psychology (7)

One Might Ask About Self-Realization



The (Eastern) mystic/teacher/guru Gangaji, has an important distinction to make when it comes to the psychotherapeutic world of trauma and healing, and the spiritual process of self-realization. She goes so far, in this short talk, to say emphatically, that "healing the ego" (or developing a healthy ego) via trauma work in the psychological domain, "does not have anything to do with self-realization" (by which she means, achieving non-dual consciousness and ultimate awareness, which means "fearless" existence). 

Check out his controversial teachers presentation on this topic:

And share your views on the FM ning here for discussion. I particularly like, how she is both embracing and critical at the same time of PSYCHOLOGY (i.e., the new Psychotherapeutic Dominance of Society)-- which she refers to the whole dynamic of such work  as "basically the church we live in" --meaning, psychology as interpretation and meaning making is now the new 'postmodern church' of a lot of W. society (at least)--and, yet, you can hear in her assessment, and I agree, there is a flaw in the fabric of such a new church. In other words, ultimate freedom and fearless existence, she is implying, cannot be attained via psychology and psychotherapy and trauma work and to mistake that and believe in it (as 'savior') as if it is the way to ultimate freedom and fearless existence and compassion of the highest order, she says, that's a mistake; that's a false belief. That is the ego itself trying to control the agenda of liberation. There are other more significant level practices one has to undertake than healing the ego, but one has to transcend the ego. 

She says, this spiritual work she teaches is "not about getting more best moments" (i.e., about trying to be more happy)... now, that is really hard to understand for most people, because we live in a culture (and 'new church') movement which tries to convince us you can get more out of life, just do the right thing, just be positive, just do healing, and you will attain, more best moments everyday, and you will be happier and people will love you and you will love people more, etc. etc. Gangaji is cutting through all that self-ego-flattering and questing to be 'saved' and be a 'savior' --and, that's what I find very provocative in her intervention. How that is related to the path of fearlessness is another conversation worth having. So many people come to me and my fearwork, thinking that they will get more best moments IF they follow the path of fearlessness. That's problematic on a lot of levels.... [more later]....

And one last quote from Gangaji's talk: 

"The human species is crazy; it has gone crazy with its own power." 

In my view, Gangaji is as good as they get in terms of watching a philosophy (phenomenologist) work fearlessness in the meeting of fear, and transcend Fearlessness into the realm and work of Fearless --the latter, "just being" in/with the absolute real/truth. For a demo of her skill with a participant at a workshop of hers, go to:

Read more…


Bhawani Shankar Adhikari (Ph.D.)
Lecturer of English (Nepal Sanskrit University,
Valmiki Campus, Exhibition Road, Kathmandu,

This research has explored the role of fear and its outcome in the quest for beauty in Sylvia
Plath’s poem “Mirror”. Beauty has been defined as the source of power as well as the cause of
the annihilation of the entire civilization. Internal beauty has a superior role to external beauty.
The persona of the poem has been found engaged in the quest for external beauty even in her
old age which is unnatural and worthless. Extreme fear has acted negatively and devastatingly
to ruin the life of the persona of the poem. It has led the speaker of the poem to the horrified,
terrified, scared, and depersonalized condition which compelled her to commit suicide.
Whatever the search it maybe with fear, it must be focused on the balance form of fear to
maintain and achieve the goal in life. Otherwise, fear’s role and its effect tend to be detrimental
and destructive to reaching the destination of keeping beauty, peace, and harmony in life. It has
been analyzed how fear has acted and affected the life of Sylvia Plath due to extreme fear in
beauty’s quest in old age.

Keywords: depersonalized, fear, detrimental, quest, suicide

Fear is defined as a psychological instinct. It is a natural one. Animals have fear in its natural
form which is different from human fear. Birds and other animals reflect their fear via their
body’s selection as birds fly through the human voice. Sensational knowledge is found in
animals’ fear. However, fear emerges through Psychology in human beings. in this
sense, man is directed, conducted, and controlled by psychological fear as it is
claimed:” life is directed, conducted and controlled by fear (Subba, cover page)”. Fear is
identified through Consciousness and knowledge in day-to-day life. fear is the outcome
of knowledge and consciousness.” fear exists only with knowledge” (Subba-47). Fear
functions in different roles in day-to-day life. Fear is the main cause of making errors
and conquering fear is the path to gaining wisdom (Russell 1373). There are various
kinds of fears- fear of Gods, fear of ghosts, fear of committing sins, fear of superstition,
fear of making mistakes, fear of losing health, fear of lacking beauty- and a person does
not like to lose beauty. Sylvia Plath doubts personal beauty and seeks it with different
objects. Beauty is power and it is of two kinds- internal beauty and external. Internal

beauty Is character, excellence, skills, and knowledge. Internal beauty helps us to
survive and to become successful in life. It is a kind of power to enhance the inner
quality of life. Internal and external beauty will be rare to achieve. It is called ‘inside’ and
‘outside’ beauty. (Sontag 300).

Beauty is not always taken from the positive side. Helen of Troy caused 10 years of
battle and brought disaster to the world. Padmini, the most beautiful woman of the
Rajput family had to burn down herself after the war was developed from her side.
(Devkota, 332-338) And she had to go to the Muslim king but she burnt herself to death.
Helen of Troy’s Trojan War and Padmini's Battle have generated fear in the psyches of
all in the world. In this sense, beauty lurks and hides the fear within its quality. The war
took place due to Helen’s and Padmini’s beauty being captured them. The power of
beauty invites risk, death, danger, and misfortune as has been displayed in the life of
Helen and Padmini. Likewise, Medusa, the chief of the three Georgian sisters was the
most beautiful one in the great mythology. The lesson states that she was the most
beautiful maiden, especially famous for her hair but she violated the temple of Minerva.
she was arrogant in her beauty and was Kicked in the temple. As a result, she was
transformed into a serpent and made her face so terrified that whoever looked at it
turned into stone. She was assassinated by Perseus. Her face retained its power of
turning anything into stone, even after her death. Her dead body with hissing serpents
was placed in a temple as a punishment for her beauty’s pride. The poem “Medusa” has
described the scenes which ended the mortal life of Medusa Who has pictured as
sympathetic in its description of the beautiful legendary girl Medusa who was caused
and charged into an ugly and horrible woman. (Bogam 380-81). This plight of Medusa
reveals that the power of beauty leads to disaster, destruction, horror fear, and
humiliation.  Hence, beauty must be taken with care, awareness, and effectiveness with
the vision of its pros and cons. Fear dwells and hides in the traits of beauty.

