Blog

philosophy of fearism (29)

Fisher's Four Paradigms: Human Condition

This Figure is my latest mapping of my own evolution of thought, philosophizing and theorizing about Love and Fear ... and, right to my latest version (Trialectic-Upgrade) which has emerged from my reading of Moreno's (1971/77) book (see my blog below). This has been 30 years of thinking critically about how to understand the "Human Condition" (and, concomitantly, how to understand "Human Nature" and "Human Potential"). I am convinced that without a good understanding of these relationships, there will be ineffective paradigms created for "managing" humankind and our future--especially, when we take into account the nature and role of Fear. Philosophy of Fearism (a la Subba) and Philosophy of Fearlessness (a la Fisher) and Philosophy of Fear (a la Eneyo etc.) ought to be very engaged with these four paradigms and/or adding more--around this deep search for understanding the primary forces of human meta-motivation. 

Of course, I am only giving you the barest skeletal diagrams here, as a small book could be written on describing the ontological details, rationale and potential applications  for each of these models and why they have evolved in my own thinking---and, I would argue they are each one an improvement upon the prior paradigm--a kind of evolutionary maturity is shown. For a general understanding of my own intellectual critique and evolution of the first 3 paradigms go to Fisher 2017 Radical Love.pdf" as it is an article published in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy. 

 

Read more…

I recently found this image (as Halloween, or 'Day of the Dead' or Hallomas or Samhain) on the internet. The title was provocative and speaks to the concept of which this blog is all about: that is, the proposition (if not theory) that the basic core of the human condition is fear (or fear-based) (?)

The philosophy of fearlessness (Fisher) and philosophy of fearism (Subba) [1] is arguably a combination of supportive philosophies for the above claim. Others, like Eneyo who in part takes some aspects of the Fisher-Subba philosophies in his own "philosophy of fear" prefers to make the core of the human one of love, yet he agrees fear is also core but secondary [2]. The Fisher-Subba position is not opposed to Eneyo's claim but is more a nuanced branch of a philosophy of fear that situates understanding the human by focusing on fear over and above focusing on love [3].

My point of writing this very short blog is to say that there is still not an adequate (referenced) scholarly synthesis of important writing (philosophy and theory) on the proposition in the internet poster and/or in the authors' work mentioned above. There are fragments of support references for their claims but not yet the document that is needed to give scholarly credibility (at least, not as far as I am concerned).

I am of late beginning to see some critical thinkers in the early 1970s that I will be documenting their positions and arguments, theories, and works...coming from backgrounds in philosophy/anthropology/political science/theology... it is still too early for me to make my case for their support of the Fisher-Subba position re: fear is the core of the human condition and history itself is the unfolding of that human-fear relationship--as one of, if not the most powerful relationships on this planet (i.e., fearuality, fearological reality).

I'll keep you updated as this paper (booklet) I'm writing evolves.

Notes:

1. 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. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris. Another young budding philosopher of this synthesis with his own nuances is Osinakachi Akuma Kalu (with his two books on fear in the last two years; e.g., The First Stage of the Fearologist. Amazon CreateSpace).

2. Eneyo, M. (2018). The philosophy of fear: A move to overcoming negative fear. Australia: Xlibris.

3. For a brief intro. discussion of Fisher and Subba on fear and love, see Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris (2016), p. xxxi. 

 

 

 

Read more…

Locating Fear At the Center... Again

 In literary works, at least in the West, there is a long tradition of showing how "FEAR" is the great corruption (along with "power" of course)-- of all things good. In this 2014 sci-fi apocalyptic novel, Grant spins out another version of this ever-literary-metaphoric "truth" about fear and human civility (and its Shadow): The advertisement on amazon.com books tells it all in the future "FEARSCAPE" of humanity/desiny: 

PLOT: "It's been one year since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

Despite the hunger, despite the lies, even despite the plague, the kids of Perdido Beach are determined to survive. Creeping into the tenuous new world they've built, though, is the worst incarnation yet of the enemy known as the Darkness: fear." 

****

 Unfortunately, the gift of the aesthetic, arational and arts modalities in depicting "fear" (FEAR) in so many ways it does, leaves us still as a populus with "okay, so what now?" kind of feelings... and, I keep thinking what would happen if artists of all kinds were better informed by the philosophy of fearism, could they produce works on fear that are more than horror, terrorology-- and, actually do some good fearwork for the planet? I think they could...

Read more…

Fear is Perplexing and Complex: Fearism

Recently, Fisher and Subba have prepared a paper and short presentation, to be given by Desh Subba at the 2018 International Scientific Conference Proceedings [1] in Moscow, Russia. The title of our paper is Abstract Expressionism Under the Lens of Fearism. This paper and presentation is a first collaboration on the relevance of fearism to art(s) and aesthetics, of which we hope to eventually create a book on that area of application of philosophy of fearism. Art(s) are so important to culture and societies and their consciousness evolution, so fearism has to take up that task of analyzing this important sphere. 

We thought we would share a short excerpt from our paper presentation with you all on the FM ning: 

"Discovering that the study of fear is best to be studied under a new philosophy of fear(ism), Subba pioneered some of the core work in this area. Fisher, working independently across on the other side of the world, was doing the same but using some different vocabularies and philosophies to sort through how best to understand and manage fear. What we both agreed upon, independently, is that the world (including art in the largest sense) can be best understood by looking deeply at fear and its role. We also knew that “fearism alone is insufficient” as a total analytic direction and it must be supplemented with other ways and methods that are not focusing on fear so intensely. We also agreed that most of the analysis of fear historically has been one of making it a negative factor in human experience. The literature on this negative bias is predominant and still remains to this day. We felt a positive-side was important to promote, yet at the same time we knew fear is much grander than merely sorting into binary boxes of good fear and bad fear. Subba’s (2014, 14) fearist conception is that we ought not forget that “Fear is as vast as the universe” and thus we keep an open imaginary regarding the nature and role of fear. We both agreed that a post-postmodern (i.e., holistic-integral) view on fear itself was required. Fear was to remain, under a fearist lens, as a very complex, if not perplexing, phenomenon requiring an equally complex and perplexing adequate set of epistemic methodologies to understand it (Fisher & Subba 2016)."

-----

[NB: It is a constant theme of debate in fearological circles that "fearology" and "fearism" and a "fearist lens" (perspective) really takes a very unique positioning on how to expand the prevailing fear imaginary and understand fear management/education compared to most authors/teachers/writings available. The issue of "perplexity" and "complexity" is definitely a key feature of differentiating the fearological way and the non-fearological way of interpreting "fear" and everything related to it. So, if one examines critically just about any typical writing/teaching on fear, what you'll notice is that writers tend to be very rational, clear, concise and (over-)confident when speaking about the nature and role of fear and how to manage it best. The fearological approach embraces another direction, not following that "rational" approach and thus one enters more the sublime of inquiry into a world of perplexity and complexity when it comes to the topic of fear.  -rmf]

 

 

Notes: 

1. The title of the conference is "The Destinies of Abstract Expressionism: For the Centenary of Guy de Montalur's Birth" 

Read more…

For a book video trailer (click here)

To purchase the book online: Fear, Law and Criminology

We are (as co-authors), excited to see that our new book is available (by Xlibris publishing, Australia). This is the first book in a series of books that are going to be published over several years, as each one takes on a topic or critical issue in the world and applies the philosophy of fearism (a la Subba) to it. The original dialogues behind the making of this new book are all posted here on the FM ning and have been slightly modified in this new book, along with a lot of new material as well. We thought we'd include here the summary text from the back cover of the book and our brief bios: 

Fear, Law and Criminology -With the growing awareness of many critics of "risk society," the "culture of fear" and the dangerous rising levels of unhealthy fear around individual, group, and public insecurities, three keen observers of the human condition have joined experiences, theories, and ideas to create a fresh vision for how best to look at the Fear Problem and how Law and Criminology may benefit from a new lens or perspective.

