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Political Fearism                                                                                                                                                                 -                                                                        

 4284028392?profile=RESIZE_710x"Father of political science Thomas Hobbes and fear were born twins, they lived together and died together." 

"A man is by birth rational and fearful animal, life is process of fearless."

 After reading a quote of Hobbes, I started to think his philosophy in fearism perspective. I have given its name Fearolotical (Fear+Political=Fearolotical). Simple logic behind it is; fear precedes politic.

Character of the state of nature is Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, short, no preservation, war, threatening, warning, danger, death, killing, violence, insecure=fear 

Character of the state of sovereignty is government, institution, power, court, law, justice, prison, punishment, command, authority, order, preservation, force=fearless 


.A man, government, or institution starts when switch on (fear on). Appearance of fear is a silent in Hobbes's entire philosophy, not visible but active like under eraser of Derrida. He says, "Liberty is in silence of law ". (Hobbes146) I say, "Law wakes up; when fear rings bell.-" Fear is gravity and motion, fear (>) is greater than (<) other emotions. It can be scientific and mathematically explained because Hobbes preferred scientific presentation. So, our motions (life) move towards fearless. In below  images, fear and fearless activities are motion of fear-gravity. The state of nature was between two fears as sandwich (before coinage and after avoiding).
 

Political philosophy (Fear+Political=Fearolotical) philosophy can be understood exclusively (Hobbes) of Thomas Hobbes was born because of fear (state of nature and civil war of England). According to him, the nature of man was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short (Hobbes 83-84). His famous quotation was he was born twins with fear. He was not only born twins with fear; he was lived with fear and died with fear. He had preferred absolute monarchy; it was his best system to preserve live. Core part of whole philosophy is in the heart of preservation. Again, preservation can be defined as binary of fear. It means he had feared all the time. No preservation, war, threatening, warning, danger, death, killing, violence, and insecure were to fear. In the state of nature man had special character that was rational. Using his distinct attribute, he avoided the state of nature. 

Preservation, protection and secure was his priority. We can read it starting to the end of The Leviathan. It looks common for all the people; as a Fearism author, I look everything; life to cosmos in Fearism perspective.

It is obvious that since the beginning of his life, fear had great role. Prior to the civil war of England, he guessed that the situation was worsening. It was the Fear of unknown happening, thus he left England and lived in Paris. Though in Paris; fear was chasing him all the way of his life. It couldn't detach from body, it was the shadow of life. He was looking external solution, but it was dwelled within him. 

He exiled himself in 1640 and wrote the Leviathan when he was in Paris. He thought, the accident of Socrates might repeat to him. Same phenomena were happened to Aristotle 323 B. C. such chaotic and fearful situation played major role in his thinking. Hobbes applied fearful life, and environmental fact in fearolotical philosophy to draw people's attention. He wanted to make scientific laws like law of gravity and motion. Law of gravity is the law of fear. How much magnetic power fear had; nothing had in comparison to fear. Every compass of life was attracted by fear (magnetic fear). Omitting the fear from the state; state would be paralyzed. It proves that state of gravity was the fear. Fear had the powerful magnetic and hypnotized power. One needle of fear was towards him and he wanted to turn out that needle to the political direction. His political direction was the political science. This political science is what I called 'Fearoloticalogy'. 

A man used his reason to avoid the state of nature. He explored and found the law of divine and law of man. He mixed up both and developed political science. In the round figure, political theory of Hobbes is a theory of fear and fearless. It is an image of his state and he writes about state as: 4284497718?profile=RESIZE_710x

  1. The old poet said that the gods were at first created by human fear :( Hobbes 72)

 -"The gods were at first created by human fear. "The old poet is very true. In philosophy of  Fearism (2014) I have written god is a fear. In the state of nature, there was nothing except fears of starvation, animals, and natural powers. These calamities were risk of life. So, they started to worship them as a god. After many years, people began to fear with them, which they established.                                                                                                           

 A man, who looks too far before him, in the care of future time, hath his heart all day long, gnawed on by fear of death, poverty, or other calamity; and has no repose, nor pause of his anxiety, but in sleep.(ibid 72)

 -Fear of death, evil, poverty, or other calamity is the bottom line of a man. For being that there be caused of all things that have arrived hitherto or shall arrive hereafter; are cause of fears.

 Hereby it is manifested, that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, and they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man against every man. (ibid 83-84)

 -"They were in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man against every man." It is famous dictum of Hobbes in 17th century; it is very practical hitherto now. It was that time men lived without a common power to keep them all in awe. In normal condition, we seek friends, relatives, when abnormal situation appears, all goes to deem and self – preservation comes forward. It happens when food becomes shortage like shortage of mask and sanitizer nowadays. In the state of nature, nobody had food store. It was the reason; war was  against of every man. In the fearism it is written, man has stronger war than dog that fights for the bone. Man's fear struggle is more danger than animal because man can use rational, nepotism, bribes, conspiracy, flatter and force. 

4284522799?profile=RESIZE_710xTHE RIGHT OF NATURE, which writers commonly call just naturale, is the liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature; that is to say, of his own life, and consequently, of doing anything, which in his own judgment, and reason, he shall conceive to be the aptest means thereunto. (ibid 86)

 -For the preservation the right of nature of a man; that is to say, of his own life; and consequence.

 A LAW OF NATURE, (lex naturalis) is a percept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do, that, which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the same; and to omit, that, by which he thinketh it may be best preserved. (ibid 86)

 -A law of nature, which is forbidden to do, that, which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the same, so he wanted to avoid it because he didn't see any preservation there. Omit, that, by which he thought it may be best preserved. It was the thinking of Hobbes.

 The mutual transferring of right is that which men call CONTRACT. ((ibid 89)

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 -At last the nature of state reached to the position of  CONTRACT. It was the mutual transferring of right to save the life. According to Hobbes, the best solution and option to exit from the solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short was contract.

 Good and evil, are names that signify our appetites, and aversions. (ibid 105)

 -Appetites, and aversions is also famous dictum of Hobbes. Appetite was the prime reason of war. Limited food couldn't fulfill the appetite, to find more; needed to invade others. No one could sit silent; their appetite didn't let a man sit in rest and peace because if it didn't fulfill, chances would be to lose the life. Increasing appetite was the caused to make enemies. A man was always sandwich between fear of being hungry and fear of enemy. How to do the best to preserve life? It was the final cause. Aversion was secondary action. If a man didn't like or fear, he had a way of aversion. In some case, a fear chases a man.

 If they think good, to a monarch, as absolutely, as to any other representative. (ibid 123)

 -In concept of Hobbes; he mentioned absolute monarch is the best political system. Absolute monarch can secure life better way than assemble.

 And thus I have brought to end my Discourse of Civil and Ecclesiastical Government, occasioned by the disorders of the present time, without partiality, without application, and without order design than to set before man's eyes the mutual relation between protection and obedience; of which the condition of human nature, and the law of divine, (both natural and positive) require an inviolable observation. (ibid475)4284544948?profile=RESIZE_710x

 -At the end Hobbes in his Fearolotical philosophy; Discourse of Civil and Ecclesiastical Government, he focused in the mutual relation between protection and obedience. Base of his state was the protection; it was in first priority. Outstanding were supportive to the protection.

