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What I Love to Teach

I recently sent this letter out to my connections in Calgary, AB, Canada, but then also felt it was relevant to you all on the FM ning, as you come to learn more about me and my teaching. 

As part of my "landing" (still in transition in returning to Canada, Calgary, after 20 years away)... there's some good clarity arriving of late as to my teaching priorities that I offer (listed below). I wish to share this clarity with you, as not meant necessarily to be anything more than that, because I appreciate your friendship and witnessing me on this journey as a "teacher" in progress always becoming--and if you feel called to assist my teaching work (especially in Calgary and W. Canada, for a start) that's great. Let's talk further. Best, -M. 

 
MENU: My BIG FOUR Teaching AREAS in the next while: 
 
1. Teaching (training) people in the new discipline I've named "Fearology" (the transdisciplinary study of the relationship of fear and Life). I am about to launch The Fearology Institute as a global online education program 
 
2. Teaching the general (and intricacies) of a post-postmodern way of thinking, doing research, and anything else of importance (e.g., education)--via, the use of critical integral theory (with my primary focus on the work of Ken Wilber, who's work has greatly shaped my own critical thinking and social philosophy since 1982)
 
3. Teaching about the Indigenous-Western Encounter, based on my interest in conflict and its transformative capacities in situations of "culture clash" and using my own study of the Indigenous worldview vs. Dominant worldview based primarily but not only, on the work of Four Arrows (see my new book as a vehicle for this learning and teaching)--my approach is that the basic (primal) intelligence of being human is grounded in the "indigeneity" at the heart (in the DNA) of all peoples
 
4. Liberation Peer Counseling (LPC) is one of my all time favorite theories of how humans are hurt and how they heal--the most basic knowledge in LPC reveals our natural healers (refreshers) and how oppressive societies eliminate (and/or distort) these via the 'normal' socialization of its citizens; I have learned, practiced and taught this peer-2-peer based grassroots model (one of the 'fear' vaccines) since the mid-1980s
 
I've not included all my other teachings, aesthetics, art, etc. but I think the above menu is a good start. 
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I have just written a new Tech Paper 75.pdf entitled "HYPNOSIS TO FEARGNOSIS: An Introduction to Trance-Formations" (click on for pdf), below is the Abstract. I see this as an important contribution to Feariatry:

Hypnosis to Feargnosis: An Introduction to Trance-Formations

                                              - R. Michael Fisher,[1] Ph.D.       ©2018                                                                             Technical Paper No. 75

Abstract

This paper explores initial theories, ideas, and examples of feargnosis. This new term, created in Feb. 2018 by the author, is intended to help us all work with fear in text, conversations and teachings with an improved sensitivity to the way hypnosis, and trance, and other arational modes of consciousness impact on our fear-knowledge and basic learning about this topic of fear (and fearlessness).

Note:

[1] Fisher is co-founder of In Search of Fearlessness Project (1989- ) and Research Institute (1991- ). He is also founder of the Center for Spiritual Inquiry & Integral Education (http://csiie.org) and is Department Head at CSIIE of Integral & 'Fear' Studies. He is an independent scholar, public intellectual and pedagogue, author, consultant, researcher, coach, artist and Principal of his own company (http://loveandfearsolutions.com). Currently, he is developing The Fearology Institute to teach courses. He can be reached at: r.michaelfisher52@gmail.com

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"I'm Not All That Impressed by Love"

This line came to me a few days ago, in journal reflective writing: "I'm not all that impressed by love." As it goes, spontaneous and empassioned ideas like this do come once in awhile, and mostly I just leave them to sit in the journal, and rarely if ever are they discovered again by me. But this one was different... 

I have had several tensions (if not subtle conflicts) on my psyche (soul) for sometime. As a writer and philosopher this is not unusual, they create some of the best motivations for me to proceed with research and writing projects. But this one was different... this time, anyways. The words "I'm not all that impressed by love" is what I would have wanted to say to at least a half dozen people, some close friends, some family--and, some are colleagues in the domain of studying and writing about fear. The basic conflict, or sometimes an ontological and real "battle" as I see it, is Love vs. Fear(lessness)... and, where is it (as subject of study) that I (or anyone) ought to really put their attention on--and in doing so nurture that subject. I mean, haven't you noticed how many people want you to be more loving? Doesn't the whole world sometimes seem like it is putting pressure on you (and everyone) to be more loving, and say to someone "I love you." 

This blog is not going to pursue this notion of Love vs. Fear(lessness), and why it has been so important in my conscious research and writing since late 1989, and the founding of the In Search of Fearlessness Project (of which the Fearlessness Movement is the latest iteration). You can check out my writing on "love" and on "fear" or all the circuitous derivations of the latter, and the former, that intrigue me under the umbrella of my search to contribute to the Fear Problem on this planet--oh, and that means, contribute in a positive way (ha ha). But it seems sometimes, even my closest allies forget, or don't get, what it is I am doing, and why "fear" has been my focus not "love." They still think, and sometimes say, "Michael, you just need to be more loving" [1]. It is subtle all the different ways they communicate that. I feel there's an ideological plot on the planet (or, at least in my circles of relations in North America in the 20-21st century) to 'force' me to be a better loving person. This I call the Virtues Project (a brand new conceptual label for my critical philosophical work to come)--or, more simply, I call it the pathological (obsessive) side of moralism

