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NON-RESISTANCE

Posted by Pelgrim on 7th November 2006

Nonresistance (or non-resistance) discourages physical resistance to an enemy and is a subdivision of nonviolence. Strict practitioners of nonresistance refuse to retaliate against an opponent or offer any form of self-defense. Mahatma Gandhi defined it more broadly as seeking to return good for evil:

Quote Mahatma Ghandi - “My nonresistance is active resistance in a different plane. Nonresistance to evil does not mean absence of any resistance whatsoever but it means not resisting evil with evil but with good. Resistance, therefore, is transferred to a higher and absolutely effective plane.”

Leo Tolstoy, Adin Ballou and Mahatma Gandhi were notable advocates of nonresistance.

Christian theology

Christian nonresistance is based on a reading of the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus says:

KJV Mat 5, 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.  

Living nonresistance
Ammon Hennacy related this story of an incident which occurred in the 1930’s when he was a social worker in Milwaukee. He had gone to the home of a man who was on pain relief when the man pulled a knife on him.

He would prance around and swing his fist at me to frighten me and breathe down the back of my neck and tickle me with the point of his knife. I was not frightened for I had learned in solitary not to be afraid of anything. He threatened me on for nearly an hour. I did not answer back a word nor hang my head but looked him in the eye. Finally he came after me more energetically than before and said that I had to do something.  

I got up and said “I will do something, but not what you think.” I reached out my hand in a friendly manner saying “You are all right but you forget about it. I am not afraid of that false face you have on. I see the good man inside. If you want to knife me or knock me cold, go ahead. I won’t hit you back; go ahead. I dare you!” But I didn’t double dare him.

He shook my hand, and with the other hand was making passes to hit me in the face. I did not say anything more. Slowly his grip loosened and he went to the door and opened it, pulled up the blind and put the knife away.

“What I don’t see is why you don’t hit back.”

“That’s just what I want you to see,” I answered.

“Explain it.” He demanded.

“What is your strongest weapon? It is your big fist with a big knife. What is my weakest weapon? It is a little fist without a knife. What is my strongest weapon? It is the fact that I do not get excited; I do not boil over; some people call it spiritual power. What is your weakest weapon? It is your getting excited and boiling over and your lack of spiritual power. I would be dumb if I used my weakest weapon, my small fist without a knife, against your strongest weapon, your large fist with a knife. I am smart, so I use my strongest weapon, my quiet spiritual power against your weakest weapon, your excited manner, and I won, didn’t I?”

If I had told him, “Don’t hit or knife this good Christian anarchist who returns good for evil” he would have laughed at me. When I showed no fear and dared him to do me up, it woke him up to the reality and took his mind off his meanness. The good was in him the same as it was in the warden and the District Attorney, but it had to be brought out by the warmth of love which I showed, and not by the blustering wind which provoked only more bluster.

“And when do I go to court?”

“You won’t go to court. I don’t believe in courts; you have learned your lesson.”

When I left the house my knees were shaking from the strain although I had not wavered a bit all along.

Source: wikipedia

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TOLSTOY’S LETTER TO ERNEST HOWARD CROSBY

Posted by Pelgrim on 6th November 2006

TOLSTOY’S LETTER TO ERNEST HOWARD CROSBY
On Non-Resistance

January 12, 1896

Translated by Professor Leo Wiener (1905)

My Dear Crosby: — I am very glad to hear of your activity and that it is beginning to attract attention.  Fifty years ago Garrison’s proclamation of non-resistance only cooled people toward him, and the whole fifty years’ activity of Ballou in this direction was met with stubborn silence.  I read with great pleasure in *Peace* the beautiful ideas of the American authors in regard to non-resistance.  I make an exception only in the case of Mr. Bemis’s old, unfounded opinion, which calumniates Christ in assuming that Christ’s expulsion of the cattle from the temple means that he struck the men with a whip, and commanded his disciples to do likewise.

The ideas expressed by these writers, especially by H. Newton and G. Herron, are beautiful, but it is to be regretted that they do not answer the question which Christ put before men, but answer the question which the so-called orthodox teachers of the churches, the chief and most dangerous enemies of Christianity, have put in its place.

