Jul 112012

It should not be surprising, in our scientific, technological world, that faith has been subjected to empirical studies and analysis. Hold onto your hat: it turns out that both people and communities of faith develop through a predictable series of stages… or find a comfortable level and stay there.

James W. Fowler, a minister in the United Methodist Church, wrote “Stages of Faith” in 1981 while a professor of Theology and Human Development at Emory University. Additional research has followed. Here is a summary of the results.

Preschool children often confuse fantasy and reality. Their mix of ideas are picked-up, but not fully-developed, from those around them. They may believe in God and the Tooth Fairy, but already know that the guy at the mall is not really Santa.

School-age children begin to use logic and take things very literally. They may strongly and stubbornly hold onto ideas that come from trusted authorities. Their parents may still be insisting on the details of Santa’s visit to every home on Christmas eve.

Teenagers become aware of multiple, conflicting belief systems, but often associate strongly with a single institution and its doctrine. These staunch believers tend to “double-down” against any challenge to the anchors of their faith. They are easily persuaded that exposure to other ideas is dangerous so that they are determined to remain isolated within their community of support.

In young adulthood, with continued exposure to other peoples and their beliefs, some begin a period of critical re-examination of the elements of their faith. They may become disillusioned with their former community and move forward to independently search for a new foundation. Paradoxically, this progressive movement is often criticized as “backsliding.” Many men, especially, become “spiritual but not religious” and stop worshiping in a church.

In mid-life, it sometimes occurs to people that much about life is conflicting, unknown, or even unknowable. Neither faith nor logic fully satisfy. Much has to be taken, at any given time, as a paradox or mystery. Sacred stories and symbols may be a comfort, but not a foundation. Their spirituality may merge with their intent to “live a good life.”

A few older folks reach a point where they feel that life and gratitude, day by day, is sufficient blessing. There is no need to agonize over doubts, carry guilt from past mistakes, or dread what may happen in the next year, or the next moment. These folks may open themselves, within their remaining capacities, to take full satisfaction in the love of, and service to, others. These people may still embrace the formal worship of a specific divinity, but their capacity to love is no longer dependent on any given doctrine.

No developmental stage that serves the needs of the individual and their community is necessarily bad. Still, increasing tolerance always accompanies increasing spiritual development.

© 2012, David Satterlee

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Apr 252012

It has been suggested that I sound “too preachy.” Yeah, that should have been expected. Let me introduce myself a little more to those of my neighbors who, so far, have only smiled and waved.

As you probably have noticed, there’s nothing like a conservative preacher, any teacher, or a flaming liberal, to tell you just how things ought to be.

First, I was actually the closest thing to a conservative preacher in my young manhood. I was raised in a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian faith that believed in the ordination of all lay ministers. During that time, I led adult Bible study groups every week for years. For the record, the brotherhood and I eventually saw fit to part ways.

Second, I have also regularly taught children and adults. I spent almost two decades in computer work for Amoco Oil Company, where I designed and led many technical classes. Next, I spent a decade as an herbalist – telling people how to live. I was also a substitute teacher for several years and am married to a career public school teacher.

While I was with Amoco, they gave me a series of career-development psychology tests. In one of them, my top two archetype identifications were found to be “Evangelist” and “Warrior.” That was tough news for someone with social anxieties.

The counselor had a hard time putting his finger on my potential. He mumbled his way through the obvious, but I knew he was thinking: missionary to the heathens, tilting at windmills, and questing hero. In the end, Amoco buried me deep in the corners of several computer rooms. I managed to make trouble anyway.

And finally, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve become that odd duck in the middle of rural Iowa, a flaming liberal. Find me a tree and I’ll hug it. Fear not, my good neighbors. I am a gentle soul and, as my wife says, “the nicest man I’ve ever met.” I’ll put it out there and you can buy it or not. I quit putting my foot in actual doors a long time ago. Love, DavidS

©2012, David Satterlee

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Jun 072011

See a series of four videos below. This is an inspiring hoot!

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema theatre in Austin, Texas, USA, has a no-texting policy. They evicted one patron who called back and left an irate and profane voice message.

I applaud the Drafthouse for exposing the poor behavior, language, diction, and syntax  displayed by this (former) customer — while standing unabashedly firm instead of curling up and whimpering “please don’t yell at me.”

[ The first video contains profanity.]

