Sep 232013

 From the book: Chum for Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters by David Satterlee

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Japan, America, and sacred nationalism

The Japanese islands have remained relatively isolated throughout their history. This has allowed for the development and concentration of distinctive religious and cultural characteristics. Although Japan has experienced Eastern influences (mostly Chinese and Buddhism), and Western influences (especially Anglo/American and Christian), these have seemed to only flavor, not disrupt, the Nipponese sense of identity. This bears a strong resemblance to contemporary American right-wing conservatism.

From the most ancient times, Japan, and its Shinto practices have been organized around community-clans and their respective clan gods. Even when communities gradually expanded, community worship continued to revolve around local guardian gods and the ancestors of extended families. Broader political power was rooted in the relationships of confederations of clans. This religio-cultural structure made it unlikely that religions of foreign origin could have much impact and still remain intact. This system retained a stable core of abiding traditions, supplemented by a somewhat more adaptive layer of minor local traditions.

As an example, Buddhism, when promoted by certain nobles, was assimilated in Japan by considering local practices as manifestations, rather than contradictions. It helps that Buddhism does not insist on a strict distinction between secular matters and that which is sacred. Seeking purity was already esteemed as a matter for all members of Japanese society. Extending that search for purity, by renouncing the world and taking up monastic service, was no great leap. Accepting the Buddha Nature in all things is parallel to accepting the spirit essence in all things. Buddhism advocates that one abandon grasping for self-interest as Shintoism promotes community welfare over selfish pursuits.

In Japan, community purity and religious control was part and parcel of political authority. The Shoguns, for instance, never hesitated to challenge religious influences that threatened their power. Each ruling clan elevated their own gods and divinized their own ancestors, producing “sacred kings.”

Eventually, Japanese society was able to more-completely organize itself into a coherent nation with supreme religious and secular authority vested in the Emperor. When war with China was initiated in the Emperor’s name, it became a sacred national war and reflected Japan’s over-riding pride in their national superiority and identity. All aspects of life became part of a holy war. At the end of World War II, American strategists seriously considered that every citizen would take up arms if the mainland of Japan was invaded.

Although the current Japanese culture retains a strong sense of honor and responsibility to community, the shock of Japan’s ultimate defeat in World War II devastated their sense of sacred nationalism. Japan is now often considered to be even more secular that the West. Japan has been rapidly industrialized and urbanized. Social mobility and personal isolation is endemic. The Japanese psyche has rocked from one pole to the other.

Presently, parts of American culture are in a state of radical transition as right-wing religious conservatives struggle for ever-greater governmental control. We are, on the one hand, “One nation under God,” and, on the other, a melting pot of diverse immigrants. This makes generalizations difficult and open to contradiction. Nonetheless, George Bush was able to start and sustain foreign conflicts in the name of “protecting our [capitalistic and mostly-Christian] way of life.” This could hint at an American parallel to the military adventurism that sprang from Japanese homogeny.

Conservative elements of the Republican Party seem distressed that they are losing their grip on a vision of Christian religion as intrinsic to what they see as American national identity and culture.

On the other hand, American liberalism seems to be persistently emerging into a proud model of diversity and tolerance. Old majorities are finding themselves not only endangered, but irrelevant. John F. Kennedy broke the Protestant barrier; George Bush appointed women and Hispanics. Now, the leadership of Barack Obama seems to be outdistancing conventional wisdom so fast that traditionalists can neither keep him in sight nor rein him in.

Isolated cultures, such as those of ancient and feudal Japan, are capable of sustaining religions and religion-infused cultures and identities. In Japan, the popular ethic of myopic superiority (including devotion to the traditions of kami, ancestors and Emperor) erupted and suffered mortal disruption following World War II.

Our world still finds remnants of rabid religious and ideological nationalism. Stalin, Mao, the Khmer Rouge, Pakistan, North Korea, and conservative American evangelicals are a few remaining flashpoints of isolationist nationalism. The balance of the world is growing toward proliferation of international relationships, dependencies, and cooperations. Radical identities including race, language, religion, cuisine, and nationality are being subsumed by multinational businesses, non-governmental organizations, and international treaties. Our distinctive cultures are dissipating. Even deep in the Appalachian mountains, I only have to drive a few miles to find several restaurants serving fresh Japanese sushi.

May 262012

The 2011 debt limit crisis demonstrated beyond any doubt that our Republican-controlled Congress is willing to do damage to America and its people. They behaved like a kidnapper cutting off a finger and sending it back to distraught and fearful parents to get them to pay a ransom. We understand that Republicans speak for their financial and religious-right masters. They want money. They want power. They want full control. And, who knows who these terrorists are willing to shoot in the head and shove out the door next.

Effective government is a good and necessary thing. Good government serves its people. Government is a forum for debating issues, agreeing on compromises, managing common resources, and enforcing public decisions. Government should not be something that you try to destroy – or weaken so much that it can be bought. In 2011, “Young Guns,” Tea Party freshmen, and other leading Republicans actually called for the government to default – refusing to pay the bill for spending they had already approved.

