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politics (5)

How Will Love Do It?

The Marianne Williamson campaign-- questions are being asked as in this Forbes magazine article on MW... [see also my blog a few posts ago on this ning]

Warrell, a fan of MW, asked (as many will) in this article ending: 

"Will love win out over fear in a political system that seems to so richly reward those who are most masterful in manipulating fear in their favor?  Time will tell."  

https://www.forbes.com/sites/margiewarrell/2019/01/29/marianne-williamson-can-love-transcend-fear/#6cc095f4141b

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"Emotional civil war" ... a very interesting (?) campaign quote... and, what does she really mean by this? And what is a fearologist's perspective of her rhetoric, intention, and potential for presidential victory and/or at least influence in American culture and politics. See my new youtube video on "Ethical Leadership: Marianne Williamson"

In the INTRODUCTION of Fisher & Subba (2016), p. xxxi [1], you will read a philosophy of fearism (and fearlessness) perspective on Marianne Williamson, and you will see that I have (in particular) been following her philosophy and social media following for a long time. She is a close friend with the media star Oprah Winfrey, and many others (see picture below on this webpage of FM ning). In that Introduction, Subba and I ask : "WHY FOCUS ON FEAR, NOT LOVE?" and then we begin the chapter with a quote from Williamson:

"Crossing the bridge to a better world begins with crossing a bridge inside myself, from the addictive mental patterns of fear and separation, to enlightened perceptions of unity and love. I have been trained by the world to think fearfully, and today I choose to think with love." (from A Year of Miracles), and, many of you may or may not know that she is a 'big' promoter and teacher, supported by A Course in Miracles movement. In this spiritual movement "love" is placed as the answer to "fear" and all of our problems. The dialogue between Subba and I now moves on in the Introduction to show how unreliable, if not distorted, from a fearist perspective, this emphasis on love is the answer approach to personal and world transformation. We risked to critique, in a mild way in this chapter, a person (and ideology), who is now running for the 2020 American political presidency under the Democratic party. She is a populist leader, with no experience in politics per se, althought a few years ago she ran for a local congress position in California but never made it very far. Now she is going for the 'big' position. It will be interesting to watch, but more importantly it will be interesting to see how her work (as part of the Fearlessness Movement) will emerge on the 'big' stage of American politics in a time of crisis.

I for one, will keep analyzing her work and offering her and her supporters ideas of how to better bring about a challenge and intervention to disrupt that problem of being (in her words) "trained by the world to think fearfully"... and, challenging her movement to look at fearism and fearlessness to better inform their own philosophy and politics.

Notes

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

 

ADDITIONAL NOTE - M. W. is also an endorser of one of my favorite philosophers Ken Wilber, for e.g.

And, in 2007... they met:  (Marianne & Ken)

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OH, interesting The Washington Post (a rather conservative major newspaper in USA)... wants to spin the story of MW's campaign in the ruts of the traditional right winger folks like Dobson's "tough love" pitch for parents, which a lot of people bought hook line and sinker back 30 years ago... and, also if you see the headlines (below) on The Washington Post interview (and the photo shoot which really is a 'joke' and 'play' on MW, not taking her really seriously)--and, then you get the headlines... which one thinks she is again being played with by this media journalist and well... you can make up your own mind... I'm so skeptical of who is behind these newspapers--owned by a handful of the very elite she criticizes :

 

Feb. 19/19 by Anna Peele:

[Peele talks about miracles] [a small excerpt from her text for this article, which I nearly gag on]:

Today, it’s the eve of the 66-year-old’s declaration that she will be seeking the highest office in our country, during what is arguably one of its most terrifying times. Since Williamson is sitting at the head of the table, close enough to touch my arm, it feels like an appropriate moment to ask her to act as my own spiritual adviser. Not because I believe in miracles. Because I want to believe.

“I’m afraid,” I tell Williamson. Afraid about how bleak things feel under our current president; afraid of how angry people are. “I’m afraid of what will happen to the country,” I say. “And that there’s no going back.”

