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Dr. Don Trent Jacobs (Four Arrows)- Speaking to Dep. of Curriculum & Pedagogy at University of British Columbia Sept. 28/18

I encourage you to have a listen to an Indigenous activist/educator (and hypnotherapist) talk about the "indigenizing" of Education and the conclusion he has come to: that we (humanity) are not going to turn things around in the world--things will get very much worse--and, he talks of "courageous hopelessness" as the only sane and realistic optimism we ought to be accessing... rather than false hopes, illusions, of repair... At the end of the talk he goes into mass hypnosis and how to dehypnotize oneself from the culture of the Dominant worldview... he gives an example of how courage is different than fearlessness (his view). 

Note, Four Arrows is the person I have studied for over 10 years and recently 3 yrs ago began writing his intellectual biography, which is now published "Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows: The True Story of an Indigenous-based Social Transformer" (Peter Lang, 2018). Also, note, I obviously agree with much of what he says about fear, courage and fearlessness, but we also have our significant differences as well. 

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Fiction, Non-fiction Dialogue

THE FOLLOWING (fictional, non-fictional) DIALOGUE (and image above) is created by R. Michael Fisher,  July 21/18... because, he was bored one night! 

Q: Have you heard of the book published recently that features the 40+ years of teaching experiences of Four Arrows (aka Dr. Don Trent Jacobs)? It is written up in an intellectual biography by Dr. R. Michael Fisher and specifically focuses on the teachings Four Arrows, an Indigenous-based educator-activist, has gained from studying and applying professionally many things from hypnotherapy to wild horse training, high-level sports coaching, and teaching in general. Four Arrows gains most of his wisdom from Nature and what he calls the ‘old ways’ of the Indigenous worldview.

A: Yes, I heard of the book. I’ve met Four Arrows many years ago and showed him my book.

Q: The emphasis of Fisher in the book is on seeing Four Arrows’ life and work through the lens of fearlessness. Fisher, a 40+ year teacher himself, from diverse backgrounds, connected over 11 years ago with Four Arrows and noted that “Fear” was a major topic in Four Arrows writing and teaching—and, that’s rare for any educator that he’s read or known.

A: Yes, “Fear” is potentially a powerful force.

Q: Fisher decided with Four Arrows to entitle the book: Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows: The True Story of an Indigenous-based Social Transformer.

A: Now in my 60s and having had a lot of wilderness experience, I can't say that I've ever become fearless. I'm not even sure that's a goal for me any longer.

Q: Do you think becoming fearless is a goal for a lot of people?

A: I don’t know. On first glance it seems like a cool ideal—or some kind of ideal of youth.

Q: I have noticed “fearless” is used for branding all kinds of things these days, from hair and cosmetic products for women to you name it. Indeed young people are most attracted to the idea of it. It does seem a cool word in popular culture. Four Arrows and Fisher have something much more subtle in mind in how they use the term, and they actually use it in multiple ways, depending on the context.

A: As I mentioned, I can’t say that I’ve ever become fearless and I have no desire to attain it. Rather, fear seems to be part of my inner weather and as long as I have a self, I suspect I'll experience fear.

Q: Oh, I see. Do you ever imagine...

A: Actually, rather than becoming free of fear or conquering it, I work to learn to live with fear and to pay attention to what it has to teach me.

Q: So, you disagree with Four Arrows and Fisher? Have you read their book?

A: No, I haven’t. I’m just saying what’s right for me. I am not interested in becoming free of fear or conquering it.

Q: I’ve read their book, and they don’t talk about that. They have 80+ years of combined experience and concentrated study on the topic of fear and fearlessness. They actually define “fearless engagement” as something more than mere behavioral action of being without fear feelings or...

A: Yeah, well whatever. I know what’s right for me. Rather than becoming free of it or conquering it, I work to learn to live with fear and to pay attention to what it has to teach me.

Q: I’ve read your book on wilderness experiences and you write a fair amount about your fears at times.

A: Yeah, I do.

Q: And, I notice you teach courses on your book.

A: Yeah, I do.

Q: So, you really don’t see anything you are curious in about Four Arrows’ and Fisher’s expertise on this topic of fear to fearless(ness)?

A: I don’t believe there are experts; we all have our own inner-expert and all we have to do is learn to listen to it.

Q: Seems like you already know what you need to know about fear and fearlessness.

A: I don’t need another book to tell me... ah, fear teaches me, and so does Nature... it works.

Q: Basically, Four Arrows and Fisher say the same thing you are, they just have a more complicated understanding of Fear and therefore Fearlessness in quite interesting ways.

A: Uh, ha. I’m not that interested in complicating things that are really simple.

****

[Note: the above dialogue was inspired by an actual email correspondence with a very bright person (see A: parts)... and slightly modified to create a narrative story; the theme of this dialogue is something that RMF finds more than a little annoying but real and repetitive in his experience for decades on this planet]  

 

 

 

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Fisher's New Book Released

 

This book is now AVAILABLE  

See also book trailer video

"I'm reading the book Michael. It is really amazing ....a truly wonderful piece of work that I think will withstand the test of time. Well done indeed." -Beatrice [1]

AMAZON Books Reviews: 

Luke R. Barnesmoore
October 10, 2018
Format: Paperback
 
 
Harriette
5.0 out of 5 starsA remarkable story
October 11, 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Thom Hartmann
5.0 out of 5 starsBrilliant - an amazing story about an amazing guy
October 10, 2018 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
 
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Other Book Endorsements:  