What was so unusual in the last few days, with having this conflict around "love" come up again in my life... I mean really, it is more than a little frustrating... is that I found (or my unconscious did) the exact words I want to say to the world: "I'm not all that impressed by love"--and, with that I believe I may have found the title for my new book project. No kidding. After several encounters with the "love-people" as I call them--meaning, they are convinced that "love will save the world", I began to write and write in my journal, some 8 to 10 pp. just flowed, and it was the basic informal outline of everything I have wanted to say and write about in my own social philosophy development since 1982 (and that date is significant, but I'm not going to give it away why--that'll be in the book). Yes, I'm going to write the book I always wanted to write, since 1982 but just didn't have the maturity for it, and life-course realities took me in other directions. At age 66 (and "retired" with a pension)--ha ha, I can now afford to write it, and afford to lose a lot of "friends" perhaps, because I am going to say what I really believe and think is the reality: And, that is, more or less what boils down to my philosophical starting point (i.e., in simple words): I'm Not All That Impressed By Love --start there, Michael, it's where your heart and soul resonate, and the conflict begins, for the creativity required to be inspired to write the book, now 36 years later... you finally can do it. 

I'm jazzed about this book... you have no idea! Hey all "you" out there who have a critique of my way of being in the world, of my writing and teaching... okay, get ready, because I am finally going to give in to your side of things. Really, I am finally, after 36 years, going to write my first book on "Love"... 

love, 

Michael

[oops... love, in the spirit of fearlessness], 

-M.

 Note: 

1. Love is aka Spiritual, as it turns out, and so you can begin to see this as part of my long critique growing around what "spiritual" is and how people use it as a 'weapon.' 

 

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The Fear Standard: Book by T. Schultz

It continually astounds me how I find new books on "fear" as the focus of the authors, this one was published 14 years ago, and I never saw it show up in my searches... but there you go, it's a 'new age' self-help type book but this author does some interesting things in creating categories of "types of fear" (simplifying complexity is her initiative)... and, I have critiques of this book and her views, but I give her credit for developing her views creatively with sincerity to help humanity. A worthwhile book to read and study AND I really like the art on the cover.

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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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I want to announce with delight, my new appointed position as Adjunct Faculty to The University of Calgary. I'll be serving a two year contract as a non-paid position in the Werklund School of Education, where I now will be able to have official status and input as an "educator" in a legitimate institute of higher education. It took a lot of years, decades, to find a university that would be interested in me and my work and my offerings for students and a faculty of education. 

It is still early in the process and I don't know exacly what this new appointment may entail, other than it will make it easier for me to teach some courses as an Adjunct and it will allow me to serve on graduate theses committees. I enjoy doing these activities and am pleased to be available for more students, including internationally if they are looking for external examiners, and/or committee members. I also will now have access to the UofC library services, etc. and that helps with my research. I look forward to connecting with UofC folks in the future and who knows where such an appointment may lead; it is a door opening, and that's a good sign in my career path.  

Mostly, I wish to contribute powerful and meaningful future vision for education in this city of Calgary, the province (Alberta) and the country (Canada). I am open to working with all kinds of teams of people to find mutual ground to make this world a better place. 

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According to Augustus Chukwu in my interview with him he said, “We aren't use to finding people who talk about fear.” And I am now adding, “It is not everyone who discusses the phenomena fear, and approaches it in a better perspective as Eneyo has done. It takes a great ability to view through the fearological-spectrum for such a voyage to be fruitful. But here, we can see that such intellectual journey has been successfully embarked upon by Eneyo. This journey titled PHILOSOPHY OF FEAR: A MOVE TO OVERCOMING NEGATIVE FEAR is so fruitful such that its contribution(s) cannot be easily crashed off intellectually. His subtle critics and attempt in reconciling some conflicting ideas in the field of fearism is a good mediation. The central message of this work is the need to unravel the reality of fear, situating it in man’s existential struggle and proffering possible way(s) of understanding and overcoming negative fear. The author also addressed how one can use the stumbling block fear as a stepping stone to success. In our present society that is characterized by so many fear factors coming from human, nature and through some of our category misplacement; this book serves as an antidote that will help oiling our existence as we continue to struggle in making life more meaningful. I applaud this great fearologist for this wonderful impact.

OSINAKACHI AKUMA KALU
Chairman Fearism Studies in Africa and founder of The Penlords,
Fearologist, Philosopher and Administrator.
Author of Conquering the Beast Fear: A Philosophical Cum Psychological
Approach, and The First Stage of the Fearologiest
Nigeria.

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Philosophy of Fear is indeed an emerging paradigm that is primarily concern with the holistic study of fear: Its positive and its negative natures. However, Michael Eneyo in his book titled: “Philosophy of Fear: A Move to Overcoming Negative Fear”, has justifiably turned his first book on fear into a compendium of facts about the real nature of fear: Its meaning, scope, and how it can be managed for the good of mankind. His elucidating approach to the study of fear and the stylistic coinage of words with ostensive applications of these words is appealing.

The author has brilliantly chaptered his book into nine with explicit topics and sub-topics; making the book an intro to the domain of fear, what he (as author) called ‘Fear Territory’. The chronological patterning of these chapters concomitantly with the flow of connecting ideas makes the book even more attractive and readable. Many wonderful concepts used by the author are broad enough to be branches in fear studies. Such words like: Fear territory, faculty of fear, fear conflict, history of fear, etc, are amongst the areas to be studied by all those who want to know more about fear.

The author addresses himself as ‘unificationist’ or a ‘complementarist’, terms analogous to a person who advocates for the unification and a complementary living among different beings. The author believes that with love and courage in the right directions, negative fear can be overcome. One of his interests in the book is to reconcile the different views of other fearologists regarding the nature of fear and its problem(s) by acknowledging every being and its opposite as having existential value.