[sure, I'm glad they are talking about "fear"... but Peele's approach is too much of a grand skit and makes me angry... I trust/hope MW doesn't fall for this stuff from the mainstream media... okay, one other quote, an accurate view from MW's mouth, that is, A Course in Miracles, she says to Anna at one point:]

“Where there is light, there cannot be darkness,” Williamson says. “And where there’s love, there cannot be fear.”

“We’re hallucinating. And that’s what this world is: a mass hallucination, where fear seems more real than love. Fear is an illusion. Our craziness, paranoia, anxiety and trauma are literally all imagined”? [says Williamson... her absolutist philosophy, belief, faith, religion, spirituality, ideology?]... 

[If "fear is an illusion" a common claim of many esoteric religious teachings, E. and W., then what does that say about a philosophy of fearism and its claims... hmmmm... ?]

 

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The above logo (I created) is Barbara and my new collaboration as artists-researchers-teachers, as we have just moved back to Canada and settled in Calgary, Alberta. Studio M* is a place and space for us to co-create with the Calgary Community (in particular the Beltline Neighborhoods downtown), and beyond that with anyone in the world who wishes to be in collaboration with us and wants to utilize Studio M*. Barbara has posted an initial blog ("Barbara Bickel tumblr") on this project, and the location of McHugh House (120 yrs. old) where our studio 6 space is--which I encourage you to have a look at some of the earliest stages of our creating and imagining. We're very excited about the possibilities... 

As for why this is important to the Fearlessness Movement per se, I would encourage you to read the Studio M* Manifesto (version/exhibit #1.0), I have reprinted the Manifesto below (notice the particular reference to "without fear")... So, if you are interested to be a signatory of this Manifesto contact us r.michaelfisher52 [at] gmail.com and if you are traveling and want to drop by the studio to see what is going on, and if wish to join our Studio M* envisioning processes, then WE INVITE YOU to participate and help build a synergy that can make a positive difference. We look forward to hearing from you. If you are interested in doing some kind of creative/artistic Residency with us, give us an email: r.michaelfisher52 [at] gmail.com and we can talk about potentials for you using Studio M* ... that is, if you find our Manifesto in some way resonates with you and your work in the world... 

Studio M* : Manifesto    Exhibit #1.0 (Aug.-Sept., 2017)

         WE are a research creation lab intersecting Arts, Culture & Healing

  • WE are committed to an inclusive & expansive curatorial practice that stems from the Latin root curare- “to take care”
  • EVERYTHING is encountering others, human & more-than-human, a tableau of unique creative collaborations
  • WE commit to a Matrixial co-poetic paradigm of Artworkings in radical trust
  • WE practice a co-relational Aesthetic as foundational and preceding the Ethical, while both ought to inform the shape of the Political
  • WE live with the premise that EVERYTHING began without fear... imagine that!
  • SPONTANEITY is the life-blood-water of play, humour, sociality, sustainability, health & ecological sanity

 

Signatories:

 

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*M stands for “Matrixial” theory based on Bracha L. Ettinger’s art & philosophy. See, for e.g., her book The Matrixial Borderspaces published in 2005 by University of Minnesota Press. Or a good video of Ettinger with art historian Griselda Pollock, go to "Istanbul in/+ Leeds Event 3: Making with Bracha Ettinger": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqwWIr3WjxU

Studio M* is a restorative and transformational learning, teaching, and creative inquiry space for all. Co-conceived by artists-researchers-teachers Drs. Barbara Bickel and R. Michael Fisher. 

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New review of Days of Shock, Days of Wonder

Late last year, R. Michael Fisher blogged about my memoir Days of Shock, Days of Wonder and invited me to join him in a fear analysis of my writing. Searching for "Rafiq" here at the Fearlessness Movement website will show you the artifacts of our exchange. Since that time, Dr Fisher and I have continued our dialogue offline, and I hope to eventually write an article about what I have been able to distill about his ideas regarding fear.

Recently, I shared a new review of Days of Shock, Days of Wonder with Dr Fisher, and he encouraged me to post it here, perhaps as a way to direct readers to our earlier exchange but also to encourage readers to support writers like ourselves whose ideas are so far outside mainstream paradigms and the dominant worldview that our work rarely receives enough exposure for us to find an audience.

