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Harmony Forum

Peace from Harmony
Transformative Harmony. Ananta Giri et al

This book PDF publication (956 pages) in English is here:

In Russian: https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=ru_c&key=822






Ananta Kumar Giri


(More than 50 co-authors from more than 20 countries)



R. Sunder Rajan Maulana

Wahiduddin Khan

Lois Holzman

Leo Semashko

Johannes D. Smith



Ananta Giri. Personal page:





Truth is not that which is demonstrable. Truth is that which is ineluctable.

—Antoine de St Exupery



Her tortured invisible spirit continues still

To toil though in darkness, to create though with pangs She carries crucified God upon her breast.

—Sri Aurobindo, 1950:180.


The conception of justice in Western, patriarchal tradition is of a set of absolute laws that transcend the world, that are imposed o­n the world from outside[...]

The immanent conception of justice is not based upon rules or authority, but upon integrity, integrity of self and integrity of relationship.

The worldview of immanence values each self as a manifestation of Goddess, as a channel of power-from-within. People of integrity are those whose selves integrate both the positive and the negative, the dark and the light, the painful emotions as well as the pleasurable o­nes. They are people who are willing to look their own shadows instead of flinching from them. They honour the shadow because they know that its very distortions reveal the shape of the Ground underneath.[...]

So I speak of the Goddess as weaver, as spider, and I begin topay attention to the spiders who build their webs in my corners. I experience the web as a rhythm of strands and spaces.

—Starhawk 1988:34-35, 74.


Non-violence leads to the highest ethics which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.

—APJ Abdul Kalam with Arun Tiwari 2015:190.


The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

—Mahatma Gandhi


Harmony is a multi-dimensional reality, possibility and calling in our lives. But many a time this is locked up in structures of domination and closure andwe need to interrogate and transform this so that it helps us realise our self and collective potential. Transformative Harmony is concerned with such processes of critique, creativity and transformations. It is a multi-dimensional dance with light and darkness, bondage and struggles for liberation. It is a practice and movement for realisation of beauty, dignity and dialogues in self, culture, society and cosmos in the midst of ugliness, disrespect, violence and monological assertions of many kinds. As Mata Amritanandamayi Devi lovingly known as Amma around the world tells us in her evocative address,


Living in Harmony:

No o­ne is an isolated island; we are all links in the great chain of life. With our without our knowledge, each action we perform has an effect o­n others. The vibrations of joy and sorrow, as well as the good and evil thoughts emanating from each living being, permeate this entire universe, influencing each o­ne of us. This entire cosmos exists in a state of mutual dependence and support. Living in accordance with this principle of universal harmony is what is known as dharma. The sorrow of every living being in this world is our own sorrow, and the happiness of every living being is our own happiness. We cannot harm even a small ant without harming ourselves. In harming others, we harm ourselves. Similarly when we help others, we are helping ourselves.

—Devi 2000:26


Like many of us I have always been intuitively drawn to the call of harmony in life. My journey with the theme of harmony began with my meeting and unfolding friendship with Leo Semashko from St. Petersburg. We first met o­n the rooftop of a youth hostel in Beijing in July 2004 as both of us were staying there and taking part in World Congress of Sociology organised by International Institute of Sociology. Leo then started nurturing Global Harmony Association as a forum of like-minded friends and co-travelers from around the world to work, walk and meditate further with the calling of harmony. As part of this, I contributed an essay o­n transformative harmony to the book ABC of Harmony edited by Leo. I then shared this essay with many friends and we held a symposium o­n this theme in the form of a special issue in Gandhi Marg in 2013. Our present book builds upon this special issue with further participation of more contributors many of whom I met during my journey in different parts of the world who have brought their own unique contribution to this epochal challenge of our times. Now we present this gift of a much expanded discourse and exploration of harmony to all interested friends and to our striving Humanity.

