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THE TRANSHUMAN WORLD AND ITS FEARS

              REVIEW BY

   PATRICK EFFIONG BEN

                      ON

THE TRANSHUMAN WORLD AND ITS FEARS: A Fearological Guide for the Developing Countries

                WRITTEN BY

        MICHAEL BASSEY ENEYO

Michael Eneyo in this interesting book takes us on a philosophical journey into the heart of one of the most topical issues in the twenty-first century digital age: Apprehension over what the future holds for humanity in view of new technological advancements and their possible impacts on the structuring of the human society. The transhuman world which is the central focus of the book is here, and humans have already started questioning their place in it. Eneyo ranks among the few African philosophers to critically capture the fears of this new society that is fast approaching. Here, Eneyo attempts to answer some questions that surround the transhumanization of the human species through advancements in the fields of science and technology, and possible ways of managing the fears that will be precipitated by these new inventions.

However, I am sceptical about Eneyo’s hope that “stick international and local policies” will be enough to curb the excesses of future technologies, especially when one takes a causal stroll through history to discover that the nuclear bombs that were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 respectively, in 1945, were carried out by a legitimate government that cared less about policies. The chemical weapons that were used by the British imperialist empire against the Bolsheviks in Russia in the summer of 1919, before its most recent usage 94 years later by Bashar al-Assad against his own people in Syria, were all done under the watchful eyes of the international community amidst “strict international and local policies” against their deployment.

The book presents a good account of the negative possibilities that lurks beside the future society that will be driven by intelligent machines. Inasmuch as I believe that the fears raised in the book are justified, I think Eneyo’s gloomy picture of what a transhuman society would likely look like is too pessimistic and creates room for the propagation of negative fear-one aspect of fear that the book urges us against. Eneyo’s proposal of the “Philosophy of Fear” and the “Philosophy of Unity” as what would be needed to manage the fears and psychosocial discontents that will arise in the future society is worthy of mention. Also, in dealing with the transhuman world which is a typical “fear territory” for Eneyo, the suggestions offered to the African continent with regards to not being left behind in the race to a transhuman materialization is also worthy of commendation.

I here conclude by saying that beyond the thought-provoking approach to the question of our place in the present and future society, the author’s daring questions, unapologetic confidence on the subject matter, and analytically poignant perspectives make his book a worthy read for all-especially those who are profoundly curious about humanity’s place in the inevitable transhuman world that is upon us.

Patrick Effiong Ben

MasterCard Foundation Scholar University of Pretoria,

South Africa.

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THE TRANSHUMAN WORLD AND ITS FEARS

                  REVIEW BY

ELUEMELEM, Frank N (PhD Cde)
                     ON
THE TRANSHUMAN WORLD AND ITS FEARS: A Fearological Guide for the Developing Countries

             WRITTEN BY

MICHAEL BASSEY ENEYO

The concept of trans-humanism seems not to be an emerging philosophical field of study in the academic research domain. Michael Bassey Eneyo, a well-known fearologist, in this novel book of his; titled “The Transhuman World And Its Fears; A fearological Guide For The Developing Countries” juxtaposes the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of technological advancements with the fearological thoughts that he brought to bare. He x-rays and analyses the challenges and benefits of the complex advancement in science and technology with respect to their effects on the humanoid species within our visible universe that may likely exist in an envisioned world of super-intelligent agents such as robots, expert systems, and their likes.

This book, by Michael Bassey Eneyo analyses the likely degrees of fear that may bedevil the human species in the universe due to the trans-humanism agenda.
Michael Bassey Eneyo, in his philosophical thoughts, took a deep dive into an enormous conflagration of topical issues already eroding and devastating man’s natural domicile and way of doing things; bringing man into what I call the disruptive era; arising from human-machine interaction which is in relation to fundamental psychological theories of human behaviour and persuasive technology.
Trans-humanism, in a nutshell, is the resultant effect of complex advancements in science and technology with the deliberate intention to help humans overcome the prevailing challenges of their physical and social environments; thereby making life easier and smarter. In a bid to create these multi-faceted challenge-overcoming possibilities; myriads of new, higher and deeper problems are created for man with various degrees of fears and disadvantages.

Trans-humanism is a philosophical movement that advocates and predicts the enhancement of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies that are able to greatly enhance longevity, mood, and cognitive abilities. These possibilities can be made manifest through the use of artificial intelligence; a high-level complex advancement in computer science and technology.

Michael Bassey Eneyo in this book, particularly in chapter one, took time to explain the historical background of trans-humanism philosophy with respect to Julian Huxley’s work in 1957; which was a resolve to continue the theory that supports human evolution; by teaching that human evolution can also be technology and society driven. Michael Bassey Eneyo enunciates that trans-humanism is one of the 21st century philosophies that advocate the use of science and technology in an attempt to overcome human limitations; in areas of the longevity of life and reduction in human sufferings. From my intellectual evaluation, I am truly convinced that the extra-sensory perception of the author as expressed in this book is highly optimistic with respect to his philosophical and fearological prowess of thoughts about artificial intelligence concepts which he sees as what will be one of the major causes of envisioned trans-human world.
Talking about artificial intelligence (AI), it can be described, in a nutshell, as the branch of computer science that is used to make computer machines behave like humans using fuzzy logic and heuristic programming; otherwise known as “the rule of the thumb”. There are several components or branches of Artificial Intelligence, namely; expert system development, robotics, artificial neural network, speech recognition, natural language processing, machine vision, deep learning, and machine learning, etc.
Expert system development is the branch of AI that makes use of the knowledge of experts on a machine, say computer machine, to achieve definite tasks that are even beyond human limits. It has three major components known as knowledge base, inference engine, and user interface. The knowledge base consists of both necessary data and knowledge of experts in the field where the expert system is to be deployed.
The Inference engine takes care of all the programmable logic arrays and heuristic application programming interfaces (heuristic APIs).
The user interface makes reference to the concept of human-computer interaction (HCI) and persuasive technology strategies deployed into the machine according to Fogg’s Behavioural Model (FBM), Harri-Oinas Kukkonem Model, and Robert Cialdini Model of Interaction Designs. It is pertinent to note that all AI systems are tested before deployment using Turing Test as postulated by Alan Turing. A.I testing may solve some of the ethical issues of trans-humanism.

Michael Bassey Eneyo’s philosophical thoughts of fear and fearology from chapter six through chapter seven of this book vocalizes the workings of fear in humans and exposition of the fear territory. He went further to explain the importance of fear and how fear can be used as a tool to manage the problems of the envisioned world of trans-humanism. In his opinion and thought; fear would be very useful in moderating the future world if attention is paid to knowing how it functions in shaping and molding human actions as seen in chapter nine.


The envisioned world of trans-humanism is in congruence with a concept in engineering thermodynamics called “perpetual working machine (PWM) of its first kind”. PWM is an ideal machine with 100% efficiency but may never be realised in this visible universe due to friction, air resistance, and other negating factors. The mere fact that humans live in an enclosed space called universe with various dimensions of energy inter-conversions at different levels and how they relate to matter (in this case man, who is the epicentre of any definite body of organised knowledge and philosophical thoughts). Primordial studies of an enclosed system showed that a lot of reactions and bombardments happen because one matter must interact with another matter at different energy levels in relation to variations in temperature, pressure, distance, and time. Every enclosed system is affected by itself and its surrounding known as “environment of system”.

The big bang theory postulates that our visible creation/universe emanated from a point of low enthalpy to a high enthalpy state. This is in consonance with the philosophical thoughts of trans-humanism expressed by Eneyo in this novel book of his. It is pertinent to note that enthalpy simply means the degree of disorderliness of a system.

