, they recognized that "evil" has no power of it's own. They recognized that "evil" is helpless in perpetuating itself in particular forms if those forms are not supported by men and women who are for the most part good.
John Galt might well have said, "We do not resist the looters and moochers. We simply withhold our sanction."
Jesus, when asked about paying taxes, was reported to have told his disciples something like, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." He wasn't saying, "Pay your taxes because taxes are good." He was telling his disciples that they did not have to resist Caesar's evil. Jesus knew that the government's interest was not the same as the interests of the people. He also knew that resistance gives further power to the government.
Jesus was also subtly implying that Caesar is going to get what is coming to him. History has shown that those who use the government to further their ends, no matter how noble they believe their ends to be, end up being victims themselves to those who are far more unscrupulous in their use of force and fraud.
Eventually the worst thugs gain control and the system becomes brutal. This is inevitable because the government itself, unless voluntarily formed and consented to by each citizen, is nothing but legalized force and fraud.
Even the most well-meaning person who becomes willing to live by pointing a gun to his neighbor's head (taxation) dies with a gun pointed to his own head, so to speak. Ayn Rand showed this clearly in her novels, especially with the pitiful character of Dr. Robert Stadler. Jesus refers to the same principle when he teaches that your only escape from the world of attack is by giving up attack thoughts yourself.
Just as Jesus was dragged into court and did not attempt to defend himself, so did Ayn Rand's fictional heroes, Hank Rearden and John Galt, not defend themselves when brought before tribunals. Both Ayn Rand and Jesus recognized that those who rule by brute force will, if resisted, find within themselves excuses to use more force than ever. Resistance begets resistance.
It might be hard for my limited mind to believe that non-resistance works, so my goal for this week is to prove it to myself one way or another, experimenting by consciously choosing non-resistance in situations where I would normally have resisted.
I prepare myself at the start of each day by taking a few minutes to meditate on possibilities for non-resistance during the coming day. I ask my imagination to give me pictures of situations which conceivably could come up during the day where I would be tempted to be in resistance. Everyday situations with family members, co-workers, customers or others I come into contact with in the course of regular activities will afford me the best mind training.
With each such situation, in my mind's eye I see myself beginning to feel resistance ... then stopping ... and consciously choosing to not resist. I picture myself in each crucial turn-around moment looking inside for the non-resistant part of me and asking, "Non-resistance ... are you there? Non-resistance ... what do you feel like? Let me feel you." In my imagination, I persist until I feel myself switching from resistance to non-resistance.
During the day I play a game with myself. Each time I catch myself starting to feel resistance and stop myself, switching into non-resistance ... I award myself a point. But each time I find myself resisting someone or something without making such a switch, I loose all my points and start over again with zero points. I have fun seeing how many points I can accumulate each day.
Secondly, I watch the results of my non-resistance, remembering that the experiment is to see for myself if non-resistance works.
In each situation where I am shown clearly that my non-resistance brought benefits (including the benefit of feeling good inside myself), I award myself 10 whole points.
How many points can I accumulate in one week? It doesn't matter. Even if I revert all the way back to zero points 15 or more times, there are lessons to be learned with this game.
At the end of each day, I chuckle in joy at the process of learning the value of non-resistance and thank my lucky stars that I am not foolish enough to fall for arguments that say I should give government my sanction or moral support, nor foolish enough to resist ... which gives government a different kind of support. I might even say to myself for fun: "Non-resistance is liberty and liberty works."
The device which even more deeply prepares freedom lovers for success, A Course in Miracles , talks about our ultimate need to free ourselves from every kind of slavery:
You have been told to bring the darkness to the light, and guilt to holiness. And you have also been told that error must be corrected at its source. Therefore, it is the tiny part of your self, the little thought that seems split off and separate, that the Holy Spirit needs. The rest is fully in God's keeping, and needs no guide. But this wild and delusional thought needs help, because, in its delusions, it thinks it is the Son of God, whole and omnipotent, sole ruler of the kingdom it set apart to tyrannize by madness into obedience and slavery.
Also available free of charge online:
Course in Relationship Miracles
28 August 1995