Conclusion

It shows that man abandoned the state of nature because of many problems and fears. He made social contract, in the contract; it is doctrine that; sovereignty may be assembly, absolute monarchy and institution. To sovereignty, through the contract, he gave all his natural right except self – preservation. In the state of nature, self-preservation was in danger; so, he left it. If preservation was danger in state, he could revolt against the government because this right was not handed over to the state. At any cost and at any means preservation was the most important. If no life everything would be useless. To avoid the fear of the state of nature; he created artificial social contract and handed over to absolutely power (monarchy, government and commonwealth).Entire political philosophy of Hobbes wandered around the hide and seek of fear and fearless. Not only his theory; theory of John Locke, J.J. Rousseau, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Karl Marx is also in the periphery of fear, but it is veil. A man is by birth rational and fearful animal. For  any kinds of contract there was a hidden fear. The state of nature was the state of fear for a man because a man was by birth rational and fearful. He had a great war against his fears rather than his enemy. A man lived with external and internal fears; he had war against his fears all the time. It was known as fear struggle in the history of fearism.

 What was the incident Hobbes wanted to avoid the state of nature, pin point was fear. Cruel civil war he faced and it stroke him. He has taken the state of nature as its backbone. His state of nature is hard liner, Locke softer and the Rousseau the softest. After reading him and sharing experience, we can say, a man by birth is fearful animal and life is the process of fearless. Political Fearism is a faculty of Philosophy of Fearism.

He has long reference about Bible and explanation in the last chapters. His advocating was the absolute monarchy. He had good relationship with royal families. Hobbes was against power division. He argued share power means share punishment, reward and law. It developed powerless sovereignty. As consequence; it could beget unhealthy society. He followed the absolute power system of God. God never shared his power that was the reason; everyone followed him because everyone got terrified with him. One point was mismatching; in the kingdom of a man, people can revolt the government if danger comes for the preservation but it was impossible in the kingdom of the God.

 It is an example article of Rephilosophy. In Philosophy of Fearism (2014), I have used Dephilosophy; now using Rephilosophy. Dephilosophy needs to deconstruct first but in rephilosophy, it doesn't require. It can be directly rephilosophy means rethink or reanalyze.

 (I have taken reference from book of Thomas Hobbes the Leviathan. In the article I have shown the fearism effect on his political theory and invisible fear was the important to invent political science.)4284650814?profile=RESIZE_710x

This article is edited by David Nwaobi, Osinakachi Akuma Kalu and Bhawani Shankar Adhikary.

Reference

  1. Thomas Hobbes Leviathan Oxford World's Classics Edited with an introduction and noted by J.C.A.Gaskin1996 (Mostly I have taken reference from it.)
  2. DeshSubba, Philosophy of Fearism (2014)  Xlibris
  3. https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/existence-of-fear-precedes-essence-desh-subba
  4. https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/knowledge-is-fear-existence-of-fear-precedes-power-is-death-of-fe
  5. https://prism.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/111138
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxEZukcNidM 
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Excerpt p. 245, from Fisher, R. M. (2010). The World's Fearlessness Teachings: A Critical Integral Approach to Fear Management/Education for the 21st Century. Lanham, MD.: University Press of America/Rowman & Littlefield. 

The above last chapter of that book, now 10 years old, is still my foremost vision and purpose in everything I do. 

 

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Quarantine Quiz 1: Fear Management Systems

During this rather global "lock down" to slow the spread of coronavirus, I have been producing some 21st century-appropriate, crisis-learning appropriate, fearlessness curriculum materials for your study (and perhaps, pleasure) in any extra time you and your friends may have on your 'home-time' for the next weeks... 

1. see my two short teaching videos setting a context for this crisis transition time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpIhhZYPlv8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PApUkTl5x-k

2. to stay critical in one's empowered self and thinking always in crisis times to avoid unconscious hypnotic learning see my brief sample of critique 

    https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/my-critique-of-desterno-s-coronavirus-advice

3. most exciting (ha ha)... see the diagram attached below that is a skeletal 'map' of my Fear Management Systems Theory (FMST) taken from my main teaching textbook The World's Fearlessness Teachings: A Critical Integral Approach to Fear Management/Education in the 21st Century (2010). As I know several of you have this book, and it is also (in part) available to search online https://www.amazon.ca/Worlds-Fearlessness-Teachings-Management-Education-ebook/dp/B009R6GES0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=%22World%27s+Fearlessness+Teachings%22&qid=1584459018&s=books&sr=1-1

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Your Quiz 1 is to take time to study this map (and research in the book itself) and answer these two basic questions as best you can: 

A. What is the predominating kind of FMS (Fear Management System), according to my theory, that is operating today all over the world regarding the management of fear (I am especially thinking of the so-called First World developed nations)? [hint: numbers 0 to 9 on the map are labels for the FMSs)

B. Give a rationale (why) for your selection for predominant FMS utilized generally (and, what is the second most predominant one as well, and give your rationale)? 

 

 

Okay, have fun, and post your answers up on the FM ning... and/or send to me directly r.michaelfisher52 [at] gmail.com 

Also feel free to ask more questions of me and all others in our FM ning community. 

Take care, and keep learning... 

-M.  

 

 

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So there are many issues I am critical of when any Authority assigns itself to "protect" the people (often, meaning, protect the State power/authority/order): it is political as well as a psychological situation re: our health as citizens. Long ago researchers have shown that "shock doctrine" policies and "crisis" politics is a big power/business construction that is manipulative of people, mainly by using their fear and inserting (more or less) forms of authoritarian propaganda to add to the hypnosis of the moment when people are scared/terrified etc. There is basically a danger of transgressing (excessively) human rights in these situations of declared "emergency state" or "pandemic" etc. See one author who has snooped this out already around the coronavirus... https://nationalpost.com/opinion/marni-soupcoff-outbreaks-are-not-an-excuse-to-trample-on-our-rights.

As critical citizens, we have to be questioning of all Authority, no matter in what situation. One doesn't have to be a conspiracy theorist but one has to be vigilant to oppression that is subtle and systemic--and has been historically used against people's freedoms. For more background on mis-uses of "emergency time" constructions by Authorities and repercussions, see the great book by critical pedagogy Henry A. Giroux (2003). "The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear" (NY: Palgrave/Macmillan). 

 

 

 

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Based on a subversive graphic novel, this sci-fi futuristic film noir (2006 (c) Warner Bros.); screen play by The Wachowski Bros. (of The Matrix film trilogy 1999-2003) is well worth a watch in the next days ahead. Barbara and I took it out the other night, and the analogies and metaphors and 'story' are so connected to what happens to a nation and culture that has come to be ruled (and infected) by a fear virus-- in our case now, novel Coronavirus and the 'spin' of fear contagion that is shutting down rapidly all parts of societies everywhere. The implications of the "shut down" or "lock down" security regime have to be investigated (and resisted)--because this is political as much as it is a biological phenomenon. Watch this movie V for Vendetta... and start talking it up. There are so many excellent quotes on fear (and fear mangement) in this film, including a wonderful section on "transformation" of Evey, the female protagonist--as she comes to fearlessness out of a life of unhealed wounds and fear-based living in a 'Fear' Matrix. There's also a sub-narrative of an "experiment" re: a virus... okay, I won't spoil this further.  -enjoy, -M. 

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Above photo: x-Democratic candidate for 2020 US President, Marianne Williamson

I suppose every great leader, under pressure, under fear, and with corruption of "power" and "privilege" and media attention and ... you name it, their own personal pathologies, is eventually to show their weaknesses, contradictions and inconsistencies--and Fall. A great critique by Rob Asghar (2020) just came out in Forbes Magazine in which he tells of his experience being a 'student' of Williamson's since the late 1980s--where he really found she helped a lot of people with her preaching of "love and healing" --but since she went into politics, over time (since 2013 forward)--and now in 2020 when she is backing Bernie Sanders for nominee leadership--it seems she is quickly losing integrity, consistency, dignity--with what she preached all those years and even during her 2020 campaign. Arguably, she's become a disheveled self-justified angry political activist like most all the rest, in what seems a "political radicalism, overlaid with the veneer of her familiar words about love and healing," writes Asghar, greatly disappointed in how she is more interested in political theatre and "political street brawler" --and "political rage." 

