fear management (24)

The Fear Problematique: Fisher's New Book



A volume in the series: Studies in the Philosophy of Education. Editor(s): John E. Petrovic, The University of Alabama.

In Press 2023 and for sale: Information Age Publishing

The author, with over three decades of focused research on fear and fearlessness and 45 years as an emancipatory educator, argues that philosophy and philosophy of education have missed several great opportunities to help bring about theoretical and meta-perspectival clarity, wisdom, compassion, and practical ways to the sphere of fear management/education (FME) throughout history. FME is not simple, nor a luxury, it is complex. It’s foundational to good curriculum but it requires careful philosophical critique. This book embarks on a unique transdisciplinary understanding of The Fear Problematique and how it can be integrated as a pivotal contextual reference for assessing the ‘best’ way to go in Education today and tomorrow. Educational philosophy is examined and shown to have largely ‘missed the boat’ in terms of responding critically and ethically to the insidious demand of having to truly educate ourselves when we are so scared stiff. Such a state of growing chronic fear, of morphing types of fear, and a culture of fear, ought to be central in shaping a philosophy of fear(ism) for education. The book challenges all leaders, but especially philosophers and educators, to upgrade their own fear imaginary and fear education for the 21st century, a century of terror likely to grow in the cascading global crises.



CHAPTER 1: Introduction.

CHAPTER 2: Philosophy and a Fearturn.

CHAPTER 3: Education Philosophy 'Misses the Boat.'

CHAPTER 4: Fear(ism) as Philosophy: A Transformative Paradigm.

CHAPTER 5: Fear Management/Education for the 21st Century.

CHAPTER 6: Fearlessness as Educational Philosophy.

CHAPTER 7: Recommendations.

Glossary. References. Index.

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“Released some wandering mind thoughts.” -CB

Asynchronous Dialogue of R. M. Fisher With CB 

Fisher: Yes, I always appreciate it when someone writes a long and raw letter to me as part of our relationship of co-inquiry (loosely speaking) into the nature of life, reality, identity and what this world is all about. Then to dive into sharing about the investigations and mind wanderings into “fear” and “fearology is even more of a treat. In all my life studying fear, I have not met a more dedicated person to write back and forth with about fear than CB. CB is a much younger man than I. I met him in Calgary in 2019 or so when we lived just down the block from each other. I moved away in 2021, so our in close proximity relationship was short-lived, but we decided to write to each other whenever we felt the desire or need. CB writes more to me than I do to him, but I always respond. He appreciates just having a ‘space’ of nonjudgmental reception. I have been so impressed with his thinking and sincerity to know and improve his life and that of others around him, albeit, struggling with the great limitations of him being able to do either. His life is very much ‘on the edge’ as I see it and yet, he makes it through day by day. It astounds me that he will take on projects and often not finish them, then takes on more. He can even be a hoarder that way and that causes lots of problems.

At times I feel he is characteristic of someone slightly on the mild end of the autism spectrum, at other times I feel he is just an honest human and I really love having him in my life. Why wouldn’t I love his obsessiveness to learn. CB is the only person I know who has watched systematically in the last two years all of my 150 videos on my Youtube channel and most of which are on fear and fearlessness. He is a thinker and then thinks about thinking. He is a natural philosopher. Self-taught mostly, with no academic schooling beyond secondary education other than the school of life. Easily, he could do a masters or a doctorate degree if he was inclined and found the right department and field to go into. I’m not sure he cares much about that. He reads a lot and listens to a tonne of radio programs (day and night) that are about knowledge and ideas that really matter.

With that context, now I’ll turn to a bit our most recent exchange, which starts with identity as I consider this more important on one level than the discussion on fearology. Yet, fearology is where I think things really matter in our conversation and identity and fear are close twins, as you will see in my comments on his comments below. [note: I have excerpted with CB’s permission bits and re-arranged them slightly in this iteration of “some wandering mind thoughts”. Thanks CB. 


CB: So I took some time as I was writing through the night, now later this morning, to pull out Erik Erikson’s "Identity and the Life Cycle". Reading about the ideas of what I will call the donning and doffing of identity in a social context. The reconciling of self-identity with the social construction of identities within which we live. The acceptance and non-acceptance of individual self-identity within the socially acceptable identities, all of which are changing, submerging and re-emerging over time. I am thinking the donning and doffing is important in order to remain flexible to the changing landscape, socialscape. Seems important to not become too dependent on a particular clothing of identity. One can’t help notice, this societal moment of multiple crises, including identity, where so many seem to be seeking a simple(r) identity that will somehow solve the complexity in which we live. 