The authors, with their backgrounds in the study of the philosophy of fearism (a la Subba), bring a new lens to Law and Criminology, to social policies, politics, and policing and how best to improve enforcement of safety, security, and moral order. The fearist perspective of a philosophy of fearism creates an exciting, challenging, and sometimes radical position, whereby the authors argue that fear itself requires a concerted focus for analysis and solutions--that is, if Law and Criminology are to fully meet the highest standards of serving justice for all in a globalizing complicated world. 

Going beyond the simple fear of crime or fear of policing issues commonly dealt with in discourses about law, the philosophy of fearism offers other concepts with a rich vocabulary introduced in this book, one of which is the introduction of a new subdiscipline called fearcriminalysis. Readers will find, in addition to the main text as collective writing of the three coauthors, several fresh dialogues of the three authors in conversation, which bring their individual personalities, philosophies, and approaches into a weaving of differenes and similarities. Overall, they each agree that fear has been underestimated and often misinterpreted in Law and Criminology, and this has resulted, at times, in exacerbating insecurity, crime, and injustice in the world. 

 

R. Michael Fisher, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, AB, is a Canadian philosopher, educator and fearologist, having studied fear from a transdisciplinary perspective for three decades. He is founder of The Fearology Institute, a professional training program, and author of hundreds of articles and several books, including The World's Fearlessness Teachings.

Desh Subba, livess in Hong Kong. He is a Nepali philosopher, poet, writer and founder of the philosophy of fearism and Fearism Study Center in Nepal. Author of several books and articles, his pivotal award-winning textbook is Philosophy of Fearism. 

B. Maria Kumar, living in India, is a long-term career police officer, recently retired as Director General of Police in Bhopal. He has published many books, such as Policing By Common Sense, and To Be or Not to Be Happy.

 

 

Read more…

To Join "The Movement" or not? 

Like any "movement" of consciousness and/or social change and transformation in history, there are philosophies behind them, if not ideologies, if not religions. There are going to be at times questioning of these "behind" the scenes forms and organizations and ideas and impulses--with their agendas. The general public or even serious thinkers and researchers will ask questions about this website called the "Fearlessness Movement." They will want to know "what it is" (really?)... and they want information so they can make up their mind what it is they may want to join or not to join. 

What I have done as the person who has coined "Fearlessness Movement" near a few decades ago, and the leader and philosopher that I am, who likes 'big missions' and even what looks like 'utopian' visions... that's nothing I try to hide... is that my work has been to keep "the Movement" that I care about as open as possible to as many kinds of people and thinkers as possible, globally, and across the lines of sacred and secular. That's a challenge, because people can be so quick to "judge" a website, a "group" that they perceive is involved and make their quick decision to become involved productively, or not, and/or to go so far as to make it the 'enemy.' [1]  

ABOUT US: Define "The Movement" (and, become involved in defining it)

I prefer to delineate a "Movement" for change and liberation not to define it or fix it...but maybe for some that is just me playing with words. Yet, the intention I have as one of the leaders in the study of fear on the planet, is to keep "the movement" open enough for people to participate in a way of critique and constructive revisioning... so that dogma does not set in, so that idolization and ideology cannot freeze up and enclose "the movement" definition and meanings. Of course, any delineation process, to make something different from something and to be able to label it and develop it, is an act (perceived and/or real) as one of differentiating and that can look like "exclusion" or a "clique" type of process. It may look like an esoteric group of elites who are "in" and get the power to play and control, while all others are "out" (more or less). Lots of those kinds of groups, cults and associations have occurred, as a history of social processes and the nature of groups and philosophies behind them. 

So, again, I am not against such specialized social change groups and movements that developed or continue to develop. It is a valid social form. And, I acknowledge that most everyone is deeply hurt by socialization and the "group" making process of in and out, acceptance and rejection dynamics. However, true as that injury is, and we are so sensitive to it as a social species (a tender carnivore as Paul Shepard once labeled our species), our task is not to react by default and reflex based on the past hurts and thus be in fear of being rejected either (as victims). Others overcome rejection by using domination and charisma and power to 'lead' others and so they get control (somewhat) of the rejection and aceeptance dynamics of groups they are involved in. 

I am not a big fan of joining any such ideological groups, religions, etc. I have never fully followed any one group, or movement or guru and so on, but I have drawn upon them (their better-side and offerings), and many of them, in my own 50+ years of learning consciously since being a teen, about humans and change and transformation, and how to make the world a better place.

So, my own version of "the movement" (or "Movement" as a simplified code word here that may be assumed or used explicitly).... is one that has taken an empirical and theoretical positioning to start with, and that goes back to the origins of my version of what I coined as the "Fearlessness Project" in 1989, then onward that became the "Fearlessness Movement" more recently, and with this website (ning) the Fearlessness Movement (2015) was located and made open to the public as a forum and online community. I recently wrote a few blogs (and a paper) "About Us" in referring to this movement and ning: 

(1) https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/fearlessness-movement-about-us

(2) https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/fearlessness-movement-and-it-s-context-of-meaning

I highly suggest all visitors and/or members of the FM ning read these two blogs, and read up on how I have delineated the "Fearlessness Movement" in a Wikipedia style writing with Desh Subba in our 2016 book [2]. Of course, sadly, too many and too often, people come upon my work or collegaues and quickly decide after reading very little of our work to reject it and quickly shy away from joining a "religion" in their minds, etc. I won't deny that when one leads a movement with a great mission, like "Fearlessness" for example, there is going to be a sense of a leader and big project that a lot of people don't feel comfortable with, and more or less like to operate as individuals and not as part of a group and do not want to be "controlled" or critiqued by a group. This latter "fear" (for the most part) is often never confronted or worked through by a lot of people, who keep "running" from groups of any kind, and ultimately are running from their own wounds from the past brought on by group dynamics. I am not saying that I understand all my critics and their motivations to leave, and/or reject "the movement"... I merely see, or sense, they haven't given it a good try to find out what it (we) are all about. So, let me clarify my delineation of "the movement" that the FM ning represents (if that is even the right term): 

The Movement (again, short-hand code) related to the FM ning, is very broad, because virtually anyone can come on and join the FM ning and say and teach what they want to about fear and fearlessness, etc. One doesn't have to agree, or be a follower of any of us who are FM ning members, or do they have to conform to my philosophy either just because I am the host/moderator and original creator of the FM ning. However, for the newcomer to "the movement" there are some obvious 'big players' already on the FM ning who write the most, publish books, and tend to take up a good deal of the 'air space' on the ning. From my point of view, just because of that involvement they have, and commitment, and being outspoken etc., does not mean they "run" the movement or the ning, and/or do they define what the study of fear and fearlessness has to be like or look like. Indeed, they, like myself will have bigger influence on the face-of-the ning, and the "Fearlessness Movement"--however, there is not a pre-determined set or domination of ideas that is or ought to be and others should only follow. All can be co-creators of the content and shaping of the Fearlessness Movement and the FM ning that is one of its manifestations. 