Continue reading »

Oct 272010

On Being a Fan of “The West Wing”

by David Satterlee

My wife and I are both fans of the television series The West Wing. We discovered, after getting married, that we had both aggressively managed our schedules to avoid missing an episode. In our five years together, we have twice dedicated summer evenings to a private West Wing marathon, and are overdue for a repeat

For five years, the series entertained and taught us. The plots were articulate, witty, and filled with human pathos that spanned the range from individual to international. The sets were meticulous reproductions of White House architecture and furnishings. The writers and actors developed believable and empathetic characters.

The West Wing dramatically portrayed the constant stress of dedicated public servants sacrificing to achieve goals for the public good, while trying to maintain relationships with each other, associates, and sometimes, belatedly, their families. I especially enjoyed the voyeuristic sense of seeing the intimate reality of the meat grinder at work in the sausage making of government.

Each episode crafted a major theme of political change-making with several related subplots mirrored in the lives of the characters. It was masterfully done. Each episode also taught lessons in personal and political issues. For instance, after the Islamist attack on Manhattan’s twin towers (and other targets), a special timely episode named “Jacob and Esau ” was inserted into the schedule, highlighting the relationships between Christianity and Islam.

Curiously, the president was originally intended to be a largely off-stage character. However, Martin Sheen’s early performances were so powerful, and portrayed such a profound gravitas, that several episodes were reshot and reedited to include him as a major character. Sheen played an unlikely Democratic economics professor-cum-candidate who struggles to let his personal rectitude light the way for himself, his staff, and the nation. The writers regularly demonstrated their literary and political acumen by subtle insider references such as the use of “better angels” from the last line of a Lincoln speech, while a subordinate criticizes the President’s compromise on an issue.

Watching The West Wing is much more than standard boob-tube fare. It is a thought provoking study of civics and character; it is a privilege.

Copyright 2009 David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Sep 222010

MLM Business Building


This series is derived from the publication Better Business Building which I wrote in 1996 while doing business as “Health Education Library Publications.” It was targeted at distributors of Nature’s Sunshine Products (NSP), a multi-level marketing (MLM) [“Network Marketing” is now more politically correct] company. The product was formatted as a set of index cards which could be studied serially, browsed for ideas, or turned up one-each-day for inspiration.

Better Business Building was a lot of fun to write (and enthusiastically used and endorsed by several senior managers), but it is no longer in print. For this site, I have removed the company-specific information and reformatted the cards into topic articles.


Some of the advice in these cards is contradictory or included just for humor. Some things work for some people but aren’t right for others. If something just doesn’t feel right to you, throw the card away or mark it up and put it in the back.

This guide is packed with clichés. Some people claim that clichés are trite and don’t always apply. Those critics are throwing out the baby with the bath water. I think clichés are the distilled wisdom of our culture. So it’s up to you; if the shoe fits, wear it; but if it’s not your ladder, don’t climb it. This guide is also packed with quotes. For instance:
“The words of truth are always paradoxical.”
-Lao Tzu

This information should help you generate ideas. But, YOU are the judge of the commitments that you accept and the choices that you make. Be warned – don’t start a business without deciding why you’re in it. Any business, especially one like this, can change your life.

Ideas for using this guide

These pages do not have to be kept sorted into any particular order. I figure that some people will want to reorganize them by type of idea while others will want to organize them by personal priority or how well they apply to individual situations. You will probably have an even better idea. But I numbered the cards just in case.

This is not a good book to read straight through. I suggest that you only read a little bit at a time. It’s more like a collection of poems than a novel. Scan it first to see what’s in it, read some of the pages that look interesting and then put it down for a little while. I hope that you’ll end up reading the whole thing but I’ve got a hunch that it will digest better in small bites, chewed carefully.

* You can search for ideas for distributors who are having trouble.
* Borrow ideas for your newsletters and business meetings.
* Clip the cards to a bicycle to make noise against the moving spokes.
* If you see a good idea, use it.

“I see the better way, and approve it; I follow the worse.”

“When one happens on a book of this kind, he is well advised to throw it away.”

A philosophical disclaimer

Dear Friends,

Although I have drawn from many spiritual and secular sources for the ideas and quotes included in this card set, I hold the Bible as my distinct authority and guide. In fact, I hold the Bible in such high esteem that I have deliberately held back from citing it in many instances where I recognized its influence on my philosophy. It didn’t seem appropriate to apply scripture to the secular activity of selling supplements.