Fisher: Good snooping and sorting you are doing (like so many these days) around "identity" stuff, which is sounding fruitful, if not more and more complicated. My latest thinking is that we'd be all a lot better off (ha ha) if we saw ourselves as a community and hybrid of many others--a companion species with other species at all times (knowing it or not)--and, a posthuman perspective is I think the better way to go in general (much more in alignment with an Indigenous perspective)... or even that we are a diasporic identity I think is more realistic and as the world becomes under such pressures and so much 'movement' going on with immigrating and emigrating under climate change, wars and other tragedies-- we are all 'diasporic' in some sense--now, the question is, is that a good thing--it will really make one flexibly adaptable that's for sure-- a larger argument ('against') the grand search for 'home.' [some of the best thinking and writing on posthumanist identity comes these days from Bayo Akomolafe, and his Yoruba perspective as a black man and Nigerian now living in India and part-time in the USA; see his 2017 book, for e.g., These Wild’s Beyond Our Fences; he also has many talks on Youtube] 

The Problem With Fearologies

[as editor:] I start this off with my agreement with CB’s critique of one particular psychologist who called themselves a “fearologist” and has made some videos on “fearology” and attempting to legitimize it as a proper field of study and usefulness, but unfortunately they have not done their homework well. There may be other reasons as well for their lack of rigor on this topic. I start with my quickie reply to CB and then give his perspective which he came to about fearologies he was seeing out there on the Internet.

Fisher: First node response: [re: Dr. Mary Poppenroff] "It kind of doesn’t feel too integral to me." [CB was not impressed with Poppenroff’s interview] Yup, that was my experience listening to that same interview several years ago and reaching out as I have to Mary P. a few times to publish an article in the International Journal of Fear Studies, and other reaching out --but she has evaded me from the start pretty much. Ho hum... It was good to read your crit. to see I am not alone in what I've picked up about this so-called self-proclaimed "fearologist."  

CB: So here I am in the wee hours of the morning after spending my overnight wandering through a search of “Fearology” on the internet. I imagine you have done this before. I know you have - (by this I mean, doing a search of the term Fearology).

Staying up all night following random thoughts maybe a bit over-the-top, maybe not so much what I am referring to that you woud do. You say have done such a similar search in one of the website links that came up for me: 


Interesting to read through this document you wrote and published. “Integral Fearology: A study of the Fearology of Fearologies.” That helped me to see your work better when put that way.

So then I searched Fearology and read another of your pieces linked to above: "A Research Agenda To Legitimate The Study of ‘Fear’: Beginning Fearology 2000-2011." In there I read with a smile.  I wasn’t aware you have already done an interview with CBC radio’s host Shelagh Rogers, way back in 2004. I have been thinking for a while that there are quite a few CBC program’s which could/should explore your work.

Then I went through this two part series podcast (you are likely familiar): 


Very thankful that this podcast of host Alie Ward could be listened to at faster speeds. After going through so many of your YouTube videos this podcast interview with Mary Poffenroth seemed a bit superficial. Also I’m a bit disappointed they referenced one of your books at about the 3.20 mark but didn’t bother to reference you as the author. Doubly irritating given many references to various other people’s Youtube videos and such linked below their podcast on Allie Ward’s website, your work was not acknowledged. They could have at least put a link to your work! They also passingly say later around the 17.17 mark that most books Mary researched to become a fearologist were: ( 1) about extremes of fear or, were (2) more pseudoscience [thus Poffenroth was critical of their mis-informing people]. Maybe I am hearing that overly negatively, but neither of those categories describes your work. Not cool.

[the entire interview in summation:] Very psychological, and "fear as emotion," is the presumption throughout, or as Mary says "fear = stress, they are the same thing." At a few points along the way in the 2 hour or so of this series of talks, Mary describes herself as looking at fear in the more everyday experience and is not as interested in serious disorders, and that she sees herself as looking at fear in an integral way. It kind of doesn’t feel too integral to me.

Okay, I give some credit. There are some (maybe) useful ideas of her’s like RIA (Recognize, Identify, Address) individual fear, as a management approach. But it is for me a fairly limited treatment of things. Also, I’m not so enthusiastic about her idea about our fears (at an individual, emotional level) which can be so neatly categorized as being “factual” or “fictional.” I can see how she could build such categories but describing someone’s fear as being fictional might be problematic, or worst, demeaning.

As I just wandered here from my previous search of “the metaphor menu” and the whole problem associated with seeing living with a disease as a battle only, maybe I am more sensitive to seeing some fears as fictional and others as factual as maybe a not so ideal framimg. Then again, maybe our whole life is fictional. In way, maybe it is, so in a way maybe that is a factual part of life?

[Fisher: CB and I agree on this fuzzy boundary of fictional and factual, and the way they can get inflated with, respectively, abnormal and normal, of which btw is pretty much how all clinical professionals are heavily indoctrinated, and so it is not surprising to me a clinical psychologist type like Poffenroth would slide into the binaries of this study of fear(s) and build her theories and models upon that foundation—a very dubious one, and one that I do not promote in the true study called “fearology”]

CB: Towards the end of the second part of the series she did describe how difficult it can be to talk about fear, and with talking to colleagues about fear. That seemed to echo some of what you have talked about with regards to the tricky nature of fear and the difficulties in engaging people and academia in talking about and studying fear. So that part seemed to feel like a grappling with a more hidden aspect of fear that was otherwise somewhat absent in the series. At least the host Alie Ward used your work to make the claim that Fearology is a real word! More people who do that will make it so, perhaps. While she didn’t reference you properly, she did refer to your work and at the same time indirectly described you as an expert. The quote:

2.53 “Ward. Is Fearology a word?” . . .  3.20 “I looked it up and Fearology is, in fact, a real word, as it's been used in books about fear like: "Philosophy and Fearism - an East West Dialogue" [I initiated that book and was lead author, with my colleague from Nepal, Desh Subba] and a few other experts in stress and fear and anxiety use the word fearology so, I think it is a super critical field of study and thus I am throwing my weight behind making it an even realer, more commonly used word. Fearology. Let’s do this. Let’s talk about it," says Alie.