Mr. Higginson says that the law of non-resistance is not admissible as a general rule.  H. Newton says that the practical results of the application of Christ’s teaching will depend on the degree of faith which men will have in this teaching.  Mr. C. Martyn assumes that the stage at which we are is not yet suited for the application of the teaching about non-resistance.  G. Herron says that in order to fulfil the law of non-resistance, it is necessary to learn to apply it to life.  Mrs. Livermore says the same, thinking that the fulfilment of the law of non-resistance is possible only in the future.

All these opinions treat only the question as to what would happen to people if all were put to the necessity of fulfilling the law of non-resistance; but, in the first place, it is quite impossible to compel all men to accept the law of non-resistance, and, in the second, if this were possible, it would be a most glaring negation of the very principle which is being established.  To compel all men not to practise violence against others!  Who is going to compel men?

In the third place, and above all else, the question, as put by Christ, does not consist in this, whether non-resistance may become a universal law for all humanity, but what each man must do in order to fulfil his destiny, to save his soul, and do God’s work, which reduces itself to the same.

The Christian teaching does not prescribe any laws for all men; it does not say, “follow such and such rules under fear of punishment, and you will all be happy,” but explains to each separate man his position in the world and shows him what for him personally results from this position.  The Christian teaching says to each individual man that his life, if he recognizes his life to be his, and its aim, the worldly good of his personality or of the personalities of other men, can have no rational meaning, because this good, posited as the end of life, can never be attained, because, in the first place, all beings strive after the goods of the worldly life, and these goods are always attained by one set of beings to the detriment of others, so that every separate man cannot receive the desired good, but, in all probability, must even endure many unnecessary sufferings in his struggle for these unattained goods; in the second place, because if a man even attains the worldly goods, these, the more of them he attains, satisfy him less and less, and he wishes for more and more new ones; in the third place, mainly because the longer a man lives, the more inevitably do old age , diseases, and finally death, which destroys the possibility of any worldly good, come to him.

Thus, if a man considers his life to be his, and its end to be the worldly good, for himself or for other men, this life can have for him no rational meaning.  Life receives a rational meaning only when a man understands that the recognition of his life as his own, and the good of personality, of his own or of that of others, as its end, is an error, and that the human life does not belong to him, who has received this life from some one, but to Him who produced this life, and so its end must not consist in the attainment of his own good or of the good of others, but only in the fulfilment of the will of Him who produced it.  Only with such a comprehension of life does it receive a rational meaning, and its end, which consists in the fulfilment of God’s will, become attainable, and, above all, only with such a comprehension does man’s activity become clearly defined, and he no longer is subject to despair and suffering, which were inevitable with his former comprehension.

“The world and I in it,” such a man says to himself, “exist by the will of God.  I cannot know the whole world and my relation to it, but I can know what is wanted of me by God, who sent men into this world, endless in time and space, and therefore inaccessible to my understanding, because this is revealed to me in the tradition, that is, in the aggregate reason of the best people in the world, who lived before me, and in my reason, and in my heart, that is, in the striving of my whole being.

“In the tradition, the aggregate of the wisdom of all the best men, who lived before me, I am told that I must act toward others as I wish that others would act toward me; my reason tells me that the greatest good of men is possible only when all men will act likewise.

“My heart is at peace and joyful only when I abandon myself to the feeling of love for men, which demands the same.  And then I can not only know what I must do, but also the cause for which my activity is necessary and defined.

“I cannot grasp the whole divine work, for which the world exists and lives, but the divine work which is being accomplished in this world and in which I am taking part with my life is accessible to me.  This work is the destruction of the discord and of the struggle among men and other beings, and the establishment among men of the greatest union, concord, and love; this work is the realization of what the Jewish prophets promised, saying that the time will come when all men shall be taught the truth, when the spears shall be forged into pruning-hooks, and the scythes and swords into ploughshares, and when the lion shall lie with the lamb.”

Thus, the man of the Christian comprehension of life not only knows how he must act in life, but also what he must do

He must do what contributes to the establishment of the kingdom of God in the world.  To do this, a man must fulfil the inner demands of God’s will, that is, he must act amicably toward others, as he would like others to do to him.  Thus the inner demands of a man’s soul coincide with that external end of life which is placed before him.