As a priest who is vested in philosophy and theology, I have spotted the synergism of philosophy and theology in the author’s usage of the concept love, which he says is the ultimate motivator of human behaviours. I sincerely congratulate Michael Eneyo for this highly intellectual masterpiece and I urge all and sundry to grasp their copies.

Very Rev. Fr. Patrick Edem-Obong Eneyo
Parish priest, St. Peter’s parish Ediba Qua Town CRS
An author, novelist and inspirational preacher,
Chaplain CRS Government House,
Nigeria.

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Foreword

R. Michael Fisher, Ph.D.


Philosophy of Fear is a welcomed contribution to the world of theology, philosophy and any serious thinking about the nature and role of fear, love, courage and fearless action. Yes, other philosophers throughout time have taken on these subjects before. It is however, Eneyo’s relatively new angle on these topics that is exciting as an interpretive framing with a practical application of guidance for a very wide public readership.

I am especially honored to be asked to write a brief Foreword, and that that request comes from across the world in Nigeria, where Eneyo lives and writes. There is something happening in Nigeria around the topic of fear. Some months ago I was invited to write a similar brief contribution for a new book by Osinakachi Akuma Kalu, a young up and coming Nigerian fearologist.

Eneyo’s book is a gathering of a lot of years of experienced thinking and writing. His formal higher education in philosophy comes through on every page. Yet, he keeps the work readable and non-esoteric. Like Kalu’s work, he has been attracted to the new angle, new lens, that is emerging in the last few decades, where there is a fundamental shift in consciousness and perspective regarding the philosophy of fear. Both authors utilize Desh Subba’s discovery of a philosophy of fearism.

Subba is a poet, writer, and public intellectual born and raised in Nepal, now living in Hong Kong. There’s a curious close interconnection I have witnessed in Subba’s fearism conception that is appealing to the Nigerian thinkers on fear today—with Kalu and Eneyo, both Christian thinkers interestingly, taking on the leading work to develop their own interpretations of fearism, yet relying somewhat on the fearism declaration that fear is fundamental to all human behavior and because of that it ought to be given its own philosophical label—that is, fearism. If there is existentialism, or rationalism, why not fearism? That’s the direction Subba has led and several other thinkers are following.

For my part, as a seasoned scholar on the nature and role of fear, taking a transdisciplinary and internationalist perspective for three decades, I am also a ‘Westerner’ and white person born and raised in Canada, while having recently lived in the USA for nine years. I have a very different perspective on fear and its management and I have been exposed to much different literature on fear as well, different from my colleagues above. Although, we also have some overlaps. I truly have enjoyed their openness to connect with me and my work and I’m sure there will be more such collaborations in the near future.

Before I comment directly on some of the content of Eneyo’s first book on the topic of fear, I want to say that he is courageous to align his thinking with the wide-open territory of the philosophy of fear. I too have been interested in this topic and territory but it has not always been easy to tell who is researching and writing in this area of philosophy of fear. Some are doing so but have not named it as such, and others like the Norwegian philosopher Lars Svendsen have used “philosophy of fear” in a recent book title. Yet, only a rare few philosophers have ever focused on developing consistently a philosophy of fear per se. This is where Eneyo has stepped over the boundaries of traditional and incorporated the new fearism, producing his own version and branch, school, of a philosophy of fear. Truly, it is remarkable to me to finally see more authors taking up this topic seriously. It is long overdue. And, it intrigues me how the various schools of philosophy of fear(ism) will evolve in the future, and what kinds of critical and creative dialogues will be established between the schools. I suggest this international movement could produce some good results to help humanity and continue to drive the forces of what I have labeled the global historical Fearlessness Movement.

Now to Eneyo’s book specifically. Although I do not endorse all his perspectives on the topic of fear(ism), he has a sincere voice in this book which deserves attention from people from all walks of life. I see that broad scope to reach many readers as important to his cause, just as important as his core mission. He is out to teach two major things: (1) fear needs to be interpreted as equally positive as negatively and the same goes for love (I appreciate his articulation of how even love can be negative sometimes and we must be critical of invoking love in our discourses) and, (2) “... courage and [positive] love are the greatest weapons to be used to manipulate any aspect of fear [management] to our advantage...[in order] to make a fearful or fearless decision” (p. 115).

Ultimately, like other authors in the Western world of North America, Eneyo repeats the imperative that we ought to be more fear-positivists (that’s my own term), which is traceable to at least Aristotle’s philosophy as well and that the real moral issue for Aristotle, is that we ought not try to avoid being afraid but rather to be wise and courageous (if not loving, in the Christian humanist sense) so that we don’t end up fearing that which we ought not fear what “does not actually deserve our fear” (as Eneyo suggests, p. 115). I encourage Eneyo and others to examine my own critique as well of fear-positivists and their discourse, which I believe has a down-side as well as an up-side. Anyways, the bottom line of Eneyo’s or Aristotle’s teaching is that we see fear as something more complex and dynamic, and especially as it interrelates with courage and love. I am all for that complexification of our knowledge systems regarding these topics.

In closing, an intriguing concept Eneyo offers to the subfields of fearism and fearology is his concept of “fear territory” (pp. 31-32), which it seems he must be an original in coining the term. He defines this in the book, and it is worthy of more study as a useful concept, somewhat analogous but different from my own expansive notion of “fearuality” or others who have written about the “ecology of fear,” and “geography of fear” in the social and biological sciences literature. The fear territory offers a geographical and philosophical metaphor to fear study and thus identifies a domain of human experiencing as a unit of research and reflection where “our decision [re: our relationship to fear] during this period [and location] can be either negative or positive” (p. 32).

