For this lecture, I am indebted to several of my gracious colleagues, Jonalu Johnstone, Roger Kuhrt, and Anne Anderson, for sending me resources on James Fowler. I am further indebted to Dennis Hamilton for introducing me to Fowler’s theory and to Barbara Morgan for sharing with me a creative application of Fowler’s thinking following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In the fall of 2003 I attended my first professional retreat as a member of the Prairie Star chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association. On the first day of that retreat I met Rob Eller-Isaacs, who serves as the co-minister of one of our congregations in St. Paul, Minnesota. One of the first questions Robbie asked me was, “How is your spiritual practice?” I answered him honestly, telling him I did not have one. He persisted in asking me this question each time we ran into each other at professional gatherings. It was about the fourth time I met him, nearly three years later, that I was able to respond with an answer other than, “I don’t have one.”
I am sure that this line of questioning could be taken as a kind of badgering, a mild annoyance, a slight harassment. It seems possible to regard this question as socially transgressive, if not socially deviant. That is, until you understand that the context for our meeting was not primarily social.
How is your practice going? It is a question that has meaning if two musicians or athletes are having the conversation. How is your practice? It has meaning if two doctors or lawyers are having the conversation. Robbie’s question could be taken as declarative. The question suggested a particular framework for the nature of our time together. It was not a social gathering; it was a gathering of spiritual practitioners.
But, it would be disingenuous to say that the question about spiritual practice was entirely in that vein. It did name the context for our meeting, but it also was directive. The question carried seeds of encouragement. He was encouraging me towards something. Robbie’s personal spiritual practice is partially shaped by the spiritual practice of the late Harry Scholefield, whose spiritual practice was later adopted, adapted, and popularized by another UU minister, Laurel Hallman. That practice, known as “Living by Heart,” features a combination of journaling, poetry memorization, silent sitting, and visualization of people in your life. This coming January I will be offering an adult religious education class using Laurel Hallman’s Living by Heart DVD and workbook as our guide.
In the Living by Heart materials there is a palpable sense of urgency for people to develop a commitment to a spiritual practice so that they, quote, “do not dry up and blow away.” So, yes, I was being urged. There was encouragement.
And, it is that word – “encouragement” – along with the word “spiritual” and a third word – “growth” – that I want to hold front and center during this lecture. If those three words sound familiar to you, it is because encouragement to spiritual growth is a phrase that is found in our Unitarian Universalist Principles and Purposes. Our third principle states that we covenant to affirm and promote acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth. I believe that there is a wonderful, nervous tension that is intrinsic to our third principle. Is accepting one another ever at odds with encouraging each other to grow?
What this lecture is about, fundamentally, is exploring what it might mean to grow spiritually. If we are going to encourage spiritual growth, we have to have a vision of what that actually looks like. What does spiritual growth look like? How can you tell that growth is taking place? Is growth a linear line between point A and point B, or is it a winding journey? What are the things you look for? What are the things you measure? To use the image of a journey, are there signposts and mile-markers? Is the path even marked? Is there even a path?
Allow me to digress and offer just a bit of historical commentary. Way, way back in our history Unitarianism and Universalism broke away from conservative, Calvinist congregationalism over a theological debate about the nature of human beings. Their theological anthropology said that humankind was hopeless, helpless, and depraved, that we are all born with original sin, and that ultimately our lot as human beings was to live, in the words of Jonathan Edwards, as “sinners in the hand of an angry God.” Our Unitarian and Universalist forebears rejected that theology. One of my favorite texts from early Unitarianism is a small book by Henry Ware, Jr., entitled, On the Formation of Christian Character. While its title sounds terribly old-fashioned, I like this book a lot because the book’s very existence implies an underlying assumption about human nature, namely that moral and religious character can be formed. Character can be learned, taught, developed, nurtured, and encouraged. And, you can read a book in order to learn how to do this.
If a Puritan wandered into a contemporary bookstore, he would stand and scratch his head if he found himself in the “Self Help” section. “Exactly who are these fools who think people can help themselves?” Well, today Unitarian Universalist congregations attract a lot of social workers and psychologists. I like to think this is because we possess a theological anthropology that meshes fairly well with psychological understandings of the self.
