Dr. Sheldon Solomon, co-founder of Terror Management Theory, dialogues with R. M. Fisher on Jeff Gibbs' new controversial film "Planet of the Humans" (2020). In FearTalk 9
Dr. Bruck Liption, a cell-biologist and spiritual philosopher, offers his latest 10 min. video on the coronavirus (Covid-19) 'flu' problem in the world right now and he has strong statements about the nature and role of fear in this pandemic and quarantine. The first few minutes of the video he teaches about the immunological perspective.
"Fear" is the "biggest problem" in terms of where this virus pandemic is, is going, and will continue to go. That's his view. I tend to agree. I have always respected Lipton's research and teachings going back into the early 1990s and he has always had interesting theories about "fear"... that said, I do not agree with everything he says. I'll leave it up to readers of the FM ning to discuss this and/or ask me about my critiques, at this point.
Lipton starts the video off with "Stop the fear, take care of yourself." -- and, of course, that can mean a whole lot of things, including, how do we best define what fear is, and what if we do not know completely what it is and there are unconscious fear aspects that are affecting everything as well related to Covid-19 reactionary actions (?)... Lipton assumes we already know everything we need to know about fear, and he does his "scientist" thing in the video ...
Thank you Piergiacomo severini for an initial response to my question re: the philosophical discussion of Hobbes, and the nature and role of fear, and other things, that has been going on the FM ning of late. There are several things we could discuss from Piergiacomo's Comment. I offer a group of us take this on to respond to him.
I will start this thread by saying Piergiacomo offers something like a first principle on the contemporary philosophy of fear, and it is a cautionary: to avoid in most cases to reduce fear by definition, by meaning, by application to phenomenon.
This principle would overcome the problems of reductionism that methodologically (e.g., epistemologically) have a history. Reductionism is indeed, in my view one of the great forces (patterns), and habits, of a particular mindset, worldview, values sytem, beliefs, whereby a complex phenomenon is reduced (overly) to a simple phenomenon. And, my research shows that "fear" is particularly susceptible to this reductionism in our past as a species and currently this still predominates. However, there are some good signs that things are changing a bit in the direction of giving fear its due conceptual, theoretical and philosophical regard so as to avoid reductionism and critique reductionism of fear when it occurs. I would like FM ning members to give this all a good consideration and offer your views and knowledge about this topic. Who are good thinkers we could follow in this regard, be they philosophical sources, or otherwise.
The very positing of a first principle of non-reductionism of fear is at the basis of my own research on fear and fearlessness. I have gone so far as to suggest that ultimately we have to be more interdisciplinary in our discussions about fear and beyond even that, we ought to be more transdisciplinary (e.g., you can read my work on justifying this principle and direction via my writing on the 'Fear' Project, 'Fear' Studies, on fearology (and fearism), fearanalysis, and fearlessness, for starters. My use of the term 'fear' (with the ' marks) is one of a rare exploration on the topic of fear, and I believe offers a sign of resistance to the hegemony of reductionism of fear, amongst other things. My view is thus constructed on an emancipatory knowledge and methodological basis, not merely a functionalist-pragmatic one.
I look forward to hearing more on this topic, and I do not expect that it has to be a discussion all about my initiatives.
I also think there are many things in Piergiacomo's Comment(s), and others here, that could be explored and questioned.
Hey, all you bright philosopher types... could any of you give a summary (synopsis) from your Discussions (in Comments) here, based around Subba's blog on Hobbes,--in terms of how your discussions might be related to the Fearlessness Movement? I'm curious... and maybe the other people in the FM ning community could relate and join in responding IF you could give us some other angles to work with... on what is important to your thinking projects.
p.s. I appreciate you being so engaged on the FM ning, and bringing some spirited life to the FM ning...
International Journal of Fear Studies
Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Approaches
Call for Papers and Creative Submissions:
Theme ISSUE: “Living and Learning in Pandemic Times”
Submissions Due Aug. 1, 2020 for the 4th issue of IFJS.
Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic dynamics have really changed our lives. What are we learning in this context of such pervasive fear... and more...? Are there better ways to handle all this?
IJFS offers space to share the kinds of work (theoretical or practical, complete or incomplete) you are doing on fear that deserves international recognition. The primary criteria is that works have an interdisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary approach, while at the same time are progressive and open-minded works that instigate insight, healing, liberation, creative thinking, critique, and synthesis. IJFS uniquely offers a much called for place to focus on fear as a subject matter as no other journal to date.
All authors retain copyright of their works published in IJFS. The journal will consider re-published submissions as long as copyright approval has been made. This peer reviewed journal is published bi-annually, at minimum, with final editing by Dr. R. M. Fisher (Senior Editor).
Articles and creative submissions may include large technical and philosophical works, research studies and results, essays, opinions, poetry and other art forms, etc. You are welcome to send a proposal for feedback ahead of time to the editor (email@example.com). Otherwise, send completed work. Citations of references are essential in papers where appropriate and should follow a standard style format (e.g., Chicago, APA, Harvard, etc.) to avoid any copyright violations. Creative style formats are welcome but require a rationale for any such deviations from standard formats. There is no word-length requirements of submissions. If all goes well the 4th journal issue will be published in early Sept. 2020.
Dr. R. Michael Fisher, Ph.D., founder/editor of IJFS, developed this on-line journal to promote academic scholarship, professional explorations and popular educational, activist and creative works for a variety of serious readers interested in fresh thinking and ideas about the nature and role of fear in societies.
Issue archive links:
To serve on the Editorial Board (and/or be a Reviewer) make your interest known to Dr. Fisher as soon as possible. Archived editions are available in an open-access pdf format and housed at the University of Calgary Library on PRISM for international access on research search engines. On average 200 downloads/views internationally are made of each issue. In addition, each article has separate download/views statistics.
A journal that operates in the gift economy-- gift donations to IFJS are most welcome, please contact R. M. Fisher.
 CV available on request. Dr. Fisher is an independent scholar, educator, fearologist with many publications available on Google Scholar. See his Youtube channel for more of his views: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC01OHEXhSuxnyilmkV0f95A
This is the inside book cover (from the publisher, Oxford University Press, NY, 2004). Author: Corey Robin, "Fear: The History of a Political Idea".
I share this with you all discussing Hobbes, and philosophical history issues re: passions, emotions, fear, etc. I appreciate the erudite philosophical wonderings you are all offering there in the FM ning. If I had time I'd join in more, but I have a book ms. needing to be completed. Just to say, I have not studied philosophy like many of you in this discussion, but I browse bits from it, and travel across multiple disciplines to gather my views on "fear" in history etc. What intrigued me so much about Robin (2004) was that he is he first author in history of thought, that I know of, to re-frame "fear" as a discourse into an "idea"-- and that changes everything from the total focus on fear as feeling, emotion, etc. His writing on Hobbes (Part 1, pp. 27-50) is something I have read several times over the years, to glean my understanding... some of you may want to check out this reference, if you haven't already. (Note: I also don't agree with all of Robin's approach to fear, either).
To see new teaching video by RMF https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcp0Sv8SNLA
To Listen to this 40 min. interview go to: https://noliesradio.org/archives/172012
Political Fearism -
"A man is by birth rational and fearful animal, life is process of fearless."
After reading a quote of Hobbes, I started to think his philosophy in fearism perspective. I have given its name Fearolotical (Fear+Political=Fearolotical). Simple logic behind it is; fear precedes politic.