This is consistent with the Subbaian philosophy of fearism in general, because Eneyo posits that fear is just that important to all human behaviors and decisions behind them—meaning, fear is the ground/territory itself upon which humans think and act. In this expansive view, fear is a grand relational and rational territory. Such a notion ought to prevent us from forms of reductionism when thinking about fear—a reductionism common in contemporary psychology where fear is reduced to only neurobiological and chemical sources and dynamics. In my own work I have introduced the necessity of ‘fear’ (with ‘ marks) to show the term is under deconstruction and reconstruction. The trained theological and philosophical perspective of Eneyo is, like Aristotle was in his own day, sharp enough to avoid that reductionism.

However, neither Aristotle nor Eneyo has taken on the postmodern mantle and created a ‘fear’ studies project for analysis paralleling the study of a philosophy of fear(ism). Future developments in the philosophy of fear by Eneyo and others I am sure will eventually lay the ground for dialogues of premodernists, modernists, postmodernists and beyond—we’ll need all this rich holisitic-integral discourse I believe to better understand the phenomena under investigation—be that fear and/or ‘fear.’ I am pleased Eneyo has engaged in his book some of my philosophy of fearlessness as part of articulating his own approach.

So, I wish this new book by Eneyo to have its success, especially on his own continent Africa, and that we all will learn more about fear management based on the kinds of responses to his work over the years.

DR. R. MICHAEL FISHER 

FOUNDER, FEARLESSNESS MOVEMENT

Canada

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Book Title: Philosophy Of Fear: A Move To Overcoming Negative Fear

Author: Michael Eneyo 
Reviewed by: B.Maria Kumar, India.
 
Reminding the Hindu mythical Sagar Manthan, this cerebral work stands out as the outcome of the intellectual churning of the mind of the author Michael Eneyo, presenting complicated ideas on fear in a much simpler and tastier form; like Amrit, the divine nectar- ready to be drunk for attaining eternity. 
      Albeit an arduous task, the author makes his concepts and observations surrounding fear and their analysis interesting as well as captivating. In one of his positive interpretations of biblical verses, he says, “... the coming of Christ was to enthrone love and to encourage his followers not to be afraid as it is recorded in St.Mathew 1:20.” Such is the optimism that reflects his ideation so as to brighten the otherwise dimly lit path of human life. 
      The best part, explicitly visible in his style of approach, is that he resorted to antithetical treatment of various fear constructs for arriving at holistic reality because unless the opposites are taken into consideration, the enquiry is incomplete. 
      The author views Subba as fear positivist in the sense that the positive side of fear outweighs the negative and Kalu as fear negativist for the contrary there-to. The author also interprets the stratagem of Kumar and Sushmita as fear negativistic. The three perspectives, according to him, are tinged with opposite orientations, rather in subtle manner. Then he fuses the whole gamut of different viewpoints in the Fisherian crucible of fearlessness, thereby reaching a beautiful philosophical synergy; when he propounds, “.... opposite is a natural characteristic of every being and none can be eliminated.... they necessitate each opposite’s existence.... positive fear must continue to struggle with the negative fear using fearless approach....” 
      While journeying by the train of his thoughts, the author finds himself in a never ending ‘fear territory’ where he exhibits his unique knack of rhetoric with scintillating coinages like ‘fear conflict’, ‘fear dilemma’, ‘fear climax’ etc. These new vocabularies expand the human mind to understand fear more insightfully as Lera Boroditsky, a cognitive scientist infers from her research that the new words and new dialects do shape the way we think.
      In order to elucidate the multifaceted nature of fear more succinctly, the author has intelligently developed a typology of fear, making each segment of category not only unambiguous but also easily comprehensible. The fear that poses as challenge turns creative and proactive and results in productivity whereas that fear which confronts as procrastination gets translated into underdevelopment, he reasons. 
      ‘How fear is generated?’ has been systematically discussed in the chapter on ‘the process of fear’. Like a manufacturing procedure, where one component gets converted into the other by a step-by-step method, fear process also takes its route through six phases, culminating into consequences or effects- kudos to the author for bringing the entire fear genesis to a logically plausible end with ‘reason’ as ‘catalyst’. 
      Congruent to dual nature of fear as to its positive and negative results, its impact on humans and society has also been examined in both constructive and destructive terms. With the support of corroborative real life examples, the author has undoubtedly succeeded to prove his point that the fear which acts sometimes as a builder of society also turns into a destroyer at times and some other times as a guarantor for success whereas at times becoming responsible for failure. 
      For managing fear, the author takes recourse to love and courage. Positive love controls positive fear, negative love controls negative fear; he deduces by narrating day-to-day experiences from his home land. He also explains how ‘courage’ suppresses the tensions unleashed by negative fear. He intends to surmise that ethically and morally driven decisions alone can control negative fear. Also, righteous socioeconomic-psychological environment backed by value based educational and legal systems help overcome negative fear. 
      The last parts of the book enthuse the readers to empathise with Nigerians, pondering over the fact as to how negative fear played havoc resulting in the country’s backwardness, that could not only be rectified but even be bounced to bubbling economic resurgence with dedicated adherence to and spirited application of positive fear.
      In essence, I would like to conclude my review by affirming that this wonderful philosophical treatise on fear has been very thoughtfully conceived, logically sequenced, intelligently chaptered, analytically explained and convincingly presented. I admire the cognitive toiling and the intellectual labour that the author Michael Eneyo has put in while crafting this masterpiece.
 
