I just listened to this good talk on fear and fearlessness, radical trust, the future, child-rearing and an Indigenous view on life in general. I recommend:"For life to continue on earth, every day must be Indigenous Peoples’ Day"Darcia Narvaez's Discussion with Four Arrows about Indigenous Approachesto Human Development and the "Evolved Developmental Niche" (October 9, 2020)Watch on YOUTUBE: https://youtu.be/_1CH1IvFpVMListen on SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/evolvednest/indigenous-peoples-day-2020-a-discussion-with-darcia-narvaez-and-four-arrowsKindred World is the parent nonprofit of The Evolved Nest. As an award-winning 501C3 nonprofit, Kindred's leadership in the Conscious Parenting Movement has provided a solid foundation for pioneers, scientists, authors, activists, parents and professionals to share their sustainable and peaceful visions for humanity since 1996.
I think this is one of my best (sociopolitical and economic) applications of a design for how to re-form our societies, and I also bring in the concept of Fear (i.e., culture of fear) and Fearlessness into the UBI model which has radical implications to transform society not just tweak it (the latter, which is mostly what I see in the vision and thinking of those promoting UBI at the present time). Let's talk about this folks!
Fear and a General Social Theory
-R. Michael Fisher [notes: June 16/20]
Introductory Issues of the Social & World
Recently, it occurred to me that no one will really ‘get’ my work adequately until they ‘get’ that my work is foundationally a social theory of fear (management/education). I am deeply a social thinker/theorist and philosopher and educator, who has, unfortunately, not helped the waves of mis-understandings of my work for 31 years because I have not systematically written out my general social theory as context for my work. I am beginning to take on this daunting project. This essay consists of beginning shreds of what is on my mind and is by no means a ‘finished’ work. It is noticeably somewhat nostalgic, at least for me, in that to recover the ‘social’ in my work, and in my life, I have had to return to the past of my first systematic studies of knowledge and disciplines when I was 20 years old to my 30s. If these references seem ‘old’ or ‘out of date’ to readers, I won’t apologize for how important and relevant they are in ‘messages’ for today—but, certainly, this general social theory I am attempting needs up-dating with newer thinkers for sure—yet, all in time. I want to keep things relatively simple to start with. I appreciate your patience with my somewhat nostalgic turn.
As part of Social Sciences, social theory seems essential to my fearanalysis project  on the Fear Problem. It is an approach to all phenomenon (e.g., especially fear and its management/education) primarily through the lens of the social sphere of reality. Social theory today, in the Anthropocene era, also has to be part of Biological and especially Environmental Sciences, because global cascading crises are putting the survival and quality of life on this planet at-high-risk, moving existence regularly into emergencies. COVID-19 is the latest episode showing how vulnerable Homo sapiens is.
The basic purpose overall of these Sciences seen through my own value-based lens, is that of “making man [sic] more aware of the consequences of his actions.” Awareness has to do with learning, and that is why my profession is Education. I turn now to explicate my evolved, yet still evolving, social theory as a synthesis of many others’ critical thinking and research. It is not too embarrassing to say my social theory is quite unique in the history of thought.
Theorizing: Natural Sciences Are Social
It is essential for humans as a whole, and for me to remember that the aim of the knowledge quest (i.e., learning and education) is to,
....establish the process of human development as the goal of the process of social evolution, both the process and the goal being understood to be open to further transformation as we advance in the practice and understanding of them.
And furthermore, there is a search still going on across large domains of societies functions, and within the inner searching and reflecting that humans do at times, to find a better “image” of our selves—of our nature, of our potential—and to do so, as crucial so that we don’t become crushed by harsh realities of the everyday human condition (i.e., of a good deal of suffering). Markley & Harman (1982) spoke to this in a way that made sense for me in my youthful scholarship days, and still resonates today:
It seems evident that the characteristics we postulated for an adequate image [of the human] cannot be fulfilled unless such a new type of policy paradigm comes into existence—a paradigm that provides a far closer reconciliation of C. P. Snow’s ‘two cultures’ (the sciences and the humanities) than has heretofore seemed feasible [in modern times]. Central in this pursuit would be the reconciliation of the objective inquiry methods found suitable for learning to manipulate the external/physical environment and the inquiry methods which are emerging to similarly explore the subjective/internal/psychical environment of our living. Likely such an umbrella paradigm will not be possible without the emergence of other, somewhat more specialized but nevertheless holistic [-integral], paradigms to support it.
In Markley & Harman’s profound search for a “moral science,” “moral economics” and politics for a sustainable, healthy and sane future, they know that a “moral paradigm” lies below them all, which is something I have always been interested in but I am not a “moralist” or “virtues” prophet/teacher or thinker. That’s a topic that arrives much later in this essay and social theory. Suffice it to say at this point, my approach to ethics and morals and the ‘good’ and ‘true’ and ‘beautiful’ will be strongly tainted in this work with the social as environment—and, it is this environmental emphasis that is most conducive to pulling out and foreword why I think the social is so critical to any good fear studies (and fear management/education) today and in the future. To note, the marriage of objective and subjective that Markley & Harman recommend, not totally radical, is very important to my own holistic-integral approach to knowledge and living, of which Wilber (1995) has added another vector of polarities to build a more adequate and complete (and moral) epistemological quadrant analysis. He adds: individual and communal sphere. When I speak of the “social” so forthright and as forming everything in human affairs, I am not excluding the other quadrant inputs into the social sphere of reality but including them, even if they are lesser focused on.
I more or less ‘hated’ public school. I was born and raised poor working class. The whole system seemed rigged, even though I am a white guy (Canadian), to benefit those who already were privileged by class. The more would get the more and doing well in education was seemingly their way of greasing their wheels of progress (success). Post-secondary schooling nor societal success meant anything important to me until my 19th year of life (after graduation from high school in a technical curriculum stream for the ‘dummies’). One course in grades 10-12 really was a place for me to shine—Biology. I was a budding naturalist (thanks to my dad, my uncle, my older brother). Learning science was hard but I did it and learned things I cared about—that is, how Life works. By my 19th year I was dedicated to pursue secondary education and make a career in science (e.g., forestry or something). The rest is history. As I went through careers and more and more degrees, “Science” grew in scope and dimensions in ways I could have never predicted back in my late teens or early 20s. Today, I reluctantly, would call myself a “scientist” but at-heart I really am. I am a little more comfortable being called a “philosopher” at-heart, an “artist”—and yet, my graduate Ph.D. training ended with a doctorate in Education.
