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  • Rick Bonetti

Goodness & Oneness

Updated: Apr 10, 2022

“Using our shared humanity to bridge divides.”

Harmony Interfaith Initiative is “an educational community organization affiliated with The Charter for Compassion, with the goal to spread the message of harmony to people of all faiths.”

They are offering a 4 week course Working Together Towards Harmony: Using Our Shared Humanity to Bridge Theological and Ideological Divides starting May 21, 2018. It includes interactive sessions, downloadable audio recordings for each session, worksheets, PDF documents, and a free PDF edition of Interfaith Minister Gudjon Bergmann’s book, Experifaith: At the Heart of Every Religion. The cost of the course is $15. All proceeds go to fund The Charter for Compassion. Register by clicking here.

  1. “Harmony Exists on a Wide Spectrum – As humans move from acrimony to harmony, they go through a wide spectrum, anything from ceasing hostilities to increased tolerance and understanding, finally moving into cooperation and culminating in fellowship. The goal is to work towards harmony, not achieve it from the first moment.

  2. The Human and Ideological Personas – According to Padraig O’Malley, who was instrumental during the Northern Ireland peace process, each human being is a mix of two personas. One persona is human and shares a number of elements with other human beings. The other persona is ideological and often quite divisive. When people clearly understand the difference between the two personas, they can better communicate with each other, reduce the likelihood of dehumanization, and increase their ability so see similarities.

  3. Using Human Experiences to Build Bridges –  From breaking bread with strangers to working together for the good of the less fortunate, face-to-face human experiences have historically been essential to the bridge building process. By exploring a variety of experiences that people can create to connect with each other, our aim is to expand horizons and open up new possibilities when bridge building efforts are needed in the community.

  4. Dialogue Principles for Respectful and Effective Communications – The ten interreligious dialogue principles created by Dr. Leonard Swidler provide a template for all types of difficult discussions where divisions exist. The principles focus on respect, effectiveness, and humility, and can be applied much more widely than in interfaith settings. The dialogue guidelines set parameters and reduce the likelihood of tempers flaring during discussions.

  5. The Attraction–Repulsion Axiom – The attraction–repulsion axiom states that as an attraction to one thing grows, repulsion to its opposite is automatically triggered. Knowing about this inborn tendency, and having plans for what to do when it surfaces, will reduce the likelihood that love for one thing will turn into hate for another.”

The Experifaith model rests on the notion that “the religions of the world are not the same, but they converge at the point of experience. With a sole focus on experience, the model identifies and validates two major experiential paths that are found in all religions and spiritual traditions:

  1. The path of Goodness is external in nature. It is expansive and focuses on increasing capacity for love, compassion, and empathy.

  2. The path of Oneness is internal in nature. It is introverted and focuses on detaching from all the elements that are not permanently present.

To learn more about the model, visit or buy the book.

Tags: Harmony, Building Bridges, Interfaith, Communication

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