CSIIE: R. Michael Fisher: Blog

User blog: R. Michael Fisher

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R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Saturday, July 9, 2016, 06:26 AM
Anyone in the world

I recently was thinking about my bright daughter Vanessa D. Fisher (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg_YfqQFcsahhCeHAzuFJcw) and her last decade of work on attempting to craft a unique and critical (integral) discourse on sex and gender. Now, if you go to her youtube channel above, as well as her website, you'll get a flavor for what I mean. Sex and Gender Wars is more what I mean is the domain of her location of thinking and critiques--while she attempts to build a fan-base (now at 289 persons at her youtube channel which is only a year old or so).

I was talking to her on skype (as she lives in Toronto, ON) some months ago, as we have regular check-in's, and she told me she was both enjoying and struggling to find her own 'voice' in the debates. "What debates?," I asked. And, although her answer was more complex, I basically sifted it out to mean she is attempting to craft a unique and influential 'voice' (or discourse) within a big table of public and academic discourses on sex and gender--which, I locate (as does she, and others) as the Sex & Gender Wars platform. Vanessa, is like me, not a professional positioned career intellectual, but a public intellectual. We both are operating outside the institutions of academia and professional intellectualism. We like it that way, but sometimes we desire we could be part of that learning community, and it would be especially nice to get paid and benefits for what the enormous hours of research and writing we do. And, Vanessa now has moved to video productions to add onto that burden. Albeit, she always says how much she loves it.

So, to the point of this short blog, let me reiterate the location of my own crossing-over with Vanessa's work. To give just a touch of background, it is important to back up to what I came out with after my grad school work (1998-2003), and that was basically--that everything I wanted to say about fear was or has been said about sex (add gender). I won't repeat all that here, as it can be found in many of my publications. These two "forces" (meta-motivational drives) are absolutely fascinating for people to study, as in my interest in fear, and now Vanessa's interest in sex.

Where our public intellectual work has gone over the years has been to sort through, if not classify, the various debates (and discourses, dialogues) going on in these areas of fear, and respectively, sex. I would call them now, Fear Worlds and Sex Worlds of discourse. Simply, Vanessa articulated in our recent conversation that she is studying the debates and what people talk about on sex and gender on the table of what I would call Sex Wars (add gender). She is also very interested in how they talk about it, not just the content. That is what most of her series on youtube channel is about, as well as a few productions she has made on her experience (often frustrations and pain) of going into this "field" of Sex Worlds. I think she has explored Sex Worlds for quite a long time, arguable back to when at some point she awakened to realize she was actually (biologically) a "girl"--and then, she has had to learn about what the hell that actually means, and now, later on (she 33 yrs old)--what does that mean in a Sex World and a conflictual paradigm of Sex Wars. Big stuff.

She articulated to me that as much as she finds these debates interesting, often "heated" and "hateful", to her dismay, she's also clear that these have to go on because our society (and societies) have just not dealt with the "shadows" of sex and its role in shaping people and the world itself. I couldn't agree more with her. She is working her butt off, mostly running on intuition and inherent wisdom as I see it, but with a lot of good research, to forge a new sub-niche of some kind into the debates and discourses, while deconstructing and critiquing them (she's just beginning to do publicly) she's looking for new foundations--integral forms that are more inclusive and open-minded and less ideological (read her youtube "Intro" material). I applaud that wholeheartedly.

Now, to close, everything she is doing with "sex" I am doing with "fear"--and, sure, I have a few decades on her in age and have begun the project on "fear" since 1989.

So, for the record, I think I'll refer to my work as being located within the Fear and Fear Wars debates, dialogues, discourses. I look forward to engage with others of like interest. As Director of the CSIIE Department of Integral and 'Fear' Studies... well, it is my job to stay on top of what is happening in Fear World and keep sharing it and guide those who may be interested to study with me or other CSIIE Faculty. Stay tuned.