Fear is Social
A most basic premise of my life’s work is that fear is social, or more accurately, that the nature and role of fear for humans cannot be understood without a social perspective. At some level, thus, my hypothesis is that: social fear is the best descriptor for all fears and fear itself. Contentious perhaps. I’ll return to that topic later. Now, I wish to claim that science is always social—and, the corollary, all science is social science. Let me explain.
Scientists are Social
It is no surprise that from anthropology to ecology and evolutionary studies, many scientists have concluded that “Homo sapiens” is a social species. It sounds simple to conclude. It seems true. What it exactly means and the implications are much more profound, as I have found to be the case over the decades. I think most people don’t really think about this.
Despite the history of Science being diverse, with all its twists and turns and shifts in its role and the ways scientists themselves saw their efforts to build scientific knowledge, it is likely true that at the end of the 19th century most scientists were relatively “unconcerned as to where they ought to be going. They saw no point in formulating social goals for their professional work, because they regarded science as an end rather than a means.” And many then, as still now, do not want their scientific work determined by social (e.g., economic and political) agendas of interest groups or the public at-large, according to Dubos (1970, p. 229). More characteristically, the scientists overall have not seen their own profession as a social enterprise itself—that is, shaped overly by influences from the social sphere including by non-scientists.
It is hard for the vast majority of scientists (maybe less so today) to believe that what they do intellectually may be socially-determined—in whole or in part. Kuhn’s (1970) classical analysis of the paradigm shifts of the scientific enterprise validates just how social science communities are. Scientists likely find that thought of socially-determined, socially-responsible or “mission-oriented” science rather loathsome, and beneath their self-integrity. They are very proud of their elite scientific training. I remember, the same feeling when I was fully in science education processes and working as a scientist of sorts. To get a masters or doctoral degree in some science adds to their privilege and sense of self-esteem. They see they are in a scientific establishment and career in order to best perform good (or even ‘pure’) science. No one should be telling them or even much influencing them who isn’t a scientist. The very reason of bringing this issue of Science to the foreground to begin my general social theory explication tells you something about how important I think Science is today; And especially, it tells you that I agree with Dubos (50 years ago) that the best way to talk about the current (at least Western) society is under the umbrella term “scientific civilization.”
Civilization Types: Evolving Fear(s)
As civilizations, many humans have thus evolved from tribal, to agricultural, to industrial—all because of an advance in Science (and technologies). Since late-modernity, that’s been recognized as a mixed blessing for those of us in the latter forms of civilization. Myself included, we have begun to realize the paradox of progress via Science that is now creating some of the worst nightmares of which are capable of extinguishing all civilization (e.g., nuclear weapons, anthropogenic accelerated global warming, clear-cutting forests, mining, etc.). It is arguable, that there have been new fears created and overcome at each level of civilization type listed above. However, it is also arguable, the current chronic level of fear(s) in the highly scientific civilization type is accumulative (post-traumatic) and worse than other civilizations. If so, it is another hypothesis of my social theory that with increasing progress, comings increasing social fear (of the most destructive kinds). But let’s return to my thinking on Science before focusing on other aspects of my social theory (of fear).
Need for a Social Theory of Science
It has been a great gain to knowledge generally to develop the history of science and open-up the world of Science to historians and the public. It may well be, as Dubos suggested, that it is more important for citizens in a true democracy to be critical in their literacy of how Science functions than needing to know all the facts of science and its applications. It is great to have a grasp of both, but at least it is important to learn about science as a social activity that ought to serve social purposes, as well as intellectual purposes. For example, to learn about science is to learn as a layperson that “scientific knowledge is never absolute or final, yet it remains valid when considered in the social and intellectual framework within which it was developed.” Another example, “scientists hardly ever disagree on the validity of the facts themselves, but only [mostly] on the interpretation and use of the these facts.”
The argument I am making, as did Dubos 50 years ago, is that all science operates with shifting “fashions”—that is, it is socially contextualized ‘not an island to itself’ and visa versa “all social decisions now have scientific determinants,” whether we recognize them or not. Snow’s (1959) lecture on The Two Cultures—of facts (science) vs. values (social morals and/or religion)—raised critical questions of the long modern separation of these realms; and, suggested how they ought not be fully disengaged from each other. Integral philosopher, Ken Wilber, notes that Snow called both facts and values inherently “cultures” and thus serve as social phenomena. He argued knowledge is best for cultures/societies when they are not totally battling, competing, and thus end up dissociated and divorced; but rather, today we have to work to repair their ancient marriage so that a higher holistic-integration of knowledge can once again yield wisdom and guidance for the modern, late-modern and post-modern times. There’s a need for a new thinking today—and, more so than ever it will have to be around the notion of fear. I am calling my version of this, as core to my methodological concerns, integral social thinking.
Methodology of Integral Social Thinking (IST)
As I attempt to introduce this emergent sense that my social theory itself has to be based on integral social thinking—troubling questions of knowing arise. Philosophers call this ontological and epistemological issues. I’ll start with the “integral” part of thinking—which, comes from a long venerable tradition of integral philosophies and theories in history, of which, for example, Wilber (1995) is one of the most prescient of these thinkers, and has influenced my ways of thinking since the early 1980s.
Yet, there is a further problem not so overtly dealt with as an epistemological problem in integral thinking and style, which I must mention. In the study of fear itself (meaning, the human-fear-self-social relationship dynamic) there is a problem of attempting to know something (perhaps, a prior conceptions that are faded or invisible) that is escaping its very knowability. You open a black sealed box to study something locked away inside for generations, but in assuming the light you shine on it will reveal its essence, you more or less destroy the operation and object/subject you are analyzing because it is not the proper ‘method’ to disclose the essence of that which lives in a ‘black box.’