Character of the state of nature is Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, short, no preservation, war, threatening, warning, danger, death, killing, violence, insecure=fear
Character of the state of sovereignty is government, institution, power, court, law, justice, prison, punishment, command, authority, order, preservation, force=fearless
.A man, government, or institution starts when switch on (fear on). Appearance of fear is a silent in Hobbes's entire philosophy, not visible but active like under eraser of Derrida. He says, "Liberty is in silence of law ". (Hobbes146) I say, "Law wakes up; when fear rings bell.-" Fear is gravity and motion, fear (>) is greater than (<) other emotions. It can be scientific and mathematically explained because Hobbes preferred scientific presentation. So, our motions (life) move towards fearless. In below images, fear and fearless activities are motion of fear-gravity. The state of nature was between two fears as sandwich (before coinage and after avoiding).
Political philosophy (Fear+Political=Fearolotical) philosophy can be understood exclusively (Hobbes) of Thomas Hobbes was born because of fear (state of nature and civil war of England). According to him, the nature of man was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short (Hobbes 83-84). His famous quotation was he was born twins with fear. He was not only born twins with fear; he was lived with fear and died with fear. He had preferred absolute monarchy; it was his best system to preserve live. Core part of whole philosophy is in the heart of preservation. Again, preservation can be defined as binary of fear. It means he had feared all the time. No preservation, war, threatening, warning, danger, death, killing, violence, and insecure were to fear. In the state of nature man had special character that was rational. Using his distinct attribute, he avoided the state of nature.
Preservation, protection and secure was his priority. We can read it starting to the end of The Leviathan. It looks common for all the people; as a Fearism author, I look everything; life to cosmos in Fearism perspective.
It is obvious that since the beginning of his life, fear had great role. Prior to the civil war of England, he guessed that the situation was worsening. It was the Fear of unknown happening, thus he left England and lived in Paris. Though in Paris; fear was chasing him all the way of his life. It couldn't detach from body, it was the shadow of life. He was looking external solution, but it was dwelled within him.
He exiled himself in 1640 and wrote the Leviathan when he was in Paris. He thought, the accident of Socrates might repeat to him. Same phenomena were happened to Aristotle 323 B. C. such chaotic and fearful situation played major role in his thinking. Hobbes applied fearful life, and environmental fact in fearolotical philosophy to draw people's attention. He wanted to make scientific laws like law of gravity and motion. Law of gravity is the law of fear. How much magnetic power fear had; nothing had in comparison to fear. Every compass of life was attracted by fear (magnetic fear). Omitting the fear from the state; state would be paralyzed. It proves that state of gravity was the fear. Fear had the powerful magnetic and hypnotized power. One needle of fear was towards him and he wanted to turn out that needle to the political direction. His political direction was the political science. This political science is what I called 'Fearoloticalogy'.
A man used his reason to avoid the state of nature. He explored and found the law of divine and law of man. He mixed up both and developed political science. In the round figure, political theory of Hobbes is a theory of fear and fearless. It is an image of his state and he writes about state as:
- The old poet said that the gods were at first created by human fear :( Hobbes 72)
-"The gods were at first created by human fear. "The old poet is very true. In philosophy of Fearism (2014) I have written god is a fear. In the state of nature, there was nothing except fears of starvation, animals, and natural powers. These calamities were risk of life. So, they started to worship them as a god. After many years, people began to fear with them, which they established.
A man, who looks too far before him, in the care of future time, hath his heart all day long, gnawed on by fear of death, poverty, or other calamity; and has no repose, nor pause of his anxiety, but in sleep.(ibid 72)
-Fear of death, evil, poverty, or other calamity is the bottom line of a man. For being that there be caused of all things that have arrived hitherto or shall arrive hereafter; are cause of fears.
Hereby it is manifested, that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, and they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man against every man. (ibid 83-84)
-"They were in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man against every man." It is famous dictum of Hobbes in 17th century; it is very practical hitherto now. It was that time men lived without a common power to keep them all in awe. In normal condition, we seek friends, relatives, when abnormal situation appears, all goes to deem and self – preservation comes forward. It happens when food becomes shortage like shortage of mask and sanitizer nowadays. In the state of nature, nobody had food store. It was the reason; war was against of every man. In the fearism it is written, man has stronger war than dog that fights for the bone. Man's fear struggle is more danger than animal because man can use rational, nepotism, bribes, conspiracy, flatter and force.