It is therefore important to say, at this juncture, that the whole concepts of engineering thermodynamics, energy inter-conversions, the big bang theory, wave-particle duality/paradox of light, quantum mechanics, Le’Chatelle’s Principle, Schrodinger wave law Equation, Ascholli-Azillar Principles, Cauchi-Rannian Integral Equation, Libnitz Inequalities, Furier’s series, random number series, fibonacchi series and theory of spontaneous generation show that the universe where humans dwell has been in continuous and contentious disorderliness.
The finesse, dexterity, intellectual prowess, and pretty good juxtaposition of transhumanism and fearism philosophies and concepts as expressed and interrelated in this book would go along away to helping the government of nations as a guide to national legislation and governance.


I, hereby truly and strongly, recommend this book for heads of government and academic scholars at different levels for consideration in research and development. This book is specifically recommended as a decision support system (DSS) for programmers, artificial intelligence, and neural network experts, scientists, technologists, psychologists, philosophers, and religious leaders at all levels. Directors General and Chief executive officers (CEOs) of companies and business systems are not left out as this book can play a major role in decision making, policy reformation, and information dissemination.

ELUEMELEM, Frank N
S/W Engineer,
Product Interaction Designer and
Persuasive Technology Advocate.

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THE TRANSHUMAN WORLD AND ITS FEARS

            FOREWORD
                   By
Rev. Fr. Edward Obi, MSP (PhD)
                  ON
THE TRANSHUMAN WORLD AND ITS FEARS: The Fearological Guide for the Development countries.

             WRITTEN BY

MICHAEL BASSEY ENEYO

The term ‘Transhuman World’ is not in common currency yet, but it refers to a new world order in which the supremacy of humans will be contested by super-human machines.

There are obvious indications that present technological advancements in the development of efficient and automated machines are effectively constructing the imaginary super-highway to that world and that order. A case in point is the near-universal personal ownership of smart devices with multiple functionalities, thanks to nanotech micro-chips. Add this to the infinite connectivity that is envisaged in many countries and regions, then one is persuaded to think that nothing can stop that logical step to be taken. In fact, nations and governments are already marshalling their resources and expertise to face the future in this realistic way.

Without doubt, numerous problems that we face now will be resolved by machines within a tiny fraction of the time it would have taken humans to accomplish the same routines. The COVID-19 pandemic with it restrictions and protocols has, somewhat, heightened the aspiration for, and fastened the pace of transition from the present to the possibilities that lie ahead, perhaps, in the near future. Artificial intelligence (AI) has, for instance, been deployed effectively to initiate and complete activities hitherto done by humans, and their effectiveness is not in doubt!

Michaeleneyoo Eneyo’s book, The Transhuman World, addresses some of these complex realities and prospects in very ordinary human language. He is unabashed in his quest for understanding, and for fellow humans to accept the inevitable. Rather than whining about the possible subjection and subjugation of human beings to a regime of insensitive machines, humans should brace up, and prepare for that eventuality. What is, perhaps, needed more in this transition is a courageous effort by humans to equip themselves for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will be dominated by extreme automation and extreme connectivity! with the potent mechanism for controlling these machines.

The ethical concerns raised by these prospects are numerous. The human need for work and leisure clashes with a Transhuman World where AI and robotics are deployed to do most of the work. The implication of this is that even where there is work; it would be poorly remunerated due to the downward pressure of the Transhuman World. In this scenario, human persons would, possibly, be reduced to poor and bored loafers, prone to suicidal ideation. Thus, the dignity of the human person would be compromised and undermined, and this comes with attendant debilitations. Community, as such, and the need for a Common Good to work for and to live for, and the sense of solidarity that ties all these together would be ineffectual or severely threatened since insensitive machines cannot feel the pain of others and empathise with them!

The developments that will come about in the transhuman world, however well-intentioned, will engender fear, naturally. The author, therefore, dedicates a significant portion of his work to expound on the theory of fear. Appropriate fear or apprehension towards something new and different is normal to most human beings, because it serves to prepare them for that unknown eventuality. This is why people would usually approach the unknown other, or circumstance, with trepidation. He hopes, therefore, that well-placed fear of the transhuman world, and all its yet-unknown possibilities, would give present human persons a soft-landing in that world order, whenever it may be realised.
The book is a good read, and I recommend it to all who dare to think about the future!
Rev. Fr. Edward Obi, MSP (PhD)
Port Harcourt,
Nigeria.

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IACAET, in collaboration with The Inspirees Institute and The Amateurs Company is proud to announce, after a long time without face-to-face activities, a great opportunity to come together and learn about subjects that have become natural experiences in our current lives: fear and creativity!
 

 

NOTE: These kinds of events, purporting the nature of fear as positive (at least in some way), are part of a much larger long discourse (especially in the W. worldview) that I find always existing and being promoted by some theorist or group, and of which I am always critical of because they don't define fear carefully enough and problematize their own positivism ideology of fear.  -rmf

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Taking Children to the Edge

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This new video, "Taking Children to the Edge" is first in a series of "Stone Teachings" as I call them. In this video you find how I think about making the transformation from a culture of fear to a culture of fearlessness, and we'd better start doing this with how we educate and socialize children. Thus, parents, teachers, caregivers of young people may find these thought insightful or at least provoking of your own thinking. 

As for the larger audience for this video, as the citizens of this planet earth and the crises we face, I think you too will gain something from these teachings, from the stone, through me, to you ... and finally, to the children of the world. 

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Gender Dualism and Fear

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I have been having conversations with Dr. Teich for a few years now, off and on. Recently, we are collaborating on his SolarLunar Arts venture to create 21st century curriculum materials (e.g., movies, 3-D and virtual reality games, etc.) to enable people to understand the 'old worldview' of gender separation (which became dissociation) in many cultures, especially the W. world. This has been a disaster, he argues... and, he and I agree, it is a major dualism that brings so much unnecessary fear-based thinking into the world--and, a lot of destruction with it. He presents archetypal ancient "Twin" myths and symbols that have long been part of humanity, which emphasize the more 'harmony' of opposites via complementarity principle...

I thought I would share from his 2012 book (image above) a short excerpt (pp. 47-8)--on these two modes of consciousness: 

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PHILOSOPHY OF UNITY: LOVE AS AN ULTIMATE UNIFIER

“While boundary and division are mostly creation from humanity’s greed and hatred for another, love is a bridge that brings every being together. In love there’s no boundary and division”—Michael Eneyo

PREFACE
Humans, by their nature are meant to be in association with one another. Their self-realization largely depends on the ability to study and understand how different things operate in their uniqueness and at the same time, to master how they operate in their unity in all living conditions in search for the attainment of the overall goal of life. Such knowledge is expected to help human beings on how to live in mutual and complementary manner in any society. It was on this desire to master the operational patterning of beings in this complex universe and also to know what causes them to be the way they are that human persons were motivated in different historical periods to embark on cosmological researches. These researches were also to unravel the mystery behind creation and the kind of being(s) or element(s) that could be responsible for the world. This curiosity to know the totality of things, their sources, nature, workings, their constituents and that which is responsible for the unity in the universe, necessitated what is now known as Philosophy.