As I have researched my book for over a year now on MW's career and political path, it is obvious she would defend herself, as would her acolytes, and say this is the spirit of love, of being a mother, and you're damn rights I am angry, etc. No one is going to put my voice down, and especially because I am a woman. If a man had anger in politics like I do, no one would criticize them and so on... she would have a clever and resonable response to all the critiques I am sure. And some partial truths are within her defenses I am sure. I would defend her too if I thought the critics were way off the mark and/or being prejudice against her as a spiritual teacher or woman, or mother, or political player. She deserves full credit for her leadership and move onto the big American political stage. However, no other candidates, man or woman or trans, or whatever has come out onto that political stage with the same gusto idealism of a "politics of love" as the only way to beat Donald Trump and turn the nation around to a healthier way. ONLY Marianne Williamson has done so because of her spiritual beliefs and philosophy. I wrote a short FM ning blog on her as an amazing emancipatory leader--a Love person--really preaching and politiking to make the world a better place and putting Fear vs. Love to the top of her agenda. Wow. 

But when a Love Goddess, which she has been called, and which she talks about women empowered need to be, in her 1993 book on women, etc... there is a big disconnect for many--including myself--when I see her turn into victimhood politics as she has especially run the course of in the last three weeks or more... especially since she dropped out of the campaign in Jan. 10, 2020. It is like once she dropped the veneer and mantle of a "President" image for the people... she became that adolescent-like street fighter that Ashgar critiques--and, I suspect many others will see through the duplicity of her Presidential image and now, her fighting to win, full of her own partisanship and divisiveness amongst the candidates. You can do your own research on her and how she is so divisive and thinks this is 'fun' or something. It really hurts her and her reputation as Ashgar says, and it shows me the veneer of Love and anyone who puts Love into ideology (politics) as the answer to everything--and starts to lose it and show they are under pressure and fear just as susceptible to anyone to drop several levels of consciousness in their actions--the world of politics will do that. I could name also the great leader Aung San Suu Kyi (who promoted Buddhist philosophy) and once in more power now has been shamed by the political international community and has had her own 'Fall'--yes, lots of lessons to learn. I'll end here with Asghar's quote (he's a leadership author/trainer): 

"Power may corrupt, but Williamson never even attained [official] political power [in the 2020 campaign]. What has hurt her is what hurts many spiritual leaders: The inability in the end to believe what they preach." My point of argument, which I will craft in my upcoming book, is that she may not have got official political Office power and the responsibility that goes with that--and, that made her more a media-power-star with more media coverage and public attention than she has ever been able to garner--and that will allow a part of her to inflate and inflate and use it more and more--because media-is-power in this image-based celebrity world --that is, USA politics! 

 

 

 

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It’s 3AM….."Oh no! What was that sound I heard?”, I thought to myself as I suddenly awoke to a startling noise coming from the adjacent bedroom to mine. “Could it be coming from my daughter’s room?”, I wondered. My husband and I quickly went to our daughters’ room and there she was, our 16-year-old daughter, curled up in a fetal position on her bed writhing in pain and groaning softly. “What’s wrong?!”, we both seemed to say at once. “I don’t know, but my tummy hurts really bad”, she said in a whisper. I asked if she ate or drank anything she was not used to eating and she said "NO".

I rushed to the kitchen to get her some ginger ale as her groaning intensified. Being a Family Nurse Practitioner, I realized that my instinct to “protect and cure” was gradually kicking in and probably reached an overdrive as I thought of all the worst case clinical scenarios that initially present as abdominal pain. “Could this be an inflamed appendix (appendicitis)…?, a hernia…?, a twisted intestine…?, an obstruction…..?”, I thought to myself as I returned to her room with a glass of ginger ale. She took a few sips and before I had the chance to ask how she felt, she literally started screaming that her pain had worsened after which she threw up all over her bed. “OK, we are going to the Emergency room!”, I half screamed at my husband who then assisted her to get dressed as I also quickly got dressed and helped her into the car. It was close to 3:30 AM by this time.
I sped off to the nearest Emergency Department, and by the time we arrived, I was so anxious that I was barely concentrating as I responded to the staff at the registration center who verified our insurance coverage plan. “When will we see the doctor?”, I asked the lady by the desk. She assured me that my daughter would be seen shortly. When my daughter was called in to the examination section, I assisted her as she slowly walked to the exam room. She lay on the bed as the nurse walked into the room and with a friendly smile, she looked at my daughter and said, “So, what seems to be the problem today?”. Before my daughter could respond, I hurriedly said, “her tummy hurts really bad, she threw up once and I don’t know ….it may be her appendix…. when will the doctor come in because she’s really in a lot of pain.….maybe you should give her some pain medicine or do you think she needs an X-ray first…?” The nurse stared at me with a blank expression as I turned to my daughter, who appeared a bit more comfortable as she lay on the exam table. I observed my daughter’s horrified facial expression as she quietly mouthed the words “mom please, stop!”. “Oh my, I have turned into a Dr. Mom! I must stop and focus on reducing my anxieties in other ways,” I thought to myself.


Current healthcare providers or providers in training may wonder how they can connect with their patients or parents despite various  attitudes (pleasant and unpleasant) during a consultation. How does one respond constructively to patients when different emotions as anxiety, impatience, fear, anger, suspicion, mistrust etc. are encountered during a consultation? How should the healthcare provider engage to maintain a positive pattern of interaction?
 
Well, getting back to the scenario of my daughter’s Emergency Room visit, I said a silent prayer that the nurse would not hastily become defensive to my approach of history giving and that she would still show compassionate care. Obviously, I very quickly came to my senses when my daughter mouthed the words, “mom, please, stop!” and I apologized for my overly enthusiastic approach while letting the nurse know that being a mom and a Family Nurse Practitioner probably contributed to my heightened state of anxiety. She smiled and said that she’s also a mom and could relate to how I felt. Further assessment proceeded without any undue interruptions and X-Ray report revealed that my daughter was severely constipated. She fully recovered following the administration of 2 enemas. I sure learned a valuable lesson on that day: Underlying anxieties can manifest as different attitudes and personalities and as healthcare providers, we have the responsibility to recognize patients’ behavioral traits/attitudes and communicate effectively to reduce patient’s anxieties and develop more productive clinician-PATIENT and clinician-PARENT relationships.

Problem Statement: Poor communication skills greatly contribute to the mistrust that is often experienced between Patients and clinicians/healthcare providers.


It’s important to note that patients and parents often experience high levels of apprehension during their clinical/hospital visits. Sometimes, such high anxiety levels manifest as various attitudes that could become a deterrent to the development of productive clinician-patient OR clinician-parent relationship.

The book, Simple Tips To Developing a Productive Clinician-Patient Relationship gives simple tips to achieve this for 16 different scenarios of patient attitudes/behaviors.


 Simple Tips to Developing A Productive Clinician-Patient Relationship is available on the author's website (www.ptdrsimpletips.com) AND on amazon website www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MS36RZK

 

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I have a basic question for all of you now 82 FM ning members... after you have browsed through hundreds of posts and pictures and discussions (if you have) on the FM ning-- I would like to hear your views and suggestions for advancing the world's knowledge on fear and fearlessness. That's a practical move, and action for us to consider. I'd like to hear that conversation here on the FM ning in the next year... next days. 

Looking forward to it... 