What do these “Young Guns” want? They want to run the town, and they are willing to intimidate any citizen, shoot up any merchant, and face down any lawman to do it. They want to lock up the sheriff in his own jail and take him out at night to lynch him – or “drown it [government] in a bath tub” as Grover Norquist said. Too over-the-top? Extend the metaphor with President Obama in the role of Sheriff and replay Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying, “Making Obama a one-term president is my single most important political goal.”

Actually, Republicans seem hostile to the idea of America’s entire administrative branch and presidency. Let’s listen, again to their ranch-boss, Grover Norquist: “All we have to do is replace Obama. We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate. … Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”

Since our founders designed our constitution, America has always depended on distributed power, with checks and balances, between three branches of government. Can you imagine a do-nothing rubber-stamp president? Now imaging that president appointing whomever he was told to the federal courts, including the Supreme Court! Well, now we’ve got a deal. The big ranchers now run everything. Because they can make any law, the town is effectively lawless. Now take it another step and imagine that all the preachers were in cahoots too. Yep, that would be the Republican radical religious right.

Of course, all this could never stand. Eventually the citizens would rise up with their sickles and pitchforks and charge headlong into a hail of bullets. We have done it before to overthrow tyranny and oppression and we could do it again. We would do it again. Is that what you really want?

This 2012 election could be that critical tipping point. Are you going to move forward, working together, committed in faith and goodwill, to a better world for our children? Or are you going to sit behind your windows, watching in fear and helplessness while thugs ravage your town, taking anything and everything they want?

©2012, David Satterlee

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Dec 202009

By: Tom Rath and Barry Conchie


From the author of the long-running # 1 bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0 comes a landmark study of great leaders, teams, and the reasons why people follow.

Nearly a decade ago, Gallup unveiled the results of a landmark 30-year research project that ignited a global conversation on the topic of strengths. More than 3 million people have since taken Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, which forms the core of several books on this topic, including the #1 international bestseller StrengthsFinder 2.0.

In recent years, while continuing to learn more about strengths, Gallup scientists have also been examining decades of data on the topic of leadership. They studied more than 1 million work teams, conducted more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders, and even interviewed more than 10,000 followers around the world to ask exactly why they followed the most important leader in their life.

In Strengths Based Leadership, #1 New York Times bestselling author Tom Rath and renowned leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of this research. Based on their discoveries, the book identifies three keys to being a more effective leader: knowing your strengths and investing in others’ strengths, getting people with the right strengths on your team, and understanding and meeting the four basic needs of those who look to you for leadership.


Shop at Amazon for:
Strengths-Based Leadership
by: Tom Rath

As you read Strengths Based Leadership, you’ll hear firsthand accounts from some of the most successful organizational leaders in recent history, from the founder of Teach For America to the president of The Ritz-Carlton, as they discuss how their unique strengths have driven their success. Filled with novel research and actionable ideas, Strengths Based Leadership will give you a new road map for leading people toward a better future.

Shop at Amazon for:
StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup’s Now, Discover Your Strengths
by: Tom Rath

All too often, our natural talents go untapped. From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.
To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths. In its latest national bestseller, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more (see below for details). While you can read this book in one sitting, you’ll use it as a reference for decades.
Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself — and the world around you — forever.

Dec 042009

Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

Joel Kreisberg, DC, MA, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Teleosis Institute, an integrally informed institution dedicated to reducing healthcare’s footprint while broadening its ecological vision. Joel is currently an adjunct professor at the School of Holistic Studies at John F. Kennedy University and California Institute of Integral Studies Masters in Integrative Health Studies Dr. Kreisberg completed his Doctor of Chiropratic at New York Chiropractic College and he received a Master of Arts degree in Integral Ecology from Prescott College. Author of several books on Homeopathy and he has been teaching and lecturing worldwide for over 20 years. He maintains a private practice in Berkeley, CA.

Source: Internation Association of Healthcare Practitioners

imageDr. Kreisberg,DC serves as the founder and executive director of the Teleosis Institute (, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating health professionals and environmentalists on the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Medicine.
Adjunct faculty-John F. Kennedy University- Master’s Program in Holistic Health Education.
Instructor-Acupuncture and Oriental Medical College, Berkeley, CA
Dr. Kreisberg completed and his Doctor of Chiropractic at New York Chiropractic.
He holds a Masters of Arts from Prescott College and a Bachelors of Arts from Wesleyan University
Dr. Kreisberg, DC, MA has been teaching for over twenty years.

See also

Articles & Books Written
"Ecological Healing and the Web of Life" Explore Vol.1 No.2
"Integrated Environmental Health Clinics: Health Care for People and the Environment" Explore Vol.1 No.5
"Acupuncture as Ecologically Sustainable Medicine" California Journal Of Oriental Medicine Vol.15 No.1



Trends in homeopathic education: A survey of homeopathic schools in North America, 1998 (Unknown Binding)(Out of Print)

Dec 032009

Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

David Kerrigan, PhD, LCSW, serves as Executive Director of the Center for Spirituality and Integral Social Work at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He works as a clinical social worker at Adoption/Attachment partners in Northern Virginia, a psychotherapy practice specializing in helping children and their families with attachment problems.