Regarding Halen, “In the Homeric poems, she is the surprisingly beautiful wife of Menelaus, and
her abduction by Paris led to the Trojan war (Lohani 338)”. It displayed the disaster of Helen’s
beauty to draw the Trojan war for 10 years.
Padmini was a beautiful Rajput queen, A Mewar, wife of Ratna Singha. Enchanted by the talks
of her beauty, Alladin Ahilji attacked Mewar in order to achieve her. The Rajputs were defeated
and Padmini burned herself to death, before falling into the hands of the Muslim king
(Lohami338). Padmini’s beauty became a kind of curse in her life. Her beauty ruined her and
she turned out to be the victim of her own charming personality.

Research questions:
Beauty has been regarded as the source of power and glamour in mortal life. The research is
guided with:

A. What is the effect of beauty in the personal life of Sylvia Plath reflected in the poem ‘mirror’?
B: How has fear acted in the poem “Mirror”?

The general objective is to discuss the role of beauty in life but the specific objective is:
A: To explore the effect of beauty in the personal life of the poetess Sylvia Plath as revealed in
the poem “Mirror”.
B: To investigate the fear’s role as it has acted in the poem “Mirror”.
The research has been carried out in the detailed analysis of the poem “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath.
Fearism has been adopted as the lens to analyze the poem. ’Mirror’ is taken as a primary text.
The secondary sources are taken from other journals, magazines, and articles as supporting
Significance of the Study:
The significance of the study dwells to create awareness and consciousness in dealing with fear
and beauty. It has shown the connection between fear and beauty in which the role of fear has
opened how beauty has to be dealt with. Beauty has not turned out to be always positive since
it hides risks and fear. The invisible aspects of fear lead to the entire annihilation of life if the
beauty is mishandled.
This research has been confined to the textual analysis of the poem ‘Mirror’ by Sylvia Plath. It
has only been observed from the perspective of fear and its role seen in the poem.
Literature review:
The poem “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath has been studied through psychoanalysis. It has been
interpreted as the reflection of the emotional condition of the speaker in a metaphorical
personification, imagery, and ironical form. (https://www./ It has presented that the
speaker herself has become a mirror reflecting the truth. In Ariel, the female's awareness is
transformed into a hall of mirrors, the frames of which are built in babyhood. These mirrors
eventually cut the woman off from any romanticized memories of the past, reflecting a Sleeping
Beauty painfully awake or asleep. Irreversibly dead. As in Plath's earlier story "The Wishing
Box," the theme of Sleeping Beauty's transformative rest is converted into a never-ending
awakening. (McCort 148) Plath used the children's book, as both a frame and a layered fraction, as a
mirror to sustain her own experience, making it an essential method within her devotional poetics for
trying to enter her childhood past and pondering the past's influence on her present. Plath's life story is

often framed by the mirror of children's literature, which provides a key to restarting her own mindset
and comprehending the manner in which she assimilated the frameworks of her society from the pages
of those children's books she loved and admired ((McCort 156). She has reflected on her own position as
a child in her poems.
Plath illustrates how connected the past and the present are in female experience, how profoun
dly females’ perceptions of their identities are grounded in the tales which have been told
them as girls, and how widely the self can be regarded as a continuously revisable tale (McCort
156). She reveals her own identity through the identity of children’s fiction and poetry.

Contradictions flow in both ways. Plath's individual demon is the truly horrible fish, the woman under
the water who has accepted her depersonalization and passivity and yearns for the numbing it promises
(Freedman160) The image suggests that the mirror includes the fish and that underneath it lurks a
monstrosity. However, the same picture may also suggest that a two-dimensional image of the angelic is
a type of monstrosity. In other words, the monster in the depths is also the beast on the surface, or,
maybe more precisely, the monstrosity of mere surface and lack of depth ((Schwartz 72). Accepting the
role of the mirror implies indirectly accepting the male-proscribed image of woman and mother
(Freedman 165). Aggression triumphs over tenderness in Plath's "Mirror," as well as many of her other
poems about motherhood and trapping. As a result, a woman who adopts the reflecting role has
become cruel, especially to herself, (Schwartz 72). The poetess has been reflected as the fish seeking her
beauty in the lake. The study intends to draw attention to Plath’s serious depression and identify the
mental disorder as a result of patriarchal and societal stereotypes. The outcome demonstrates that
hysteria symptoms such as depersonalization limited her existence and drove her to commit suicide
(Ghlib, 2593) The poetess’s depression has been reflected in her poem and it has
demonstrated how she has been forced to commit suicide.
“The Mirror” poem demonstrates that a life managed strictly by the false reality is not life
but, but an unbearable death -in-life that only be conquered by dying to that life (Kroll
1978). It displayed how the persona of the poem has been victimized inwardly and how
she has been seeking her own identity in the poem. The mirror shows the kinds of
traumas that, like Sylvia Plath’s, were hidden behind a tight and imprecise composure
designed to project an idealized picture.
Sylvia Plath worked tirelessly all through her life to reconcile her inner and outer selves
(Schwartz 20). She has turned out in a dilemma of internal and external conflict in her life. The
researchers have revealed the poetess’s mental disorder, personal conflict of inner and outer
selves, a metaphorical reflection of the condition of her youth turning into a mother and her
attempt to escape from her earthly life. But the role of fear and her search for beauty for her
existence has not been analyzed yet as this research has attempted to fulfill the existing
research gap.

The poem “Mirror” has got two stanzas in which the first describes the condition of the
mirror as the narrator in the room and the second stanza imagens the mirror as the lake to
reflect the decaying beauty of the woman who does not trust to mirror and goes to the lake
to seek her true and factual facial appearance through the image reflected in the lake.
The woman laments the loss of her beauty, admitting that she is getting older day by day.
She has got the fear of losing her beauty and she has struggled of maintaining her beauty.
She does not long to lose her charming personality and she has put a mirror on the wall of
her bedroom. And the narrator is the mirror of the personified one. “I am silver and exact. I
have no preconceptions (Plath)” is the first line of the poem. The mirror is made up of silver and it says
that the mirror has not got any discrimination or preconceptions to reflect the condition of the owner
exactly what she is. ” Whatever I see I swallow immediately Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
(Plath)”. The extracted line is presented in two lines in the poem and the mirror narrates that she
swallows immediately whatever comes in front of it and the mirror does not have any discrimination of
like and dislike and love and hate in revealing the truth. The mirror demonstrates the fact in unmisted
form but the owner of the mirror is the poetess herself and she has doubts with the mirror whether it
has reflected the truth about her beauty. She is scared of being ugly and she does not long to vanish her
beauty. The woman in "Mirror" is Plath's mother as well as Sylvia, who expresses her gloomy fears that
one day she will become her mother (Conway 42). When a girl is young, she has no need to consult the
mirror; she has no idea that the mirror will become so important. So, the woman has got lurking
longings of keeping her prettiness and charming image, and attractive personality.