[ Modified: Saturday, July 9, 2016, 06:27 AM ]
R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Saturday, July 2, 2016, 10:37 AM
Anyone in the world

I'll keep this very short, but I wanted to introduce you to two of our Faculty at CSIIE (Dr. Barbara Bickel, and Dr. Don Trent Jacobs (Four Arrows) who are both researching and teaching about "trance-based learning" in one form or another; with Bickel taking an arts-based (feminist) approach, and Four Arrows taking a more hypnotherapeutic and Indigenous approach. I am currently co-writing books with them both.

Bickel is working on the use of napping, dreaming, and arts-based spontaneous creations (e.g., dream scrolls and performance) to aid learning and in decolonizing our minds from the largely Western world view and its incessant resistance in modernism to "resting" properly and "refreshing" ourselves regularly in our work and play spaces. Four Arrows is developing the further reaches of a model called CAT-FAWN, a mnemonic for Concentration Activated Transformation (i.e., trance-states) and their relationship to Fear, Authorities, Words, and Nature. I'm not going to articulate this further here but go to http://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/new-7th-fear-vaccine-added

Stay-tuned for these very intriguing professor's work and how it can relate to your work... let's dialogue, or you can contact them directly.

R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Thursday, June 2, 2016, 08:34 AM
Anyone in the world

I think most people on the 'Left' in Education, or Health Care, to name a few places, would want a more fair, just, equitable, and sustainable system. These are all the correct terms used in the rhetoric of the day. I was just working two weeks at the U of M with a research team on equitable problems in health and medical research on Indigenous peoples. Reflecting this morning, I  am struck by my awareness of the lack of good critical depth thinking that still exists. I listened to speaker after speaker at the Health Equity Conference downtown Winnipeg, and lots of doctors and academics, NGO people, and gov't people... but not a voice much on healing except from the Indigenous community who attended and spoke at times.

I wanted this short blog to overview some rather 'raw' thoughts coming out of me in reference to my critique of Education, but now the world of Health... and in partcular a growing interest to see what I can contribute to "medical and health education" programs. I was heartened earlier in the week attending a mtg. of the formation and ideas behind the Indigenous Institute of Health and Healing at the U of M (Medical Faculty)... no kidding. Isn't that great. Yet, I was aware the whole time, that once I stepped out of that room, and heard the larger dominating rhetorics of medicine and health, and also after doing the major research for the U of M project I've been on for 2 years... there is a disparity in the rhetoric which privileges "coping" as the hegemonic paradigm over "healing." Oh, sure, people will mouth the word "healing" as it needs to be brought more and more into the Medical Field... the Caring Field... etc. I am not sure if people understand what that word means... albeit, I sure do think some of the leading Indigenous activists and scholars (and doctors and nurses) do understand what it means.

Yet, on my mind this morning is the problem of the medicalization, privatization and commodification of "health" and all things to do with Health Care, especially as I experience it in the USA and Canada. So, let me very briefly unwind what I am thinking, out 'raw', which requires more thought and dialogues with you all.

There is far too much of the "fairly well" getting a whole lot "more well" in the medicalized, individualized, and privatized focus of Health in these nations. The 'gap' of dispartity of poor and wealthy is growing, as is the accompanying health benefits that go with that class breakdown (which also has race and ethnicity components in it). This is all called "social determinants of health" etc. But, as much as I loved hearing during these two weeks of working with a team and attending conference days and meetings, it was clear to me that the overall social democratic (Left-leaning) agenda has a whole issue to deal with in a serious way before much progress will go forward on the front of the health inequities in society. The issue is "politics of healing" which I want to focus my future research on.

No social democracy movement towards Education or Health, that I know of, has a deep understanding, philosophy, theorizing, about "healing" period. It is left out of the political theorizing on liberty, freedom, justice, etc. This is an atrocious failure of our knowledge systems, well disabled by oppression--that is, the oppression that systematically undermines the passing on of "healing" wisdom and practices. 'Helpers' or health service providers, of all kinds in the System, have lost much of this knowledge and do not even hardly know where to look for it, and mostly, they are so over-worked by authoritative bureaucracies that run the health care systems, they don't have time and attention themselves to go read and study this "healing" paradigm that is out there and always has been. Health is so commodified, the capitalist economy is running the show of what "health" even means (as well as "medicine") and thus impacts the health care delivery services likewise--into a COPING PARADIGM as the dominant political idealogy for health (and even infects "healing" talk).