I delineate "the Movement" at this time, with three major components (branches) that appear on the FM ning [as distinct from, yet interrelated with the Fearlessness Movement per se] [3]:

1. Fisher's Philosophy of Fearlessness, 2. Desh Subba's Philosophy of Fearism and 3. Eneyo's Philosophy of Fear... as well Kalu has his own version and mixture of all of these three labeled brands of philosophy. 

The other some 60 people on the FM ning, besides the above guys, are (as far as I can tell) less participative as writers and less involved in creating their own philosophy (branch of the Fearlessness Movement). From my view, these 60 people are no less important or invited to be shapers (and/or followers and students)... than anyone else on the FM ning or those who are associated with the Fearlessness Movement who are not signed up as members on the FM ning. 

I trust this short bit of delineation on my part is helpful in some way. I encourage anyone, especially newcomers to "the Movement" to ask questions, to stay out of victim-mode if that is what happens as a knee jerk reaction to reading stuff here on the FM ning or by any of the philosophers I mentioned above. 

For philosophy of anything, to stay alive and vibrant and critically self-reflexive, there ought to be open-mindedness and invitation to all... and, I am not naive to think that "all" is actually a reality when it comes down to whom will be attracted and whom will be repulsed by "the Movement"-- people also create their own exclusion from something like a movement because they simply aren't interested and would rather spend their time elsewhere. In the end, I really don't care personally, if people join "the movement" or not. I merely love to communicate with all people about this work and movement. I'd love to see it grow, of course, and I am already well aware it may, or may not. History is rife with examples of philosophers and movements they promoted which came and went. Though, some have stuck around a long time. I would like this study of fear and all its branches of philosophies to become one of the formative forces that shape the future of this world in the 21st century and beyond... 

Notes

1. I wrote on the enemies of fearlessness itself, in Fisher, R. M. (1997). Defining the enemy of fearlessness. Technical Paper No. 6. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.  

2. See Chapter One "Fearology, Fearism, and the Fearlessness Movement" as the basic quick introduction to "the movement" being spoken about often by myself, or Desh Subba (as founder of philosophy of fearism). 

3. The Fearlessness Movement is a global historical movement, coined by Fisher, and includes many many movements with their own leaders and philosophies (e.g., A Course in Miracles, Gandhi's Satyagraha movement, etc.) whom are involved in some form of "teachings" that attempt to move the world from fear-based reality and politics etc. towards fearlessness (more or less). Again, see this summarized in Chapter One (end note 1) of Fisher and Subba (2016). 

 

Read more…

Greetings great scholars!

Sequel to my upcoming book which will kickoff properly next month ending (An Invitation to Fearism: A Contemporary Philosophy), I wish to inform you all that all your ideas would be represented in the book. Thus, I would like to get the following from you:

  1. A good picture
  2. Good bio data with dates. Intellectual influence, and motivation should be stated.
  3. List of books published.
  4. Background to each book
  5. Summary of each book
  6. If the book is written in local language as the original name is given, let it be translated.
  7. Names of all articles that are emotive, especially with fear related concepts should be sent.

If you have any fearological ideology, theory or principle send it in.

  1. Fear related poems are equally welcomed for fearological analysis.
  2. Any fear motivated novel should be summarized. If possible, the plot should be sent.

The email is osinakachikaluakuma@gmail.com

Yesterday I closed my account in buying R. Michael Fishers World Fearlessness Teaching in 21st.....

I have most of his articles too.

I know this is a huge task but we can do it.

Am expecting much from all scholars here. We must work hard to properly situate and fix Fearism in the philosophical milieu.

Thanks

Osinakachi Akuma Kalu

Have a Splendid Weekend

Read more…

Fear Poetry: Form of Fearism

 (This review of Fear Poetry by Rana Kafle, from Assam, India, is published in Lok Chintan Monthly Magazine January-February 2018 issue from Kanpur, India. His book reviewed by Surendra Gupta Sikar. This review is translated into English by Surya Prakash Pangdhak Limbu. Rana Kafle is an ardent believer of theory of Philosophy of Fearism. He has written two other essays, one story book and one book of poetry based on the philosophy of Fearism by Desh Subba.)

Surendra Gupta "Sikar"

Tulasidas, the world famous poet, wrote in his Ramcharitmanas, "Without accepting humble requests promptly, three days have gone. Laxman, handle your bow being absence of fear and affection!"

The mentioned couple of verses confirm "Fearism." Lots of congratulations and best wishes for the publication of your work "Bhaya(Fear)". In the course of Fearism-tradition, "Bhaya" is an important step. Certainly, "Bhaya" will be the useful work for those researchers working on "Fearism". I went through "Bhaya Poetry" thoroughly. I liked it very much. Fear is everywhere in the core of all human activities and biological achievement as the fundamental fact. Fear leads a person to be oriented for goal achievement. "Fear" is the philosophy that transmits biological life. Buddhism is also the return of "Fearism".

Art and edition of the work "Bhaya" has come to be so beautiful. Congratulations and best wishes once again.  -RK

 

Read more…

Update of "Three Pillars": Fisher & Subba

This is the latest update (2018) of the diagram in Fisher & Subba (2016), Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue. We invite further ideas on this ever evolving integral model as we look for all the ways to apply the philosophy of fearism to large domains of societies and individual's lives. The latest addition is "Fearcriminalysis" (all issues to do with law and order). For full definitions of these all, you can consult our book for some, but there will be an upcoming FMning blog that will define these.

Read more…

This is the first in what will be a short series of blogs I'll write on the "Brief History of Fearology" [1]. 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 [2] 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 [2] 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] [4]

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." [5]

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) [6]. 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 [7] 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 [8]."

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]:

"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.[1] The term sexology does not generally refer to the non-scientific study of sexuality, such as political science or social criticism.[2][3]

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...

Notes:

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.

Read more…

The First Stage of the Fearologist

 

 

Nigerian author Osinakachi Akuma Kalu has just published a new book: The First Stage Of The Fearologist (2017). He has been writing books within the Fearism genre in the past couple years. His last book was "Conquering the Beast Fear A Philosophical Cum Psychological Approach" (2016). This book is the first book looking at fear as philosophical aspect. His second book explores more aspects of fear.

These two books will be recognized tomorrow as a part of Philosophy of Fearism/Fearlessness/Fear Psychology/Fearlessness Movement. It is my understanding that he is a rising philosophical author from Africa already at age 24. We are a team of Philosophy of Fearism. I hope some more authors will join us in the future. He is one of the best nurturerers of Philosophy of Fearism in the world.

Read more…

This Technical Paper No. 68, "Eco-Philosophy of Fearism and Ecocriticism: In an Age of Terror" is the 3rd in a series of five Technical Papers on ecocriticsm and how it interrelates to my work on fear and fearlessness. In this paper the focus is on how ecocriticism, ecophobia, and eco-issues are relevant to Desh Subba's philosophy of fearism. I propose an Eco-Fear Problem concept throughout this series of papers and end up herein sketching out the beginning of a new branch I am calling "Eco-Philosophy of Fearism." See Abstract below: 

R. Michael Fisher

Technical Paper No. 68

 Abstract – This is the 3rd technical paper in a five part series on “ecocriticism” as it relates to the author’s work on fear and fearlessness. Technical Paper No. 68 addresses both his focused engagement with Desh Subba’s philosophy of fearism in the last three years, and with his attempting to link Subba’s notion of “fearism” and the “fearist perspective” (lens) with ecocriticism (especially, Estok’s view). The synthesis is one that has led the author to propose herein a very basic description and outline of what is a new branch of thought called Eco-Philosophy of fearism. 

