Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education

R. Michael Fisher
My Walk of Life: Philosophy, Deconstruction, Fearlessness
by R. Michael Fisher - Sunday, October 13, 2013, 04:15 PM

The following is more or less a rough articulation direct from my daily journaling with extra commentary in square brackets.

Oct. 13, 2013

I am! That's one response to my evangelical Christian uncle [who recently made contact after 3 decades or more and told me he is curious about my "philosophy of life" as he had read some things I had posted on the Internet]. It's a simple response to all of that family [on my dad's side, those alive and dead, believers and non-believers], isn't it!

Just say, "I am", and no discussion, no dialogue, no argumentation--nothing--two words, for you and you and you....

On the other-side, I however, don't want to come across [all-knowing] in a defensive spiritualist attitude [which I can't stand in anyone] that often accompanies these [I am'ers], the spiritual Christian science folks, esoterics, gnostics, new agers; and, all of that I find quite not what I am.

The other-side [of my philosophy of life, or what I prefer to call walk of life] is that I prefer a materialist, structuralist and even pragmatic stance [to who I am and what I am doing here as a life and Being]. But preference here is equally fraught with its own sets of propositions and attitudes I likewise cannot stomach [embrace without criticism]--and I'm left with a sense of an ethical void or dissatisfaction with the bunch of 'em. Period!

What I find more satisfying [convincing, albeit always with questioning and healthy doubt, I think] by far is fearless standpoint theory [I don't wish to be too technical in this presentation so will not unpack the meaning of that theory, I coined near two decades ago, and one can check out my other publications on it for more detail].

And, from what I can tell, there's not an other human being using that theory and at the same time using it from an [critical] integral perspective [theory]. [I feel like a pioneer cutting a brush path at the edge of the forest where few others travel]

If one does not understand [at least in the most basic, even non-technical aspects] these two theoretical threads and intersections of their powers, they cannot technically understand me, my work, or simply my philosophy of life [walk of life; work of life, of which I have rudely been called to and had to sacrifice for--joyfully, I may add, with all the pain of it too].

It's amazing, how difficult it is to hold on to that simple truth about me and all my projects of life purpose.

In 1989, that purpose [poignantly erupted and disrupted with the force of angels] came to life and bearing [see my writing about the In Search of Fearlessness Project], although, years before [mid-to-late 1970s] I was well down this path of knowledge to become a "man of knowledge" [I relate to this term via the books by Carlos Castaneda and indigenous teachings of Don Juan from that era; the [wo]man of knowledge [is also called "sacred warrior" and/or "shaman" to some] subspecies: Homo sapiens philiagnosis [philia - love, gnosis -knowing].

[By forces compelling me, I read everything I could in those pre-1989 years from all kinds of disciplines without limits] All my hand-copying of quotes and my own notes interpreting articles and books in that time, writing on the back of envelopes, which I received in the mail with reprint articles I found from journals in the library. I recycled the paper and the knowledge these authors were presenting to the world. I categorized them into subject areas and 3-hold punched them [filling many large binders, which I still have; I once asked myself late at night: "why am I do this?" and an intuitive 'voice' from somewhere said, "because you are supposed to, it will be important some day"-- faith not reason leads me onward].

It was in Calgary in those years [a bachelor still], that this passion to know I've come to call 'spirit' to know, which I let guide my life. [The passion to know is greater than the passion to secure]. There was always during that time and still now, a desire "to know for..." a better life personally, a better life and way for the world [not one without the other].

[During these years, and prior, I walked out... at 12 years old I made the commitment to myself, based on my critiques, that I did not want anything to do with living the type of life my mom and dad and their families lived... at 19 years old I made the commitment to myself, based on my critiques, that I did not want anything (much) to do with living the way W. culture and society operated]. Yes, my life became a series of divorces, from people and life-styles to disciplines of knowledge in the academy. Authority circles of all kinds... one by one I "left them" and critiqued them ruthlessly. [When I graduated in 2003 with my Ph.D. at age 51, and I divorced the field of Education which my degree was in, because I found it the most hypocritical of disciplines of knowledge and knowing--and worse, they were teaching that systematically to children up to adults; not surprising I never got hired with my Ph.D. in 'my field' even though I tried.]

There would be no leaf left unturned, for I looked [where most do not wish or choose to look] on the shadow-side. I look for pathology and ideology, where anyone or any organization would make knowledge [truth, reality, belief, faith, value] claims. I saw [and still see too often] they would claim more than they (it) could deliver because they (it) refused to delimit its own methodologies of knowledge construction and knowing that came from it.

The insight of revelation [1989 brought this to bear] was that the most critical and insidious meta-motivating force in pathology and ideology [attitudes of 'closed minds,' be they secular or sacred] of what I call "twistedness" [a 'lie'] comes from motivation based in fear [what I later in 1995 categorized distinctly as 'fear' and an ensuing study called fearology in 2000].

And counter to that ['Fear' Project of immense damage on this planet] is what I envisioned and have learned now is most needed, that is fearlessness [only recently have I seen this is 1/2 of my methodological forte]--that is, a method of knowledge based on deconstruction [I am referring to the 'best' (not the worst) side of Jacques Derrida's deconstructionism and a whole lot of other post-WWII postmodernists (e.g., John D. Caputo's Christian theology), albeit, the history of critical philosophy and method of deconstructionism is millenia old in the East and West but only arose into academia, with some popularity and value, around 1980].

The other 1/2, after deconstruction [i.e., which emphasizes the self-critique of delimiting of knowledge and knowing] is re-construction [when I put 'fear' in (') marks, that is what I am doing to that very term and concept, and reality, as we know it-- it has to go through unknowing and unpacking the 'pre-givens' and keeping the best of what seems worth knowing and rejecting the rest as not worthy of rigorous analysis nor our experiences--all this is not so easy to discern].

[My study of fear and fearlessness, and love, all can only be understood with some understanding of these conceptual frameworks, theories, and philosophies; and of course, my own experiences added into them; yet, none of this is worth studying if it is not a pursuit of the ethical [i.e., arete, in Greek]; again, I do not want to be cumbersome and abstruce or elitist per se, yet, the technicality of my work and my devotion cannot be unhooked from these complex theoretical ideas in the pursuit of knowledge and knowing as arete].