Attempts to get to the root of this knowledge become the primary aim of Philosophy and it is indeed the fundamental worry of Philosophers of all ages. What then is the term philosophy? It is a systematic study of everything that exists for the purpose of knowing the truth about them and how this truth can be used in solving human existential problems. When Georg Hegel, the prominent German idealist, tried to put pieces of history together, he reasoned that the goal of Philosophy is to achieve a unified and a systematic understanding of everything in the world. For him: “to apprehend what is, is the task of philosophy. Because what is, is reason” (Hegel, 1820). This quest for the knowledge of every existing being also endeared scholars of all facets of life into the study of both physical and metaphysical realms of reality within their specific fields of research. The explanations offered by these scholars on what constitutes the workings of the universe are noteworthy, as these have exposed us to the existence of natural relationship amongst different individual beings in the world and the need to working hard to use it as means of providing solutions to people’s daily problems.

Critical evaluation of the studies from history carried out by different scholars so far, reveals that the apparent separate entities and distinct events in existence are not actually separate in the real sense of the word: that they are somewhat related, they are both unique in themselves, and at the same time connected to each other. This chain of unity has already registered in our sub-conscious such that we frequently make references to events that are not clearly linked. For example: two similar events can occur in different historical periods from two disharmonious backgrounds, but this inter-connectedness of things compels human persons, by the level of judgment, to make comparative references to these separate events. Also, we can see, in our houses we have many compartments: toilet, seating room, and bedroom, each with its peculiar functions and purposes, but all these different compartments jointly constitute a house.

Again, we are challenged with the apparent warring opposites of things in the universe: Hot/cold, water/fire, black/white, short/tall, man/woman and none of these can independently and sufficiently survive without the existence of its opposite part. Even as we look around, there are so many objects and elements surrounding us: when we pick a book to read, we are faced with different stories about different things, all these draw us closer to concluding that the universe is made up of fragmentations and multiplicity of things. Even with these phenomena of fragmentations and multiplicity, the world is known as universe and not multiverse. This further informs us of the inherent unity that is natural to every existent irrespective of their apparent external differences. Aren’t there things that can serve as unifiers of the multiplicity of things in the universe? Isn’t it worthy to really understand the source of this natural unity in the world?

The puzzle about the unification of the multiplicity of things in the universe is somewhat connected to the age-long quest for the ultimate reality that was common among the earliest Greek Philosophers. The ancient philosophers had occupied themselves with the desire to know the basic cause(s) of things in the world and try to prove that this basic cause is also responsible for the unity and the separation of the things in it. In this work, we intend to take some steps further by not only trying to know the ultimate cause of things, but most importantly, to make effort to unravel the unifiers (the things that caused the unity) of these fragments; thus, appreciating the unity of these fragmentations as the means through which humankind can achieve peace in the contemporary society. In the course of doing this, we shall refute any attempt to promote the idea of absolute separation, disassociation or division among different entities, their species notwithstanding; instead, we shall work hard to demonstrate critically that the idea of absolute separation is an illusion; that everything is naturally connected to everything else. Also, we shall in the course of doing this, try to establish that without the ultimate unifier; there wouldn’t have been perfect and enduring connections in the universe. This therefore can amount to saying that without love which we have identified in this book as an ultimate unifier; the world would be like soup without salt. Thus, love adds flavor and taste to existence and it is also a bridge which makes everything to naturally connect such that any attempt to negate or deny any part of existent, becomes an attempt to negate or deny the whole of it (in a subtle manner).

The first chapter of the book begins with the definition of the scope of our enquiry so as to make the ideation behind the topic of the book more precise and clear. Hence, universe (cosmos) is the scope of the discursive fray. In making universe our scope, we shall, among other definitions, give a short summary of what we shall consider the meaning of universe, that is; a family of all beings. Thus, the book is primarily concerned with the development of workable methodologies on how unity of all beings in the universe can be achieved. In advancing our discourses on the above expanding research territory, we shall be focusing on the concepts of university and universal to explain the roles of beings within the context of connectivity. However, we shall adopt some transcendental and metaphysical analogous concepts when necessary to elucidate any part of our discourses where such is imperative.

Chapter Two deals with intensive analysis of the meaning of unity as well as knowing the categories of beings that need unity. It is within the context of this enquiry that we shall come to know that all beings need unity. This unity is for their individual self-realizations as well as in the move to making a better society or a community of living organisms. Here, the concept of unifiers shall be equally discussed to bring out the point that we are all unifiers of some sorts. Every being has the potentiality of uniting different kinds of beings. To buttress the above thesis, some selected forms of unifiers shall be briefly discussed and then summed up with a summary of the chapter.

The unifier and the notion of ultimate reality in the ancient period is inserted in chapter Three to draw us back to the earliest researches carried out by some western ancient philosophers on cosmogony and cosmology to know how the world was made and what is responsible for the unity and the separation of things in it. This is not to mean that the cosmological studies started with the philosophers in view. Before and during this time, some anonymous thinkers other than Philosophers we are going to discuss have enquired into the compositions and the originating cause of things in the world and how these things work. Though their ideas were lovely and promising, the lack of documentations and the fact of the unknown sources of such philosophies diminished their chances for commendations and inclusion in the theoretical and historical records. Efforts shall be made to critically analyze the reflections of some of the philosophers who offered unique explanations, the ultimate cause of things and that which holds all things together.

In successive manner, the earliest thinkers had speculated that water, apeiron, and air respectively are responsible for the workings of the things in the universe. The positions of these first (known) thinkers, however, gave birth to many other schools of thought whose aims were: To attempt either a total destruction of the foundations of these thinkers, or to refute some of these opinions as pseudo (false) or at most, to build on them for a better understanding. This attempt for a better understanding of the universe and what should have been its operational methodology ushered in Philosophers like: Pythagoras, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, etc. The pluralists were also pregnant with ideas about the make-up of the universe. Empedocles, Anaxagoras and Democritus front the position of the pluralists from different backgrounds which we shall carefully discuss in this work. The reason for this historical reflection is not just to know their power of rhetoric; rather, it is for the purpose of having foundational ideas on the natural unity characterizing the world. This historical reflection will also help us to know how useful these early postulations are to this work, as it will help us evaluate the different paths they took in search for that ultimate reality and the extent of its connections with the ideation of unity articulated in this book.

Chapter Four focuses on the problems of disunity which have affected all fabrics of the society globally. The factors and the causes of disunity in human society shall also be discussed; thus, exposing the havoc caused by our acts of disunity and division anytime we want to make meaningful progress in life.

In Chapter Five we are going to identify the phenomena fear as one of the major impediments to inclusive unity. A brief historical account of Fearism/Fearlessness Movement will form part of our discussion in this chapter. The chapter insists that a proper fear education can assist us to know the method(s) to be applied in our attempt to overcoming fear problems in the present world order.

In chapter Six, we intend to look at the challenges or impediments in an attempt to bring unity in any group or gathering, especially when such unity involves beings of contrasting opposites.

In addition to the foregoing, the chapter also examines the theory of opposites to re-affirm our stance that opposite does not mean faction or division in the strict sense of the word, but a reminder of strength if the different categories of beings are brought together. In the theory of opposites, there are always struggles; but these struggles are always targeting at surmounting or fusing the interests of their contrasting units.

Love has been identified in chapter Seven as an absolute instance for unification; hence, becoming the ultimate unifiers of all categories of beings. The chapter has logically, explanatorily, and demonstratively defined love in three different historical dispensations; the amoral, moral and immoral, while also giving insights on how the idea of law came into human society. Selected world religions have been briefly discussed. The classical types of love shall be equally discussed and then coalesced into two major categories: pleasant (positive) and unpleasant (negative) through which every other kind of love can be explained.

In Chapter Eight, we explore the African (Efik) episteme as a model for the impact of love in communal unity and tolerance. The chapter defines love in the light of communal unity in Efik kingdom. The idea driving this exploration is to put the result of our findings into critical and pragmatic scrutiny to know how relevant our research shall be to the people in the 21st century and beyond.