The topic of serious study then required is "The Politics of Healing" in a world of Power/Colonization/Coping.... 101 course... and I am going to be looking at all of this in light of the work I have been always doing since the early 1980s. It is simply called "healing work" and it involves looking at the competing (warring) paradigms that exist in who gets to articulate the term "health" in such and such a way and thus, politically, enforce that as the dominant way. There is the danger, when we in health care (just like in education) forget to critically analyzing the discourses that dominate, and those that are subordinated or even pathologized and/or erased. It is all epistemic violence, by any other name. When a Coping Paradigm is created over a Healing Paradigm, individually or collectively, there is great trouble! All the wisdom literature knows this, however, rarely has this been defined enough in detail, and practical applications and theory as well as has the Re-Evaluation Co-Counseling (RC)... to its variants including Co-Counseling International and what Barbara and I carried forth as Liberation Peer Counseling. I have been involved in this for over 30 years... teaching, practicing, thinking... and yet, for the last decade or more, such healing work has been sidelined, for a lot of reasons, and even suppressed more by the culture itself and its obsession to commodify "health" "wholeness" and "healing" (therapy) etc. I won't go on and on with this critique. Not hear anyways.

The rather famous and influential health policy "leftist" (from Saskatoon area), Stephen Lewis, spoke about the need to correct this political distortion in the current health care system in NA, but he didn't use "healing" vs. "coping" as one distinction at core we have to come to terms with. His political and economic analysis was rather gloomy in terms of the increasing disparities of health outcomes, and economic and social factors. He at one point listed his solutions, of which he said we need to monitor a "Dignity Index" for societies. However, interesting as it is, he had no inclusion of the basic understanding, which I have made from 30 years practicing "healing work" (mostly using LPC but other techniques and models as well, like the 6 'fear' vaccines), or inclusion of the word "healing". That's a tragedy of ignore-ance. It is the legacy of political forces that have pushed "healing" underground, and/or appropriated it into commodified professional-based control systems of so-called "care." The social democratic political discourses have fallen far short of examining this critically--or radically. So, there's room for great improvement.

R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Friday, May 6, 2016, 05:23 PM
Anyone in the world

R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Saturday, April 23, 2016, 11:33 AM
Anyone in the world

Having been strongly influenced in the past few years by Four Arrows (CSIIE Faculty member) and my own research on the epistemological problems of conceptualizing fear, I have set about a strong argument of why I think the way fear is current defined is actually a form of colonization itself--because it participates in a colonizing worldview and methodology (which Four Arrows calls "Western" in contrast to "Indigenous"). Here is the first draft of the abstract from Technical Paper No. 60... just to wet your appetite:

 

Ideological Underpinnings of Colonial Domination

in Understanding Fear Itself

 

- R. Michael Fisher,[1] Ph.D.

 

©2016

 

Technical Paper No. 60

Abstract

 

If it is justifiable to assume that Western (W.) science is “neutral” in ideology, merely in the pursuit of application of reason and logic to create knowledge, then we can rest comfortably in our conceptualization of “fear,” most commonly accepted today, as a feeling or emotion—known empirically and measured in units that science remains typically self-assured. After all, living under the ‘spell’ of W. science’s domination of reality and ways of knowing, supposed “objectivity” and apparently value-free agenda, there is the aim to be certain of what fear is so it can be managed and controlled appropriately by those so certain. This technical paper takes several different strategies to show that any naive acceptance of W. science’s certainty and definition of fear is both partial and distorted, if not dangerous and colonizing. The author posits that the common scientific definition of fear is itself fear-based and part of an ideology that is rarely revealed, and especially rare when studying “fear itself.” Be prepared to have your comfortable notions of “fear” dislodged and brought into a 21st century conceptualization that is more politically astute and holistic and integrally informed. The author is one of the world’s two eminent fearologists. He more than anyone, has brought forward, since 1989, an entirely new and critical methodological framing to understanding the nature and role of fear (fear itself).