B. MARIA KUMAR,
Co Author, The Youth Don't Cry,
India.
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To Join "The Movement" or not? 

Like any "movement" of consciousness and/or social change and transformation in history, there are philosophies behind them, if not ideologies, if not religions. There are going to be at times questioning of these "behind" the scenes forms and organizations and ideas and impulses--with their agendas. The general public or even serious thinkers and researchers will ask questions about this website called the "Fearlessness Movement." They will want to know "what it is" (really?)... and they want information so they can make up their mind what it is they may want to join or not to join. 

What I have done as the person who has coined "Fearlessness Movement" near a few decades ago, and the leader and philosopher that I am, who likes 'big missions' and even what looks like 'utopian' visions... that's nothing I try to hide... is that my work has been to keep "the Movement" that I care about as open as possible to as many kinds of people and thinkers as possible, globally, and across the lines of sacred and secular. That's a challenge, because people can be so quick to "judge" a website, a "group" that they perceive is involved and make their quick decision to become involved productively, or not, and/or to go so far as to make it the 'enemy.' [1]  

ABOUT US: Define "The Movement" (and, become involved in defining it)

I prefer to delineate a "Movement" for change and liberation not to define it or fix it...but maybe for some that is just me playing with words. Yet, the intention I have as one of the leaders in the study of fear on the planet, is to keep "the movement" open enough for people to participate in a way of critique and constructive revisioning... so that dogma does not set in, so that idolization and ideology cannot freeze up and enclose "the movement" definition and meanings. Of course, any delineation process, to make something different from something and to be able to label it and develop it, is an act (perceived and/or real) as one of differentiating and that can look like "exclusion" or a "clique" type of process. It may look like an esoteric group of elites who are "in" and get the power to play and control, while all others are "out" (more or less). Lots of those kinds of groups, cults and associations have occurred, as a history of social processes and the nature of groups and philosophies behind them. 

So, again, I am not against such specialized social change groups and movements that developed or continue to develop. It is a valid social form. And, I acknowledge that most everyone is deeply hurt by socialization and the "group" making process of in and out, acceptance and rejection dynamics. However, true as that injury is, and we are so sensitive to it as a social species (a tender carnivore as Paul Shepard once labeled our species), our task is not to react by default and reflex based on the past hurts and thus be in fear of being rejected either (as victims). Others overcome rejection by using domination and charisma and power to 'lead' others and so they get control (somewhat) of the rejection and aceeptance dynamics of groups they are involved in. 

I am not a big fan of joining any such ideological groups, religions, etc. I have never fully followed any one group, or movement or guru and so on, but I have drawn upon them (their better-side and offerings), and many of them, in my own 50+ years of learning consciously since being a teen, about humans and change and transformation, and how to make the world a better place.

So, my own version of "the movement" (or "Movement" as a simplified code word here that may be assumed or used explicitly).... is one that has taken an empirical and theoretical positioning to start with, and that goes back to the origins of my version of what I coined as the "Fearlessness Project" in 1989, then onward that became the "Fearlessness Movement" more recently, and with this website (ning) the Fearlessness Movement (2015) was located and made open to the public as a forum and online community. I recently wrote a few blogs (and a paper) "About Us" in referring to this movement and ning: 

(1) https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/fearlessness-movement-about-us

(2) https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/fearlessness-movement-and-it-s-context-of-meaning

I highly suggest all visitors and/or members of the FM ning read these two blogs, and read up on how I have delineated the "Fearlessness Movement" in a Wikipedia style writing with Desh Subba in our 2016 book [2]. Of course, sadly, too many and too often, people come upon my work or collegaues and quickly decide after reading very little of our work to reject it and quickly shy away from joining a "religion" in their minds, etc. I won't deny that when one leads a movement with a great mission, like "Fearlessness" for example, there is going to be a sense of a leader and big project that a lot of people don't feel comfortable with, and more or less like to operate as individuals and not as part of a group and do not want to be "controlled" or critiqued by a group. This latter "fear" (for the most part) is often never confronted or worked through by a lot of people, who keep "running" from groups of any kind, and ultimately are running from their own wounds from the past brought on by group dynamics. I am not saying that I understand all my critics and their motivations to leave, and/or reject "the movement"... I merely see, or sense, they haven't given it a good try to find out what it (we) are all about. So, let me clarify my delineation of "the movement" that the FM ning represents (if that is even the right term): 

The Movement (again, short-hand code) related to the FM ning, is very broad, because virtually anyone can come on and join the FM ning and say and teach what they want to about fear and fearlessness, etc. One doesn't have to agree, or be a follower of any of us who are FM ning members, or do they have to conform to my philosophy either just because I am the host/moderator and original creator of the FM ning. However, for the newcomer to "the movement" there are some obvious 'big players' already on the FM ning who write the most, publish books, and tend to take up a good deal of the 'air space' on the ning. From my point of view, just because of that involvement they have, and commitment, and being outspoken etc., does not mean they "run" the movement or the ning, and/or do they define what the study of fear and fearlessness has to be like or look like. Indeed, they, like myself will have bigger influence on the face-of-the ning, and the "Fearlessness Movement"--however, there is not a pre-determined set or domination of ideas that is or ought to be and others should only follow. All can be co-creators of the content and shaping of the Fearlessness Movement and the FM ning that is one of its manifestations. 

I delineate "the Movement" at this time, with three major components (branches) that appear on the FM ning [as distinct from, yet interrelated with the Fearlessness Movement per se] [3]:

1. Fisher's Philosophy of Fearlessness, 2. Desh Subba's Philosophy of Fearism and 3. Eneyo's Philosophy of Fear... as well Kalu has his own version and mixture of all of these three labeled brands of philosophy. 