 

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R. Michael Fisher, Director, Instructor, The Fearology Institute... is looking for a new cohort of students to take coursses and pursue a certificate in Fearology. Want to find out more about it, go to this new video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oisrTrOR2to

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I am pleased to introduce the social psychology researcher Dr. Pelin Kesebir who has for several years been studying fear (e.g., anxiety, terror, and role of culture as a buffer to death anxiety); and has acknowledged in recent correspondence with me the critical importance of "fear" in societies overall. I included the above excerpt from one of her articles (2014) in J. of Personality & Social Psychology 106(4), 610-623. To read full article A Quiet Ego.pdf 

Note: Kesebir is inspired and researches generally under the Terror Management Theory (sub-field) in social psychology, an area I have respected and cited in many of my own publications for decades. Very important empirical research is offered in TMT that supports and critiques the way we engage with fear (and its management). I look forward to more conversations with Dr. Kesebir and may all Fearlessness Movement ning members perhaps find time to read some of this work and comment. For more info. from Dr. Kesebir, contact: kesebir@gmail.com 

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[Breaking News, morning Jan. 10, 2020; Marianne Williamson withdraws from campaign; not to my surprise but a bit of disappointment -RMF]

As many of you may know, my work since 1989 (In Search of Fearlessness Project) has engaged seriously and critically the discourses throughout the world on the relationship of the meta-motivations of Love vs. Fear (and/or Love and Fear). And, now I am writing a book on US presidential (Democratic party) candidate [1] Marianne Williamson, 67 year old veteran of the transformational field of psychology, spirituality and politics--what some would call a radical cultural transformation phenomenon. She's a leader in this area and is having global impacts. How big or how little is still out for the jury to decide. I wish to make a case study of this. 

Lots to discuss here on the FM ning. Recently (Jan. 7, 2020) she has posted the most overt political messaging on the Love vs. Fear dynamic I have ever seen by a person in politics specifically in my life time. So, I am reproducing her message here (skip to the latter 1/2 of this letter for the real punch!)-- as she sent it out to her followers via her current campaign newsletter: 

Dear .... 

Events in the world are moving very quickly, with the most dramatically disturbing events becoming just another day’s news. From gargantuan fires in Australia, to the United States and Iran taunting each other with menacing threats, our normal capacity for calm and reason are being put to the test. People aren’t fighting or fleeing the stress, so much as almost frozen in fear. 

Nothing is quite as it was, yet we don’t quite have the language for what it is now. We don’t have the language for what’s happening because what’s happening is beyond the scope of what we’ve always thought possible. Huge swaths of the Amazon and Australia aren’t supposed to be ablaze. Iran isn’t supposed to be enriching uranium and directly threatening the lives of Americans. The American president isn’t supposed to be saber-rattling in the Middle East. 

We’re going about our daily lives as though things are normal, but in our hearts, we know they’re not.

Democrats need to see the 2020 election in the light of all this. Humanity is standing at a fork in the road, and the decision to be made isn’t going to be between Medicare or a public option, higher taxes or lower ones. The decision to be made is between the world as we have known it, or something entirely different.

We can get more insight now from Carl Jung than from Karl Rove. Psychological understanding is more needed now than traditional political strategy. For President Trump doesn’t deal on the level of the political, so much as he deals on the level of the elemental. The political effects of his actions are almost incidental. Where he’s coming from, and what he elicits in others, is not on the level of the intellectual but on the level of the deeply emotional. He’s angry at the world and he’s going to show it.  What makes this so dangerous is that millions of other people are angry too, and in his behavior, they find a perverse kind of comfort.

The Democrats missed what was going on beneath the water line in 2016, oblivious to the rage that was broiling beneath the surface of the political landscape. And we will miss it again, if we think the way to override his anger is with anger of our own (“You’re angry at the world, well guess what! We’re angry at YOU!”), or override his unreasonableness with reason (“We refuse to enter into your madness; we’re just going to be calm and intellectual, okay?”) Neither of those are prescriptions for success, because by the election in 2020 people are not going to be in the mood for making nice, or for reason, or for calm. They’re going to be terrified. 

Trump has governed with fear, and he’s going to campaign with fear. It’s time, right now, for Democrats to stop thinking only in policy terms and start recognizing what the race ahead will be about. It won’t just be Democrats versus Republicans. It’s going to be Love versus Fear.

Many Democrats pooh-pooh such prescription, indeed such language, but the truth is that that is exactly the prescription, and exactly the language, that paves the way to the greatest possible victory in 2020. Make Love versus Fear the choice before the American people, and love will win. Fear will be stirring people into a frenzy this year, and the only force powerful enough to override the fear will be a call to the love in our hearts.

Some will laugh at that; obviously, they already do. The political establishment won’t buy it, and will do everything to shush it. But the old world is over, and the old kind of politics will not usher in the new.

Make the 2020 election about Love versus Fear, and the election will be ours.

All my best,
Marianne

[Marianne 2020 Nwsl. Jan. 7/20

[NOTE: for more of my views on Love and Fear, e.g., see video "Marianne Williamson 3: Love & Fear" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJzLb6ALHPg

END NOTE

1. I am currently in process of signing a contract with a New York book publisher, with the current title of the book "The Marianne Williamson Presidential Phenomenon: Documenting Cultural (R)Evolution in a Dangerous Time

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I recently came across a paper by the Brazilian progressive critical educational philospher Walter O. Kohan (State University of Rio de Janeiro). The paper is called "Paulo Freire and Philosophy for Children: A Critical Dialogue" go to: Kohan2018_Article_PauloFreireAndPhilosophyForChi.pdf

He describes positively and critiques the "philosophy for children" (or P4C) movement [1] in education and philosophy that developed in the early 1970s (by Matthew Lipman et al.). He also brings Lipman's philosophy and pedagogy into distinct comparison with Paulo Freire's philosophy and critical pedagogy, where he concludes the former is too apolitical to be effectively emancipatory for children or society--while Freire offers so much more. Kohan goes even further to bring forth several other critiques, methodologies and critical perspectives to complement critical pedagogy (see below).

I'd suggest any of the philosophy of fearism scholars and practitioners take a good look at the P4C movement and Kohan's critique (along with others). Kohan's views are very similar to my own on several grounds and particularly his conviction (along with Freireans) that philosohizing with children is extremely important to their wholesome education and socialization process but that it is a relationship of 'peers'-- where teachers and learners co-create the unlearning and learning that will set them free (in my words, re-connect and correct their way along the path of fearlessness to liberation). Philosophizing with children is often done (via Lipman et al. and P4C) with the teacher(s) being in charge of the design of curriculum and delivery and with the emphasis on being 'neutral' as teachers and likewise the curriculum. From my view (and Kohan's) that is a faux neutrality (ideal) and not to do with what true education has always been about, which is a problematizing of everything including the economic-social-political order. At some point, every philosopher and educator has to decide what kind of society children live in (as curriculum context). Do we live in an oppressive society or not? The answer is rather obvious to me, as to Kohan, as to Freire. 

Role of Fear: Real vs. Ideal

My favorite part in the Kohan paper is when he is in dialogue with his mentor of his dissertation (Lipman himself). Kohan asks Lipman about the abuses of democracy and questioning capitalism in that relationship and how this topic has to be put on the table of philosophical inquiry with adults and children. Lipman says: "... in this country [USA] we are very confused. We respect the notion and the ideal of democracy but we are afraid to see it in its confrontation [relational context] with capitalism. There we just shrug and turn away, we don't want to talk about the fact that democracy and capitalism may be incompatible...". (Kohan, 2018, p. 625) [bold added for emphasis]

Kohan doesn't pick-up on the fear component that Lipman brings front and center, as I would have done so, from a fearanalysis viewpoint or a fearist lens. I agree with Lipman (as I am sure Kohan does here as well) that fear of critiquing the 'hand that feeds you' (i.e., Capitialism) in philosophical inquiry is typically such that philosophers and educators (educational philosophers) will shy away and talk about other things. The very basis of a philosophy of fearism (and method of dephilosophy of Desh Subba, [2]) is to make sure that when fear is involved in the construction of the ideas and realities of our texts and practices that we 'call out' the fear and name it and deal with it in some conscious and constructive (if not transformative) way rather than "just shrug and turn away" (as Lipman expresses). Note, even Lipman, in this interview, has no 'solution' to offer or re-frame the very problem of fear he raises and its power to 'dissociate' the real and the ideal in our societies and individual lives. It is disappointing the source leader of P4C comes up so short. The ethical importance of this ought not be overlooked.