[1] Fisher is co-founder of In Search of Fearlessness Project (1989- ) and Research Institute (1991- ) of which archives can be found at http://www.feareducation.com (click on "Projects"). He is also founder of the Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education (http://csiie.org), and is Department Head at CSIIE of Integral & 'Fear' Studies. He is an independent scholar, public intellectual and pedagogue, author, consultant, researcher, coach, artist and Principal of his own company (http://loveandfearsolutions.com). He can be reached at: r.michaelfisher52@gmail.com

R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Monday, March 21, 2016, 03:04 PM
Anyone in the world

This blog is to announce I have just finished a 20+pp dialogue (manuscript), with two priests [1], after I initiated the textual-dialogue a month ago. There's a long story behind the connection with these two wonderful souls, living the prophetic life and recognizing that I do as well. That will have to be told at some point, as I merely want to translate the short story in this blog.

We are going to publish this manuscript in some form, somewhere, some day. It challenges how theology has become, particularly in the West a form of pedagogy of fear, a theology of fear without a good self-reflective critique of itself. I could say the same about the psychology of fear, the pedagogy of fear, and so on. I have researched for decade on all the various disciplines that take up the topic (subject/object) of "fear." There has in contemporary times turned out to be a plethora of writing on the various disciplines: e.g., anthropology of fear, architecture of fear, criminology of fear, geography of fear, philosophy of fear... on and on. No doubt, the psychology of fear is by far the dominant 'voice' and conceptual-maker of "what is fear." Some other scholars along with my own work have been challenging that one-sided, if not highly distortive perspective (usually a scientific epistemology) on how we understand something so fundamental as fear--as a great motivational power.

The two radical priests and I have a go at critiquing the toxic (if not evil) theology of fear that has spread for so long, to the point where Emmett calls it the "new theological reign of terror [which] shaped a Church" (p. 10). I won't go into the details of our talk, again, as they will be published and I'll let you know on this blog where and when. I think there is room for a healthy theology of fear, where theology takes up a concerted and focused study of fear... and fearlessness. Usually, it gives some attention to Love vs. Fear, as do many religions around the world and secular discourse traditions of an ethical nature as well. But that is not fully a study of fear, from a theological disciplinary standpoint. And, better yet, my challenge to theologians, and those who may be amateur theologians or merely interested in theology, I would like to see theologians studying fear be so impacted by it, be so open to it-- so that the very study of fear transforms you and re-shapes your very discipline. Now, that would be a transdisciplinary movement--which, is what I have done for 27 years.

If anyone is interested in dialogues and has comments or questions on the theology of fear, and its religious education, pedagogy, curricula etc. do give me a shout. I'm also sure that Emmett and Terry will be interested to comment.

 

End Notes:

1. Emmett Coyne (Catholic priest, retired, living in Florida), author of The Theology of Fear (2012). And, Terry Biddington (Anglican-Episcopalian priest, University of Manchester, UK) and author of several books, particularly of interest to me has been his trilogy of works on risk-shaped theology, for e.g., Risk-shaped discipleship: On going deeper into the life of God. San Hose, CA: Resources Publications, Inc., 2010).

R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Saturday, February 27, 2016, 06:49 AM
Anyone in the world

It was a pleasure after researching on "fearism" the other day to find a new person using the construct in a serious way, that is, Linden MacIntyre, the famous host and journalist of CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Fifth Estate program. He has served 38 yrs. at CBC, and is retiring now after a 50 yr career as an award-winning journalist and novelist. He has covered a wide variety of issues including terrorism over the years. His speech at Bridgewater State University (Massachusetts) on Oct. 30/14 was published in Bridgewater Review, 34(1), entitled "Voices on Campus: Linden MacIntyre." I found the speech, and it is worth reading for those of you wanting more details, by searching "fearism." [1] I also don't agree entirely with all of MacIntyre's advice about fear, as expressed in the speech.

