Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education

R. Michael Fisher
Futurist Challenge to "Retiring" Wise Educators: Alberta
by R. Michael Fisher - Saturday, March 14, 2015, 08:21 AM

While on this 6 mo. traveling sabbatical with my partner Barbara Bickel (SIUC), we've swept across W. Canada so far between Courteny, BC, Squamish and Vancouver, BC, and now are settling into 3 wks together in Calgary, AB. I'll be staying here for 3 mo.'s, which Barbara travels to London, Istanbul, Paris, Rome on research and explorations. My work is mainly doing artist-scholar and futurist residencies, which I may label differently at different times depending... in Calgary, it has been interesting returning to my home town and where I started the whole In Search of Fearlessness Project venture.

After 2 mo.'s of artist-in-residency work in BC, and some very positive validations of my offerings to individuals and communities (albeit, just in the 'seeding' stages), I am pursuing dreams and imaginings and intuitions in subtle field of experiences, whereby I am not willing to stay silence and passive and invisible, as long as I can help it. In other words, I return to Alberta, where I do really care about what happens here, especially in terms of the environment and education and society as a whole. I always thought Alta. had a real chance in the early to mid-80s to be an amazing leader for other provinces and for states and other places... in terms of futurist thinking and projects that were to transform this W. non-sustainable culture of fear. But my "impressions" of that possibility then have been largely dashed. But that is nothing new when one is a visionary traveling "off road" most of the time, or as some would say, traveling "ahead of the curve." Anyways, I decided to put out a challenging letter and invitation to a lot of "biggie" educators and others in Alberta now, many whom I respect and admired in my own learning days while living in Alberta (1952-98). I'd be glad to return here to, to work. So, here's the letter I sent out to 18 or so people, to see if they'll engage me and these questions... in the next 3 mo.'s while I'm here:



“I had the really clear insight tonight, sitting in a backyard of my friend’s place in N.E. Calgary, as the sun was setting, that after 44 years of activist work, not much significantly has changed in a healthy direction in Alberta’s society. I grew up cutting my teeth on the Human Potential Movement (E-W Integration), Indigenous-Nature-Loving Eco and Holistic Approaches, and a rather magical hope-filled vision of a ‘New Age’—all not too distant. I ended up in the post-9/11 world of neoliberalism and neoconservatism and a sense of disillusion. The problem that was so clear tonight, was that I believed in all that good stuff (partly) because I hadn’t really had a proper course in sociology, history, political science and philosophy… my teeth were sunk into the values and paradigm of psychology and spirituality. The latter two perspectives truly were distortive and have proved to be totally inadequate to deal with the kind of world I lived in in North America and its globalization and the realities of many crises in economics and environmental domains. We in the psychospiritual era of hope and vision are now shuttering under realizations of our inadequacy and a legacy of our own uncleaned up shadow (if not pathology), which Ken Wilber calls “boomeritis”-- it has many labels.” –R. Michael Fisher, March 13, 2015


We are entering an important transitional moment/movement in the history of contemporary life/education… it could be seen as a crisis of loss of wisdom… it could be seen as great potential for turnaround and a new freedom about to be unleashed… my questions are:


When all our elder, mature and wisest educators from the ‘boomer’ generation of human potential, holistic and environmental education retire (as I am witnessing in Alberta) what are we left with in the future of Alberta’s society?


Are these wisest educators going to fade away with much of their wisdom, to be left only in memories and published works? AND/OR will these educators, now free of the institutional constraints of their career paths begin anew…  a revitalized collaborative expansion of creative wisdom… beyond their careerist-ego needs… and form a truly emancipatory structure and process for carrying forth their work so it can be tapped ongoing by Alberta’s society and beyond… will these wisest educators share their learning with each other?... leave their ego’s at home… will they get together systematically to act as a counterhegemony to current trends in Alberta’s education systems?


What will all this look like… who will lead, when, where, and how... ?



furturist-activist-scholar-in-residence @ 188 Whitestone Cr., N.E., Calgary, AB