In this lecture I will turn to the field of developmental psychology to inform our understanding of personal development and growth. I was originally introduced to concepts of developmental psychology and faith formation when I served as the Intern Minister at the Horizon UU Church in suburban Dallas in 2001-2002. One of the ministers of that church, Barbara Morgan, introduced me to developmental psychology as a way of making sense of the diverse reactions of various people in the aftermath of September 11th.
Let me show you what I mean using an example. The late author David Foster Wallace wrote a brilliant essay for Rolling Stone magazine entitled, “The View from Mrs. Thompson’s.” This essay describes his experience in Bloomington, Illinois during September 11th and the days that followed. In this piece, David Foster Wallace describes his observations of various people in the town and his own feelings of existential difference from them. He writes in that essay,
Everyone has flags out. Homes, businesses. It’s odd: you never see anybody putting out a flag, but by Wednesday morning there they all are. Big flags, small, rectangular flag-sized flags. A lot of homeowners here have those special angled flag-holders by their front door, the kind whose brace takes four Phillips screws. Plus thousands of the little handheld flags-on-a-stick you normally see at parades – some yards have dozens of these stuck in the ground all over, as if they’d somehow all just sprouted overnight. Rural-road people attach the little flags to their mailboxes out by the street. A good number of vehicles have them wedged in their grille or attached to the antenna. Some upscale people have actual poles; their flags are at half-mast. More than a few large homes around Franklin Park or out on the east side even have enormous multistory flags hanging gonfalon-style down over their facades. It’s a total mystery where people can buy flags this big or how they got them up there, or when.During his “flag hunt” around Bloomington, David Foster Wallace writes that he asked people what the flags meant to them, “when circumstances permitted the question to be asked without one seeming like a smartass or a loon.” Let me share the responses he received:
“To show our support towards what’s going on, as Americans.”David Foster Wallace’s essay is a fascinating study of how different people respond to similar circumstances. Take a moment to think of the different ways that people responded to 9/11. One woman in my church took flowers to her neighbor, a Muslim woman, because she felt her neighbor might be scared; we heard news stories of people who committed acts of violence against people perceived to be Muslim. Some people called for war against al-Qaeda while others critiqued US foreign policy in Afghanistan. Very different responses. Developmental psychology provides one schema for making sense out of these different responses.
“To show we’re Americans and we’re not going to bow down to nobody.”
“What they do is symbolize unity and that we’re all together behind the victims in this war and they’ve [messed] with the wrong people this time, amigo.”
And, finally, there was the response a grad student gave to David Foster Wallace: “It’s a classic pseudo-archetype, a reflexive semion designed to preempt and negate the critical function.”
A Quick Introduction to Developmental Psychology
In the 1920s, Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) began to construct a theory of developmental psychology for children. His research showed that children, as they grow, move through a series of development stages. Piaget’s work inspired many other psychologists who studied development and described stages along the developmental process.
Building off the work of Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg developed a theory of stages of moral development. Kohlberg posited six stages of moral development. Kohlberg had his subjects react to moral conundrums such as the classic ethical question known as the Heinz dilemma. The Heinz dilemma, succinctly put, goes like this:
There is a man named Heinz whose wife is dying from a rare form of cancer. There is a druggist in the town who has developed a medicine that cures the cancer. The ingredients that go into the medicine cost a few hundred dollars. The druggist sells the medicine for a few thousand. Heinz tries to raise the money, but can only come up with half. The druggist refuses to sell. What should Heinz do? And more importantly, what is the moral justification for Heinz’s decision.There are, of course, several other thinkers who are heroes in the field of developmental thought. Abraham Maslow famously proposed the concept of a “hierarchy of needs” that corresponds to different developmental stages. The famous psychoanalyst and developmental psychologist Erik Erikson proposed eight stages of psychosocial development. Erikson wrote case studies based on the lives of famous historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther, and Mahatma Gandhi, interpreting their life stories in terms of his developmental concepts.
Two more recent developmental thinkers worthy of note are Robert Kegan and Ken Wilber. Kegan teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and I was fortunate to study under him. Wilber is a thinker whose project involves integrating developmental psychology, philosophy, history, ecology, and faith. I personally find him grandiose and unnecessarily complex. Wilber’s integral theory is known as “spiral dynamics” and posits different levels of consciousness that correspond to eight or nine different colors, different historical epochs, and so on.