And here though we have an indication which is so clear to a man of the Christian comprehension, and incontestable from two sides, as to what the meaning and end of human life consists in, and how a man must act, and what he must do, and what not, there appear certain people, who call themselves Christians, who decide that in such and such cases a man must depart from God’s law and the common cause of life, which are given to him, and must act contrary to the law and the common cause of life, because, according to their ratiocination, the consequences of the acts committed according to God’s law may be profitless and disadvantageous for men.

Man, according to the Christian teaching, is God’s workman.  The workman does not know his master’s whole business, but the nearest aim to be attained by his work is revealed to him, and he is given definite indications as to what he should do; especially definite are the indications as to what he must not do, in order that he may not work against the aim for the attainment of which he was sent to work.  In everything else he is given complete liberty.  And so for a man who has grasped the Christian conception of life the meaning of his life is clear and rational, and he cannot have a moment of wavering as to how he should act in life and what he ought to do, in order to fulfil the destiny of his life.

According to the law given him in the tradition, in his reason, and in his heart, a man must always act toward another as he wishes to have done to him:  he must contribute to the establishment of love and union among men; but according to the decision of these far-sighted people, a man must, while the fulfilment of the law, according to their opinion, is still premature, do violence, deprive of liberty, kill people, and with this contribute, not to union of love, but to the irritation and enragement of people.  It is as though a mason, who is put to do certain definite work, who knows that he is taking part with others in the building of a house, and who has a clear and indubitable command from the master himself that is to lay a wall, should receive the command from other masons like him, who, like him, do not know the general plan of the structure and what is useful for the common work, to stop laying the wall, and to undo the work of the others.

Wonderful delusion!  The being that breathes today and disappears tomorrow, that has one definite, incontestable law given to him, as to how he is to pass his short term of life, imagines that he knows what is necessary and useful and appropriate for all men, for the whole world, for that world which moves without cessation, and goes on developing, and in the name of this usefulness, which is differently understood by each of them, he prescribes to himself and to others for a time to depart from the unquestionable law, which is given to him and to all men, and not to act toward all men as he wants others to act toward him, not to bring love into the world, but to practise violence, to deprive of freedom, to punish, to kill, to introduce malice into the world, when it is found that this is necessary.  And he enjoins us to do so knowing that the most terrible cruelties, tortures, murders of men, from the Inquisitions and punishments and terrors of all the revolutions to the present bestialities of the anarchists and the massacres of them, have all proceeded from this, that men suppose that they know what people and the world need; knowing that at any given moment there are always two opposite parties, each of which asserts that it is necessary to use violence against the opposite party, — the men of state against the anarchists, the anarchists against the men of state; the English against the Americans, the Americans against the English; the English against the Germans; and so forth, in all possible combinations and permutations.

Not only does a man of the Christian concept of life see clearly by reflection that there is no ground whatever for his departure from the law of his life, as clearly indicated to him by God, in order to follow the accidental, frail, frequently contradictory demands of men; but if he has been living the Christian life for some time, and has developed in himself the Christian moral sensitiveness, he can positively not act as people demand that he shall, not only as the result of reflection, but also of feeling.

As it is for many men of our world impossible to subject a child to torture and to kill it, though such a torture may save a hundred other people, so a whole series of acts becomes impossible for a man who has developed the Christian sensitiveness of his heart in himself.  A Christian, for example, who is compelled to take part in court proceedings, where a man may be sentenced to capital punishment, to take part in matters of forcible seizure of other people’s property, in discussions about the declaration of war, or in preparations for the same, to say nothing of war itself, finds himself in the same position in which a good man would be, if he were compelled to torture or kill a child.  It is not that he decides by reflection what he ought not to do, but that he cannot do what is demanded of him, because for a man there exists the moral impossibility, just as there is a physical impossibility, of committing certain acts.  Just as it is impossible for a man to lift up a mountain, as it is impossible for a good man to kill a child, so it is impossible for a man who lives a Christian life to take part in violence.  Of what significance for such a man can be the reflections that for some imaginary good he must do what has become morally impossible for him?

How, then, is a man to act when he sees the obvious harm of following the law of love and the law of non-resistance, which results from it?  How is a man to act — this example is always adduced — when a robber in his sight kills or injures a child, and when the child cannot be saved otherwise than by killing the robber?

