This comes from a website (endorsed by Ken Wilber and engaged with Wilber's work/teachings): https://superhumanos.net/
This comes from a website (endorsed by Ken Wilber and engaged with Wilber's work/teachings): https://superhumanos.net/
This short blog is my simple introducing of the newly coined term in my vocabulary: "fearlessness psychology." For 30 years I have been studying fear and fearlessness. I eventually realized I was shaping a philosophy of fearlessness (now, fearlessness philosophy)  but there seemed something still not fully fleshed out in the philosophy which I realize I can better flesh out and make clear for people in psychology--at least, that's what I have recently figured out. But for various reasons (see below), I kept on the side the very close association of my work with Psychology (as a discipline). I didn't trust something about Psychology overall.
Before I try to give a definition/meaning for fearlessness psychology, which is something really very complex and I won't be able to do it justice here because it still is in progress of being so conceptualized, there is some background to this conception of such a new psychology that is worth articulating. It will help with understanding its meaning as I am shaping and emerging with it an exciting discovery and potential.
Psychology: A Love & Hate Relationship
My autobiographical reflections could go on and on about my relationship to Psychology (as a discipline of study and knowledge and practice). I cut my teeth in my growing up on natural history and then biological, behavioral, ecological and environmental sciences. My first careers and love. Psychology only entered very briefly into my early studies in youth because I was interested in people "values" and how they "behaved" in regard to treating Nature and the environment, and environmental problems so poorly. I intuited that I would need to understand human behavior to be a good steward and wildlife professional and environmental activist. I wanted to know how to change human behavior, for the better. But I never really studied it much, until in my Education degree and having to take courses, and having my first wife introduced me to depth psychology in the form of the psychology of Carl Jung, then William James, and on and on I began to study more and more on psychology as questions of human nature, the human condition and human potential really interested me, especially as I switched my career to Education.
I learned that there are many kinds of psychologies, probably hundreds of varieties by names, like psychoanalysis, like behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, abnormal psychology, etc. I pretty much wanted to learn from them all and often still find them interesting to read. My biggest informing "metatheory" (and historical and philosophical perspective) on psychologies and the pattern of their evolution, role and nature in human societies came from reading about various classifications of them and most useful was the work of Ken Wilber (and, others in the transpersonal psychology movement of the 1970s-80s). Wilber and others had this overarching classification that pretty much all psychologies, could be classified, more or less, into four or five major "forces" or waves (movements) of Psychology: (1) psychoanalysis, (2) behaviorism, (3) humanistic-existential, (4) transpersonal. Some have said (5) Integral is the meta-wave and encompasses all the prior waves . My favorite of these psychology forces have been (3) and (4) for many years, but all along I was reading Ken Wilber and eventually I totally got hooked on Integral Psychology (and philosophy) as my fav. and psychoanalysis all along has been growing in appeal and interest. The most popular psychology today is cognitive-behaviorism, the 2nd wave, as it has come to dominate and done so because it has most aligned with "sciences" (e.g., biological-neuro sciences).
Critical Psychology: A Beginning Critique
Through my studies I found anthropology, sociology, cultural studies and philosophy etc. as having their critiques of "Psychology" and especially because Psychology more aligned itself with the Biomedical Paradigm (i.e., Medicine) and sought to be more and more mainstream and developed a dominance on the knowledges of "psychology" and started to control more and more of W. society (at least) in the last 100+ years. I paid attention to these critiques, and as well followed a good deal of the battles between the various forces (and schools) of psychologies. All I knew is that my fav. psychologies were more on the margins all the time and often weren't even studied in university psychology degree programs nor barely mentioned in the texts. I thought a wide diversity of psychologies was healthy, but that's not how textbooks were written nor how funding for psychological research was distributed. The "power" play and domination of some psychologies over others I found reprehsible and often unethical--a political game that was most unfortunate and still is.
Then one day I discovered a field (very marginal as well) called "critical psychology"  and that was even more radical in challenging how "mainstream" psychology functions and biases the knowledge and practices of how we deal with human beings. Something was very wrong in my education background because I had never heard of this sub-field of critical psychology. I was positively attracted to an 'honest' and 'transparent' psychological approach that was critical of itself and saw its own limitations in terms of methodology and understanding and politics in its uses and ways. Critical psychology was more open that way. Then I found somewhere in all this study the work of James Hillman and archetypal psychology (a branch of transpersonal and spiritual psychologies). And there in Hillman's (1977) book  I found a masterful and sound articulation of critique of what Hillman called the whole domain of humanism and humanism's psychologies. I won't be going into his critique but to say in re-reading this book again recently it so inspired me and I realized much of my view of psychology and theorizing of psychology (and practicing psychologizing and therapy) has a lot of resonance with archetypal psychology, integral psychology, liberation psychology and feminist psychology and so on... I have a truly unique combination of psychologies (9-10 of them) and my own interpretations and creative expansions on all those too--and, what comes out of that is that I ought to label my own psychology (synthesis) after all these years of study. So, out came "fearlessness psychology" as my way to focus my own research, practices and writing on psychology but in this new way. Hillman's classic book I've mentioned shows that the very definition of psychology and therapy (for e.g.) really need to be reconstructed and aligned more with our ancient history as a W. civilization (at least)--and, again, that's a larger story I won't go into here.
Fearlessness Psychology: Introduced
It will take many articles and a book or two probably in the future to arc out the architecture of this new psychology I am proposing. What is very evident is that it has come from 30 years of specialist study on my part re: fear and fearlessness--and what I started calling fearology and philosophy of fearlessness, etc.
Fearlessness psychology at a minimum is a psychology that is (ideally) no longer based on the ego-centered view of psychology (i.e., human behavior). It is no longer fear-based because it is no longer ego-centered. And, thus, it ought to be called fearlessness centered . My vision (meaning) for such a fearlessness psychology is that it would both critique all psychologies (including itself)--and, especially critique how "fear-based" they all (mostly) are, and how they have not near understood or been honest about the nature and role of fear in human psychology and even the discipline of Psychology and in the methodology we call "science" which Psychology so relies on more and more for its credibility and power. This fear-based psychology paradigm is what a fearlessness psychology critiques and at the same time also shows there is an alternative, more mature and liberated psychology awaiting for humans to develop and tap into for improving our current human state and crises of all kinds.
I think that's all of what I want to share about my new psychology here, at this time. I look forward to talking with you all about it.
1. I also realized over the years I was shaping a fearlessness theory (and pedagogy) and I was making many connections of my work with critical theory (and pedagogy)--but that's a much larger story I won't tell here.
2. See for e.g., 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. [available ERIC ED510303 pdf]
3. The first resource book on this was Fox, F., & Prilleltensky, I. (1997). Critical psychology: An introduction. London: Sage.
4. E.g., Hillman, J. (1977). Re-visioning psychology. NY: Harper & Row.
5. A more complex technical point here is that I actually base my new psychology on a "fearless" standpoint which I have talked about in my work for decades. Fearlessness centered is also called "2nd-tier" consciousness (organization) in Spiral Dynamics integral technology theory and practice (see also Wilber). I won't go into this here.
I just created a first in a series of 3 videos "Understanding Jordan Peterson 1: Social Implications"
I just created a second in a series of 3 videos "Understanding Jordan Peterson 2: Conflict Implications"
I just created a third in a series of 3 videos "Understanding Jordan Peterson 3: Fear Implications"
Ken Wilber (critical and popular voice for a new "integralism" needed in postmodern times (?)
THEME: How is the 'backlash' against postmodernism philosophy justified, how is it a good thing... and what is happening in the polarizing debates between the "progressives" so-called and the "conservatives"--a big battle everywhere in the world... this, one that Jordan Peterson is 'hitting on the nerve' is particularly important!
I, like many, are watching the incredible popularity of the digital 'guru' of media on the internet (youtube world and beyond)-- professor Peterson ... and, to make sense of his arguments, his style of delivery and his own ideological commitments and rigidity (his fears)-- I think a really good critique can be made by looking at Integral Philosophy (via Ken Wilber's work, whom I use a lot in my work on fear and fearlessness)-- see the interview (as an e.g., of an integral lens applied on Peterson's philosophy and the movement he is spawning rapidly)- this interview commentary by Jeff Salzman, a student of Wilber's for many years, brings many good points to light...
I plan to do a video (on my Youtube channel) soon exploring how a fearlessness context (lens) could be brought into a critique of Jordan and his followers in general... stay tuned.
I recently sent this letter out to my connections in Calgary, AB, Canada, but then also felt it was relevant to you all on the FM ning, as you come to learn more about me and my teaching.
As part of my "landing" (still in transition in returning to Canada, Calgary, after 20 years away)... there's some good clarity arriving of late as to my teaching priorities that I offer (listed below). I wish to share this clarity with you, as not meant necessarily to be anything more than that, because I appreciate your friendship and witnessing me on this journey as a "teacher" in progress always becoming--and if you feel called to assist my teaching work (especially in Calgary and W. Canada, for a start) that's great. Let's talk further. Best, -M.
Sorry folks for the poor reproduction of this model I found on the Internet, it is the best version I can find, eventually I'll make another better copy. It is, as an integral fearologist (which I am), a nice quick (overly-simplified) complex systems model of how to look at crisis and crisis management of any one topic, in this case the maker (anonymous ) of this particular version used Wilber's Quadrant (Integral) model to apply to the "Eco-Crisis" globally. So, there is a macro-scale view being mapped out here as "terrains" (quadrants of reality) to attend to, at a minimum. I share this because I wish my colleagues and others on the FM ning to consider this model of analysis and critique. It is too much to go into detail here of all the dynamics and theory behind this model but if you are interested you can look up terms on the Internet or start discussion here on the the FM ning.
