“Love is the most durable power in the world” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

41Lg9J1ApqL._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_One of the books that rarely leaves our side is Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, Strength to Love.

In it, Dr. King expresses what we believe is the critical component, the missing ingredient in the hearts and minds of today’s “resistors” and “activists”: love.

Dr. King writes,

“There will be no permanent solution to the race problem until oppressed men develop the capacity to love their enemies. The darkness of racial injustice will be dispelled only by the light of forgiving love…

“Of course, this is not practical. Life is a matter of getting even, of hitting back, of dog eat dog. Am I saying that Jesus commands us to love those who hurt us and oppress us? Do I sound like most preachers – idealistic and impractical? Maybe in some distant Utopia, you say, that idea will work, but not in the hard, cold work in which we live.

“My friends, we have followed the so-called practical way for too long a time now, and it has led inexorably to deeper confusion and chaos. Time is cluttered with the wreckage of communities that surrendered to hatred and violence. For the salvation of our nation, and the salvation of mankind, we must follow another way. This does not mean that we abandon our righteous efforts. With every ounce of our energy we must continue to rid this nation of the incubus of segregation. But we shall not in the process relinquish our privilege and our obligation to love. While abhorring segregation, we shall love the segregationist. This is the only way to create the beloved community.

“To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws, because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and lave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.’

“Love is the most durable power in the world. This creative force, so beautifully exemplified in the life of our Christ, is the most potent instrument available in mankind’s quest for peace and security.”

- Strength to Love, pages 50-51
© 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr.
© 2010 Fortress Press edition

“I think love is the only answer.” – E . Glenn Hinson [Part Two]

The Only Love Project’s Bill Murphy [BM] and his wife Beth spent an extraordinary two-and-a-half hours on May 5th, 2016, with E. Glenn Hinson [GH]. After introductions and a trading of hellos from mutual friends, we settled in Glenn’s impressive home library for a conversation that ranged far and wide – and was never less than fascinating. What follows is what transpired.

NOTE: Because of the length of this interview, we published Part One on July 6, 2016. This, Part Two, is the second and last installment. To help give Part Two context, I picked up two questions from the end of Part One.

Enjoy!

BillGlennLibraryGH: This is what Thomas Merton saw as the way we can have interfaith relationships, the way Christians can relate to Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and Taoists and people of all faiths. This is his comment that he made on his trip to Asia, and you find it in the Asian journal. It was a speech that he prepared actually about interfaith relations that was never given, but he talked about not avoiding issues that may be raised but may be pertinent to the monastic order like the Trappists. On the other hand, we must recognize that we have to go beyond words and thoughts.

BM: Uh-huh.

GH: That is I think the same thing John Woolman saw – where we are going to do something that is beyond words. You have to have a faith that maybe a lot of people would not understand. We can talk not only on a pre-verbal, but also on a post-verbal level. We can relate to people of other faiths beyond the level of words. Merton thought monks might especially contribute there, and his meeting with the Dalai Lama was about that where they communicated beyond words or thoughts.

The Dalai Lama has spoken about it where he and Merton seemed to communicate far beyond just discussing ideas and thoughts. I think that’s in a realm where love functions; that it is beyond words and thoughts. You know it takes patience in a person’s –

I can remember one time when Martha and I were courting 60 years ago that she would say, “I was just about to think that.” There were subtleties about that that takes place. I don’t know what to say about the wars that we are in now. It tears my heart out to see this, the violence, the bombing. The level to which we have developed modern warfare which takes the lives of innocents. Every June I have to think again about Hiroshima and Nagasaki – 200,000 lives wiped out with the dropping of two bombs. I don’t know. There is something – we have to find a way beyond this. The only way I can see beyond it is love, God love, a love that is able to reach beyond words and thoughts.

BM: This would be an excellent time to ask you, Who do you look up to the most when you think of the power of love?