“This book tells the story of one of the leading Indigenous educators in North America. I have known Four Arrows for many years and am delighted that his journey and contributions are presented in this timely book. In these difficult times his journey can inspire us to live fearlessly.— Jack Miller, Ph.D. Curriculum Studies OISE author of Educating for Wisdom and Compassion 

...”a wide-ranging exploration of fearlessness examines the life and work of Four Arrows through the lens of Fisher’s synthesized philosophy of fearism/fearlessness. It helps address the most urgent questions facing our generation today...”. - Jeff Nixa, J.D., Author of The Lost Art of Navigation

“As a Cree Sun Dance Leader who well knows my brother Four Arrows, I highly endorse Dr. Fisher’s insightful description of his courageous activism and how it represents a key virtue represented by Indigenous Peoples the world over.” – White Standing Buffalo, Métis Elder, Sundance Chief and Storytelling author of What Life is All about

The author shows how Four Arrows understands the complementary forces of Western and Indigenous cultures....”— Howard Teich, Ph.D. Author of Solar Light, Lunar Light

“Fisher has selected as his focus the life of a remarkable man, Four Arrows, a beacon of hope in an era of confusion and fear. Fisher carefully and expertly explains some of Four Arrows’s most important contributions to understanding the path toward Fearlessness. He reminded me why Four Arrows's work has moved me so greatly and why everyone should know him. Fisher's book is an excellent introduction to the man and his insights, and an inspiration for those committed to helping humanity return to its potential.”— Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Notre Dame. Author of Embodied Morality: Protectionism, Engagement and Imagination; 2017 recipient of the Expanded Reason Award for Research, and co-Director of Notre Dame’s 2.6 million dollar “Self, Motivation, and Virtue” initiative.

 Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows The True Story of an Indigenous-Based Social Transformer

In these times of cascading global crises it is past time for us to re-evaluate the dominant worldview that has brought us to the point of likely extinction. As a species we need to re- embrace the worldview that guided us for 99% of our history on this planet and re-learn our “original instructions” from wisdom of our ancient ancestors and from the surviving Indigenous Cultures who still know how to live in harmony with the Natural Order. Acting on this holistic understanding may bring us beyond our individualistic egos and collective illusions that are cast forth like chains via the hegemony that manipulates our fears so as to allow the rulng elite to gain control of all.

Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows offers strong ‘medicine’ for the reconstruction of a healthy, sane, and sustainable future for all of life on this precious planet. Utilizing an “intellectual biography” of Four Arrows (aka Dr. Donald Trent Jacobs) and presenting a picture of his courageous life through true stories, Dr. Fisher creates a powerful adventure into the firey philosophy, activism, and emancipatory inspirations of one of the world’s great visionary educators and social transformers.

Through a number of Four Arrows’s unique experiences including firefighting, white-water kayaking, wild horse training, world-class athletic competitions, and counter-cultural activism, Four Arrows has become a connoisseur of fear and courage. This book shows how he walks a universal ethical path of Fearlessness at a time when too many remain trapped by their fears. This is a text for all people but especially useful for teachers across all grades and disciplines. Study questions encourage dialogue to help students overcome fears in service of helping to transform the world with their own "fearless engagement."

This book offers 15 teaching stories provided by Four Arrows about his life adventures, activism, and professional work as a holistic-Indigenous educator. The book is contextualized within the challenges of our times and the need for learners to examine best how they may re-evaluate and transform the Dominant [Westerm] worldview that has proven unsustainable to life on this planet. Fisher and Four Arrows dialogue at the end of each part of the book with fresh insights and honesty, including self-critique. This book will serve well for students in high schools, colleges and universities in the many disciplines where understanding about courage, fear and fearlessness can be integrated into the curriculum.

CHAPTER CONTENTS

Opening Prayer – by White Standing Buffalo
Foreword: On Being a Warrior – by Shirley Steinberg
Preface
Introduction

PART I FEARLESS

1 Fearless Waters Deep

2 “Walking a Path of Harmony”

3 Radicalization of a Moralist

Part I Study Questions & Practices

PART II FEARLESSNESS

4. CAT-Nature as Compassionate Gifting 

5. Dancing In/With the Spirit of Fearlessness 

Part II Study Questions & Practices

PART III COURAGE(OUS)

6. Radical Honesty: Harnessing the Magic of Fear

7. Befriending the “Gift of Fear”

Part III Study Questions & Practices

PART IV BRAVERY

8. The Bronco and the Boat

Part IV Study Questions & Practices

EPILOGUE - by Four Arrows

INDEX

About the Author

R. Michael Fisher has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and a Masters of Adult Education from The University of British Columbia. He is a former schoolteacher, youth worker and family therapeutic counselor. His service includes liberation work as a facilitator, presenter, artist, fearologist and independent scholar. He is founder of the In Search of Fearlessness Project and Research Institute (1989-). Fisher is author of hundreds of published articles, book chapters and monographs focusing on the topic of education, fear and fearlessness. His two prior books are leading-edge explorations: The World’s Fearlessness Teachings: A Critical Integral Approach to Fear Management/Education for the 21st Century (2010) and Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue (2016) (co-authored with Desh Subba). He is father of two adult children and has one grandson. He currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his artist wife and scholar Barbara Bickel.

Peter Lang Publishing Educational Series, “Counterpoints”

order@peterlang.com 1-800-770-LANG

 

Notes

1. Beatrice Jacobs, is the photographer of the portrait of Four Arrows (Don Jacobs) on the cover of the book, and she is Four Arrows wife. 