The narrator is kind and true to anyone who comes to seek their image. “I am not cruel, only truthful ‚
The eye of a little god, four-cornered (Plath)”. The mirror’s eye has been considered the eye of the little
god in revealing the truth without being cruel to the visitors and objects of the four corners of the room.
It does not alter while reflecting the visitors. The mirror describes its existence and its owner, who grows
older as the mirror watches and finds the owner is scared of becoming old and losing her beauty.
almost all the time the mirror meditates on the opposite wall and it has stared at it
for so long that the mirror thinks that the opposite wall has become its heart. Faces
of visitors and darkness separate the mirror and the opposite wall (Plath). The image
of the wall is interrupted only by people who enter to look at themselves and the darkness that comes
with the night.
The mirror imagines itself as a lake in the second stanza of the poem. The mirror utters:
“Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is (Plath)”.
A woman comes to the lake and bends over it to get her beauty. she is seeking her true position and
facial appearance in the lake. It conveys that she is unfaithful to the mirror on the wall and she has not
become contented with what the mirror has got reflected. She has turned out old and lost her beauty

and she is frightened by the loss of her charming appearance reflected in the mirror. She is cynical about
her external appearance in the mirror and has gone to the lake to know what she really is. The poem
“Mirror” reflects not only the plight of women in Plath’s position but also the
predicament of all women who believe they must continue to stay young and
attractive in order to be regarded as relevant. In “Mirror”, the mirror proclaims
the woman a failure. Mirrors aren't necessary for a really successful woman (Conway
44). It shows that the mirror’s reflection has become troublesome and the woman has
feared her ugly appearance. She has not found what she exactly is and she has to go to
the lake in search of her beauty. the mirror changes in the poem’s second section with
the declaration, “Now I am lake”. A lake, like a mirror, represents and has depth, and
both portray a woman seeking for herself, maybe like Narcissus. This woman could
also portray Plath and women in general and they are unable to deal with what
they observe in the mirror and they are turning to those liars like candles. Lighting
candles and moonlight represent the feminine and they cast shadows that
disguise and expose. They can misrepresent while the mirror maintains its original
shape, mirroring precisely what is in front of it. In the poem, the mirror says. “I
see her back and reflect it faithfully”. Even though it horrifies and scares her as
the woman is drawn to it and goes to the lake. Plath’s use of glass imagery also
represents the packing of the authentic self. In the poem, “Mirror”, for example,
glass both conceals and reflects the person’s authentic identity and she has gone
to the lake. She has got the fear of concealing and reflecting the authentic identity
of her beauty. Plath depicts an internalized counterpart of the going-to-watch
awareness in the poem and she is narrating a life span of conversations with a
nameless, faceless woman who sees signs of aging as mutilation. She investigates
the impact of time, age, and the waste of youth using a mirror. Although the
speaker of the poem is the mirror, the true hero is the woman as an object who
observes oneself both in and as a mirror (Schwartz 70). The speaker as a female reveals her
inner fear that is being lost day to day because of old age she does not trust in the reflection of the
mirror and she seeks her beauty in the lake.

“She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes (Plath)”.
These two lines of the poem depict how much sad she is by the loss of her beauty. she is terrified and
scared so much that she can not see her own face reflected in the lake and she weeps and cries over the
lake. She is with the river of tears dropping into the lake and she is even agitating with her hands. Lake
has become essential for her to know her true beauty and she regularly visits there. Her fear is beyond

her control and she has turned out to be conscious of her beauty as it is said consciousness and
knowledge are the main causes of fear (Subba 47). If she did not have knowledge about the loss of her
beauty with age, she would not go to the lake as a routine. Hence, she is fear-stricken and feels restless.
“Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness (Plath)”. She reaches the lake each morning and
bends over it to know how much ugly she is seen as reflected in the image of the lake. Her face replaces
the darkness in the lake by eliminating the sunlight and the light of the morning.

“In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish (Plath)”.
The mirrors are the best friends of those who are conscious about the beauty and attractive images they
wish to deserve as the speaker in the poem does. The woman has drowned in the mirror from a very
young age when she was a girl and even now when she has become an old woman. She visits the lake in
her old age day after day. She has been found like a terrible fish. It indicates how she has scared,
terrified, horrified, and afraid of losing her beauty in her old age. It has conveyed that she has been too
much scared and it has troubled her own physical health. She could not balance her fear within its
limitation. She did not have to be scared as much as she did. Her extreme fear led her to depression and
she became the victim of her own unnecessary fear. So, she committed suicide and fear has acted
negatively in her life. Plath became the victim of her extreme fear. The question is, what does she see in
the mirror that keeps her returning, fascinated day after day despite how unhappy she is by it? What is
it that she sees in the depths of the mirror that scares her? It could be age, inevitably transforming her
into a fish. Metaphorically, the fish occupies both the depths and the spirit, which may be what Plath
was drawn to but could not admit(Schwartz 71). The mirror in the poem represents the image of a
woman as a reflector of the other to itself. Plath’s double image of herself as a colorfully silvered surface
discloses a devilish form in both the mirror and the fish as represented in it. The mirror is the
magnificent persona Plath showed to the world as both a woman and a poet, the strict and firmly
disciplined performer who glitteringly completed all anticipations, a perfect mirror of obtained parental
and social standards of elegance, charm, and success. It is her social cast; artistic, frozen in a Cover Girl
smile, a perfect glimpse of the feminine ideal (Schwartz 71). The role of beauty-seeking tendency
became self-harming and deteriorating for the speaker herself in the poem. Beauty cannot be ever-
lasting and the search for beauty in old age and its extreme fear led her to take her life herself.
The poem’s first line reveals the consequences of a woman going to spend all of her
time in front of a mirror; she has wasted her youth, and drowned it in the depths of her
own reflection, much like Narcissus. One of the poem's main points is that being thrown
away into narcissism is a waste of time and energy. Mirrors do not make a judgment,
but simply "swallow," implying that whatever is reflected in them is irretrievable and lost
forever. Furthermore, the mirror is designed to reflect a wall. The woman has become a
non-entity as a result of her non-being and lack of self-definition for so long. She is
insignificant, a part of the various faces as well as the darkness that differentiates them.
It has been advised that extreme fear does not have positive outcomes. It can rather
tend to be self-destructive and detrimental to life.