It is generally assumed that, when they adduce such an example, there can be no other answer to the question than that the robber ought to be killed, in order that the child be saved.  But this answer is given so emphatically and so quickly only because we are not only in the habit of acting in this manner in the case of the defence of a child, but also in the case of the expansion of the borders of a neighbouring state to the detriment of our own, or in the case of the transportation of lace across the border, or even in the case of the defence of the fruits of our garden against depredations by passers-by.

It is assumed that it is necessary to kill the robber in order to save the child, but we need only stop and think on what ground a man should act thus, be he a Christian or a non-Christian, to convince ourselves that such an act can have no rational foundations, and is considered necessary only because two thousand years ago such a mode of action was considered just and people were in the habit of acting thus.  Why should a non-Christian, who does not recognize God and the meaning of life in the fulfilment of His will, kill the robber, in defending the child?  To say nothing of this, that in killing the robber he is certainly killing, but does not know for certain until the very last moment whether the robber will kill the child or not, to say nothing of this irregularity:  who has decided that the life of the child is more necessary and better than the life of the robber?

If a non-Christian does not recognize God, and does not consider the meaning of life to consist in the fulfilment of God’s will, it is only calculation, that is, the consideration as to what is more profitable for him and for all men, the continuation of the robber’s life or that of the child, which guides the choice of his acts.  But to decide this, he must know what will become of the child which he saves, and what would become of the robber if he did not kill him.  But that he cannot know.  And so, if he is a non- Christian, he has not rational foundation for saving the child through the death of the robber.

But if the man is a Christian, and so recognizes God and sees the meaning of life in the fulfilment of His will, no matter what terrible robber may attack any innocent and beautiful child, he has still less cause to depart from the law given him by God and to do to the robber what the robber wants to do to the child; he may implore the robber, may place his body between the robber and his victim, but there is one thing he cannot do, — he cannot consciously depart from the law of God, the fulfilment of which forms the meaning of his life.  It is very likely that, as the result of his bad bringing up and of his animality, a man, being a pagan or a Christian, will kill the robber, not only in the defence of the child, but also in his own defence or in the defence of his purse, but that will by no means signify that it is right to do so, that it is right to accustom ourselves and others to think that that ought to be done.

This will only mean that, in spite of the external education and Christianity, the habits of the stone age are still strong in man, that he is capable of committing acts which have long ago been disavowed by his consciousness.  A robber in my sight is about to kill a child and I can save it by killing the robber; consequently it is necessary under certain conditions to resist evil with violence.

A man is in danger of his life and can be saved only through my lie; consequently it is necessary in certain cases to lie.  A man is starving, and I cannot save him otherwise than by stealing; consequently it is necessary in certain cases to steal.

I lately read a story by Coppee, in which an orderly kills his officer, who has his life insured, and thus saves his honour and the life of his family.  Consequently in certain cases it is right to kill.

Such imaginary cases and the conclusions drawn from them prove only this, that there are men who know that it is not right to steal, to lie, to kill, but who are so loath to stop doing this that they use all the efforts of their mind in order to justify their acts.  There does not exist a moral rule for which it would be impossible to invent a situation when it would be hard to decide which is more moral, the departure from the rule or its fulfilment.  The same is true of the question of non-resistance to evil:  men know that it is bad, but they are so anxious to live by violence, that they use all the efforts of their mind, not for the elucidation of all the evil which is produced by man’s recognition of the right to do violence to others, but for the defence of this right.  But such invented cases in no way prove that the rules about not lying, stealing, killing are incorrect. 

“*Fais ce que doit, advienne que pourra*, — do what is right, and let come what may,” — is an expression of profound wisdom.  Each of us knows unquestionably what he ought to do, but none of us knows or can know what will happen.  Thus we are brought to the same, not only by this, that we must do what is right, but also by this, that we know what is right, and do not know at all what will come and result from our acts.

The Christian teaching is a teaching as to what a man must do for the fulfilment of the will of Him who sent him into the world.  But the reflections as to what consequences we assume to result from such or such acts of men not only have nothing in common with Christianity, but are that very delusion which destroys Christianity.

No one has yet seen the imaginary robber with the imaginary child, and all the horrors, which fill history and contemporary events, have been produced only because men imagine that they can know the consequences of the possible acts.