Using this ‘black box’ as metaphor or analogy, this is what I learned in my youth when I (and others) first encountered the nascent field of “ecology.” I cannot help but be an ecological thinker, but that gets massively more complex than approaching an ecological problem of studying Nature when one brings the light of investigation to Culture—in this case, my pursuit of a social theory and a fear theory simultaneously—things get very tricky, to say the least. I’ve hinted at this problem (part of the larger Fear Problem) in my earliest works in the late 1980’s into the early 1990s and why I demarcated my subject of study of fear as ‘fear’ with (‘) marks to signify something I really didn’t know even what it was I was studying or what methods would be best for doing so). The progressive futurists Markley & Harman (1982) touched somewhat on the enigmatic attitude and sensibility in which a researcher has to imbue when after a topic, with humility, with the arational and rational modes, as they articulated one way to capture the same troubling question I am now explicating:
How does one study a priori conceptions which, by definition, are fundamental to and lie beyond the [standard] rules of inquiry of any particular discipline [of knowledge, and knowing, and understanding]? (p. xxi)
I chose to assume “fear” (and ‘fear’) as already embedded in a black box of a prior phenomenon/conceptions and no one discipline or even a couple disciplines could unravel the hidden subtle nature of fear (‘fear’). To be playful, I enlisted a neologism of “fearology” to act as a transdisciplinary approach to the topic. However, there was more I had to deal with in Markley & Harman (1982) and what they called “bricolage thinking” – and my attempt to:
....discern fundamental and usually unrecognized influences on our societal problems, on our social policies, and on our hopes [aspirations] for the future....our aim is to break out of set patterns of thinking (and hence recognize useful new ways of thinking and imaging” (p. xxi)
More specifically, my nascent methodological rationale was built upon both a defence against, and an offense for, a better knowledge about fear (‘fear’) that was already socially embedded in culture—which I soon would discover other scholars talking about how near everything today is embedded in a “culture of fear” (which by 2000, I talked about as a ‘Fear’ Matrix and/or a decade before that, I talked about a largely invisible ubiquitous form of oppression called “fearism”). I felt intuitively, and theorized from my reading, research and phenomenological experiences, that fear was already ‘hooked’ into living inside a black box that for many good reasons could not be opened or if it was it might yield more than the investigator could handle anyways (e.g., you may note the analogy here with the myths of Pandora’s Box, Icarus, Prometheus from ancient Greek as ‘warnings’ to human hubris—likewise, in psychoanalytical theory and practice there is the cautionary of any inquiry into the unconscious).
The invocation from the start of my study of fear to be in search of “fearlessness” was not by chance, albeit, I knew little of what complexity and black box I would bump into as well on this latter subject. In a nutshell, I assumed (sometimes concluded) that the deep territory of fear was an a prior social taboo (and ‘fear’ was even more elusive, denied, repressed and dangerous territory). All fear is a priori social—social fear (i.e., we humans are sociophobic, in other words, and I do not just mean this term like contemporary clinical psychiatrists would use it—as “fear of the social”—although, in part that is applicable too). Thus, I had stumbled in my early years in and around this troubling situation of the social sphere and how much or how little to let it into my investigations of fear. It seems that transdisciplinary study pushes one into creative synthesis of methodologies and multiple ways of knowing, and asks us to be not overly disciplined in trying too hard to control your subject and tools of inquiry....
[to be continued....]
Dubos, R. (1970). Reason awake: Science for man. Columbia University Press.
Fisher, R. M. (1995a/12). An introduction to defining ‘fear’: A spectrum approach. Technical Paper No. 1. In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (1995b/12). An introduction to an epistemology of ‘fear’: A fearlessness paradigm. Technical Paper No. 2. In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Kuhn, T. (1962/96). The structure of scientific revolutions. [3rd. ed.] The University of Chicago Press.
Markley, O. W., & Harman, W. W. (1982). Changing images of man. Pergamon Press.
McIntosh, S. (2007). Integral consciousness and the future of evolution: How the integral worldview is transforming politics, culture and spirituality. Paragon House.
Odum, E. P. (1972). Fundamentals of ecology [3rd ed.]. W. B. Saunders.
Scruton, D. L. (Ed.) (1986). Sociophobics: The anthropology of fear. Westview Press.
Wilber, K. (1998). The marriage of sense and soul: Integrating science and religion. Random House.
Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, ecology and spirituality: The spirit in evolution [Vol. 1]. Shambhala.
 Cf. to Skoll (2010) “Social theory of fear: Terror, torture, and death in a post-capitalist world.”
 Overtly, I co-founded the In Search of Fearlessness Project (1989-) for this work, more implicitly this is a fearanalysis I am doing on the entire phenomenon of humans and fear and life. I have several short publications on "fearanalysis" but the book on this is still to be finalized and published (with the first draft of "An Introduction to Fearanalysis" still sitting on my shelf from 2016).
 Dubos (1970), p. 229.
 Quote from Dunn (1971), cited in Markley & Harman (1982), p. 156.
 Ibid., p. 157.
 Ibid., p. 219.
 “[M]any scientists are more interested in the advancement of [scientific] knowledge, than in its possession [by non-scientists]” (Dubos, 1970, p. 209).
 Ibid., Chapter 5.
 Ibid., p. 215.
 Ibid., pp. 217-18, 219.
 Ibid. p. 220.
 “Rapid and profound shifts of emphasis [on what and how things are studied scientifically] have repeatedly occurred in the scientific community, in part because fashions change in science even more than in other types of endeavors, also because social [and economic] concerns inevitably affect intellectual preoccupation” (Dubos, 1970, p. 217); see also Kuhn (1970).
 Ibid., p. 207.
 Wilber (1998).
 One could make a massive long list of ‘integral’ thinkers going back to ancient times; they are the ‘renaissance’ types that integrated vast domains of different spheres of knowledge, arts, sciences, religion etc. More recently, in philosophy, one can identify several thinkers and lines within philosophy itself that have the qualities of the holistic-integral thinker (and/or “integral consciousness” and/or “integral worldview,” according to McIntosh (2007) some recognizable leaders of this integral movement are Georg Hegel, Henri Bergson, James Mark Baldwin, Teilhard de Chardin, Alfred North Whitehead, Jean Gebser, Jürgen Habermas, Ken Wilber (pp. 151-54).
 Odum (1971) refers to this (after G. E. Hutchinson’s notion) ‘black box’ conception as hololgical (p. 22) and which refers to complex systems that one can only study by realizing the “internal workings...are but vaguely known” (and may not be known) (p. 105).
 Fisher (1995a, 1995b).
 It is not by chance the first major initiative (I know of) in academic work to bring “fear” study out from under the umbrella of the hegemonic dominating grips of the biomedical and psychological fields (i.e., Natural sphere), into the Cultural (social) sphere—via anthropology/sociology/social psychology was called sociophobics (Scruton, 1986). The Spiritual (religious, theological) sphere, including much of philosophy also had taken on “fear” study but that is beyond the scope of the discussion here.