In the Ninth Chapter, there is a strong emphasis on the illusion of thinking that we are completely separate from every other being. A call has been made for the need for all beings to unite as one and see themselves as a part that is independently insufficient unless in union with other existents. The concepts of nationalism within Nigeria territory and the internationalism have been employed to capture the gamut of ideas on unity of all human beings. The chapter argues that anytime we try to destroy any human persons or beings; that we are indirectly working toward our own destruction on the premise that we are the parts that make up the whole.

The final chapter explains how love is capable of uniting all parts of beings. In all, the book sets out to argue that the universe is a “Uni Bi-centric” as well as “Uni Multi-centric”(that is: one and opposite and also one and many). Things are naturally unique in themselves and also naturally connected to everything else. Again, that these natural connections also have their respective connectors. Among these different connectors, there is an ultimate connector of which every other connector relies on and that, love is that ultimate connector. In this book, we use the term “unifiers” to mean these connectors and “ultimate unifier” to mean the ultimate connector. From the analysis and explanation given herein, love is believed to have the ability to bring all beings together. As a supreme paradigm for unification, love is the most needed norm if a healthy and harmonious society is to be built.

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THE TRANSHUMAN WORLD AND ITS FEARS

  • THE TRANSHUMAN WORLD AND ITS FEARS: The Fearological Guide for the Developing Countries

    Introduction
    The contemporary society is confronted with various new challenges and ambivalences that were not typical of the natural world. The effects of these challenges on humans and the move to solving them have notoriously brought a paradigm shift to the natural world order. The once mostly predictable regularities of the natural world have become unpredictable as the result of man’s wrongful interference with the things in his environment. The natural world is now unpredictable. We cannot know with certainty when the summer or winter will begin like what was the case hitherto. The marriage between a man and a woman has been challenged with the legalization of same-sex marriage by some countries. Robots have taken some of the jobs that were basically handled by human beings. More beautiful and ugly sights are coming up as the day goes by, and even more are still predicting by scientists and philosophers.
    These emerging evolutional challenges and renovations experienced in today’s world have the potentials to mar or make us. Just as technological advancements are rapidly increasing, new means of handling them keep emerging. Any move adopted toward solving an aspect of humans’ existential problems explains directly or indirectly what is behind the word; development. A society grows anytime an articulated move is made to solve a given problem of life. Such moves always compel human beings to invent or discover a system through which the challenges in contention can be addressed. However, these new ways introduced to solve humans’ problems always come with their unique challenges and fears.
    Since these problems are complicated and multifaceted, the approach to solving them cannot be static; but dynamic. For some decades now, human beings are gradually shifting focus from the natural, religious, societal, and cultural means of addressing the major problems of life to a technologically designed method which they see as a better and easiest means to providing solutions to their daily problems. Anytime there is a challenge, there is fear; the fear of how to overcome the challenge.
    This book is necessitated by the need to expose the implications of the wrongful applications of science and technology as the ultimate means of solving humans’ daily problems and to educate people on how to manage the fear that is starring at the present world, including the ones that will come in the future as a result of these wrongful applications. It is on this note that the book focuses on finding an approach to be adopted in an attempt to overcome the fears that will accompany the envisioned new world. This envisioned new world is what we tagged; the transhuman world.
    Apart from the above, the book also looks at the reason for the increase of fear in all parts of the world in recent times, and also attempt to evaluate the implications of the projection made by some scientists to transcend the present man’s limited ability to a new man (Superman) whose ability will supersede that of a natural human being in the envisioned transhuman world. Scientists are already on the course to transform the world and human beings living in it. This is an indication that the envisioned transhuman world is not far from its actualization.
    Since this book is acknowledging fear as one of the major challenges confronting humanity, some chapters of the book is dedicated to the notion of fear in general. The book is taking up the study of fear from where we stopped in the previous book to a level where the study of fear will help in preparing countries, especially the underdeveloped ones for the future world of technology. In this book, attempts are made in predicting how this future society would be and the measures to be put in place to tackle the likely fear that will become an impediment to a happy life as a result of humans’ negative activities. Humans, through the aid of technology, have challenged the natural order of how things are presently done. Man’s constant quest for absolute comfort in a world that is characterized by the phenomenon of good and bad experiences has affected human’s old paradigm towards life. One of the major problems of humans today is fear; it becomes necessary that some guides be given on how fear can be reduced rather than increasing it through our daily activities in the name of advancement in science and technology.
    For some centuries now, there have been concerted plans by scientists to enthrone a new world of “supermen”. Thus, the present push for a transhuman world by some scientists and philosophers is no longer news. The advocates of this new world believe that the enthronement of a technological society will grant humans the ability to put an end, or at least, liberate human beings from their tragic lives and fears. Already, there’s a rapid increase of incidents of fear in almost all parts of the world in recent times with many factors mentioned by different schools of thought as reasons.
    One of the indisputable reasons for this increase of fear is traceable to the ongoing wrongly calculated move by some scientists to transform the natural world that is characterizing by the phenomenon of life and death into a robotic, artificial, and highly technologically driven society, where man is believed, will have a technologically-based power to transcend his present existential limitations. This calculated attempt to go beyond the present humans’ limitations no doubt is partly caused by the desire of human to enjoy absolute comfort, and achieve his aspiration to overcome the fear of suffering, sickness, and death which are natural to every human being.
    Needless to say that human beings are tragic animals. They barely spend a day without being entangled in one or more problems of life. Man’s earthly life is built on challenges. Though, these challenges are not the axioms of the limitation to his attainment of goals as many people think; rather, the challenges demonstrate the fact of human existence which is full of joy and sorrow. Since having challenges is natural to human beings, looking for solutions to these challenges becomes the true attitude of mankind. This attitude of man becomes the motivating factor for progress.
    Man’s primary desire is to come out from his tragic life. However, he cannot completely get rid of these, because the challenges are routes to development and advancement that human being is naturally aspiring to attain. It is in human nature to look for a way to be free from the many challenges he’s facing in life. But then, no matter his efforts to free himself from the challenges of life, the challenges will remain. Human being can only come out from some of his problems, but never can he comes out from all. The struggle we make to come out from our problems often results in the creation of more problems for us. This nature of man makes every human being a “fighter”; a fighter with a strong desire to win. So long as these problems persist, human beings continue to live in fear; the fear of the problems of life. Since fear has long become one of the greatest problems for humans, it follows that the more serious challenge of man now is the struggle to overcome his fears.
    In the first part of the book, the concept of transhumanism, its historical framework, the aims, and the central ideology that drives it, the features and how different factors of fear would be created in the future through the aid of technology are the core areas we shall consider for discourses. The present world is already pregnant with futuristic tendency, ready to give birth to this transhumanistic society. Scientists have offered themselves as midwives that will offer a seeming successful delivery to this envisioned world. It is going to be an era where the natural phenomenon of human aging would be challenged, interrogated, and probed; thus, making for the possibility of putting an end to human aging (as some scientists envisioned). Scientists are working assiduously to change human history that is presently characterized by the reality of “life and death” and to transform it into an era where death would be a matter of choice, or as a result of negligence on the part of individuals living in the world. This envisioned world is believed, will usher in the longevity of life through artificial intelligence, robotic functionality, and other nanotechnology, and biotechnology measures. This curiously awaited world is coming with its unique fears and corresponding threats to the natural world order with its positive and negative consequences as it is already beginning to manifest.
    Assume that in the future one machine will do works that are presently done by one million people, what then would be the fate of these almost frustrated fellows? There are indications that a large number of people would be thrown out of the labour market. Suppose also that the phenomenon of aging would be eliminated; making it possible for people to leave for untold numbers of years, how will humanity survive the likely problem of overpopulation? What would be the possibility of human beings coping with the limited resources and the unending struggle for wealth acquisition; judging from the likely limited resources that would be eminent as the result of an increase in the population?
    The second part of the book introduces a new philosophy called fearism/fearology or philosophy of fear to explain how this new philosophical thought can be used in addressing the problems of fear in the future world. Here, we shall discuss the concept of fear in general. In my previous effort on fear studies called Philosophy of Fear, attempts were made to unravel what fear is, its scope, nature, types, and its impacts on human beings. The book hints that fear shouldn’t be seen as something that is always negative; that fear can be positive as well. With this new paradigm, fear is said to be categorized into two: The positive and the negative fear. Methods on how to manage fear and how negative fear can be overcome were the core messages of the book. In this second effort in our fear studies, attention is extended to knowing if fear is inherent in human beings or external to humans. If there can be fear without human beings. If other living beings can experience fear as men do. How useful are fear studies in the contemporary period and as it affects the shaping of the futuristic society? It is also our concern in this level of our fear studies to locate the most active abbot of fear and how the human mind is said to have the capacity to impose fear on objects other than humans. Over and above all, we shall learn the methods to be applied in addressing the problems of fear in the present and future worlds. It is hoped that if this effort will yield its expected result, the ability to control fear would be almost possible. This aspect of research on fear becomes imperative owing to the recent waves of interest on how the increasing level of fear in our societies which has almost become a norm can be curbed.
    The increase in global conflicts, terrorism, suicide killing, kidnapping, war, rumour of war, dwindling economic policies, unstable political system and policies, outbreaks of diseases with some of the viruses causing pandemic, high rate of corruption, nepotism, tribalism, racism, and religious intolerance are different signals of the alarming increase of fear factors in the present society.
    The methodologies of the fearological approach are provided in the last two chapters of the book. These scintillating methods are to be applied practically in our everyday life as a means to cope with the ambivalences of searching for comfort amid crisis in the years to come. It has also mapped out measures for the developing countries to adopt to become relevant in this new world.
    Though we haven’t gotten enough people globally that are taking fear study seriously, with the ideas that would be generating from the position of this book, and the ones we previously made, many people will come to know how important it is in engaging in fear studies, and the kind of result we shall get for doing so, especially now that the incidents of fear are increasing.
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Glad to let you all know my new book with B. Maria Kumar is just published. I'll write more about it later. 