How is this?  Men used to live a beastly life, violating and killing all those whom it was advantageous for them to violate and kill, and even eating one another, thinking that that was right.  Then there came a time, when, thousands of years ago, even in the time of Moses, there appeared the consciousness in men that it was bad to violate and kill one another.  But there were some men for whom violence was advantageous, and they did not recognize the fact, and assured themselves and others that it was not always bad to violate and kill men, but that there were cases when this was necessary, useful, and even good.  And acts of violence and murder, though not as frequent and cruel, were continued, but with this difference, that those who committed them justified them on the ground of usefulness to men.  It was this false justification of violence that Christ arraigned.  He showed that, since every act of violence could be justified as actually happens, when two enemies do violence to one another and both consider their violence justifiable, and there is no chance of verifying the justice of the determination of either, it is necessary not to believe in any justifications of violence, and under no condition, as at first was thought right by humanity, is it necessary to make use of them.

It would seem that men who profess Christianity would have carefully to unveil this deception, because in the unveiling of this deception does one of the chief manifestations of Christianity consist.  But the very opposite has happened:  men to whom violence was advantageous, and who did not want to give up these advantages, took upon themselves the exclusive propaganda of Christianity, and, preaching it, asserted that, since there are cases in which the non-application of violence produces more evil than its application (the imaginary robber who kills the child), we must not fully accept Christ’s teaching about non-resistance to evil, and that we may depart from this teaching in the defence of our lives and of those of other men, in the defense of our country, the protection of society from madmen and malefactors, and in many other cases.  But the decision of the question as to when Christ’s teaching ought to be set aside was left to those very men who made use of violence.  Thus Christ’s teaching about non-resistance to evil turned out to be absolutely set aside, and, what is worse than all that, those very men whom Christ arraigned began to consider themselves the exclusive preachers and expounders of His teaching.  But the light shineth in the dark, and the false preachers of Christianity are again arraigned by His teaching.

We can think of the structure of the world as we please, we may do what is advantageous and agreeable for us to do, and use violence against people under the pretext of doing good to men, but it is absolutely impossible to assert that, in doing so, we are professing Christ’s teaching, because Christ arraigned that very deception.  The truth will sooner or later be made manifest, and will arraign the deceivers, even as it does now.

Let only the question of the human life be put correctly, as it was put by Christ, and not as it was corrupted by the churches, and all the deceptions which by the churches have been heaped on Christ’s teaching will fall of their own accord.

The question is not whether it will be good or bad for human society to follow the law of love and the resulting law of non- resistance, but whether you — a being that lives today and is dying by degrees tomorrow and every moment — will now, this very minute, fully do the will of Him who sent you and clearly expressed it in tradition and in your reason and heart, or whether you want to act contrary to this will.  As soon as the question is put in this form, there will be but one answer:  I want at once, this very minute, without any delay, without waiting for anyone, and without considering the seeming consequences, with all my strength to fulfil what alone I am indubitably commanded to do by Him who sent me into the world, and in no case, under no condition, will I, can I, do what is contrary to it, because in this lies the only possibility of my rational, unwretched life.

January 12, 1896.

http://cyberspacei.com/jesusi/authors/tolstoy/non-resistance.htm

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Tolstoj - The command of non-resistance and the mystery

Posted by Pelgrim on 27th October 2006

I was recently reading the Fifth Chapter of Matthew with a Jewish Rabbi. At almost every sentence the Rabbi said, ‘That is in the Jewish Canon. That is in the Talmud’, and he pointed out to me in the Old Testament and the Talmud dicta very similar to the dicta of the Sermon on the Mount. But when we came to the verse about non-resistance to him that is evil he did not say, ‘And that is in the Talmud’, but only ironically asked me: ‘Do the Christians fulfill that? Do they turn the other cheek ?’

I had no reply, especially as I knew that at that very time Christians were not only not turning the other cheek, but were striking cheeks the Jews had turned. But I was interested to know whether there was anything similar in the Old Testament or in the Talmud, and I asked him about this. He replied: ‘No, it is not there. But tell me whether the Christians fulfill this law.’ By this question he showed me that the presence of this rule in the Christian law, which not only is not performed by anyone, but which Christians themselves admit to be impracticable, is an admission of the irrationality and superfluity of the Christian law. And I had no reply to give him.