THE RIGHT OF NATURE, which writers commonly call just naturale, is the liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own nature; that is to say, of his own life, and consequently, of doing anything, which in his own judgment, and reason, he shall conceive to be the aptest means thereunto. (ibid 86)
-For the preservation the right of nature of a man; that is to say, of his own life; and consequence.
A LAW OF NATURE, (lex naturalis) is a percept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do, that, which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the same; and to omit, that, by which he thinketh it may be best preserved. (ibid 86)
-A law of nature, which is forbidden to do, that, which is destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the same, so he wanted to avoid it because he didn't see any preservation there. Omit, that, by which he thought it may be best preserved. It was the thinking of Hobbes.
The mutual transferring of right is that which men call CONTRACT. ((ibid 89)
-At last the nature of state reached to the position of CONTRACT. It was the mutual transferring of right to save the life. According to Hobbes, the best solution and option to exit from the solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short was contract.
Good and evil, are names that signify our appetites, and aversions. (ibid 105)
-Appetites, and aversions is also famous dictum of Hobbes. Appetite was the prime reason of war. Limited food couldn't fulfill the appetite, to find more; needed to invade others. No one could sit silent; their appetite didn't let a man sit in rest and peace because if it didn't fulfill, chances would be to lose the life. Increasing appetite was the caused to make enemies. A man was always sandwich between fear of being hungry and fear of enemy. How to do the best to preserve life? It was the final cause. Aversion was secondary action. If a man didn't like or fear, he had a way of aversion. In some case, a fear chases a man.
If they think good, to a monarch, as absolutely, as to any other representative. (ibid 123)
-In concept of Hobbes; he mentioned absolute monarch is the best political system. Absolute monarch can secure life better way than assemble.
And thus I have brought to end my Discourse of Civil and Ecclesiastical Government, occasioned by the disorders of the present time, without partiality, without application, and without order design than to set before man's eyes the mutual relation between protection and obedience; of which the condition of human nature, and the law of divine, (both natural and positive) require an inviolable observation. (ibid475)
-At the end Hobbes in his Fearolotical philosophy; Discourse of Civil and Ecclesiastical Government, he focused in the mutual relation between protection and obedience. Base of his state was the protection; it was in first priority. Outstanding were supportive to the protection.
It shows that man abandoned the state of nature because of many problems and fears. He made social contract, in the contract; it is doctrine that; sovereignty may be assembly, absolute monarchy and institution. To sovereignty, through the contract, he gave all his natural right except self – preservation. In the state of nature, self-preservation was in danger; so, he left it. If preservation was danger in state, he could revolt against the government because this right was not handed over to the state. At any cost and at any means preservation was the most important. If no life everything would be useless. To avoid the fear of the state of nature; he created artificial social contract and handed over to absolutely power (monarchy, government and commonwealth).Entire political philosophy of Hobbes wandered around the hide and seek of fear and fearless. Not only his theory; theory of John Locke, J.J. Rousseau, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Karl Marx is also in the periphery of fear, but it is veil. A man is by birth rational and fearful animal. For any kinds of contract there was a hidden fear. The state of nature was the state of fear for a man because a man was by birth rational and fearful. He had a great war against his fears rather than his enemy. A man lived with external and internal fears; he had war against his fears all the time. It was known as fear struggle in the history of fearism.
What was the incident Hobbes wanted to avoid the state of nature, pin point was fear. Cruel civil war he faced and it stroke him. He has taken the state of nature as its backbone. His state of nature is hard liner, Locke softer and the Rousseau the softest. After reading him and sharing experience, we can say, a man by birth is fearful animal and life is the process of fearless. Political Fearism is a faculty of Philosophy of Fearism.
