The Third Harmony: Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Nature

The Third Harmony: Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Nature

by Michael N Nagler


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In the latest fruit of a brilliant career, Michael Nagler argues that nonviolence—not just as a tactic but as a way of being—is the only way to unite deeply divided people and enable progressive movements and leaders of all stripes to fulfil their promise and potential.

So many of the problems that beset us—war, poverty, isolation, and the climate crisis—have their roots in an old story about the universe: we are purposeless matter in a random void, and scarcity, competition, and violence are inevitable. Citing the convergence of modern science and the essence of the world's wisdom traditions, Michael Nagler argues for a new story: the universe is conscious and purposeful, humans are spiritual beings, and cooperation and collaboration are our natural way of interacting. This "new story" has had other champions, but Nagler is the first to realize that a piece is missing. For the new story to take hold, we have to embrace nonviolence, not only as a social change tactic but as a way of life.

Nonviolence is the only power strong enough to "move the heart" toward this deep and revolutionary change in worldview. Nagler refers to this as the "third harmony," which is the harmony within and among us to resolve the crisis of the human image. Calling on us to realize the urgency of nonviolence for resolving our personal and collective problems, Nagler focuses on how to shift to our story on a personal, everyday level and then integrate it into the very foundations of our understanding of humanity and community, for our sake, for the sake of future generations, and the sake of nonviolence itself.

Reading group discussion guide available.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523088157
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 03/31/2020
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 741,426
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Michael Nagler is president and cofounder of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and is one of the most respected scholars and advocates of nonviolence worldwide. He also founded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is a professor emeritus of classics and comparative literature. He is the author of The Nonviolence Handbook, Our Spiritual Crisis, and The Search for a Nonviolent Future, and his writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.

Table of Contents

Foreword by The Honorable Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal vii

Introduction 1

Part I Lifting the Curtain 21

Chapter 1 The Power of Story 23

Part II Telling the New Story 41

Chapter 2 Roadmap I, Basic Training: Living the New Story 43

Chapter 3 Roadmap II, (Re)constructive Program 59

Part III What Changemakers Know 85

Chapter 4 The World Within 87

Chapter 5 In the Mirror of Science 113

Part IV A Call to Action 135

Chapter 6 Finishing the Job 137

Chapter 7 A Call to Action 163

Appendix A Alternative News 180

Appendix B General Sources 184

Notes 191

Works Cited 193

Acknowledgments 198

Index 201

About the Author 207

Discussion Guide 208

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