Gospel of Fearlessness: Down to Basics

In my more prophetic and ministerial mode, and damn right angry moments--because, of what is being ignored, denied, dissociated on this planet--that is the Fear Problem, I come back to a concept that is controversial to some, abhorrent to others, and is just right for me. Perhaps the religious followers of my writing (like some of my uncles) may find this a refreshing conception which pulls it out of a secular sounding teaching.

All along, from the start, I knew teaching about fearlessness (and fear) was neither to be restricted to the sacred or secular genres and traditions. The concept of a Gospel of Fearlessness, feels more like a passionate declaration, indictment, and reclamation project than does In Search of Fearlessness which I conceived with Catherine Sannuto back in 1989. In my righteous indignation I prefer the definitive and confident Gospel of Fearlessness to a more tentative In Search of Fearlessness notion.  

This morning I ponder the basics of this Gospel of Fearlessness, which is implicit I believe in the entire Fearlessness Movement that's been going on around the world throughout time. The basics of which I have also put into this more "religious" language as a "Credo of Fearlessness" which I sketched, with a similar purpose, in my book The World's Fearlessness Teachings (2010, p. 39). You can look up those sketches if you wish, but I wanted to put down the most basic basic aspect of what I came up with this morning for a Gospel of Fearlessness.

Before laying that out, I want to reflect for a moment on "gospel." It means to me a sacred story-- a telling of great importance to a culture and civilization, told with diverse tellers, who are also passionate and righteous-- for e.g., in their story of a Messiah, or of, at least, a process of liberation that we all have access to if we so will to access it and follow the regime of deliberative teachings, philosophies, and disciplined practices. I think this hardly should be called "religious" (or even restricted to being called "spiritual") as it is so fundamental to all humans, whether they are conscious of it or not--that is, to have a narrative of redemption from the pain and suffering and oppression of the everyday world they experience. As far as we know, there likely has never been a life for a human being that has not had this combination of weights to bear. The gospel stories, legion around the world and across cultures, offer a 'way out' or what you might call an idealist perspective and thus 'hope' for a better life and way--sometime in the future. They are stories of guidance when we may ourselves want to give up. Yet, they are also 'wake up' stories that prevent us (at least theoretically, or momentarily) from becoming paralyzed and numb as we are bombarded by pain, fear, suffering, distress.

Anyways, I don't want to give a sermon on gospels, as I really don't know much about them but I think I know enough, and the term really resonates with me and my teaching, which is the teaching I was chosen to teach. Remember, In Search of Fearlessness Project, as a gospel story itself, never came from some book, or guru, or anything but real embodied experience that I had with Catherine in 1989, through the veins of blood cursing through our bodies in the excited and trance state of joyous sex in the transpersonal dimension. Call it mystical experience if you like. It was and is real. There was this intuitive voice inside me (and us)... a gospel really all on its own-- that said, there is a Fear Project on this planet that is deadly and limiting of human capacities in most all areas of life. It is destroying our species and quality of life for other species. Humans are the central focus of this Fear in that they seem to produce Fear at a rate and in a way that is unique amongst all other species.

And so the gospel of fearlessness in this informal manifestation began in/with us as a couple, and now has carried on with Barbara Bickel and I as the 'next' couple after Catherine abandoned the ISOF Project in mid-1990. The story goes on and on... but now to the most basic basic of the gospel truth, in the way I best have found to understand it and purvey it to others--with, all due regard for the near impossible task of conveying such truth in words/text on a page.

The Gospel of Fearlessness as best I can articulate it with all my own biases, boils down to a story ("theoria" or theory) which proclaims:

(a) that we humans have a Fear Problem that is as important, if not more important, than any other problem that will act to bring us down toward extinction sooner than later.

(b) historically, and continued today, we humans have, more or less,  largely ignored, denied, dissociated from knowing this truth of the Fear Problem-- this is our "sin" no. 1

(c) we require a redemption to turn us around from only living in this human condition ("sin") and advance toward our true human potential (based in the best of our human nature before human culture took over domination)

(d) the biggest movement (especially in the 20th century on) has been to try to re-frame "fear" as an emotion that can have a positive, normal, and natural side--this "positivist" movement to re-evaluate the nature and role of fear may have some value worth keeping; but its negative side-effects have led to ignoring a whole body of wisdom that teaches a different story about the nature and role of fear--the positivist obsession of our day has lead us astray because of its reductionism (especially, to a biopsychological mode of thinking)-- this is our "sin" no. 2

(e) the Fearlessness Movement initiative and its deconstruction and reconstruction project regarding the very way we perceive and conceive and construct "fear" is likely the best way to go, so that we focus less on fear(s), as in fear of x, y, z and the idea that fear is one of many emotions and not more important or unique (typical of "sin" no. 2) and focus our inquiry on better understanding the nature of the politics of knowledge involved in how "fear" has been and is currently being constructed as 'fear' (i.e., culturally-modified fear)

(f) until we emphasize in our fear management/education the importance of a transdisciplinary (non-reductionistic approach) whole new imaginary and way of thinking about thinking about fear, there will be little progress at all in undermining the Fear Problem, and in fact, we'll only make it worse

(g) any real progress in analyzing the Fear Problem, and undermining its out-of-control growth in the 21st century, will require a unified effort and a systematic source of consistent funding and energy commitments by people and organizations--this latter has not accrued in 27 years since the founding of the In Search of Fearlessness Project-- that is "sin" no. 3

Thus, is the Gospel of Fearlessness in a nutshell. Perhaps, you could summarize the above into an even simpler nutshell so people could remember this gospel, and/or you may suggest things that ought to be added to it. I could think of a lot of things to add but my point here is to keep it as basic as possible, and still get the message across of what my teaching is all about.

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