https://www.xlibris.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/791530-resistances-to-fearlessness

 

BOOK DESCRIPTION

The current dominating worldview and its paradigms of operations are unhealthy and unsustainable. Ecological, economic, political and psychological health are at stake. As experts in a philosophy of fearism, they apply a critical perspective on the dominant Fear Paradigm as root cause of the global crises in the 21st century. They offer a worldview shift via the Fearlessness Paradigm. This is a second major book on this topic, of which the first was Fisher?s The World?s Fearlessness Teachings (2010). This follow-up book is deep, punchy and provocative. It points to the failure of the world to understand the spirit of fearlessness that has existed from the beginning of Life some four billion years ago. The authors, from diverse backgrounds, point to the resistances that work against the recognition and development of the natural ?gift? of fearlessness and the design of a Fearlessness Paradigm, both which can counter the abuses of the Fear Paradigm. With extensive research and philosophical thought, the authors dialogue in a fresh imaginative way to help readers and leaders in all walks of life to better understand what resistances they may have to escaping from what Fisher calls the ?Fear? Matrix.

Resist to FLSSNSS brochure.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Covers:               2021                                                                    2018 

I have spent the last 5-6 years studying and writing books on two critical adult educators, also motivational "coaches" and leaders of various endeavors with ethical and emancipatory importance. I'm aware of my energetic (voluntary) devotion as I look at these two books together. It is pretty clear that I am passionate about assessing the people who catch my eye as 'outstanding' human beings, and their ways of educating and promoting agendas that would be labeled by most people as "progressive." 

That said, there is no easy label or box to put either of these two living Americans (first Four Arrows, aka Wahinkpe Topa, aka Dr. Don Trent Jacobs; and second, Marianne Williamson) --although, they are both 'radicals' of some sort, even pariahs who stir things up and make many people uncomfortable with their teachings and critiques of society. My aim in these books was not always clear but I wanted to document their contribution, in part, as important historical figures of their time--and, who I believe will have still an ongoing impact of significance in the future. Most decidedly, I took them on as "subjects" of study, in what are books above that I would best categorize as intellectual biographies, because they have articulated a focus on the Fear Problem (as I call it). 

I'm just beginning now, after finishing a few months ago the Williamson book, the comparison and contrast of them and their transformative teaching approaches. Surely, they are both holistic, both spiritual, and so on... yet, I have critiques also all the way through each of these books. Not surprising, I am critical of their partial, and under-theorized, notions of the Fear Problem and its solutions. They certainly have "advanced" tracks they've laid down to work with fear but that falls short of my expectations and my own holistic-integral framing and fearanalysis. Yet, that's all part of the dialogue I wish to have with them and their followers, and their critics--that's what learning is all about. Unfortunately, at this time, Williamson has refused to engage me in conversation about this work. Four Arrows has been gracious and we are continuing to dialogue. 

I suspect in the near future I will do more writing on comparison and contrasts of their work and their personalities that influence their leadership in education generally--but also beyond that, as they are also prophetic voices in our day that have much wisdom to guide societies everywhere towards more sanity, health and sustainability (i.e., maturity of consciousness). They both are well aware the current civilizational trajectory is collapsing and extinction on mass scales is well underway. The future is precarious, to say the least. I encourage all to have a listen to their work. They are both readily available on the Internet sources as well in my books and articles. 

Re: my recent FearTalk #12 with Four Arrows, go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmyYqdyCtsU

Also, I just found this video image and link of Four Arrows back in his younger days and his work with horses (whispering):

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go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxzAm08731c 

 

 

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New Video (3 min.) "THE EARTH IS SUFFERING" - an Indigenous worldview perspective on our current crises and how we need to change, by Indigenous activist-educator, and ecophilosopher, Four Arrows (2021) (Wahinkpe Topa aka Dr. Don T. Jacobs), who is also an FM ning long-time member and a colleague of mine [1].

NOTE: at one point near the end, he offers one of the virtues (e.g., "with respect" and others in the film) as "fearless trust in Nature" 

End Note

1. see Fisher, R. M. (2018). Fearless engagement of Four Arrows: The true story of an Indigenous-based social transformer. Peter Lang. 

 

 

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 As Senior Ed., I'm proud to share with you all the latest issue of the journal Vol. 3 (1), with Guest Editors from India. They did a great job. So, check out the content @

https://prism.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/113246

 

NOTE: Submissions are now welcome for the next issue 3 (2) of the journal (deadline Aug. 1st or so)... no theme to the issue per se. I look forward to seeing your work. 

 

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SO OFTEN, when I mention the word "fearlessnessness" to anyone, and I suspect when they read my writing on it as well or hear my youtube videos, there is an instant pre-constructed conditioning in people in general that I come up 'against' as if it is a wall to mis-comprehension. 

What I am saying is that people tend to predominantly preconceive what "fearlessness" is about. They turn the encounter into a mere psychological phenonmenon. Fearlessness to them is something about no fear or without fear. They are ambivalent usually as well, about if that is a good or bad thing. To have people going around being 'fearless' is not always good, and in fact it may be pathological. Even if people don't say these things out loud to me, I read it and sense it and I also know the history of the discourses of bias in the Western world (where I live). But this is not what my FM blog is about today. 