As I say I was glad I could listen mostly at 1.5 or 2x speed. I am a bit tired so maybe not as patient about this one. For a Dr. of status, I was not impressed with Poffenroth’s level of thinking on fear. I am sure she earned her Ph.D. She is well spoken and really does seem very versed in what she is describing. I also should be careful to not confuse her upbeat style with a stereotype of not being scholarly, but the ideas presented, which the host finds “mind-blowing,” do not seem to dig deeper into the nature of fear particularly. Her RIA idea kind of sums up her approach Recognize it, Identify it, Address it. And, I presume, move on from it. It is maybe ok at that level, but it seems limited to me now. Watching your videos appears to have me wanting more than I got here.

Then I ended my night of wandering the Internet, with the Fearology Centre page on the Apocatastasis Institute website.

Fisher: This is my latest ‘center within a center’ project, as I was invited by John Coleman, after he did an interview with me on his podcast on the topic of fear(ology) some months ago. This recent implant at the Apocatastasis Institute for the Humanities, is a humble initiative in the realm of alternatives in higher education. I look forward to working there as one of my sites of teaching/learning/activism in the world.

CB: At The Fearology Centerpage, I worked more or less from the bottom of the page to the top and ended with your video about "Education and Trust.” This video is very resonant for me. Hearing one of your favourite quotes from Albert Camus (1946) re: the 20 century will be “the century of fear” is a good one. I have heard you refer to this quote before. For whatever reason it sunk in deeper for me this time around. You describing it as an achievement for humanity maybe is what did it. 

You also talked about Erik Erikson which resonated partly because I have picked up some of his work previously and have also been interested in it. For me it is an extension/companion of Maslow's needs hierarchy. I guess I like to categorize things. More personally, the ideas around the fundamental aspect of mistrust vs trust, or fear vs love, kind of hit home for me.


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Here is a good article of practical application of how to teach basic fear management (emotional regulation) utilizing Nature (e.g., a bee colony in the classroom)

go to: https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2022/12/16/holiday-fund-bee-brave-program-teaches-kids-to-manage-fear?mc_cid=cfbb324ec1&mc_eid=67ddc82fe6

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Sheldon Solomon, social psychology on the aspects and changes in uses of TERROR MANAGEMENT. 


THE unconscious (existential) death anxiety we carry as an animal, like no other animal, leads to us doing some of the most horrific things imaginable--called 'evil' or what you will. Solomon gives this interview on some of his latest thinking about how he has understood the role of fear/terror over his 30+ year career. TMT (Terror Management Theory, draws on the cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker's work) is a profoundly interesting research trajectory. It is trying to understand the primary motivation of human behavior and how to turn it from its negative-toxic drivers towards how to bring in positive reminders that make people more tolerant (e.g., like humility, gratitude) etc. 

What you basically ought to know is that if YOU REMIND SOMEONE OF THEIR DEATH (e.g., a "threat" of the worst case scenario)... they ultimately act more kindly towards those who have the same values and worldview, and at more nastily towards others with different values and worldview. 

Likewise, their TMT research over the decades has shown that, for example, 

a) Americans on the whole didn't like George Bush Jr. that much as a leader, but when they were given reminders of their own death, their rating of Bush went up significantly--and, the same finding was true later when they researched Americans on Donald Trump Jr. 

b) when reminded of their own death, people generally do not like to think of themselves as an animal creature and likewise do not like Nature as much and will think and act more greedily towards the environment without regard of costs (e.g., use more non-renewable resources)

c) when there are pre-existing conditions, not necessarily diagnosed psychiatrically, after death reminders the intensity of those pre-existing conditions arise and become more intense: e.g., fear of snakes is exacerbated greatly, OCD people use more water and soap to hand wash, smokers smoke more, people go shopping more, alcohol drinkers want to drink more, and socially anxious people will spend longer in the 'closet' isolated 

These are just a few examples of some of the research. And, they have also shown people become more aggressive and violent in intent towards others different than themselves, when given a death reminder (even if it is given subliminally where they are not aware they are being reminded of their death). This is all powerful social psychology and tells us what? PEOPLE ARE highly impacted by the fear experience!!! --whether they know they are or not. "Death" just happens to be on the continue of fear experiences, and yes, somewhat extreme for sure. However, the implication of this research is that people are continually doing some sort of fear/terror management all the time--because they are unconsciously (at least) aware they are going to die. 