The study intends to draw attention to Plath’s serious depression and identify the mental disorder as a
result of patriarchal and societal stereotypes. The outcome demonstrates that hysteria symptoms such
as depersonalization limited her existence and drove her to commit suicide (Ghlib, 2593) The
poetess’s depression has been reflected in her poem and it has demonstrated how she
has been forced to commit suicide.

The effect of fear in beauty has been found devastating, detrimental, and life-taking. The
speaker of the poem “Mirror” has explored the poetess, Sylvia Plath herself though the mirror
has been presented as the narrator in the poem. The mirror is the poetess’s own persona and
she has reflected the pain and fear in the process of seeking her beauty both in the mirror of
her bedroom wall and in the lake in the first and the second stanzas respectively. As the
poetess has found her beauty getting vanished with her old age, she has developed a kind of
doubt with the mirror concealing her factual identity and she has attempted to trace out her
real appearance in the lake. However, she has found no difference in her facial appearance and
beauty even in the lake and she has been found in the depth of her mental agonies and her
melancholic situation led her to depression. As a result, she has found no alternative solution of
replacing her beauty except committing suicide. Her fear turned extreme and it has been found
beyond her control and she has been victimized by her own extreme fear. The persona of the
poem has found that her conflict between the inner self and outer self, guided by fear led her
to mutilate herself. Fear horrified, traumatized, scared and led her depersonalized condition to
the persona of the poem and she became restless in maintaining her beauty in society even in
her old age. It was beyond her capacity as a mortal being and it must have been realized as the
natural process of life. Fear has acted rather dreadfully and negatively in the life of the persona
of the poem “Mirror” and it has compelled her to take her own life in vain. Hence, it has given
the message that fear must be within a balanced form rather than the extreme one for a
meaningful, worthwhile, and successful life. Otherwise, extreme fear acts to ruin the entire goal
and life itself as it has acted in the life of the poetess, Sylvia Plath. She has been found seeking
external beauty rather than internal one and it has been found unnatural in old age. Internal
beauty is gained with learning skills, enhancing knowledge and wisdom but external beauty is
natural and innate but it fades away with the passing of time. To fear such perishing external
beauty ruins life. So, it has to be accepted what nature has bestowed on mortal beings.

Works cited:
Bogan, Louise “Medusa” Creative Delights. Compiled and edited by Shreedhar Lohani and
Rameshwor Adhikari. Ratna Pustak Bhandar, Kathmandu. 1997.pp 380-381.
Conway, Cathleen Allyn. Through the Looking Glass: A Discussion of Doubling in Sylvia Plath's "Mirror",
University of Greenwich, London. file:///C:/Users/USER/Desktop/FEAR%20IN%20BAEUTY/4672-
Devkota, Laxmi Prasad. “The lunatic” Creative Delights. Compiled and edited by shreedhar,
Lohani, and Rameshwor Adhikari. Ratna Pustak Bhandar, Kathmandu.1997. pp.332-338.
Freedman, William. "The Monster in Plath's 'Mirror'." Papers on Language and Literature 108.5 (1993):
Ghalib, Atef, et al. Turkish Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education Vol.12 No. 11 (2021), 2592-
2597 Research Article 2592 Sylvia Plath Revisited in the Lens of Depersonalization. Thi-Qar University,
Iraq. file:///C:/Users/USER/Desktop/FEAR%20IN%20BAEUTY/6257-Article%20Text-11537-1-10-
https://image, (a poem by Sylvia Plath)
Kroll, J. Chapters in Science of Mythology: The poetry of Sylvia Plath. New York: Harper &Row. 1978.
Lohami Shreedhar and Rameshwor Adhikari. Creative Delights. Ratna Pustak Bhandar,
Kathmandu.1997. pp.338.
McCort, Jessica. Sleeping Beauty Awake: Sylvia Plath through the Looking-Glass.
Russell, Bertrand “Keeping Errors at Bay,” Flax-Golden Tales: An Interdisciplinary
Approach to learning English. Compiled and edited by Moti Nishani and Shreedher
Lohani. Ekta Books, Kathmandu. 2008. pp.373.
Schwartz, Susan. Disenchantment, Disillusion, and Dissolution in the Poetry of Sylvia Plath.
Schwartz, Susan E. Sylvia Plath: A Split in the Mirror.
Sontag Susan:” Beauty”: The Creative Delights. Compiled and edited by Shreedhar
Lohani and Rameshwar Adhikari. Ratna Pustak Bhandar, kathmandu. 1997. pp.300.
Subba, Desh. Philosophy of fears: life is conducted, directed, and controlled by fear.
Xlibris. 2014. pp.47.

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Some existential theorists and practitioners (e.g., therapists) have argued for a positive kind of anxiety, vs. a destructive kind that paralyzes and kills us. My long interest in these discourses on anxiety (another word for fear)--is a troubled one, where I have critiques of the way the existentialists deal with fear and this binary. That said, you can check out this quote (from a brand new book by Schneider) on his viewpoint--short extract below: 



[note: "Becker" is highlighted, as he is my favorite of the existentialists, and that is Ernest Becker--of whom, was the philosophical 

thinker beneath the 1980's social psychology project of Terror Management Theory, the latter also well worth investigating if you 

are at all interested to know more about "fear" in the social realm of behavior.] 

[quote from p. 5, from Schneider, K. J. (2023). Life-enhancing anxiety: Key to a sane world. University Professors Press.]



Experiential Democracy Dialogue Videos

These videos are edits of workshops by Kirk Schneider that feature the Experiential Democracy Dialogue (EDD). The EDD has been developed by psychologist and author, Kirk Schneider, PhD and these are companion videos to The Depolarization of America: A Guidebook for Social Healing. These videos feature both demonstrations of the EDD and hands-on opportunities to try the Dialogue in a facilitated dyad with Kirk’s guidance.

