Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education

R. Michael Fisher
In the Shadow of the Green Movement
by R. Michael Fisher - Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 06:13 AM

There are a couple of things I want to cover in this (it's about time) piece, as June and July have been ragged and drug-down-deep months for me personally and professionally. The two things are: (1) my passing on of Directorship of CSIIE to the future, and (2) my study of the Jane Goodall-Enterprise, which I am realizing is a fearanalysis and integral analysis of the Shadows of the Green Movement.

First, passing on the role of Director of CSIIE has a long complex history, and it has been related closely to the unfolding of the past four years experiences in Carbondale, IL and in particularly the evolution of the Gaia House Interfaith Center and all its changes, never mind the catastrophic (am I exaggerating) conservative and fiscal changes going on in the USA since 2008 and the collapse of the "economy." I would be happy to discuss the changes in my understandings, the resistances to changes, and my ultimate decision to step-down as Director. I won't go on about it here, yet I can only say, that I am quite disappointed in a lot of things in CSIIE and the world it lives in and around, and bottomline the lack of growth. I've admitted my own failures in teaching what needed to be taught to meet many of our Associates goals, and now I have to focus on my own Department's growth including my personal and professional life. Things have got pretty low.

Second, and the focus of this post is that I have had two months of intense study of Jane Goodall and all that follows in her wake as a current important world leader (if not Royal Leader in my classification system). I took this on as a long-term project with articles and books in mind--and some of that you can read about in blogs on this site that I wrote months ago. To say the least, I am learning lots, and I am battling lots. I'm very disturbed on many levels, pre-personal, personal, and transpersonal as the Jane Goodall-Enterprise (my umbrella term and unit of study) has a shadow that needs to be revealed, and some have done so in bits. My study is systematic in critical analysis and I'm using many methodologies to reveal the 'Shadow of the Jane Goodall-Enterprise"-- and guess what I really got awakened this morning-- is that it is the same "Shadow" of which the Integral Movement has had to critique and grapple with and attempt to form a relationship all these past few decades.The Green Movement and its Shadow.

The "Shadow of the Green Movement" and the "Shadow of the Jane Goodall-Enterprise" are one and the same holon, you could say, in which I have taken on a major study of in the last few months. I wanted an example in the Green Movement to analyze, integrally. And the alternatives to these good movements are what CSIIE is all about. CSIIE was birthed in Gaia House Interfaith Center (a largely Green movement operation) and attempted to integrate the best of the Green Movement and start up a Yellow Movement. Of course, I didn't always say that so clearly, but I did draw it out on plans, designs, and mentioned it more than once in talks and in my publications. Yet, it wasn't really picked up on. Nobody was going around repeating that CSIIE is about the formation and development of the Yellow Movement as the next shift from the Green Movement, and/or that at least these two movements ought to talk to each other (friendly like if possible).

The Yellow Movement, is my term. I like its simplicity. I like colors, as I am a visual artist, and I wanted to have the CSIIE work be closely in association with the Green Movement and have the same power of the sign, symbol, and semoitic resonance as "Green" but now there is also "Yellow"-- and that ought to be easier for people to translate somewhat what CSIIE and myself are up to and leading as pioneers. Of course, the Yellow Movement may be my name for it, but the reality is that that movement is the Integral Movement, with a much longer history, and one that more or less can be traced back through all of human history. The Integral Age sign that is up in gold big letters in the CSIIE office is an indicator of the Integral Movement and its notion or vision, or maybe it is just a theory or hypothesis-- that the Integral Age is trying to birth among us now, and will become a reality on a larger scale for more people, maybe. The Green Movement has it's New Age, it has its Information Age, it has its Peace Age, and so on, yet they are all fundamentally Green, not Yellow (or more precisely, they are not Yellow enough).

My conclusion, for years, but expecially with the in depth study of the Jane Goodall-Enterprise of late, is that I cannot go on teaching anything without talking about the Shadow of the Green Movement, and that's where the Yellow movement has its role to play, if it can get off the ground to play it. CSIIE has struggled in the real empirical world to do this, let me tell you, it has run me down and ragged at the edges, but that doesn't mean my core center of soul isn't still cooking and looking for the next opportunity to rally. I am very interested this fall to talk about the Yellow Movement, and why I want to less talk about the Integral Movement. The Integral Movement has its Shadow too. Wow, and I have studied that for over 25 years. That's another story. There's going to be a Shadow of the Yellow Movement too, but it isn't there yet, because the Yellow Movement hasn't really taken off yet. That's the great opportunity though, right in front of us, to start a movement and encourage the Green-Yellow Shift, and help bring healing, clarity, ethical correction, and critical praxis to the Yellow Movement in a way better than the Integral Movement did. That's my vision anyways. I am looking for collaborators and critics, and helpers and resisters, who at least think this is worth looking at seriously.

I'm starving for such dialogues, I admit. I'll work at not letting my needs overwhelm and toxify the exploration and inquiry. No one wants to be around needy people for very long, especially if you want to co-creates something at the trailblazing edges and the distresses of doing so will be high. We want each other in this venture to be strong and weak, but confused and clear, and healthy and ill, as it will be sickening at times to see just how hard it is to start a new movement called the Yellow Movement. I know this so well, as I've been doing this from way back, long before CSIIE, and yet, I have never called it the Yellow Movement. Oh, and it is the Fearlessness Movement if you want another name for it. My concern this time around is finding a good name for it that can 'take' with the public in ways that Fearlessness or Integral have not been successful in that 'take.' I see it as equivalent to a 'fear' vaccine taking well and assisting the immune systems to resist the culture of fear dynamics (inner and outer).

At its minimum, the Yellow Movement is uniquely calling out from the ashes--absence and lack (Shadow and pathology) in the Integral Movement-- to attend to the role of fear-based influences in AQAL. Yet, likewise, the Yellow Movement is calling out the same from the Green Movement (human potential, holistic, new age, peace and justice, environmental). The great challenge of moving from Green Movement to Yellow Movement is to see that the first-tier (Green and below) is primarily a culture of fear, and the Yellow Movement is about a culture of fearlessness (see Fisher, 2010 and Department of Integral & 'Fear' Studies in CSIIE). It is this kind of "cut" of the pie, that I see as essential if there is to be anything we can call emancipatory or liberatory in the Green and/or Integral Movements in the future.

I was recently listening to a talk given several years ago by Ken Wilber, before his health deteriorated his thinking/speech, and he was talking about how the Human Potential Movement (Green), and I quote him, "Didn't live up to its potential." Ooops...he chuckles, and says (paraphrasing) "that's not what you want written on your gravestone." He was saying all the great potential of knowledge, experience, and tools and technologies of the HPM didn't 'take.' At least, not that well, and a lot has been lost or found impotent-- he laments and gives some statistics-- but really, it is intutive to know what didn't happen over 50 years or so. There was of course good stuff coming out and still is, but it is still so minor in numbers and impact, and Wilber and I agree we have to evaluate this subjectively and objectively in historical perspective, in the context of the new millenium. We have to be critical historians and not fall prey to defensive sentimentalism, especially, if we cut our Boomer teeth on the HMP (and he also refers specifically to the Transpersonal Movement which really didn't go far, he asserts).Too much Shadow in it all, yes, and not enough good analysis of how to integrate this good stuff (potential) into the reality of people's lives and the culture itself.

Point is, there is a lot of learning to be done from our failures. I look at the first few years of CSIIE the same way. And my initiative now is the Yellow Movement, a start-up, a structure, a collaboration, and I'm asking who will join the ship to help out and work out what the hell we can do better than we have. Maybe I'll see you there.


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.