Wit(h)nessing The Birth of a New Movement in the Contemporary Arts of the East

 It has been a fascinating role for me, a Westerner to witness the birthing of a new movement of thought and creativity coming out of the far East.

 Philosophy of Fearism, is an underlying meaning frame and philosophical stance on what can be called a literary phenomena or new movement, that of Fearism; they are two expressions, arising out of the literary community of Nepal since the late 1990s and starting to bloom rapidly in some far Eastern countries, especially N. India, in the early 21st century. Desh Subba, a Nepalese poet, fiction novelist, and budding philosopher, is one of the pioneer founders of this new movement, who authored its first major philosophical text. [1]  

 I (RMF) joined this new movement in 2014, as Desh and I were engaged in dialogue on email and were planning a co-authored book together [2]. Indirectly, on my own independent course of research, art, writing, education and philosophy of fearlessness, it seems I was beginning my own new movement of fearism but didn’t give it that name, rather I called it the fearlessness movement, which this ning is named after. This is why you’ll see often references from Desh Subba here, and other places in my work, because “two has become one.” One philosophy of fearism, as part of the fearism movement. At the same time, I have also been crafting my own unique way into this movement under integral philosophy (integralism) but that's another story [3].

 To help readers understand the context of a new movement in contemporary arts in the West, I looked up some information on a website below. At the end, of this list, I give my own version of Fearism, as I understand how it is operating and evolving in the far East; which, to note, no such collective movement is happening in the West (not yet). Desh recently published (August 21, 2016) on the FMning a list of 19 books based on fearism already published and/or coming out soon (most, not in English), as they range from poetry books to children’s stories, to fiction adult stories, and philosophical and literary criticism.

 “Literature constantly evolves as new movements emerge to speak to the concerns of different groups of people and historical periods.” Of 30 or more movements, here are a few listed for the Western world:

 Postmodernism (c. 1945–present): A notoriously ambiguous term, especially as it refers to literature, postmodernism can be seen as a response to the elitism of high modernism as well as to the horrors of World War II. Postmodern literature is characterized by a disjointed, fragmented pastiche of high and low culture that reflects the absence of tradition and structure in a world driven by technology and consumerism. Julian Barnes, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, Salman Rushdie, and Kurt Vonnegut are among many who are considered postmodern authors.

 Romanticism (c. 1798–1832): A literary and artistic movement that reacted against the restraint and universalism of the Enlightenment. The Romantics celebrated spontaneity, imagination, subjectivity, and the purity of nature. Notable English Romantic writers include Jane Austen, William Blake, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and William Wordsworth. Prominent figures in the American Romantic movement include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, William Cullen Bryant, and John Greenleaf Whittier.

 Surrealism (1920s–1930s): An avant-garde movement, based primarily in France, that sought to break down the boundaries between rational and irrational, conscious and unconscious, through a variety of literary and artistic experiments. The surrealist poets, such as André Breton and Paul Eluard, were not as successful as their artist counterparts, who included Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and René Magritte.

 Transcendentalism (c. 1835–1860): An American philosophical and spiritual movement, based in New England, that focused on the primacy of the individual conscience and rejected materialism in favor of closer communion with nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden are famous transcendentalist works.


Fearism (c. 1999-  ): A Nepalese literary and philosophical movement, based in the far East, that focuses on the primacy of fear in shaping human motivation and activities across all spheres of life; this movement has an underlying philosophy of fearism (e.g., Desh Subba’s work) which favors a positive role for fear, as well as a negative one; and, this teaching philosophy ought to be translated to all cultures around the world using all means from populist education to higher education. Desh Subba’s Philosophy of Fearism is one of the many texts that demonstrates the principles of this new movement.

End Notes:

1. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. [Trans. R. Subba and B. K. Rai]. Australia: Xlibris.

2. Fisher, R. M., and Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.

3. Like the other influential new movements (isms), Integralism is both ancient and new (with Ken Wilber being one of the most important new interpreters and leaders of this movement with his Integral Philosophy). This line of thought has not specifically been influential to Subba et al. in the East. I look forward to developing and sharing this in the future, and I did include it in Fisher and Subba (2016) at various points. Also, the integral perspective has heavily influenced my philosophy of fearlessness (i.e., fear management/education theory) see, 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.

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