Note: Schneider comes out of the humanistic-existential school of psychology/therapy, and his philosophical and practical orientation (from my listening to his talks and reading his work) is that "presence" and "hope" are the two main ingredients to success, as far as he is concerned, and the therapy research field is more or less confirming this thesis and proclamation. I am of course, not in total disagreement but I have strong reservations of such core ingredients, based on a different paradigm --I have argued for a long time that "hope" is needing to be replaced by "fearlessness" --a much longer conversation. 


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Right Kind of Education: Fear Education


[note: should be May, not Nay, as author here]


Two historical documents here, the first by May, an American psychologist (1891-1977), wrote a good deal about the psychological imperatives for "peace education" in the world and then penned this 1941 book on the nature of what education ought to be in a "World of Fear". I had not previously found this little 73pp book in all my decades of researching on fear and Education. So, I share this with delight of discovering an important historical thinker, who has importantly contributed, even if implicitly, to what I call (and Jiddu Krishnamurti) "appropriate education" or "right kind of education"  OR simply, "Fear Education" required for a world of peace, freedom and non-oppression--never mind, now it is so important to have such a right (ethical) education for ecological sanity and with the outcome of creating a true sustainable health for all beings for many generations. Life depends on this movement, reformation, and transformation of Education as we know it. 

Regarding May's book (published by Harvard University Press), and its opening sentence on p. 1, "The dominating emotion of the world today is fear." I would highly guess there is no other book on Education anywhere, dare I say in the world, across cultures, through time and history, that opens on its first page, first sentence, with that brutally honest and courageous statement of a declaration and indictment to the Modern World. One has to assume it is, more or less, a great truth that humans generally deny and do not like to face and/or write down on paper--and, especially in a book on Education.

I myself, specializing in fear education and leadership, have not been so bold and poignant in my own writing to nail this epithet like May did 80 years ago. And, so I wanted to honor him for doing so. And, may a great many other writers do the same from here on. I found one reference recently during COVID-19 pandemic by Gup (2020), talking about his experience in higher education and all the fear and trauma of what is happening to most everyone in his circles, and that he himself is questioning what is really core to being relevant right now to teach. He asked in this online article: "What is my goal as an educator?" And, then responded to himself: "In part, the answer may be what the late Mark May... declared in 1941, as the world faced the imminent prospect of war: "The task of education is to teach people how to manage their anxieties and hold them proportional to the realities of the danger." His [The Inglis Lecture] lecture turned book was entitled Education in a World of Fear, a fitting primer for today." [1] On my first look through the indexes, I could find only 4 book reviews done on May's book in the early 1940s, after that the book seems to have largely disappeared from view or at least no one was citing it with any enthusiasm. I'll continue to research to see if that is indeed the factual fate of this work by May.

Of course, it was in the midst of WW-II and all the big threats to democracy, to America and its allies (e.g., Nazism, fascism, pathological communism) that May was writing. Fears were abundant and spreading like a virus around most of the world, where people were directly involved in these toxic ideologies and the wars that accompanied them, and/or where people had global media access to listen to what was happening. Being informed in the times of WW-II (like WW-I) meant being fearful and anxious in an existential way that took its toll on everyone. Of course, it would take a psychologist, and specialist in educational psychology [2] as May was to name 'the dis-ease' (if not the inner 'enemy') to democracy, freedom, and a healthy world condition and good future. And, it was 1941 also that W. H. Auden penned his famous long poem "Age of Anxiety," which published in 1947, won a Pulitizer Prize for Poetry in 1948. It could just as well have been entitled "Age of Fear" or "World of Fear"--and so, one wonders if May had come across Auden's indictment or visa versa (?). Auden's poem, which is arguably a postmodern symptom arose because of a lament of the Modern Age which indeed seemed to be plagued by fears and anxieties, which Auden linked in the poem to increasing loss of cultural and family traditions, loss of religious/spiritual and moral compass, loss of basic sociality of trust and replacement of mistrust--leading to increasing human isolation. How indeed, could a social species (Homo sapiens) last under such conditions of decay? 

From my point of view, a social species that does not have a thorough, creative and progressive Fear Education (curriculum, pedagogy, awareness, and commitment), like say sex education or peace education, etc., is a species that just won't make it far towards reaching its potential, and worse, it will likely deconstruct and enter extinction very rapidly in evolutionary time. Yet, why is it, I cannot find such a curriculum of a good, a right, an appropriate "fear education" to this day. Humans have avoided nailing it down, and May, is one amongst some other insightful and wise people, named it in his education book 80 years ago. But a lot of silence followed after his first sentence, first page, and his first book on setting the context for the field of education--that is, "a world of fear." The context is everything, for designing an appropriate education for the era we live in. I think nothing has changed since 1941 and yes, as Gup (2020) wrote in his article, mentioned above, such a context that May had named is "a fitting primer for today." Problem is, we need more than May's primer. We need a research agenda that acknowledges the nature and role of fear, across the board. We need it now. And, I have been working on this project since late 1989, and unfortunately, with little 'up-take' from the Education circles or from society in general. So, let me turn now to a most powerful voice, again, not one that is acknowledged generally in academia or the field of Education (at least, certainly not in the W. world)--J. Krishnamurti, a great philosopher of Indian background, who broke out and talked to the world in the 1930s-80s, at least to those that would listen, about many things--and liberational Education was always on his agenda. 

Jiddu Krishnamurti (1885-1986)

I wish to briefly introduce another thinker (from India, also lived in USA), outside of the field of Education proper, who has more than one lecture or book that is "a fitting primer for today." Although I met JK in my own snooping and advancing my educational philosophy studies c. 1980s-90s, I have not published much on him, and I intend to change that. One of his small books Education and the Significance of Life (1953) [3]of which I copied the cover and placed it with May's first page (above image), is truly the most important book I know of relevant to education in a world of fear. If I had my say in how teachers today were to be "trained" --at least, in their first educational philosophy class, they would read this gem of a book. Frankly, I do not know of any one professor of education anywhere who is utilizing this book as a core reader for pre-service teachers. Of course, it is not only for those entering the profession of education but for all educators any time in their careers or beyond their careers. It is a necessary book to 'set priorities' on "What is my goal as an educator?" Governments, parent groups, and leaders of all kinds, ought to ask that question and, at least, explore what this philosopher JK has to say about the "right kind of education." 