But HOW ABOUT APPLYING SUCH A MODEL IN LOOKING AT THE FEAR-CRISIS on this planet? Now, that would be a worthwhile project, a beginning, so that we can nuance our conversations (at times) around integral theory, more or less, and see what benefits that type of analysis may offer. Of course, one doesn't have to over-use this model either, and leave lots of open-ended approaches as well. Oh, btw, I am a staunch critic of the way these integral quadrant models are represented period, they distort many things, including that they are too clean and the lines shown ought to be dashed (boundary lines but porous) because the realities in each quadrant are co-emerging all the time in a total dynamic system (Reality). Anyways, this gives us a peek into the epistemic nature of inquiry that Ken Wilber's work has shown to offer and it has really helped my work on fear management for many years.
I am particularly noticing in the Lower Left quadrant (LL) Crisis of Systems, there is a point of notice made re: "enforcement" (which brings forward the domain of dialogues going on right now between Subba, Kumar and myself on Fearcriminalalysis (and, my overlapping interest in also Fearpoliticology)...
1. It is likely Sean Esjborn-Hargens and/or Michael Zimmerman, their website www.integralecology.org/source is where it was at one time but this website is no longer in service, and so, it may be in their big book entitled "Integral Ecology" (2009).
There are many approaches to thinking, writing and teaching. What I have learned over my 45 years of teaching, more or less, professionally, with then getting three post-secondary degrees in Education as a field, is that it is good to continually reflect not only on our thinking and content, but on how we design curricula, how we imagine the nature of the human being, and how we actually teach in diverse conditions and to whom. Most people as content-experts are not trained to think this way, educatively.
I plan to write a few articles on adult/higher education and post them on the FMning, as it is especially important to examine how we teach about philosophy of fearism  (and the "Three Pillars" you've seen mentioned on prior blogs here). There is no doubt that I (like so many today) are very frustrated and critical of most public and generic education institutions, especially as so many of them have folded to economic efficiency (e.g., neoliberalism ideologies), and/or political regime's of authoritarian and repressive "revolutionary" even governments and their "reforms" they bring to higher education--but actually are "gutting" higher education and critical thinking all together. Then there is the ongoing critique I and many others educators have that the curriculums are so often reductionistic, parts-based, all about quantity, and the loss of a whole person being educated comes into question--and, many have called for a "spirituality" in higher education to meet the deeper needs and desires of our students, especially in very difficult times.
Most of you who have read my work know that I am in favor of spirituality as a goal of education, and as a context for overall human development, especially at the higher levels of consciousness. In this regard, I acknowledge there can be many troubling views of "spirituality" that may or may not include typical "religion" or religious type approaches to education. My own interest is mostly reflected in the spirituality conceptualizations of the integral philosopher Ken Wilber. I thus, open this series of FM blogs with a republishing of one of my pieces on an old website at the Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education (for alternative online higher education I founded in 2009):
Back in 2009, when I served as Director of Research and Education for Gaia House Interfaith Center, I was deeply steeped in reading Parker J. Palmer's The Courage To Teach (1). There was a local group of people from Gaia House community (Hugh Muldoon, then Director, and Michael Batinsky, Board member and a few others off and on) discussing the "integrative education" work of Palmer and his critique of higher education and his invitation to renewal. Our group co-sponsored talks on the SIUC campus for students and faculty on changes needed in higher education, of which one of those sessions was particularly geared to Palmer's contributions.
Palmer has had a great influence on many thousands of educators from all levels, but he has written most particularly in adult and higher education. I came across his book in 1998 (first ed.) during my graduate research because he had a chapter in that book on the "Culture of Fear" in higher education and its deadly consequences. That was right up my alley, and I so appreciated Palmer was one of the first, at least the biggest well-known, higher educator to call out the "culture of fear" as problematic.
Two interesting bits of research lately have made me very encouraged that Palmer's work, which I have also been a big critic of (2) from an integral educational perspective, is extending beyond his typical spiritual-liberal "green meme"-centric positioning. The first case was discovering that he was invited to speak at the 2007 commencement for the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in 2007. I thought to myself, wow, Palmer has never in his writing and talks, that I know of, ever referred to "integral" (3) in the tradition of Integral Studies, and CIIS is the premier institute in North America if not the world on integral philosophy and integral theory. Ken Wilber, and other important integral thinkers have influenced CIIS and taught there, although lately Wilber specifically has distanced himself from it's ideological direction into aspects of what he would call political correctness via "extreme postmodernism" (i.e., his critique of the "mean green meme" which he argues resists and largely attacks the manifestation of integral consciousness) (4).
The second case, just this morning, was coming across Palmer's new book with Zajonc, The Heart of Higher Education (5). It's unclear who brought Wilber's work to Palmer, maybe it was his co-authors in this new book. It is delightful to see they engage and cite two of Wilber's books (albeit, his earlier works only), but they also engage and cite the basic characteristics of "integral education" as given by students and scholars of Wilber and other integral philosophers. They cite Esbjorn-Hargens, Reams, and Gunnlaugson (2010), and the new book on integral education in adult and higher education (6). This is not an insignificant connection, and alignment of strategic importance for CSIIE. It seems there is a next wave of potential here to link critical changes in adult and higher education with integral theory, and Palmer with Wilber, specifically. All that is good news to my researcher's ears. I look forward to reading Palmer and Zajonc's book. And of course this all is directly related to CSIIE's new pilot study on contemporary integral adult/higher education (for that report go to Dept. of Integral and 'Fear' Studies, scroll down for a free pdf copy). We at CSIIE have two articles as spin-offs from that report underway. It seems things are moving in a positive direction for our organization right now.
So what did Palmer and Zajonc (2010) say about Wilber's contribution to their own thinking about "integrative education" (their preferred term)? I quotes from their book:
"True integrative education must, therefore, make use of the extensive investigation of and insights into the stages of cognitive, affective, moral, and spiritual development of the human being throughout life as articulated by such researchers as William Perry, Jack Mezirow, Robert Kegan, Lawrence Kohlberg, Sharon Parks, and Ken Wilber." (p. 102). All those theorists talk about stages of development in sequencing, more or less, and that "each one of which changes the fundamental way in which they [we] make meaning of the world."
[Wilber's work offers] "grounding the recent origins of integral education in the spiritual philosophy of the Indian write Sri Aurobindo" (p. 10). From Esbjorn-Hargen's et al., drawing primarily on Wilber's integral theory:] "While eschewing a definition of integral education, they [Esbjorn-Hargens et al.] enumerate the characteristics of learning and teaching with that model:
- exploring multiple perspectives
- including first-, second-, and third-person methodologies of teaching and learning
- combining critical thinking with experiential feeling
- including the insights of constructive developmental psychology
- multiple ways of knowing
- weaving together the domains of self, culture, and nurture [sp. nature]
- recognizing various types of learners and teachers
- encouraging 'shadow work' within learners and teachers, an exploration of the nonrational side of the human self (p. 10)
I find Palmer has used "integrative" as many would use "holistic." That's a longer argument, and it is also one that needs to be clarified, because Wilber's integral philosophy (and other integralists throughout history) are not so easily put in a box (nor "integrated") into the "integrative education" worldview of Palmer, or "holistic education" (although, many integrativists and holists try to do so). I agree with Wilber's integral critique of both those views, while at the same time embracing their best aspects. Palmer unfortunately doesn't seem to make that distinction in his new book, and I'm frankly not surprised, because I don't think he fully understands integral theory yet but it is great he is beginning to engage it and publicize it more popularly than Wilber and other integral theorists could ever hope to do. I'm delighted in thinking how many Palmer fans are buying his latest book and getting introduced to integral education at the same time. Wow!
Whatever the case, this is a very small beginning of stretching the dialogue from the integrative, holistic camps into the integral camp. I've been waiting for such an opening for a long time. Which isn't to say it hasn't be tried or done somewhat effectively in the past. It has, as I think of particularly Ron Miller, and Jack Miller as holistic education leaders who have embraced and been influenced in curriculum and pedagogy by integral thinking (especially Wilber, Steiner, Kegan). Anyways, CSIIE has a foot in this door, since 2009, to keep the conversation going, and surely it will be contentious at times, but that's how we stretch and grow and it seems never straightforward, nor as simple as theory and intellects may want it to be. This is obviously then, an invitation to all kinds of people interested in Palmer's work and holistic education, to enter dialogue with the integral worldview at CSIIE. I for one, look forward to that and will encourage it where I can.
1. Palmer, P. J. (1998). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. [see 2008, 10th anniversary ed. also by Jossey-Bass].
2. See Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world's fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear management/education for the 21st century. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, pp. 13, 212, 225-28. My basic critique is his overly-simplistic definition of "fear" and his non-engagement with my work despite sending it to him many times, and having a few email exchanges.
3. Albeit, Palmer does refer to the "integral life" of the higher educator or teacher, yet he has not in the past integrated integral philosophy or theory per se in that construction and the practices that go with it; much to my disappointment over the years, I may add.
4. One of the places he published on this, of many, is in his book Wilber, K. (1997). The eye of spirit: An integral vision for a world gone slightly mad. Boston, MA: Shambhala, pp. 303-04. Another good place is in Wilber, K. (1998). The marriage of sense and soul: Integrating science and religion. NY: Random House, pp. 34-35, 43, 119-20, 135-36.
5. Palmer, P. J., Zajonc, A. (with Megan Scribner) (2010). The heart of higher education: A call to renewal: Transforming the academy through collegial conversations. San Fancisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
6. Esjborn-Hargens, S., Reams, J., and Gunnlaugson, O. (eds.) (2010). Integral education: New directions for higher learning. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
1. I am thinkiing of the educational (courses) and initiatives of late for The Fearism Study Center, and The Fearology Institute
This is the first in what will be a short series of blogs I'll write on the "Brief History of Fearology" . As you may know, I have recently posted on the FM ning Forum a piece about the vision of the Fearology Institute. This is only a vision  but may easily become a reality in history in the next decade. I will do everything I can to assist this growth and development and I appreciate any others who will help with this venture.
My task in this series is to articulate a comparison of Fearology with Sexology and Thanatology. The reasons for this comparative historical overview will become apparent as the series unfolds. In the first instance of historical facts that underlies the development of Fearology, I turn to the history of "fearuality" as a major turning point for humanity and it own self-awareness of the importance of the nature and role of fear (a similar importance as brought forth by Desh Subba with coining and elaborating the first text on philosophy of fearism  between 1999-2014 and beyond).