The other some 60 people on the FM ning, besides the above guys, are (as far as I can tell) less participative as writers and less involved in creating their own philosophy (branch of the Fearlessness Movement). From my view, these 60 people are no less important or invited to be shapers (and/or followers and students)... than anyone else on the FM ning or those who are associated with the Fearlessness Movement who are not signed up as members on the FM ning. 

I trust this short bit of delineation on my part is helpful in some way. I encourage anyone, especially newcomers to "the Movement" to ask questions, to stay out of victim-mode if that is what happens as a knee jerk reaction to reading stuff here on the FM ning or by any of the philosophers I mentioned above. 

For philosophy of anything, to stay alive and vibrant and critically self-reflexive, there ought to be open-mindedness and invitation to all... and, I am not naive to think that "all" is actually a reality when it comes down to whom will be attracted and whom will be repulsed by "the Movement"-- people also create their own exclusion from something like a movement because they simply aren't interested and would rather spend their time elsewhere. In the end, I really don't care personally, if people join "the movement" or not. I merely love to communicate with all people about this work and movement. I'd love to see it grow, of course, and I am already well aware it may, or may not. History is rife with examples of philosophers and movements they promoted which came and went. Though, some have stuck around a long time. I would like this study of fear and all its branches of philosophies to become one of the formative forces that shape the future of this world in the 21st century and beyond... 

Notes

1. I wrote on the enemies of fearlessness itself, in Fisher, R. M. (1997). Defining the enemy of fearlessness. Technical Paper No. 6. Calgary, AB: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.  

2. See Chapter One "Fearology, Fearism, and the Fearlessness Movement" as the basic quick introduction to "the movement" being spoken about often by myself, or Desh Subba (as founder of philosophy of fearism). 

3. The Fearlessness Movement is a global historical movement, coined by Fisher, and includes many many movements with their own leaders and philosophies (e.g., A Course in Miracles, Gandhi's Satyagraha movement, etc.) whom are involved in some form of "teachings" that attempt to move the world from fear-based reality and politics etc. towards fearlessness (more or less). Again, see this summarized in Chapter One (end note 1) of Fisher and Subba (2016). 

 

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Fearologists Ask the Bigger Questions: Re: Fear Management

To ask if any form of fear management (style), secular or sacred, is "really effective" is a question the fearologist has to ask. And the larger contextual question to that question is more like "effective" at what? If one group or individual claims to have the "best" or most effective method of fear management, how can we assess that, not just in terms of its own context (e.g., Christian context, biblical context, etc.) but in the larger context of the evolution of fear management systems globally, throughout history. Christians, as my example in this blog, typically don't care about the larger context that the fearologist does. Yet, the fearologist of the 21st century has to care about what the Christians think and are doing in terms of fear management. The fearologist has to have that depth and breadth of ability to communicate with all groups and how they manage fear--and, yes, right down to all individuals as well. It's a big calling, but one I have found continually fascinating.

This blog posting was stirred up by recently reading some excerpts from a new book:

Hamilton (2018) in a book published by a "big" NY publisher (Penguin Random House), is a Methodist pastor in Missouri, USA. I lived in that area of southern-mid-western USA for nine years (2008-17), and I met a lot of clergy-types and had discussions about fear, my work, and their interests and concerns. Overall, they weren't very interested in what I had to offer to their (Christian) ways of fear management. I always wondered why not? Was it because I am not God and citing biblical quotes about how best to manage fear? I'm not a "god fearing man"? [1] I'm sure that's a factor but I also thought, these spiritual and religious leaders in Christianity just don't have the best education on fear management/education for the 21st century? I never told them that directly, but they likely sensed I was implying that in challegning their views...though, I also listened to their views at times without any critique. But being a fearologist, my job is to critique everything about fear and life, and how humans carry on in relationship to fear. Theology and religion play an incredibly powerful role, now and historically, in shaping the relationship of fear itself and in how best then we are to manage, cope with, and/or transform fear.

What made this book by Hamilton catch my eye (and, I have read many of these kinds of books), is the book blurb on Amazon.com that introduces the book with Hamilton's recent survey of his congregation. Here is the excerpt from the blurb:

"Fear is a complex emotion. Sometimes it saves us. More often it robs us of the life we want. But we can take our lives back. 

You'd be hard-pressed to overstate the extent to which fear, anxiety, and worry permeate our lives today. Fear wreaks havoc on our relationships and communities. It leads us into making bad decisions. It holds us back from the very pursuits that promise fulfillment and joy. 

Making matters worse, not a week goes by when some new threat or calamity isn't dominating the headlines. Why are there so many tragedies? we wonder. What will happen next?

As the senior pastor of a large, diverse church in America's heartland, Adam Hamilton has seen the cost of fear up close. When he surveyed his congregation on how fear affects them, 2,400 people responded--and what they said was eye-opening. Eighty percent admitted to living with moderate or significant levels of fear.
Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times is Reverend Hamilton's insightful and impassioned response."

****

Okay, 2400 people is a good sized sample, and I tend to trust Hamilton and his sincerity to find out what his congregation is feeling these days. And, 80% are living in a good deal of fear. I appreciate that Hamilton cared to ask, and that's a budding "fearologist" in his curiousity, I'd say. Such a statistic also makes me wondered, as it may have for Hamilton as well, is the religion they believe in actually helping to reduce and/or eliminate destructive excess, if not irrational fear? It doesn't sound like the God of Love, as Christians supposedly teach (with some exceptions) is working all that well(?) Fear management isn't sounding very effective when I here the 80% statistic? Or, is it effective, and these people in the congregation would be a lot worse off if they didn't have their God? Church? Pastor? Love? on their side(?) Well, that kind of data and research just isn't available. We can only speculate.