He has long reference about Bible and explanation in the last chapters. His advocating was the absolute monarchy. He had good relationship with royal families. Hobbes was against power division. He argued share power means share punishment, reward and law. It developed powerless sovereignty. As consequence; it could beget unhealthy society. He followed the absolute power system of God. God never shared his power that was the reason; everyone followed him because everyone got terrified with him. One point was mismatching; in the kingdom of a man, people can revolt the government if danger comes for the preservation but it was impossible in the kingdom of the God.
It is an example article of Rephilosophy. In Philosophy of Fearism (2014), I have used Dephilosophy; now using Rephilosophy. Dephilosophy needs to deconstruct first but in rephilosophy, it doesn't require. It can be directly rephilosophy means rethink or reanalyze.
(I have taken reference from book of Thomas Hobbes the Leviathan. In the article I have shown the fearism effect on his political theory and invisible fear was the important to invent political science.)
This article is edited by David Nwaobi, Osinakachi Akuma Kalu, Bhawani Shankar Adhikary and Rachelle Roberthon Favaloro.
- Thomas Hobbes Leviathan Oxford World's Classics Edited with an introduction and noted by J.C.A.Gaskin1996 (Mostly I have taken reference from it.)
- DeshSubba, Philosophy of Fearism (2014) Xlibris
Excerpt p. 245, from 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/Rowman & Littlefield.
The above last chapter of that book, now 10 years old, is still my foremost vision and purpose in everything I do.
During this rather global "lock down" to slow the spread of coronavirus, I have been producing some 21st century-appropriate, crisis-learning appropriate, fearlessness curriculum materials for your study (and perhaps, pleasure) in any extra time you and your friends may have on your 'home-time' for the next weeks...
1. see my two short teaching videos setting a context for this crisis transition time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpIhhZYPlv8
2. to stay critical in one's empowered self and thinking always in crisis times to avoid unconscious hypnotic learning see my brief sample of critique
3. most exciting (ha ha)... see the diagram attached below that is a skeletal 'map' of my Fear Management Systems Theory (FMST) taken from my main teaching textbook The World's Fearlessness Teachings: A Critical Integral Approach to Fear Management/Education in the 21st Century (2010). As I know several of you have this book, and it is also (in part) available to search online https://www.amazon.ca/Worlds-Fearlessness-Teachings-Management-Education-ebook/dp/B009R6GES0/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=%22World%27s+Fearlessness+Teachings%22&qid=1584459018&s=books&sr=1-1
Your Quiz 1 is to take time to study this map (and research in the book itself) and answer these two basic questions as best you can:
A. What is the predominating kind of FMS (Fear Management System), according to my theory, that is operating today all over the world regarding the management of fear (I am especially thinking of the so-called First World developed nations)? [hint: numbers 0 to 9 on the map are labels for the FMSs)
B. Give a rationale (why) for your selection for predominant FMS utilized generally (and, what is the second most predominant one as well, and give your rationale)?
Okay, have fun, and post your answers up on the FM ning... and/or send to me directly r.michaelfisher52 [at] gmail.com
Also feel free to ask more questions of me and all others in our FM ning community.
Take care, and keep learning...
So there are many issues I am critical of when any Authority assigns itself to "protect" the people (often, meaning, protect the State power/authority/order): it is political as well as a psychological situation re: our health as citizens. Long ago researchers have shown that "shock doctrine" policies and "crisis" politics is a big power/business construction that is manipulative of people, mainly by using their fear and inserting (more or less) forms of authoritarian propaganda to add to the hypnosis of the moment when people are scared/terrified etc. There is basically a danger of transgressing (excessively) human rights in these situations of declared "emergency state" or "pandemic" etc. See one author who has snooped this out already around the coronavirus... https://nationalpost.com/opinion/marni-soupcoff-outbreaks-are-not-an-excuse-to-trample-on-our-rights.