Of course, all of the names I’ve dropped so far have been white males. Carol Gilligan has offered a feminist critique of developmental psychology, especially Kohlberg’s stages of moral development.
Fowler’s Stages of Faith Development
In this lecture, I want to focus on one theory in particular, the work of James Fowler. Fowler was a United Methodist minister and professor of theology at Emory University. He is most famous for his 1981 book Stages of Faith that applied the developmental theories of Piaget and Kohlberg to faith.
In Stages of Faith, Fowler described seven stages of faith that he numbered from zero to six. Allow me to go through the seven stages.
Stage 0: Undifferentiated Faith
Stage Zero is called undifferentiated faith, primal faith, or pre-faith. This is our faith orientation from the time we are born, or even the time when we are in the womb, up until we are two years old or so. Primal faith is basically our experience of the world as either a warm, safe place in which our needs are met or a cold, harsh place. This stage corresponds with Piaget’s “sensorimotor” stage.
Stage One: Intuitive/Projective Faith
Fowler calls Stage One, “Intuitive/Projective Faith.” We might also call it “Fantasy Faith.” (The simpler terminology was furnished by Rev. Jonalu Johnstone.) An overview of Fowler’s stages, provided to me by Anne Anderson describes Stage One this way,
[This stage] characterizes the child of two to six or seven. It's a changing and growing and dynamic faith. It's marked by the rise of imagination. The child doesn't have the kind of logic that makes possible or necessary the questioning of perceptions or fantasies. Therefore the child's mind is “religiously pregnant.”This stage is dominated by magical thinking, by the absence of logic, and by fantasy. Things appear and disappear and there is very little reason why anything happens the way it does. To imagine this stage, try imagining getting a four year old to tell you about her day. The world is not experienced as a cohesive narrative.
Stage Two: Mythic/Literal Faith
We might also call this “Narrative Faith.” (Johnstone)
Here the child develops a way of dealing with the world and making meaning that now criticizes and evaluates the previous stage of imagination and fantasy. The gift of this stage is narrative. The child now can really form and re-tell powerful stories that grasp his or her experiences of meaning. There is a quality of literalness about this. The child is not yet ready to step outside the stories and reflect upon their meanings. The child takes symbols and myths at pretty much face value, though they may touch or move him or her at a deeper level.If Stage One faith is magic and random, Stage Two faith is extremely ordered. In this stage, the moral universe is structured in a very black and white way. Thinking is extremely dualistic: good and bad, right and wrong, fair and unfair. In this stage, people are very attracted to heroes, paragons of virtue who keep the world ordered. If you go to a Christian bookstore and look at the books for this age of children, you will find a lot of books about heroes of the Bible: Noah, Moses, Daniel, David, Joseph.
StageThree: Synthetic/Conventional Faith
The next stage is called synthetic/conventional, but we might also call it “Conforming Faith.”
[This stage] has its rise beginning around age 12 or 13. It's marked by the beginning of what Piaget calls formal operational thinking. That simply means that we now can think about our own thinking. It's a time when a person is typically concerned about forming an identity, and is deeply concerned about the evaluations and feedback from significant other people in his or her life. We call this a synthetic/conventional stage; synthetic, not in the sense that it's artificial, but in the sense that it's a pulling together of one's… images and values, the pulling together of a sense of self or identity.Whereas the previous stage was very focused on a narrative that is understood in an extremely literal way, in Stage 3 the stories are understood in light of the experiences of a group.
One of the hallmarks of this stage is that it tends to compose its images of God as extensions of interpersonal relationships. God is often experienced as Friend, Companion, and [as] Personal Reality, in relationship to which I'm known deeply and valued. I think the true religious hunger of adolescence is to have a God who knows me and values me deeply, and can be a kind of guarantor of my identity and worth in a world where I'm struggling to find who I can be.
Stage Four: Individuative/Projective Faith
Fowler calls the next stage “Individuative/Projective Faith.” We might also call it “Questioning Faith.”