The basic summary of data of FM ning sign-ups (memberships) intrigues me, and shows, that after an initial 'burst' in 2015 when we started the FM ning and invited lots of people, then a drop, and finally a slow organic process of slight increase each year (with no membership drives being done) to a maximum (n =21) in 2018 for some reason? Then a slight decrease but holding to the levels of the initial year of opening the ning AND, most noticeable is that 2020 (especially in May, with effects of Covid-19 mounting, increasing fear in the world population collectively), indicating that the membership level (predictably) will reach well beyond 21 by the end of the year. Note: four new members signed-up in six days (May 16-22, 2020)--then two more signed-up by end of the month, this rate has never been even close to happening over the 5.5 yrs, except the week we started the FM ning... something is happening(?) that is unique... Now, I added another graph to show May sign-ups, and clearly, statistically, it is significant the correlation of "lockdown" (and pandemic) with the interest to sign-up to the FM ning. We ought not take this correlation lightly, and ask how we can work with this growing interest productively.
I have not done any statistics on more subtle qualitative aspects of the growth and development of the FM ning. I would say that, I am very looking forward to a vast growth in the numbers and exchanges and actions taken by FM ning members in collaborations to improve the aims of which the FM ning was started in the beginning... please join in, and please invite others to join us too. May we learn great lessons from the Covid-19 global experience and advance fearlessness into the world like a 'fear' vaccine.
Thank you Piergiacomo severini for an initial response to my question re: the philosophical discussion of Hobbes, and the nature and role of fear, and other things, that has been going on the FM ning of late. There are several things we could discuss from Piergiacomo's Comment. I offer a group of us take this on to respond to him.
I will start this thread by saying Piergiacomo offers something like a first principle on the contemporary philosophy of fear, and it is a cautionary: to avoid in most cases to reduce fear by definition, by meaning, by application to phenomenon.
This principle would overcome the problems of reductionism that methodologically (e.g., epistemologically) have a history. Reductionism is indeed, in my view one of the great forces (patterns), and habits, of a particular mindset, worldview, values sytem, beliefs, whereby a complex phenomenon is reduced (overly) to a simple phenomenon. And, my research shows that "fear" is particularly susceptible to this reductionism in our past as a species and currently this still predominates. However, there are some good signs that things are changing a bit in the direction of giving fear its due conceptual, theoretical and philosophical regard so as to avoid reductionism and critique reductionism of fear when it occurs. I would like FM ning members to give this all a good consideration and offer your views and knowledge about this topic. Who are good thinkers we could follow in this regard, be they philosophical sources, or otherwise.
The very positing of a first principle of non-reductionism of fear is at the basis of my own research on fear and fearlessness. I have gone so far as to suggest that ultimately we have to be more interdisciplinary in our discussions about fear and beyond even that, we ought to be more transdisciplinary (e.g., you can read my work on justifying this principle and direction via my writing on the 'Fear' Project, 'Fear' Studies, on fearology (and fearism), fearanalysis, and fearlessness, for starters. My use of the term 'fear' (with the ' marks) is one of a rare exploration on the topic of fear, and I believe offers a sign of resistance to the hegemony of reductionism of fear, amongst other things. My view is thus constructed on an emancipatory knowledge and methodological basis, not merely a functionalist-pragmatic one.
I look forward to hearing more on this topic, and I do not expect that it has to be a discussion all about my initiatives.
I also think there are many things in Piergiacomo's Comment(s), and others here, that could be explored and questioned.
To Listen to this 40 min. interview go to: https://noliesradio.org/archives/172012
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.
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.
For full pdf of the journal 2 (1) click here IJFS vol 2 no 1 2020 rev.pdf
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.
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 . 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  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:
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?  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.
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).
[RMF note:] Likely THE MOST COMMON assumption in looking at the “great divide” of ontology, epistemology and axiology in world history, especially in the historical era of documenting human behavior, is probably the divide between “materialist” vs. “spiritualist” worldview perspectives. Much of philosophy and theology has been particularly involved in this debate. In many ways each of us lives out this dynamic, more or less consciously, each and every day--influencing who we think we are and what is most important. It ought not be ignored today as still very complex and important in our growth and development processes.
More and more others (like Luke Barnesmoore) are questioning the structure of that debate itself and re-visioning a more useful, and arguably more “nasty” debate that we ought to be having in terms of going from an ‘old story’ to a ‘new story’ of human reclamation and re-building a ‘new’ society that is truly sustainable. Barnesmoore, over several years of his graduate work on philosophy intersecting with geography and his own contemplative experiential journey of discoveries has synthesized a somewhat coherent way to categorize the distinction he thinks is crucial to the future of our species and to guide the necessary changes in our worldviews that then will help change our behaviors individually and collectively. I think there is much merit to his work, and, most particular I am interested in his adoption of the “Fearlessness” and “Fear” distinction(s) he often makes, which are evident below:
“The Natural Worldview: 1. The order of (human) nature is inherently good. 2. Natural order as the basis for virtue and wisdom. 3. Order through emulation of natural order. 4. Power with. 5. Order through reciprocal collaboration between sun (breath, active, relatively masculine1516 [from the finite human perspective], pollen, sperm, mind, etc.) and moon (blood, latent, relatively feminine [from the finite human perspective], flower, egg, emotion, etc.). 6. Rooted in being. 7. Deliverance through return to natural order. 8. Fearlessness (love) as guiding principle of action. (Four Arrows)
The Artificial Worldview: 1. The order of (Human) nature is inherently evil (sic. fallen). 2. Natural order as the barrier to virtue and wisdom. 3. Order through domination (sic. ‘improvement’, ‘completion’, ‘destruction’, etc.) of natural order. 4. Power over. 5. Order through hierarchical domination of moon17 (blood, latent, feminine, emotion, etc.) by sun (breath, active, masculine, mind, etc.). 6. Rooted in privation of being. 7. Deliverance through conquest and colonization (Warrior 1989) of the ‘other’ (sic. the natural, the feminine, the heart, etc.). 8. Fear as guiding principle of action. (Fisher and Barnesmoore 2018)”
[Note: “Where the above tables attempt to differentiate between the Artificial-Domineering Worldview that extends back through the history of hierarchical civilization and the Natural-Indigenous Worldview so as to illustrate that the essential worldview divide is not along the line of spiritual-materialistic but along the line of whether order is to be manufactured through hierarchical domination (the Colonial Modernist materialism that rose out of the hierarchical domination side of this essential worldview divide has surely increased the stratification between the natural and indigenous worldviews, but this was not the original divide)...” (Barnesmoore, p. 18-19).]
Reference Cited: Fisher, R. M., & Barnesmoore L. 2018, “Hierarchical security: Problem of fear of the Eternal”, In R. Michael Fisher, D. Subba & B. M. Kumar, Fear, Law and Criminology: Critical Issues in Applying the Philosophy of Fearism, Australia: Xlibris.
