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Fisher's Four Paradigms: Human Condition

This Figure is my latest mapping of my own evolution of thought, philosophizing and theorizing about Love and Fear ... and, right to my latest version (Trialectic-Upgrade) which has emerged from my reading of Moreno's (1971/77) book (see my blog below). This has been 30 years of thinking critically about how to understand the "Human Condition" (and, concomitantly, how to understand "Human Nature" and "Human Potential"). I am convinced that without a good understanding of these relationships, there will be ineffective paradigms created for "managing" humankind and our future--especially, when we take into account the nature and role of Fear. Philosophy of Fearism (a la Subba) and Philosophy of Fearlessness (a la Fisher) and Philosophy of Fear (a la Eneyo etc.) ought to be very engaged with these four paradigms and/or adding more--around this deep search for understanding the primary forces of human meta-motivation. 

Of course, I am only giving you the barest skeletal diagrams here, as a small book could be written on describing the ontological details, rationale and potential applications  for each of these models and why they have evolved in my own thinking---and, I would argue they are each one an improvement upon the prior paradigm--a kind of evolutionary maturity is shown. For a general understanding of my own intellectual critique and evolution of the first 3 paradigms go to Fisher 2017 Radical Love.pdf" as it is an article published in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy. 

 

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"Philosophy of Fearism" is a Unique Philosophy.

"Philosophy of Fearism" is a unique Philosophy.

Prepared by Nunuta Rai

Translated by Desh Subba

Edited by Michael Bassey Eneyo

Published Saturday 2 September, 2018 Naya Patrika, Daily, Kathmandu, Nepal 

For 19 years now, Desh Subba of Dharan, Nepal has made Hong Kong a workmanship of a new philosophy. There, he has borne a new vision – 'Fearism'. Subba had revealed that within four years, his book on Philosophy has won 10 International Awards. He had conceived the new idea of Philosophy of Fearism about two decades ago. But his fearism ideas came to the public domain just about four years back. Bhayabad which is Nepal’s name for “Philosophy of Fearism” was translated into English with the above name as its title, and published in 2014. The publication offers the book a wider readership, thus, making it even more popular in the global society. Since then, Fearism as a philosophical movement has attracted many followership from different parts of the world and the movement is growing rapidly. Amongst the members of the movement are: the Indian author B. Maria Kumar, R. Michael Fisher and Desh Subba who had jointly wrote a book entitled: "Fear, Law and Criminology critical issues in applying  the Philosophy of Fearism", Dr. R. Michael Fisher and Desh Subba had equally coauthored a book titled: "Philosophy of Fearism- East-West Dialogue". These books are all published by the American Publisher, Xlibris.

Right now, there are many books published on the basis of Fearism. According to Subba, based on the Philosophy of Fearism, a Canadian author Michael Fisher has written many articles on fearism. Also, two Nigerian authors Osinakachi Akuma Kalu and Michael Bassey Eneyo have published books with the titles- "The First Stages of the Fearologist and "Philosophy of Fear: A Move to Overcoming Negative Fear" respectively. Similarly, Indian authors, B. Maria Kumar and B. S. Susmita have recently coauthored the book "The Youth Don't Cry". The book has given high respect to Philosophy of Fearism. This article is necessitated by the conversation that took place between feature writer of Naya Patrika Daily Newspaper Nunuta Rai and Propounder of Philosophy of Fearism, Desh Subba. 

State, Police, army, hospital, law, society, court, government, school, insurance, bank, etc, are established to minimize fear. Fear is behind all these. 

The Beginning of Philosophy of Fearism

 The beginning of "Philosophy of Fearism" can be said to be accidentally emerged. In 1999, I prepared a book entitled 'Ujad' (Desolate). A friend of mine Sharan Subba after reading the manuscript, he underlined the word Bhayabad with a red ink. I thought of it deeply for quite a long time about the word. “This can be different” I pondered. Then I began to reason that the word could be installed as a philosophy. From then, friends and I started discussing fearism, it was from the several discussions with friends that I came up with the name, Philosophy of Fearism. Fearism as a philosophical movement was first mentioned in a Tapu Magazine in 2005.