Now having understood the meaning of this teaching, I see clearly the strange internal contradiction with which I was faced. Having admitted Christ to be God and his law to be divine, and having at the same time arranged my life in contra­diction to the teaching, what was left me but to ad­mit that the teaching was impracticable? In words I admitted the teaching of Christ to be holy, in prac­tice I professed a quite unchristian teaching and admitted and submitted to unchristian institutions which surrounded me on all sides.

The whole of the Old Testament says that the misfortunes of the Jewish people were the effect of their believing in false gods and not in the true God. Samuel, in his First Book, chapters viii and xii, told the people that to all their former disobedience they had added a new one. Instead of God who had been their King they had chosen a man-king, whom they thought would save them. Do not believe in ‘vain things’, says Samuel to the people (xii. 21). It cannot help you or save you because it is ‘vain’-  empty. That you may not perish together with your king, cling to the one God.

And it was faith in that ‘vain thing’, in empty idols, that hid the truth from me. On the path to it, hiding its light from me, stood those ‘vain things’ which I had not strength to reject.

Tolstoj - What I believe, Chapter II The command of non-resistance
http://cyberspacei.com/jesusi/light/wib/wib02.htm

Mark 10, 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

KJV Ef 3, 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery;

KJV Ef 3, 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

KJV Col 1, 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

KJV Isaiah 53 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  thou…: or, his soul shall make an offering
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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Delusion of State and Religion - Tolstoy

Posted by Pelgrim on 28th April 2006

There had always been something about Ghandi which I didn’t understood; it was the same with the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
I found this non-understanding affirmed in the contradicting acts of Christian States and Religion. I concluded that the standard was set so high that it was impossible to reach for men. How wrong was I. I learned that we can only reach this standard with the help of a pole when taking the jump in the search for Truth. This is faith by experience and makes all the difference.

Ghandi was influenced by the writting of Leo Tolstoy about the Kingdom of God and especially his book The Kingdom of God is within you. Their correspondence can also be found on the web.

The book “The Kingdom of God” concludes with:

to serve the kingdom of God, that is, to contribute to the establishment of the greatest possible union between all living beings–a union possible only in the truth; and to recognize and to profess the revealed truth, which is always in our power.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. vi. 33.).
The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity by contributing to the establishment of the kingdom of God, which can only be done by the recognition and profession of the truth by every man.
“The kingdom of God cometh not with outward show; neither shall
they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is
within you.” (Luke xvii. 20, 21.)

This book can be found here The Kingdom of God is Within You

Exerpt of concluding chapter 12 on the delusion of State and Religion on how they get their subjects sofar to kill in the name of:

278  “THE KINGDOM OF GOD
All we can know is what we who make up mankind ought to do, and not to do, to bring about the coming of the kingdom of God. And that we all know. And we need only each begin to do what we ought to do, we need only each live with all the light that is in us, to bring about at once the promised kingdom of God to which every man’s heart is yearning.