Title: Nomadic Explorations V1: Essays in the Craft, by Luke R. Barnesmoore Founder/Co-Director, UBC Urban Studies Lab Founder/Executive Director, Center for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies PhD Student, UBC Department of Geography. This V1 is available at:
The following 1 hr interview podcast hosted by Sotiris Makrygiannis takes listeners through a philosophical tour of R. Michael Fisher's work on fear, fearism, fearlessness.
Abstract: A casual discussion around the philosophy and epistemology of Fearism. Together with M. Fisher we covered his multiple books, ways to promote books and also a philosophical branch that is inspired by the Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Hope you enjoy a friendly chat turned into a podcast. - S.M.
I'd like you to meet Debbie L. Kasman, an integral educator in Canada, someone I have just done a long dialogue with on fear in education. She is also taking on the writing of a book (with me) on my work making it more accessible to the populus, to school teachers, parents, etc. Check out the dialogue FearTalk 6:
This is 6th in the series FearTalks originated by fearologist Dr. R. M. Fisher. He invites Kasman to discuss fear and education, especially in the light of recent terrorism, mass murders and schooling communities reacting to it, including now the marketing of bullet-proof kid's backpacks. They discuss how fear is the opportunity (door) to fearlessness on the way to Love. A good video for school superintendents, policy makers, teachers, principals, parents etc. We talk about philosopher-theorist Ken Wilber in this video and the AQAL and Integral perspective, so for more on this see my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPl3-... Debbie's Bio & Website (for more info.): http://debbielkasman.com/ Debbie L. Kasman, a Canadian educator interested in transformative, holistic and integral education, is the author of: “LOTUS OF THE HEART: RESHAPING THE HUMAN AND COLLECTIVE SOUL”--a former principal, acting interim superintendent, and student achievement officer at the Ministry of Education in Ontario with a career spanning over 28 years in Ontario. Debbie recently trained with Ken Wilber – a scholar of the Integral stage of human development. Wilber also taught and influenced Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Bill Clinton, and John Mackey. Debbie has lots to say about the need to transform education. She also writes about female leadership, equity and spirituality. The New-York Times Bestselling author, Daniel H. Pink, placed Debbie’s blog on his Reader Recommended List in December 2016. Four Arrows (aka Dr. Don T. Jacobs), Indigenous educator, is also referred to in this talk: See Fisher's book "Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows: The true story of an Indigenous-based Social Transformer" (Peter Lang, 2018).
See FearTalk 7 as well...
ALSO, as an aside and complementary article on culture of fear and the role it plays in Education (especially, regarding higher education and the loss of intellectual inquiry) see Frank Furedi's article "he Campus Culture of Fear" --here's an excerpt from the article on the Internet:
A climate of fear is inhospitable to the cultivation of academic relationships and the pursuit of intellectual inquiry. Take the growing stigma attached to the term “controversial speaker.” Once, controversy was seen as essential to the workings of an academic community; nowadays, many university administrators fear controversy to the point that they have designed policies to marginalize or ban provocative speakers altogether, as the title of a Xavier University publication—Controversial Speakers and Events: Strategies for Risk Management—demonstrates.
Arguably, the most regrettable feature of the campus culture of fear is the toll that it takes on human relations. People censor themselves vigilantly. Like other academics, I have been warned that it’s unsafe to shut my office door when I talk to a student. And as relations between academics and students become less spontaneous and more formal, the ancient role of mentor or interlocutor gives way to that of service provider or bureaucrat. The psychic distancing of members of the academic community from one another is the unacceptable price we pay for our obsession with campus “safety.”
B.Maria Kumar, R.Michael Fisher & Desh Subba
Here’s the book back-cover note:
“So many nations today, large and small, are faced with compelling global and local circumstances, breaking acute crises, and lingering long-term chronic problems that demand leaders and followers to cope as best they can. However, there’s a growing suspicion in most everyone’s minds—from the higher classes to the lower classes, across races, religions, and various differences—where there is a deep feeling that something big needs to change. From real threats and tragic events like violence, crime, wars, global warming, mass extinctions to more specific problems of population densities to health concerns and economic near-collapse, people know that living in fear is not a quality way to live. India is a unique and great nation, with its tragic realities in the past and present, haunting its future. B. Maria Kumar, born and raised and having worked all his career in the streets, knows India well and knows what needs to change. He writes from great intellectual acumen, an understanding of history and mythology, and with vision for a better India. He has invited two colleagues to respond to his analysis of problems and solutions, each of them (Subba, a Nepali philosopher and poet living in Hong Kong, and Fisher, a Canadian philosopher and educator) to respond to his views. This book brings a trifold synthesis of how the nature and role of fear is critical to the shaping and destiny of India. Not enough development theories or thinking have invoked “fear” as a major construct to analyze, as a new way to interpret culture, religion, policies, plans and governance overall across the world. India seems the perfect location to start a new critical and creative consciousness that sets goals that the three authors believe are essential for India to make progress into the twenty-first century. Growing insecurity, uncertainty, mistrust, and corruption that accompany them is no way to build a nation resilient for the major challenges coming. In the face of a daunting task, the authors step-up boldly into the dimension of vision and realities facing a nation. They don’t shy away from saying what needs to be named, for only then will such honesty clear a path of fearlessness forward. This book will serve as a guide for many in India and its allies to rethink the ways they have understood the problems in India’s development.”
I've just completed a lengthy Technical Paper No. 79, "Fearlessness Psychology: An Introduction"... it is long over-due as I have been pursuing to clarify my 'new' psychology project that seems imperative in our troubled times. I have been a critic of Psychology (therapies, etc.) for a long time... and, I think this will help you understand my work better, as no doubt many have found my work still difficult to get their head around--and, many have rejected it. I believe this paper will make it all more clear but who knows.
Abstract (to Tech Paper 79):
The author tells of his resistances to and his love of “psychology” since his youthful years until the present. He sets up the most basic (inadequate) starting place for his new psychology or psychology in a ‘new key’ by placing his inquiry and explorations upon the reference of an “Indigenous Perspective” (or worldview). He calls this “fearlessness psychology” of which it immediately by name alone challenges that most all other psychologies available to humankind are fear-based in their conceptualization and in their offerings and thus no wonder the Fear Problem continues to blossom. He lays out the problematics of all he is doing here and claims that his entire exposition in this technical paper is necessary to go through—he believes it will communicate itself with a wider audience because of this—but his critical philosopher-self is constantly critical of just about everything he sets out—and, yet, there’s no room in this introductory paper to deal with all his philosophical critiques of his own work (and others). This he suggests, a conflictual tension throughout the paper, is probably a really good way to proceed creating a new psychology—which, he wishes he didn’t have to call a psychology per se. With that, the author proceeds to engage a fascinating array of ideas that potentially will change the way “Psychology” is conceived in the first place. The future, if it is to be at all healthy, sustainable and sane, ought to take this Fisherian path and the sooner the better. For it is worth, an improved universal ethical referent is needed, says the author and fearlessness psychology is one way to nourish that imperative and transformative option. A better wisdom and compassion, he argues is likely a consequence of this new psychology—which is not really a psychology.