My entire educational philosophy is pretty much now based on this dephilosophy (i.e., philosophy of fearism and/or fearlessness philosophy) I bring to all inquiry, philosophizing, and educational curriculum and pedagogy. My first principle of a fearlessness philosophy could be

(a) fearlessness at all cost is essential to the integrity and sustainability of Life (systems); and thus, fear ought not be used as an excuse to avoid/deny the Ideal(s) we hold dearly (sacredly); fear leading our lives tends to compromise the ideal for a real (via ideological realism-pragmatism) because the latter is functionally 'convenient,''comfortable' and 'conformist'

Other Means for Emancipatory Practices: New Rationalities

I'll close this article with the recommendations by Kohan (incomplete as they are) because they offer all of us involved in philosophy, and especially philosophy with children, other ways (beyond Freirean or Lipmanian P4C approaches) to emancipatory education. Kohan (2018, p. 625) wrote, 

... other paths to explore Freire's inspiration other than critical pedagogy. One is to follow the decolonial turn, opening, for example, a "mestiza rationality" [3] (Anzaldua 1999), one of the sensual body, "full of feelings, of emotions, of tastes" (Horton and Freire 1990:23). [4] [this alternative] It needs to be a rationality sensible to different forms of being of the "oppressed" (to use Freirean terms), which would also include LGBT, Indian [Indigenous], Black, and women and children: a rationality sensitive to contradiction and ambiguity. [5]

Various forms of "undoing of identity" (via queering), or feminisms, post-humanism, etc, are encouraged by Kohan and those authors he cites, as part of re-examining critically how we see the child and human nature itself. He calls for "deterritorial" approaches, deconstruction, etc. (part of postmodern philosohpies) to bring human and non-human into a closer relationship overall in valuation to resist the easy commodification and capitalization processes of oppression. Even different kinds of schools ought to be considered. And he then writes of how we ought to trouble the very notion of rational-linear "time" conceptualizations and the problem of only one notion of time that dominates a worldview and schooling and/or educational system. I particularly like this challenge and it is one that Luke Barnesmoore and I have brought forth in a few publications, because time-fear are very closely connected ontologically and need to be critically examined to set us free from fear-based worldviews in general [6]. 

In conclusion, Kohan argued well that philosophy and politics are not separate nor should be, they each contribute to an emancipatory project of which all authentic education (and philosophy) ought to strive for. Like Freire's notion, each educator (philosophy) and child ought to "build her own path" in how best to accomplish a wholesome education and critique of the status quo. That said, and I agree, there's essential need for firm and mature guidance in this building that we are as educators ethically responsible. The trick is to guide without imposing. I offer the path of fearlessness, I don't impose it, even when many through my decades of this work believe that I am imposing it. A similar criticism has been launched at Freirean critical pedagogy. Perhaps, the articulation of politics and philosophy on my part is just not sufficient or it is still incomplete--always a project in progress. I invite input and critique ongoing, as part of good dialogical learning and research. 

End Notes

1. Kohan sees himself part of the P4C movement in a cautious way, and told me he prefers PWC ("philosophy with children") as the articulating concept of this work.

2. E.g. See books and articles by Subba and Fisher (philosophy of fearism) and in particular his dephilosophy method--which, I call fearanalysis in my work. 

3. Usually this is translated in the literature as "mestiza consciousness"-- note, Kohan's mother tongue is Portuguese and this article has been translated into English.

4. I (and Barbara Bickel and others) would call this (in part) the arational domain.

5. What is being constructed by Kohan here is a pathway and/or 'container' of expansion beyond the fear-based egocentric and ethnocentric worldviews. It is a matured existential (and emotional) capacity he is calling for that moves from fear to fearlessness as its operative paradigm, beyond being oppressed by a dualism-centered philosophy in which fear breeds and predominatnly shapes everything. I believe Kohan would be better to bring in notions of transrationality at this point. That's a more complex nuanced discussion. You can see that fear however will be intimately involved in the rationality processes (alternatives) Kohan calls for (as do others)--but unfortunately, little do these theorists (including Kohan) adequately theorize fear/fearlessness in this expanding of worldview in their philosophies. 

6. For e.g., see Fisher, R. M., & Barnesmoore, L. (2018). Hierarchical security: Problem of fear of the eternal [Appendix 3]. In Fisher, R. M., Subba, D., & B. M. Kumar, Fear, law and criminology: Critical issues in applying the philosophy of fearism (pp. 125-48). Australia: Xlibris. 

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Marianne Williamson: Fearmongering Herself

US Presidential hopeful (candidate) is the last person you'd expect to be fearmongering. But her recent promo ad video (58 seconds) gives indicators of her decline in awareness and her political tactics of using old fear-based discourses to "win" over her followers and gain more followers for the upcoming primaries.... not good. See my latest video on this problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Satev8F7K14

Note: There is a substantial discussion (Comments) on this video as well, worth checking out and joining in. 

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Ken Wilber, integral philosopher, explains 4 processes universal to human higher potential and thus for (r)evolution of culture and societies... the planetary macrolevel... 

go to his short interview lecture on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuNN6vB-gQQ

Note: I have based my "Fear Management Systems Theory" on this model of Wilber's, which I have studied since 1982. 

Note: (Errata), the video makers of this interview mis-read the 4 processes slightly with one change and that is that "opening up" should read "growing up" (for a full-detailed description of these 4 processes see for e.g., Wilber's (2017) book "The Religion of Tomorrow". 

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The above chart is particularly of interest to transhumanists who belive in change dynamics and evolution endlessly moving on into dimensions that 'stretch' (include but transcend) the very nature of humans, human nature, and humanity itself and what we call "life" (and Life) itself. Often mathematical paradigms, computational paradigms and good ol' creative extremism is brought into this mixture of futuristic and hybridizational thinking-- that is "transhumanism"-- as both vision, ideas, perhaps even ideologies. But those controversies I'll leave for others to discuss. I just read parts of an edited book by Lee, N. (2019). The Transhumanism Handbook. Springer. [charts from p. 760 by Selariu]

Very serious writers, thinkers, innovators and some 'mutants' in the current normal pool of psycho-cultural-sociological happenings. I looked up "fear" and was curious what positive transformational people were thinking in this book. I find it interesting. I would have liked to see a lot more on "fear" as a topic but I found this diagram of particular usefulness to my work and I think anyone ought to pay attention to this in the domain of Fear Studies, fearism, fearology etc. In particular look at the major factors on the left-side charts of what most limits the macroevolution of systems in an Intelligent (Information-driven) universe-- and, yes, I agree with this side for sure-- all of the aspects there are crucial and "culture of fear" (i.e., a human, humanity defined by pain/fear/reactions and neuro-sociological pressures to conform to that base structural brain-system of "survival" above all else)-- are top of the list. I am not at all surprised this is being critiqued, as well it should, by some transhumanists. Yeah!!!! 

Indeed, my whole domain of work is about re-imagining and transcending the 'Fear' Project... now, that's a long story and theory and ends with a promotion of a (perhaps mutational) idea of a new Fearlessness Psychology just read to be born in this living world here on Earth-- and the sooner the better! 