MacIntyre is the first journalist (or anyone, outside of academia) to use this term in public in a very serious and important way. He uses it as I have (since 1997 off and on)-- and now use it as part of my development and promotion of a "philosophy of fearism" (with Desh Subba) [2]. Note, there are several popular cultural "hits" on the Internet for the term "fearism" of which they vary slightly but basically mean fear-mongering of some kind. I am not saying these are not important uses and they do reflect my own interest as well. However, they are not defined well in popular culture. I have done the most to define and theorize about fearism in the same use of the term as a handful of academics (who often cite my work) and now MacIntyre's use [3]. Subba in 2014 wrote the first book on fearism as a philosophy (analogous to existentialism) and he was much more positive in his framing [4]. I have accepted that and added my own nuance calling it fearism-t (it's latest version). Fearism-t signifies the toxic version.

MacIntyre's speech explicates this toxic version quite well:

"Fearism" "I began to suspect in the aftermath of 9/11 that the new laws and the security establishment, the orange and red alerts, the intolerable paranoia in airports and other public places, that the other side of the coin of terrorism is a sinister reality called 'fearism.' Fearism is an impulse to take political and commercial advantage of the circumstances created by an act of terrorism: public confusion, volatile feelings of vulnerability, systemic fear.... And the mass media play into this.... We are inclined to do what our leaders tell us to do in times of peril.... We should be very careful that the seeds of terror planted in a violent [20th-21st] century don't blossom in the future as tentacles of tyranny.... Everybody knows the line from Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address in 1933. It's one of those simple insights always worth remembering and repeating: 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'"

------

In my view, now we have to be a lot more sophisticated than F. D. Roosevelt's dictum, and take it beyond MacIntyre's antidote as well, to fully understand fearism-t, and both Desh and I argue in our new book that the best way to do this ultimately, in the long-term, is probably through the creation of a new philosophy of fearism which focuses on the deepest root of all our worst problems (terrorism included)--and that is the study of fear.

 

 

 

 

 

End Note

1. Go to http://vc.bridgew.edu/br_rev/vol34/iss1/11

2. See our recent co-authored book Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue (Australia: Xlibris).

3. See a summary of uses in Chapter 4 of Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue.

4. See Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of Fearism. Australia: Xlibris.

[ Modified: Saturday, February 27, 2016, 07:02 AM ]
R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Monday, February 8, 2016, 08:56 AM
Anyone in the world

I promised myself long ago not to get into "sex" issues because it would be consuming and overwhelming of my time and energies. I rather chose "fear" issues. I don't regret that necessary decision. Over the years I have come to work from an analogy of sexuality to fearuality. But despite my attempts to stay somewhat distanced from sex(ism) issues, that has been impossible and recently I have been 'pulled in' again. I'll explain later. I nearly have to laugh at myself, now and then, of how much females have influenced my life (I wrote an unpublished book ms. on this in the mid-90s, that I may publish someday) and my 2003 dissertation was written from a cyber-feminist lens, believe it or not. At some level, I am obsessed with the "female" perspective, as problematic as that is to define and defend--I live in flesh-blood relationships this obsession with liberating the female, feminine, feminist orientations (and, also its implications to W. society as a whole and to males, masculine, masculinist orientations)--read on...

I begin this blog with a quote I hold to dearly as the meta-context for any work on liberation (which I do): "If race, class, and gender are articulated in a matrix of domination [see Patricia Hill Collins] in modern societies, we must develop practices and theories that fit this reality...". (Bonilla-Silva, 2006, p. 114) [1]