As critical citizens, we have to be questioning of all Authority, no matter in what situation. One doesn't have to be a conspiracy theorist but one has to be vigilant to oppression that is subtle and systemic--and has been historically used against people's freedoms. For more background on mis-uses of "emergency time" constructions by Authorities and repercussions, see the great book by critical pedagogy Henry A. Giroux (2003). "The Abandoned Generation: Democracy Beyond the Culture of Fear" (NY: Palgrave/Macmillan).
Based on a subversive graphic novel, this sci-fi futuristic film noir (2006 (c) Warner Bros.); screen play by The Wachowski Bros. (of The Matrix film trilogy 1999-2003) is well worth a watch in the next days ahead. Barbara and I took it out the other night, and the analogies and metaphors and 'story' are so connected to what happens to a nation and culture that has come to be ruled (and infected) by a fear virus-- in our case now, novel Coronavirus and the 'spin' of fear contagion that is shutting down rapidly all parts of societies everywhere. The implications of the "shut down" or "lock down" security regime have to be investigated (and resisted)--because this is political as much as it is a biological phenomenon. Watch this movie V for Vendetta... and start talking it up. There are so many excellent quotes on fear (and fear mangement) in this film, including a wonderful section on "transformation" of Evey, the female protagonist--as she comes to fearlessness out of a life of unhealed wounds and fear-based living in a 'Fear' Matrix. There's also a sub-narrative of an "experiment" re: a virus... okay, I won't spoil this further. -enjoy, -M.
Above photo: x-Democratic candidate for 2020 US President, Marianne Williamson
I suppose every great leader, under pressure, under fear, and with corruption of "power" and "privilege" and media attention and ... you name it, their own personal pathologies, is eventually to show their weaknesses, contradictions and inconsistencies--and Fall. A great critique by Rob Asghar (2020) just came out in Forbes Magazine in which he tells of his experience being a 'student' of Williamson's since the late 1980s--where he really found she helped a lot of people with her preaching of "love and healing" --but since she went into politics, over time (since 2013 forward)--and now in 2020 when she is backing Bernie Sanders for nominee leadership--it seems she is quickly losing integrity, consistency, dignity--with what she preached all those years and even during her 2020 campaign. Arguably, she's become a disheveled self-justified angry political activist like most all the rest, in what seems a "political radicalism, overlaid with the veneer of her familiar words about love and healing," writes Asghar, greatly disappointed in how she is more interested in political theatre and "political street brawler" --and "political rage." [Addendum: see End Note 1]
As I have researched my book for over a year now on MW's career and political path, it is obvious she would defend herself, as would her acolytes, and say this is the spirit of love, of being a mother, and you're damn rights I am angry, etc. No one is going to put my voice down, and especially because I am a woman. If a man had anger in politics like I do, no one would criticize them and so on... she would have a clever and resonable response to all the critiques I am sure. And some partial truths are within her defenses I am sure. I would defend her too if I thought the critics were way off the mark and/or being prejudice against her as a spiritual teacher or woman, or mother, or political player. She deserves full credit for her leadership and move onto the big American political stage. However, no other candidates, man or woman or trans, or whatever has come out onto that political stage with the same gusto idealism of a "politics of love" as the only way to beat Donald Trump and turn the nation around to a healthier way. ONLY Marianne Williamson has done so because of her spiritual beliefs and philosophy. I wrote a short FM ning blog on her as an amazing emancipatory leader--a Love person--really preaching and politiking to make the world a better place and putting Fear vs. Love to the top of her agenda. Wow.