I have given only the very skeletal aspects of this theory, and I write about in my various publications and some other places on this FM ning. I have also long been a fan of the work of Ernest Becker (e.g., his Pulitzer Prize winning book in 1974 "The Denial of Death" and another I like is his 1968 "The Structure of Evil." 

To watch my FearTalk with Sheldon Solomon a few years back go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXzUhVTYdb8

It has long been my mission to co-ordinate a synthesis of TMT with my own Fear Management Theory. When I say: "You have fear, then you have more fear"--after a death prompt reminder, I am saying, you have more intensity of expressing the original level of fear in ways that are worse in terms of how you treat others (or even yourself)--and, the reality is this is not necessary if you are conscious of the effects of that "death threat" reminder. Now, comes the critical questions about fear management/education and how to turn this negative toxic reactivity around in other directions and/or to at least minimize it. I have suggested "fearlessness" and Solomon et al. are suggesting giving positive prompts like humility, gratitude and that research in their studies shows people are less negatively reactive following death prompts. So it mitigates things (as you'll hear in his talk in the 2021 video at the beginning of this blog). 


Like all theories and studies, there are problems. One good summary of research replication problems with TMT is: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/morbid-minds/202103/are-we-really-terrorized-thoughts-death

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This excerpt (first draft only) is a small piece to give you a sense of what I am 'onto' these days, especially in writing this tenth book (to be published later this year by Information Age Publishing, in their Philosophy of Education Series, Ed. Dr. John Petrovic) [1]. I have been working months and months, and it has been quite a ploughing the soil. Hard going at times. This Chapter Five took weeks to complete, as I just did this morning. Wow! It is by far the largest chapter in the book (coming in at a heavty 25,000 words itself, without the references). Yikes.

A number of fresh insights came from the writing that I could put into it, so that was good. It is never a boring writing because I risk all the time, on the edge of not knowing what I am doing and not creating chapter outlines. I just start writing. 

As always, I trust this bit of expository on fear will intrigue you to critique, to commnent, here on the FM ning. And/or you can always email me directly: 



1. Excerpt from Fisher, R. M. (in progress). The Fear Problematique: Role of Philosophy of Education in Speaking Truths to Power in a Culture of Fear. 

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Fear & Control

There's so many books and articles about fear, and emotions, etc. So many are similar and some are different, and often they tell contradictory things about fear. That's what I have found in my researching this subject for 32 years. Okay, here's a recent book review on amazon books re: a book self-published by G. M. Murrell (2016), called "Bone's in a Box: Fear and the Drive for Human Control." I share this not because I have read this book nor approve its approach necessarily--but I share it because here is another observer of human behavior, like myself, who has pretty much seen "fear" (as motivational patterning) is below all other major behaviors, emotions etc. It is fear that acts in ways to control... so here's the book review: 

Book Review by Kori Meltzer (Mar. 28, 2020) re: "Bones in a Box": 

I am not a psychoanalyst myself, yet I found the author’s beliefs about fear and control to be true as they pertain to various aspects of human emotions. In particular, I agree with his premise that other emotions stem from fear. If you strip our emotions down you will find at the root that fear does dictate our actions. I did not completely believe this when I first read this book. However, I started to read the book again recently in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. I now believe the author is correct. People are acting out of fear. They are hoarding supplies. They are throwing used masks and gloves in the street. Strangers are yelling at one another. Domestic violence incidents are on the rise. The realization that we cannot control this situation has caused people to behave out of fear.

There is so much valuable information in this book. The author delved into aspects of behavior and presented thought provoking and well researched cases. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in learning about how fear influences our other emotions.


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As technological evolutions continue to gather momentum, there is a strong move by some scientists and philosophers to transform the present human nature that is characterized by the phenomenon of life and death into a superman, where aging and its corresponding end in death would be eliminated, making it possible for humans to live for untold numbers of years. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robots and other technological machines will take over the basic duties of a natural [hu]man.

This book looks at the features of this envisioned “new world”, and anticipates that the transhuman world will lack ethics of good living and respect for human life, thus, becoming worse than the Hobbesian State of Nature where life was said to be brutish, nasty and short.

Since every step of growth goes with its unique kind of fear, the book adopts fearology (the study of fear and its management) in proposing what developing countries should do to be able to fully integrate into this expected world. For the developing countries to secure a leading place in the future world, they must take the studies of science, technology and philosophy seriously. This is why the author suggests the establishment of The Philosophy Academy and The Technology Intervention Institute to launch in unique perspectives on how the technologically-driven world can be instituted without necessarily negating the ethics of mutual living and respect for human life which ought to be the hallmark of every society.


Michael Bassey Eneyo is a seasoned scholar and a philosopher from Nigeria, who has written many philosophical books and articles on different challenging existential issues. His major books include Philosophy of Fear: A Move to Overcoming Negative Fear (2018), Philosophy of Unity: Love as an Ultimate Unifier (2019) and Ethics: Judging Morality Beyond the Limits of Man (2020). Eneyo has published many academic articles in both National and International Journals.