This blogpost is about two young Gen Y women, "rising stars," who have cut their teeth (so to speak) from the world of Integral Theory (a la Ken Wilber) and the overall Integral Movement, have more or less, taken on the topic of women, gender, sexuality (and sexism). They are Dr. Sarah E. Nicholson (Australian) and Vanessa D. Fisher (Canadian) (see their websites, youtube videos, Fb, etc. for more info. and latest work). I am a follower, somewhat of their work, which all began officially in my meeting them both at the 2010 2nd Integral Theory Conference where they presented a paper "Confronting the Mess of Evolution: Developing a Critical Integral Praxis for Sex, Gender and Sexuality." Vanessa (my daughter) had also presented on a similar topic at the 2008 1st Integral Theory Conference and was awarded for her paper as best in the research category. The two young women and I had a great conversation in 2010 (and with my daughter I have had many since). They both decided to put out an edited volume which took some six years to complete (see "Integral Voices on Sex, Gender, and Sexuality," 2014, SUNY Press), which is the first volume in the Integral Community on this topic, with all its controversies. Btw, I first came across the controversies explicitly when I attended the very first conference on Ken Wilber's Work in 1995 at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where I met and listened to several women academics (e.g., Peggy Wright being most vocal) who disagreed strongly with Wilber's critiques of much of women's writing (especially, feminism) on the evolution of gender, sexuality, and sexism. Some of these heated dialogues can be found in the book later published from that 1995 Conference in "Ken Wilber in Dialogue: Conversations with Leading Transpersonal Thinkers" ed. by D. Rothberg and S. Kelly (Wheaton, IL: Quest Books, 1998). Recently, my chapter two: "(Are) Men Tragically Hopeless(?): A Critical Integralist's Perspective" in eds. Nicholson & Fisher (2014) [2] was a first significant publication on sex and gender for me (other than my dissertation).

I stated there I am not an expert on this topic and don't intend to be. However I have a lot of experience and have done a lot of reading in these areas as part of the oppression dynamic of the "matrix of domination." I am a stated integral radical feminist (by stance). I also am a critical integral theorist and fearologist (by stance). There is no doubt that people have not responded to my chapter in that book (other than Keith Price, see references below) because my position is so extreme and on the margins of even the margins of marginal thought. Nicholson and Fisher's work however, is not so extremely marginal, although it is also not mainstream. I was asked by Nicholson to write a book review of her first book (created out of her dissertation, 2008), "The Evolutionary Journey of Woman: From the Goddess to Integral Feminism" (Integral Publishers, 2013). All of this, as well as mentoring a doctoral student in Philosophy and secondarily in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, has left me with no alternative but to put my 'head' back into the topic arena again. In doing so, I pull off my shelves a thick file of notes and articles labeled "Integral Feminism."

All my researching on Sarah's book, and reviews of it (see Amazon.com) also has me thinking a lot about what is a 'good' approach to Integral Feminism. I know there are always going to be many approaches to feminisms, and writing about woman (e.g., third wave womanist theorists), etc. I don't think ever there should be any author/research who claims they have the ultimate "best" view of thinking in this domain, but there is a calling to produce the best we can when it comes to the most embracing of theories of woman, feminism, etc. On that latter point, I would argue, as any integralist would, there is a 'better' integral (holistic) way to embrace all of the views of women, womanists, feminists, etc. Now, that is always going to be with a lot of conflict. Rightfully so, yet the notion of an Integral Feminism(s) discourse (e.g., mapping of the evolutionary territory) is appealing as a project, as well as creating new curriculum and pedagogies for this Integral Feminism--and I support this overall project as Sarah and Vanessa have been pursuing (as "rising stars" and leaders, from Gen-Y), each of them in similar but also very different ways (as you'll find out once you study their work). I also acknowledge, as do Sarah and Vanessa there have been a handful of older women who have also written about an Integral Feminism and are important teachers too (e.g., Willow Pearson, Elizabeth Debold, etc.).