There is far too many quotes in this little book I would love to share, but in the spirit of this short blog post, and my juxtapositioning with May's book, I'll settle for one I picked at random this morning from JK's 1953 text, and to remember, my interpretation is that JK also, implicitly, is calling for a better "fear education" for humanity everywhere: 

....without love no human problem can be solved. If the teacher is of the right kind, [s]he will not depend on a method, but will sstudy each individual pupil....The child is the result of both the past and the present and is therefore already conditioned. If we transmit our background to the child, we perpetuate both his and our own conditioning. There is radical transformation only when we understand our own conditioning and are free of it. To discuss what should be the right kind of education while we ourselves are conditioned is utterly futile....[unfortunately too often] We seek to fulfil ourselves in our children [students], to perpetuate ourselves through them." (p. 27)

[JK is talking about the (mis-)use of education, learning, teaching, as a grounds for perpetuating 'adult' needs and projections on children but keep in mind he is well aware that as parents/teachers/educators of all kinds, if we are unaware of our conditioning, then we are more or less mere 'agents' reproducing the agenda of the culture, society, religion, etc. within which all this socialization and education is taking place. Now, if you add May's point, and JK would not have likely disagreed, education is taking place ongoing, since at least 1941 (to pick an arbitrary date and era), then education is taking place in a "culture of fear" by any other name [4]. For brevity, I would argue the "conditioning" conceptualization here is truly radical and part of any good critical philosophy and pedagogy--but to be clear, JK arguably, is talking about fear-conditioning. Any serious investigation into theories of learning, has to start with the often accepted notion that what humans have learned about learning is that it can be "tested" and "inculcated" by psychological conditioning--of which, famously is done by "shock" (i.e., fear-conditioning)--because it is so overt, obvious, and incredibly effective. Thus, starts our basis for a critical literacy on the nature and role of fear--that is, "fear education" 101.]

If we would help the child to be free from the ways of the [conditioned] self, which cause so much suffering [fearfulness], then each one of us should set about altering deeply his attitude and relationship to the child. Parents and educators, by their own thought and conduct, can help the child to be free and to flower in love and goodness. Education as it is at present in no way encourages the understanding of the inherited [cultural] tendencies and environmental influences which [fear-] condition the mind and heart and sustain fear, and therefore it does not help us to break through these conditionings and bring about an integrated human being. Any form of education that concerns itself with a part and not with the whole [and context] of man [sic] inevitably leads to increasing conflict and suffering. It is only in individual freedom [from fear] that love and goodness can flower; and the right kind of education alone can offer this freedom. Neither conformity to the present society nor the promise of a future Utopia can ever give the individual that insight without which [s]he is constantly creating problems. (pp. 28-9).

So much more could be said about JK and the education of freedom from fear which is a central thread that ties everything his philosophy is about and creates. No wonder it has long attracted me. I would call it an education of fearlessness, or a fearlessness education, no matter what it is. I see in these quotes alone, the deeper issue of JK's persistence to draw our attention to the global Fear Problem. Meaning, we have not adequately named and/or undermined this Fear Problem. And, until we do, and we face our complicit participation in it (e.g., compliance with the "culture of fear" dynamic everywhere)--then, any 'education' is actually being done to reproduce the very problem we may think we want to solve. I am convinced after 32 years researching on fear, fearlessness, education, leadership, that rare is it to find anyone who wil fully admit the Fear Problem on the scale that May, JK or myself are demanding. We have a choice here. We are not mere victims to this Fear Problem. Albeit, it is immense, because we are so fear-conditioned--operating in the 'Fear' Matrix as I have called it [5] and cannot even sense sometimes what 'water it is we are swimming in'--and so it becomes hard to imagine there is anything different, alternative--or actually freeing. As Erich Fromm and so many others have said, and JK included, 'humans are afraid to be free' --at least, within the conditioning of several millenium and in the Modern Age onward. My task as an educational designer? Design a "fear education" that builds the essential emancipatory critical literacy for such a project--I call it In Search of Fearlessness Project--but it could have other names too. 

Recently at an online conference, hosted in Canada and connected with India and an international audience, entitled "J. Krishnamurti and the Contemporary World Crisis"--I asked the panel after their presentations the following, based on how often I heard the host and panel members mention the word "fear":

I have always found Krishnamurti's analysis of knowledge and self as dependent upon analysis of fear. Do we need a better "fear education" where, fear is not merely an emotion like all others.?" 

The host and presenters did respond kindly and sincerely but I found their understanding of my question unsatisfactory. They clearly could not address the second part of it. Maybe there was not time to, or maybe they really have no idea what a "fear education" means--certainly, if they have not read my work, they will not likely have enough to go on to even engage a rich dialogue on the topic. That's not their fault, it is that humanity has not done much since May's calling 80 years ago. Education as a whole is way behind the exacerbated viral fear-conditioning of the everyday--even though, no doubt there are improvements and some alternative education curriculum (e.g., private schools) that are going further along the road of emancipatory holistic and integral education. Even with the 'best' of those, however, I have discovered they are resistant still to talking about fear at the depths of what I propose they may want to consider in their curriculum and pedagogy. It's sad to watch these great school systems still being caught, or blind, to what JK, myself and others have pointed to--re: fear. 

If we look at May's first page and first sentence again now, his third word is "emotion"--and that is where he locates "fear." That assumption, reasonable as it is based on W. (highly conditioned) thought (e.g., disciplinary philosophy and psychology)--it is very problematic to a good emancipatory "fear education" of the kind that JK or myself are asking for. To think that fear is just another emotion like all others, more or less, is a great illusion--and part of the problem of suffering. But, I won't go further in making that argument, though you can read Krishnamurti's book on education (1953) and you will definitely see how fear is by far something more than any other emotion he talks about in his philosophy. OK. Enough. 

Let's continue the dialogue [], and give "fear education" its due. I for one am pursuing this for the rest of my years on this planet--and, specifically, my newest book just starting is entitled: The Fear Problematique: Role of Philosophy of Education in Speaking Truths to Powers in a Culture of Fear (Information Age Publ.). 







1. Gup, T. (2020). Rewriting the syllabus. Retrieved from

2. May had a Ph.D., professor of educational psychology and long-time director of the Institute of Human Relations, Yale University. He was author of several other books and a highly respected scholar and humanitarian in his days of service.  