Read more…

Invoking Feariatry

This is a preliminary essay intended to invoke further interest in what Fisher & Subba (2016) have called feariatry; we defined it (a term first named by Subba (2014)): feariatry (feariatric) - refers to the study and application of fear-disease relations in the mental health and wellness fields; analogous to psychiatry and psychiatric [1]

"Feariatry" is one of the sub-branches of a triad under FEAROLOGY, the latter which is one of the triad ("three pillars") identified in Fisher & Subba (2016) as an Integral Model of Relationships that are important to health and wellness, liberation and a better way to understand fear and create new knowledge about fear (p. 141).  Feariatry has the least development conceptually (theoretically) and practically relative to the other triads. For previous writing on feariatry search this blog [2].  

What is Feariatry? 

This is an open question that has not near been answered in the short-life span (a couple of years) of its growth as a concept. I won't summarize here everything Subba has published on it nor myself. I merely want to share some of my latest thinking. Feariatry is a re-calibration of the nature and role of fear (utilizing a philosophy of fearism) within its applications to health and wellness, medicine, psychiatry, therapy and psychology. The impetus behind this concept (and field of inquiry and care service) has been that fear requires a 'new' revision from its place in these areas, especially the field of psychiatry. Subba and myself argue that most all mental health problems and/or disorders (e.g., phobias, and other disorders in the DSM-V Manual that psychiatrists and psychologists use) are basically at their roots different forms of "fear-disease" relations.

In other words, the ecology of fear has been messed up, made errors as a "defense system" or "motivation system" and the result of those errors (intrinsic and extrinsic) are psychopathologies of fear (often with physical pathologies). Fear is at their root cause, and therefore, fear management/education is their primary or at least important treatment. Psychiatry as it has developed in modern times, and its following under the Biomedical Paradigm (Model), has left us with a psychiatry that is not that attuned or well-informed to the way fear operates in psychopathologies in general and in particular psychopatholgies like phobias, etc. Obviously, psychiatry sees the powerful nature and role of fear in psychopathologies like neurosis, psychosis, phobias, panic, anxiety disorder, but in actual theory and operations of treatment psychiatry doesn't pay that much attention to how to best work with the ecology of fear as a whole system of dynamic interactions, both intrinsic and extrinsic, both individually and collectively, and objectively and subjectively--all operating as impacting on the way fear is shaping and controlling life process (including nearly all psychopathologies). 

Feariatry ought to include the best of what psychiatry has to offer, but it also ought not be caught following only, or being dominated by, psychiatry and the Biomedical Paradigm. Feariatry, like the philosophy of fearism, is something new in perspective--one that uses a "fearist perspective" or lens. There is to be an open-mindedness, creativity and imagination for fear like never before in history. In that sense, feariatry ought to be transdisciplinary in approach to gathering data, knowledge, and assessing outcomes of feariatric treatments on patients. Psychiatry and its domination of the definition of fear and ways of managing fear are seen now as too restrictive and dismissive of the findings of the philosophy of fearism. We want this relationship to change, and we want more dialogue between theorists and practitioners from psychiatry and feariatry. Well, fact is, we don't have any one practitioner at the moment who claims to be a feariatrist. There isn't yet training for them. Meaning, we don't have a curriculum and pedagogy already prepared and planned for such training of feariatrists. But it is slowly developing and I am personally very interested to help lead this work and teaching. 

What is the Biomedical Paradigm?

This is a long and complex topic. When I suggest (as have several other critics) that the field of Medicine (and Psychiatry) are deeply embedded in the assumptions, premises and culture of a paradigm of Science as supreme over other forms of knowing, knowledge, and paradigms--then, that's where there is a conflict that needs to be understood, with a history going way back. Anthropologists tell us that around the world there have been "medicines" and "medicine peoples" in all tribal cultures for most of human history. Indigenous medicine (as therapy) is ancient and has its own Indigenous science basis, which many Indigenous scholars are now reclaiming and documenting in writing. Most of that wisdom is oral tradition, passed on from masters to initiates. There has also in the last several decades been a challenge to Western Medicine by the Eastern approach to Medicine (or wellness and health). Again, this is a large topic, but the point is to say that the worldviews behind these different approaches have different value systems, beliefs, assumptions about reality, and about the way disease and cures are related. These different worldviews and their paradigms of operations are also different in how they view the nature of fear and how best to manage fear. They have different ways of theorizing the fear-diseases (i.e., what diseases or dis-eases are caused mainly by fear and which are not). 

The biomedical paradigm, at least in the Western world began in the early first millenium and especially in the 16th century, as "Science" was becoming thought by many (not all) to be the best method to find out the truth, to diagnose the true illness and find the true cure. Experimentation was systematized using new means of statistics, data analysis, validating procedures, etc. The history of diseases and cures is fascinating and gives one a larger perspective when practicing any kind of curing --therapy--etc. So, I encourage all psychiatrists and feariatrists to be philosophers and historians as well as practitioners. Keep an open mind, and especially with regard to the nature and role of fear in disease(s) and in health and cures. 

So, may feariatry move along and develop, and do so in part because of its open-dialogue with psychiatry. As for how hard that is going to be, I predict it will be very hard because psychiatry isn't very open in my experience to other paradigms for understanding medicine, wellness, health, therapy. Of course, I could be just as critical about Psychology today, especially in the Western world. 

I look forward to further dialogue. 

Notes: 

1. Fisher, R. M., & Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris, p. 157. See also Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris.

2. For e.g., I have written: "Advances in the Psychopathology of Fear" (FM blog Apr. 19/17); "Feariatry: A First Conceptual Map" (FM blog Aug. 26/16). 

Read more…

Desh Subba's Recent Long Tour in the USA

[I asked Desh Subba to write about his Fearism tour; here is what he wrote:]

Philosophy of Fearism- Long Travel in USA by Desh Subba

Weather was cold as I landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport in Texas, my first time to that part of the country. I arrived with a prominent writer of India, Bindya Subba and Dr. Kabita Lama, Nepali Department Head, of Sikkim University, in N.E. India. We had met in Dubai before flying into the U.S. They were coming from Calcutta, I was coming from Hong Kong. During transit fortunately we had same flight to Dallas. It was their first visit in USA and my second. Last year I went to receive an award for  my Philosophy of Fearism book (2014) in Washington, DC.

We came as invited guests to take part in the “Grand International Creative Ceremony III” organized by the Global Bhutanese Literary Organization (GBLO). Bhutanese have been continuing this program since 2009. My interest was to meet energetic Bhutanese writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals. My priority was also to meet face-to-face with Dr. R. Michael Fisher, who is my co-author of Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue (2016). I had never talked with him before, as we chose only email conversations. Most Americans I meet seem to give priority to use email rather than phone and social media.

It was also interesting how we originally came into this close relationship. My book was published July 2014. After that I started to promote it. Monitoring progress of Fearism and philosophy of Fearism comes from using Google. I frequently checked Google. Dr. R. Michael Fisher was coming up on websites everyday when I searched “Philosophy of Fearism.” When it came many times, I printed and read. From start to end there were many references taken from my book. In particular it was his Technical Paper 51, “Towards a Theory of Fearism” (25pp). It is still available in Google. It made me delighted. I wrote him and thanked him. He replied. It was our first conversation. Then we started to share ideas. After some 2 months, he sent me another Technical Paper 56 “Fearanalysis: Further Notes from a Forensic Craft” (60pp) and it had many interesting references. I was fully fascinated by his knowledge and devotion. I thought, we have to publish these two papers as one pillar of Fearism in some form. After, I shared this co-authoring idea with him. He agreed and we started to work on this project. Now we are working in the field of Philosophy of Fearism but had never met. It made us curious. This opportunity, we are so grateful for, was provided us by GBLO in Texas.

