It's Embarrassing to Start a New Philosophy

If you have browsed the photos I have put up, and go right to the beginning you'll see the book cover of Philosophy of Fearism and a photo of Desh Subba the Nepali writer who wrote the book, as he was photographed at Hong Kong University giving a talk on his book. Desh and I are sort of colleagues, online, and have not yet met or even skyped. We read each others' text and we mirror what each other is thinking and writing about so passionately. 

I won't go into "our" story about beginning a philosophy of fearism on this planet. Some of that story is in Desh's 2014 book Philosophy of Fearism and a few interviews are online, but more to say that the "best" collaboration (collection) of our thoughts on a philosophy of fearism are well underway in a new book we co-wrote (and I am doing the final formatting on). The title is: Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue. Hopefully, it will come out in 3-4 months from now or around X-mas time... we'll see. I mention the 'story' part of our collaboration because it is part of what leads me to confess in this blog my "embarrassing" feelings and thoughts now and then. 

First, what is most embarrassing is my coming to terms (after 26 yrs.) that I am reaching my goal as a (to be) recognized international expert on a philosophy of fear and fearlessness. Yes, my original goal was shaping up to be a founder of a philosophy of fearlessness, because that felt right and was an interesting philosophy and combination of words. But after engaging in inter-textual dialogue, and an integral dialectical (if not trialectical) dance with Mr. Subba, things started to change, and I was not alone, not the Westerner any more leading only--and something happened where in our new co-written book I am joining forces to be the 'other' founder of a philosophy of fearism. I am submitting to (defaulting to) by no force, but by privilege of having met Subba's work and commitment--a philosophy of fearism over a philosophy of fearlessness. Even though, in our new book I explain how this happened and also that I am keeping my own unique stream of thought and philosophy (i.e., fearlessness) under the one roof of fearism. 

It is important that "two became one," as we share in this new co-written book, a dialogue is profoundly influential in one's thinking, and life, and this is surely the case with us, or at least, I'll speak for myself here. I'm a bit surprised, and slightly embarrassed by it because of my close identification (as a teacher) of the philosophy of fearlessness and that's what all my friends, colleagues and students have known me as. It is a bit like changing a name. I know how hard it is, slightly embarrassing, for example when I changed from "Robert" to "Michael" in the late 1990s. 

But the other embarrassing thing is to put myself out there as a founder of a brand new philosophy (and "better" philosophy for understanding fear) on the planet and to then reflect on the problematic of that assertion when I am not a qualified philosopher (not professionally, not academically)--and, I'm even rather poorly educated in "philosophy" and the humanities period. It's embarrassing to say I have never completed a post-secondary philosophy course ever. I took a couple in undergrad and "flunked" or "quit" before it was too late to embarrass myself as how I was a lousy philosopher, by academic standards--at least, that was the case in the late 1970s, but sure, I am quite a different being today. 

Desh also is not a trained philosopher. We are more artists... as our new book will describe. So, I'll leave that confession, and end this blog with a fresh piece of rough writing from my journaling today that's related to the above and adds a really cool thought which I think could be a foundational "descriptor" (in part) of what this new philosophy of fearism (beyond existentialism, or any other "ism" philosophy to date) is at core: 

PHILOSOPHY OF FEARISM- fear is actually the predominant motivator of human behavior, individually and collectively--and, it has overwhelming been disregarded as such in any current philosophy available on the planet. It is this disregard that is 'killing us' fast and slowly. But, in the end, each will have to decide what relationship they want to a philosophy of fearism (should they be so exposed). It is the very existence (emergence today) of a philosophy of fearism that is the better relationship to investigate, beyond the habitual and common practice of evaluating our relationship to the nature and role of fear (for e.g.), or beyond investigating our fear(s) and even fear itself. The latter two forms of inquiry are, according to the philosophy of fearism (Subbaian, and Fisherian), inadequate, if not misdirected in their focus and project. Accounting for one's relationship to a philosophy of fearism ought to take precedent to the former approaches. To do so, will in part, bring more clarity, more freedom from fear, and a liberational praxis that will prevent any toxifying ideology of fearism from taking over a philosophy of fearism.  -RMF

[note: this descriptor is ripe for being cast out onto a Wikipedia entry if anyone is interested]

p.s. thanks to Al and Laura Santos for their house (Calgary, AB) and printer and supplies, and quiet time, for the month of April, 2015 when I wrote the bulk of material for this new book

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