3. Krishnamurit, J. (1953/81). Education and the significance of life. Harper & Row. 

4. Since the early 1980s, in the W. world, many scholars and some educators, have been naming the "culture of fear" per se as the context by which we all are living, more or less. No longer is it merely a group of "fears" or "anxieties" that we face together, as May is referring to--but, in the postmodern condition, arguably, the entire fabric of culture itself is fear-based, fear-shaped, fear-addicted, and so on. Now, under that condition, which I start my own educational philosophy, we have to ask "What is my goal as an educator?" Wow. That's a massive and heavy starting place. Of course, many, I have found, will conveniently answer that by saying, "My goal is to love them" (the children). Anyways, that's a huge contentious topic and answer that I find incredibly insufficient, as I believe JK or May would also have critiqued. Not to say, 'love' is not something incredibly important in the world and in educational happenings, but JK may mention loves pivotal role, as in the quote I chose above, but he says so much more about fear than most of my colleagues would who have taken on the love-mantra as "the" solution. These colleagues promote, more or less, a "love education" and have little to no patience for a "fear education." Frankly, I find that attitude alone, and the lack of curiosity that accompanies it, evidence for just how much fear is motivating their 'love' agenda. I do not trust it for one moment. JK would have a lot to say about that hidden motivation as well, part of our "conditioning." 

5. E.g., Fisher, R. M. (2003). Fearless leadership in and out of the 'Fear' Matrix. Unpubl. dissertation. The University of British Columbia.


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Anyone who knows my work on "fearanalysis" over the decades, knows that it is my own adaptation of several psychoanalysts' works, theories, etc. Ultimately, fearanalysis focuses the understading of the development and evolution of human individuals and societies (and history) around how they deal with "fear" ('fear'). Recently I have been reading the 1933 work by Wilhelm Reich (Austrian-American psychoanalyst, 1897-57), a contemporary with Freud, Jung, etc. Reich was much more radical and controversial, and decidedly more political--that's why I am liking his work in The Mass Psychology of Fascism" [1].

Many critical commentators today are raising awareness (again) of the rising problem of "fascism" (left or right)--and, they tend to pin that fascism (ideology) on this or that political party and/or social movement, etc. This is exactly where Reich saw beneath the pattern of the patterns of such surface symptoms of "fascist" regimes in history. Reich came up with his own theory of "emotional plague" (what, I would label now, as a fear psychology of the masses). I won't say more but that you may want to look at this notion and related it to fearwork and fearanalysis, fearism, etc. 

In contrast, my work has been attempting to constitute a counter project (counter-hegemony) to the fear psychology and its fascist ideological structuration, and personality-character--individually and in social systems. I love how Reich takes this on front and center unlike any other of the psychoanalysts in history that I know of. That's what gave him the dark excluded and vicious reputation amongst others and especially from the mainstream and its leaders. That's another story about his excommunication. He called fascism a form of a deeper "emotional plague"-- and says there are none in society of the West (at least) not infected by it. Again, that's similar to my 'Fear' Matrix concept, upon with the total operations of a fear psychology operate. Reich saw individuals and societies as "sick" on mass scale, and yet he was convinced that a lot of that was due to a sick authoritarian patriarchy that he was not afraid to call out. 

My work on a fearlessness psychology [2] of late, is now making more sense why I want to call it that. 

End Note

1. This whole book (1946 edition) is available free for download on the internet, which is quite an amazing read and so appropriate for our times today. 

2. Fisher, R. M. (2019). Fearlessness psychology: An Introduction. Technical Paper No. 79. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute. 


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A New Psychology: Fearlessness Psychology

This short blog is my simple introducing of the newly coined term in my vocabulary: "fearlessness psychology." For 30 years I have been studying fear and fearlessness. I eventually realized I was shaping a philosophy of fearlessness (now, fearlessness philosophy) [1] but there seemed something still not fully fleshed out in the philosophy which I realize I can better flesh out and make clear for people in psychology--at least, that's what I have recently figured out. But for various reasons (see below), I kept on the side the very close association of my work with Psychology (as a discipline) but also as a potent critical praxis [2]. I didn't trust something about Psychology overall, so I'll share some of why not. 

Before I try to give a definition/meaning for fearlessness psychology, which is something really very complex of which I won't be able to do it justice here because it still is in progress of being so conceptualized [3], there is some background to this conception of such a new psychology that is worth articulating. It will help with understanding its meaning as I am shaping and emerging with it an exciting discovery and potential. 

Psychology: A Love & Hate Relationship

My autobiographical reflections could go on and on about my relationship to Psychology (as a discipline of study and knowledge and practice). I cut my teeth in my growing up on natural history and then biological, behavioral, ecological and environmental sciences. My first careers and love. Psychology only entered very briefly into my early studies in youth because I was interested in people "values" and how they "behaved" in regard to treating Nature and the environment, and environmental problems so poorly. I intuited that I would need to understand human behavior to be a good steward and wildlife professional and environmental activist. I wanted to know how to change human behavior, for the better. But I never really studied it much, until in my Education degree and having to take courses, and having my first wife introduced me to depth psychology in the form of the psychology of Carl Jung, then William James, and on and on I began to study more and more on psychology as questions of human nature, the human condition and human potential really interested me, especially as I switched my career to Education. 

I learned that there are many kinds of psychologies, probably hundreds of varieties by names, like psychoanalysis, like behavioral psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, abnormal psychology, etc. I pretty much wanted to learn from them all and often still find them interesting to read. My biggest informing "metatheory" (and historical and philosophical perspective) on psychologies and the pattern of their evolution, role and nature in human societies came from reading about various classifications of them and most useful was the work of Ken Wilber (and, others in the transpersonal psychology movement of the 1970s-80s). Wilber and others had this overarching classification that pretty much all psychologies, could be classified, more or less, into four or five major "forces" or waves (movements) of Psychology: (1) psychoanalysis, (2) behaviorism/cognitivism, (3) humanistic-existential, (4) transpersonal. Some have said (5) Integral is the meta-wave and encompasses all the prior waves [4]. My favorite of these psychology forces have been (3) and (4) for many years, but all along I was reading Ken Wilber and eventually I totally got hooked on Integral Psychology (and philosophy) as my fav. and psychoanalysis all along has been growing in appeal and interest. The most popular psychology today is cognitive-behaviorism, the 2nd wave, as it has come to dominate and done so because it has most aligned with "sciences" (e.g., biological-neuro sciences). 

Critical Psychology: A Beginning Critique

Through my studies I found anthropology, sociology, cultural studies and philosophy etc. as having their critiques of "Psychology" and especially because Psychology more aligned itself with the Biomedical Paradigm (i.e., Medicine) and sought to be more and more mainstream and developed a dominance on the knowledges of "psychology" and started to control more and more of W. society (at least) in the last 100+ years. I paid attention to these critiques, and as well followed a good deal of the battles between the various forces (and schools) of psychologies. All I knew is that my fav. psychologies were more on the margins all the time and often weren't even studied in university psychology degree programs nor barely mentioned in the texts. I thought a wide diversity of psychologies was healthy, but that's not how textbooks were written nor how funding for psychological research was distributed. The "power" play and domination of some psychologies over others I found reprehsible and often unethical--a political game that was most unfortunate and still is. 