At the Dallas-Fort Worth airport members of the organization, including chairman Denzome came to welcome us. They offered a very warm welcome with Nepalese traditional Gamchha and garland of flowers. Our first impression was enthusiastic. I realized, they had a cheerful mood. It means they were so happy in our presence. They dropped us off at the chairman's home and somebody came to receive Dr. R. Michael Fisher. He had to come from Illinois, USA. His plane was 3 hours later than us. I felt, it is my duty to be present at the airport when he arrived. Photos were taken.  

Participants arrived from different states around the USA. Ceremony was 25- 26 November, 2016. Organizers provides us a global platform to present on the “Philosophy of Fearism” and it was streamed FB as a live broadcast. It was the first special platform for Philosophy of Fearism in a global media way. Dr. Fisher presented an introductory talk, by-passing the paper he had written, which we passed out 20 copies. Our preference was to invite the audience to ask questions. People were very curious, excited and asked some good questions. Most of the answers were given by Dr. Fisher. He was our special guest.

Dr. Fisher was not from Nepalese language and culture background. Even though I am from Nepal, the Bhutanese from Bhutan have a common platform, and that is Nepalese language and culture. There were many paper presentations, songs, poems, speeches, and literary discussion including some on Fearism. In my analysis of the program it was a grand success and good publicity. I respect their effort, patience and dedication. Success for any program it must have effort, patience, ordered structure and discipline. No doubt, the Bhutanese community has high degree of hospitably as well. 

After the “Grand International Creative Ceremony III” I went to Nebraska with Bhutanese friend Karna Gurung, Bhim Gurung, DB Tamang  Khadka Gajmer and some others. It was almost a 14 hour drive crossing 3 states, Oklahoma, Iowa and Kansas. It was an adventure travel for me. We reached Omaha City on the 27 November afternoon. 1st of December, there was a program on Fearism. To make more colourful we included the singer Khadak Gajmer. I spoke half an hour about Fearism. Dr. Kiran Bastola, a scientist, was listening carefully. He later asked me questions. His concern was: What is genetic relations with Fearism?

Rita Gurung Mrs. of  Karna Gurung did a lot for me. Similarly mother of Khadka Gajmer, family of DB Tamang highly served me as guest. It was an unforgettable memory this time spent in Nebraska.

Weather was getting cooler. Light snow started. By the 3rd of December, I left for Connecticut. as Khadka and DB came to see off at the airport. I said bye to Omaha. I traveled again on an adventure by plane. From Omaha to Connecticut, I changed 3 planes OMA to CLT, CLT to DCA. DCA to BDL. By 16: 40 PM I landed in Bradley International Airport, Connecticut, where Dr. Bidya came to receive me. She took me to Mrs. Shanti Singh’s home. Dr. Bidya called local friends, and immediately there was gathering, a spontaneous program. Cold was influencing us but the hot tea and exuberant discussion were impressive. My dear friend Dhan Lama and Mr. Ed Smith were at work, so they requested Dr. Bidya to pick up me. Every one was very frank.

Dhan Lama has introduced me to Mr. Ed Smith. Mr. Smith and his friends have a local philosopher’s club. They discuss philosophy every week. Mr. smith and Dhan Lama are interested in philosophy. Because of it, we became family at once. Mr. Ed. Smith and Dhan Lama worked hard to ensure success for the Fearism program. Mr. Smith booked an expensive room and offered dinner. I want to thank them for their support.

We had a pleasant program. Around 15 Americans and 10 Nepalese Americans were in the audience. Some of them already had read Fearism books. From within the book they asked me questions. With their keen philosophical background, the audience paid great attention during my lecture. Mr. Ed Smith sang a song. It made the program more attractive.

I think it was one of the highest standard program events I have ever attended. After, I hurriedly left for Boston. I had to attend another evening program. Some of my friends put me on a bus and I went to Boston wondering curiously what was next. Last year I was there. So I had some idea what to expect. Poet Deepa Rai Pun guided me on the phone how to get to her home. I took a cab and went. When I reached there, it was half past eight in the evening. Some friends were already there and more were coming. I started to speak. Our program lasted until 3 am. Some read poems, some sang a song. The night was joyful. 

5th morning Poet Deepa and I left home together. She had to go to work and I had to go to New York. We called a cab and waited outside. That night it started to snow. By morning time there was some snow on the road. Deepa left me at the Boston bus terminal. I took a bus to New York. 6th December which is my birthday. This time I planned to celebrate in New York. According to my plan everything was fine. By afternoon, I reached New York. A son in law of Mr. Biswa Thapa came to receive me. We reached their home around 3 o'clock. That night I took a rest. My plan was to take a rest in New York. 6th December my birthday day. Mr. Biswa told me to visit Manhattan and take some pictures. We went to Manhattan and Barnes and Noble bookshop. I checked for my books. I asked the salesman. He said Philosophy of Fearism was not in stock and they needed to order more.

When we were having a coffee in Barnes and Noble coffee shop, Mr. Biswa received a message from Madam Marcis McBroom. She is a retired teacher of Manhattan Comprehensive High School, New York. In the message, we were invited to give lectures in Manhattan Comprehensive High School New York. I found it very important. In the heart of New York, on my birthday, I had a great opportunity. We spent almost 2 hours there. The students were very curious and asked me many questions regarding Fearism.  

7th of December, afternoon, I went to Virginia, Washington. This was my last program before returning to Hong Kong. Mr. Lekhanath Bhandari did his best effort to organize the program. There were prominent Nepali writers, like Krishna Dharabasi, a World Bank employee and a retired professor. We held the Fearism program in Thomas Jefferson Library, Virginia. Time was limited but questions and curiosity was greatly appreciated. 

Weather was getting very cold and windy that evening. After finishing the program I went home. There was my cousin brother and sister. Brother is my mom's younger sister's son, his name is Deshraj Sangyo Limbu and his wife Sarita Limbu, same like my blood. Both of them are very gentle. Sister's mom my aunty was there too. Last year also I stayed two nights in their home. After returning home we had dinner together. We ate and had a light drink. The night was wonderful. Next morning Mr. DeshRaj’s brother dropped me in Dulles International Airport Washington and then back to my home.

Grand International Creative Ceremony III, I consider as Philosophy of Fearism door to the West. Now this philosophy and discourse is going worldwide. I highly appreciate all the friends of Bhutanese community, my friends, relatives, who supported this work to open to a new sky. I thank Dr. R. Michael Fisher for his valuable presence.

I look forward to new adventures in 2017.

 ****

Read more…

The following Technical Paper #60  is written, for the most part, as a one-act stage play. This is one of the rarer occasions when I engage in literary writing to teach about my work. See "Ideological Underpinnings of Colonial Domination in Understanding Fear Itself" (Tech Paper 60.pdf) and I look forward to further dialogues on this topic. I add this paper to the collection of creative literary writings applying some part of a philosophy of fearism (and/or theory of fearism - that is fearism-t).

