- Violence is avoidable insult to human needs. --Johan Galtung
- [O]nce we understand that violence tears at the fabric of life, it follows that real violence lies not in the act, but in the very intention to injure, and this is exactly the meaning of the Sanskrit word for violence, himsa. Here we have to dip into the science of language for one deep but crucial point. Himsa (the "m" here is a nasal sound as in French dans), comes from the root han, "to strike, slay." But himsa is thought to be a special form of that root. It may well be what linguists call a desiderative; it means not the act but the desire or intention to do the act, in this case injure. --Michael Nagler, Is There No Other Way?
- Here again the model of integrative power can be helpful. At the deep level, whoever commits real violence, i.e. nurses an intention to harm someone, suffers from the very intention -- never mind the consequences of any resultant action. --Michael Nagler, Is There No Other Way?
Nonviolent Communication notes that empathic connections between human beings make it difficult if not impossible to intend harm, and so "violence" can also mean "absense of the inability to harm" or "lack of an empathic connection." This is identical to the idea of harboring a dualism.
Of course, this only follows if you assume that there is nothing between X and Not X. If you understand empathic connections as a subset of non-violence, then there is a whole realm of obviously bad activities (such as neglect of infants) which is neither violent in nature nor empathic.