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[Image created from the book cover Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows, Peter Lang Publ. 2018; I added the details of the CAT and FAWN  components and 2-way arrows for this teaching blog version]

"SHAMANIC INTERVENTION(S)" a "Fearless Engagement" in a POSTMODERN ERA

You may have seen the prior blogpost re: my book on Dr. Don Trent Jacobs' (aka Four Arrows') life and work as an activist-scholar and Indigenous holistic educator. I framed the book as an intellectual biography. I did not want to only create a biography nor merely an abstract intellectual overview of a scholar. I aimed in the book for another layer of reality and meaning that to me was more important than mere biographic facts, stories, or intellectual interests. I was looking to gather all I could from Dr. Jacobs' (Four Arrows') experiences and thoughts, his activism and his teaching, and make a powerful summary of it all in light of the context of a better understanding of Fear and Fearlessness for myself and for all others who read this book. The synthesis of his life regarding how he has studied Fear and Fearlessness with my own work ought to create a 'new' curriculum or what I call a liberational 'fear' vaccine (process). We really need this on the planet today. 

It is rare indeed to find an educator who gives so much attention to the topic of Fear. What is 'new' as a synthesis in this book is really exciting to me and I trust others will also find this to be so, however, beneath the layers of the 'new' is something revealed that is very 'ancient' and dare I say, universal to the human struggle to find the best ways to be in relationship with Fear. The way he points us is not merely a "psychology of fear" and that is what makes this critical educator very unique. He is more transdisciplinary, like myself, in approaching this subject. 

It is thus a book all about a holistic-integral approach to fear management/education, a point I make in my own work, whereby, any attempts at bravery, courage, fearlessness, etc. are all attempts at some kind of fear management [1] and transformation. And, as Dr. Jacobs and I see it, we really need a better fear management on this planet today.

Ancient CAT-FAW/N Dynamics: A De-Hypnotizing 'Fear' Vaccine (Process)

So, the 'ancient' part is what I wish to briefly introduce here as it takes shape from Dr. Jacobs' life and work, especially as it comes throught the most important finding in his scholarship, as far as I am concerned, and that is the finding that concentration is core to the processes and outcomes of fear management of any kind. In the book I overview in the Introduction his CAT-FAW/N model [2] , which took him 15 years to develop (and it is still evolving). And CAT stands for Concentration Activated Transformation, according to Jacobs. FAWN stands for Fear, Authority, Word(s) and Nature. I have in detail described this in the new book but more accessible immediately is my interpretation of CAT-FAWN Connection theory in a blogpost [3], where I suggest his model/theory is a praxis of Fearlessness and thus is a praxis of what I would add to my list of 'Fear' Vaccines (processes) [4] in the liberation work that I design and teach. 

This 'ancient' part of Four Arrows' (Jacobs') model/theory/praxis is represented on the book cover image as four arrows (triangles) around his portrait. These represent the colors of the most common Medicine Wheel in several Indigneous cultures in North America (Turtle Island). The CAT is placed in the image on his brain as controlling centre of his senses, perception and ultimately of how and where he puts his attention--that is, his concentration. The concentration is depicted nicely in this portrait photo taken by his wife the photographer Bea Jacobs. So this gives a little backstory to what my latest image adaptation is about. The significant point I am making with this teaching image is that the book is not just about a man named by the Lakota Sioux in ritual initiation with their community but about a universal context of the ancient Medicine Wheel--whereby, I believe this book has "good medicine" to offer a very ill modern and postmodern (Western) society, and, perhaps beyond that to the world.

My point, is that Four Arrows the man ought not to be the center focus of the book (only). That's only part of the picture. There is another layer of center focus that I bring out in the book and that is the "four arrows" as "four directions" as "four colors" (vibrations) --and, thus acting as an orienting model/theory/praxis as 'Fear' vaccine process. I took the liberty in creating this image to name the four colors and directions as Fear, Authority, Word(s) and Nature following the Jacobsian model. My interest is that readers and viewers will re-interpret the book's cover and this teaching image. I want them to see that the book is about the "fearless engagement" of "four arrows" and thus, of CAT-FAW/N itself. What does it mean to bring a context of "fearless engagement" [5] as a referent notion to the study of fear management/education, to Fearlessness, to the Jacobsian model? 

The de-hypnotizing component of the CAT-FAW/N model is based on many experiences in Four Arrow's life. It is also a professional and scholarly attained model, tested over the past few decades. Yet mostly, of interest to me right now is that it is a model that comes from the ancient (living and non-living) 'Ancestors,' a point I make in the Introduction of the book and which I have described in detail to some degree in De-Hypnotizing Technology blog on Four Arrows' work and my research on his work. He is a trained health psychologist, hypnotherapist and high-performance athletic coach for many clients. That's where he learned many things, including from his training free-roaming horses and competitions with them. But lest it not be forgotten that he learned his most powerful lessons on the origin of the CAT-FAW/N model from his Near Death Experiences and study and work with shamans in remote Mexico [6] and how he was transformed. He has been rightfully reluctant to call himself a "shaman" though he has not totally rejected association of his work with shamanic elements over the years [7]. 