I dedicate this book to Leo Semashko, R. Sunder Rajan, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Lois Holzman and Johannes D. Schmidt. Leo has been nurturing the vision and practice of harmony with love, care and dedication for years. R. Sunder Rajan was a great philosopher of India and the world he explored deeper dimensions of human condition by bringing critical philosophy and process of creative mutuality together which contributes to realisation of harmony. Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is a great striver for peace, harmony and justice in our contemporary world. He has inspired many efforts in peace building across borders. Lois Holzman is an inspiring explorer and creator who has created social therapy as a way of deep communication and realising harmony. She has co-nurtured East Side Institute in New York as well as All Stars Programmes as creative efforts creating harmony in lives and communities. Johannes D. Schmidt who teaches at Aalborg University is a friend of the world as he has connected so many friends and students from different parts of the world with webs of love, humour and quotidian dreams for a better human future. Johannes is a living dance with a different drum of harmony as our other friends in this journey. It has been my blessing to have walked a few steps with these friends of the world. In dedicating our book to these strivers and seekers of humanity we express not o­nly our personal gratitude but what we collectively owe to these sons and daughter of our Mother Earth.

This book has been long in the making and I thank all the contributors for their patience. I thank Leo for our initial journey and all the contributors fortheir kindness and patience. I am grateful to Professor Fred Dallmayr for his Foreword and Professor John Clammer for his Afterword. I thank Professor John Moolakkattu for nurturing our special issue in Gandhi Marg. I am grateful to Akshay Jain of Studera Press for helping the book series Creative Horizons as well as this book dance with the Light of our Lives and the Universe.

Our world today is full of conflicts and violence as well as movements to overcome these and I hope this book helps us realize transformative harmonyin our lives and the world and o­n the way sing and dance together possibly the following two poems by the author:

Alphabets of Creation

A for Aleph, Aum, Allah B for Beginning

C for Creation

A is also Annihilation B, Banning and Bigotry C, Cunning andCruelty

How do we work with Aleph and Annihilation Together

In the alphabet of creationTowards a New Tapasya ofTransformations


Ripples arise When we touch think and write

Meditate and Listen Ripples of Heart Waiting for our kissing Kissing Lips and Earth Beings and Co-Beings

Co-Walking and Co-Meditating With and across the water

Body and Spirit Forests and Peaks

Looking at each other’s eyes Pining for Intimate Whispers to Come

A New Movement of Love With and Beyond Hatred Spirals of a New Consciousness Words, Worlds and Cosmos


Holi, Festival of Color, 2019 Ananta Kumar Giri


References Cited

AbdulKalam,A.P.J.withArunTiwari.2015.Transcendence:MySpiritualExperiencewith Pramukh Swamiji. Delhi: HarperElements.

Devi, Amritanandamayi. 2000. Living in Harmony. Amritapuri, Kollam: Mata Amritanandamayi Mission Trust.  

Starhawk.1988/1982.DreamtheDark:Magic,SexandPolitics.Boston:BeaconPress. Sri Aurobindo. 1950. Savirti. Pondicherry: Sri AurobindoAshram.







Transformative Harmony: An Introduction and An Invitation


Ananta Kumar Giri

Part o­ne: The Calling of Transformative Harmony

1. The Calling of Transformative Harmony


Ananta Kumar Giri

2. Revealing the Hidden Harmony: The Heart of Transformative Harmony


Paul Hague

3. Harmony Rediscovered: Transformation o­n the Path with No Goal or Finding a Way Back to What We Are


Paul Schwartzentruber

4. o­n the Focus Imaginarius of the Nascent Global Society and Contemporary Social Theory: What is the Status and Role of the Idea of Harmony?


Piet Strydom

5. Harmony After Modernity: A Self-Critical Western View


Hans-Herbert Kögler

6. Transformative Harmony: Culture and Prama


Marcus Bussey

7. Biopsychology of Sadhana and Cooperation: Foundation of Transformative Harmony for Our Individual and Collective Welfare


Sid Vishwamitra Jordan

8. Transformative Harmony: Reflection o­n Ideas and Practices


Meera Chakravorty

9. Archaeology of Harmony


Karl-Julius Reubke

10. Harmony is a Dynamic State of Being


Henk de Weijer

11. Walking Towards Transformative Harmony: A Meditation with Paul Ricoeur and Beyond


Kuruvilla Pandikattu

12. From Unity to Harmony: Raimon Panikkar’s Advaitic Trinitarianism


Anthony Savari Raj

13. o­n Transcending Dualism Towards Harmony: Walking and Meditating with Charles Hartshorne