For me, both fearlessness and the constructive use of fearfulness are closely tied to our deepest perceptions of reality, and these perceptions in turn are inseparable from our capacity for spiritual experience, understood as the sensation of connection to a whole that is larger than the self. Just as fear is one of the great dividers of people from one another and from the earth, it is also one of the great inhibitors of this kind of spiritual awareness rooted in notions of diversity within unity and variety within essence.

So without further preamble, here is the brief review, recently posted at Amazon. If it inspires you to ponder my earlier exchange with Dr Fisher, all to the good. If it inspires you to read my book, all to the better. For I am sincere in my belief that in this age without prophets, it is up to us to inspire each other.

There is something happening here ...

By Alicia on July 24, 2017

Rafiq’s memoir is both a thought-provoking critique of our neoliberal times and a touching account of one man’s spiritual pursuit. It is written in a lively and engaging prose, making it quite difficult to put down. I did not know what to expect when I purchased this book, but found myself captivated by the author’s adventures and inspired by his spiritual journey that took him through India, Belize and Mexico. At times I laughed out loud too. Rafiq’s sober assessment of our capitalist world is an important undercurrent to the text. But more significantly for me, this book is a powerful testimony to the importance of reciprocity in our lives, a call to correct our relationships with the non-humans around us, and a gentle invitation to explore the gifts of the invisible. Days of Shock, Days of Wonder makes for a fantastic read.

Posted at: https://www.amazon.com/Days-Shock-Wonder-Mystics-Babylon/product-reviews/0973656115/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&sortBy=recent#R14ASPCV0BZWYR

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What does it mean to be a conscientious objector to Western society?

This blogpost is directly related to the current political situation that Barbara and I have experienced living in the USA for 9 years (July 2008- July 2017). Because Barbara was an Illinois State public employee at SIUC also added to us becoming "very political" relative to our other years living in Canada together (since 1991). Although, few know, that in 1994 or so I created a brochure to outline the NO FEAR PARTY that I was going to lead. People didn't pick up on it. In a sense, we've grown into being more civically aware, involved--albeit, she more than I, and I have spent most of my 9 years in conflict with various civic and activist and political groups in Carbondale, IL--not because I wanted to fight with them, I merely tried working with them and found them unworkable--and, perhaps that's what they would say about me. I do feel I confronted head on, not just intellectually, the stubborn American-psyche/personality that Americans generally take on because of the way America is and has been for centuries. The other-side to this was to face a lot of unsuccessful ventures and collaborations that fizzled rapidly here and thus, I turned very inward and contemplative, read, researched and wrote a whole tonne of good work, I think. I'm also exhausted by supporting Barbara's work out there and my own having to deal with vast rejection--to point I have said I live in exile and am undergoing social death.

Yet, Barbara and I continue to be quite political. A distinction is required, and one we both emphasized in earlier blogs this year with the Presidential 2016 election here and the shock n' awe of so many progressives. There is "politics" (and all its history and structures and discourses of power differential and hegemony) and there is the "political" realm which is basic relations in groups and society and the planet. The latter is the sphere of sociality as sociologists call it--and many might just call it the "cultural" sphere--as these overlap for sure. Barbara and I are moving into a time of our life where we just cannot ignore or put aside the politics of the world as much as we have in the past, and we have to be very aware of doing political work. That doesn't mean we'll like this change. We haven't. But to be responsible as a citizen (e.g., global citizens, which we identify with) there is no way to sluff off and remain unpolitical or slightly political. I wish it were different. The world is becoming too 'on edge' in terms of any healthy, sane, sustainable future--and if one is half-awake as a citizen, there is just too much critical work to do now to attempt to stave off the massive destruction going on, in politics, economics, education, and you name it--all are in big trouble. The next decade will be not an easy one. The intense violence and insecurities due to global warming alone, will "test" the sociality of trust and cooperation to the nth degree. We may not make it as a species. No need to try to scare anyone with this. I have thought about this and studied it for nearly 50 years more or less systematically, and my conclusion is not fearmongering or my own fear talking. It is really an intelligent future projection. And, don't forget Barbara and I have a grandson who is 7 years old.