In Fisher (1998) I began a glossary where I defined two key terms relevant directly to this series of blogs. The first was: fearuality- "a term created in the early 1990's [by RMF] to give the study of 'fear' a serious forum and name. This term is used analogously with 'sexuality' which burgeoned only in the last few decades [but began to flourish post-WWII, see below] as a legitimate area of [specialized] study--the study of sex and sexual behavior. This term ['fearuality'] gradually evolved into transpersonal phobosology, and eventually in 1997 with phobosology" [see below] 
The second term in Fisher (1998) was phobosology- "is the 'study of 'fear' and its interrelationship' with Life. This new discipline was named in 1995 originally as "transpersonal phobosology" and renamed as [simply] "phobosology" in mid-1997 by Robert M. Fisher [RMF]. The roots of this focus of attention on a systematic study of 'fear' (and fearlessness) goes back to as early as 1993 when Fisher was calling this field fearuality that was a way to look at 'fear' and study it just like sexuality, the latter which had become a field to study the phenomenon of 'sex' in the late 20th century [even earlier; see below]. Both fields are intriguing because they involve topics that are almost like 'taboos,' and do not have serious critical discourses (though this has changed in the last 10 years). A taboo is a 'fear' of something and it is thus avoided. So, the taboo against knowing 'sex' (and sexuality) seemed an appropriate analogy to the taboo against knowing 'fear' (and fearuality). 'Fear' actually seems to do everything it can to not know itself." 
In Fisher (1998) I continued to mark out bits of philosophy, theory and history around phobosology, so I'll quote it all, including the first philosopher to comment on my notion of phobosology (before it became labeled fearology; see this blog series 2 coming soon on the use of fearology):
"Phobosology is the first discipline to grow out of the spectrum framework of the transpersonal theory of Ken Wilber (see Appendix IV). Phobosology applies the spectrum or integral theory of consciousness [a la Wilber] and attempts a synthesis of all the disciplines and ways of knowing 'fear'--honoring each approach as part of the Whole or Reality. For an overview of the literature on phobosology (see Fisher, 1997c) . These are all publications by Fisher, for as yet no one else has declared themselves a phobosologist ('fear' hunter, 'fear' researcher per se). The field is very new and this encyclopedia [Fisher, 1998] is one of the more important contributions to the field of a systematic study of 'fear'. A key task of phobosology in the next while is to define 'fear.' For we have to know what we are talking about when we use the term, and when we explore the interrelationship of 'fear' with Life.
Currently Fisher is planning a professional international journal for phobosologists  and anyone interested in 'fear.' The journal is likely to be called 'Fear' Spectrum: A Critical Journal on the Nature and Role of 'Fear'. This field of inquiry takes an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach to knowing 'fear.' The intention is to create a full scale public critical dialogue on 'fear' and its place in our society and future. All evidence seems to indicate that 'fear' is growing rapidly on this planet and we will have to learn much more about it. Ken Wilber, transpersonal [and integral] theorist wrote [after I sent him my brief proposal of this new field of study phobosology]:
Dear Robert, I think your transpersonal study of fear is a terrific idea. You are a meticulous researcher and the world would benefit considerably if you published all of this material that you have been collecting for over a decade--as well as your conceptual summary in terms of the fear spectrum. It all sounds great to me. My only negative criticism is the name, 'transpersonal phobosology'. That's a bit much... phobosology? Sounds like a disease of the nose. Anyway, good luck with this endeavor." - Ken Wilber, personal communication, 1995 ."
To end this first blog in this series on a brief history of Fearology, I draw your attention to an excerpt I took from the internet on the brief history of Sexology. Again, because from the beginning of my work in 1989 on fear (and 'fear') and fearlessness, the analogy of studying fear the way humans have studied sex, be it formally or informally, is useful. I like reading texts on sex and sexuality and sexology, then going in to the text and replacing the work sex with fear in all instances. This gives a kind of legitimation to the study of fear so seriously as have others done with sex. It always leaves me feeling more assured that someday, even with resistances (as you can read below in the history of sexology and taboos against knowing) that fearology will someday emerge as a distinct field of scholarship, professional practice and basic education for all. It must be added, of course, that thanatology (the study of death and human relationship to it) is also a similar analogy and taboo of sorts, which I will write about in another of this series of blogs.
So as you read the below, on sexology, try replacing fearology, and on sex, replacing fear, just to get a feel for how this analogy may be very useful in guiding future understandings and research on fearology. What is clear is that there is a politics of knowledge/power pervasive in any society and when it comes to taboo topics (e.g., sex, death, fear) there is going to be resistance to the development of awareness, education and knowledge that promotes better sex, death and fear management. It is of course to me an irony this is the case, because I also see that humanity (in the long run) also wants to advance its knowledge and skills in managing these topics.
[below excerpt from: http://www.davidmckenzie.ca/about-sexology/a-brief-history-of-sexology]:
Clinical sexology has its roots in mid-19th Century England and Germany. Havelock Ellis (1859-1939), an English medical doctor, surgeon and sexologist, was one of the first researchers to challenge the sexual repression of the Victorian Age (generally considered to span the time of Queen Victoria's reign, 1819-1901) along with its taboo against masturbation (now considered by sex health experts to be a normal sexual behaviour, essential for healthy sexual development).
In 1919, Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, a German physician and clinical sexologist, founded the first Institute for Sexology in Berlin (Zentrum fur Sexualwissenschaft). The Institute accumulated a vast body of research on human sexual development as well as the treatment of sexual concerns and dysfunctions. It was the first such Institute to offer a clinic for the specific purpose of treating sexual problems.
On May 6, 1933, under orders from the Nazi High Command, Brownshirts broke into the Institute and carried away its vast collection of books, research material and clinical files to be destroyed at the infamous May 10, 1933 book burning on Berlin's Opera Square. The Institute was immediately closed. In passing, it must be stated that the later institutes, clinics and research of the great 20th century sexologists, Alfred Kinsey, Wardell Pomeroy, and Masters and Johnsonhad their forerunner in Hirschfeld's Institute.
After World War II, there was a renaissance of sexology in both America and Europe. In 1948, Alfred Kinsey and his associates founded the Kinsey Institutefor sexual research at the University of Indiana. In 1967 and in 1970, medical researchers and sexologists William Masters and Virginia Johnson published their vast, groundbreaking research in two separate volumes entitled Human Sexual Response and Human Sexual Inadequacy. They also founded a teaching Institute and treatment clinic. In 1983, Humbolt-Univeritat zu Berlin opened the Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology to the public.
The science of sexology is now a well established and widely taught discipline in many of the world's leading universities. If you are interested in discovering just how widespread sexological research is, please visit the Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology Website. You will find an exhaustive resource for learning about sexology's history and scientific research, and more links to the growing worldwide list of universities and institutes studying clinical sexology."
Now, I'll include the Wikipedia brief summary of Sexology:
Sexology is the scientific study of human sexuality, including human sexual interests, behaviors and functions. The term sexology does not generally refer to the non-scientific study of sexuality, such as political science or social criticism.
Sexologists apply tools from several academic fields, such as biology, medicine, psychology, epidemiology, sociology, and criminology. Topics of study include sexual development (puberty), sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual relationships, sexual activities, paraphilias, atypical sexual interests. It also includes the study of sexuality across the lifespan, including child sexuality, puberty, adolescent sexuality, and sexuality among the elderly. Sexology also spans sexuality among the mentally and/or physically disabled. The sexological study of sexual dysfunctions and disorders, including erectile dysfunction, anorgasmia, and pedophilia, are also mainstays. [extract from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexology]
In the next series blog I will write a critique of these notions of sexology, of which I believe fearology can improve upon in its early conceptualizations in order not to fall into a [scientific and clinical] reductionism I interpret above in this discourse on sexology. Okay, until next time...
1. An extensive history of fearology (before it was named this) has yet to be written but is very important to document. Some aspects of this history are available in my book (Fisher, 2010) where I arc out a transdisciiplinary and transcultural historical and evolutionary view of humans and their attempts to understand and manage fear. See Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world's fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear management/education for the 21st century. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. See also Subba (2014) for some historical overview of this as well [in end note 2.]
2. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris. See also Fisher, R. M., and Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.
3. Historically, and arguably, one could say that the world's first fearology institute, before I used that naming structure with fearology as primary, was the 1991 In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute I founded in Calgary, AB, Canada. The ISOF Research Institute still exists and facilitates research scholarship, writing, teaching on all issues related to fear and fearlessness in the broadest and deepest sense--of which, fearology per se is only part of.
4. Fisher, R. M. (1998). 'Fear' encyclopedia. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute, p. 84.
5. Ibid., p. 75.
6. Fisher, R. M. (1997). Phobosology: A basic introduction to written materials. Unpubl. paper.
7. The latest version of such a journal is still alive in vision. See https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/steps-to-becoming-a-professional-fearologist
8. Fisher (1998), p. 75.
This is a poster I created based on a book cover by Brad Reynolds on Ken Wilber many years ago. The word "Liberation" to me is more important than any other descriptor you could give to Wilber's work (most of which pale in comparison and strength)... and, Wilber's latest book "The Religion of Tomorrow" (2017) utilizes these four conceptual foundations for domains of human experience on the path of Liberation... a far and above improvement, in my view, of "liberation" paths presented prior in human history. Why? Because it is "integral" as no other models/theories/practices are.
You will notice the "Clean Up" (orange font) is my favorite, of which all my Fear and Fearlessness work is dedicated; but for sure, I in no way deny the importance of the other three because they are all interdependent for effectiveness--, for detailed descriptions you simply ought to read Wilber's original work in his latest book or on the Internet, wherever... because they are clever metaphors and a simple way to remember the liberation work required by us all who are able and willing to participate ...
p.s. my 'corrective' to the four Domains (and bias) of Wilber's is that they ought to be 'balanced' better and less following Wilber's tendency to "ascend" (Up, Up, Up, Up)... and, keep fully integrative in language/discourse/imaginary so that we would have also "Wake Down," "Show Down," "Grow Down," and "Clean Down"...