At one level, I see much of the analogous relational transformative learning in Carlos Castaneda with shaman/warriors (e.g., Don Juan Matus) in his series of (non-fiction fictional) books in the 1970s-80, as with Four Arrows and Augustin Ramos. I think anyone reading my new book on Four Arrows will find it mystical at times as well as very pragmatic, logical and grounded. The diversity of areas and methodologies covered in this new book is enormous. However, the core of it is all about fear management/ education, about Fearlessness as a path and a standpoint of "fearless engagement" as the premise of how Four Arrows' comes to move in the world and teach. He clears the way of all dogmatism, and religion, of rules and regulations and any arrogance of "fearless" on this path. It is available, he suggests, to all who are capable and willing to pursue to knowing Fear better--to becoming "connoisseurs of Fear" as he says. CAT-FAW/N model and theory provides a way of engaging the "four arrows" of the "good medicine" required as we reassess our Dominant worldview in the context of a resurgence of the Indigenous worldview. All that is covered in the new book. 

If I have communicated effectively in this blog, I'll be heartened by those readers who do not take this as a book about "Four Arrows" only but about "four arrows" and the study of Fear and Fearlessness within a de-hypnotizing process. I have included in the prior blogpost the initial Introduction of Four Arrows' near clinical assessment of mass hypnosis that humanity is suffering right now (especially, those non-Indigenous and Indigenous moderns and postmoderns disconnected from the "old ways" of pre-point of departure worldview and values). This new book is all about assessments, diagnoses and interventions. Agree with them or not, my aim as author is to present them in interesting ways and to provoke further dialogues--and, yes, if we can find enough agreements on the assessment then we can find new ways to make holistic-integral interventions in the Fear Problem on this planet. 'Fear' vaccines are going to be very useful, and CAT-FAW/N is one of the most powerful, that, I have come across, no doubt. Indeed, still a good deal of work and development is required to make it even more efficacious to more kinds of people, leaders and organizations.  

 

Notes:

1. See, for e.g., 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/Rowman & Littlefield.

2. I have taken Jacob's original model from his dissertation and 1998 book Primal Awareness and recently modified it with the /N for the Nature aspect which I believe is distinctly different in order of reality from F A W, and thus the /N signifies the entire model is underlain by Nature and comes from Nature as source. A few years ago he agreed with my adapted version, though he himself has not used it in his publications. 

3. See CAT-FAWN explained and another FM blogpost on "Indigenizing" Fearlessness

4. Re: prior writing on 'fear' vaccines see my FM blogpost 6 'Fear' Vaccines (book in progress). CAT-FAW/N is a 7th 'Fear' Vaccine recently added to the repertoire. 

5. In the book I make a comparable, parallel, case that "fearless engagement" for Four Arrows' is analagous (in part) to my own "fearless standpoint theory" which I believe is essential to better analyze fear management/education going on now and in the past and how to improve it substantially for the future. See Part 1 : FEARLESS, of the new book. 

6. I utilize here (and in the book) "shaman(ic)" with a due cautionary of contemporary (white man) mis-appropriations of these terms and traditions within an Indigenous context. I believe Four Arrows' has truly made a good effort for several decades to ensure his is not mis-appropriating (colonizing) the very Indigenous worldview he promotes at great length as a recognized Indigenous educator. Which doesn't mean that some Indigenous people and others have not criticized his approach and his mixed-blood heritage and background which is (potentially) inadequate to make him a "spokesperson" of the "Indigeneity" he teaches. I (as White guy) have followed the tracks of Four Arrows' careful situating of any of these Indigenous terms as best I can. I cover this problem in the new book, as does Four Arrows' in many of his writings. "Shamanic" however is still something very useful to understanding some of the phenomena Four Arrows and I discuss in the idea of CAT-FAW/N and de-hypnotizing technologies. He tracks out how the Indigenous Peoples, often had an intuitive sense of this de-hypnotizing as lived process, even though, apparently they have never written it down as a de-hypnotizing technology or theory or model as Four Arrows has. Clearly, beyond his scholarly naming and associating his name with this CAT-FAW/N dynamic, he'd be the first to declare it is not his model per se or anyone's but it belongs to Nature, to All Relations and to All Histories. He documents anthropologically (and otherwise) his experiences with shamans amongst the Raramuri Peoples of remote Mexico in the 1980s-90s, and especially of the 104 year old Augustin Ramos a most well respected shaman that he worked with there. This true story can be found in his dissertation and book that came from it, Primal Awareness: A True Story of Survival, Transformation, and Awakening with the Raramuri Shamans of Mexico (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1998). 

7. See his slide show video of his remote Mexico adventures and learning re: "Shaman's Message" on Youtube, as one example; his writing makes the connections continually re: the orgin of the CAT-FAW/N "vision" (shamanic-like and/or mystical) in a heightened state of altered consciousness when amongst Nature and the presence of shamans. My interpretation is that CAT-FAW/N theory is shamanically-imbued and offered to the world from the 'Ancestors'--a further explanation of this categorizing of his theory is in the new book. I treat CAT-FAW/N as a transpersonal "transmission" of teachings with all the shamanic overtones and undertones that I believe require due acknowledgement. I also respect that Four Arrows himself avoids any such direct suggestion of such. My assessment is my own based on studying his work and communicating with him, off and on, for the past 10 years. 

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Book Cover- [photo of Four Arrows by Beatrice Jacobs]

I  would like to share with you my new book soon to come out in July, 2018 (New York: Peter Lang). For an advanced look at the book's content see a short book video trailer and the FE brochure 2018.pdf (4 pp) I created here. Four Arrows (aka Dr. Don Trent Jacobs) is an FM ning member. Feel free to pass on these promotional materials to your networks and those you feel would be interested. Thanks.