His ultimate goal is to contribute ideas that can help in making the world a better place for all beings, and not just for human beings. At present Eneyo is a staff of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Table of contents

Chapter One
The Transhuman world
The Historical background of transhumanism philosophy
The transhumanism agenda
Artificial intelligence (AI)

Chapter Two
The likely features of the transhuman world
The augmentation of human bodies
The thought process would be more transferable
Gamification and behavioural science will increase human productivity
Human beings will be more emphatic
The emergence of extreme personalization and customization
Significant shift in business practices
There would be a greater deal of attention on our societal values
The leading philosophy in the transhuman world

Chapter Three
Exploring the philosophy of fear
Historical account of fearism/fearology
Fearism/fearology as an emerging transdisciplinary philosophy
The fearist/fearologist

Chapter Four
Fear and its workings in humans
What is fear?
Knowing fear
Where is fear?
What is the nature of fear?
The workings of fear in humans
Sensory cortex
Fear and the human mind
Mind as the most active abbot for fear
Fear comes from life
Can there be fear without human agent?
Fear as a border between success and failure

 Chapter Five
The exposition of fear territory
Is the contemporary world a fear territory?
How fear territory can be expanded

Chapter Six
How the transhuman world will create more objects of fear
Is fear controlling the present world?
The dominant fear in the contemporary world
Fear of terrorism
Fear in politics

Chapter Seven
The ugly side of the transhuman society and the way out
The ugly side of the transhumsnism society
What the developing countries should do to be fully integrated into the transhumanism agenda
Adaption and implementation of the digitalization and automation policies
The modern war techniques
The need for training diversification
Investing in the power sector
Maintaining the traditional farming and food preservation methods
Vegetable garden culture
Tree planting

Chapter Eight
The need for a change in school curriculums
Introduction of The Philosophy Academy and Technology Intervention Institute


8658858490?profile=RESIZE_710xChapter Nine
The importance of fear studies in the transhuman society
9 key steps to overcome negative impacts of fear in the transhuman expected world
Step 1. Understanding fear
Step 2. Know why people fear
Knowledge of our limitations
Step 3. Identify your fear(s)
Step 4. Think positively about your fears
Step 5. Adopt a positive belief about fear
Step 6. Be focused and mindful
Step 7. Practice breath control
Step 8. Take a walk around a natural environment
Step 9. Accept the fact of life
The roles of fearologists and technologists in the fear management campaign against the transhuman fear
The most effective healing to the sickness of fear


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Dr. Faranda's New Book on Fear as Potent


I haven't read this new book but will take a peek at it in the next while and make comments. You may also want to do so. Use the FM ning "Comment" feature here to create a discussion. NOTE: See "Comment" below this blog for my latest thoughts on reading some chapters on Faranda's book.

I've enclosed below the book publisher's description, note that I put in larger font a most interesting thesis Faranada makes about fear and the future. The book looks on first glance like an important contribution to the emerging sub-field called Feariatry (a la Subba & Fisher): 

#1 New Release in Evolutionary Psychology and Buddhism ─ Fear, Contemporary Society, and its Consequences

For anyone suffering from the global pandemic anxiety surrounding the new coronavirus, comes a long awaited exploration of one of the most powerful and primitive human emotions.

A history and culture of fear. Over the last five hundred years, life for the average human being has changed dramatically―plagues no longer wipe out entire families, and no longer do we empty our chamber pots into the street. But, progress in the West has shown that no matter how many dangers we neutralize, new ones emerge. Why? Because our level of fear remains constant.

Fear in contemporary society. For years, Dr. Frank Faranda studied a state of fearfulness in his patients―an evolutionary state that relentlessly drove them toward avoidance, alienation, hypercriticism, hyper-control, and eventually, depression and anxiety. He began to wonder what they were afraid of, and how embedded these fears might be in contemporary society. This book aims to break us free from what he found.

Fear not. Faranda’s Fear Paradox is simple―even though fear has a prime directive to keep us safe and comfortable, it has grown into the single greatest threat to humanity and collective survival. As a consequence, fear is embedded in our culture, creating new dangers and inciting isolation. With global pandemic disruptions and rising anxiety levels, now is the time to shine a light on our deepest fears and examine the society that fear is creating.

But fear not―inside, you’ll learn about:

  • The fear of pain and the fear of the unknown
  • How fear has driven progress in the West
  • The price paid to eradicate fear
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Ernest Becker, cultural anthropologist, 1924-74. Won a Pulitzer Prize at the end of his life for his book The Denial of Death. 

I have recently been studying his work and writing about his important thinking for today, especially his contribution to Fear Studies, and specifically to terror management as an extreme existentialist form of fear management. 

The following Tech. Paper No. 99 I devoted to analyzing a bit of what Ernest Becker's work has to do with Education as a field and as a reality of socialization, and then summarized the ways various educators (not that there are many) have engaged Becker's work and what potential biases there are in their ways of interpreting his work. I then propose some alternatives and encourage a good deal more study of Becker for learning and teaching, curriculum development and for handling the kind of terrifying world that is here and coming as cascading global crises are inevitable. His work has much to offer us. 