I am more comfortable trying to keep a gap between the nutritional work I do for profit and the spiritual counseling done on a “receive free/give free” basis. I suppose this work falls short to the extent that my faith affects my overall thinking and the everyday conduct of life. By writing books and selling information, I expose my philosophical core.

Please do not conclude that the things I have written belong to some economic, political or popular religious school of thought. Although it is obvious that I subscribe to an ethic of personal responsibility, I also recognize that “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” -1 Corinthians 3:19

Additional quotes of interest

“Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.”
-Herbert Otto

“Can it really be said that before the day of our pretentious science, humanity was composed solely of imbeciles and the superstitious?”
-R. A. Schwallerde Lubicz

“One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.”
-Joseph Campbell

“The heart has its reasons that the mind knows nothing of.”
-Blaise Pascal

“Without love the acquisition of knowledge only increases confusion and leads to self-destruction.”
-J. Krishnamurti


Commitment means that progress occurs over time and that you need to stick with your goals in order to achieve them.

“Far away, there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
-Louisa May Alcott


“Moral courage and character go hand in hand – a man of real character is consistently courageous, being imbued with a basic integrity and a firm sense of principle.”
-Martha Boaz


When you do what you know is right, you are at peace with yourself.

“Cowardice asks the question, Is it safe? Expediency asks the question, Is it politic? Vanity asks the question, Is it popular? But conscience asks the question, Is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
-Martin Luther


We should be aware of our spiritual need. Recognition of our relationship to our Creator keeps us balanced and secure. This respect and affection for the divine wisdom of our Creator makes us want to imitate His qualities and gives us appreciation for His creations.

Copyright 1996, 2010, David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.

Dec 102009

Source O, The Oprah Magazine

Photo: Lori Adamski-Peek

Dr. Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener unlock the mystery of happiness“You can see it glimmering on the horizon: Happiness. And all you need to get there is to practice X, accomplish Y, and believe in Z.

Wrong, says Ed Diener, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and president of the International Positive Psychology Association. "Happiness is not a set of desirable life circumstances. It’s a way of traveling." Diener’s new book, Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, written with his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, a life coach, offers guidance for those interested in taking a road trip.

As the Dieners synthesize the latest research—something Ed has steeped himself in as former editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies—they challenge the conventional party line on well-being: Money does matter, they conclude; religion, not necessarily. And marriage is hardly the joy girder it’s been cracked up to be. “


Shop at Amazon for:
Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth
by: Ed Diener

“Happiness is a process, not a place. That’s one of the key concepts that leaps from Happiness: Unlocking The Mysteries Of Psychological Wealth by Ed Diener and Robert Biswas- Diener.” (Diana’s Blog: Quirky Words and Book)

“In their sweeping new book Diener and his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, distill the results of worldwide research into happiness and come up with an explanation, a recipe, for a sustained state of good feeling, psychological wealth, as they call it.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 2008)

Shop at Amazon for:
Assessing Well-Being: The Collected Works of Ed Diener (Social Indicators Research Series)

The collected works of Ed Diener, in 3 volumes, present the major works of the leading research scientist studying happiness and well-being. Professor Diener has studied subjective well-being, people’s life satisfaction and positive emotions, for over a quarter of a century, and has published 200 works on the topic, many more than any other scholar. He has studied hundreds of thousands of people in over 140 nations of the world, and the collected works present the major findings from those studies. Diener has made many of the major discoveries about well-being, which are outlined in the chapters.
Nov 282009

Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

Thom Gehring, PhD, contributes to Integral Correctional Education Studies at Integral Institute and is a Co-Director of a Correctional Education Association Special Interest Group. He has been a correctional educator since 1972, in New Jersey, Virginia, New York, California, and worked in other systems as a consultant.

Source: CSUSB.edu Faculty & Staffimage 

Director of the Center, Thom Gehring’s scholarly emphasis is on the history of correctional education and prison reform. He has been a correctional educator since 1972. Thom did his Ph.D. dissertation on the correctional school district pattern of organization. He serves as the historian for the Correctional Education Association. Thom is a professor of education who directs the EDCA correctional and alternative masters degree program.


  • Hardcover: 107 pages
  • Publisher: California State University San Bernardino (January 2007)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: California State University San Bernardino (January 2007)
  • Hardcover: 281 pages
  • Publisher: California State University San Bernardino (December 2008)
  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: California State University San Bernardino; 1st edition (January 2006)
  • Unknown Binding: 200 pages
  • Publisher: The Authority (1979)
  • Out of Print–Limited Availability.
  • See also: Correctional Education Publication Series

    Nov 282009
    True to Yourself: Leading a Values-Based Business

    Many leaders of small businesses want to serve the common good, but everyday pressures can make that extremely difficult.