I have given you an "image" I made from an art and healing visit to my parents grave. I've been there a few times this past week. The short of the longer story is, that everything I have learned about the "path of fearlessness" and/or "search for fearlessness" since I headed down this road less traveled in 1989, is that people (souls) are just not going to go very far in their 'freedom' to develop and mature--to reach into the zone of Fearlessness and access the Fearlessness Paradigm (i.e., FMS-7 +)... because they are too attached to their "family" dynamics as part of their conditioning within socialization and education processes. "Too attached" of course would now require a much more nuanced discussion than what I can provide here. 

I wanted to just indicate how my artist-self and my healing-self, if you will, are so much part of my ongoing fearwork and travel along the path of fearlessness. So, to go to this grave site, which I rarely have since my parents passed away... is an issue not about how many times I go, but what quality of encounter I enter into when I go and spend time in the place where they are buried. Doing art and ritual at the site on this occasion (see image of stone-rubbing above) was potent. I recently made a youtube teaching video on this experience going to many places geographically where I grew up in the city I live in now, because I felt I needed to do some healing and separation work from past unhealed memories. Some would say I am doing "forgiveness" work and "grief work" etc. Partially true, but I am doing so much more. I talk about that in the video. 

I'll leave you to linger perhaps with the image, and the process as you can imagine it of what I am confronting and integrating in this "death work" -- for that was a good deal of what I was absorbing for the three times I was in the cemetary and lingering and being amongst the 'dead'--all as part of death prompts (e.g., see Terror Management Theory). I was making myself experience the juxtapositioning of death/life and mortality/immortality. And, at this point, there's so much in my journaling and conversations with Barbara I have had around this work of art and the process. These are still incubating, so all I am doing here is writing a little about my processing work and how I encourage people to utilize the "arts" or what is better called the "artist's attitude" when involved in this kind of work and as involved with travel along the path of fearlessness. Truly, without an "artist's attitude" (which came to me early in life as a child/teen) the breakthroughs that I have made in philosophy, theorizing and education around the concept of "fearlessness" would likely not have been near as original and fresh as they are--at least, for the most part. To be a good critical philosopher or therapist or teacher etc., just like to be a good deep learner, requires this artistic sensibility and aesthetic development. And, with all that it requires a "separation" from family and social conditioning. Once one has really separated (if not "divorced") the social-self embeddness in the 'Fear' Matrix, then I have seen truly people transform, not just shift the furniture around in their house over and over. Most people cannot 'stomach' true separation from the social-family matrix (of the 'Fear' projection)... as the way... they cannot face into that "death" fully, as they cannot face into their parent's death fully. But, I won't go there... 

I'm open to discussing this more if anyone asks me, so make Comments here if you like. 

I'll close with the ARTIST'S ATTITUDE notion with an old quote from Thomas Mann in Rollo May's book in 1985: 

[Mann wrote] "The new humanity will be universal, and it will have the artist's attitude; that is, it will recognize that the immense value of beauty of the human being lies precisely in the fact that [s]he belongs to the two kingdoms of nature and the spirit." 

And to William Blake, along this same line: 

"Not to be an artist is to betray one's own nature." (cited in Matthew Fox, 1979) 

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References

May, R. (1985). My quest for beauty. Saybrook Institute. 

Fox, M. (1979). A spirituality named compassion and the healing of the global village, Humpty Dumpty and us. Winston Press. 

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NOTE: in title of this blog I surprised myself by writing "artist in search for fearlessness" -- usually I write "in search of fearlessness" -- and, with even a brief reflection, I think this slight shift is really something worth considering. I rather prefer the claim of "in search for fearlessness" at this point of my journey. Your thoughts? 

 

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The spiritual teacher, political activist and cultural (r)evolutionary [1] Marianne Williamson recently interviews human rights lawyer Steven Donziger, who has been for over 20 yrs fighting the battle for the Ecuadorian farmers and tribal peoples of the Amazonian Basin in S. America. I highly recommend this interview not only to show two outstanding citizens in dialogue, without hatred, but with firm analysis and righteous indignation as they point out in some detail how the guts of the American judiciary branch of justice is being systematically undermined by the courts and corporatist (money/powers) of the oil industry (i.e., Texaco now bought by Chevron). The corporations, with their huge lawyer teams, belive they can out-smart and finesse their way out of their own debts to the Ecuadorian people and ecosystems, which are in law they are to pay for the damages they did back several decades ago in malpractice of their oil drilling operations. 

The importance of what Donziger, now under "house arrest" in what is likely an illegal (certainly unjust) set of circumstances in New York courts, backed by Chevron's legal team, cannot be underestimated. I particularly am impressed overall how Williamson with her use of her large following of fans and supporters, is keeping the battle going even if she is not a "politician" per se. She is showing everyone how to be a political leader in and out of the mess and corruption of so much of politics and the law these days. Of course, corruption is nothing new. This case is exemplar as to what the justice systems, law itself, has to confront with the newest maneuverings of gross injustices by legal firms and corporations ('big oil' in this case). The latter are bent on intimidating, if not destroying, human rights lawyers in general--and could just as well be investigative journalists, etc. who are out to expose the truths of the worst crimes against humanity and the earth's ecosystems at-large. Williamson has found her broadcast medium through her podcasts [2] and her independent type of journalistic-work. It is not something to be dismissed of what she is capable of, and of which I would argue makes her one of the most important adult educators and (r)evolutionary leaders of the Fearlessness Movement today. 

Williamson offers several direct actions for solutions to the Donziger case, and makes it clear that even if things go in the worst way with his charges and trial on May 10th, 2021, that he will not be forgotten in his heroic efforts to bring to justice these corporate-legal entities that believe they can operate and profit from destroying the lives of lawyers as the 'weak link' when they have been shown to be guilty already in the Ecuadorian Court going back to the 2011 judgement, which Williamson speaks about with Donziger in this recent interview. Consider helping out in anyway you can. And, finally it is worth noting that although the two of them have never met, other than online, after Williamson initiated the first talk with him (this being the 2nd one)--Donziger makes his clear endorsement of Williamson that is worth writing down and reading. He says at the end, unsolicited: 

"Thank you Marianne for your leadership in our society. Your positive vision, you're an awesome person. I've watched you from afar [including during her 2020 election bid for leadership of the Democratic Party]... I just salute you for having the visiion that you do to better our society." 

In my mind, a toxic fearism, as I call it, has been the underbelly of all kinds of terrorism. Now that fearism is working its way into law big time, with corporatism and its worst sides giving us all a picture of how it will intimidate and destroy human rights lawyers, ignore the charges against it, and use money-power-law-politics to be the weapons for its own survival, meanwhile willing to destroy peoples and the ecological systems of this planet in their own selfishness. It is their deep fear/terror that they will lose control of their domination (Oil Empire)--and indeed, that battle still remains. We do have to recognize that "fighting" such sickness as we see in this case of Chevron and their law teams and the judges involved, that it is fear-based. That means it is wound-based. The way to fight them all has to be done with a good critical analysis of fearism not merely claims of injustice and crime etc. That latter concepts will not be sufficient [3] in the long run if we truly want to 'set everyone free,' even the oppressors, the criminals, those who exploit others. Everyone deserves to 'pay the price' when they are responsible for damages proven in courts. And, everyone deserves to be restored and supported to heal and transform.  