Article PDF: An Introduction to Integral Social Service (2004)


Nov 302009

Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

Gail Hochachka, MA, is a contributor to Integral International Development studies, where she works to advance the theory and practice of an Integral approach to international development. She is also researching, writing, and building capacity on integral praxis to global wellbeing as Director of the non-profit organization Drishti Centre for Integral Action based in British Columbia. Recently, she joined the core faculty of John F. Kennedy’s School for Holistic Studies to teach in the Integral Psychology Masters Program.

Source: Integral Research Center

Gail Hochachka, MA is Adjunct Faculty at John F. Kennedy University. As the Program Director of the non-profit organization Drishti – Centre for Integral Action based in British Columbia, she is researching, writing, and building capacity on the use of an Integral Approach to address global issues, with current projects in Peru and El Salvador. She leads the Integral Field Courses for JFKU. She is the author of Developing Sustainability, Developing the Self: An Integral Approach to International and Community Development.

Source: Integral+Life

image Gail is the founder and director of the non-profit organization Drishti Centre for Integral Action based in BC, Canada. Drishti is a learning community for dialoguing and deepening understanding about integral praxis and also a platform for working with an Integral approach to global wellbeing.

Having lived and worked in many countries including El Salvador, Costa Rica, Peru, India, Australia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, Gail recognizes that behind the enchanting diversity of this planet, there are also deeper patterns and processes that unite us. Her approach to working with the most material and physical of issues is not separated from the deeper, existential and developmental aspects of individuals and groups. It is in this profound union and integration that her intrigue in Integral Theory arises.

As Co-Director of Integral International Development Centre (IIDC), she is exploring the theory and practice of an Integral Approach to international development through research, training, networking, and projects. Her research focuses on how practitioners are engaging interior human development as an interwoven and essential aspect of sustainable development, and how Integral Theory can complement and deepen this existing work. This includes both integrally-informed organizations and practitioners, as well as "folk integral" approaches, which are not informed by Integral Theory per se, but include many of its elements in practice.

Gail is the founder and director of the non-profit organization Drishti Centre for Integral Action based in BC, Canada. Drishti is a learning community for dialoguing and deepening understanding about integral praxis and also a platform for working with an Integral approach to global wellbeing. Its team carries out research, writing, workshops, presentations, consulting, and capacity building on an Integral approach to community development, sustainability, international development, ecology, and leadership. One recent project included working with organizations in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Gail is also a practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga and student of Advaita Vedanta, which provide a transformative process for self-development and a source of inspiration for her work.

See also: Drishti – Centre for Integral Action


This book explores an Integral Approach to community and international development, integrating previous practices to move into new arenas of action and inquiry. It suggests that development involves personal, collective and systemic transformation, and to work in these three areas effectively requires a broader and deeper approach to developmentbroader in terms of including interior and exterior needs of humans, and deeper to more fully engage individual and collective transformation. The underlying premise is that all previous and current practices in development have important insights to offer the field. The task for today’s development practitioner is to honor these multiple truths, integrating their methodologies for a comprehensive, dynamic approach to addressing global issues.

The book is written for anyone involved in international development, community development, and/or social change in general. Included is an introduction to Integral Theory applied to the field of international development. The last half of the booklet provides an example of an Integral Approach in practice in El Salvador.

This is based on MA thesis fieldwork in San Juan del Gozo, El Salvador in collaboration with CESTA, POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, and Drishti-Centre for Integral Action, with financial support from Canada’s International Development Research Centre.

Nov 242009

AuthorPatricia Aburdene is one of the world’s leading social forecasters and co-author of four Megatrends books with John Naisbitt—including the New York Times bestseller Megatrends 2000. She is a highly respected speaker and lectures around the world on global trends.

Patricia Aburdene is an author and motivational speaker. As an advocate of corporate transformation, Aburdene now inspires audiences with predictions of how values and consciousness will transform business. Her latest book, Megatrends 2010: the Rise of Conscious Capitalism, was published in 2005. She co-authored the bestsellers Megatrends 2000, Re-inventing the Corporation, and Megatrends for Women. The Megatrends books topped bestseller charts in the United States of America, Germany, and Japan. Aburdene has lectured throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, Australia, and the Pacific Rim. Her clients include the Management Club of Vienna, the Professional Coach and Mentor Association, the Management Institute of New Zealand, and the Consciousness in Business conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her career in business journalism began at Forbes magazine in 1978. As a Public Policy Fellow at Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1993 to 1996, she explored emerging leadership models.

For more information, please visit

Patricia Aburden Article on Wikipedia
Patricia Aburdene Books on Amazon
Patricia Aburdene Podcasts on Personal Life Media