Read more…

Here is the book review I just posted on amazon books:

"Huge Circle of Fear": How Shadow Walks With Us For Liberation By R. Michael Fisher on December 5, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition
I have known this author, founder of philosophy of fearism, and his work for two years. This novel, his first in English translation from Nepalese, is much better than other things in English translation that he has written. As a short novelette it works with an intensity of both simplicity and profoundness. I like the teaching about fear and the finding of the way to fearless. How the protagonist moves across landscapes and in and through forest primal cultures to the town's and villages is unexpected and filled with surprises. Many kinds of teachers appear, and there is a sense the protagonist, on 'the edge' of sanity, and insanity, throughout, is like a part of you. At least I felt that.

It is a book about 'shadow' in an interesting way. It resonates with Carl Jung's version but there is something more Eastern and mysterious and primal that by the end of the book, I was still asking many questions about what is this shadow that operates in the book. One scholar the protagonist meets says, "The shadow can be ignored considering it to be just a mental disorder. But no matter, to what extent you ignore it, it tends to play inside your body" (p. 50).

The particular shadow that weaves in and out of the narrative of this book, more or less turns out to be the signifier, if not the driver, if not the effect of what the protagonist realizes, like a moment of enlighenment, a "huge circle of fear"... and, as the story unfolds, the experience of "fearless" is unveiled for us to both admire and yet query. Is this a journey we would ever take? The risks are always there, for the reward, if one is listening deeply, primally with a whole other part of our being that we usually don't listen with in the everyday world. Sure, readers will taste the shamanic, magical, and presence of spirit in this soul's journey.

Knowing the author's major philosophical project, the philosophy of fearism, I think this book would be a good text for the teaching of ideas behind what he and I call "feariatry" --a new sub-discipline of psychiatry that focuses on the "huge circle of fear" and the 'shadow' related to it --and, how they impact our mental health all the time.
Read more…

Curriculum Outline for "Fearless"

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 (r.michaelfisher52@gmail.com). 

Read more…

The following reflections come from my recent experience living with the Bhutanese community in Dallas/Forth Worth, TX for the 2.5 days (Nov. 24-26, 2016). Upon an invitation to speak as a guest about the philosophy of fearism and its implications for their diasporic community development, art and literature and general literary criticism in regard to the Oriental (East) and Occidental (West) complementarity and contestations, I immersed myself by living with some of the organizers and learned much that I wish to share in this blogpost of their good work and my interests therein. 

Their theme for the event this year was “Peace, Progress and Prosperity,” their 3rd time holding this yearly event called Grand International Creative Ceremony-III, in Forth Worth, co-sponsored by The Global Bhutanese Literary Organization (Dallas/Fort Worth) and Bhutanese Legacy Youth Club-Fort Worth. This conference is put on every two years.

            LARGER CONTEXT: POLITICAL CASCADE OF CRISES

All of us, the Bhutanese community living in the US diaspora, or whomever, are facing what blog writer Charles Einstein put so well in reflecting critically upon the post-2016 US election atmosphere:

Anything becomes possible with the collapse of dominant institutions. When the animating force behind these new ideas is hate or fear, all manner of fascistic and totalitarian nightmares can ensue, whether enacted by existing powers or those that arise in revolution against them.

That is why, as we enter a period of intensifying disorder, it is important to introduce a different kind of force to animate the structures that might appear after the old ones crumble. I would call it love if it weren’t for the risk of triggering your New Age bullshit detector, and besides, how does one practically bring love into the world in the realm of politics? So let’s start with empathy. Politically, empathy is akin to solidarity, born of the understanding that we are all in this together. In what together? For starters, we are in the uncertainty together.

We are exiting an old story that explained to us the way of the world and our place in it. Some may cling to it all the more desperately as it dissolves, looking perhaps to Donald Trump to restore it, but their savior has not the power to bring back the dead. Neither would Clinton have been able to preserve America as we’d known it for too much longer. We as a society are entering a space between stories, in which everything that had seemed so real, true, right, and permanent comes into doubt. For a while, segments of society have remained insulated from this breakdown (whether by fortune, talent, or privilege), living in a bubble as the containing economic and ecological systems deteriorate. But not for much longer. Not even the elites are immune to this doubt.[1]

Yes, we live in very challenging, if not dangerous times now and soon to come, especially as global warming extremes put enormous pressure on human survival. At the same time, this larger context of crises on planet earth is going to bring us all to better see that we are all on the ‘same boat’ and we can work together to help each other, or fight to try to dominate. No doubt there will be a bit of both tendencies, and yet, the great opportunity is before us to cooperate and operate beyond fear, domination and oppression. I do think our collective fear and uncertainty can be managed and transformed to create a much better world. We’ll see.

            FEARISM BACKGROUND: MEETING of EAST and WEST

A brief background before I offer some detailed reflections on this amazing experience I had with this American-based Bhutanese community:

(1) my first meeting online with Desh Subba in late 2014 has led to a collaboration, and this conference (creative ceremony) was planned (in part) so Desh and I could meet and present in person for the first time. Subba is a well-respected philosopher-writer from Nepal (now living in Hong Kong). He is currently touring the USA speaking to universities and various Nepalese groups on philosophy of fearism. He is the first to have coined the term “philosophy of fearism” as a new philosophy and wrote the first substantive text (Subba, 2014) outlining his approach to such a philosophy, where “fear” is given central conceptual and real importance as the major historical and evolutionary shaping force. His work on this topic came from a broad curiosity about the human condition and how we can help humanity move forward, with less suffering, to a better human potential.

(2) various communities in Nepal, Bhutan and especially N. E. India, have been picking up on Subba’s work and enriching it, especially the literary communities of these areas. It seems the arts in general are very open-minded to adding a new “ism” of thought in the 21st century to other isms that have been influential in shaping literature and art and have also grown out of art movements to some extent. Subba was positing that fearism, like other movements of philosophical thought (e.g., spiritualism, rationalism, existentialism, surrealism, idealism, etc.) has its place in history. These communities are, in some areas, at least beginning to explore how fearism may benefit the development of their nations, culture, communities, youth and the world.

(3) although Subba and I have communicated by email for two years, it was great to come together with the support of the Bhutanese diasporic community in Texas at this event. This allowed us to converse despite the language and cultural barriers (I am an English-only Westerner from Canada, living in the USA for the past 9 years). We gained a great deal from this time in Texas of which I’ll share some of our insights here. For those interested in our first writing collaboration see Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue (Fisher and Subba, 2016).

          GUEST: BHUTANESE STYLE

The Bhutanese at this event really know how to celebrate and treat people well. Before I return to that experience, let me say a few opening remarks of relevance to my being a “special guest” as it said in the letter of invitation I received on Sept., 17, 2016. I was addressed in the letter as “American Writer and Philosopher” and on the plague I received on the last day of the event as “a special guest and presenting on FEARISM, representing CANADA/USA.” So far in my career, being asked to present on my own work on the topic fear(ism) and fearlessness is extremely rare. I started this specialty of research and education in 1989, some 10 years before Subba began his work on fear(ism). I shared with the Bhutanese audience, in a dialogue format with Subba up on stage with me, that Westerners are heavily embedded, if not invested and addicted, to carrying on a fairly dysfunctional relationship with fear that is causing major local, national and global problems. They typically like to avoid talking about fear together as communities, societies, and as an Occidental civilization. At least, that is my experience. I’ve tried a long time to engage them. So, to be welcomed as a special guest to speak on the topic was overwhelmingly joyful and still is a surprise and bit of a shock.