Now, all these integral women (some strong feminists) are also being challenged by a lot of integral men who have their own versions of "woman" and "feminist" etc. This is a large controversy I have stayed out of (for now), except for my chapter 2 takes a prod into the wounds I see in the Integral Movement (and Leadership) around the Sex Wars (and Gender Wars). It is a battle ground, and so it is upon this conflict perspective that I pursue writing a kind of book review (or more like an post-publication Afterword) for Sarah Nicholson's 2013 book. I realized in this project of writing about Nicholson's (2013) work/book, there was so many directions I could take, so much I wanted to say, and that it would all become too cumbersome to try to squeeze it in a single piece (still to be written). So, below I allow myself the space to explore many autobiographical tours and offer readers resources as to my other writing building up on this topic area. For starters, here's some initial exploration and contextualization: Before writing a review of this book (Nicholson, 2013), it’s important to care-fully locate myself as an author and critic. I am always delighted on first response to be asked to submit a critical reflections on women, gender, sexuality (and feminism). Nicholson’s book The Evolutionary Journey of Woman (an ominous title) recently showed up on my desk calling for my response. These topics are not at all my expertise or common topics of my publishing career. Only rarely have I attended a workshop, seminar or taken a course at university on these topics (one graduate course on “Feminist Ecology” in 2000). I more typically write about a critical integral perspective on fearuality (analogous, to sexuality). Thus, it’s not a stretch to admit my (‘normal’) ignore-ance of ‘the Other’ in regard to (sex and gender) types of human beings on this planet. I take no pride (male or otherwise) in this disgraceful biased education I have been both forced in and have chosen (more or less, freely). There’s an enormous humility—in the healthiest sense (not fear-based in guilt and shame complexes)—required (methodologically) to talk about women, gender and sexuality concepts and issues—that is, if one is not identified as an embodied and specific woman (for starters). I pick-up this same (albeit, somewhat more implicit) critical guiding ethical and methodological cautionary that Nicholson (2013) brings to her work. Yes, Nicholson or myself are fine with men (or other non-identified women) researching, theorizing and philosophizing about women, gender, sexuality (and feminism)—our issue of contention is rather qualitative in emphasis: “how they do it.” I’ll discuss this below, regarding Nicholson’s (2013) text.

At the same time as missing out a good woman/feminist formal education designed and taught by women/feminists-scholars and non-scholars, I have been in committed intimate relationships with three women (35 yrs accumulated), all who identify strongly as women and feminists, who taught me a great deal of hard, sometimes brutal, useful lessons in terms of living with a feminist and woman. I also committed eight years of my early-30s developing manhood in an intense consciousness community of learning under the leadership of a powerfully charismatic and very integrated older woman/feminist leader. I well learned the terror of maleness that dwelt below consciousness when being in the presence of a mature (feminist) ‘goddess.’ Other years of intense practical experiences working through and healing sexism have been critical to my own "awakening" of sexism and all its other forms [3]. They all at one time or another put before me women’s (and feminist’s) writings, art and consciousness—and, as they would say, “As a heterosexual white man, you ought to read this, and this... and see this art show, and participate in this woman’s ritual.” Equally important, I fathered two daughters (now 32 and 34 years old).

Through all those years I have grown to highly respect (not without resistance), there is something essentially real and profound about being a female and in particular ‘women’s images and women’s knowledge—women made.’ There is something we ‘Men’ and Masculinist (Patriarchal) Western society have to listen to deeply when women/feminists critique us and our hegemonic organizational way of ‘composing’ a world. Contentious indeed, I still see there are good arguments for a strategically distinct two-spheres hypothesis : a Woman’s Worldview vs. a Man’s Worldview, analogous to in critique (and contestation) to an Indigenous Worldview vs. a Western Worldview. To write anything today about women, I draw heavily on this embodied experience I have been fortunate to encounter. Eventually, in my late 40s, after many years involvement in men’s healing and empowerment (masculinist revolution) work, and as a therapist for teen boys and men, I converted, under no pressure from anyone but myself, through a trans-gendering movement to become a 60:40 woman-man. The recent invitations to submit pieces on integral theory and feminism (also related to masculinism) have come from the likes of my life-partner and academic Barbara Bickel in various ways too many to mention, and from my daughter Vanessa D. Fisher (with whom I have hundreds of hours of intense dialogue on these topics) and her academic colleague Sarah Nicholson.

The first formal (performative) piece I published on my critique of the current “Integral” Men (i.e., primarily leaders, like Ken Wilber) in the Integral Movement, from my preferred radical integral feminist lens is one that offers many suggestions to those non-identified as ‘woman’ to consider and be humble toward, when they attempt to construct knowledge about woman (women) and argue with (usually against) woman-identified feminists.