This magazine was published in Hong Kong. While Fearism Study centre was established in 2009 with many followers supporting it.  Prof. Tanka Prasad Neupane is the first installed Chairman of the movement. Every year the Centre awards "Tilmati Fearism Award" to an author who writes about Fearism. So far, Rana Kafle of Assam, India and Rajendra Guragain have been awarded. This year, a Nigerian author Osinakachi Akuma Kalu has equally been awarded for his book titled "The First Stage of the Fearologist." This is a clear indication that   Fearism Movement is growing. 

What is Philosophy of Fearism? 

Philosophy of Fearism is an emerging philosophy that deals basically with the problems of fear. Since the beginning of civilization we have had different kinds of fear that affect humanity in both positive and negative ways. Till today, fear is still taking the center place in our societies. Fear itself seems to me the most basic to every other philosophy. Actually, Life is conducted, directed and controlled by fear. Our invention, construction, etc, are as consequences of one form of fear or another. State, Police, army, hospital, law, society, court, government, school, insurance, bank all were established to minimize fear. Fear is behind all these. We have fear of death, fear of prestige, fear of disease, fear of property, fear of society, etc. 

How  is Fearism a philosophy? 

The base of all philosophies is fear, and fear is a Life carrier word. It is fear that raises consciousness and life. Unlike Marxism, materialism and idealism which are just words that don’t give the meaning of life, fear defines life.  Although the above words also have the suffix “ism” just like fearism. This suffix has also given them philosophical coronation, but even at that, they all stood at the base of Fearism because they do not give the meaning of life, Subba reasoned. 

Philosohy of Fearism raises consciousness and life. Marxism, Materialism and Idealism are just words; they don't give the meaning of life. These “isms” stood at the base of Fearism. 

Philosophy of Fearism teaches the solutions to the problems of life. Subba believes that excess of fear, less fear or absence of fear is a problem. For him, moderate fear solves problem. For example, a student who studies hard does so for fear of failing an examination. When he has more fear, he will not do well in the examination even when he had study hard. Supposing also that the said student does not have the fear of failing his/her exams, he/she wouldn’t study hard. If he/she has the fear of failing, he/she will certainly study hard and write the exams well, thus scoring high marks when the result is out. The motive of Fearism as a new philosophical movement is to prevent any accidents of fear and as such, make life better. Fearism teaches us how to live a comfortable life. 

Philosophy of Fearism is not a literature ? 

Fearism can be used in literature, music and art but it is not literature itself. Entry of Fearism in literature, music and art help man to get more understanding. We have been observing life through ideologies but ideologies make life more difficult. Just like how Marxism, Existentialism, Idealism, Deconstruction and other philosophies came into literature, music and art; similarly Fearism has also come into different aspects of life including literature. Fearism is a world lens to see life, literature, art, psychology, sociology and other fields of studies.  It does not only look at challenges of human beings, it also looks at animals and birds and the entire world issues.   

Obviously we cannot see sexual desire, anger, illusion, temptation, jealously, greed, hatred and faith in animals and birds. But fear can be seen in different ways from a far distance. When we talk of seeing fear, we mean experiencing fear and its symptoms.  When pullets see the hawk in the sky, they run away with the screaming noise. Some living creatures escape for safety when they see lion and pantheon. Because the living creatures are already aware of the natural disaster like: earthquake and Tsunami, so they run for safety when such disaster occurs. When we seek for a way to save our life from various accidents, fear is always the reason.


We must have fear treatment centres? 

To know fear, to be rescued from fear, to be protected from fear, to treat fear properly, we must have fear education institutes, colleges and universities. It is necessary to have fear treatment centres and doctors. The world is getting more dangerous, increase terrorist activities; people have become racists and regionalists. The image of classless society is not enough to overcome fear. And even if we have classless society, we cannot be fearless. To fight all these fear problems, we must have knowledge about fearism. Hence, we must visit treatment centre, because a good knowledge of fear can save us from suicide, murder, panic, war, rape, invasion and failure. Such knowledge made for a calm and  a coordinative society. 