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Love vs. Fear Debate

Contentious to my Fearlessness Psychology (and viewpoint) [1] is the way many people and groups construct the dichotomy of "Love" vs. "Fear" (especially in the esoteric religous traditions and 'new agey' spiritualities)--and, so for e.g., I offer you to take up this debate with serious study and discernment. I have many publications on this Love and Fear issue [2]... and, for the purpose of this blog I'll offer one excerpt from a typical writer in this (unsatisfactory) dichotomous (binary) discourse (note: also Marianne Williamson running for US Presidency for 2020 follows a similar logic to this author below): 

2018.11.06-love-fear-light-speed-small.jpg

The Two Emotions: Love vs. Fear

 

by Michael Braunstein

The human mind has a tendency to isolate, divide, extract and reduce. We look at Nature, our planet, ourselves and begin to analyze and separate. The base, human, data-driven mind resolutely weaves a tale of “better living through figuring out.” Meanwhile the higher, Divine mind that each of us is born connected with, simply absorbs and includes. The Divine mind sees things holistically without sense of division or separation.

Of course, that concept of reality is frightening to the human mind. We are convinced to a person that person is all we are and individual identity is what we must protect at all costs. Yet our very experience in this classroom of life demonstrates that we deeply long for the oneness that only joining can bring. We embrace the feeling that 90,000 people can conjure when rooting for the home team at an autumn football game. Idiosyncrasies, political divides, racial barriers, ethnicity all cave when sitting next to another human who shares the oneness of cheering a home team touchdown. We crave personal connectivity and oneness in a relationship with a special person. We even lust for physical oneness in the sexual sense. We cannot stray too far from the Garden to abandon those core realities. Yet we are frightened to death of giving up our individual personhood and becoming part of the bigger energy that is the universe.

And so we fear. Out of this mistaken value we place on separateness, individual personality, ego we have enlisted an emotion to protect it. We energize our belief in separateness with fear. We even rationalize and fall into the trap of claiming “some fears are healthy.” We hear some people claim healthy fear of some things help keep us alive. Learn this if you will: There is no such thing as “healthy” fear. You may imagine something along lines like, “Fear of getting hit by a car is what keeps me from walking in the street!” I will end any debate like that with this simple retort: “Love is what keeps me walking on the sidewalk.” No, there is no healthy fear.

[more on the Internet]... 

 

End Note:

1. See e.g., https://prism.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/110441

2. E.g, of one of my latest publications https://prism.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/109975

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In Search of Fearlessness itself is a very intriguing phrase, which has spiritual (theological), mindful (philosophical) and historical import for humanity, as well as more practical psychosocial, cultural, and political and economic implications. I wish to begin a series of FM blogs on this topic with emphasis on the "research institute" of this name and its publishing and educational role of liberation. I am inspired to write this out and share it because most people in the Fearlessness Movement (and beyond) have no idea what my main project has been in this form of a research institute "In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute" (founded by me in 1991 and still going). A few years later, with my partner Barbara Bickel we led the non-profit organization (and eventual official "society") called "In Search of Fearlessness Centre & Research Institute" combination which had two physical centre spaces in the city of Calgary, AB, Canada (between 1991-1999). That's a much longer story, of which some of that history will unfold in this blog series and some of it is documented in various places on the Internet and in my publications if you do any searching. 

The Generic Phrase: "In Search of Fearlessness"

My own prophetic vision for the use of this phrase came in late 1989 while going to university and getting involved with a woman, all of which is very intense and explosive in terms of my discovering deeper layers (mystical aspects) of "love" with another like never before in my life-time. I was 37 years old when the term and project "In Search of Fearlessness" appeared to me as my life purpose and my partner at the time agreed but she quickly bailed out of it all and the relationship ended by mid-1990. I kept at the helm to lead the ISOF Project (for short). Later, I would search the Internet and other places to see if anyone else was or has used this phrase. I found very little. Osho, a mystic from the East who came West and had a big impact in the E-W spiritual integration of the 1980s-90s etc. had used this phrase, which I find interesting and yet I am curious exactly what he meant by it and what his followers thought of it as well. But that's another research project to figure out, which I will not do here. But it is clear such a phrase has not taken off with anyone to any extent except myself. 

What does it mean? Well "in search of fearlessness" means many things and it all depends on how you define fear and fearlessness for one. That's extremely complex the more you get into it, especially that is the case in my own transdisciplinary investigation of these phenomena and their interrelationship. Let's start with the criticism I have received over the years since declaring publicly ISOF and attempting to develop it into a viable community, organization, research vehiicle and place of practices for liberation. Most people, or many at least, thought it was too weak and not inspiring. They believed and judged "in search of" gives the project and name a kind of nebulous unknown with no fixed and certain vision of the end goal, the promise, the reward. I was accused of being a "wandering jew" by one person and probably others with Christian faith commitments have thought the same. There was no "god" or "goddess" either that was the ultimate leader of ISOF and of its principles and practices. They couldn't trust such nebulous unknowns and that one is always seemingly in this ISOF Project always "searching" and never satisfied or redeemed or enlightened. I thought that was then, and still now, very telling of the kinds of people and their developmental evolution of consciousness, more than it was an accurate statement about ISOF Project. Reality is, they had their criticisms about this weakness, if not folly, and yet understood very little because they were largely uncurious about the nature of the ISOF Project--for they sure did not talk to me about it, they merely preferred their speculative judgments from afar with little good information or dialogue. That tells me they are afraid to really know. They want their secure fixed already known safety and security in their belief systems and their faith practices etc. They want their promise of good reward. 

In Search of Fearlessness as I articulated it was a movement from Fear to Fearlessness in an overall evolutionary developmental process. But it was a process-focused way of getting to liberation (or enlightenment or to 'heaven' if some prefer that term). Process-focused means there is always an emergent learning in and with the unknown and mystery of life/risk/death dynamics and no guaranteed outcome. One requires a larger scope and depth of understanding that the process of existence is such a variable and sometimes nebulous magnanamity that there is no way to fix and control and reduce it down to the guaranteed result one wishes for as ideal. ISOF can be an ideal way or path of life, a journey, but the ideal is not worshipped nor even fully known. I made the case early in this that "in search" keeps us humble before the ideals so that we don't let our fear of not getting to the ideal become such a big motivator that it distorts the path and the very qualities of the ideal (e.g., God or Perfection, Absolute). Most people don't have the emotional or existential capacities developed to adopt and stay with this "path of fearlessness." That is a socialization and educational problem of the modern era, which is another longer story I write and teach about in many places you can look up. 

One practical example I can give of the necessity and demand of the "in search" commitment to ISOF is to be an inveterate learner (researcher) of the highest calibre in that you are endlessly pursuing information, knowledge, knowing and understanding, from one level of superficial to a deeper level of integration of wisdom and compassion, then pursue the search to learn again as much as you can about fear and fearlessness (as central topics)--and, then again pursuing the moving from a deeper level to an even yet deeper level of integration--potentially endlessly to one's death. For many, I found, they are not used to such disciplined learning and process-focused work in their growth and in their drive to find safety and security in existence, and they short-cut their way, by-passing their way, to find a quick fix solution to their fear, without really understanding fear (and fearlessness) very deeply at all. They die mostly in this shallow state of understanding and it is a loss I see because of its short-cut path to true liberation. 

