Many-Sided Wisdom

Many-Sided Wisdom

A New Politics of the Spirit

A new politics of the spirit - healing, not conflict, neither left nor right but in front.


Anekant is a new political philosophy with ancient spiritual roots. It derives from the teachings of the Jains in India, but is relevant to all cultures and all times, especially our present interconnected yet dangerously divided world. Anekant literally means ‘Many-Sidedness’. It recognises that there are an infinite variety of paths towards the same truth and so the search for truth must be undertaken with humility. All beings - including humans - are on the same journey. Those who are certain that they have grasped the truth are likely to be the furthest from it. Many-Sided Wisdom teaches us that human supremacy is a delusion - leading to ecological destruction, the oppression of other species and exploitation of human by human. Practising Many-Sidedness is about realising that ‘society’ means more than just humans, because it embraces all forms of life. We should learn to co-operate instead of competing with each other – and work with nature rather than pointlessly attempting to ‘conquer’ it. Anekant empowers us to break our attachment to domination and force.


This is a timely and intriguing work by Aidan Rankin.  Intriguing because it addresses a wisdom in this ancient Jain philosophy that the Western World desperately needs to take on board.  Timely, because much of Jain philosophy is embedded in right relationship with the natural world.  .....Aidan Rankin’s message, particularly in the excellent chapter on Karmic Ecology, is we need to radically re-evaluate our relationship with the earth and its resources if we are going to leave a sustainable world for the future. 

~ Stephanie Sorrell, New Vision

Subtitled ' a new politics of the spirit ' this book introduces the Jain concept of Anekant, translated as many-sidedness-a philosophy that can be applied to the politics of our time and which acknowledges that there are many paths to the one true. Ecologically, it announces a message of balance with nature based on restraint and nonviolence.                                                                                                                  The Scientific and Medical Network


Rankin holds up to the light a Many-Sided spiritual jewel, but also shows us that Anekant can provide a practical guide for living in the modern world ~ Paul De Leeuw, MA, Kannushi (Shinto Master) and Director, Japanese-Dutch Shinzen Foundation, Amsterdam

An exceptional book – timely and lucidly written. A unique and wise philosophy of healing for an age of intolerance. ~ Dr Atul K. Shah, CEO Diverse Ethics (, author of Celebrating Diversity

In this profound and exquisite exploration of Anekant, Aidan Rankin provides a powerful antidote for our modern troubled times. He articulates afresh a wise and ancient Jain philosophy, which if truly understood in the west could create new eco-centric and non-violent forms of politics, economics and spirituality. This book is essential reading for everyone who cares about contributing to a better world. ~ Rev. Lynne Sedgmore, Interfaith Minister, Chief Executive 157 Group, British Government Advisor on Community Cohesion, Innovation and Leadership

Aidan Rankin presents the philosophy of Jainism with clarity, insight and relevance to our current global crisis. In so doing he connects us with a spiritual view of pluralism that is as multifaceted as life itself, through which we can bring the cosmic existence into our minds and hearts to widen our vision and let go of all biases. His book is a healing balm for all of us in the world today caught in conflict, duality and polarization. He shows that there is a way we can resolve all our problems, not by asserting one point of view, but by honoring that wisdom which is not limited or circumscribed by any perspective. ~ Dr David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri), Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies and author of Gods, Sages and Kings

The book offers a resonant initiation into a holistic way of thinking which helps us to perceive the multidimensional universe in a grain of sand. This lucid commentary on Indic wisdom , especially the concept of Anekant, goes a long way in emphasizing the interconnectedness of life as the foundation for an integral environmental ethic. ~ Dr Swarnalatha Rangarajan, Editor, Indian Journal of Ecocriticism

Aidan Rankin
Aidan Rankin Aidan Rankin has an MA in Modern History from Pembroke College, Oxford and an MSc (Econ.) from the London School of Economics. His postgrad...
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