This is my most "complete" summary of my work on Love & Fear for the past 28 years. I highly recommend it as the "basic reader" (document) to consult to get you familiar with and to guide you to further study on this universal problem that we have to understand and resolve--the sooner the better. Here it is in pdf Love-Fear & Uni-Bicentric Theorem (2017)
Here is the full title of the article and Abstract
Love-Fear: Uni-Bicentric Theorem as Basis for
the Fearlessness Movement
R. Michael Fisher
Technical Paper No. 65
Abstract This is the latest articulation and upgraded version of the Love vs. Fear theory/discourse found universally across historical time. The author traces a summary of his own working with these “forces” under the label of archetypal metamotivations. His own articulation of the Fear Problem is only part of a more encompassing Uni-Bicentric Theorem he discovered and has promoted for 28 years, all as part of the Fearlessness Movement/Tradition. He claims that the language/theory of Love-Fear, rather than Love vs. Fear, is more healthy and effective for liberation than the language/theory of Good vs. Evil (dualism) underneath the discourse of Love vs. Fear. His unique Uni-Bicentric Theorem offers the foundational thinking to make this shift in our dominant current guiding kosmologies that tend to default to Good vs. Evil when under pressure and less than ideal conditions. He also critiques his own work, while drawing upon (mainly but not only) the theories of Ken Wilber and Abraham H. Maslow. He suggests viral ‘Fear’ complex is a different ‘beast’ than fear or Fear, and so the entire Love and Fear discourses/theories all need revision, via a confrontation with the Shadow (e.g., ‘Fear’ Matrix, and/or “culture of fear” meta-context) and a thorough ontopsychosocial therapy (or therapia).
I have always thought all kinds of diverse humans (and other-than-humans) could be "spiritual teachers" for the world, and for the evolution of consciousness and sustainable and sane living. That said, I have struggled greatly with all the various kinds of "spiritual" teachers I have met in the human world. I have even written of throwing out the term "spiritual" because it seems so poisoned to me, for a lot of reasons, as have many religions and forms of religiousity that come out of them. Yet, after re-reading Wilber's notion of "Integral spirituality" (his own term, with a very particular and complex developmental theory behind it) I think it best not to throw out anything until I (we) understand what we are dealing with as the "problems" (or, I prefer to call "pathologies") of spirituality, religiousity and religion (or, for that matter, if we were to include Buddhism in this, and Wilber does, we are more talking about a "psychology" of spiritual growth than a typical religion).
So, I'll not throw out the 'baby with the bathwater' and toss the term "spiritual" or "teacher" for that matter. Wilber has offered, along with many of the brightest researchers he cites, a more "reasonable" approach to go head and embrace this dimension of human experience that is so ancient and still so prevalent--for short, I'll call it the "spiritual domain" of experience. Now, just to be clear, I am going to share more on Wilber's summary view of his 'corrective' to spirituality on the planet and the major religions included--but that is not my particular focus (which, I'll outline in other future FM blogs; also see a few blogs I have written in the past few weeks since getting Wilber's (2017) new big book The Religion of Tomorrow --as well, you may want to read my book review of it on amazon.com, along with others writing there).
So, if you don't want to read a 777 pp book on Wilber's 'corrective' to the evolution of religion, religiousity and spirituality, I am going to suggest READ PP. 504-11 and that will do it. You will have got everything from the book (ROT) that Wilber cares about and is teaching about (of course, he has taught about a good deal of this in his other books on religion and spirituality over many decades too). The Religion of Tomorrow (ROT), to be clear, is also for today. He wrote, "... many of these summaries are of material that turns out to be particularly important for any religion of tomorrow (or of today for that matter). These areas and ideas [i.e.., in ROT by Wilber et al.] that are almost entirely neglected (or actively denied) [due to fear?] by virtually all of today's spiritual systems (and by virtually all human disciplines as well)" (p. 511). WHOW! If you hear what grand voice he is using here sort of shakes my bones, at least, it may rattle others... because he he talked about the BIG NEGLECT, the BIG DENIAL, the BIG FEAR... as it appears to me. And, what he presents in the Integral Theory (metatheory) is really for him that profound, and I tend to agree with him. His critique is saying "all human disciplines" as well are ignoring his theory and applications (again, he makes clear, he is not the only one saying this stuff, and there is a lot of application of Integral Theory going on by others)... so, I'll leave you with that opening of how important he sees this work. I'll also acknowledge that he is going to have a massive wave of people, if they read this kind of grand claim, totally diss Wilber and Integral Theory... for a lot of reasons, some of which I do think are because of BIG FEAR of its implications and yet, most of them will merely reject Wilber and his work and big claims because "he's an arrogant asshole" really, a white-male heterosexist... etc. And, then, really, the deeper ontological (philosophical) issue will come down to Wilber, a "structuralist" thinker vs. Others (especially in the academy) "poststructuralist" thinkers. This latter divide is grand, it's a WAR over the best way to understand reality. Keep in mind this is really kind of a false dichotomy too because Wilber is not only a "structuralist" thinker, and in fact is a foundation to his developmental theorizing but it is not the be all end all, and he works hard at times to be more poststructuralist and to enjoin the best of both camps and ways of knowing reality. I won't go into all that argumentation he puts out or his attempts to do this. I will say, rare if any of his opponents (poststructuralists) even make a moments effort to be so generous in integrative possibilities as Wilber has made for decades. That says something about those committed to poststructuralism if you ask me. It doesn't speak well for their own ideological biases, even when they claim they are against ideologies (e.g., they would cite Wilber as such).
QUOTATIONs OF SUMMARY (from ROT) (pp. 504-11)
Before I start a few quotes as good discussion points perhaps, I am claiming myself now to be a "spiritual teacher" (it's not the first time I have declared this, but I actually rarely ever mention it to anyone, including myself). As I come to claim this more, I merely am interested to apply all I have learned in life and my studies with the work of Wilber's (e.g., ROT) and come forward to offer a 'new' integral approach to being "spiritual" --that is, to encourage a healthy evolution of spiritual intelligence on the planet. I mean, of course I would want to do that with the conviction of every bone in my body. But, if you are looking for a certain image of a "spiritual teacher" (and/or spiritual educator) then, check those out, and see how you carry them around, and how you may "diss" anyone who could be a spiritual teacher to you just because they don't appear to fit some image (or tradition) you prefer. I am not saying you "should" agree or follow or access me and the spiritual work I do. I only offer you confront your own views and go from there. I ought to do the same.
Wilber's great summary (applying the principles of the book, and Integral Theory) to religion(s) come through as he uses the e.g. of Buddhism (very consciously) where he could use Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc. He kind of goes after Buddhism, to bring more clarity. He argues there is sufficient evidence that there are "Stages in Buddhism Itself" and by that he means obvious "structure-stages" (or levels) of development, that coincide with levels of consciousness on his spectrum of evolution model/theory. Again, his spectrum approach, and integral approach, are not Wilber's per se, he has summarized hordes of data from diverse sources to make this model/theory usable and strong (not in any way claiming it cannot be critiqued).
On p. 505, Wilber notes others have been working on books/models to understand what an Integral Spirituality would look like and then on p. 506 he goes after a clarity on the Stages in Buddhism Itself (that some in Buddhism recognize and most don't):
"Buddhism began as a Rational system, one of the few of the world's Great Religions to do so. And remember how we are using 'rational' [in Integral Theory]-- it doesn't mean dry, abstract, analytic, and alienated. It means capable of a least a 3rd-person worldcentric perspective; it can therefore introspect and reflect on its own awarness and experience, adopt a critical and self-critical stance.... Buddhism is closer to a psychology than a typical religion. Of course, most schools of Buddhism put a central emphasis on states [of consciousness/experience], but when it comes to their interpretation, it is typically rational, objective, and evidence based." [kind of like science] Of course, not everybody is born at Rational. Actually, nobody is. All individuals start their development of basic rungs and Views [i.e., worldviews] at sensorimotor and Archaic, and move from there to Magic, then Magic-Mythic, then Mythic, then Rational, Pluralistic, and Integral (if they continue growing). And this means that individuals at all of those stages can be attracted to Buddhism, and over the centuries, actual schools of Buddhism have arisen that are based primarily at each of those Views [i.e., structure-stages 0-9]" (p. 506).
So, that's enough for this one FM blog ... I'll do up more soon... to continue these wonderful few pages of summary that tell it all (in a way)... oh, and keep in mind, all the time I am reading this work of Wilber's I am doing a simple fearanalysis... I'm looking at all those structure-stages and plotting my Fear Management Systems theory on them and that's for another time too, but to say, Wilber and his colleagues do not adequately address my FMS theory at all and this is a huge problem if we really want religions, religiousity and spirituality to develop healthily ...
DIAGNOSIS OF FEAR: CANCER
I first became aware of something like "New Age" thought (some call philosophy or spirituality) in my early 30s. I was more influenced by the Human Potential Movement and its positive optimistic view of human beings and our potential. I then got into Anthroposophy texts (e.g., Rudolf Steiner) and esoteric thought in my late 30s. Without going into all that detail, I became more interested in "mystic" dimensions of reality.
All those forms of knowledge were fine but the more I saw the holistic health movement take-off in the 1980s-90s and to this day, and the use of esoteric "New Age" thought about this sense we are going through a major transformation of consciousness, etc... the more skeptical I became. I was studying Ken Wilber's work parallel at this time of these explorations into alternative forms of reality and philosophies of life. All a long story.
This blog I merely want to point out the shadow (if not pathological, if not violent) side of "New Age" thought, from the perspective of its theories about reality, about human subjectivity, about knowledge, knowing and understanding (i.e., epistemologies), and its politics, etc. There is nothing "value-neutral" nor innocent, I have found out the hard way, about how people of all stripes use and abuse "New Age" thought.
