Sunday, January 1, 2012


Leonard Swidler

Over the years I have generated, and in a few instances collected, a number of dialogue related “Mantras,” that is, pithy sayings more or less related to Deep-Dialogue/Critical-Thinking. The point of expressing an idea or insight in a pithy, mantra-like manner is to help the reader/listener to remember the denoted insight or idea in a way that will also bring with it the desired emotive connotations. I have found in this regard that alliteration is also a helpful mnemonic device. For example, the Groundrules for interreligious, interideological dialogue that I published almost three decades ago are more easily remembered partly because I connected them in the minds of the reader/listener with the Ten Commandments, the Decalogue. In addition, the memory is also helped by the alliteration of the repetitive Ds: Dialogue Decalogue.

Below is a beginning list of such “Mantras” of mine and a few others. I would like to both share them with you, and invite you to send in other candidates for such “Dialogue Mantras” which we might likewise list here.

Nobody knows Everything about Anything! (Leonard Swidler)
Do not Abase the Ego; Expand it Infinitelyto Embrace All (Leonard Swidler)
Age of Monologue: I Talk Only with Those who Think Like Meor Should! (Leonard Swidler)
Age of Dialogue: I Talk with Those who Think Differently from Me so I an Learn! (Leonard Swidler)
Dialogue DecalogueGroundrules for Interreligious, Interideological Dialogue (Leonard Swidler)
To Parrot the Past is to Pervert the Past. (Leonard Swidler)
Principles are for Persons, not Persons for Principles (Leonard Swidler)
The Sabbath is for Humans, not Humans for the Sabbath (Yeshua ha Notzri—Jesus of Nazareth)
Central for Christians: What Yeshua Thought, Taught and Wrought (Leonard Swidler)
No Peace without Peace among the Nations; no Peace among the Nations without Dialogue among the Religions. (Hans K√ľng)
Help Ever, Hurt Never! (Anonymous)

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