Growing Followers ?

Nowadays followers of Fearism Movement are growing. In comparison, Africa has the highest number. The reason for these growing followers from Africa is because of fear of war, violence and starvation that is prevalent in the continent, with the growing civil war as the main reason. Africa, by my assessment, is "Fear danger zone". Fearism also has many followers in north east India as well because of the problems of racists and regionalists. Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Assam have these problems. Where there are many fearful situations, there is likely to be more followers. 

Recognizing towards Philosophy ? 

Philosophy of Fearism is a re-explanation of all other philosophies, ideal, life, death and all aspects of existence. The questions of; what is fear, from where does it come? What could be its effect? And how can it be cured, etc, cannot find detailed research, thesis and explanations anywhere except in fearism centre. There’s fear everywhere. When we depart from home we have fear and when we return, there’s fear also. We wake up from sleep with the fear of how the day would be, and we go to bed with the fear of what the night holds for us. Government, Bank, Hospital, School and Society were set up to protect us against fear and also to rescue human persons from fear. People embrace these institutions because they want to be saved. Taking all these into consideration, we will agree that Philosophy of Fearism has explanation for all questions about fear.  It functional formula is life-consciousness-knowledge-fear-cognition/Fearism. 

All creatures have consciousness. Because of consciousness man has knowledge and this knowledge creates fear. To get rid of fear, we find ourselves running everywhere. Fear made us form organizations and create countries. In the course of looking for safety, we kill others. This tradition is common in developing society. We are neither running according to Hierarchy of needs of Abraham Maslow nor running in the name of class struggle as Marx declared. Fear makes us run away from others, thus rendering us lonely. We were lonely during the ancient civilization, and today we are sitting in the middle of society but still lonely.  

Before now, the Freudian psychoanalysis, used to put mental patients in dark room, tied them up with ropes and get them tortured. But today, worldwide these patients are easily classified. The sicknesses associated with mental problem have been identified and the corresponding treatments have been developed. But at present, fear patients are not treated, and if they do, they’re not properly treated just like mental patients of the 18th century. Treatment of fear patients hasn’t yielded good result yet.  

Fear patients must be treated with fear vaccines in fearism method. They must be cured in a fear treatment centre, where there’re fear vaccines (theories) to treat them with. These vaccines or theories must be known and adopted by fear doctors (fearists/fearologists) and then administer to fear patients by the doctors based on their method(s) of prescription in their treatment centre. Thus, Philosophy of Fearism is that school where doctors of fear patients are trained. Courses like: thought of fear, sources of fear, kinds of fear, effects of fear, fear age, fear treatment and other fear related courses are taught. It is in need an emerging philosophy of the 21st century for the treatment of fear.

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Book by Francisco Jose Moreno (1971/77)

I appreciate being notified of this book by Dr. Randy Auxier, philosopher at SIUC, as he informed me that he was reading Moreno and found the first two chapters to be all about fear at the base of the human condition and of reason itself. Moreno (1971/77), a political philosopher (Mexican-American?) wrote, "Fear is one of the fundamental motivating forces behind our actions. The history of [hu]mankind is to a very large extent the history of our attempts to deny, repress, or escape from fear" (p. 1). "The fear resulting from our ability to reason [i.e., awaken to uncertainty and our own vulnerability] affects us so profoundly that it permeates our whole existence. This fear, which we struggle to suppress...never [completely] abandons us..." (p. 6). 

FEARISM: Roots (Precursors) of a Philosophy of Fear

Although Desh Subba points to several sources of theories and philosophies in his 2014 book [1] that somewhat point to the central importance of fear, Subba is not able to find any distinct "roots" that satisfy him that the "philosophy of fearism" (he coined) has a forerunner. This makes philosophy of fearism a unique creation for sure and that is worth celebrating. However, it also makes me question as to whether there are not indeed "roots" (forerunners) that already existed before 1999 and Subba's subsequent development of fearism. I am currently writing on this topic. It seems there are some authors, and Moreno (1971/77) is one of them, that may indeed be precursors to a philosophy of fearism. Because I just got this book in the mail today, and haven't read it, but only read reviews of it, I'll keep you all informed of my findings--but the two quotes above by Moreno are indeed compelling evidence that Moreno was "onto" a form of philosophy of fearism nearly a quarter century before Subba's fearism notion arose. 