I'll be writing more about this book on the FMning in future blogs. I'll leave you with one excerpted quote by Four Arrows (interviewed by me) from the book: 

"In my mind, this mass hypnosis syndrome, I now call Trance-based Learning (TBL) gone awry, is the only explanation that makes sense of how modern educated societies, especially, have rationalized their technologies of domination, their polluting of their own nest, and their addictions to ways of life that paradoxically destroy Life. My own vision of rehabilitation from this destructive path is that Fear and courage concepts are essential to understand as they drive learning and development in a 'good way' or 'bad way'....I offer an intentional transformation learning theory and critical praxis as an initiative to build a society and world that is able to resist and reconstruct current hegemonic fear-conditioning--the latter, which has unfortunately become 'normal' socialization--a 'culture of fear.'" (p. 2)

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Four Arrows & Protecting Rights: New Video

Four Arrows - video still - SPAGO 2017 23 4Arrows 

Four Arrows (aka Dr. Don Trent Jacobs), an FM member recently sent me a short 4 min. SPAGO video of his activist work and philosophy: "I think fear is the biggest deterrent of both happiness and talent," he remarks in the 2017 film. This is definitely worth watching, and a fine production for which Amnesty International is now using this in their pr work.  

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Fear plays such an important role in our ways of connecting with all reality, and mostly with other creatures we share this planet with--and, of course with ourselves. Here is a good teaching video on the way to work with Fear and hypnotic processes, led by Four Arrows (who I am writing a book on at this moment)... enjoy, -M.
"Over the years a number of you have asked about my old days of wild horse training and most have not seen this 7 minute television special with host Richard Hart. Hearing of my work with wild BLM horses, we arranged for me to bring in a wild horse from Nevada and filmed me getting on its back and hypnotizing Richard to overcome fears and approach the mustang. Please share with others as my work with wild horse teachers is what led me to realize that all of us have the telepathic ability to communicate love and trust out into the world with any and all living things. Don’t laugh if you don’t recognize me in this 1981 [actually c. 1984] copied video", says Four Arrows (June 17, 2017)
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As some of you know, I am close to finishing the first draft of a book ms. on the life and work of Four Arrows (aka Dr. Don Trent Jacobs), a mixed-blood Irish-Cherokee critical (Indigenous-based) holistic educator and activist. At age 71, Four Arrows has a lot of true life-adventure stories to tell and this book I'm writing with his assistance has 15 teaching stories, following the Indigenous pedagogy format of using stories as ways of learning, knowing and passing on wisdom. The initial title for the book is Fearless Engagement in the Life and Work of Four Arrows: An Indigenous-based Social Transformer (to be published likely in 2018 by Peter Lang: New York). The reality is that this is an intellectual biography with an emphasis on my doing a fearanalysis [1] of Four Arrows' experiences and writing.

Image 1  Four Arrows (much younger) with his 'wild' mustang (Brioso) training for the Olympics

Four Arrows is a prolific athlete, eco-social activist and writer with some 20 books and hundreds of articles. He's won many honors among them the Martin Springer Moral Courage Award and he was chosen as one of the top 27 AERO Visionary Educators. He is frequently asked to be a presenter and guest lecturer around the world. His main teaching is that humans have not nearly reached their highest potential. He has developed many approaches and techniques to assist that process. He is very critical of the general way humans are socialized (e.g., in North America) to be unfit and adopt life-styles that are unhealthy. As well, in the last three decades he has studied and adopted the American Indigenous traditional ways of teaching/learning and living as wisdom, that he works to help protect, preserve and bring to the general non-Indigenous populations [2]. Controversial as his life and work has been, including his own re-conceptualizing of "Indigeneity" [3], I heartily support his overall project and see it as an important up-grade of fear management/education on this planet as well as a specific complement to expanding critical pedagogy/theory [4].

In that sense, he is an avid interpreter of the 'old ways' of Indigenous but also many traditions of spirituality. His own version of analysis for his "point of departure theory" tells of a time when our human ancestors were "relatively harmonious and healthy" living via a "Nature-based existence" that was non-anthropocentric, non-hierarchical and non-dominating. He identifies a "Dominant worldview" that began 9-10,000 years ago when "some humans chose to disregard the old [traditional] ways" that were ecologically in harmony with the environment [5]. He argues we are on the brink of extinction and today we have to re-integrate the best of the Indigenous worldview with the best of the Dominant (e.g., Western) worldview. In that sense, I have followed his work since 2007, because of my interest in "Two-Eyed Seeing" (http://www.integrativescience.ca/Principles/TwoEyedSeeing/) as a way of bringing together conflicting worldviews as part of conflict transformation and syntheses of ways to analyze and solve the biggest (most "wicked") world problems. You may know, I happen to think the global Fear Problem is no. 1. Four Arrows brings a lot of intriguing experience and research to this problem, and so I have appreciated our working partnership, off and on, since 2007. 

Image 2 Four Arrows (today) [photo: courtesy of Beatrice Angela Jacobs]

In the mainstream, academia and in Education generally, Four Arrows is, unfortunately, relatively unknown, although in some circles of critical theory, Indigenous (worldview) Studies, holistic education and character education he is well-known. He is currently professor in the School of Leadership Studies at Fielding Graduate University, California (15 years service). My task is to make him more known, but in particular, to focus on bringing forth a better understanding of his major discovery from an NDE (near death experience) and spiritual vision in 1983, verified by research and spiritual leaders of the region [6], in a remote canyon in Mexico--that is, his vision (theory) named CAT-FAWN Connection.