Of course, a whole set of lectures could be developed on what is liberation? That's another topic beyond what this blog is dealing with. The path of fearlessness, the ISOF Project are designed with a good deal of study I have made of liberation, and that is a critical integral perspective on liberation and not just some individualized psychospiritual liberation that I am referring to within the ISOF context. Liberation work is very complex and so far the world has made overall very little progress in my view and seems actually to resist liberation at the same time the instinctual impulse of the universe is liberation. Maybe, this is the point the brilliant psychoanalyst Erich Fromm was getting at with seeing the deep irony in the human condition where people en mass are controlled by others (dominating) because people are in "fear of freedom" (i.e., liberation). ISOF is the way to explore and understand and undermine that fear of freedom, you could say, which is based on fear of fear itself and so on. Learning what the spirit of fearlessness is and being open to learn more about it, same with fear, brings a whole new level (paradigm) to our quest for freedom, liberation, enlightenment, call it what you will. And, yes, you could say "Love" is the final goal, at least, a love purified (more or less) from the fear-based motivations that so quickly undermine love (and compassion). 

Brief HISTORY of In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute

Since the moment of my own 'awakening' to the ISOF Project, and giving this name, I feel I have been guided by spirit to enact this in my life-time on this planet. No one is paying me a salary to do this. It is service, in serving as best I can the liberation work of which fearlessness is the great principle and path. After just over a year of working and living this path in relationship in the real world, and feeling all the resistance and betrayal and despair that goes with it, my personhood was transformed and more clarity came about the need for a real space and vehicle to perform the service. The Research Institute (1991-) was my newest way to go and it has been with me ever since to this day. It shows that In Search of Fearlessness is not just about individual personal growth and development and success. So many others in the Human Potential and New Age Movements of my time were into this individualizing liberation which I saw as a flaw and still do. It is corrupted for many reasons but that's a longer critique and story you can find in my other writing and teaching. Research Institute I take very seriously because I knew we had to research this new paradigm of fearlessness (today, I call it a "fearlessness psychology") based on theories and practices adopted and tried out for real. Then making corrections and keeping track of our findings, and publishing and educating on this so it could be effective. It was a great idea I still believe in but without funding it won't go anywhere fast and it hasn't done so. I have never figured out how to inspire people overall to donate (gift) to this cause, and to the very gift of fearlessness tradition which is found in the ancient Eastern wisdom and religious traditions. In the Western world where I live, this notion is rejected and fearlessness is often vilified as being pathological and dangerous to people and societies in general. I find that very oppressive and not very wise of the Western world to have been so ignore-ant of the Eastern roots of fearlessness. 

In 1991 my partner Barbara Bickel came on board and her and I formed a non-profit Canadian publishing company "In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute" and have used that to publish several small books and booklets over the years with our own ISSN library catalogue numbers. We've pretty much stopped that in the last several years but ISOF Research Institute continues to publish my technical papers series and the journal I just founded (International Journal of Fear Studies). I am looking at finding a space again to start up the In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute (and Centre) but without funding it is hard to grow anything. I see that such a Research Institute can provide many things for the public in support of them reaching their potential but also being wise and compassionate, and this is all especially important in the coming crisis years we face as humanity (including near social collapse if not extinction on mass scale). Emotional resiliency as one example, is now getting more attention in the mental health sectors, but basically it is a way of managing "fear" (emotional anxiety, panic, etc.). I would like to promote the ISOF Research Institute as offering a much deeper approach to emotional resilience, as I argue "fear" ('fear') cannot be reduced to only an emotion as these clinical psychologists tend to do. They will only address symptoms, whereas ISOFRI will address much deeper causes--and set us back (potentially) on the course of liberation (via the path of fearlessness) from which we have long strayed as nations and peoples. 

Okay, that's enough for this very beginning bit of history and clarification of ISOFRI and I trust you will find it useful in your own navigation of what liberation could mean. Feel free to contact me if you'd like more information and make Comments on this blog as well, so others can engage a dialogue with you. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Who Legitimately Can Call Who Fearful?

I've always been interested in the question: Who legitimately can call who fearful? What I mean is, who is qualified to do so? Who is allowed to by the other person (or by society) that is so being labeled "fearful"? And who of course is actually fearful? Are they admitting they are fearful or are they covering the fear up with bravado (for e.g.,)? Is the one labeling the other fearful, actually the fearful themselves and only projecting fear onto another? Is only a 'transcendent other' the 'one' to truly know the fear in the human soul(s)... and resolve it? The questions grow... like weeds... but I think they have philosophical, sociological, psychological and political merit. As a society we ought to reflect on these questions and others like them.

I'm concerned we don't talk about fear enough for the challenging times we live in. I'm concerned we remain largely unconscious of the great "force" of fear to influence us. And, thus, you can see I am an advocate for feartalking and fear management/education, and fearology and so on. 

I recently was in a conflict with an acquaintance who was insistent I listen to a set of videos on 'end of the world' scenarios via extreme climate change. This is a growing topic in our world, at least in the West. I said, I won't likely get to them because I have interest in other topics rather than the science of climate change. This person became incensed and bullying in response and tried to find ways to intimidate, make me feel guilty, etc. for not doing what he wanted me to do. Now, this was not an adolescent or a three year old child of mine, it was a 45+ yr old man and a very intelligent and sensitive and aware man. What was going on? I snooped out it was his fear (and fearfulness around survival of the end of the world) that was pressing on me to be informed of what he was informed on that he thought was so important to survival. I guess, in the moment I wasn't concerned about survival and the future that much. I'm more interested in other aspects of extreme climate change, like the perceptions and psychology of such events and realities. That greatly interests me. 

So, under pressure of his personal attacks on me for not cooperating with his desires for me to watch these videos, I told him bluntly, but respectfully, I heard his concern, and I wasn't ignoring it but I was more concerned with the way he was approach me and trying to get me to do it. I told him he was using fear tactics to teach, if not convert, me. This raised the level of his anger and he denied he was doing so. 

I suppose it was very hard for him to hear my message of communication, that both he wasn't effective in his communication and he was using fear tactics and that cannot be a way to wisdom. His rage went on and on and many many emails he sent. I stopped reading them. He was unloading a whole lot of distress. I told him so. He again, resented my view because it felt like a judgement upon him. Was I judging him because I said he was using fear tactics? Which, in a way I suppose I was but I wasn't trying to make him into a horrible person necessarily at all. I just was standing up for what I believe is unethical (or just not effective)--that is, to use fear tactics, some call fearmongering to make your point and to try to change people to your view. 

This all was hurtful to me and disappointing this person would treat me so disrespectfully--he treated me suddently from friend to enemy. No doubt many of you know this experience I am talking about. It felt like the 45 year old person became a young angry adolescent quite irrational--that is, fear-based in their relationship with me, rather than connecting and respectful--even if we had our differences. This is a common problem in our world. People disrespecting people with differences and for having a right to be different and to not be coerced or threatened to change. 

Anyways, I'm most intrigued by my calling him out and labeling his approach to communication as a "fear tactic." I was saying he is using fear implicitly because he is fearful. Why else would he be so insistent and stubborn and disrespectful to my free choice to do as I saw fit? Fear has to be ruling that kind of behavior, so I surmised, and I do believe this is the case as well. One could go into the theory behind my thinking, and some evidence perhaps from knowledges available but that is not what I want to do here in this blog. I merely want to have readers think about this in terms of why did this person, knowing I was a fear expert for 30 years, not want me making my observation of his fear tactic? It seems he couldn't stand it that I was discerning something he didn't see or feel? Did he not feel fear in himself when I refused to follow his orders of insistence to watch the videos he sent to me? Perhaps not, perhaps he was quite unconscious of his feelings and only trying to correct my behavior with his behavior of writing all the disrespectful emails. Later, he did apologize for trying to "force" me. 