Okay, then I look at my CV and blogs and realize I have written a good deal (nothing systematic) about the topic area and here is as good a place as any to put it out as a Biography of my writing for others: CSIIE Blog (see): 1. (Are) Women Tragically Fear-Full(?) - Nov. 10/15 2. Critical Response to Keith Price's Critique on Men-ness [my chpt. 2]- Nov. 10/15 3. Gender: The Integral Sting (Wounds) Persist - Jun. 14/15 4. Integral Voices: Book Review & My Comments - Mar. 18/15 5. Females and Fear: Contributions & Challenges - Oct. 15/14 6. Dialogue: R. M. Fisher & V. D. Fisher on Men & Integral - Aug. 1/14 7. Fear, Archetypes of the Masculine: Co-inquiry - Apr. 16/12 8. New DIFS Research Study: Fearless Images - Dec. 1;9/11 [note on the CSIIE blog, anyone can read these, sign-in as Guest if that is useful; I also apologize as some of these blogs as I checked them today are missing bits at times and photo images at times, who knows why but there is still lots of good stuff there to read] Fearlessness Movement Ning (http://fearlessnessmovement.com/ning 1. McConnell, B. (with my comments) "Fear & the Hero's Journey (From an Integral Perspective)" Fearlessness Teachings blog [hacked and erased several years ago; note, I only have hard copies and have not yet re-published them] in 2012 I wrote a trilogy of long blogs: Sexuality, Fearuality, Spirituality: A Fearless Standpoint (1) Sexuality, Fearuality, Spirituality: The Power of Religion (2) Sexuality, Fearuality, Spirituality: Lens of Matrixiality (3)

TO WRAP-UP, there is way too much for me to contextualize, and that's because I have so many meta-perspectives (theories) I have created that I would bring to the table of the development of any progressive Integral Feminism (i.e., from a conflict perspective [4])... but to lay all that out is too big of task for this blogpost. These decades of thinking about oppression and liberation, have led me to many directions that would be very critical of Sarah's approach and/or Vanessa's in this domain of Sex and Gender Wars. The point is, I'd rather spend the time I do put in here, to support there work and help explain some particular aspects that are so crucial in what they are leading--and to do that in a positive rather than critical modality. Sarah's work is what I am now focusing the rest of my time on (in another article on the Fearlessness Movement ning, to come soon). I do this because she has respectfully asked me to contribute a book review on her work, which I am glad to do. Of course, I will be critical as well.

END NOTES 1. Bonilla-Silva, E. (2006). Towards a new radical agenda: A critique of mainstream sociological radicalism. [Book review of "Enriching the Sociological Imagination" ed. R. F. Levine, 2005]. Contemporary Sociology, 35(2), 111-14.

2. Fisher, R. M. (2014). (Are) men tragically hopeless(?): A critical integralist's perspective. In S. E. Nicholson and V. D. Fisher (Eds.), Integral voices on sex, gender, and sexuality: Critical inquiries (pp. 39-62). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

3. In particular, following peer-to-peer co-counseling liberation models, I worked in several therapeutic conscious communities, as participant and facilitation leader, re: men's work, sexism work, and gender issues.

4. A marvelous piece of writing (some of the best in the Integral World, in my opinion) is the chapter "Introduction: Developing a Critical Integral Praxis for Sex, Gender, and Sexuality" (pp. 1-12) by V. D. Fisher and S. E. Nicholson, In Nicholson & Fisher (2014). They make a good distinction between a conflict perspective and a functionalist (cooperation and consensus) perspective--and, all writing on integral theory and/or sex, gender, sexuality is going to be highly shaped by the stance the author/writer/theorist takes in this regard.

[ Modified: Monday, February 8, 2016, 09:31 AM ]
R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Monday, December 7, 2015, 06:27 AM
Anyone in the world

I know you are likely aware of Pres. Obama's latest address to the nation (Dec. 6/15) on his response to the "terrorist attacks" in France and now on American soil in California. I wrote a blog on my Fearlessness Movement ning site on this. Go to http://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog

R. Michael Fisher
by R. Michael Fisher - Saturday, November 28, 2015, 09:02 AM
Anyone in the world

This is my new book (with Desh Subba). Soon to come out sometime before Xmas... stay tuned as I'll post more about it as well...

[ Modified: Saturday, November 28, 2015, 09:02 AM ]
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