Stage Four, for those who develop it, is a time in which the person is pushed out of, or steps out of, the circle of interpersonal relationships that have sustained his [or her] life to that point. Now comes the burden of reflecting upon the self as separate from the groups and the shared world that defines one's life. […] Many people don't complete this transition, but get caught between three and four. The transition to Stage Four can begin as early as 17, but it's usually not completed until the mid-20s, and often doesn't even begin until around 20. It comes most naturally in young adulthood. Some people, however, don't make the transition until their late 30s. It becomes a more traumatic thing then, because they have already built an adult life. Their relationships have to be reworked in light of the stage change.It is this “Questioning Faith” that many people most identify with Unitarian Universalism. After all, in our faith tradition there is a high value placed on individualism, on distinguishing how you are different from others, how you are unique. As a person leaves Stage 3 on the way to stage 4, a lot of time is spent defining what you don’t believe in reaction to others. However, a person remains somewhat enmeshed in Stage 3 as long as that person defines himself by what he is not. Stage 4 is self-defining, self-determining, and self-differentiating.
Stage Four is concerned about boundaries: where I stop and you begin; where the group that I can belong to with conviction and authenticity ends and other groups begin. It's very much concerned about authenticity and a fit between the self I feel myself to be in a group and the ideological commitments that I'm attached to.
Stage Five: Conjunctive Faith
The next stage is called “Conjunctive Faith” or, “Big Picture” faith, as Jonalu Johnstone puts it.
What Stage Four works so hard to get clear and clean in terms of boundaries and identity, Stage Five makes more permeable and more porous. As one moves into Stage Five one begins to recognize that the conscious self is not all there is of me. I have an unconscious. Much of my behavior and response to things is shaped by dimensions of self that I'm not fully aware of. There is a deepened readiness for a relationship to God that includes God's mystery and unavailability and strangeness as well as God's closeness and clarity.
Stage Five is a time when a person is also ready to look deeply into the social unconscious—through myths and taboos and standards that we took in with our mother's milk and that powerfully shape our behavior and responses. We really do examine those, which means we're ready for a new kind of intimacy with persons and groups that are different from ourselves. We are ready for allegiances beyond our tribal gods and our tribal taboos. Stage Five is a period when one is alive to paradox. One understands that truth has many dimensions which have to be held together in paradoxical tension.
Stage Six: Universalizing Faith
Fowler did include a sixth stage, which he called “Universalizing Faith” and which we might call “Enlightenment.” It is exceedingly rare to get there. Most people familiar with Fowler think that only a handful of people ever truly reach this stage. Fowler describes this stage this way:
Persons described by stage six typically exhibit qualities that shake our usual criteria of normalcy. Their heedlessness to self-preservation and the vividness of their taste and feel for transcendent moral and religious actuality give their actions and words an extraordinary and often unpredictable quality. In their devotion to universalizing compassion they may offend our parochial perceptions of justice. In their penetration through the obsession with survival, security, and significance they threaten our measured standards of righteousness and goodness and prudence. Their enlarged visions of universal community disclose the partialness of our tribes and pseudo-species. And their leadership initiatives, often involving strategies of nonviolent suffering and ultimate respect for being, constitute affronts to our usual notions of relevance.
Putting Fowler’s Theories to Work
So, we’ve got these six stages of faith. And, I am willing to bet that as we went through this exercise, you kind of evaluated yourself and assigned yourself a stage. That is a really normal thing to do. I want to say just a few words about how to use these concepts. And, I want to throw out some metaphors for helping us to imagine these stages of faith.
At around the time Fowler wrote Stages of Faith, the cognitive linguist George Lakoff, now famous for his work explaining the effectiveness of political speech, co-wrote a book called Metaphors We Live By. According to Lakoff, one of the metaphors that live by is the metaphor that tells us that “higher” and “up” equals better, superior, more moral, more advanced, and more capable. We use this metaphor every day. A person who takes the high road is more moral. A person who uses her higher faculties is more advanced. A person who is up for the challenge is more capable, etc. As the theme song to the Jefferson’s put it, “We’re movin' on up.”
I make this comment because it is our instinct to find Fowler’s stages hierarchical and to feel like we’ve been forced to label and evaluate ourselves. It is our instinct to be defensive. So, I want to show some ways to think about Fowler’s stages.
First, we might picture a ladder. Progressing through the stages might be like climbing from one rung of the ladder to the next.