However, I quickly learned that the Nepali-Bhutanese culture has a long tradition of treating the “guest, as god” as one young couple expressed to me in a half-joking way, but they really meant that, not literally, but sincerely. When these people meet each other for the first time in the day, or met with me, it was always “namaste” with hands palm-to-palm in front of their heart (namaste, more or less translated into English is ‘the divine in me greets and respects the divine in you’).[2] I felt highly valued and included from the beginning moment of my arrival at the airport. The young men in the car, who picked me up, treated me so graciously and respectfully and some said they had either read about my work on fearism or heard of me and the work and they felt very honored to be able to share time with me and my thoughts at this event. Again, like with Desh, despite the language and cultural barriers of communicating, what mattered most to me was the non-verbal communication of real action of caring for the other—in this case, the guest. I never forgot I was a welcomed and honored guest from beginning to end. I have never in my own country or in the Western world where I live and work, experienced anything remotely close to this respect and dignity of a people for each other, and for their guests. Although, I have noticed this is often the case in some Indigenous peoples’ communities as well that I have visited.

Because of this communicating at the deeper level of the “heart,” which several of them told me about as part of their tradition and culture, I never felt much of an alienated feeling being the ‘outsider’ (white person, English-speaking only). Truly, I will be thinking and reflecting on this experience for a very long time. The entire conference was held in the language of their own country of origin, Nepalese. I never expected what it would be like to immerse oneself in a community like this, where only minor bits of English translations were given for mostly my benefit. I respected that they honored their own language when they came together as a community. I was the guest, but in reality I was the visitor and observer too. It is not my community by geographic or cultural origin. Yet, by the last day of events, with various speakers and poetry readings, dance and singing, I noticed myself in a light semi-trance state, my heart-overflowing and emotions of empathy, sadness, and joy and respect flowing. I could have cried but I held back the tears. In the words of the Bhutanese poet, who was at the event, Narad Pokhrel a former refugee now living in the USA: “Tears drop, Tears flow; Tears remain within for long.”[3]

Again, I didn’t understand a word they said most of the time. It didn’t matter to me as a human being connecting authentically and spiritually with other human beings. Culture is not the most important thing for this greater connection in spirit. I did not feel greater or lesser than anyone. I felt a balance. I was in a mindset where mind no longer allowed divisions. I felt I was channeling much of their emotions and thoughts through me, cleansing me of my Western life experience and identity dysfunctions, privilege, and ignore-ance. I was being educating and I loved it. I sat. I sat. I sat. There were even moments I wanted to get up and dance with them.

        HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT THROUGH FEARISM

When I first talked with Denzome Sappang, the primary organizer and community leader of the Bhutanese in Dallas/Fort Worth, he was looking at what kind of accommodation could be provided for me. I mentioned that he need not bother with anything fancy, “I am a philosopher, and those things are of little matter. So, keep it simple. I don’t need much.” As it turned out, I stayed at the Bhutanese Community Center, a small half-sized unit at the same townhouse complex where Denzome and his family live. It is a lower-working class, multi-ethnic, gated community. I never learned the details of exactly what this housing complex was or who designed it but I had a sense it was for the more vulnerable and likely many were refugees. It was not the most well-managed environment and at times I wanted to go around and lure the children playing there to perhaps help to pick up the garbage litter.

The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN Habitat) estimates that nearly one billion, or one-third, of urban dwellers in the world live in slums or near slum-like conditions or informal settlements or camps in 2007. I can imagine that rate is much higher since that survey especially with the ongoing waves of migration and refugees from war-torn and food-short environments around the world, often linked to global climate change and political instability. Housing adequacy and health environments are going to be a huge pressure humanity must face head-on in the coming decades to prevent escalating cascades of other problems, of which health issues is no. 1. I want to come back to this issue in regard to diasporic and vulnerable communities settling in North America, and especially in the USA recently and how a philosophy of fearism may play an important role.

In principle, I personally have always been against the trend of gated communities in North America especially. The main reason is because the rich people who build them and want to live in them keep themselves, more or less, isolated from the rest of the community. Many critics are pointing out that this trend is producing a class of citizens who do not have any sense of obligation to the larger civic mandates of all-taking-care- of-all, as an ethic of social justice. No, they live in a bubble and do not even care much about politics and voting. They like their segregation, their elite schools and privatized clinics and hospitals, and their own security forces, etc. I critique this because I see that all as fear-based by design; urban planners called it “white flight” for many years but it is moving beyond merely a racially-signified exodus from civic participation—it is very unhealthy and a way that continues the great divide of communities and cities by class status. Many gated communities build high walls between themselves and others. Now, the USA under a Trump leadership has a goal of building a great wall between Mexico and the USA. The wealthy can afford to live on the ‘right side’ of the security systems, which keep the growing numbers of poor and vulnerable away from them, unseen, uncared for by the wealthy. As I mentioned, racism traditionally is a significant part of the gated community phenomenon as “white” people take flight to the suburbs, leaving a type of inner city ghettoization encompassing many people of color and the vulnerable and poor in the USA.

My point is to say that I stayed with the way reality was during my short visit. If this is where Denzome and his family live and where they operate their community organization to teach ESL and Civics and yoga to new refugees and immigrants—then, I wanted to experience however briefly, the struggling to make it in America. I don’t care if it is uncomfortable and even a little scary as I was the only white person I saw the whole time there in that gated community.

I’m glad I was raised poor working class and was son of a mother who was an uneducated immigrant to Canada in the 1940s onward. I knew what my mom suffered in not speaking English and having to take jobs where she was given little respect. I saw the tears from her, and the anguish and anger. I know the shame I experienced when my friends and others made fun of our old run-down house, a lower-class neighborhood, and a car that was old and cheap and they’d stare at the patches in my clothes at times. Of course, as a young child, I never understood what was going on. I never understood the reason my mom was so unhappy and became alcoholic. Later, I put the puzzle together and realized how classism, racism, ethnocentrism, and sexism all intersect to create social problems that individuals suffer from. I learned that most everyone wants to blame to victim, the vulnerable person for their fate in life. I see the error of that kind of thinking now. I also see the error of treating people in the margins of society, like the refugees, as only “victims” because they certainly are not that alone. If you spend time with them, as I did, as a privileged white person, I could see a creative vibrancy and drive to be much more than a victim of circumstances.

So, I am now accepting of my lower-class background and my own struggles with poverty as an artist and as an independent scholar and philosopher. I guess, what I am saying is that I really ‘felt at home’ with these people I met at this event. I don’t mean to claim they felt ‘at home’ and comfortable with me, necessarily. I do not know for sure what everyone felt. What’s more important however, from the larger cultural, political context of contemporary America, is that the general public is still largely fear-filled when it comes to the concept of “refugee.” Call it xenophobia (fear of the stranger; the Other) or just call it simply fear of refugees and immigrants and anyone else who, in some people’s minds, “don’t belong here and are up to no good.” I don’t take that stance. But unfortunately, fear is still central in the lives of the diasporic communities in America because they feel often that negative association from the larger society. The recent racist-based headlines of the news reports “OSU attacker Identified Somali Refugee” and one could go on and on with the cases of how targeted populations are named in extreme violence cases like this one, rather than merely reporting a name of a criminal. If the attacker was white and “American-looking” (so-called) would anyone giving such a report in headlines say “Identified Irish-American” or such? Of course not! Targeting “refugee” in the headlines, in this case, easily generalizes peoples’ fear to include all refugees as dangerous like this one individual, who drove down and knifed several students on OSU campus. And this is what Trump’s agenda is all about, always was in the election campaign, fearmongering and xenophobia. I feel for my diasporic brothers and sisters who have to live with this kind of climate of fear, culture of fear, and its relentless unnecessary attacks on “the Other.”