This blog is a very condensed version of his explication of this theory/praxis, a form of 'fear'-vaccine, Fearlessness and fear management/education, in which it can best be described as a de-hypnotizing technology [7]. I'll explain that shortly. The book Fearless Engagement offers more detail, and you can find other publications by Four Arrows and/or myself that give background on the theory/praxis of CAT-FAWN Connection [8].

CAT-FAWN Connection: De-Hypnotizing Technology for the 21st Century

Doing a fearanalysis of Four Arrows' experiences and writing is a complex venture, to say the least. The new book is quite a wild ride and I have learned a good deal from the experience of writing my first biography. I have also been continually inspired by Four Arrows' life and work. I find it a refreshing critique of the mainstream and Western history and current globalization problematics as well as the common ways we understand Fear and courage (i.e., fear management/education). He brings unique combinations of life-experience and professional study together. Fear management/education is truly going to get an up-graded booster from his work, particularly his unique notion of becoming a "connoisseur of Fear" [9] and CAT-FAWN. So, let me give you a quick sense of CAT-FAWN, without all the details of his original vision and the 15 years it took to finalize the theory/praxis. I preface this explanation as not the exact way Four Arrows may describe it, and I am an admitted total amateur in CAT-FAWN practice and/or in hypnotherapy overall. I do have a cognitive and intuitive understanding of it and I expect many of us readers will intuitively use CAT-FAWN technology more or less (usually, only in part) without even knowing it.

According to Four Arrows, CAT-FAWN is a metaphor, "a new theory of mind" and metacognitive mnemonic that tells of a predator (CAT) and its potential prey (FAWN) operating with the joint (dialectic) bonding of a hyphenated form; this indicates a basic integration of opposites in a complementarity--the latter, being a foundational principle of the Indigenous worldview (and harmony) as he has written about. The CAT portion stands literally for Concentration Activated Transformation. This refers to a heightened state of consciousness/awareness, which can be induced by many stimuli (situations), for e.g., meditation, dreaming, and/or a shock, etc.).

Fear (and/or trauma) is a big cause of CAT as well. Because of his long training as a hypnotherapist, Four Arrows (like the Indigenous Peoples of the 'old ways' in pre-point of departure times, especially) knows that when people are in CAT they are in a light-to-heavy "trance." At this time, the human brain (which includes other-than-humans as well) is hard-wired to attend with extra-sensory awareness to the subtle and gestalt realities of one's self and surroundings and does so initially, virtually unconsciously. It's a healthy preparatory state of action, for e.g. fight-flight reaction among others--all intended for good Defense Intelligence operations [10] and ultimately survival strategies if needed. Instinct and primal awareness are core to CAT and so is hypnosis and/or "trance-based learning" (Four Arrows' latest label for this phenomena). We are heightened for (transformative) learning in CAT.

The problem, Four Arrows notes, is when we enter a CAT state without noticing or knowing we are so, and what is causing it.Thus, if largely unconscious to CAT we are highly susceptible to "inputs" from the environment that may condition us, that is hypnotize us and implant "messages" that are harmful to us. These trance-based learned messages, even if unconscious and subliminal, are deeply memorized and held in the nervous system, so goes the theory of hypnosis. The quick example, is when a parent first scares a child, say by yelling at them unexpectedly with anger, creating a CAT in the child, and then tells the child they are stupid. It is unfortunately so common. We also have the equivalent of this fear-based conditioned (trance-based) learning happening in societies as a whole, e.g., the media showing images of the 9/11 towers being on fire and collapsing and so on. Then media and presidents give "messages" (e.g., propaganda) when we are in shock state--this is now a cultural trance. Messages driven into our systems by these means are very difficult to change and worse yet, the 'bad' messages continue to influence our mood and behavior for a life-time in some cases. There has to be a rehabilitation "program" of conscious de-hypnotizing going on, which involves first better managing the hypnotic messages implanted and, second, learning a de-hypnotizing technology (e.g., CAT-FAWN) that would offer a way to re-circuit the early learned messages. Also, new positive messages can be put in place when in a state of CAT. So, you would learn how to bring about CAT and/or how to recognize it when it occurs spontaneously in daily life. 

Remember, in this teaching by Four Arrows' on CAT-FAWN, there is both new scientific information, clinical knowledge and ancient Indigenous wisdom combined. Again, with limited space in this brief summary, let's move on to the other half of the "formula"--FAWN. Literally, F = Fear, A = Authority, W = Word(s) (and music) and N = Nature. This stands for what Indigenous Peoples of the 'old ways' always knew were "four major forces" that shape our lives, for good or ill (depending on our awareness and management of them). Fear is taken as very primal in both inducing CAT and joining with CAT (e.g., CAT-Fear) as a powerful two-some able to bring about "courage" as a virtue (for e.g.) or to bring about "panic" and "irrationality" as a vice (for e.g.). Great character/values are built on the former, and shabby destructive values built on the latter. To reach our highest human potential(s) one has to learn to manage CAT-Fear well--without doing so, this can undermine all the good ways of the other three major forces. Authority is very powerful because it can use Words (for e.g.) to hypnotize. Humans, as a social species, are particularly hard-wired through evolution to "follow" authority (dominant) individuals, groups, organizations, nations, ideologies. So, one has to be very aware when in CAT of their relationships going on via CAT-Authority and CAT-Word.

The last of the major forces of the de-hypnotizing technology is most foundational to the entire CAT-FAW complex, and I prefer to write this formula (theory) as CAT-FAW/N. Which is saying that the common denominator and most influential factor is N = Nature [11]. It is the most benign of the forces. I won't go into all those reasons but many of us know how powerful it can be to connect with Nature when we are "off-center" or "hurting" and or "terrified" by the human world. The Natural world, in general, is our "Mother" (Source) for earthlings. Today some groups of modern people know this, as well as the Indigenous Peoples of this planet that have lived in relative harmony with Nature for 99% of human evolution, which is the basic premise of Four Arrows' theory and work overall. 