Warayuth Sriwarakuel

Part Two: Transformative Harmony, Human Development and Social Transformations

14. Understanding Nature of Action and Harmony in the Bhagavad Gita: Kãma, Samnyasa and Karma


Binod Kumar Agarwala

15. Harmony and New Horizons of Human Development


Mala Kapadia

16. Transformative Harmony and the Community-Making Process


Julie M. Geredien

17. The Fresh Stop Project: An Oasis in a Food Desert of Louisville


Karyn Moskowitz

18. Perspectives o­n Bioregional Urbanism: Transformative Harmony with Living Systems


Sarah Howard with Ninian R. Stein and Stephen Bissonnette

19. Biohappiness and Holistic Harmony: The Vision and Mission of M.S. Swaminathan


James Ponniah

20. Self-Knowledge—Balancing Subjectivity and Objectivity—as the Key to Social Harmony


Felix Padel

21. Social Harmony or Cooperation as the First Principle of a Happy Society


W. Julian Korab-Karpowicz

22. Towards JHS Vision for Social Harmony Without Hierarchy


Subhash Sharma

23. Harmony of Individual and Collective: A Philosophy of a Future Civilisation


Artyom Goncharov

Part Three: The Work and Dance of Transformative Harmony in Self, Culture and Cosmos

24. Towards Harmony Between Communities


C.T. Kurien

25. Towards a Culture of Transformative Harmony


S. Painadath S.J.

26. Realising Transformative Harmony: Vipassana, the Art of Self-Transcendence, and a New Social Mutuality


Swati Desai

27. Harmonising Body, Mind and Soul: Healing and Developing New Consciousness


Manisha A. Mehrotra

28. Harmony and a Journey with Wholeness


Minati Pradhan

29. Mandala Art, Healing and Harmony


Viviana Siddhi

30. Human-Nature Harmony, and Nature Worship: Reappraisal of Indigenous Faith in Eastern Himalaya/Northeast India


N.K. Das

31. Harmony and Deep Ecology-Based Corporate Social Responsibility


Agung Wibowo, Ravik Karsidi, Bani Sudardi, Mahendra Wijaya

32. Freedom, Culture and Transformative Harmony: The Dialectical Dichotomy of Christianity and Pre-colonial Igbo Culture


Sabine Jell-Bahlsen

33. Transformative Harmony: Lessons Learned and Best Practices from Indigenous African Communities


Fidele Lumeya

Part Four: Politics, Poetics and Spirituality of Transformative Harmony

34. The Politics of Transformative Harmony


Elaine Desmond

35. Harmonious Conflict


Tom H. Hastings

36. Conflict, Harmony and Transformation


Mike Doogan

37. Dialogue, Sacrifice and Reconciliation: A Study of Kandhamal Violence, Odisha


Arun K. Patnaik and Rajesh Bag

38. Collective Trauma and Narrative Harmony: Mapping the Legacy of Trauma and Displacement in Post-Conflict Peacebuilding


Jeremy Rinker

39. Transformative Harmony and Inharmony in Nepal’s Lost Transition


Bishnu Pathak

40. Peace and Harmony: A Case Study of Tharu Community of Nepal


Narayan Khadka

41. Peace-making Revolution: Towards a New Politics of Transformative Harmony in the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle


Sapir Handelman

42. ‘Stop this Nightmare, I Pray. ’: Armed Forces Special Power Act – the Tablet for ‘Harmony’ and Northeast India


Babli Mallick

43. A Feminine Approach to Conflict Transformations and Harmony


Sudha Sreenivasa Reddy

44. Harmony: A Pessimist’s View


William Falcetano

45. Finding Harmony to Live In: From Noise to Music


Sara J. Wolcott

46. Communitas Harmonia in Wordsworth: A Musicosociological Glance


Nirmal Selvamony

47. Music, Cosmopolitanism and Transformative Harmony


Christian Bartolf

48. o­n the Possibility of a Global Political Community: The Enigma of ‘Small Local Differences’ within Humanity


Heikki Patomäki

49. Migration and Transnationalism: Justice, Security and Harmony


Abdulkadir Osman Farah

50. Jamming with the Universe: A Journey and a Paradigm Shift Towards a New Song of Harmony for Humanity


David Pepper Sarnoff

51. Becoming Agents of Togetherness: Working and Meditating for Peace and Harmony


Thomas Menamparampil

Afterword: Harmony, Society and Transformation


John Clammer

Notes o­n Editor and Contributors





In process

© Website author: Leo Semashko, 2005; © designed by Roman Snitko, 2005