Here is one example I saw today in a book someone gave Barabara. It is a book on someone healing themselves (apparently) of their cancer diagnosis, which if you turn to the chapters in the Table of Contents, there is a chapter called "Diagnosis of Fear"--indeed, many have written about the problem of fear in relation to both getting cancer and in treating it effectively (if the latter, is actually even possible in some cases). So, there are a lot of books on cancer, and a lot of holistic, 'new agey' books too. Let's look at the quote by the author of Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani (2012). Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.
I merely want to keep this blog short, and will give you the essence of my critique of what is typical of New Age thought (holisitc health as popularized and spiritualized, and of which Hay House publishers pumps a tonne of these kinds of books on the market and has for some 20 years or so, often based around Louise Hays' kind of thinking and attitudes). Moorjani (2012) wrote in the front pages her Dedication (and her faith statement):
I believe that the greatest truths of the universe don't lie outside, in the study of the stars and the planets. They lie deep within us, in the magnificence of our heart, mind, and soul. Until we understand what is within, we can't understand what is without."
This statement of faith, belief, and epistemological claim (teaching) is very common and very troubling to me from many perspectives (i.e., an integral perspective for one). It wants to more or less diss the external (more Objective) world of information (that "lie outside") and replace it with a privileged inner (more Subjective) experiential world of information to guide our lives. The author falls into the swinging pendulum trap of trying to correct the abuse of Objectivism (e.g., hard empirical science) as the privileged source of information for guidance toward the opposite of what is now abuse of Subjectivism ("lie deep within us"). This subjectivism is individualism in another disguise, and it is what Wilber in his Integral Theory diagnosis of the problems today, a form of Upper Left quadrantism (all value is put on inner psychological and spiritual truths and ways of knowing). It's 1/4 of reality that Moorjani is privileging in her Subjectivism excess. Why not simply give the "outer" and "inner" worlds their equal due as important in providing us guidance and a relationship with reality in the entire Kosmos (to use Wilber's term)? This is actually quite a violent epistemic move on Moorjani's part and one made way too often, way to uncritically, by the Human Potential Movement/New Age (e.g., holistic spiritual health discourses) today.
If you want more on my critique on this epistemic violence, you can share your views on the FM blog. I am more interested in an epistemic fearlessness as guidance than this fear-based quadrantism of Moorjani's. Her way, which is a discourse common beyond just her that she has adopted, is very inadequate to solving the "wicked problems" of the 21st century, and we have to get over thinking that excess Subjectivism is going to correct excess Objectivism--that's simply 'bad' advice, and worse, it is violent to the Kosmos (and that means, to you and I as well).
Ken Wilber, Integral philosopher, and pandit (scholar of spirituality and religions, and consciousness), has also greatly influenced my thought and life since 1982. Recently, I scanned all his books and searched for the term "fearlessness" and to my not surprise... it is only used once. He used in reference to his first wife Treya Killam Wilber , who died of cancer 5 years after they were married (see their book Grace and Grit, 1993). The fact he has been a Zen Buddhist practitioner and is well-versed in Yoga traditions etc., where "fearlessness" is an important concept, virtue, etc. It does astound me he has not written or talked about it all these years.
I am astounded why my major mentor, in terms of philosophical thinking since my youthful adult years, has not put this term "fearlessness" in his vocabulary and why did it become for me the most important term to articulate the path of enlightenment? A puzzler...
1. He wrote, "Treya [who had malignant cancer near immediately once they were married] simply had no split between her public and private selves. I think that was directly related to what can only be called her fearlessness. There was a strength in Treya that was absolutely fearless, and I do not say that lightly. Treya had little fear because she had little to hide, from you or me or God or anybody. She was transparent to reality, to the Divine, to the world, and thus had nothing to fear from. I saw her in much pain; I saw her in much agony; I saw her in much anger. I never saw her in fear." (p. x, Wilber and Wilber, 1983, Grace and Grit).
I had the privilege yesterday to attend (with an overflowing crowd of 1500 others) the last public speech by the very popular and powerful humanitarian UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, at S. Illinois University. I came to tears several times listening to his words and aware of the immense energy of attentiveness of the audience. This blog is not to summarize that speech, nor try to capture the amazing work and commitment of this great person of the 21st century, now having served his 10 year term at the UN in the top position of authority.
I wish to focus on one of the most powerful things I believe Ban Ki-moon said to us all. He has been saying it for a long time, and it is part of the UN unofficial mission. Paraphrasing Ban Ki-moon: Especially in regard to young people, now 50% of the world's population is under 25 years of age, it is time to put away nationality and nationalism as the highest value, and time to turn toward becoming a global citizen. We require a new sense of unity that we are all living on the planet earth as 'one' --as global citizens together. If we do not make this turn of identity and value toward such a global unity, we are sorely heading for the worst 'hell' on earth in human history. Climate change (global warming) must be solved together, with no boundaries.
I totally agree and salute this wisdom of Ban Ki-moon. Of course, it is not only his wisdom that has thought of this idea, but many many great thinkers and visionaries throughout history has more or less called us to such a task as well. I sat there and wrote notes, and asked myself: "Yes, to be a global citizen is a first shift of identity that is a great leap for many who cling to narrow-mindedness and nationalism identities. There is too many wars happening because of this nationalism at its worst levels, especially when it is fear-based, security-based, and will attack any 'Other' because it feels threatened."
It is an odd paradox I found in Ki-moon's speech, and in the UN mission, because there is both the UN position of keeping nations sovereign and not invaded by dominator nations. And, at the same time, he is asking us to abandon the boundaries and become 'one.' Of course, the latter, is a high ethical calling and one that just doesn't happen in reality because one calls themselves a global citizen, a global organization, or a global nation with all good intentions. More than good intentions is required. And then we have the problem that there will seemingly always be one or more such individuals, groups, organizations or nations that will resist this call for global unity to solve the world's problems and they fight against any such unity. Then what?
Yet, this is not what I wish to focus on in this blog. Conflict is definitely destroying this planet, and no one is as informed as Ban Ki-moon on global conflicts and horrors going on today, and ever since he took office in 2007 at the UN. He said, "I have served during a decade of turmoil.... conflicts are growing more protracted" globally and putting the whole world into great danger, with massive immigration of refugees and starvation, disease, crop failures as only mentionable among so many other global crises we could name. He concluded, "big fires are still burning."
Now, to my point, re: conflicts ("big fires")... and letting go of nationalism, ethnocentricism, group chauvinism, racism, regionalism, religionism and ideologism behind them, to become unified as global citizens. What Ban Ki-moon did not talk about, and I would have liked to seen talked about, is how to foster the essential shift to a new awareness or consciousness required today to solve the worst global crises. It is a shift to a "world perspective" by any other name. Today, I am reading again, a favorite short essay (Epilogue: What World Perspectives Means" by Ruth Nanda Anshen, c. 1963). This essay shows up in some 30 volumes that were written and published in the early 1960s under the name World Perspectives Series, planned and edited (with others) by Ruth Nanda Anshen. This Epilogue she wrote I have seen every time I buy a copy from that series, and today it happens to be a book by Erich Fromm on Sigmund Freud (1963). Anshen writes of the series purpose, as it sought to bring together the most powerful critical minds of philosophers, scientists, and spiritual thinkers of the time (East and West):
" This volume is part of a plan to present short books in a variety of fields by the most responsible of contemporary thinkers. The purpose is to reveal basic new trends in modern civilization, to interpret the creative forces at work in the East as well as in the West, and to point to the new [holistic] consciousness which can contribute to a deeper understainding of the interrelation of [hu]man and the universe, the individual and society, and of the values shared by all people.... This [time] is the crisis in consciousness.... This is the new awakening.... Knowledge, it is shown in these volumes, no longer consists in a manipulation of [hu]man and nature as opposing forces, nor in the reduction of data to statistical order, but is a means of liberating mankind from the destructive power of fear.... it is the thesis of this Series that [hu]man is in the process of developing a new awareness which, in spite of his [her] apparent spiritual and moral captivity, can eventually lift the human race above and beyond the fear, ignorance, and brutality and isolation which beset it today. It is to this nascent consciousness, to this concept of [hu]man born out of a fresh [holistic] vision of reality, that World Perspectives is dedicated." (pp. 126-9) [bold added for emphasis]
I have taken only a small slice of this essay, and pulled out the important points Anshen makes about knowledge and fear, and the purpose of research, thinking, education in the world. I am astounded how she describes the world in the early 1960s and its imperilment of crises pending, as one feels like this is written for the 21st century. Let me close this blog for you to reflect on, and what it means to take on a "world perspective" as Anshen articulates so well. Yet, even she does not go far enough, as I see it. We have to move as a world, differentiated and developmentally distinctly, into a certain small percentage of people chosing to become global citizens, and adopting somewhat a world perspective on life and reality and their values and actions.
Emerging into Worldcentric Consciousness and Research on the Spirit of Fearlessness
Clearly, as I see it anyways, Anshen and Ki-moon are talking about a shift in consciousness from a fear-based cosmology/worldview to one of fearlessness-based or some call love-based.
Holistic unity is great, but for humans, and cultures, this evolves and develops, it is not something just decided upon and then works at the level of world perspective consciousness, or what Ken Wilber calls worldcentric consciousness, and then beyond that to the even more advanced stage of kosmocentric consciousness. I will not detail this spectrum evolutionary theory of Wilber's (called "Integral theory")... but to suggest it is better (more advanced) than holistic theories of unification and has to be looked at seriously. I have argued, elsewhere in my work, that the creative spirit is many things, even mysterious, yet, there is tremendous knowledge to be yet synthesized on how the spirit of fearlessness is core to the Defense Intelligence system of all organisms, at all levels (see my book The World's Fearlessness Teachings, 2010). The Fearlessness Movement ning is a dedication to thinking, ideas, people who are interested and moving toward a worldcentric consciousness that interprets the creative spirit of the universe really... as a spirit of fearlessness (at least, in terms of organism systems). This will give the structure and processes some reality when one utters terms like "global citizen" and/or "world perspective." We have a lot of work to do.