Why I Haven't Been Successful: Costs of Being Too Political (Critical)

My political life is based on the theory/praxis of conscientization (or critical consciousness development, a la Paulo Freire and others)... this, I find is the only way to be a citizen and educator, a therapist and spiritual teacher, or whatever I do... yes, even being a father and grandfather, a husband, a friend or ally... critical consciousness has to be the ethical foundation for a life on this Earth... especially so, as Life becomes more and more threatened... I am angry that people deny this is going on.

How one is political, and chooses to grow their political sensibilities and skills by taking conscious action is a big issue. How ethical is one if they do not grow in the political sphere of life? But let me reflect on my life. Now, 65 years old, I feel there is so much work to be done in the political, that I am more and more shifting, albeit, slowly, to being less focused on other areas that I have been traveling in. So, to put it bluntly, as I was journaling this morning, a realization: Most people, especially young people, I encounter or who encounter me (mainly my writing) are not impressed by my life. Why? Because I haven't been successful. Not really by any business standard, not by a mainstream economic standard, not by a cultural or political standard as in being known or even a celebrity. So, I am thus, not likely to be effective in influencing anyone or anything out in the wide-world. Sure, I have a small circle of influence, but it is virtually still invisible on the big picture scene--and, hey, I am not even on Fb or Twitter. And, clearly I have no economic power nor am invited to be a public speaker, etc.... or if so, only rarely and I have not got onto Ted Talks or anything of the like. Sure, you can Google Scholar me on the Internet and I am somewhat impressive there, but who looks there?

So, the insight... I am too political, meaning radical and thus too demanding to have been able to take advantage of the various paths and platforms that our Western society has offered in order to 'climb to the top' (or at least near). A whole lot of people who know me or of me, frankly, wouldn't see me as "political" and, I certainly don't usually gt involved in politics. I don't even vote (and, for lots of good reasons). So, let me start with all the areas I have had access to and have even developed somewhat but they have all led to me not being perceived (not really) as successful in them: being a son, a brother, a father, a husband, a biologist, environmentalist, rehabilitation practitioner, artist, musician, psychologist-therapist, educator, writer, teacher, spiritualist, leader, scholar, public intellectual, academic, and you could add others if you want. None of those platforms of my engagement has worked for me really. And, my conclusion today is because I have been more "political" than even I thought into all of these forms. They were supposed to work, and they really didn't and don't to this day. I am too political, means I "resist" all of these platforms for their inherent (seemingly) collusion with the 'Fear' Matrix that dominates the world--and, has for at least 5000, maybe 10,000 years in the evolution of our species and cultures. That's a pretty big claim. That's a political claim--that's a critique. I am a big CRITIC of everything. I even critique the liberation movements, and the Fearlessness Movement as much of it is ... and, as much of it still needs to improve and unite, and grow and evolve and become more effective.

Well, all of the above, doesn't "pay" worth a damn, as I found... that is, being too political in everything, just doesn't pay... rather, it costs... and costs me big time. Yet, I have not near the kinds of oppressions and problems that most of the world has. What to do about this? Food for more thought... I'm sure I'll write more about it... I have thought of going into politics once I get back into Canada (Alberta)... Calgary... watch out!

Bottomline... unsuccess breeds more unsuccess... in a capitalist society that wants success and that success breeds more success... no body wants to be around a 'loser' without success(es)... by the standards of great variety that are constructed and promoted on TV and in the culture at large... if a young person looks at my work and my life, they may say, "interesting dude" but that's about it, because they look at what I don't have, and they are not impressed with the image of a (non-) "hero" of success in anyway that they want to follow, learn from and model... this has been very painful to experience on my end. Geez... I'm not even a good postmodern "anti-hero" like they may admire in popular culture.

Oh, and the most hurtful criticism I get back... in slight variant forms, is that "Michael you are too angry" that's why you aren't successful. "Lighten up." I think that is the easy way to put me and my political work in a 'box' with a pink ribbon that makes people feel comfortable with who they are, and has little to do with understanding who I am and what my life purpose of conscientization is all about.

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