 

 

Notes

1. I have outlined in great detail her role in Fisher, R. M. (2021). The Marianne Williamson Phenomenon: Cultural (R)Evolution for a Dangerous Time. Peter Lang. 

2. Go to: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/marianne-williamson-podcast-conversations-that-matter/id1536043190 

3. The holistic-integral arguments within the framework of a philosophy of fearism (as distinct from fearist-t in its toxic form), have been given in the book: Fisher, R. M., Subba, D. & Kumar, B. M. (2018). Fear, Law and Criminology: Critical Issues in Applying the Philosophy of Fearism. Xlibris. 

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The "DIRECTION" to head in... is all important, if we want to liberate ourselves and truly re-build a healthy, sane and sustainable world (and Education System)... 

When you get to be my age (69), and having thought critically about "Education" as a field and as a "project" overall on this planet (for nearly 50 yrs), and in terms of how to analyze it and improve it, this is what happens at 6 am in the morning when I awoke and had the idea kernel "I DON'T WANT TO..." on my mind as the center piece of this map and then I began to sort territories ("Positive Description") on the Left and sort of a 'middle-ground' then "Negative Description") on the Right. As an educator, designer of curriculum and pedagogy, I tend to near completely side to the Negative philosophical orientation in terms of how to best approach "Education" and deconstruct it and then reconstruct it (moving more to the Positive philosophy eventually.

The direction of going to the Left and then the Right is precisely what I call an "Integral Turn" --and, in no way is that direction of flow only about "politics" (and parties, etc.). I am rather quite non-partisan in that sense, but what really comes through in the mapping is that I am "existentialist" in orientation and "conflict theorist" in orientation primarily, but I also don't see that one-side is all right (Good) and one side is all wrong (Bad)--mostly, I'm concerned as a critic that the left-side of the "Positive" (Virtues) side is a huge cover-up these days for some of the worst 'evil' going on--and, of course, those who are on that "Positive" side want to make us all thing they are virtuous, good, correct, and the only way to go. They tend to loathe the analysis and offerings of the 'other' side (the right-side). 

So, if you look within the map you'll also see LOVE, FEAR, and FEARLESSNESS ... as my own special area of interest in how that trialectic operates [1], although, that's a much more complex 'story' than this 'map' (theory) above can show in nuance. Oh, and the abbreviations that came out in orange circles, they are at the crux of my counter-education theorizing and curricular (r)evolutionizing:  CME - conflict management/education (my invention), TMT - terror management theory (not my own invention), and FME -fear management/education (my invention). Other abbrev. worth noting: COC - culture of conflict and COF - culture of fear. The red ink "Contemplation" is there because of my reading a colleague, an educator, on "meditative inquiry" in research/education and the foregrounding there of contemplation in education--or spirituality in education. And, this spurred me on to think about my view of that initiative and so I woke up in the morning due to this prompting to situate "contemplation" and problematized it as well.  

I am in color highlighter very intrigued with "Fear of Loss" (aka "Death") at the center along with my original idea-kernel of "I DON'T WANT TO..." and I am pretty certain now that strategically this is the focal pivotal point for any real educational transformation that will be emancipatory. If we educators miss this...well, the consequences of our current direction of global crisis/collapse will continue unabated. I have no doubt we are already in the Anthropocene era of collapse of all systems, and much destruction will be inevitable (aka death will be inevitable)--and it will continue for many years if not decades. The world will never be the same. However, in that collapse we have all the real potential of making these shifts that I have indicated in the mapping. I believe the whole process going on is best looked at as "sacred correction" (call it self-system regulation or healing, or whatever)--we can get through this as a collective of living organisms and putting all our intelligences together integrally--but IF humanism tries again to rule, using technologism and scientific arrogance alone--we'll likely do ourselves in and sufficiently destroy the carrying capacity for most Life on this planet for millenium. 

Just some bright and not so bright words from the unconscious to the conscious of the morning air and light... let's breath, create and grow in 'a good way' (a fearlessness way). 

Note

1. Fisher, R. M. (2017). Radical love—is it radical enough? International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 8(1), 261-81.

 

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IN a recent interview (Mar. 12, 2020)... I heard this 80+ year old man, scientist, environmental activist, say some really important things. As powerful as he has been in his career (e.g., The Nature of Things, and The David Suzuki Foundation)--helping bring science to education and political policy, etc., he told CBC interviewer Anna Marie Tremonti [1] that he's always been controlled during his career as a scientist and as host of the show and a dignitary of a foundation, etc... THAT "I've been constrained" by those who run those organizations and programs, as they would tell him "...'oh, you can't say that'...you have to couch everything, with 'oh, well, there's this hope...there's this opportunity' and people have never really confronted the reality...seriously enough...", he said. 

Now as an elder not under anyone's thumb and their fear that the consequences of him speaking the truth would have been not politically correct, or pissed off funders, etc., David is coming out full blast these days and saying what now fear has controlled in him and others. Some of his truths he spoke in this interview: 

- we have less than 10 years to 'turn around' total chaos (e.g., with global warming, climate change, migrations and economy collapsing etc.)

- we have to get beyond sugar-coating and hope-mongering strategies and get to the raw 'truth' and don't wait for politicians to act on it "it's going to be too late" when they actually do some really big things to help

- "We just have no idea what is coming" and current hope in "geo-engineering" and "science" solutions are going to really make things even worse 

- "This the great fear I have. We're at a point where we have a very limited amoutn of time, in which we can actually do something to prevent total chaos." 

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The whole point of my blogs on fear and politics of late, is to also speak as an elder (albeit, only age 69)--there is no use anymore to hold back and sugar-coat reality, and yes, the facts of science included--and, yes, there is FEAR controlling almost everything in this world and the ways we 'talk about problems and crises' on a global scale--and, politically, etc. This is going to really be our downfall, and rather soon... as Suzuki, like myself and many others are saying ... I have always promoted FEARLESSNESS over HOPE... because things are that serious. 

Note

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOnUW-3EQ2w

 

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I have for decades attempted to educate the general public about fear. The other side of my work is to educate their leaders. Specficially I want to share an example of how to educate politicians. 

Politics and Political Sphere

First, let me state that I have my issues with the whole political system of institutionalized "politics"--that is one thing. Yet, I have made a distinction that "politics" as institutionalized is only 1/2 of what democratic practice is about. The other 1/2 where I hang out the most is what I call the "political sphere." The latter is what we all are involved in as citizens and no politics or politician who earns their livelihood from politics ought to ever dominate the political sphere. Nowadays, the later is often talked about, in part, as "cultural politics." But that's another topic. 

How To Educate a Politician

I am not one to try to constantly put down people who become politicians. I could equally say, I am not one to put down people who become physicians, ministers, or school teachers, police officers, etc. They are people pursuing a career. I respect them as people first and foremost, even if I disagree vehemently with their practices and the system they belong to. I once, long ago, was a professional school teacher. I know that for many good teachers they will eventually become corrupted by the System of the State and Education as an institutions. Not all of the best professionals will leave the System. I did after two years. 

This blog is not about that decision to stay in or leave the institutions, that has ethical implications of course. I would ask anyone who is a politician to do the best you can and be as ethical as possible in an imperfect system they work in. And, by imperfect, unfortunately, there is an edge which is crossed often in which the System is actually oppressive. Now, if the System will admit it is oppressive, then I have sympathy. If it is in denial, then I have little sympathy for its justifications and rationale and its continuance to practice oppression of one kind or another. That's when I will go after such institutions as an activist-educator. 