For another perspective on this talk see my partner Barbara Bickel's blog post
Figure 1 Basic Curriculum Design (Map) for a Philosophy of Fearism
[Note: I have attached a curiculum%20fearlessness.mp3 sound file of myself reading this blog]
The above Figure 1 is my first attempt to take a piece of philosophy of fearism text (e.g., Desh Subba's recent novel; see Photo as well) and put it into a practical curriculum application that could be used by teachers, or anyone else wanting to actualize the philosophy of fearism teachings and ways of thinking (i.e., in regard, to a new way to enact fear management/education for the 21st century).
Mostly Desh Subba and I have been articulating the philosophy and theory behind a philosophy of fearism (also, philosophy of fearlessness, in my earlier work). More and more people are asking us how to "apply" it to usefulness in diverse settings with real people and groups, organizations or even nations. We are excited by that challenge, and it will slowly unfold. Others like Rana Kafle in Nepal and N.E. India are likely already doing this, however, that applied work has not been translated in to English. I personally am not sure what their applied education in the field has been for the past several years as they teach aspects of a philosophy of fearism.
So, the skeleton outline (a working draft in progress) in Figure 1 gives a critical integral approach to the curriculum design for philosophy of fearism. I will actually spend time trying to apply this outline to Desh's new novel per se. Then, that ought to be interesting and lead to writing something like a "curriculum guide" to The Tribesman's Journey to Fearless.
Now, I'll give you the basic orienting reference points you'll need to know to be able to understand how this design/map (Figure 1) works. Also, anyone can apply this as well, not just me or Desh. First, notice the quadrant design template I use, with four "directions" on the map, by which the four double-arrows are pointing toward INDIVIDUAL and COMMUNAL on the vertical axis, and toward SUBJECTIVE and OBJECTIVE on the horizontal axis. This comes fundamentally from the meta-mapping of knowledge work of the integral philosopher Ken Wilber (see AQAL Matrix), who was searching for a simple template in which to organize (map) all knowledge so as to be attentive to its variation spectrum of how knowledge is gathered and classified by these four quadrants (at least, that begins a holistic-integral approach to knowledge). The integral theory behind the quadrants suggests that information and/or knowledge and knowing ought to be arrived at from all four quadrants (if ideally possible) before we can make strong claims about the "truth" of anything. Our methodologies, and epistemologies, likewise ought to come from all four quadrants, to make sure we have a holistic diversity of ways of knowing. There are many complications about this theory and use of quadrant analysis that I won't go into here, unless you ask me about more. This will serve the purpose for then arranging the 10 Components of the Curriculum that fit into the quadrants. One would now have to use these 10 Components as "themes" on which to focus on when reading Desh's novel, for example. Then, there are the META-SKILLS and SKILLS Elements which generally are of interest in a practical curriculum of any kind. So, a combination of looking for the 10 Components and the 2 Elements will produce a cross-hybridization of interesting lens to bring to analyze Desh's book and teachings on a philosophy of fearism.
There are other lenses of course that one can bring to a book like Desh's, and that would be a "fearist" lens, a fearanalysis methodology, and so on. There is no limit of lens and methods to bring to analyze a text and then bring that out to help construct an application as a workable curriculum guide, for example.
Okay, that's lots for this introduction to the next evolution of the philosophy of fearism practices. I look forward to anyone interested to dialogue with me on the ning and/or on email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Any of you who have followed my life, research and teachings know that since 1989 I specialized in the study of fear and fearlessness (and their cousins) because indeed everywhere I read and whatever I experienced, it seemed that these two dialectical constructs and phenomena are critical to the foundations of all wisdom, compassion and attainment of peace, individually or collectively. As part of my quest to bring a critical integral theory (a la Ken Wilber) to the knowledge and know how accumulated on the planet regarding these two constructs, my aim is to bring a better sense, and classification, of how all the different speakers and traditions, theories, philosophies, theologies, psychologies are at times saying the same thing (apparently) and very different things (apparently). I won't get into all the methodological issues as my various writings will guide you to that problem of knowing fear and fearlessness . In graduate school for my doctorate degree (2000-03) I specifically began investigating how academic disciplines were beginning in the mid-1980s onward (in the Western hemisphere) to coin sub-disciplines of study regarding the topic of fear, which I found incredibly interesting because they were extending beyond the narrow perspective of the psychospiritual traditions  of knowing fear--and, especially they were critical of the psychologization of fear that has dominated for hundreds of years. I saw these new systematic pursuits to knowing fear as very helpful, if not more holistic, and sociopolitical than what we have been dished out from the dominating psychospiritual traditions. Not that I think the psychospiritual traditions are not useful, it is just that they have overly dominated the discourses and ways we then come to learn in societies how to manage and teach about fear. That's where I become very concerned, as is the integral yoga philosophy I follow more or less  There are too many of these new subfields re: the new scholarship on fear, as it has been called, to list, but a few are labeled as aesthetics of fear, architecture of fear, sociology of fear, anthropology of fear, ecology of fear, geography of fear, etc.
After attending a talk from a yogic swami (monk for peace) living in St. Louis, MO, it was interesting to reflect on what a yoga of fear might be, and what it seems to be in the teachings of the "classical yoga" tradition which this monk was trained. I used "integral" yoga of fear in the title for this blog because there is another branch of yoga that is not "classical" (I'm sure there are other branches too)--and, so I am interested in integrating the classical teaching with the postmodern teachings of yoga and beyond that into the future-edge of where we are heading in the Western world, which is arguably a post-postmodern era, if we don't destroy ourselves first. But these terms and historical orientations are not the purpose of this blog. I want to share what this particular swami is teaching in his "From Fear to Peace" mission--which, he is encouraging all of us to follow and for it to become our mission. I was invited by Kate, a recent member of the ning, and she was invited by a friend who is a friend of the swami, and well, you know in a small town news travels fast and I showed up with Kate. I'm writing some of the reflections from the swami's teachings on fear because we are faced with another potential sub-field of study, yes, I'm calling it yoga of fear--with an integral twist.
I will email this swami, as he so invited us there on the evening to communicate with him and assist with the mission, from fear to peace. Which I looked up on his website was also written "from fear to fearlessness" --and "from fear to fearlessness to peace"--so, yeah, I am interested to connect with this work in some way. It is very much my own mission, and the title of courses I have offered in this area with few people attending, like 2 or 3 and then they fade away fast. I think, after hearing the swami last night it is clear that people living in the USA (southern mid-west) are perhaps more attracted to the mission if you add the word "peace"--which, I never do, just like I don't add "love" or "nonviolence"--I typically use "From Fear to Fearlessness"--and, yes, by the end of this blog, I'll make an initial case for why I don't add those 'good-marketing' words in my own work, especially while living here in American culture today. Oh, btw. if you didn't know, I am born and raised Canadian living in the US for 9 years, and have been very critical of most of a very sick American culture and its globalization mission since the 1970s. Not that I will hold that against any American, even this American born and raised, trained in India, now swami teaching peace.
I generally enjoyed being with the group of a dozen people for two hrs listening to the classical yoga teaching on "Positive Thinking" albeit, I have never been a fan of positive thinking (but that's a whole other critique). Swami Sankarananda is a very happy nice guy and wants to be infectious with these qualities and virtues. He started the talk with a prayer that more or less told us not be "fighting" with each other during the 2 hrs. I know it was more subtle and meaningful than that, but nonetheless, I'm not one to ever be happy with that kind of yoke around my neck from the start of being in a human relationship or group--that said, I let that go. Swami's taught several philosophical premises from pre-modern classical traditions of yoga teachings, which yes, they are quite universal in a lot of the psychospiritual teachings I have found, and in his case he mentioned the Vedic teachings as a foundation. At one point he mentioned there are in this teaching the three greatest fears humans have to face and conquer "fear of non-existence/death," "fear of the unknown" and "fear of ?" oops, forgot. It struck me as all pretty basic to what I have read in hundreds of articles and books by diverse authors. So nothing too new for me at this point, and of course, lingering in the back of my mind is to say, "Hey, and why not include the greatest fear of all?" In my own 27 years study of fear and fearlessness, I have come to the conclusion, at least in the modern Western world where I live, the greatest fear of all is that we do not really know as much about fear as we think we do... and, if one really takes that in, then that really shakes the hell out of our confidence--even, our confidence that the ancient gurus, mystics, swamis, saints, also did not know as much about fear as we think they do and that we need to know to live in the 21st century. Thus, all the arising new sub-fields of research on fear I mentioned. There's an intuition, and a reasoning, in some humans willing to face the 21st century uniqueness in regard to living in a "culture of fear"--that, there is a whole new study required that is both psychospiritual and sociopolitical and historical, when it comes to truly understanding fear (or what I call culturally modified 'fear'). It is at this point that swami would not enter in his talk on fear and its management as thought management in the yoga classical tradition. Of course, I forgive the swami for that ignore-ance because he is not trying to be an academic or scholar on the topic of fear and fearlessness, he is being was he was trained to be--a practitioner and teacher. I have no doubt he's doing lots of good work, go see his website: http://www.fromfear2peace.org/
Let me take some quotes from the swami's website that caught my eye, people here on the ning may want to comment on these and have a discussion and support each other as well on the mission...
"You can conquer your fear and come alive?" - note, I have read this slogan in so many secular and spiritual circles it starts to feel rather prosaic to me and definitely psychospiritual speak...
"We never achieve happiness ever after by pursuing our likes or avoiding our aversions." - note, I agree in general, good wisdom there and thus, I teach to study and know fear deeply, holistically, widely, integrally... is essential to the 21st century so that we have the best ongoing theory and practices of fear management/education
"Love is the greatest power on earth, it conquers all things" (he quotes from a mentor The Peace Pilgrim) - note, I make a good deal about this being a highly questionable dictum; but that's a long complex argument; and, it is not that I am against love or anything, nor against happiness... it is just that I never worship them and this kind of statement to me is susceptible to breeding that and creating American-style "addictions" to everything, like peace, happiness, love-- all that good-feeling stuff...