But when a Love Goddess, which she has been called, and which she talks about women empowered need to be, in her 1993 book on women, etc... there is a big disconnect for many--including myself--when I see her turn into victimhood politics as she has especially run the course of in the last three weeks or more... especially since she dropped out of the campaign in Jan. 10, 2020. It is like once she dropped the veneer and mantle of a "President" image for the people... she became that adolescent-like street fighter that Ashgar critiques--and, I suspect many others will see through the duplicity of her Presidential image and now, her fighting to win, full of her own partisanship and divisiveness amongst the candidates. You can do your own research on her and how she is so divisive and thinks this is 'fun' or something. It really hurts her and her reputation as Ashgar says, and it shows me the veneer of Love and anyone who puts Love into ideology (politics) as the answer to everything--and starts to lose it and show they are under pressure and fear just as susceptible to anyone to drop several levels of consciousness in their actions--the world of politics will do that. I could name also the great leader Aung San Suu Kyi (who promoted Buddhist philosophy) and once in more power now has been shamed by the political international community and has had her own 'Fall'--yes, lots of lessons to learn. I'll end here with Asghar's quote (he's a leadership author/trainer):
"Power may corrupt, but Williamson never even attained [official] political power [in the 2020 campaign]. What has hurt her is what hurts many spiritual leaders: The inability in the end to believe what they preach." My point of argument, which I will craft in my upcoming book, is that she may not have got official political Office power and the responsibility that goes with that--and, that made her more a media-power-star with more media coverage and public attention than she has ever been able to garner--and that will allow a part of her to inflate and inflate and use it more and more--because media-is-power in this image-based celebrity world --that is, USA politics!
1. Rob Asghar has written the Foreword for my new book to come out in summer 2020, "The Marianne Williamson Presidential Phenomenon: Cultural (R)Evolution in a Dangerous Time" (Peter Lang, Inc.). Rob starts the Foreword writing, "It has been said that 'the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' Some have ascribed this aphorism to the 18th century political philosopher Edmund Burke, others to the 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill, and it may well represent an imprecise amalgam of their ideas. It has nontheless become a common trumpet call for people of goodwill to enter the political arena. A good American woman courageously stepped forth in November, 2018 with a strong intention to pursue national office in order to address the rising evils she saw in our world: Marianne Williamson, the popular self-help author and speaker, who had spent decades preaching and teaching based on the new-age book A Course in Miracles, was about to attract a good deal of attention in the political arena."
For full pdf of the journal 2 (1) click here IJFS vol 2 no 1 2020 rev.pdf
It’s 3AM….."Oh no! What was that sound I heard?”, I thought to myself as I suddenly awoke to a startling noise coming from the adjacent bedroom to mine. “Could it be coming from my daughter’s room?”, I wondered. My husband and I quickly went to our daughters’ room and there she was, our 16-year-old daughter, curled up in a fetal position on her bed writhing in pain and groaning softly. “What’s wrong?!”, we both seemed to say at once. “I don’t know, but my tummy hurts really bad”, she said in a whisper. I asked if she ate or drank anything she was not used to eating and she said "NO".
I rushed to the kitchen to get her some ginger ale as her groaning intensified. Being a Family Nurse Practitioner, I realized that my instinct to “protect and cure” was gradually kicking in and probably reached an overdrive as I thought of all the worst case clinical scenarios that initially present as abdominal pain. “Could this be an inflamed appendix (appendicitis)…?, a hernia…?, a twisted intestine…?, an obstruction…..?”, I thought to myself as I returned to her room with a glass of ginger ale. She took a few sips and before I had the chance to ask how she felt, she literally started screaming that her pain had worsened after which she threw up all over her bed. “OK, we are going to the Emergency room!”, I half screamed at my husband who then assisted her to get dressed as I also quickly got dressed and helped her into the car. It was close to 3:30 AM by this time.