See Tech. Paper No. 99:  "Ernest Becker's Educational Legacy: A Critical Reflection". https://prism.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/112381

See also Tech. Paper No. 108: "A Review of "Immortality Project" Concept: Mis-interpretation by Terror Management Theory" https://prism.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/112499?show=full 

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Because I am a professional educator per se, it has always struck me how far behind the field of Education (and schooling) is, just about everywhere in the world, when it comes to advancing the notion of "fear management" and, what I prefer to call "fear management/education" (or simply, "fear education"). I'll be writing more about this in the near future blogs here, but just wanted to share this book resource Fear and Schools that looks interesting from the book description: 


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Dr. Bruck Liption, a cell-biologist and spiritual philosopher, offers his latest 10 min. video on the coronavirus (Covid-19) 'flu' problem in the world right now and he has strong statements about the nature and role of fear in this pandemic and quarantine. The first few minutes of the video he teaches about the immunological perspective. 

"Fear" is the "biggest problem" in terms of where this virus pandemic is, is going, and will continue to go. That's his view. I tend to agree. I have always respected Lipton's research and teachings going back into the early 1990s and he has always had interesting theories about "fear"... that said, I do not agree with everything he says. I'll leave it up to readers of the FM ning to discuss this and/or ask me about my critiques, at this point. 

Lipton starts the video off with "Stop the fear, take care of yourself." -- and, of course, that can mean a whole lot of things, including, how do we best define what fear is, and what if we do not know completely what it is and there are unconscious fear aspects that are affecting everything as well related to Covid-19 reactionary actions (?)... Lipton assumes we already know everything we need to know about fear, and he does his "scientist" thing in the video ... 

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Excerpt p. 245, from 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. 

The above last chapter of that book, now 10 years old, is still my foremost vision and purpose in everything I do. 


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I am pleased to introduce the social psychology researcher Dr. Pelin Kesebir who has for several years been studying fear (e.g., anxiety, terror, and role of culture as a buffer to death anxiety); and has acknowledged in recent correspondence with me the critical importance of "fear" in societies overall. I included the above excerpt from one of her articles (2014) in J. of Personality & Social Psychology 106(4), 610-623. To read full article A Quiet Ego.pdf 

Note: Kesebir is inspired and researches generally under the Terror Management Theory (sub-field) in social psychology, an area I have respected and cited in many of my own publications for decades. Very important empirical research is offered in TMT that supports and critiques the way we engage with fear (and its management). I look forward to more conversations with Dr. Kesebir and may all Fearlessness Movement ning members perhaps find time to read some of this work and comment. For more info. from Dr. Kesebir, contact: kesebir@gmail.com 

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Mike Tyson said, "Fear is like fire, you can burn your house

down and kill yourself-or cook food and warm yourself."

Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows is the true story of Four Arrows (Dr. Don T. Jacobs) since his child years to his life at 71. He is an internationally recognized important indigenous scholar and mixed-blood American. Four Arrow is an activist of fearless. He has been advocating his own kind of fearless movement since 1970s.

How to be fearless moving beyond fears is the primary teaching Four Arrows shares in his real-life teaching stories as practical advice in the book. This intellectual biography is written by the educator-fearologist R. Michael Fisher. CAT-FAWN model is introduced to readers as Four Arrows’ discovery of a radical approach to de-hypnotize ourselves from negative fear. Four Arrows knows fear deeply, for example when he was challenged: "I must have felt enough fear after the March 2008 diagnosis of non- Hodgkins lymphoma..." (p.246) He uses CAT-FAWN as an inspiring means plus other tools to keep the disease from killing him.   

Four Arrows says, " [my] Near-death-experience (NDE) while white-water kayaking on the Rio Urique in 1983 is one of the real experiences of fear." It is real fear experience, the kind that transforms one’s life completely.

I enjoyed other stimulating quotes, like Mike Tyson said, "Fear is like fire, you can burn your house down and kill yourself-or cook food and warm yourself." (p. 244) Four Arrows trained wild horses and learned a great deal about fear and how to manage it. A beautiful sentence by Fisher says, "If fear is the horse, courage is the rider." During the reading, I think readers will feel like they are together with Four Arrows in his activities described in detail of risking while swimming, playing, horse riding, teaching and kayaking.

The integrative conversation approach of the book between the author and subject Four Arrows and Fear—multiple characters—is  fascinating. It helps readers to make more clear most all things about fear and fearless. I hope this book is good for those readers who are experiencing fear and willing to know real fear. 