Of course, this leads to thinking that some stages are superior to others.
There are some limits to the ladder analogy. For reasons I’ll explain in just a few moments, a series of back and forth ramps might be a better analogy.
Or, even a spiral ramp. Must we travel the shortest distance between two points?
While I was thinking about metaphors that we might use to imagine these stages of faith, two other very powerful images came to mind. The first was one of the contests on the old TV show American Gladiators. The second image that came to mind was that of Russian nesting dolls. Let’s look at the nesting dolls first.
We know how Russian nesting dolls work, right. The very small doll fits inside the next sized doll that fits inside the next sized doll, and so on. This metaphor is important because it seems to me that we might consider the stages to be cumulative, not successive. We don’t leave the stages behind us; we carry them inside of us like the larger nesting doll carries many smaller dolls.
There are times when I go back to stage one, the intuitive/projective stage. During my honeymoon earlier this summer Anne and I were in Quebec City and we went to go see the Cirque du Soleil perform a free outside show. I found myself appreciating the show on two different levels. One level of appreciation was based on being attuned to the technical artistry that the performers displayed. (For four years I belonged to a society of jugglers and got to know many juggler, magicians, and acrobats. I can watch a juggler and analyze and critique the performance in a technical manner.) But, I also found myself able to enjoy the performance on the level of pure fantasy, in which the performers really flew and transformed into animals and what have you.
A few weeks ago I preached about playfulness. When playing with small children, whether it is playing peek-a-boo or building a fort, it is helpful to be able to immerse yourself in that world of imagination.
I find it harder to think of too many times when it is helpful to adopt a Stage 2, “Mythic/Literal,” faith. The best example that I can come up with would be when I am watching a fairly mindless action movie. But, then again, this requires a suspension of ethical thinking that may be a bit troublesome.
As far as Stage 3 “Synthetic/Conventional” faith goes, I can think of all kinds of times that call for a Stage 3 level of being. Sometimes it can feel really amazing to go along with the crowd. At the game, when people chant “Here we go Royals, here we go,” I chant along. And, when the scoreboard urges fans to get loud, I get loud. When everyone stands at a crucial and exciting moment, I also stand.
You know that feeling when you are at a concert and everyone is singing along? That is a Stage 3 type of feeling. Of course, there are plenty of times when going along with the crowd can be very dangerous and destructive. But, there are all sorts of times when it can be powerful in a positive way.
The lesson of the nesting dolls reminds us that we all still carry within us a primal faith, an imaginative or magical faith, and a literal/mythic/narrative faith.
Allow me to introduce another metaphor for helping us think about and use Fowler’s theory of faith development. On the old television show American Gladiators, one of the contests was called “Assault.” Here is a clip of the program. In watching this clip, I perceived many wonderful convergences between the contest and developmental theory. Consider the god-like gladiator and consider that Robert Kegan’s book, In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life, posits a modern way of living that assaults us with challenges and where we are forced to develop to meet those challenges. Pause the video at 0:23 where the announcer uses a telestrator to show the path of the course. Those back and forth lines correspond to the crossing ramps that are often used to depict developmental theory. And then there is the fact that at each stage the competitor makes use of a different weapon, just as those individuals at different stages employ different skills and worldviews.
The analogy isn’t perfect. We have a tendency to think in whole numbers. And the strategy in “Assault” is to spend as much time as possible at the stations and to cross between stations as quickly as possible. But, that is not how we move through life. We don’t spend years at one stage and then quickly jump to the next stage. We spend time between the stages, pushed and pulled, progressing and regressing.
Those back and forth lines at 0:23, like the picture from the Donkey Kong game above, captures yet another important facet of developmental theory. According to Fowler’s theory, as we move between stages, we alternate between two polar orientations. One orientation is extremely individualistic. The other orientation is extremely communalistic.
Let’s say you have an extremely black and white (fundamentalist) faith. That is kind of a stage 2 faith, extremely literal, extremely absolutist. That kind of faith is actually extremely independent. A billion people can disagree with you, but that doesn’t matter. All of them are wrong. You have the total truth and there isn’t any room for anybody who varies from you even one iota. To go to the next stage you will have to cross all the way over to a conventional faith, one that puts an enormous emphasis on belonging. The move from stage 2 to stage 3 requires that doctrine take a back seat to relationships. Okay, now you are moving from stage 3 to stage 4. The move from stage 3 to stage 4 requires that you separate yourself from your community and move back towards self-reliance. And then, to move from stage 4 to stage 5 you have to be willing to re-enter and re-engage with community.