       FEARISM AS POTENTIAL ‘CORRECTIVE’ TO FEARMONGERING

This leads to my last short discussion on how fearism is potentially important. Desh and I shared some of our thoughts in our dialogue at the event, but it was much too short, as many other people came up and told me. I agree, we had great questions from the audience[4] and we have a lot more to say in trying to answer them. But that will all come in time. What I realized from this event and in talking with Desh and so many others, is that fearism is still relatively hard to understand in all its implications and all its liminal and unknown mysteries. Much of it is still intuitive thought that makes up the philosophy and thus, more systematic writing is yet to come. It is often poetically described and speculatively derived. Desh and I plan to write a short Manifesto on Philosophy of Fearism to help readers and students of our work. Some people told us, especially a few young people, it would be great to have an online course on this topic taught by Desh and I. Yes, that would be great. I’d like to see the Bhutanese diasporic communities or any communities take on studying the nature and management, and transformation of fear, just like a basic “fear education” (analogous, to say, a basic “sex education or "moral education").

The one thing that kept coming out in my mind about this experience was how powerfully important the diasporic communities are to the rest of the world and global change processes. I will be only brief in sharing my thoughts here. It seems that the places of change and transformation of human beings and their societies always function best under difficult challenging and even oppressive and “crisis” conditions. There is no comfort and stability much in these sites generally nor in the diasporic communities—especially, when they are refugee-based and/or poor. How to keep these communities healthy and developing forward, rather than falling into fear-based patterns of apathy and despair and pessimism—loss of culture and dignity, etc.—this, is a great challenge. I saw how Denzome and so many others worked tirelessly for this conference to be a success. I also stayed in their little community center and saw how it is a place of adult education and development for their Bhutanese community members and others who wish to participate in some way. Volunteers. There is minimal resources available at this time to them, and they do so much good work for what they have. I felt greatly inspired.

I kept thinking that fearism, if they continue to study it and apply it, with my help and with Desh’s help if they want it, has so much to offer to the health and development of the diaspora. The Nepal-Bhutan connection to fearism and fearlessness, all the way into the USA, is a great site, in the margins of the greater USA society, for learning, restoration, transformation and liberation. These big types of change rarely are instigated from within the ‘center’ of a society of the so-called “normal” people. I for one want to offer my allyship to this movement along with my heart-felt thanks for all you did for me at this event. I feel I was transformed and helped to see the world-reality in a more realistic way, than before when I had not had such an enriching experience in Bhutanese-Nepali culture and creative thoughts. I wished there was more time to talk with people, but that’s okay because the event was for their community to celebrate their achievements and enjoy connections with each other.

At one point on the last day, three white Americans showed up, two of whom presented on their work with the Nepalese in Nepal. They were speech instructor specialists and philanthropists. As much as I was interested to see the good they were doing, I was also disturbed at times personally by their attitudes toward refugees and immigrants. I noticed how different the American attitude is re: “melting pot” approach and how the one speaker literally gave a lecture to the Bhutan community on how they ought to “assimilate” and then Americans will be more kind to them. More or less, that was what was implied. In Canada, this is not, generally, the way we look at “the Other” but rather we see they have gifts to teach us about being human in a globalizing world. This is a much larger topic I don’t have space for in this blog. I will say, I perceived a lot of fear from these Americans, and I’m sure they are not even conscious of it, when they are in the presence of people of color, difference, and who aren't speaking in English, and they are not in control of them and the situation.

My hypothesis, after talking with Desh and having this experience, has led me to thinking there is a particular diasporic learning site of change that could be a great model for others in diasporas but also beyond that. For example, the Bhutanese diasporic, say in America, could be leaders of human change and global transformation, showing alternatives of love and care for “the Other” and of better ways humans could do things—the latter, which are turning out to be very destructive to humanity and the environment we depend on—that is, how to do them without pathological and neurotic and despairing fear and terror motivating change, perceptions, thoughts, actions. But rather to make the creative changes based on a new relationship to fear and fearlessness—one that is healthy and constructive not destructive. This is the lesson the rest of the world needs to learn, in Desh’s and my opinion. Philosophy of fearism is based on this basic assumption.

I look forward to my ongoing connections with these communities. There is a lot of work to do. I am full of renewed energy to be part of the solutions. I also learned in my experience at this event to be a good listener, no matter what, even if I don’t understand all the language and some of the behaviors and cultural traditions and rituals. That is not so important, as to listen-to-connect, then we’ll be human together without fear getting in between our differences. That’s the future I want to live and pass on to the children for generations to come.  

****

     References
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.
Fisher, R.M., and Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.
Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris.


[1] Excerpt from “The Election: Of Hate, Grief and a New Story”; thanks to Emmett Coyne who sent me this essay by Charles Einstein http://charleseisenstein.net/hategriefandanewstory/

[2] My reading of this ritual, both at the cultural and spiritual levels, is one of a “gift of fearlessness” (dana abaya) offering: that is (in English translation), I bring not fear to you or your loved ones, and I expect you to likewise return that gift. Elsewhere, Fisher (2010) I have written about the gift of fearlessness based on theological scholars’ work on this topic in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism.

[3] Excerpt from the poem “Tear” from The Pathetic Journey. Discourse Publications, 197.

[4] Three of the questions from audience members were, as best I recall: (1) What is the role of fearism in giving us a new perspective on how leaders of all kinds in societies everywhere tend to use fear to manipulate others?, (2) What is the difference between Subba’s philosophy of fearism, and Fisher’s philosophy of fearism?, (3) What is this philosophy of fearism, in simpler language, so that more people can practically understand this and make use of it?

Read more…

Feariatry: A First Conceptual Mapping

Desh Subba (2014), using a "fearist perspective" and a reading of history and human development based on a "philosophy of fearism"-- coined the term "feariatry" and wrote a few pages on its conceptualization (see pp. 156, 160-61).[1] His basic idea was that psychiatry has not fully seen the nature and role of fear in mental illness and well-being. He posited, that in the future there will be feariatrists as well as psychiatrists. The former would use a philosophy of fearism to guide their practice of psychiatry. He also believed that the knowledge from the sub-field of feariatry would help people in the grassroots of communities and other mental health and social workers to better understand that we ought to be diagnosing fear problems in people and offering them appropriate solutions and not allowing ourselves to be ruled by psychiatry. I would add, and not be ruled by psychology either (thus, Subba and I have also been developing fearology, and fearanalysis).

The following concept map is one of my first ways of articulating a vision for a field of study or a topic. This ought to provide the more complex version of conceptualization beyond Subba's initial concept. We both know there is no one and only way to define the sub-field of feariatry but it will take many creative efforts to build a good theory and practice. I have given a wide and deep lens to what I would like to see go into the development of feariatry in the future. The details of course are yet to come.

End Note

Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris.

Read more…

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

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

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

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

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

 http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/lit/literaryterms/section5.php

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

End Notes:

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

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

3. Like the other influential new movements (isms), Integralism is both ancient and new (with Ken Wilber being one of the most important new interpreters and leaders of this movement with his Integral Philosophy). This line of thought has not specifically been influential to Subba et al. in the East. I look forward to developing and sharing this in the future, and I did include it in Fisher and Subba (2016) at various points. Also, the integral perspective has heavily influenced my philosophy of fearlessness (i.e., fear management/education theory) see, Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world's fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear management/education for the 21st century. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

Read more…