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Dr. Jinmin Lee was a Korean graduate of Politics Department of Brandeis University, USA, and has written a most valuable contribution to fear management literature in their doctorate dissertation: "The Faces of Fear: Cross-Cultural Dialogues on Fear and Political Community" 2014

Anyone interested in the interrelationship between fear and politics, especially the imaginary of fear of political philosophers (E. and W.)--this dissertation is going to be of great interest. I offer the dissertation here in pdf (link above), with the following Abstract: 

"Inspred by the hopes of better understanding and managing fear in our political lives, this dissertation engages Western and Chinese thinkers in a cross-cultural dialogue about fear. Influenced by the Enlightenment portrayal of fear, we tend to think fear as the great evil of civilization and the greatest enemy of freedom. This research shows that this way of thinking about fear is not the only one that is plausible or available to us. In order to understand what is missing from our current understanding of fear, this dissertation explores parallels among six philosophers who represent diverse attitudes to fear and political community. The six philosophers are grouped in three pairs, each of which includes one Western and one Chinese thinker: the moralists Aristotle and Confucius; the realists, Hobbes and Han Fei; and the Enlighteners, Montesquieu and Lian Qichao. From the dialogue among these thinkers, the thesis shows how the concept of fear has changed its character; how fear has developed critical relationships with justice, equality and liberty; and how fear has been related to the different ways of political life. At the same time, by highlighting each voice's strengths and weaknesses, this cross-cultural dialogue enables us to see how each theory may hide sources of fear within itself and how, ironically, they sometimes inflate the fears that they were designed to tame. Contemporary liberals, in particular, need to learn that there is much that is missing in our current understanding of fear and how these limitations may undermine their efforts to promote individual liberty and security. In this regard, these different faces of fear point both to a richer portrait of fear and a better understanding of how to handle it." 


I just published a Tech Paper 83 .pdf (involving Lee's work).


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This image is from the book cover of Santiago Zabala's (2017). Why only art can save us: Aesthetics and the absence of emergency. NY: Columbia University Press. The art piece on this cover is The Ninth Hour, sculpture by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan.

I added the yellow text... because I thought this was the kind of subtitle I would give if I had written such a book like this. I appreciate the title (as extreme as it is and which publishers these days like and often chose without the author having the final say). The point in my teaching of the importance of the "arational" (not irrational) modality of fearwork (like this image and book) is we need more than rational fear management/education to tackle the Fear Problem. 

The concept of "emergency" is critical to the study of fear-risk and who gets to construct and use (sociopolitically) "emergencies" of all kinds, real or imagined... as this is all part of the Fear Problem today... a dynamic called the "culture of fear" and/or "risk society" or "fearscapes" depending on various authors and critics... artists (and arational modalities) have a lot to contribute to both the problem itself and its solution. Which way will artists go? 

I look forward to reading this book and having discussions on aesthetics and other arational domains (e.g., dreaming, trance, meditation, bodywork) in fearwork ahead... there's so much to do! 


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'Philosophy of Fearism' Offers Treatment for Fear Patients

-an Interview with Desh Subba

 Desh Subba 

Some years back he wrote a novel 'Insult' that made him popular; he then brought out a non-fiction book 'Philosophy of Fearism.’ More than a decade later he is leader of the' Philosophy of Fearism' movement. Deepak Sapkota talks with Subba on the foundations of Fearism:

Deepak: You have written a book Philosophy of Fearism. You have said, world, earth, life and air of our breathing, and there is also fear; “everyone lives in fear.” Do you want to extend fear’s importance?

Desh: It is not my intention to extend fear. I didn't say live in fear. We are living in fear. I said live with the unveiling of the cover of fear. For those who are running breathless in fear, I told them to run with fearless breath. You can see businessmen, employees, in the name of progress and success, they are breathless in running. People of Nepal often rush like this. Abroad, also people are taking their breakfast and lunch while running in their cars. If they don't run at this modern speed they fear losing business, job and prestige. There is fear in our breathing air. If not fear why should we use mask? Fear comes together with consciousness and breath. We are doing many activities to save our breath. Fear is a giant.                                                                                                                                                     

Deepak: What is Fearism? Please tell us in simple language?

Desh: Fearism is a combination of life, consciousness, knowledge, fear and cognition. We always have fear of dying in starvation and disease. We have fear of accident, incident and some problems. To manage our life from these fears we are motivated to doing invention, construction, profession and employment. Philosophy of Fearism is a philosophical explanation of all these.

Deepak: You said, “Life is conducted, directed and controlled by fear.” How it can be? Life is impossible without fear?

Desh: Among all, fear of starvation is the highest. Is there any meaning dying by courage? We are conducted by fear. To rescue, it conducts to work, when working, doing carefully otherwise can dismiss. This directs and controls us. That's why I said, “life is conducted, directed and controlled by fear.”  In the life fear is everywhere.

Deepak: Fear can be the subject of thesis, study and research? How can it be 'ism'? People might say it is nonsense?

Desh: I never meant for 'ism' as some formula. I did not read it has length, width, height, area, volume, color and taste. Zero has 'ism'. Absurdly has 'ism'. You used insulted word; has air 'ism' too? Marx, Lenin and Mao has 'ism'. If we calculate in percentage, how many people have Marx, Lenin and Mao in their life?  How many percentages do you have? 7 billion people of earth, how many of them have? But fear is with everyone. Human to animal all has fear then cannot it be 'ism'? And how is it possible Marx, Lenin and Mao to be 'ism'? How strange is the game of words and beliefs? 7 billion people and animal have fear, how can it be nonsense? Logic of fear(ism) cannot be mere philosophy as baseless. It is empirical fact.

