“Soul Man”


Photograph: Andrew Graham-Brown/AGB Films

Satish Kumar.  Inspired by Ghandi and a man called Bertrand Russell, Satish Kumar and his companion began a Peace Walk” in 1962 from India to the four corners of the nuclear world.  And, more impressively, they took no money with them.  On their travels (I love this) they met two women outside a tea factory who gave them four tea bags to be delivered to each of the leaders of the four nuclear giants with the message . . . “when you think you need to press the button, stop for a minute and have a fresh cup of tea.”  Source.

In an interview with The Guardian’s John Vidal, Kumar said that nature is his guide and cathedral.  He has found his spiritual values, not by conforming to any manmade religions but by what I would describe as going back to the Earth:

“Nature is realistic, and I would say that man is the only being who is not,” he says. “Who else goes to bed hungry? Not the snakes or the tigers or any other animal. Nature does not need ‘realistic’ Tescos or Monsantos to feed themselves. Our system of ‘realistic’ business leadership has totally failed.”

Read more here.

Look out for the BBC2 programme this Friday at 8pm which shows Kumar experiencing the moors of Dartmoor in all seasons.  The programme is called Earth Pilgrim: A Year on Dartmoor.


About Earthie

This is just a place to store all my head thoughts in the unfortunate event that my mind may, one day, choose to erase the lot. Hopefully m
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11 Responses to “Soul Man”

  1. matt says:

    Hey EP,

    Excellent post! That piece about the tea bags is brilliant.

    I do agree with Satish that we as humans have lost our way with our relationship with nature and what we are about. No wonder people keep saying, ‘why are we here’!

    This whole thing about individual well-being forgets about how community well-being needs to feed back into the spirit of the individual. Caring for ones community brings with it concerns for ones environment and this can eventually lead to noticing our impact upon nature.

    Lots to be said with this post. Soul man indeed. 🙂

  2. Govind says:

    Interesting teabag story there. I sure hope those bags never have to be used.

    “Who else goes to bed hungry? Not the snakes or the tigers or any other animal.

    That is so true indeed…very thought provoking indeed.

  3. Pete Smith says:

    It’s worth noting that Satish Kumar is Editor of Resurgence magazine and Program Director at Schumacher College. He will be speaking at a seminar ‘Cultures of Sustainability: Reflections from Schumacher College’ to be held at Cecil Sharp house in London on March 8th. More details.


  4. matt says:

    That is worth noting.

    I see it’s £15 for the 2 & 1/2 hour event, covering in their words;

    In this satellite event, some of the College’s own faculty will be joined by distinguished visiting teachers to discuss the current situation of global sustainability. Themes will cover a wide range of thinking on development practice, Gaia theory, nature and culture and the role of education. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the discussions and, with the panel, establish some new parameters for both debate and action for now and the future.

    You thinking of going to this Pete?

  5. Pete Smith says:

    No offence, but it sounds a bit too philosophical for my taste, I might get fidgetty. If I had £15 to spend on a seminar, I’d plump for ‘Businesses and Climate Change: Corporations for climate stability” on April 2, with Richard Branson, Jonathan Porritt and Tony Juniper amongst others.
    Sadly, just missed “Food and climate change: Farming in the age of global warmng” which was yesterday!

  6. earthpal says:

    Thanks Matty, yes you said it perfectly.

    Someone described Satish Kumar as an experienced global neighbour and I think it’s an apt description. He also promotes non-violent communication (or NVC) at ALL levels.

    Hi Govind. Yes, the teabags . . . if we ever get to that point, I hope the tea calms them enough to rethink.

    Pete, this man fascinates me. I’m enjoying learning about him. I’ve been looking at the Resurgence magazine that you pointed out and he is very much the Gandhi of our times. And Gandhian thinking would really help us in our plight right now.

  7. matt says:

    > And Gandhian thinking would really help us in our plight right now.

    Yes I’m not sure Branson can particularly. He might like us to think he can as that will help the Branson brand. He certainly seems to keep interesting ‘green’ company in Porritt and Juniper, going by Pete’s comment above. But frankly that means bugger all.

  8. Pete Smith says:

    Funny how things come full circle. Richard Branson and Satish Kumar have both written excellent articles on Gandhi for the 60th anniversary of his assassination (Gandhi’s not Branson’s). Only Kumar’s is available online, at http://www.resurgence.org.uk/
    Richard Branson is a Founder of The Elders, whose approach is “firmly embedded in the philosophy of non-violence” as taught by Gandhi.

  9. matt says:

    Isn’t that funny.

    Even funnier is the image here; http://theelders.org/supporters/

    Notice how the white light falls upon Branson. With his white clothing and flowing beard one could be forgiven that the second coming was already upon us. Is that child a ‘supporter’ or a prop?

    Sorry Pete, I used to find Branson interesting and intriguing like many people but I just don’t get him any more. Whilst he was trying to launch himself in balloons around the world his trains weren’t running on time and Virgin Media; connectivity ain’t a word in their vocabulary. So, it’s all very well coming up with an idea like The Elders but if he can’t run his own businesses properly …. then I dare say sorting out the world should be left to those institutions with that mandate.

    Why doesn’t he try supporting the UN and its current leader?

  10. Pete Smith says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the bloke. I think it’s always interesting to hear what he’s got to say, even if one doesn’t agree.
    I was, after all, one of the very early customers of Virgin Records, when it was just a back-street vinyl mail-order outfit, before they started making their own records. They did get my album order wrong though!

  11. earthpal says:

    I know what you’re saying Matt, about Richard Branson. I used to really admire him and I want to like him now. In a line-up of corporate big-wigs, he’d be higher up the ethical scale than many of the others but he’s certainly guilty of some substantial greenwashing.

    Pete, the vinyl days . . . haha. I used to buy records by the minute and Virgin was the Indie capital of music.

    And thanks for the links. It’s fascinating and inspiring stuff.

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