All fearists, of any scholarly pursuit, will want to look at this little book (129pp) from the 1970s, from an original thinker--not because he identifies fear as at the source of distorted thinking "but in locating the root of fear in reason itself" --that is what makes his philosophy of uncertainty (i.e., of fear) a unique and important and courageous contribution (quotes from Michael A. Weinstein, in the "Introduction"). Such a claim by Moreno is going to really challenge all the "rationalists" and believers in "reason" as the best way to manage fear. Moreno seems to be turning that common and dominating thesis upon its head.

As I read these brief comments and quotes, at this point, I am strongly sensing Moreno is a precursor philosopher (from the political field) who sees through, and sees beyond fear of fear itself--and moves forward to articulate a philosophy of the human condition where fear is central and it is this fear that is the glue that links Reason and Faith--it is fear that is in between Reason and Faith (the psychic and cultural (and intellectual) defenses of individuals and collectives that try to repress fear and its impacts; that try to deny fear is central but prefer to put reason and faith first and central).  

 End Note

1. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris; see also Fisher, R. M. & Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris. 

 

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I recently found this image (as Halloween, or 'Day of the Dead' or Hallomas or Samhain) on the internet. The title was provocative and speaks to the concept of which this blog is all about: that is, the proposition (if not theory) that the basic core of the human condition is fear (or fear-based) (?)

The philosophy of fearlessness (Fisher) and philosophy of fearism (Subba) [1] is arguably a combination of supportive philosophies for the above claim. Others, like Eneyo who in part takes some aspects of the Fisher-Subba philosophies in his own "philosophy of fear" prefers to make the core of the human one of love, yet he agrees fear is also core but secondary [2]. The Fisher-Subba position is not opposed to Eneyo's claim but is more a nuanced branch of a philosophy of fear that situates understanding the human by focusing on fear over and above focusing on love [3].

My point of writing this very short blog is to say that there is still not an adequate (referenced) scholarly synthesis of important writing (philosophy and theory) on the proposition in the internet poster and/or in the authors' work mentioned above. There are fragments of support references for their claims but not yet the document that is needed to give scholarly credibility (at least, not as far as I am concerned).

I am of late beginning to see some critical thinkers in the early 1970s that I will be documenting their positions and arguments, theories, and works...coming from backgrounds in philosophy/anthropology/political science/theology... it is still too early for me to make my case for their support of the Fisher-Subba position re: fear is the core of the human condition and history itself is the unfolding of that human-fear relationship--as one of, if not the most powerful relationships on this planet (i.e., fearuality, fearological reality).

I'll keep you updated as this paper (booklet) I'm writing evolves.

Notes:

1. 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. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris. Another young budding philosopher of this synthesis with his own nuances is Osinakachi Akuma Kalu (with his two books on fear in the last two years; e.g., The First Stage of the Fearologist. Amazon CreateSpace).

2. Eneyo, M. (2018). The philosophy of fear: A move to overcoming negative fear. Australia: Xlibris.

3. For a brief intro. discussion of Fisher and Subba on fear and love, see Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris (2016), p. xxxi. 

 

 

 

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Black Consciousness: Fear and Liberation

 

This radical minister is one who is part of the same religious-liberation movement as Malcolm X was (in the USA)... I do not necessarily support this minister and his religious group and their leader(s)... but he is an influential voice, and speaks some wisdom that all need to hear (same as did Malcolm X), especially, as he calls to Black people all over the world: for the 3 min. video talk

 

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The Fearology Institute: Update

Students of Fearology... young and old, from around the globe... India, Africa, America, Europe, Canada... are leading the way to a 'new' way to critique, understand, and intervene in the global Fear Problem(s) of our times... 

