The Good Soldier: “How to Survive Death”


While writing “The Career Within You,” Ingrid Stabb and I invented a way of finding your career that resembles a tree-finder. The result of taking the “Wagele-Stabb Career Finder” myself was to find out that I’d do well as a journalist.

Most of my books have had a large journalistic component: interviewing people. But what fun it would be to go out on exciting assignments, too, were I to start a new working-life. I’d be an objective observer at happening events,  the first at big fires, imbedded with armies, interviewing world leaders. Or maybe I’d be a photo-journalist or a cartoon-journalist.

If you go to my web site,, you’ll see a blue book cover with the title, “How to Survive Death.” My friend and mentor Harry Gans and I wrote this light look at death. For part of it we interviewed people, mostly at the French Hotel Cafe in Berkeley, about what they expect to find when they die.  You can read this little 26 page book  on my web site free. I think you’ll enjoy Harry’s illustrations.

I have another journalistic project going on, too. This one is also about death but a more serious, longer book. I want to find out how the nine Enneagram types think about death and whether the intense experience of the death process intensifies how they express their type. I’ve been collecting some interesting stories about death by people of Enneagram types for a few years. I’m sure there are many other fascinating stories out there, but many are reluctant about sharing their experiences. If you have a story I’d like to hear it; the only requirement is that you know your own Enneagram type and the Enneagram type of the person it’s about. Send it to: and put “Enneagram/Death” in the title bar. When I get enough, I’ll make them into a book.

This is Veteran’s Day week. Bill Moyers ran a part of the documentary, “The Good Soldier,” on a recent program. I recommend it.  The most important issue for me when I supported Obama was that I hoped he would end the violence our country was engaged in.