    What tools are available to lead an organization that’s obligated to more than the financial bottom line? Utilizing a sleek, condensed format, True to Yourself provides potent, practical advice for leaders looking to make their small business profitable and sustainable.

    Arguing that small-business leaders that look beyond the bottom-line are not only more fulfilled, but also more successful, author Mark Albion shows how by embodying competence, commitment, and compassion any small businessperson can lead more effectively.

    A series of five best practices forms the basis of a full plan to that shows readers how to bring the three C’s to their business. Equally useful for those starting out or veterans of many years, True to Yourself reveals tried-and-true methods for keeping a values-based business on track.

    Nov 242009

    AuthorStephen Aizenstat, Ph.D. is a practicing clinical psychologist. His original research centers on a psychodynamic process of "tending the living image," particularly in the context of dreamwork. In 1995, Dr. Aizenstat brought the insights of depth psychology and dreamwork to the Earth Charter International Workshop in The Hague, and he continues to participate in this ongoing United Nations project. He has conducted dreamwork seminars for more than 25 years throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

    Source: DreamTending.com

    Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D. is the founding president of Pacifica Graduate Institute, a private graduate school offering masters and doctoral programs in psychology and mythological studies. He is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and a credentialed public school teacher. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Institute in 1982, and his Master of Education from the University of California in 1975.

    Dr. Aizensat’s areas of emphasis include depth psychology, dream research, and imaginal and archetypal psychology.

    His original research centers on a psychodynamic process of “tending the living image,” particularly in the context of dreamwork. He has conducted dreamwork seminars for more than 25 years throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His organizational and educational consulting clients have included Systemetrics of McGraw Hill Inc., the New York Open Center, Santa Barbara Mental Health Services, Santa Barbara Middle School, and various other corporations, social service agencies, and school systems.

    Dr. Aizenstat has recorded “DreamTending,” a six-cassette series of audiotapes released by Sounds True. His other publications include: “Dreams are Alive” in Depth Psychology: Meditations in the Field, edited by D. Slattery and L. Corbett, and “Nature Dreaming: Jungian Psychology and the World Unconscious” in T. Roszak, M.Gomes, and A. Kanner (Eds.) Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind.

    In 1995 Dr. Aizenstat participated in the United Nations’ Earth Charter International Workshop at The Hague. He brought the insights of depth psychology and dreamwork to discussions on the formulation of an Earth Charter. The objective of the Earth Charter Project is to propose fundamental principles of a global partnership for sustainable development. Dr. Aizenstat is still actively involved.

    Stephen Aizenstat is also deeply involved in Santa Barbara community life. Since 1995 he has offered “DreamTending: Feeding the Soul,” an annual benefit lecture on behalf of the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County. He is an active supporter of the locally based “Heal the Ocean” organization. In November 2002, he was the “local luminary” speaker at the popular “Mind and Supermind” lecture series sponsored by Santa Barbara Community College.


    Nov 242009

    iconA change in business is coming– one that is proving to be as profound as advances in information technology and global politics. In Megatrends 2010, bestselling author and legendary social forecaster Patricia Aburdene reveals the underlying force that has already begun to reshape the way business is conducted–consciousness. Using her proven techniques for determining large-scale trends in the marketplace, Aburdene tracks the rise of "conscious business"-an inexorable turning away from simple capitalism toward a new and more profitable economy founded on ethics, values, and spiritual awareness. And no matter what your job or income, she teaches, you are an active participant in this radical transition.

    On this original audio adaptation of her landmark book, Patricia Aburdene examines:

    • How your socially responsible investments and consumer choices drive changes in even the largest companies
    • Why hardworking, values-driven managers are eclipsing so-called superstar CEOs as the new leaders of business
    • Techniques you can use for expanding your spiritual practice into your working life
    • Success stories from across the business world that affirm the dramatic and increasing impact of consciousness, and more

    With the Megatrends series, Patricia Aburdene has built an extraordinary track record for predicting the currents that shape the economic world. Now with Megatrends 2010, she invites you to take part in a spiritual revolution that will transform business as we know it.

    Click on the cover image to sample or purchase the Audio Download or CD from 
    Sounds True, Inc.