Hello all who may be interested in The Fearology Institute (TFI) online higher education. I am pleased, as founder, director and main instructor, to share with you that we have five registered students taking the first course at TFI ("Expanding the Fear Imaginary")--and, some of these students are intending to take the full first-year program to train as a "fearologist." 

Since end of July 2018, the program at TFI is designed and slowly unfolding and evolving as I and the students learn about what it is going to become. There are no prior programs anywhere in the world on this new domain (field) of study and scholarship, that produce a professional certificate. I have designed "four core courses" and there are three streams of specialization students can pick after the first mandatory course (i.e., "Expanding the Fear Imaginary"). 

See my video "Introduction: The Fearology Institute" and/or you may find more info. on the program if you do a search (top right corner) on this FM ning site. 

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Michael Moore Meets Fearologist

In 2004 (one year after my dissertation on "Fearless Leadership") I was interviewed on Canadian national (CBC) Radio by one of the top program hosts (Shelagh Rogers). The live 18 min. interview (her in Toronto and me in Vancouver) is historical and a great moment in my life of possibility for "fearology" and the naming of the importance of fear's impacts. The program began as follows:

(S): Good morning!

(M) (Michael): Good morning Shelagh.

S: To begin, what’s a fearologist?

M: Well, a fearologist is somebody who studies the relationship of fear with, basically, Life. And that fear is not just what I’d call psychological fear but actually cultural, sociological, political fear.

S: And how did you become a fearologist?

M: Well, basically, I’m not trained in fearology. It’s hard to find anywhere that will give you a degree in that.

S: [chuckles] 

****

It is 14 years later and such an interview with the public media has not happened since with anything more than the very brief media interview (clip) of less than a minute on air. It is quite possible that public media or even independent media radio or tv will not ever interview me again. I've learned lessons about this kind of thing over the decades. The 'snowball effect' that we all wish for when we are promoting a cause may or may not come in our life-times. It's a humbling reality.

****

The point of sharing the Roger's interview is to point to my ongoing interrelationship with the art/activism (film making) of Michael Moore (B. and I went and saw his latest movie 11/9 last night... more on that later in this blog). Roger's and I also got into a discussion about Moore's award-winning Oscar film (2002):

M: I wish every parent, teacher and community leader would read the latest book on the culture of fear by Dr. Giroux, on how fear is being constructed through a cultural politics by elites in government, the military, and corporations—he says we are abandoning the young people of Gen X and Y. Democracy is being undermined by a culture of fear in a post-9/11 world. Giroux’s point, and mine, is that it doesn’t mean we don’t take action against terrorists, it means we don’t undermine democracy and all quality of life in doing it.

S: Michael, what is responsible for that?

M: Well I think you know media has unfortunately....

S: I’m leaving the studio.... [chuckles]

M: [chuckles] I know. I was just ready, you are going to shut the mic off here. I think it’s pretty clear that, Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore, was a clear indicator of the impact that media has on constructing fear. So, I’ve been using this term, culturally constructed, or culturally-modified fear.

S: And Bowling for Columbine would be the culture of fear, leading to gun culture?

M: Gun culture and where we get in situations where one-third, for example, statistics, of housing starts in America are actually walled-communities. So, just think that one-third of housing starts are actually in gated or walled-communities.

S: Is the media it, Michael? Or are there other sources for the blooming of the culture of fear? 

**** [For the full interview script: https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/forum/dancing-with-shelagh-rogers-on-cbc-radio-18-minutes-for-fearology ]

Michael Moore also showed up in a photo entry https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/photos/3allies where I talk about why Moore is important:

"Michael Moore Meets Fearologist-II" (my 2nd video) go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJLdM85Rwts&t=4s

I have been playing with images of allies and enemies for a long time on my soul journey. I'll share some images of allies that I constructed in my 'avatar' imaginary "Second World" landscape and mindscape, as more or less, "useful" to where I was (and am) heading... [my 'shamanic' work]

For those of you not familiar, here are their names and you can look up their very interesting work over the decades:

on far left upper: Andrew Cohen; left upper Don Beck; left lower Ken Wilber

on far right upper: Marilyn Manson, on right uppermost Michael Moore, on lower David Icke