The summary is, we are easily hypnotized, and when FAWN are utilized in 'good' (positive) ways for recovery, healing, transformation, then we grow and mature as healthy and sane humans. When FAWN are made meaning of and utilized in 'bad' (negative) destructive ways for control, order, manipulation tactics etc., then we shrink and stay immature and very dubious creatures with seemingly only self-centered interests and a relative floating and undependable moral compass. Four Arrows knows we can do better than fall "victim" to hypnotic trance-based learning of ill-intent especially. We may get "caught" but then catch ourselves, and use the CAT-FAWN mnemonic to recall what we need to do to unravel any potential destructive hypnosis going on, consciously or otherwise. It is not paranoid, I don't think, nor does Four Arrows, to assume that most leaders of the Dominant worldview already well-know how to control and manipulate by creating CAT and using FAWN negatively with it (e.g., propaganda).

We now have the de-hypnotizing technology in CAT-FAWN to make our own history, to decolonize and de-hypnotize our minds! The first step, is to realize this may be a good thing to try to learn and implement. Believe you me, both Four Arrows and i know, people often "get it" how CAT-FAWN works more or less, but there are massive programs in place in the mind and culture-at-large (e.g., modern Western societies) that resist learning this technology. Personally, I know how many years I resisted (unconsciously) learning what Four Arrows was teaching in CAT-FAWN Connection. I mean years, and that's a confession that comes from one who is deeply interested in fear management/education and I knew F stood for Fear in his formula. Let it be a lesson...

Notes

1. "Fearanalysis" is a methodology I have been working with since the mid-1990s. For more details on its basic composition see for e.g., Fisher, R. M. (2012). Fearanalysis: A first guidebook. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute; also, an upcoming book is underway A general introduction to fearanalysis: Putting the culture of fear and terror on the couch.

2. He has carefully researched Indigenous scholarship, lived and worked with Indigenous communities, practiced sacred rites with Indigenous communities (e.g., Sun Dance) and has dialogued on this contentious issue: who has the right to claim "Indigeneity" and/or even if that is a term that ought to be used? He has many supporters in Red and White (and Mixed) camps--and, some distractors against his approach. Basically his understanding of "primal awareness" is core to Indigeneity, and if we all track back far enough we'll find our Indigeneity connections (primal awareness as "instincts")--so, in that generic sense, we are all Indigenous.That said, he (like myself) is very respectful of the distinct Indigenous cultures and their value and in no way does he wish to 'speak for them' and/or collapse their histories, lives and teachings into only one summative functional generalization of Indigeneity or Indigenous. See any of his recent books in which he directly address these issues and his current stance.

3. For e.g., see Four Arrows (aka Jacobs, D. T.) (with England-Aytes, K., Cajete, G., Fisher, R. M., Mann, B. A., McGaa, E., and Sorensen, M.) (2013). Teaching truly: A curriculum to Indigenize mainstream education. New York: Routledge.

4. See Fisher, R. M. (2017). Critical philosophy, theory and pedagogy need an upgrade. FM ning April 11, 2017.

5. Four Arrows (aka Jacobs, D. T.) (2016). Point of departure: Returning to a more authentic worldview for education and survival. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing

6. Four Arrows arrived at this finding in a sacred initiation process over many years. His primary teacher was Augustin Ramos, a 104 yr old Raramuri shaman and other Tarahumara spiritual leaders and/or shamans that Four Arrows met during his dissertation research in remote Mexico have passed on a lineage teaching of which is sacred (see Jacobs, 1998) and is not to be only taken as some invention of Four Arrows or anyone else. I take this teaching and responsibility for it as an ancestral lineage of which is not merely a secular theory/praxis. In this sense I acknowledge the ancestors and the privilege it is for me to work with this lineage Four Arrows has shared so intimately with me over the years.

7. I appreciated Dr. Barbara Bickel for discussions on Four Arrows work, where she coined this term in regard to Four Arrows' work. See also a book review of Four Arrows' latest book Bickel, B. (20

8. For e.g., see his first major book gives the best description: Jacbos, D. T. (1998). Primal Awareness: A true story of survival, transformation, and awakening with the Raramuri shamans of Mexico. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions; see also his latest book Four Arrows (2016); see also Fisher, R. M. (2016). Four Arrows: His philosophy, theory, praxis and pedagogy. Technical Paper No. 62. Carbondale, IL: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute. 

9. Originally Sam Keen coined this word and Four Arrows had talked with Keen back in the 1990s and has since modified Keen's conceptualization to include an Indigeneous-based perspective where we learn to be connoisseurs of Fear from our ancient ancestors (living and non-living, human and other-than-human).

10. See my own writing on Defense Intelligence (in relation to Fear and fear management/education and fear management systems theory) in 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.

11. Recently, Four Arrows wrote in regard to my re-write of the formula "you [Michael] are a co-developer of it [now] as far as I am concerned.... love it and appreciate it and grant the modification whole-heartedly" (per. comm., Jun. 10/17).

