Everyone knows about Gandhi the leader. His life has been documented and analyzed in every which way, across thousands of books and scholarly articles and commentaries. Yet, underneath the endless debates around his projects, practices, and comments stands a critical organizing principle that guided all his "experiments with truth": sustainable outer change is predicated on inner change.
"We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme."
In today's world of compounding catastrophes, what is the relevance of inner transformation led designs? When every challenge feels like an emergency, how do we trust in emergence? How should we relate to technology, social media and markets? What is the architecture of social change that honors the microscopic lens of what we do with the telescopic arc of who we are becoming?
Vinoba Bhave, Gandhi's successor in India, offered a concrete metaphor of "Panchshakti" -- five fingers of a hand that can collectively unlock this potential: community, education, business, nonprofit and leadership. Thumb being the most critical was likened to community, while the smallest finger was associated with leadership. When these five forces work in concert, like “stars on a dark night connected invisibly in the vast and infinite cosmos”, the palm of society is primed to awaken the "Law of Love".
"Just as a scientist will work wonders out of various applications of the laws of nature, a man who applies the laws of love with scientific precision can work greater wonders. Nonviolence is infinitely more wonderful and subtle than forces of nature like, for instance, electricity. The law of love is a far greater science than any modern science."
In today's context, catalyzing this greater whole opens up a series of nuanced questions:
- Community: how do we move from weak relationships (powered by modern social networks) to deep connection and noble friendships?
- Education: how do we wrap the content of our curriculum with a layered, multi-dimensional context of what it means to be alive?
- Business: how do we expand from the transactional nature of money to include alternative forms of wealth that are regenerative?
- Nonprofit: how do we pause the race of quantifiable short-term impact to nurture deeper, longer 7th-generation "living bridges" type of transformation?
- Leadership: how do we balance a command-and-control leadership in a one-to-many structure with a search-and-amplify "laddership" of an emergent, many-to-many network?
Commemorating Gandhi's birthday, we held a series of conversations around "Law of Love" last year, which inspired us to explore these five sectors of society more deeply. Past Pods have also included remarkable guest speakers -- like Michael Nagler, Rajni Bakshi and Kazuya Ishii who are Gandhian scholars, social change luminaries and love warriors.
We'll start with a virtual orientation call to connect all Pod participants and volunteers and to take you through the process of daily prompts and other pod details.
Time: 90 minutes
For these 6 days, all of us will get a daily email prompt with a "head" reading and a "hands" practice, and a "heart" reflection, curated by the volunteers. Everyone is expected to engage in the daily exercises and then submit our reflections, on a private feed. As you submit your responses, you'll also get to read other participant responses.
Time: 1-3 hours per day. This is self-regulated with plenty to scope to go deeper and spend more time. :)
We'll host a virtual gathering to marinate our collective learnings, hear from couple guest speakers, and brainstorm on how we might support continue to support each other in this direction. Open to all who have completed prior prompts.
Time: 2 hours
||Pod Rooms (Optional)
As the pod gets going, participants can invite or join peer-driven discussion rooms in smaller groups to further build on, deepen and contextualize their insights.
To join, complete the form below. Once you are approved by the circle hosts, you will receive a welcome email with your login information.
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