Then one day I discovered a field (very marginal as well) called "critical psychology" [5] and that was even more radical in challenging how "mainstream" psychology functions and biases the knowledge and practices of how we deal with human beings. Something was very wrong in my education background because I had never heard of this sub-field of critical psychology. I was positively attracted to an 'honest' and 'transparent' psychological approach that was critical of itself and saw its own limitations in terms of methodology and understanding and politics in its uses and ways. Critical psychology was more open that way. Then I found somewhere in all this study the work of James Hillman and archetypal psychology (a branch of transpersonal and spiritual psychologies). And there in Hillman's (1977) book [6] I found a masterful and sound articulation of critique of what Hillman called the whole domain of humanism and humanism's psychologies. I won't be going into his critique but to say in re-reading this book again recently it so inspired me and I realized much of my view of psychology and theorizing of psychology (and practicing psychologizing and therapy) has a lot of resonance with archetypal psychology, integral psychology, liberation psychology and feminist psychology and so on... I have a truly unique combination of psychologies (9-10 of them) and my own interpretations and creative expansions on all those too--and, what comes out of that is that I ought to label my own psychology (synthesis) after all these years of study. So, out came "fearlessness psychology" as my way to focus my own research, practices and writing on psychology but in this new way. Hillman's classic book I've mentioned shows that the very definition of psychology and therapy (for e.g.) really need to be reconstructed and aligned more with our ancient history as a W. civilization (at least)--and, again, that's a larger story I won't go into here. 

Fearlessness Psychology: Introduced

It will take many articles and a book or two probably in the future to arc out the architecture of this new psychology I am proposing. What is very evident is that it has come from 30 years of specialist study on my part re: fear and fearlessness--and what I started calling fearology and philosophy of fearlessness, etc. 

Fearlessness psychology at a minimum is a psychology that is (ideally) no longer based on the ego-centered (self-centered) view of psychology (i.e., human behavior). It is no longer fear-based because it is no longer ego-centered. And, thus, it ought to be called fearlessness centered [7]. My vision (meaning) for such a fearlessness psychology is that it would both critique all psychologies (including itself)--and, especially critique how "fear-based" they all (mostly) are, and how they have not near understood or been honest about the nature and role of fear in human psychology and even the discipline of Psychology and in the methodology we call "science" which Psychology so relies on more and more for its credibility and power. This fear-based psychology paradigm is what a fearlessness psychology critiques and at the same time also shows there is an alternative, more mature and liberated psychology awaiting for humans to develop and tap into for improving our current human state and crises of all kinds. 

I think that's all of what I want to share about my new psychology here, at this time. I look forward to talking with you all about it. 

End Notes

1. I also realized over the years I was shaping a fearlessness theory (and pedagogy) and I was making many connections of my work with critical theory (and pedagogy)--but that's a much larger story I won't tell here. 

2. Be it notified to all: my real interest is in developing a "critical fearlessness" theory and "critical fearlessness psychology" --that's essential to all my work and the original In Search of Fearlessness Project I co-founded in late 1989. 

3. As of April 2, 2019, I just finished journaling for two hrs. straight and came up with the nuts and bolts of theory, maps and praxis for CFP (critical fearlessness psychology"--and linked this with some of my work on the Life Enhancement Training (program) that I'm beginning to take out into the communities in the city of Calgary.

4. See for e.g., Fisher, R. M. ((2010). The death of Psychology: Integral and Fifth Force psychologies. Technical Paper No. 36. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute. [available ERIC ED510303 pdf]

5. The first resource book on this was Fox, F., & Prilleltensky, I. (1997). Critical psychology: An introduction. London: Sage.

4. E.g., Hillman, J. (1977). Re-visioning psychology. NY: Harper & Row. 

6. A more complex technical point here is that I actually base my new psychology on a "fearless" standpoint which I have talked about in my work for decades. Fearlessness centered is also called "2nd-tier" consciousness (organization) in Spiral Dynamics integral technology theory and practice (see also Wilber). I won't go into this here. 

7. To fully understand the breadth and depth of what "fearlessness" means to me (and it is always evolving in my thinking), 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. 

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"Moving from Fear to Flow": Hendricks's Model

Many, including myself, have used the terminology re: enhancement of the human potential as "moving from Fear to Fearlessness"--and, there are some variations, but here is another version by the Hendricks couple in their therapeutic and educational work. Katie is using "moving from fear to flow".

Gay and Katie Hendricks, psychologists, have for over two decades been counseling and coaching couples for love. They have set up The Hendricks Institute as a place to carry out this work. I have not taken courses from them, nor read much of their work, but I have heard of them off and on for decades. No doubt they operate with a lot of integrity, but I am not in a position to sanctioned or recommend their work. 

However, I am always interested in what people offer in understanding fear and how they prescribe fear management. Gay Hendricks (see Photo on the FM ning lately) has come out with a strong message about fear and its impacts on love and the way couples communicate, handle conflict and so on. In her video "FEAR MELTERS" (and how to recognized the signs of "FEAR SIGNATURES" or symptom expressions) she goes so far as to say:

"I've come [after all these years] to be obsessed with fear in the last year or so because I've noticed that when I'm in fear, or other people are in fear, that I react in ways that just keep the conflict going, or the drama going." She then talks about how important she has found "presencing within myself" (or a type of centering in the present moment and recognizing, as a witness, what the body is doing, feeling, and what the mind is onto, that is, catching habitual tendencies in the early stages before they act out destructively). She offers then her own observation and categorization (not that it is original) on 4 types or "expressions of fear":

[she notes most of us have heard of the first two] : (1) FIGHT or (2) FLIGHT and, then adds two more less known by most people (3) FREEZE and (4) FAINT. 

I won't comment more on these, but to say that are a good beginning to gain a conscious relationship with "fear" (expressions, behavioral responses, reactions)... however, this is still a model and discourse typical of the field of Psychology and is inadequate in many respects. My own work extends two more (rarely known by most) expressions: (5) "tend and befriend" -as a more female/women's way and (6) fearlessness. All that for a much larger discussion. 

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