Anyways, there's a sample. The swami does some of his own writing on fear and fearlessness under the "Mission" link on his website, and I really appreciate that. Again, I do take issue with some of it as well, but let me focus only on his quote (which he obviously endorses) of Swami Sivananda:
"Psychologists are of the opinion that there cannot be Absolute fearlessness, and that only determined effort can be made to conquer fear. This is incorrect. Psychologists have no transcendental experience. A perfect sage who has knowledge of the Absolute is completely fearless. The Upanishads declare in a thundering voice, 'The knower of the fearless Absolute Truth himself become absolutely fearless."
Note- this quote is premodern, meaning, generally applies accurately to the times of this quote and the perspective of the speaker. I see partial truth. However, there are far too many modern, and even more integral (post-postmodern) psychologists who have spiritual practices and have even labeled transpersonal psychology as a field and equally integral psychology. Again, I am not going to make a big long argument around this. My other issue is a lack of distinction in this use of the term "fearless," which my research shows is not so simplistic as to be a behavioral characteristic or virtue attained for only an individual. The psychospiritual (individualistic) discourse in this quote is troubling as to where the "fearless" gets situated. From an integral yoga of fear, I would suggest to embrace the partial truth of this claim and to re-constitute its meaning frame in a full holistic-integral (four quadrants) reality. Again, I'm not going to say more here in this first blog on this topic of a complex dialogue that is required, beyond only my thoughts... yet, it ought to be obvious I am not a fan of reducing all reality to "thoughts" as classical teaching of yoga and the swami I listened to for 2 hrs presented with such confidence as if it is the only truth about reality. That's the way it came across. Of course, that's my personal interpretation, but, it also happens to be a highly skilled assessment based on 27 yrs expertise in this area of epistemology of fear and fearlessness--that is, how we know fear, etc. So, all the happiness and positive thinking talk for me is fine, but it can become rather thin and too washy, if not distortive, if the rigor of critical analysis of how one talks about fear is not addressed consciously--and, if we are not allowed to "fight" over our preferences of teachings, theories, philosophies. I forgive the swami in this regard, because he was doing what he wants and what his experience shows is best for him to do. I'm merely pointing to other possibilities of truthing our way in and through fear and fearlessness--and, sure, peace too. My experience is that people want peace but rarely want to do the disciplined study of what gets in its way. Swami offered us lots of those techniques to work with but for me, they are mostly psychospiritual and we also need to study in the sociopolitical quadrants or I am pretty convinced we'll not nearly undermine the current "culture of fear" dynamics going on.
So, because I have seen the addiction of American culture as both outsider and insider, my doubts about the value of peace, happiness, love as the 'way to go' and/or to keep in our attention as the Saintly, and Divine, etc... that we have to be very cautious this is not a (spiritual) by-pass, slipping us around giving equal and conscious attention (at least) that we ought to give to fear and fearlessness. Ultimately, I think the swami, and the Vedas would agree with me--though, I am not at all an expert in yoga nor really any religious or spiritual philosophy. They are not my paths but I highly respect their offerings. Swami is right that a lot of us have trouble being "too happy" (e.g., bliss or ecstasy is terrifying), yet, people in the USA especially are addicted to fun/happy and the American way--it's all part of the sociopolitical and ideological basis of capitalism in this country-- so, I am always cautious when happy and peace of mind, or even mindfulness is sought as the next "pill" or "fix" or marketing strategy. Again, I'm fairly sure that the swami wouldn't disagree with me on the need to be cautious, as I appreciated that he did at least one time say we have to be cautious in come to yoga and the spiritual teachings because our ego (fear-based structuration) can easily distort, use, appropriate anything. Thus, my case, we better well understand fear ('fear') as not merely a psychospiritual ego phenomena, but a historical, ideological, cultural, sociopolitical, economic phenomena--that's, mostly the 'balance' I did not see in swami's presentation nor on his website.
So, beyond any figgly details and critique I may have deposited here... what is really important is a larger project of What would constitute an Integral Yoga for the 21st century? And, for pushing me in that direction, happily, I thank the swami and those who brought him to little ol' Carbondale for a night. The hard and long work of progressing this yoga of fear is however up to us all, or even one or two, to pursue. I'm in... if anyone else is... lets dialogue (and conflict, if need be)... for a greater cause of positive growth and development, yes, from fear to fearlessness, and to fearless! 
1. A good summary of these problematics of knowing fear, via a philosophy of fearlessness and fearism, go to Fisher, R.M., and Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.
2. The short distinction here is one based on psychospiritual quadrants of reality (upper left) or Kosmos, as Ken Wilber identifies this epistemological quadrant as 25% of the Kosmos knowing itself, in his Integral Theory (see for e.g., Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, ecology and spirituality: The spirit of evolution (Vol. 1). Boston, MA: Shambhala). For the other 75% of co-arising Kosmos, and a truly integral epistemology which I think is about the best one can find, the three other quadrants were barely touched on in the presentation, although I did appreciate the swami giving several good references in the upper right quadrants (re: neurobiology, brain aspects)--yet, he was quick then to say but the Western approach is probably wrong and he would give the Eastern approach as the alternative corrective (his trained teachings). This taking one over the other view, is a sure sign of a non-integral thinker.
3. I don't actually fully like saying I follow "integral yoga" path (which was mentioned in the swami's talk but not pursued), yet, my roots of attraction to Ken Wilber's integral philosophy (although he is a Zen Buddhist), trace back into Hinduist thought, yoga, and especially the work of Sri Aurobindo and "integral yoga" that was brought to the USA, especially, foregrounded in an academic setting as the California Institute for Integral Studies, the latter of which I have followed more or less for a long time.
4. I say all these terms, not in only a restricted psychospiritual (individual behavioral, attitudinal, virtuous) sense, but an integral one. Which, one would have to study my work and dialogue with me to fully understand these distinctions.
"Wicked Problem(s)" is a term that Watkins & Wilber (2015) use in juxtaposition to the term "Wise" (for wisdom applied) (1). Wicked is potentially 'evil' (live, spelled backwards) because of the immense destructivity it carries individually and collectively. So, the other meaning is extremely difficult--challenging, to solve. For reasons, less-restimulating around "wicked" (in our W. historical past) and thus, not feeding into the growing excesses of mounting of fear people are already downloading and storing everyday, I'll take the useful 'call out' from W & W (2015) in their welcomed new book and just call these W-problems. W-problems can stand for a whole lot of things--like, world's problems--that is, problems seen from a worldcentric stance (worldview) (2). The subtitle of W & W's book is "How to Solve the World's Toughest Problems." Unfortunately, as I wish to report how their model of the Integral matrix is key in my work as well, they have (like most everyone) left out the toughest of the toughest of problems to solve in the world today (4)--you guessed it--the Fear Problem. Btw, check my latest book coming out in a few weeks on this problem (3).
A couple things about their book which I admit I have not read it, but I read the last couple pages, which is typically of me--last is first--then, I know what I am getting into that will affect my decision to read the whole book or not. But before I go into the Integral matrix discussion they enter around "climate change" (a big W-problem), I want to say it is a delight to see Wilber is still going strong in writing (5) (as he has been "off" publishing for near a decade more or less) and has in 2014 "co-founded Source Integral and began developing the Integral Society initiative, which in collaboration with recognized global experts, will demonstrate how to develop human societies in the most comprehensive manner possible" (p. 296. This is the first book Wilber has written so extensively with another author on "solving" problems (applied). I think he has come to see that all his theory books and philosophy writings have now come to be ready to be more applied than ever as the W-problems are heating up. Good for him and his crew. And, I think the dedication of the book is worth quoting, not only to represent Wilber's worldcentric stance (or "Integral stance", see p. 293) but to show where W & W (and the Integral Movement) is coming from (at least, by noble intention):
"We would like to dedicate this book to all those men and women around the world who look beyond their own needs and what they might want in life and serve a greater purpose than themselves. The people who can see that all of the issues we face, even problems within their own family, are our problems not 'yours' or 'mine.' Such a[n] [Integral, systems] stance reveals a deep understanding of the fact that we are not separate from each other and solving the world's toughest problems will need all of us."
Well, such a dedication is clarifying at the general level, and it is not unfamiliar to me, as many authors have said such things. I would like to clarify the language with a little critique (I'll be brief). First, W & W have not, unfortunately, tuned-up to a language of the postmodern re: gender as they are using a very old binary of "men and women" and they say "look beyond their own needs" which is really, more accurately, for some of us working at worldcentric (Integral stance) like myself never seemingly possible as I live at the poverty-line, as I know other such individuals do. W & W obviously do not either know what that is like to live on the 'edge' or they are oblivious that it is an important factor for some of us at worldcentric operations in our work. So, "beyond" really ought to be clarified more accurately as "include their own needs" but do so within the context that "their own" also means the "world's needs" simultaneously. Lastly, they ought not to have used "not 'yours' or 'mine'" because, again, as I made my point above, the problems are both/and-- very much mine and very much the world's problems. I think a more integral-language could have been used for the otherwise lovely Dedication.
The main point of this post is to move to the last pages of the W & W book (i.e., Appendix 6: Environmental Dimensions of Climate Change). Note, even if "climate change" is the signified W-problem, I believe both W & W would be in agreement to say that most all of the generalizations (theory) applied in Appendix 6 could be applied to any W-problem in the book and beyond what's in the book. I make that assumption. The most important reason I make that assumption is because of my interest in applying the "Integral matrix" (p. 292) more or less in my critical integral fearology work. I have been doing this for some 20+ years. I have also not been able to convince Wilber that my work is important, meaning, that my/our/world work on the Fear Problem is qualifying of dignity as a W-problem. Again, it is ignored in this latest book, and Wilber well knows that I have introduced him to my work on this problem since the early 1990s (we corresponded). Be that as it may, let me proceed to make the linkages so you may see (perhaps) how powerful the Integral matrix and vision-logic (apersperspectival-integral consciousness) and worldcentric worldview is when applied to "fear" (i.e., the World's Fear Problem). Fearology, as I have crafted it over the decades, is as "wicked" of a methodology (a W-methodology) as is the W-problems--in particular, Fear Problem (see Fisher, 2010 (6)).