The following Technical Papers (1-84) are all available and all Yellow Papers, on the PRISM digital library, University of Calgary archives. A Google Scholar Search under my name will likely show them all as well.
Fisher, R. M. (2019). Schopenhauer on fear. Technical Paper No. 84. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2019). Politics of fear: An integrative paradigm of fear management/education. Technical Paper No. 83. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research
Fisher, R. M. (2019). Notes and drawings to myself: A Fearlessness future. Technical Paper No. 82. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2019). How the “culture of positivity” debilitates Fear Studies. Technical Paper No. 81. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2019). In Search of Fearlessness Project: Archival memory, 1989-91. Technical Paper No. 80. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2019). Fearlessness Psychology: An introduction. Technical Paper No. 79. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2018). Fisher’s engagements with fearism: An annotated bibliography. Technical Paper No. 78. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2018). Fear, fearlessness and education: Annotated bibliography of the publications of R. Michael Fisher. Technical Paper No. 77. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2018). “Fear has no place...”: The youth movement for fearlessness in need of critique. Technical Paper No. 76. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2018). Hypnosis to feargnosis: An introduction to trance-formations. Technical Paper No. 75. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2018). ‘Fear’ Studies, 12 years later: Progress and barriers. Technical Paper No. 74. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2018). The fourth stage of the fearologist. Technical Paper No. 73. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2018). The Fearlessness Movement: Meta-context exposed! Technical Paper No. 72. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2018). Education and the Fear Problem: An investigation of “truths”. Technical Paper No. 71. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2017). Ecocriticism, ecophobia and Indigenous criticism. Technical Paper No. 70. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2017). Fearanalysis and ecocriticism in the light of terrorcriticism. Technical Paper No. 69. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2017). Eco-philosophy of fearism and ecocriticism: In an Age of Terror. Technical Paper No. 68. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2017). Ecocriticism, ecophobia and the culture of fear: Autobiographical reflections. Technical Paper No. 67. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Insitute.
Fisher, R. M. (2017). Why eco-criticism now?: Pathways to the Eco-Fear Problem and ecophobia. Technical Paper No. 66. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2017). Love-Fear: Uni-Bicentric Theorem as basis for the Fearlessness Movement. Technical Paper No. 65. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2017). “Fearism”: A critical analysis of uses and discourses in global migration studies. Technical Paper No. 64. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2016). Transformation of Fear: A critical look in educational philosophy and contexts. Technical Paper No. 63. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2016). Invoking fearanalysis: A new methodology applied to wicked problems and paradigm shifts in the Anthropocene. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-15. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2016). Four Arrows: His philosophy, theory, praxis & pedagogy. Technical Paper No. 62. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M., Coyne, E., and Biddington, T. (2016). Education, theology and fear: Two priests and a fearologist in dialogue. Technical Paper No. 61. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2016). Educators, we have a culture of fear problem! A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-14. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2016). Ideological underpinnings of colonial domination in understanding fear itself. Technical Paper No. 60. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2016). Problem of branding “fearlessness” in education and leadership. Technical Paper No. 59. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2016). In defense of fearism: The case of Noam Chomsky. Technical Paper No. 58. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. and Subba, D. (2016). Terrrorism: A guide to fearful times based on a philosophy of fearism. Technical Paper No. 57. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2015). Fearanalysis: Further notes from a forensic craft. Technical Paper No. 56. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2015). Educative criteria for using the terms “fearlessness” and “fearless.” Technical Paper No. 55. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2015). Educating ourselves: Lovist or Fearist perspective? Technical Paper No. 54. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2015). What is the West’s problem with fearlessness? Technical Paper No. 53. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2015). Further steps to an ecology of fear. Technical Paper No. 52. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2014). Towards a theory of fearism. Technical Paper No. 51. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2014). Aesthetics of a decolonizing mind. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-13. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M., and J. M. Massey) (2014). Decolonizing: What makes for a (r)evolution today?: Oppressor and oppressed in critical integral praxis. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-12. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (with Massey, J. M.) (2014). Decolonizing: Physician of the mind (interview with Jason Martez Massey). A CSIIE Yellow Paper DIFS-11. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2014). "Fearless leadership" in education: Containers, contradictions & recalibrations. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-10. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2014). Making an integral therapist: Sociotherapist (Part 1). A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-9. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2013). Fearuality: Introduction to a theoretical and conceptual breakthrough. Technical Paper No. 50. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2013). Females and fear: Contributions and challenges. Technical Paper No. 49. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2013). The problem of defining the concept of "fear-based." Technical Paper No. 48. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2013). On being a good integralist. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-8. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2013). Fearology and the French historical consciousness of its Intelligentsia. Technical Paper No. 47. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2013). Fearlessness paradigm meets Bracha Ettinger's matrixial theory. Technical Paper No. 46. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2013). Making fearuality more sexy: Intersections with Foucault. Technical Paper No. 45. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2013). 'Fear' without feelings (FWF): Latest discoveries & speculations on the cure for 'fear.' Technical Paper No. 44. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2013). Shadow Problem, Fear Problem: Jung meets fearanalysis. Technical Paper No. 42. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2012). Foundations for 'Fear' Studies: 9 propositions. Technical Paper No. 43. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2012). Towards an integral fearlessness theory (Part 1): Nondual integralism. Technical Paper No. 41. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2012). Do we really want a fearless society? Technical Paper No. 40. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2012). Erich Fromm and universal humane experience: Application in the aesthetic domain for art educators. Technical Paper No. 39. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2012). Steps to an ecology of fear: Advanced curriculum for fearlessness. Technical Paper No. 38. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2012). Love and fear. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-6. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2012). Beginning dispensations of integral fearology: Systematics and problematics in the study of fear. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-5. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2012). The Fear Matrix: The making of a revolutionary lived curriculum. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-4. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2012). A survey of contemporary integral adult/higher education: A CSIIE pilot project. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2011). "Culture of fear" and education: An annotated bibliography [2nd ed.]. Technical Paper No. 28. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2011). A new ‘Fear’ Studies vocabulary. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-3. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2011). A research agenda to legitimate the study of ‘fear;: Beginning Fearology 2000-11. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-2. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2011). The flatland and fearlessness teachings of Ken Wilber. A CSIIE Yellow Paper, DIFS-1. Carbondale, IL: Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education.