Point being, what is more important is that he would not trust or respect all my knowledge and experience with fear and thus when I labeled it onto his activity in a particular way he rejected it completely and more or less threw back comments to try to make me fearful of his vengeance and power etc. He tried to say I was fearful to not watch these videos. I did wonder if that was true of myself? I had bits of doubt. Then it took time to get over my hurt and fears of his abusive language toward me and find out that no I was not avoiding anything, I was merely chosing a different priority of where I put my time and energy than he would. 

This person is like so many I have met, and often when in conflict--I will say, if I sense it, "you're coming from fear" or you seem to "be afraid" etc. Most people resent me saying that, no matter how soft I deliver that message or observation. I guess they don't like me interpreting them. I am not saying I am highly skilled in effective communication around this touchy issue. I have lots to learn so I can be more effective. But nonetheless, I keep doing it and will because I think it is so important as part of my teaching to point out fear and its mis-uses on others (and/or on me). I see people hate being called out on it. 

They fear being seen through--seeing their fear when they don't even seem to see or feel it. They are fearful and won't admit it. They attack me or others you label the fear in them and their actions. The attack is meant to transfer the unacknowledged fear in them onto me (or another target who names the fear). They attack the messenger, in that sense. 

Yes, very very common and very destructive this dynamic is. It is like they don't give persmission to me (or others) to so name their fear, except maybe they would do so if the person was someone they trusted a lot or was a clinical psychologist for example. Maybe. 

I wonder about this phenomenon of legitimacy to call out fear when it is there. Of course, maybe I was 'wrong' in my interpretation. That's possible. But I trust my skills in detecting fear. Anyways, it's a problem that won't go away and I have lost good friendships with many people over this issue of my naming fear when I see it in them. 

Another e.g., comes when I am not with someone I know per se in person. They are not a friend or colleague in my close connections, but I may still want to point out and name the fear I see in them, and feel they are not acknowledging, and/or feel they are abusing fear against others--e.g., in fearmongering. This is what I have done with the famous Jordan Peterson. I have done a few youtube videos on his life and work from what I gathered studying him and his work [1]. He tends to come across in his lectures and interviews as very "brave" or "courageous" (some might call "fearless")--and, yet, I don't see him that way when I watch him and listen to him speak on videos. I don't get his fearlessness--he seems quite fearful and anxious.

Now, this is subtle. But recently a psychoanalyst in Holland pronounced that J. Peterson is quite an anxious and fearful person because he mainly is a traditionalist [2] and Peterson cannot stand loss of traditionalism (a lot of it anyways)--and thus, Peterson attacks the postmodern thinkers who are rejecting traditionalism. Long story. I have made a poster below to make my inquiry visible: 

3715227018?profile=RESIZE_710x

So, if you don't know, Peterson is a clinical psychologist himself, he does therapy with people, some 30+ year competent career, etc. So, why is he so fearful? Oh, but first, the question is: Do I have a right to call him a fearful person? Does Dr. Jan Derksen, from Holland, have a right to do so, even if he is a trained psychoanalyst? On and on it goes. Is the fear pathological, neurotic, or near-psychotic (at times)? Is Peterson in need of psychological treatment for his excess fear and use of fearmongering? Lots of questions could be asked. My point is, not to diminish him and his work. My purpose is to ask if I (or anyone, like Dr. Derksen) has a right to call out Peterson on his fear-based ways of approaching things in his communications? This is just like the question of my calling out my friend recently that he was using fear tactics to try to convert me in some manner. I resent such coercion and worst, it is unethical to use fear tactics or fear-based perceptions and thinking to try to change anyone. At least, that would be a working pivot point for further philosophical discussion. This blog is not the place for that. I just wanted to raise all these issues. 

Dr. Derksen, rightly I think, nails it down quite well in talking about how Peterson has become the icon (of one sort) today for defense of Tradition. Sure, I know he doesn't like everything about tradition, but he is one of its remaining advocates, and yes, he's a privilege white old male to boot--which makes many skeptical of his motivations. I say, his motivations are often quite fear-based in his defence of Tradition (and himself). That said, you can see my videos on him and his work for more nuance. But to close here, I'll give the explanation Dr. Derksen gives (interprets) re: Peterson, as Derksen is here discussing the deep roots of fear that are being raised rapidly in a society of "political correctness" around identity politics and how our culture and society and law are all grappling with the new emergence of identity politics and "difference" overall. Dr. Derksen says in the video: 

"... it shakes people, it pulls at their roots... then it gets more emotional than rational, so it's [identity] a topic that will stay with us for many years... the most important intellectual topic will be, are we culturally and politically [able] to manage that anxiety [fear] that rises out of the fact conservative principles [values] are being broken down. Is there enough leadership... to organize their emotions about that in a productive way?" 

The host of the panel came in and said: "I think for many he [Peterson] is seen as a manager of anxiety [himself, for much of the society, especially white young males]." Dr. Derksen said, "yes." At one point Derksen says (paraphrasing), that Peterson's best-selling book "12 Rules for Life" is not science it is religion, it is all about Peterson's preaching his gospel of Tradition in his own unique way as a clinical scientist/psychologist, but it is not justified in the field of clinical psychology itself it is something else Peterson is trying to accomplish. The philosopher on the panel says (paraphrasing) it is Peterson's 'new mythology' guide for especially those who have lost their way, lost their identity and pride in this postmodern world of multiple and complex identities and their conflicts. The question in the panel's mind, seems to me always implicit in its rightful questioning of just how 'healthy' is Peterson himself to be teaching this way to 'health'? I think we should ask that of any teacher, especially one who makes their living in the human services field and who trafficks in authoring self-help advice in videos, talks, books etc. How healthy is Peterson, or how fearful is Peterson? [3] These are important questions, and questions I ought to also have hurled at my own teaching and life.

So, all this comes around to the importance of fear (anxiety) management, individual to collective. Our challenging times require a tremendous up-grade of how we manage and will manage fear. My own estimate, is that Peterson doesnt' do a great job of it. Albeit, I say that knowing he's made millions of dollars on his approach to fear management (unfortunately). The discussions must continue to challenge even Peterson's approach just like my friend's approach-- we have to look at when fear-based means are used for good ends, for good teaching, for morals, etc. I am a great skeptic and will be until I see a fearlessness-based approach invoked. 

 

Notes: 

1. Go to: https://ca.video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrVk.IRk89dvksA3BAXFwx.;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw--?p=youtube+r.+michael+fisher+and+jordan+peterson+and+fear&fr=yhs-Lkry-SF01&hspart=Lkry&hsimp=yhs-SF01#id=1&vid=c3e2964bb0e8876f8326dc648887b306&action=view

2. Go to youtube.com/watch?v=Y5LrxSKGW5Y for a great 2019 conversation on Jordan Peterson by a panel of scholars, including Dr. Derksen. Also see just how "fragile" (fearful, anxious, sensitized) Peterson is in recent times with this interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0P6H7cm0E4

3. I suspected from the first moment I watched Peterson in a lecture on video, from several years ago, his approach is very preacherly, he has a tone and style that reminds me of many preachers I have observed and how they are very fearful of many things (like "chaos") and are trying to teach as a way to manage this fear. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but fear used this way can accumulate and multiply and become 'fear' in a cultural discourse which is far beyond Peterson's personal fears. I don't think he truly understands what it is he is doing with his fear, and so my video (note 1) is precisely my challenging of him to be more aware, and likewise with his followers. The fact that it is public knowledge that Peterson has suffered with severe depression in his life off and on and has been taking certain meds to deal with his emotional problems, he has become addicted to the meds (apparently) and in coming off those meds he is struggling even more emotionally and one can see this at times in his recent interviews, it is very obvious he is 'on edge' and highly hurting and anxious and fearful just below his tough and sharp intellectuality (the latter, which so many people admire as his strength). 

 

 

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