vision quest (2)

New 7th 'Fear' Vaccine Added

The 'Fear' Vaccines as I have called them going way back to the early 1990s (In Search of Fearlessness Project or ISOF), are intended, just as they say, to counter the oppressive effects of 'fear' (and fear). I have written a good deal about these notions, including the distinction of "fear" and 'fear' (as a culturally modified fear patterning). I won't repeat that here and you may want to check out my other writings.

The 'Fear' Vaccines (which is really a process of "soft technologies") are intended to be practiced and studied. With time, patience and experience, they will counter-act to free you (and organizations) from any fear-based domination. They are essential "tools" in that sense to working one's way out of the 'Fear' Matrix (or 'Fear' Project, or fearism-t). These include 6 in their original configuration that evolved in ISOF (Calgary): (1) quality information on fear and fearlessness, (2) Liberation Peer Counseling, (3) Spontaneous Creation-making, (4) Community-building, (5) Sacred Warriorship, (6) Vision Quest.

The 7th vaccine has just been discovered in its latest form in the last 20 years or so by Dr. Don Trent Jacobs (also known as Four Arrows). I am currently writing a book on his life and work, but most importantly I have followed his work as a researcher and educator because of his discovery of a great model for working with decolonizing the mind, or de-hypnotizing ourselves from the dominant (and largely pathological) Western worldview. His model is defined in a mnemonic form: CAT-FAWN. There is a fascinating story behind the years of discovering this model, with roots of its "teaching" coming from ancient ancestors in remote Mexico and the shamans of the Raramuri there, as well as from the non-human spirit teachers-- and to be clear, it has not yet been put to full use (not even by Four Arrows), and I am just in the early stages of understanding it. I will write more on CAT-FAWN but not in detail here as I merely wanted to officially recognize it in my mind as the 7th 'Fear' Vaccine.

CAT-FAWN = Concentration Activated Transformation (CAT) and FEAR, AUTHORITY, WORDS, NATURE (FAWN). The basic principle behind this CAT-FAWN connection, as Four Arrows calls it, is that in any concentration state (subtle and light, or dramatic and heavy) we are in "trance" and in that state the human (and many animals) are highly susceptible to learning, for good or not so good. The point is to recognize with great critical awareness when one is going into a trance-state (i.e., CAT), it may be as simple as when you are watching TV too long, or driving a car, or working on an art piece or listening to music or when you have been injured and are fearful and/or terrorized... etc. By recognizing and predicting the high learning potential in this trance (CAT) state, you will be able to ensure you are not going to let Fear, Authorities, Words, or Nature be used against you and your current state, but be helpful as guides to move you along (in my words) the path of fearlessness of development.

More on all this as time goes... just also want to let you know that Barbara Bickel (my partner) has initiated with me to co-author a book on the 'Fear' Vaccines and all our years experience with them, and ensure they are documented for history. You can bet a final chapter will be on the latest addition of the 7th to the traditional 6 that we have the most experience with in the ISOF Community especially. Stay tuned...

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Fearlessness and Indigenizing

[Prelude: the following is an excerpt from my spontaneous journaling and because of that I do not have all the references in here backing up what I am saying, as a scholar might do, and as I often do. Rather, I wanted to keep this less technical and formal and an expression of some of my intimate and philosophical thoughts as they run... feel free to contact me if you want more information and/or references. Note, most terms that have quote marks, especially when more technical terms, are the concepts of others, not my own]

Jun 2- the last full day of this trip to Winnipeg and my embedded relationships in the field space and mental-value epistemic space of what I would call the “Indigenizing Project” (which, in my own language is a part of the Fearlessness Movement and ISOF Project work for me. As you may recall the sixth ‘fear’ vaccine in the ISOF model was/is “Vision Quest.” Now, of course, these days in a postmodern and post-/neo-colonial critique, and hyper-sensitivity (dare I say “fear”) in identity politics land and politics, there is like zero-tolerance policies (nearly) floating in every which way to ensure that I as a “Westerner,” “Settler,” “White” “Eurocentric” "Male" "Heterosexual" person do not step over the line to enter into promoting a “Vision Quest” without "approval" of some Indigenous Elder or 'Indigenous' person (however, difficult and problematic those labels are, when it comes to issues of definition and authentication criteria, in the first place)--as anything other than a 'bad' thing (i.e., an act of violation called appropriation) from the point of view of that critique.

However, I am not going to be suppressed and oppressed by that critique and indictment alone, IF I think it is an oversimplified indictment without good evidence and without consulting me in the negotiation of that indictment, of which I am happy to give my case in equal argumentation, following the basic principles of a "Two-Eye Seeing" and “ethical space” argumentation.

I listen to the “appropriation” indictment, listen to it respectfully and engage it as much as the ‘other-side’ is willing;  but I also do not adopt, necessarily, despite what the pc police would have me adopt and swear to, because I find typically  their stance is still situated (Indigenous-Western) in a fundamentally postmodern response, if not a Romantic reaction (and retro-regression) response of cultural differentiation, protectionism, traditionalism, and an overall conservativism of the worst culturalism kind. I am much more interested in a philosophy of “cultural hybridity” as some scholars have carefully been arguing, along with a "trans(per)formative" approach to identity and pedagogy in general. The former traditionalism, with its odd postmodern garb, over-privileges an ontological and epistemological and axiological culturalism (primacy to the Cultural capital ‘C’ as meta-worldview) above and beyond the Natural and Spiritual domains—or what is intimately most accurately the Integral Standpoint (NCS) based on what I have argued in the Wilberian sense is a Fearless Standpoint Theory (FST). I believe this latter stance is the only way to ensure a freedom from epistemic violence perpetuated in under the flags of ideological reductionism that naturalism, culturalism and spiritualism are embedded in. In this sense, I am taking what Wilber has called a theocentric or kosmocentric perspective—which is something that the postmoderns and poststructuralists cannot stand and “hate” and will do everything in their power to maim and disavow credibility and integrity in the domains of knowledge-making and inquiry itself. Yes, my friends, this goes back to the “enemies of fearlessness” which I have argued all along soon after 1989.

I wish to write more of my own social philosophy of fearism, from FST and NCS, with its practical and theoretical threads, and in which the “Vision Quest” ‘fear’ vaccine is intended in these discussions to be revisited, extended, revised, as I have not given it the attention for some time. And in which I have come to see that my most recent work with Four Arrows (and the U of M Two-Eyed Seeing research team), is leading me to ask how it is that I can bring an Indigenizing lens (at least) to all of my conceptualizing, philosophizing, theorizing and practical work. Right off the top, is my interest to bring this to the ‘fear’ vaccines, and to an Indigenizing of the vision quest and a philosophy of fearism. The big debate that has to be worked through, not only in my own thinking, but so many others in and out of the Indigenous worlds, is how to define “Indigenizing” itself. That is what I think requires a lot of attention from me, at the least, before I proceed with the vision question and ‘fear’ vaccines. So, this is just a little ‘gem’ of my thoughts of late I wanted to share with you here at CSIIE for future inquiry and dialogues.  

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