Fisher, R. M. (2011). A ‘Fear’ Studies perspective and critique: Analyzing English and Stengel’s progressive study of fear and learning in Educational Theory. Technical Paper No. 37. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2010). The death of Psychology: Integral and Fifth Force psychologies. Technical Paper No. 36. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2010). World’s fearlessness teachings: Radical approach to fear management/education. Technical Paper No. 35. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2009). The quest to control emotion(s): A critical integral fearanalysis. Technical Paper No. 34. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2009). “Unplugging” as real and metaphoric: Emancipatory dimensions to The Matrix trilogy. Technical Paper No. 33. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2008). What ‘color’ is Pandora’s Box?: Dialoguing on fear, art installation 1. Technical Paper No. 32. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2008). Fearless standpoint theory: Origins of FMS-9 in Ken Wilber’s work. Technical Paper No. 31. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2008). A post-9/11 watershed: Uniting the fearlessness movement. Technical Paper No. 30. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2007). The need for holistic fear management. Technical Paper No. 29. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2007). Culture of fear and education: An annotated bibliography. Technical Paper 28. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2007). Ken Wilber and the education literature: Abridged annotated bibliography. Retrieved from
Fisher, R.M. (2007). A guide to Ken Wilber and the educational literature: Annotated bibliography. Technical Paper No. 27. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2007). Disappear fear: Action fearology for the 21st century. Technical Paper No. 26. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2007). Education and the culture of fear: A review. Technical Paper No. 25. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2007). Toward an integral terror management theory: Wilber-Combs lattice. Technical Paper No. 24. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2007). Conceptualizing a fearlessness philosophy: Existential philosophy and a genealogy of fear management system-5. Technical Paper No. 23. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2007). History of the fearlessness movement: An introduction. Technical Paper No. 22. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. & Bickel, B. (2007). Toward a postmodern spirituality: A ‘new’ vision for ISOF. Technical Paper No. 21. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2006). Integral fearlessness paradigm. Technical Paper No. 20. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2005). Critical integral ‘Fear’ Studies: A basic organizing framework. Technical Paper No. 19. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2004). Significance of fear. Technical Paper No. 18. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2004). Wilber and fear management theory. Technical Paper No. 17. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2003). Fear is... Technical Paper No. 16. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2003). A report on the status of fear education. Technical Paper No. 15. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2002). On being a 'fear' critic. Technical Paper No. 14. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2002). What is the 'Fear' Matrix: Part I, Failure of cultural. Technical Paper No. 13. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2001). Fearology: Biography of an idea. Technical Paper No. 12. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2001). 'Fear' studies: A conceptual proposal. Technical Paper No. 11. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2000). A movement toward a fearless society: A powerful contradiction to violence. Technical Paper No. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (2000). Unveiling the hidden curriculum in conflict resolution and peace education: Future directions toward a critical conflict education and 'conflict' pedagogy. Technical Paper No. 9 Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (2003). Philosopher on fear meets Oprah-Not!. Technical Paper No. 8. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (1998/2012). Culture of 'fear': Toxification of landscape-mindscape as meta-context for education in the 21st century. Technical Paper No. 7. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (1997). Defining the enemy of fearlessness. Technical Paper No. 6. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (1997). (2nd Ed.). A research guide to Ken Wilber's critics. Technical Paper No. 5. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R. M. (1997). Thanatos and Phobos: 'Fear' and its role in Ken Wilber's transpersonal theory. Technical Paper No. 4. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (1996). A Wilberian critique of the philosophy of emotion. Technical Paper No. 3. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (1995). An introduction to an epistemology of 'fear'; A fearlessness paradigm. Technical Paper No. 2. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
Fisher, R.M. (1995). An introduction to defining 'fear'; A spectrum approach. Technical Paper No. 1. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
NOTE: "In denial" is a code word for "in fear" (terror)... let's face it... then, we begin being part of the "solution" (if there is such a thing; we start the restorations, we start the path of fearlessness)...
Andrew Harvey a long-haul serious spiritual teacher, along with others like Marianne Williamson, are really starting to take their critical shots big time at so much of the commodified bull shift and narcissism in the "spirituality" that cricles around human potential, pop cult spirituality, and new ageism... I am totally in agreement with their assessment as I have watched this bull shit for 30 years and not been impressed with how they manage fear (by trying to transcend it)--and, get themselves so wrapped up in their own spiritual enlightenment they miss the very disasters under their feet. "Terrifying" says Harvey, now that's what we have to admit to 'turn' (if possible) this all into a much better future outcome than the one this is fast going down now. Welcome to the Fearlessness Movement--a time for true Sacred Warriors.
AND, for those who want to learn more about the "Deep Adaptation" movement, and facing our collective death and suffering on massive scale with the "inevitable" real collapsing of environment and social systems in the very near future (less than 10 years)... go to a great conversation by David Thorson (of Emerge podcast) with guest Dr. Jem Bendell on "The Meaning of Joy of Inevitable Social Collapse" https://anchor.fm/emerge
BTW, since writing this blog, a bunch more people (e.g., David Suzuki) etc. are coming out with the "collapse" narrative re: the precarious future facing humanity and the earth, to the point where various organizations I see are starting to collect resources to try to help people cope with the dramatic changes and potential suffering and death inevitable--e.g., "Library of Collapse" is one:
This Library was established with three distinct purposes.The first is to be a repository and distribution point of key information that would be useful for surviving and thriving before, during and after societal collapse. To achieve this goal we intend to make our entire site downloadable. Individual knowledge-base PDFs will also be provided on a per-entry basis.Our second goal is to aggregate important news happening around the world today pertaining to collapse. We will not interpret the news, nor will be selective in our narrative or editorialise. We are here to merely report the facts and allow our readers to form their own opinions.Our third and final goal, is to be a place of support. Collapse is a scary notion for many, and can drive people towards depression. Our goal is to provide comfort, guidance and perhaps even some hope. We believe that individuals can still change the world.
