The Third Harmony

Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Nature by Michael N. Nagler

This Global Read with Michael Nagler: The Third Harmony, was held August 18, 2020




It's time to shift to a nonviolence mindset.

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.


For more information on Michael and the Metta Center and to download Chapter 1, please visit:


About the Author

michaelnaglerMichael Nagler, PhD, is professor emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, where he founded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and taught upper-division courses on nonviolence, meditation and a seminar on the meaning of life.  He is President of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future, The Nonviolence Handbook, and The Third Harmony: Nonviolence and the New Story of Human Nature (March, 2020).  In 2007 Michael received the Jamnalal Bajaj international award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India.  He has spoken for the UN, the US Institute of Peace, and many academic and public venues for over thirty years.  He has lived at the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation’s ashram in Northern California since 1970.


About the Host

LisaLisa A. Berkley, PhD is the founder and director of Institute for Inner Economy, a non-partisan think tank dedicated to operationalizing positive peace for governance, diplomacy, and civil progress, at the local, national, and international level. Her work as a peace facilitator, activist, and municipal leader has spanned across three continents and stems from more than 25 years of experience in alternative/holistic medicine and education, stress management, and interpersonal conflict resolution. Her work has been publicly recognized across the globe.

Dr. Berkley’s current focus is on helping small to mid-sized cities adopt holistic city frameworks in order to be in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  She is an elected City Councilmember in her home city of Marina, California where she serves on a number of Boards including Women In International Security’s U.S. West Coast Chapter (WIISWest), the Housing Resource Center of Monterey County, and AMBAG (Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments) where she is their representative on CALCOG (California Association of Councils of Governments).  Dr. Berkley also serves on the Advisory Council for Compassionate California, is the Lead for Compassionate Monterey County, and is the Co-Lead for the Charter for Compassion’s Peace Sector.


About the Sponsor:



Barbara Bolles
Edible Education Instructor & Curriculum Specialist

Barbara served as a classroom teacher in the Odyssey Multiage Program for the Bainbridge Island School District, where she helped to start the Odyssey School Garden program.  After leaving full time teaching, Barbara has dedicated her time to research and practice as a school garden specialist.  She is also one of first graduates of EduCulture’s Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program.

Would you like to sponsor a future Global Read? Sponsored Reads are free to all participants.

 Contact Kate Trnka: to ask about sponsorships!


<--- Return to Global Read Upcoming Reads Page

© 2022 Charter for Compassion. All rights reserved.