That said, I immediately am quite critical of everything in the book I scanned online. Let me share a few of the critiques:

a) Hamilton dedicates a whole chapter 7 to "Weaponizing Fear" and with some good observations there on terrorism, I have to say he has a very limited view of terrorism (very conventional) and that is in contrast to the book that I just co-authored with Desh Subba and B. Maria Kumar [2], yet, Hamilton misses that the entire politics of this planet earth has been one, at least for a few thousand years, one of Fear Wars, and, yes, exactly a process of weaponizing fear (terror) to dominate, control, maim and destroy the "enemy" and, Hamilton oughta know that, as Jesus teaches pretty much the same as what I am saying about the way fear is used sociologically, politically, historically--and, thus, I was not satisfied with Hamilton's restricted view of easily labeled "terrorists" politically while ignoring his own Christian religion as having weaponized fear for a whole lot of purposes throughout most of its history (other religions, typically, have done also),

(b) Hamilton creates (unquestioningly) his implicit effective broad brush simplistic answer to the Fear Problem (not only of himself, his congregation, of America, but of the world), whereby he constructs his own formula for F.E.A.R. [3]: F for face your fears with faith, E for examine your assumptions in light of the facts [4], A for attack your anxieties with action, R for release your cares [worries, fears] to God. I am not saying there is no wisdom in Hamilton's religious fear management system offered. I doubt that it works all that well. So, the issue is, what would be better, more effective? That, I cannot say for certainty, not with the kind of certainty that one reads in Hamilton's teaching (but, then pastors are supposed to sound confident and certain re: their faith in God).

I won't go on and on with problems in this F.E.A.R. formula, be it Hamilton's version or others, the point I am raising is that they are so pragmatic with no theory to draw upon, and certainly, Hamilton is not drawing on the philosophy of fearism, or fearology teachings. The restricted boundaries, if not barriers, around religions, seem always to fall into this "traditional" way of thinking, even when fear is clearly dominating the lives of 80% or so of his congregration, never mind all of America these days. I find this short-sighted view of fear management everywhere I go. I don't claim that churches (e.g., Christianity) are all that worse or better than most organizations in handling fear today. I find them all "under-educated" and relying on old pragmatics, myth, folk wisdom, and good old common sense. But is it working? I doubt it is working very well, and I don't suspect it will change its ways, as religion has that rigid nature to keep the same, only change little on the outside, but the core stays the same. "Be not afraid" says Hamilton, albeit, these words of Jesus or whomever in the Bible come to Hamilton's book cover as "Unafraid" and of course that is 'good marketing' speak these days in America, and apparently in the congregrations as well. Publishers sell a lot of these self-help (Christian-help) books per year... a big industry. But, the fearologist asks: does it really work to manage fear well, to solve the Fear Problem? No, it won't solve anything like the Fear Problem, because there is such a muted and incomplete (if not distorted and rigid) thinking going on in the analysis of fear itself. Again, I won't go down that road of critique in this blog. 

Religion and fear (or even, spirituality and fear)... these are huge topics so important. I have some "faith" in religions and spiritual discourses to discover better fear management/education for the 21st century, however, mostly and ubiquitously I see little progress--for thousands of years, and I say this about Christianity which I know the most about. If I was to improve the fear management/education of religious leaders (like Hamilton), I'd say, why don't you folks come down off the pulpit and get a larger perspective within the evolution of fear management on this planet, in a global and internationalist sense, and take a look at theories of fear management like my own (for e.g.,), based on 10 fear management systems available to humanity... throughout time, and across cultures [5], and begin to see that the discourse (style) of your religious [6] systems is institutionally stuck typically in Fear Management System 4 [pre-modern], and, to acknowledge it has its role, and place, and value, but that many other fear management systems all the way along the spectrum to Fear Management System 9 [nondual] have evolved and are available to humans everywhere, no matter what religious faith one may hold. My point, as a fearologist, is that it is likely not wise to let religion institutionally dictate the fear management systems people are allowed to learn and practice. Then, let them make up their own minds how to manage fear best, and effectively, depending on situations and contexts, and a whole lot of other developmental factors, political factors, and that such complicated means is the way of learning--rather, than these authoritarian-based fixed F.E.A.R. broad brush formulas of tradition only.

Lastly, if "fear" is so recognized as critically important in the lives of people all over, especially today, and in lives of Christians (in congregrations like Hamilton's) then why oh why is there not a deep and longterm search in these traditions of religion for the very best knowledges, knowing, understanding on fear management/education(?). That my friends, is a puzzle. It doesn't speak well, for the future of religions, in my opinion!

 

Notes

1. Note, there are some Christian "fearologists" out there I have met in the world in the last few years, but I myself am not self-identified with any religion. I do however, come from a father and mother line of Christians going back into Europe and Russia, with even an strong evangelical side in my dad's family. So, I do know what it is like to live that way, as I spent many hours with them as a child and young adult; however, my own parents professed to no religion nor did they coerce us to "join" or "believe." I thank them for not instilling a fear of God so that I would behave the way they (or Christians) thought was right. As well, my wife-partner comes from a father who was a Lutheran minister all his life, so I have lots of experience in that religion and with clergy as well.