What topics does the library cover?The Library of Collapse will cover topics that will prove helpful before, during and after collapse.We will have resources on preparing your home for natural disasters or intrusion. Writers are already working on a series of sustainable living guides, including micro-farming, alternative energy for your home and much more. Our library also covers important life skills that could make all the difference in a world on the brink of collapse.We hope that you will find this growing library indispensable as we head into uncertain times.----------------------------OF COURSE, I TOO, AS WITH ANY FEAROLOGIST-TYPE, OUGHT TO BE VERY INVOLVED IN THIS MOVEMENT... WE CAN OFFER SOMETHING UNIQUE.
New Video (35 min.)... where I describe how I am stepping up full of inspiration to enter "politics" (i.e., from the perspective of the political sphere, a holistic-integral approach)...
[companion video recently: The Great Collapse: How Afraid Should We be?] Note: my play off the term/concept "The Great"  has an intellectual history behind it, important for those readers and viewers who really want to understand where I am coming from.
New Video- Description: The Great Citizen
Dr. Fisher talks of how he is moving to make a commitment over the next 10 years to enter the political sphere and politics. He shares his experience professionally as a teacher and differentiates that from being an educator (especially, adult educator). He questions and critiques politics and political figures but also supports their differing pieces of the puzzle toward the making of a great citizen, great society, etc. What makes a process philosophy, thinking, person is explored, and he shows his intention to study the history of transformation in the last 100 years especially and how it is essential to understand what is transformation and its role in the political sphere and politics of which he mentions Marianne Williamson as an exemplar for a holistic-integral approach as she is currently running for President of the USA in 2020. Always asking: "What are we learning?" is key to his educational philosophy and thus "learning to learn" is both a meta-cognitive skill but also the basis for a great learner/citizen and it is essential to analyzing the problems and crises we face individually and collectively.
(action still from my video)...
1. The first book and stream of intellectual thought on the telling of 'Big Story' narratives per se came from my encounter in the late 70s-early 80s sometime, and reading the little booklet I ordered from the US by eminent Thomas Berry, the self-identified geologian (cultural historian) at the time, entitled "The New Story" (also a recent video has been put together on this work http://thomasberry.org/publications-and-media/the-new-story-1)--and, much later Berry wrote a critically important work to many in the holistic movement called "The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future" (2000) ; but the more substantive perennial philosophy work I read sometime in the early 80s was one that was promoted as foundational in the transpersonal philosophy of Ken Wilber at that time, and it is the classic (1936) book "The Great Chain of Being: A study of the History of an Idea" by Authur O. Lovejoy. There was that sense of "The Great" something, historically, evolutionarily and beautifully articulated, as what Wilber later called the "spirit in evolution" basically. And that's all resonant with my own soul and sensing that there is some 'big picture' (a fav. term of Wilber's) going on that I or anyone could learn about and feel there is an alternative view of history (and the future) than what the straight-up historians (and evolutionists in biology) have been and still were (and still are) painting about the nature and destiny of humans, Homo sapiens, and humanity and human nature, etc. The next in the trilogy on "The Great" works that came to me is David C. Korten's (2005), "The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community"--again, much could be said on how important this book and teaching is, and to say the least Korten has attracted a huge following across a lot of different areas, but yes, still within the alternatives movements. To be interested in "transformation" at the core of my process philosophy, politics and education, one has to link these triad or quadrad of influences to my work to make sense of what "transformation" means to me. And with a little research there are others who have their own versions of The Great Turning, e.g., a very important leader, and Buddhist eco-activist, Joanna Macy, https://vimeo.com/191169785 ;
2. "Great Work" (i.e., magnum opus) is a term with spiritual-philosophical rooting that apparently goes back to ancient Hermetic (esoteric) philosophy, at least, as a legacy and tradition of thinking about the reality and future reality that the human and consciousness is participating in, and can shape and can be shaped by.
"Emotional civil war" ... a very interesting (?) campaign quote... and, what does she really mean by this? And what is a fearologist's perspective of her rhetoric, intention, and potential for presidential victory and/or at least influence in American culture and politics. See my new youtube video on "Ethical Leadership: Marianne Williamson"
In the INTRODUCTION of Fisher & Subba (2016), p. xxxi , you will read a philosophy of fearism (and fearlessness) perspective on Marianne Williamson, and you will see that I have (in particular) been following her philosophy and social media following for a long time. She is a close friend with the media star Oprah Winfrey, and many others (see picture below on this webpage of FM ning). In that Introduction, Subba and I ask : "WHY FOCUS ON FEAR, NOT LOVE?" and then we begin the chapter with a quote from Williamson:
"Crossing the bridge to a better world begins with crossing a bridge inside myself, from the addictive mental patterns of fear and separation, to enlightened perceptions of unity and love. I have been trained by the world to think fearfully, and today I choose to think with love." (from A Year of Miracles), and, many of you may or may not know that she is a 'big' promoter and teacher, supported by A Course in Miracles movement. In this spiritual movement "love" is placed as the answer to "fear" and all of our problems. The dialogue between Subba and I now moves on in the Introduction to show how unreliable, if not distorted, from a fearist perspective, this emphasis on love is the answer approach to personal and world transformation. We risked to critique, in a mild way in this chapter, a person (and ideology), who is now running for the 2020 American political presidency under the Democratic party. She is a populist leader, with no experience in politics per se, althought a few years ago she ran for a local congress position in California but never made it very far. Now she is going for the 'big' position. It will be interesting to watch, but more importantly it will be interesting to see how her work (as part of the Fearlessness Movement) will emerge on the 'big' stage of American politics in a time of crisis.
I for one, will keep analyzing her work and offering her and her supporters ideas of how to better bring about a challenge and intervention to disrupt that problem of being (in her words) "trained by the world to think fearfully"... and, challenging her movement to look at fearism and fearlessness to better inform their own philosophy and politics.
1. Fisher, R. M., & Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.
ADDITIONAL NOTE - M. W. is also an endorser of one of my favorite philosophers Ken Wilber, for e.g.
OH, interesting The Washington Post (a rather conservative major newspaper in USA)... wants to spin the story of MW's campaign in the ruts of the traditional right winger folks like Dobson's "tough love" pitch for parents, which a lot of people bought hook line and sinker back 30 years ago... and, also if you see the headlines (below) on The Washington Post interview (and the photo shoot which really is a 'joke' and 'play' on MW, not taking her really seriously)--and, then you get the headlines... which one thinks she is again being played with by this media journalist and well... you can make up your own mind... I'm so skeptical of who is behind these newspapers--owned by a handful of the very elite she criticizes :
[Peele talks about miracles] [a small excerpt from her text for this article, which I nearly gag on]:
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