Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education

R. Michael Fisher
An Ecosophic-Integral Philosophy for CSIIE
by R. Michael Fisher - Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 09:32 AM

Although from the start of CSIIE, be it Barbara Bickel and myself 'seeding' this in 2009, or the more concretization of an organization and website with Zach Seibert and Treesong in 2011, diversity of approaches, subjectivities of singularisation, and creativity have been essential principles. That said, obviously to come together as an assemblage of characters, instructors, associates, and department heads, is to come together as a social group with some similar glue in order to make CSIIE hold together.

Over the years of CSIIE's history there is a stable-unstable fragility that is both to be expected, often disappointing to me, yet real. I wish we could all work together more synergistically. Be that the case, and despite my own feelings and desires left wanting in our collective, nonetheless I am continually inspired by what each of us is doing, in and (mostly) out of CSIIE framework. I also have found ideas circulating in my reading outside of CSIIE that deserve circulating within CSIIE, if such territories are even 'real.' The blogs and forums I post are part of that effort to keep a creative social assemblage together, and/or to at least keep it fed even if it seems more fallen apart than together on one plane of analysis.

This forum post is, in other words, a celebration of a paper I am currently reading slowly, with lots of red pen markings all over, yellow highlighter, and much more-- an excitement of having found a nuclei of sorts, or a potential thereof, for further gluing CSIIE together on our aims already in place, but in clarifying them further-- if not igniting more participatory action amongst us and our students. The simple place I ask you to attend to is the paper I am attaching here "Culture as Existential Territory: Ecosophic Homelands for the Twenty-first Century" by Janell Watson (2012), a scholar of the postmodern (really, post-postmodern and integral) ecosophy of Deleuze and Guattari. I would love if you give it a read, even if it is quite academic and steeped in Deleuze and Guattari's thought/theory/philosophy. It is mostly on Felix Guattari's work, applied to fascinating domains of 'reality' happening today all over the planet, especially the "mass popular dissent" on so many fronts in the 21st century from al-Qaeda to Arab Sprig to Occupy movemenet.

I enjoy reading Guattari's schizoanalysis and its integral four quadrant mapping of the "ecosophic object" (whatever one choose to make so). I would put 'fear' in the location of that object, for a lot of reasons, as I have done critical integral analysis of 'fear' (and fear) for decades and it features in my work in the Department of Integral & 'Fear' Studies. Indeed, the Guattari-Wilber connection which this post reflects is one of the most powerful syntheses I have put together for awhile and I sense it is very relevant to all CSIIE as a community of inquirers.

Let me know what you think of this paper, and if you want me to "teach more" around it, I'd be glad to. It is a paper that describes the world pretty well, in terms of the anxiety, fear, terror that is growing at a phenomenal rate, and how we need new approaches to think about understanding it (e.g., schizoanalysis and fearanalysis), transdisciplinary-based, and multi-modal and multi-perspectival, yet with critical referents. There is the wonderful conception in Guattari's work of the role of arts in the existential Territory (one of the four-quadrants). Perhaps, CSIIE can find this paper as a nuclei and strange attractor to bring us together more in the future.

Readers Warning: the Watson (2012) paper is not an easy read, it is very long, and it requires a good deal of postmodern tolerance (patience), and it also is filled with 'jargon' that can turn-off the best of us, especially if we aren't into Deleuze & Guattari (and their world of conceptual philosophy)--yet, if one let's that resistance go, for awhile, and reads into and beyond the words, and with the imaginary this paper evokes, I trust you will gain something important from it... but it will take time and commitment to even get past the Abstract. If nothing else, please read the Abstract.