2. Fisher, R. M., Subba, D., & Kumar, B. M. (in press). Fear, law and criminology: Critical issues applying a philosophy of fearism. Australia: Xlibris. [see Chapter 5]

3. There are a plethora of such variants, secular and sacred, on this formula of fear management, of which the earliest seems to have arisen in the Alcoholics Anonymous tradition, some 40+ years ago or so; ALANON is where I first encountered this formula in their brochures, as they well acknowledged the problem of fear in a recovering alcoholic individual or system (i.e., F for false, E for evidence, A for appearing, R for real).

4. Hamilton is critical of anyone, including his congregration, for distorting truth, facts due to overblown fear. He wrote "The perception that most of us have in America is that ISIS [terrorist group] has as its primary focus killing Americans and Europeans. Yet in the first half of 2017, only 1.7 percent of the 1,670 people killed by ISIS were European or American (29 persons), while more than 95 percent of their victims were Muslims living in Islamic countries" (pp. 65-66).

5. For the complete map of the Fear Management Systems see Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world's fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear management/education in the 21st century. Lanham, MD: University Press of America (Imprint of Rowman & Littlefield).

6. My critique and analysis of fear management systems of "institutions" in society, be they secular or sacred, is much the same, based on the same research I have collected for decades. Also, to note, within religious faith traditions, there are exoteric forms of religion practices (e.g., institutional guard) and there are esoteric forms (e.g., the mystics)--with the latter, usually tapping into, if not creating, the higher more complex and matured wise forms of fear management systems. 

 

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This book contains interesting guides to all those who want to overcome fear. Negative fear consists in: Sadness, sorrow, tragedy, depression, hopelessness, anxiety, stress, etc. While its opposite are: Happiness, peace, pleasure, bliss, (positive fear) etc. In philosophy, a single word is enough to be philosophy. A country, state, king, religion, ethics, etc, are all single words, yet we study and write much about them and bring out many philosophies from them. Just as Aristotle who built his philosophy to find happiness, almost all philosophies, particularly human philosophy started with a single human emotion, temperament and feeling then developed into universal principle of life. Fear is one of such words that have become philosophy to be studied by all and sundry. In this context therefore, this book can be said to be a compendium of prophetic messages that comes with revealed knowledge on how positive fear can be used to foster growth in the society. Indeed, the book is a blessing to those that are willing to overcome negative fear.

The major beauty of the book is that of the Nigerian myths. Efik people's myths are paradigms for philosophy of positive fear. I recommend that other myths of the world, just like the Efik myths discussed in this book should be built on the assumption that myths ought to be channelled toward general development in human society. I found many beautiful words introduced by Eneyo which I think should be included in a Fearism dictionary. I also suggest that the words be inserted in the glossary of this book. Such words like: Horror of fear, antecedent fear, fear territory, fear memory, fear conflict, eschatology of fear, fear studies, history of fear, faculty of fear, fear climax, fear coalition, fearful mythology, negative fear expeller, potentiality of fear and many other new words. The credit of these new words belongs to you; you're the coiner. Your logic, explanation, example and myths are well articulated. I congratulate you on your success.

Desh Subba,

Author: Philosophy of Fearism and founder of the Fearism Movement.

Hong Kong

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 The upcoming book Philosophy of Fear is a philosophical manual developed by me to aid human persons overcome the existential limitations imposed on humanity by fear. In this book, I recognizes two categories of fear: The positive and the negative and I blamed all forms of negative activities of human persons to negative fear, while I attributes all aspects of positive developments to positive fear.

The tenet of this book is that; there is fear everywhere and that this fear is fundamental to all beings. Hence, philosophy of fear as a philosophical school of thought, ought to be given its own seat in the educational environment with its unique brand name: "Philosophy of Fear" or "Fearism". As a book designed to investigate the nature, scope and the role of fear in human society, philosophy of fear is out to offer expanding opportunities to the study of fear and its related challenges.

In suggesting a workable methodology to the solution to fear problems, i adopted unification-complementary approach in advancing my philosophical arguments, where fear and fearless/courage (the opposites) are investigated in a unified and in a complementary manner in order to have a complete knowledge about fear. I am of the opinion that, unless opposites are  taken into consideration, enquiry is incomplete.

In making fearful/fearless decisions therefore, the book uses love-courage as a panacea for decision making within the framework of Fearism. In this expanding investigation, I incidentally ended up in place where all fearful things are found which I refered to as in this book, "Fear Territory". Thus, fear territory is an open ended research zone that can accommodate all fearologists or any body who wants to study fear.

Such words like: faculty of fear, fear coalition, fear conflicts, amalgamation of fear, fear climax, potentiality of fear, history of fear, negative fear expeller, etc, have been coined to demonstrate the workings and the operational patterns of fear.

The book is an interpretative, analytical, explanatory, logical and of course, philosophical guide to the intrigues of fear and how it can be overcome. I urge you all to be ready to grasp your copy.

Author: Michael Eneyo.

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WHERE IS FEAR?

In my up coming book, An Invitation to Fearism: A Contemporary Philosophy, I am going to handle some critical issues like where fear as a being is. Most people sees fear as an EMOTION while others sees it as a STATE. There is always this question as a fearologist, is fear in man or outside man? For while many psychologist argue that fear is inherent in man, philosophers who think that man is also an emotive being and that since fear is an emotion, fear is ipso facto part of man's emotive composition? However, I continually disagree with this position. This is because, the perceptive nature of man and his ability to grapple with things around his environment makes him to perceive fear from the environment. Perception here means existential copying of an event or thing (fear factors) either through thinking or empirical grappling. When these are copied to the mind it becomes induced and now be in a state called fear.

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