**** [For a recent critique on Moore's Fahrenheit 11/9 film go to https://fearlessnessmovement.ning.com/blog/mixing-art-activism-education-michael-moore-s-new-film

****

Point of this imagery around Moore and my ongoing interrelationship to his work (and my critiques) shows he is deep in my psyche, you might say, and deeply connected to my soul, you might say. I believe he represents something I admire and am not happy about. I see a missed educative opportunity, a missed healing and transformative possibility... he get's people close to the point of great transition and then falls short and drops into a 'cheap' victimizational emotionalism and politics of the oppressed, without the sacred. He's a secular activist and it really hurts his work and potency for 'big' transformation in the world, in consciousness, and a healthy and growing criticality. He falls back into his American upbringing and media-based ways of "propaganda" (at some level)--because he is competitive to "win" (and good are over here and evil are over there).... he plays off the archetypal 'David and Goliath" story narrative always, to "win" fans and to try to "win" elections of better people or parties. Albeit, he shows in 11/9 that he is less and less convinced that any of the big political parties (Democrats or Republicans) are very good and yet he still believes new faces of new politicians can make the changes needed.

I agree and disagree continually with Moore's ways of "teaching" to make this improvement in society (especially, America). I won't go into this further and further but I have already said, that he doesn't handle the topic of fear very well because he has no theory of a praxis of fearlessness... he cannot get beyond victimization politics and emotionalism (see how he uses emotional close-up shots of faces of people in this film--it is really his main way of getting emotional reactions out of people--and manipulating affect for political and ideological gain--he's seemingly fine with that approach).

I cannot explain what it is but there is something very important in Moore's art in this world today. I have said often (see my latest video on responding to Moore and his 11/9 film just released) that I wish I could find a way to collaborate and advise Moore in his films. They are all, more or less, about Culture Wars (in a meta-context of a culture of fear)--and, now, in this latest film 11/9 Moore says very clearly that "evil" is here and we have to get rid of it. But unfortunately, he doesn't just scare people with this and images of the Third Reich (Germany, 1930s), he doesn't offer any deeper analysis and understanding (like from Hannah Arendt and her study of the "banality of evil" and how everyone contributes to the success of evil, if you want to call it that). No, Moore keeps things too clean and simple, and he searches for the iconic images of "glory" in his battle with the dark forces on the planet. And no more will you find his iconic (emotionalism) being played out but in the last 15 seconds or so when he takes one of the victims of the Florida mass shooting event in 2018 Spring, and zooms in on one of the high school students faces, eyes, at a podium, standing in silence, looking at the crowd, the viewer... this is what Moore likes to do--to try to show the "glory" of the traumatized fighting back, with this young woman's message and look of defiance to the authorities and those not responsible for ending gun accessibility to too many unsuitable people in America. Moore wants her face all over the screen--and, what I see is a young person highly traumatized fighting with bravado... some courage... and, a long ways away from fearlessness. This tells me the "gap" in Moore's secular activist work, and how he really has no model for liberation but continually talks about justice, peace, and such... but so does not seem to understand the nature and role of fear (and fearlessness)... he misses the "path" over and over, but comes so close to guiding people in a sacred way to "truth"--he rather, likes emotionalism-truth of victims (sad as that may be)--but that isn't enough Mr. Moore... you've not seen the bigger picture of what liberation is about. You ought to know better! Your award winning 2002 movie, long ago, had all the directions to take to deal with better understanding Culture Wars (especially in America)--and the culture of fear it produces. It seems you (Mr. Moore) have gone for the quick-fix cheap emotional hit to try to "win" an election with better candidates (not that this is a bad thing)... sorry, history shows that there is no ultimate victory or even small victory over evil, if we as a species do not do the deeper sacred healing and transformation of 'evil' (if you want to call it that)... I offer, as a fearologist, a much more nuanced analysis to the Fear Problem (Evil Problem)... and, I do that by not just putting icons of "glory" of victimization and trauma up as the "one's to follow" or "one's to inspire"--that's an old strategy that doesn't purvey the true spirit of fearlessness in a mature form, it is an immature form (better than nothing, sure)...