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I have been re-reading Paulo Freire on "critical pedagogy" lately, as I was into it in my early 30s. I never leave this radical liberation model of education, of teaching and learning, with the "oppressed" in mind. And the oppressed, for Paulo Freire included the 'oppressors' as well because they are the worst case in being oppressed themselves by say "patriarchy" or any other name you want to give to the 'big bad problem' of domination-subordination (master-slave) relationality. I mean "worst case" because they are "blinded" by their power/privilege and thus enabled to "deny" they are oppressors and oppressed. They cause the worst damage to the whole system, not the typically identifiable "oppressed" and marginalized with very limited power/privilege in a society.

Finding A Fearlessness Center Again

I have an article about to come out soon in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy (Spring, 2017) on some of my challenges to the critical pedagogy schools of thought and discourse in regard to how they have not really gone after the big bad problem of oppression in the way I think they need to. That is, the schools of critical philosophy, critical theory and critical pedagogy have largely ignored (or only very partially) addressed the Fear Problem (which, I am also calling many other things, but an interesting term of late is "paranoiaic paradigm" that has to be addressed). Or, as I wish to put it on this blogpost, these schools of thought and education, of which Four Arrows (aka Don Trent Jacobs) is also very critical of and yet also applauds, have ignored the 'loss of a center' in the sense of loss of 'sanity' and an ethical reference point for it --by which he and I  mean a "Fearlessness Center." Yes, there has always been a Fearlessness center or core foundation of all living systems, Natural, Cultural and Spiritual--at least, so the theory goes. He uses the Indigenous worldview as his basis for re-finding that 'Center' and I use many traditions of thought, basically under the rubric of the Fearlessness Movement. We are going to produce a lot more systematic work on this in the years to come.

I am going to post one of Four Arrows' fascinating early diagrams (1998), CAT-FAWN Connection, attempting a holistic model to show the need for a "Center(edness)" in all curriculum, that can call itself ethical and/or liberational (see below). Lot's more to be discussed of course, as this model isn't totally self explainable nor is the "Fearlessness Center" he and I are now writing about in various ways and it will show up in our new book in 2018 Fearless Engagement (Peter Lang Publishers). Anyways, something to think about.

Reference: Jacobs, D. T. (1998). Primal Awareness: A True Story of Survival, Transformation, and Awakening with the Raramuri Shamans of Mexico. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.

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Becoming an Artist: Fearlessness Path

There are many ways to walk the path of Fearlessness, and one way, more or less, is that of art, artworking, arting, and becoming an artist in your own way. Four Arrows', from an Indgenous worldivew perspective wrote, one of the best ways to stay in touch with Nature, especially when you don't always have a lot of access to natural areas, is to "Become an artist. It is taken for granted among primal peoples that creativity is everyone's birthright. Art should not be the prize of the wealthy or the exclusive domain of a few 'gifted' individuals" (Jacobs, 1998, p. 240).

I have mentioned on the FM ning a few times, Bracha L. Ettinger, my favorite artist/theorist these days, and with Barbara, we are always learning from her work which I think is going to some day be seen with the equivalent impact Sigmund Freud had on the world. Matrixial theory, is Ettinger's main contribution, and there is an excellent new interview from Dec. 16, 2016 in the New York Times (if you can believe it)... wow, this is great to have reach the shores of North America, as she is best known in Europe so far. The title of the interview is "Art in a Time of Atrocity: Ettinger and Evans".

I see Ettinger's deep analysis essential to guiding a sanity path of Fearlessness through a world more and more dominated by Fear.

Reference

Jacobs, D. T. (1998). Primal awareness: A true story of survival, transformation, and awakening with the Raramuri shamans of Mexico. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.

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Here are a couple excepts from the Foreword(s) in Desh Subba and my new book Philosophy of Fearism: A First E-W Dialogue (forthcoming, Xlibris): 

             You are about to eavesdrop on a most important dialogue. Poetic, provocative and exciting, this engagement with “fearism” might also be, well, frightening. One thing that emerges from this radical conversation between the two most eminent fearologists in the world is that each of us must make vital choices that determine if and how we might escape the growing dangers that relate to our inability to manage fear effectively. And making such choices can be a scary proposition for many.

            What makes this text so valuable is not just the authors’ freewheeling, challenging thoughts that stem from years of contemplating their subject, but the fact that it is being discussed at all. Although people in most cultures know about the importance of courage, few have had the opportunity to learn how to employ it consistently and effectively. Dr. Fisher and Desh Subba offer reflections from two very different cultural orientations that can lead to our becoming “connoisseurs of fear,” (a phrase I once borrowed from the courageous author, Sam Keen (1999), for a chapter title in my 1998 book, Primal Awareness.) This book thus offers a unique break from the status-quo avoidance that surrounds the topic of fear, if one can muster the courage to tackle the subject. 

Four Arrows (Dr. Don Trent Jacobs)- Professor, School of Educational Leadership & Change, Fielding Graduate School, Sequim, WA

     

           In late 2014, Mr. Subba called me and informed me about Dr. R. Michael Fisher's (2014) Technical Paper 51. I became curious and read it. Really, it was amazing. My dreams  had come true, it was there. That paper was the first internationally supported document of Fearism, and fortunately very similar thought was now available coming from the West. I made many copies and distributed them among writers. Subba also sent copies to  N.E. India. Now, with the publishing of Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue, there is a very important blueprint for global fearism, built on friendship, philosophical exchange, and open-minded thinking about the Philosophy of Fearism as it moves through a new door to the wide world. This latest work is an excellent foundation for authors, scholars, students and philosophical lovers. I wish the book and its authors all the best. 

Dr. Tanka Prasad Neupane, Professor, and Chairman, Fearism Study Center, Dharan, Nepal

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