GlennPartTwoJGH: Well, I think we have a wonderful example in Archbishop Tutu, helping South Africans get beyond the retribution and to practice forgiveness. I have followed him teaching at the Emory University after I retired, and I could see a profound impression he made on students there. I think Dorothy Day exemplified (Was it Dorothy Day or Catherine DeHueck Dougherty?) who got ready to bed down in one of their houses for the night. A syphilitic woman came in with open sores, running sores. They didn’t have room, but Dorothy Day, I think it was, said she can sleep with me. You know, syphilis is contagious, and she could have contracted it. I have thought about that so often. She lived love. It just astonishes me how superficial I am every time I think about it. I think how far I have been from someone like that.

Martin Luther King, Jr. implemented something. He got much of it from Continue reading

“My approach to love is action, bringing love into the world through loving kindness, compassion, what we do.” – Dan Millman

DanBestPortrait copyIn March, 2016, The Only Love Project’s Bill Murphy conducted this phone interview with Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior (among with 16 other books).

Thank you, Dan, for packing a tremendous amount of wisdom into a relatively short period of time.

DM: Hi, Bill. How are you doing?

BM: Dan, doing well. How are you doing?

DM: Well, I am fine, yeah. Just looking forward to our time together.

BM: As you know from my lengthy interview inquiry, I got to be doing what I am doing mostly through observation. I saw a lot of contentious anger, volatility, rancor, on Facebook primarily. It didn’t matter which group was doing it, conservatives, liberals, Christians, atheists – didn’t matter. It was angry no matter what people proclaimed as their religious or political foundation. So I thought, “What could solve this problem?” That’s when I started to look at the traditions of love, and thought, “I think we missed something along the way.” So that’s how this project came to be. I have been studying this for about a year and a half, two years now. I interviewed a lot of people and gained some insights and even helpful direction from a few of them – suggestions I really have appreciated. Your books, and the Peaceful Warrior movie, all you do seem tailor made for this project, so I am really excited to chat with you today.

51Z2Plm-yHLDM: Well, happy to do so. I will just follow your lead and I like an improvisational approach.

BM: Excellent. For The Only Love Project web site, I ask everybody the same eight questions. You can answer any way you wish. Depending on what you say, I may follow up with a question. But, more often than not, I just let the person I interview speak his/her mind.

First question: Briefly tell us your background. What would you like others to know about you?

DM: Well, for those unfamiliar with my work, Bill, I started – I woke up. I was born, let’s say, a second time when I discovered an old trampoline in summer camp, and I could have never ever guessed how just jumping up and down on a trampoline might lead to the rest of my life, but I got pretty good at it. Eventually won a world championship in London in 1964, and that led to Continue reading

“The More Excellent Way of Love…”

It was 50 years ago today…

On this date — August 28, 1963 — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered a speech that has reverberated for half a century.

The full text of his speech is available here as a pdf.

Here are a few excerpts from the “I Have a Dream” speech, taken from the web site History Wired, which was created by the Smithsonian Institute Continue reading

De-Splicing Brundlefly

We’re sometimes asked where The Only Love Project came from. The answer is right under everyone’s nose: Facebook.

The Project was born a little over a year ago because of two things:

1. Contemplating a simple phrase from the Dhammapada: “Only love dispels hate,” wondering what it means, how it works, etc., and

2. Watching the anger, divisiveness, bitterness, and sadness on Facebook — about every subject, 24/7.

It doesn’t matter what issue it is, someone inevitably appears with a different point of view. And that’s okay. Differences make life interesting. Imagine everyone eating the same food, reading the same books, watching the same movies, mowing their lawns on the same day, in the same way. That’s not society; that’s the plot of The Stepford Wives.

Sadly, thanks in large part to the Internet, everyone has become firmly entrenched in points of view. So much so that their identity has become their direction.

Their identity has become their direction.

brundleflyIn other words, they and their cause have merged, sort of like Brundlefly in the horror movie The Fly. When scientist Seth Brundle accidentally merged his DNA with a common housefly, the two became one — with disastrous results.

Same thing is happening today — only Continue reading