BUILDING ON THE SPIRIT OF THE BOOK 'EVOLVING THE SPIRIT', THE CHANDOS
WORKS TO HIGHLIGHT AND SUPPORT THE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT IN BURMA
The Founder's photograph of Aung San Suu Kyi leaving the offices of the NLD in April 2013, with a copy of 'Evolving the Spirit' in her hand (and another on the table to the left).
The Chandos shares with other peace-building organisations the belief that working for peace must start with oneself and then work outwards; 'Peace from Inside Out'.
The book 'Evolving the Spirit' outlined the 10 steps appropriate for developing the spirit of inner peace, on the understanding that if one changes from within, none around can maintain their old position. So the second half of the book took that theory out into the real world, to witness it in action. Today, perhaps the most inspiring example of this spirit of nonviolent engagement is recognised in the Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Chandos has therefore engaged in every possible organisation and individual working towards giving Burma the democratic 'nuance' needed to bring lasting stability. The founder talks of the need for 'civil-isation', not as a Western interpretation but as a universal understanding and a process. There is a realisation that any engagement beyond oneself is as much an opportunity to learn from other's experience.
Anthony Russell at a rally in July 2013 in front of Parliament - to highlight the crisis for the Rohingya Muslims facing genocide in Burma. He is wearing the yellow badge of the 88 Generation, given him in Rangoon by one of its founders, Ko Jimmy
The founder's recent work in Burma for example, highlighted many democratic lessons of benefit to Britain. One such lesson is that democracy is more than voting or the separation of powers. There are many 'intangible factors' to do with the engagement by as many of the population as possible. These require education and commitment to be sustainable, in Britain as much as anywhere else.
The Chandos is one of many organisations working to create that 'nuance' both in Burma and in Britain, through understanding, dialogue and cooperation with as many as possible. This of course includes the Burmese government itself, for as expressed by both Suu Kyi and the Dalai Lama, we need recognise no enemies.
Altruism and integrity are key components but this 'spirit' can be summed up in the requirement for the universal, unconditional love that does not judge others and forgiveness is all encompassing. This is tough talk and almost inconceivable for many but that does not make it any less the ultimate reality.