I agree with W & W that the book Integral Ecology is "brilliant" (p. 292). Esbjorn-Hargens & Zimmerman (2009) produced an outstanding Integral assessment of the ecological and environmental problem(s) and the many diverse (often conflicting) individuals and groups trying to solve it. The assumption behind their book, following Wilber's basic Integral matrix conceptualization, is that (citing Esbjorn-Hargens) "No single method (e.g., level) can by itself 'see' or reveal climate change in its entirety." W & W reiterate (via Wilber's words) "You can't [realistically] honor various methods and fields, without showing how they fit together. That is how to make a genuine world philosophy." (p. 296). Integral matrix framework provides (arguably) the only and best truly Integral approach that values all the perspectives, fields, methods, and organizes them into a wise and compassionate model (a "theory of everything"; see, e.g., Wilber, 1996 (7)). Shift to the analogy (homology) of E & Z from "ecology" to "fearology"--and, at that point, everything you think you know about "fear" is about to change into multi-dimensional wickedness (dare, I say). And, I agree with E & Z and W & W that: "... our point in all of this is that wicked problems are wicked primarily because they are not approached from an equally wicked, complex, encompassing [i.e., aperspectival] multi-dimensional Integral stance" (p. 293).
I would add to this claim, which the "Integrals" never themselves seem to fully appreciate or write about, that anything less than such an Integral stance is one that is more fear-based than not, epistemologically. I make a long arduous case for that in my new book (see e.n. 3) and in all my publications on fearology. So, to again, play-off the work of W & W in Appendix 6, I am arguing that the human Fear Problem has never been solved, and fear ('fear') and fearism continue to plague us and distort our motivations (among other things). Continually, W & W call for this "subjective side" in our analysis and solutions to W-problems. E & Z did so as well, and they found in the literature, that over 200+ "ecologies" (i.e., "schools of ecology") can be identified (p. 292)--and, until we identify and embrace them, give them space on the table of legitimate partial truths in understanding the Big Ecology Problem-- there will be little and only fragmented progress solving the environmental (i.e., ecological) aspects of any problem, especially "climate change." Same with the Big Fearology Problem--and, I have not yet had the resources to classify the 200+ fearologies that exist, that is "schools" of thought in how they frame meaning of and identify the problem with "fear" (as a start). Each, more or less, with their own worldviews, own values, beliefs, facts, and so on. So, to conclude, if I get the support, I will lead this Integral matrix and stance further to study the Fear Problem--which is the motivational--I mean meta-motivational dynamic behind all the other problems (more or less) that W & W raise in their book. And yes, I too (theoretically) believe "Only by using an Integral Framework can we get a complete handle on the full extent of the challenge that climate change [fear problem] presents" (p. 293).
So my friends, I trust this will give you a better understanding of the Fearlessness Movement and its work ahead. I end with Wilber (2015) from the Preface of W & W, which says in general what my whole blogpost here is about (except I would add "fearlessness" to the list of "more"):
"The hope of both Alan and myself is that by using a more expanded, more inclusive 'Integral Coherence' model, a great range of new areas, dimensions, methods, fields, and approaches will be made available to you for a more comprehensive approach to whatever problems you might be facing--from the simplest to the most complex and wicked" (p. xvi)
1. Watkins, A., and Wilber, K. (2015). Wicked and wise: How to solve the world's toughest problems. Chatham, Kent: Urbane Public. Ltd.
2. Worldcentric, for simple identification, is a term Wilber particularly likes to use as operating when a personal or system/organization is focusing its attention, values, needs, actions, toward not just the body, self, ethnic/social grouping or institution, but the world (i.e., a global internationalist perspective, but also an ecological whole systems perspective that is evolutionary at its core). This level is developmentally called post-conventional in terms of (at least) cognition, affect, and moral capacities. Often it is called "integral" for short. See Wilber, the integral philosopher and theorist, in most any of his books, for more detail analysis of the different levels/stages of development.
3. Fisher, R. M., and Subba, D. (2015). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.
4. The other thing I do before I even read the last pages of a book is to glance through the Index. I look for words like affect, anxiety, fear, terror(ism) and not a one of those terms shows up in the Index. That's not a good sign, in terms of a book on so-called W-problems. I think my point of this quickie fearanalysis will come through in the text above especially in terms of how the authors continually state how important "motivation" is in order to analyze and solve W-problems.
5. This latest short bio on KW says, "... with 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages... [he] is in the process of writing and publishing half a dozen new books" (p. 295)--now, that's impressive with someone struggling with all the physical limitations (and aging) he has to work with daily. You can look up Wilber's disease and such on the Internet (e.g., Ken Wilber, on Wikipedia as a start).
6. I summarized my work (albeit, only a partial Integral matrix approach with focus on stages/levels) in a critical integral theory applied to fear and its management (via fearlessness) in 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.
7. Wilber, K. (1996). Brief history of everything. Boston, MA: Shambhala.
Thanks Michael for this photoshop image of Medwyn McConachy and I a couple years ago (photo originals by Medwyn) when we had exchanged a good deal of art processes and then began to bring forward some theories that inform our work, and at least, could inform our work in the future.
A raw unedited 20 minute recorded dialogue on the Gibraltar Point Pier with the accompaniment of Lake Ontario waves in Toronto, Ontario, Canada during an artist residency. In this recording Medwyn McConachy and Barbara Bickel discuss Matrixial (Ettinger) Differential (Sandolva) Integral (Wilber) theories that then moves into talking about the relationship between the colonizer and oppressed and education.
Whether you're a professional, semi-pro, or natural caregiver and helper (consultant, coach, friend, lover, etc.), there are some interesting things to be aware of if you want to develop a mature ("fearless") practice. This is a complex topic when it comes to the relationship of fear and fearlessness to ethics, and a book or two needs to be written some day on that. However, in the mean time, of practical matters, I did find a starting thread of wisdom from a pretty interesting practitioner/writer by the name of Cedar Barstow, in a very readable book Right Use of Power: The Heart of Ethics (A Resource for the Helping Professional) (2008, Many Realms Publishing, Boulder, CO). I was particularly pleased in finding this book on a shelf at a house I am currently staying in Courtenay, BC, where the author Barstow uses Ken Wilber's (integral theory) substantially for her model of ethical development. Very cool.
I picked one page from the book to share here (in extract adaptations) around the issue of "counter-transference" issues in helping relationships. The theory and research done on how clients react to helpers and how helpers then react to client's reactions is one of an important piece of understanding to gain and mastery to utilize effectively. I'll not elaborate on all that here unless you ask (also feel free to elaborate for all of us on the FMning if you wish in your own Comments). To say the least, there is an enormous interchange of visible and invisible affect between people in helping relationships and most of us in these has a lot to learn about that.
The issue of counter-transference (as driver and dynamic of perceptions, thoughts, and actions), I will add, is a topic I have researched for a long time going back to my dissertation years when I gave a paper at a conference on the topic and how researchers (of all kinds) also need to be aware of their counter-transference with certain topics under the research lens (of course, I was taking the example of researching "fear itself" as a subject). Again, I won't go into that here.
So, Barstow (2008, p. 131; citing J. M. Watkin's work) interestingly outlines 6 major issues/problems/challenges in counter-transference processes, which she calls "patterns" (and I easily could call them all technically 'fear' patterns; Counselor's Fears, is another way of saying it simplistically) [bold added for emphasis other than the beginning of the sentences]:
"(1) Being overprotective of client. A client can trigger the counselor's fears. The counselor steers the client away from areas that trigger the counselor's painful material [unhealed painful memories = 'fear' patterns]... [I used to call this the core of all co-dependency patterns that are unhealthy in relationships, that is, the agreed obvious or the yet discovered agreement made between two people (or more) that goes something like this: "I promise not to bring up your fears if you don't bring up mine." ]
(2) Treating clients in benign ways. The counselor has fears of the client's anger. To guard against this anger, the counselor creates superficiality ... [reduces to] friendly conversation"... [this is more or less, "fear of destructivity" - pain, loss, deconstruction, etc.]
(3) Rejection of clients. The counselor, seeing the client as needy and dependent, moves away, remains cools and aloof, and does notlet the client get too close" [this is more or less "fear of intimacy" as problem for the counselor; that is, not trusting themselves in the depths of the world of intimacy with anyone]
(4) Need for reinforcement and approval. The counselor needs to be reassured of their effectiveness. If the client is not getting better, the counselor has fears and self doubts." [this is more or less "fear of failure"]
(5) Seeing self in the client. The counselor [over-]identifies with the client to the point of losing objectivity. They may see in the client traits that the counselor dislikes in themself. A 'difficult' client [is labeled]..." [and often rejected or abandoned by the counselor, more or less subtlely] [this is more or less "fear of one's shadow" and/or another's shadow]
(6) Development of sexual or romantic feelings. The counselor can exploit the vulnerable position of the client, consciously or unconsciously." [this is more or less "fear of losing control" and becoming subordinated to the power of the client]
For as useful as this awareness is, there is still a much larger context we need to bring into an integrally aware caregiving/helping practice-- it is not just about "me" and "them" (or "you" or "we") it is also about the "world" (all the contexts, systems, of which I and we operate) (especially, if one is a "cultural therapist" as I claim for myself)-- that's what Wilber calls the "It" of the triad with "I" and "We" perspectives. Okay, may this awareness bring forward more dialogue on the role of fear (and of course, dialectically, fearlessness) in helping practices. This is core foundational work in my experience, and those that avoid it (the above) are more or less caught in "fear of ethics" -- and that's a higher level problem isn't it?
I did note in scanning this entire book by Barstow that she uses "fear" sparingly throughout and does not use "fearlessness" at all. I always thought that any integral theory and developmental map/design of ethical development has to be based on fearlessness (i.e., more or less non-fear-based)--and likewise any helping/caring that is healthy in the long run. Of course, the practical world is one filled with people "helping" and "caring" and "loving" by means that are less than fearlessness. That is a serious problem to overcome, without condemning anyone for 'where they are at', in my view.
Please, subscribe to get an access.