Just some thoughts for Mr. Moore and his followers... and, for fearologists of the future who will be needed to help out this situation that won't go away--call it "evil" if you want.

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

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

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

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Dr. Sheldon Solomon, social experimental psychologist (re: Terror Management Theory = TMT)... is one of several very important researchers on "mortal terror" (i.e., fear of death) as the universal ("proven") core of all malignant human behaviors individually and collectively--at least, that's what has been suggested by TMT research and the existential philosophy behind it for the last 40 years or so (thanks to writing of the late Ernest Becker). I have followed this work off and on and found it very insightful and yet to be truly tapped in 'Fear' Studies ... 

I recommend going to this video talk on the dim future of humanity ahead (unless we solve the Fear Problem): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuJhD5TkX-0

Note: I agree with much (not all) of TMT... much of the basis of TMT is supported, I'd argue in the philosophy of fearlessness (Fisher) and philosophy of fearism (Subba) and philosophy of fear (Eneyo) and others... I agree with TMT in its depiction and theory (supported by a good deal of cross-cultural evidence) that "culture" is a fear management strategy overall. In my Fear Management Systems Theory (Fisher, 2010), I give this more differentiation based on v-memes (worldviews) theories in Spiral Dynamics integral (theory).  

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Well, after a lot of years of making documentaries, in the 'wild' style of art, activism, and education... Micheal Moore has just had his newest film released last night (mostly on the Trump election and following disasters to democracy in the USA) and on "fear" (and "terror") of all kinds of fascist waves going on all over the world.. I look forward to seeing his latest film, and it is not because I love everthing Moore does and how he represents people and problems--the big and "wicked problems" that we have to face as humanity... but I like to see how he uses his art, smarts, and technologies to "create curriculum" for the 21st century.

I followed his work closely in the post-Columbine highschool mass shooting and how he approached the American "Gun Problem" (aka "Fear Problem") in his movie that won an Academy Award, Bowling for Columbine" (2002). 

I won't say much more at this point until I see the film, and listen to interviews of Moore... with the question in the back of my mind: "Is Moore a good artist, activist, educator?" and so far, I think he is a better artist-activist than he is an educator, and particularly I am referring to how he handles "fear" as a major topic... which runs all through all his best documentary works... in Bowling for Columbine he really was making a film about the growing "culture of fear" ... and its consequences...which, arguably, I would speculate have been brewing for a good 30 years in particular, and the symptoms are arising (e.g., gun violence) etc... and if you watch his 2002 award winning film, it is the "best" dealing with fear as a topic... and of course terror is not far away... in Fahrenheit 11/9 we'll no doubt once again see him dealing with "fear of Trump" and everything Trump represents ... watch carefully how he "teaches" us about what is going on and how best to understand fear/terror and how best to manage it... transform it... if he even gets to anything so complex... my critique of all his works (as he is a typical activist) is his stereotypes and polarizations (simplifications)--to create his stories. 

RECENT VIDEO RESPONSE of mine to Moore's interview on "Democracy Now" tv program (with Amy Goodman): 

https://youtu.be/ga5BZfV5UnA

 Most recent video (2nd one) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJLdM85Rwts&t=4s

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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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16 YEARS LATER... Finding ways to locate 'fear' at the center... and a new critical theory/pedagogy...

In 2002 I had done a series of 71 of these "platinum plates" for my arts-based arational component of my dissertation: "Fearless Leadership In and Out of the 'Fear' Matrix" (UBC). This particular plate/collage image I created from the standard campus map, and re-converted it to my own 'narrative' of the kind of liberational university I fantasized would be some day, with a "place" for Fear as central to the education and the buildings and support for fearanalysis etc. 

So, my red circled building is the actual Education (Scarfe Bldg.) on The University of British Columbia campus... I attended most of my classes there in my masters and doctoral degrees in Education (1998-2003). The interesting thing I reflect on right now is that I actually was creating the first mapping (as an institutional imaginary) for an Institute of Fearanalysis... which, eventually since then has gone through several morphs and failures, and re-visions... blueprints... as I keep finding alternatives to the mainstream higher education that is going on and is so out of synch with the demands of the times, the 21st century, post-9/11 era, and so out of touch with the Anthropocene context. 