Deepak: What is the reason for a deep study of fear? What advantage for society?

Desh: All human beings live in fear. They are encircled by many fears. They feel it. They are living with the thorns of death, disease, damage, accident and problems. Because of fear they are terrified and doing killings. This forces me to do deep study. In this vast human disaster, I thought I can make a contribution toward something good being done? What are sources of their fear? What happens more or less due to fear? These kinds of thoughts were coming in my mind. I thought of the many accidents of the world. I came to the conclusion most all sources of many problems are fear. Since early civilization fear can be taken as negative but I asked how can it be made positive? Moral questions were in my mind. How to make comfort from it? Many questions were hovering inside me. Then fearism emerged as an idea. It is not negative as normal mass understand fear. The most positive things of life are due to fear. Balance of fear has leaded us to success. Life makes us happy and peaceful. Innovative parts of life are defined by fearism. 

Deepak: Fear is director of life, Universe, black hole of space, light, creator, seer, mystery, beauty, courage, super power, parent, law and god. End with God is fear. These are your many meanings of fear in your book. It looks very abstract isn't it?

Desh: It is not abstract, it is simple. It looks strange because nobody explained fear like this before, not from this perspective. Michel Foucault said, 'knowledge is power.' Doesn't it look strange too? Does to know about dying have power? Take the example of law, does not its main motive come from fear and create fear?  Nobody will follow law if it cannot create fear. Fear is a law, it is not abstract.

Deepak: After reading your book, readers may recognize they suffer from depression. Except fearful readers cannot see, listen and understand anything about fear. Is your book about creating fear?   

Desh: After reading philosophy of fearism, this does not take readers to depression but helps them to see they may be a fear patient. It helps to reduce depression, stress, and violence created by doubt and fear. It gives an idea of the source of depression, it offers reason and explanation and routes of fear so they can better manage fear.  

[Originally published in Friday entertainment paper March 27, 2015. It is sister news paper of second popular daily Nagrik news paper of Nepal. Interview was by sub-editor Deepak Sapkota. [Original in Nepalese, trans. to English by Desh Subba, editing for English, by R. Michael Fisher]

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Sorry folks for the poor reproduction of this model I found on the Internet, it is the best version I can find, eventually I'll make another better copy. It is, as an integral fearologist (which I am), a nice quick (overly-simplified) complex systems model of how to look at crisis and crisis management of any one topic, in this case the maker (anonymous [1]) of this particular version used Wilber's Quadrant (Integral) model to apply to the "Eco-Crisis" globally. So, there is a macro-scale view being mapped out here as "terrains" (quadrants of reality) to attend to, at a minimum. I share this because I wish my colleagues and others on the FM ning to consider this model of analysis and critique. It is too much to go into detail here of all the dynamics and theory behind this model but if you are interested you can look up terms on the Internet or start discussion here on the the FM ning.

But HOW ABOUT APPLYING SUCH A MODEL IN LOOKING AT THE FEAR-CRISIS on this planet? Now, that would be a worthwhile project, a beginning, so that we can nuance our conversations (at times) around integral theory, more or less, and see what benefits that type of analysis may offer. Of course, one doesn't have to over-use this model either, and leave lots of open-ended approaches as well. Oh, btw, I am a staunch critic of the way these integral quadrant models are represented period, they distort many things, including that they are too clean and the lines shown ought to be dashed (boundary lines but porous) because the realities in each quadrant are co-emerging all the time in a total dynamic system (Reality). Anyways, this gives us a peek into the epistemic nature of inquiry that Ken Wilber's work has shown to offer and it has really helped my work on fear management for many years. 

I am particularly noticing in the Lower Left quadrant (LL) Crisis of Systems, there is a point of notice made re: "enforcement" (which brings forward the domain of dialogues going on right now between Subba, Kumar and myself on Fearcriminalalysis (and, my overlapping interest in also Fearpoliticology)... 


1. It is likely Sean Esjborn-Hargens and/or Michael Zimmerman, their website www.integralecology.org/source is where it was at one time but this website is no longer in service, and so, it may be in their big book entitled "Integral Ecology" (2009). 

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Fearism in United Nations Workshop in Mukjar, Sudan

Officer Furgeli Sherpa, from Nepal here presenting.

"Fear Management & Fearism" program was held in UN Workshop, Mukjar, Sudan 8th February, 2018. Participants were 21 officers from 8 countries. Fear Management, introduction, rational of fear management, principal of fear management, tactics of fear management and more slides were presented by facilitator Furgeli Sherpa. Furgeli is a police Inspector of Nepal Police armed force. Currently he is in UN peace keeping force in Sudan, Africa. I personally salute him for his creative work. He is the first person who introduced Fearism in United Nations. I request dear friends to congratulation facilitator Mr. Sherpa who push Fearism in summit of world.

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