I have learned how slow and hard it is to change a System that remains in denial. Sometimes one can have small positive inputs that someone inside the System listens to, but mostly they are defensive to hearing anything about their oppressive aspects as a System. 'They are bought and sold' into keeping the operation going, no matter what. That's a crude way of putting it. I also have seen and know that still 'good people' are inside those systems, even if sometimes in small numbers. Some do see the corruption and want to change it from the inside. I respect that. 

So, to be short here, I'll share a recent experience of a simple way to make the fearlessness voice heard and how to challenge the System, and its leaders (e.g., politicians) to not fall prey to fear-based ways of perceiving, thinking, strategizing and doing their job. I know that's a high calling. There's no other option however, from the Fearlessness Paradigm perspective (which is arguably the only sane way to proceed). I listened with my partner to a live government debate in Alberta on coal-strip mining where the leader of the opposition party (Rachel Notley) made a first case for a private members bill to a committee. If the bill would pass that committee it could go to the larger legislature and have a hearing and vote there. The bill would stop all current exploration and new lease developments that have to do with coal strip mining in the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains in our province. I'm all for that. However, in the debates I noticed something and decided to write it up as a Letter to the Editor in the local newspaper and also sent to Rachel Notley office. Here's what I wrote for public media, as that's one way to get a much larger audience (if the newspaper publishes it of course): 

ALBERTA EAST SLOPES TALK: POLITICIANS CARBONOPHOBIC

Congratulations to all who made private member bill (petitioned by Rachel Notley) of April 13 get through the first committee so that it can go to a full hearing and vote in the legislature. After watching the live performance of the debate on how best to protect the Alberta East Slopes from coal mining especially, I couldn't help but be saddened hearing the politicians reasons to slow and/or stop new coal mining permits. Even Notley and the NDP members who spoke to this bill were afraid to toalk about rationale in terms of transitioning out of a non-renewable economy, Global Warming, responsibility to worldwide Carbon Budgets and fulfilling a commitment to future sanity for our children's sake. No, what we heard was carbonophobic small-talk rational all about Albertans. I love the East Slopes too, but we have to face our fears folks; or we'll be tweaking our society and economic policies while the floor of the building crumbles. Global Warming is real. Notley should know better.   -R. Michael Fisher, Calgary

[note: Apr. 15th this was published, albeit gutted and words changed in places without my permission: go to: https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/letters/your-letters-for-april-15-2]

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So, in a very short missive like this, our job as fearworkers of the Fearlessness Movement is (at least) to carefully observe and point out (without shaming people and damning their character and careers) when fear is ruling in their work and practices and thinking. I found a way to do that in this instance. It is not that I think my example above is flawless either. I was writing specifically for a newspaper. I know Editors of said newspapers typically don't take articles unless they have some emotional juices and so I wrote more emotionally than I typically prefer to. It's a compromise to some extent. 

I encourage you all on the FM ning to point out fear-based ways wherever you see them and let's help educate and support our leaders (especially politicians) to change and re-think about how they engage and (mis-)use fear in their jobs. 

 

 

 

 

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(excerpt from Fisher (2010, p. 167)  [1]

NOTE: I thought to share with you this morning one page from my book on the world's fearlessness teachings. The focus of what I'm writing about is how various traditions, movements, and paradigms have appeared in the world literature, across disciplines, cultures, and history--and, how one can find within that vast literature themes of polar opposites that are set up as "two" major ways to organize reality, motivation and how one lives their life. The typical architecture of these bi-centric paradigms is obvious in the above four samples... I have found at least 15 such paradigms out there to draw-upon. The left hand of each paradigm is the "positive" one that is to be strived for, according to all these traditions and their authors (or many authors in some cases). The right hand of each is the "negative" (if not pathological). 

I have argued in Fisher (2010) that because there is such diversity but universal structure to these, and when I read and study them, it appears some kind of universal truth (if not wisdom) is lurking in these paradigm offerings-- 'go this way, and not that way.' Like commandments almost. But of course, the notion of a "paradigm" is much more complex than a simple binary. This would lead me to talk about complexities of all these if you are interested. Point being, in this 2010 book I was articulating these and sorting them to show that it is arguable, they are all forms of manifestation of the "spirit of fearlessness" --or what I have also labeled the "Fearlessness Tradition (Movement)"--and, yes, this very FM ning is based on this interest. 

NOTES

1. Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world's fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear/management education for the 21st century. University Press of America/Rowman & Littlefield. 

 

 

 

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Outstanding (Left) American Journalist & Political Pundit (2021)

Chris Hedges

In a recent interview Chris Hedges declared with total confidence, based on all his years of following political revolutions around the world, that only a politics of fear is the solution to the current oppression by the governmental/corporate/military eltes... and, in particular he talks now a lot about the situation in America. 

His exact phrasing for this, and it is one I have heard before from Leftist revolutionaries and Rightists as well... boils down to their own political philosophies of change and reform. Hedges said in this interview that "POLITICS IS A GAME OF FEAR" -- and he implied overtly that anyone who doesn't think this is true is deluded. And, he would also more or less say, anyone who thinks they can over-turn the corruption of governments like in the USA, and thinks they can do that without 'weaponizing fear'... well, he would conclude they are naive and mistaken. Worse, he would argue, that such people who do not see or wish to play this "game of fear" --and using fear to bring down the elites in the Capitol... well, then they are people who add to the problem of the oppressed and are not liberators at all. By the way: near 40,000 people have listened to this interview with Hedges and I'm wondering if all of them are attracted to Hedges as fans because he promotes 'weaponizing fear' --another form of fearmongering(?) Now, that really has me concerned if that is the case. I think it will lead to dangerous consequences on many levels if it carries out into a Fear War. And, it quite likely can--as such a war is already well going on but it could inflate and become much worse and very soon as the crises of 'the people' grow in desperation with the pandemic and all the other economic problems (especially, in the USA right now). 

Of course, because I am a supporter, philosopher and political-educational activist myself, and one who is not in agreement with 'weaponizing fear' for any systematic or ideological reason, no matter how it is justified--there is a huge "clash" here between Hedges and myself. I could elaborate that more, if you folks on the FM ning want to explore it. I'd also be interested to hear your views here, so make Comments on this blog if this interests you. 

My challenge is to all those who think, write, philosophize about fear(ism) and fearlessness--trully, we have to come to clarify our political philosophies and positions--from the theoretical to the practice, to the critical praxis of being citizens in the world today. Is there any justification ethically, politically, etc. for 'weaponizing fear' and just playing the game of fear as Hedges says we must. He is declaring a revolution that scares the leadership of governments and their allies 'out of power'--and, the longer we wait, he would say, we are then only in commission with that corrupt power and we are aiding and abetting the suffering of the oppressed everywhere. It's quite the challenge and I applaud Hedges and always have for decades, for his courage to speak as he does 'truth to power.' The deeper issue however, cannot be dismissed, and that's the issue--many issues, about how do we theorize the nature and role of fear in this challenge of political revolution? 

As you may or may not know, I have taken up this American political scenario of cultural (r)evolution very seriously in the last two years with my research and writing a book on Marianne Williamson, who ran a failed campaign as a 'new' revolutionary leader of the Democratic Party--and, who if successful, could have been President of the U.S.A. right now. That was a very close --relatively close-- arising of a totally new spirit of fearlessness in politics like I have never seen in my life in North America. (see my FM blog on Marianne Williamson and my new book). She is definitely closely moving along the political spectrum like Chris Hedges, but they also have a "clash" and go quite different ways. We as citizens, would do well, to educate ourselves around such political leadership--and, these to political intelligentsia and pundits are very interesting in my opinion. 

 

 

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