I sped off to the nearest Emergency Department, and by the time we arrived, I was so anxious that I was barely concentrating as I responded to the staff at the registration center who verified our insurance coverage plan. “When will we see the doctor?”, I asked the lady by the desk. She assured me that my daughter would be seen shortly. When my daughter was called in to the examination section, I assisted her as she slowly walked to the exam room. She lay on the bed as the nurse walked into the room and with a friendly smile, she looked at my daughter and said, “So, what seems to be the problem today?”. Before my daughter could respond, I hurriedly said, “her tummy hurts really bad, she threw up once and I don’t know ….it may be her appendix…. when will the doctor come in because she’s really in a lot of pain.….maybe you should give her some pain medicine or do you think she needs an X-ray first…?” The nurse stared at me with a blank expression as I turned to my daughter, who appeared a bit more comfortable as she lay on the exam table. I observed my daughter’s horrified facial expression as she quietly mouthed the words “mom please, stop!”. “Oh my, I have turned into a Dr. Mom! I must stop and focus on reducing my anxieties in other ways,” I thought to myself.
Current healthcare providers or providers in training may wonder how they can connect with their patients or parents despite various attitudes (pleasant and unpleasant) during a consultation. How does one respond constructively to patients when different emotions as anxiety, impatience, fear, anger, suspicion, mistrust etc. are encountered during a consultation? How should the healthcare provider engage to maintain a positive pattern of interaction?
Well, getting back to the scenario of my daughter’s Emergency Room visit, I said a silent prayer that the nurse would not hastily become defensive to my approach of history giving and that she would still show compassionate care. Obviously, I very quickly came to my senses when my daughter mouthed the words, “mom, please, stop!” and I apologized for my overly enthusiastic approach while letting the nurse know that being a mom and a Family Nurse Practitioner probably contributed to my heightened state of anxiety. She smiled and said that she’s also a mom and could relate to how I felt. Further assessment proceeded without any undue interruptions and X-Ray report revealed that my daughter was severely constipated. She fully recovered following the administration of 2 enemas. I sure learned a valuable lesson on that day: Underlying anxieties can manifest as different attitudes and personalities and as healthcare providers, we have the responsibility to recognize patients’ behavioral traits/attitudes and communicate effectively to reduce patient’s anxieties and develop more productive clinician-PATIENT and clinician-PARENT relationships.
Problem Statement: Poor communication skills greatly contribute to the mistrust that is often experienced between Patients and clinicians/healthcare providers.
It’s important to note that patients and parents often experience high levels of apprehension during their clinical/hospital visits. Sometimes, such high anxiety levels manifest as various attitudes that could become a deterrent to the development of productive clinician-patient OR clinician-parent relationship.
The book, Simple Tips To Developing a Productive Clinician-Patient Relationship gives simple tips to achieve this for 16 different scenarios of patient attitudes/behaviors.
I have a basic question for all of you now 82 FM ning members... after you have browsed through hundreds of posts and pictures and discussions (if you have) on the FM ning-- I would like to hear your views and suggestions for advancing the world's knowledge on fear and fearlessness. That's a practical move, and action for us to consider. I'd like to hear that conversation here on the FM ning in the next year... next days.
Looking forward to it...
R. Michael Fisher, Director, Instructor, The Fearology Institute... is looking for a new cohort of students to take coursses and pursue a certificate in Fearology. Want to find out more about it, go to this new video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oisrTrOR2to
I am pleased to introduce the social psychology researcher Dr. Pelin Kesebir who has for several years been studying fear (e.g., anxiety, terror, and role of culture as a buffer to death anxiety); and has acknowledged in recent correspondence with me the critical importance of "fear" in societies overall. I included the above excerpt from one of her articles (2014) in J. of Personality & Social Psychology 106(4), 610-623. To read full article A Quiet Ego.pdf
Note: Kesebir is inspired and researches generally under the Terror Management Theory (sub-field) in social psychology, an area I have respected and cited in many of my own publications for decades. Very important empirical research is offered in TMT that supports and critiques the way we engage with fear (and its management). I look forward to more conversations with Dr. Kesebir and may all Fearlessness Movement ning members perhaps find time to read some of this work and comment. For more info. from Dr. Kesebir, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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