Remember David Foster Wallace’s article about September 11th? Why are you flying the flag? We can equate the responses to different stages.
Stage 2: “To show we’re Americans and we’re not gonna bow down to nobody.”Earlier I talked about developmental thinkers such as Piaget, Kohlberg, Maslow, Gilligan, Erikson, Kegan, and Wilber. Each of these thinkers has proposed a way of understanding human development using somewhere between 5 and 9 stages. Unfortunately, time limitations and the threat of our brains exploding from too much information will prevent me from going into all of these theories. But, I do want to say just a few words about Robert Kegan. Like I said earlier, Kegan is a professor at the Harvard School of Education and I took a course on developmental psychology from him. In 1982, Kegan published a book called The Evolving Self which he dedicated “to the living legend of Jean Piaget.” The Evolving Self was published two years after Piaget’s death and one year after James Fowler published Stages of Faith. Kegan’s theory imagined six stages that he called: Incorporative, Impulsive, Imperial, Interpersonal, Institutional, and Interindividual. There is a lot of overlap with Fowler. One thing that is very interesting about what Kegan did was that he explicitly said that each stage has a subject-object relationship with the previous stage. To overstate his point, each stage exists in reaction to the previous stage. I have noticed a tendency to objectify the other side.
Stage 3: “For unity. To remind us we’re all in this together.”
Stage 4: “It’s a classic pseudo-archetype, a reflexive semion designed to preempt and negate the critical function.” (An extremely annoying Stage 4 response.)
Take, for example, the “New Atheist” author Sam Harris and his book, The End of Faith. Harris seems to fall very strongly on the individualist side of the spectrum. It is interesting to me how dismissive he is of religious expression that is more communalistic. His attack on Stage One faith: Believing in God is like believing in the Tooth Fairy or Tinkerbell. His attack on Stage Three faith: Religion is the opiate of the masses. And, Harris even attacks Stage Five faith: Harris criticizes Gandhi’s pacifism, calling it “highly immoral.”
According to Fowler’s theory, pure fundamentalism is Stage Two. In Stage Two we would terrorists who hijack planes and blow up abortion clinics. Interestingly, we observe some identification between Harris and pure fundamentalists. To Harris, those fundamentalists represent religion in its truest sense. At least they are honest.
Now, take Chris Hedges, who wrote a book entitled I Don’t Believe in Atheists that attacked Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. Hedges conflates the hyper-individualism of Harris and Dawkins with religious fundamentalism, accusing Harris and Dawkins of practicing “atheist fundamentalism.” To me that term is completely meaningless.
Conclusion and Using the Theory
[During my lecture I elected not to end with any set conclusions. Instead, I opened the time up to discussion and invited the audience to use the theory to think about various facets of contemporary Unitarian Universalist congregational life.]
I’ve decided to list a set of questions that I believe many Unitarian Universalist congregations wrestle with. I leave it to you to use Fowler’s theory to explore possible answers to these questions:
• What is the meaning of membership in a Unitarian Universalist church?
• Should congregations take stands on social issues?
• Should worship services contain more participatory ritual?
• Should congregations insist that members pledge a certain percentage of their income to the church each year or should congregations let each individual give as much as they choose?
• Should social action be undertaken as a project of the whole community or should it be left to individuals to decide how they wish to serve their communities?
• During December should the focus be mainly on Christmas, on all the Holidays of Light (Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Divali, etc.), or on none of the above?
• What is the point of exploring world religions? For children? For adults?
• How should congregations practice acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth?
• Did Fowler’s theory bring to mind anything in your congregational experience?
Thank you for attending, and thank you for taking the time to read this lecture!
James Fowler, Stages of Faith
Laurel Hallman, Living by Heart (DVD)
Sam Harris, The End of Faith
Chris Hedges, I Don’t Believe in Atheists
Robert Kegan, The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development
Robert Kegan, In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By
David Foster Wallace, “The View from Mrs. Thompson’s” in Consider the Lobster