CHAPTER XII.
CONCLUSION-REPENT YE, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND.
I. Chance Meeting with a Train Carrying Soldiers to Restore Order Among the Famishing Peasants-Reason of the Expedition-How the Decisions of the Higher Authorities are Enforced in Cases of Insub­ordination on Part of the Peasants -What Happened at Orel, as an Example of How the Rights of the Propertied Classes are Maintained by Murder and Torture - All the Privileges of the Wealthy are Based on Similar Acts of Violence.
2. The Elements that Made up the Force Sent to Toula, and the Con­duct of the Men Composing it -How these Men Could Carry Out such Acts-The Explanation is Not to be Found in Ignorance, Conviction, Cruelty, Heartlessness, or Want of Moral Sense - They do these Things Because they are Necessary to Support the Existing Order, which they Consider it Every Man’s Duty to Support- The Basis of this Conviction that the Existing Order is Necessary and Inevitable - ­In the Upper Classes this Conviction is Based on the Advantages of the Existing Order for Themselves - But what Forces Men of the Lower Classes to Believe in the Immutability of the Existing Order, from which they Derive no Advantage, and which they Aid in Main­taining, Facts Contrary to their Conscience ? - This is the Result of the Lower Classes being Deluded by the Upper. Both as to the Inevi­tability of the Existing Order and the Lawfulness of the Acts of Violence Needed to Maintain it-Deception in General-Special Form of Deception in Regard to Military Service - Conscription.
3. Bow can Men Allow that Murder is Permissible while they Preach Principles of Morality, and How can they Allow of the Existence in their Midst of a Military Organization of Physical Force which is a Constant Menace to Public Security? - It is only Allowed by the Upper Classes, who Profit by this Organization, Because their Privi­leges are Maintained by it -The Upper Classes Allow it, and the Lower Classes Carry it into Effect in Spite of their Consciousness of the Immorality of the Deeds of Violence, the More Readily Because Through the Arrangements of the Government the Moral Responsi­bility for such Deeds is Divided among a Great Number of Participants in it, and Everyone Throws the Responsibility on Someone Else - Moreover, the Sense of Moral Responsibility is Lost through the Delusion of Inequality, and the Consequent Intoxication of Power on the Part of Superiors, and Servility on the Part of Inferiors - The Condition of these Men, Acting against the Dictates of their Con­science, is Like that of Hypnotized Subjects Acting by Suggestion­ The Difference between this Obedience to Government Suggestion, and Obedience to Public Opinion, and to the Guidance of Men of a Higher Moral Sense - The Existing Order of Society, which is the Result of an Extinct Public Opinion and is Inconsistent with the Al­ready Existing Public Opinion of the Future, is only Maintained by the Stupefaction of the Conscience, Produced Spontaneously by Self-inter­est in the Upper Classes and Through Hypnotizing in the Lower Classes- The Conscience or the Common Sense of such Men may Awaken ,and there are Examples of its Sudden Awakening, so that one can Never be Sure of the Deeds of Violence they are Prepared for - It Depends Entirely on the Point which the Sense of the Unlawfulness of Acts of Violence has Reached, and this Sense may Spontaneously Awaken in Men, or may be Reawakened by the Influence of Men of more Conscience.
4. Everything Depends on the Strength of the Consciousness of Chris­tian Truths in Each Individual Man - The Leading Men of Modern Times, however, do not Think it Necessary to Preach or Practice the Truths of Christianity, but Regard the Modification of the External Conditions of Existence within the Limit Imposed by Governments as Sufficient to Reform the Life of Humanity - On this Scientific Theory of Hypocrisy, which has Replaced the Hypocrisy of Religion, Men of the Wealthy Classes Base their Justification of their Position - Through this Hypocrisy they can Enjoy the Exclusive Privileges of their Posi­tion by Force and Fraud, and Still Pretend to be Christians to One Another and be Easy in their Minds - This Hypocrisy Allows Men who Preach Christianity to Take Part in Institutions Based on Vio­lence - No External Reformation of Life will Render it Less Miser­able - Its Misery the Result of Disunion Caused by Following Lies, not the Truth - Union only Possible in Truth - Hypocrisy Hinders this Union, since Hypocrites Conceal from themselves and Others the Truth they Know - Hypocrisy Turns all Reforms of Life to Evil ­Hypocrisy Distorts the Idea of Good and Evil, and 50 Stands in the Way of the Progress of Men toward Perfection - Undisguised Crimi­nals and Malefactors do Less Harm than those who Live by Legalized Violence, Disguised by Hypocrisy - All Men Feel the Iniquity of our Life, and would Long Ago have Transformed it if it had not been Dis­simulated by Hypocrisy - But Seem to have Reached the Extreme Limits of Hypocrisy, and we Need only Make an Effort of Conscience to Awaken as from a Nightmare to a Different Reality.
5. Can Man Make this Effort? - According to the Hypocritical Theory of the Day, Man is not Free to Transform his Life - Man is not Free in his Actions, but he is Free to Admit or to Deny the Truth he Knows - When Truth is Once Admitted, it Becomes the Basis of Action - Man’s Threefold Relation to Truth - The Reason of the Ap­parent Insolubility of the Problem of Free Will - Man’s Freedom Con­sists in the Recognition of the Truth Revealer to him. There is no Other Freedom - Recognition of Truth Gives Freedom, and Shows the Path Along which, Willingly or Unwillingly by Mankind, Man Must Advance - The Recognition of Truth and Real Freedom Enables Man to Share in the Work of God, not as the Slave, but as the Creator of Life - Men Need only Make the Effort to Renounce all Thought of Bettering the External Conditions of Life and Bend all their Efforts to Recognizing and Preaching the Truth they Know, to put an End to the Existing Miserable State of Things, and to Enter upon the Kingdom of God

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