The very earliest actuality of my vision for a Fear University of the liberational kind... based on fearlessness... etc. was my venture in 1990-91 in beginning, with Barbara Bickel, the In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute and center in Calgary, AB. Then the past 2 years I have had different images and blueprints floating in my imagination filled with desire to find a "form" that could sustain itself and work. The latest iteration is The Fearology Institute, now with four students, from around the world, and more in the wings interested to join. So, I wanted to share this 'map' above to show you sometimes how long it takes to bring a vision together, even in the most humble outcome, and most minimal impact on the world... patience is no. 1, I believe, on the path of fearlessness... and to be a true visionary. 

p.s. oh, if you are wondering what the DCFV letters represent, they are my "big four" concepts that stand for: DOMINATION, CONFLICT, FEAR, VIOLENCE... upon which I began to formulate in 1998 in the early stages of my masters degree in adult education (also at UBC). 

 

 

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Locating Fear At the Center... Again

 In literary works, at least in the West, there is a long tradition of showing how "FEAR" is the great corruption (along with "power" of course)-- of all things good. In this 2014 sci-fi apocalyptic novel, Grant spins out another version of this ever-literary-metaphoric "truth" about fear and human civility (and its Shadow): The advertisement on amazon.com books tells it all in the future "FEARSCAPE" of humanity/desiny: 

PLOT: "It's been one year since all the adults disappeared. Gone.

Despite the hunger, despite the lies, even despite the plague, the kids of Perdido Beach are determined to survive. Creeping into the tenuous new world they've built, though, is the worst incarnation yet of the enemy known as the Darkness: fear." 

****

 Unfortunately, the gift of the aesthetic, arational and arts modalities in depicting "fear" (FEAR) in so many ways it does, leaves us still as a populus with "okay, so what now?" kind of feelings... and, I keep thinking what would happen if artists of all kinds were better informed by the philosophy of fearism, could they produce works on fear that are more than horror, terrorology-- and, actually do some good fearwork for the planet? I think they could...

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Locating Fear At The Center

 Dr. Simone Tulumello, a Portuguese geographer and urban planning/theorist, has since 2009 especially, been devoting much (but not all) of his research attention on the nature and role of fear (especially, "urban fear") in urban planning and life quality in cities. He is not the only one to turn attention on fear in this field, as one can find all sorts of terms like "architecture of fear," "landscapes of fear" and "geographies of fear" (to name a few) that have taken up locations in scholarly discourses over the last 40 years, and especially the last five years of which Tulumello (and some others before him) have suggested that we even adopt the term "fearscapes" to give due justice to the ever-increasing and complex nature of fear and its impacts.

So, he has suggested landscapes are becoming more and more better understood, at least in the modern and postmodern cities as fearscapes, because fear has taken on such a central role. Tulumello in his latest book [1], not unlike some of the fearism literature of late [2], has been sliding notions of "multiplexing fear" [3] along with other spheres of life for critical analysis of various phenomena--in Tulumello's case, spatiality, cultural politics of cities and generally urban planning and policy. I find Tulumello's work unique amongst other scholars in geography, architecture and urban planning and theorizing in that he has (paradigmatically?) shifted emphasis on the common study of spatialization of fear (i.e., fear and spaces = spaces of fear discourses) to come to see that such a discursive formation and linguistics is not adequate, if not it is distortive, of a more nuanced phenomena of fearscape(s). 

The simple definition of fearscape refers to the embedded fear (explicit and implicit) in landscapes/spaces/places, and is often used equivalent with "landscapes of fear" (which is Tulumello's strategy as well, p. 1). In a more complicated argument than I will explain here, I like how Tulumello shifts back and forth but in fact seems to prefer fearscape [4]. I heartily agree, as would the philosophy of fearism, that putting "fear" central (or, in this case, linguistically as the prefix on any term or phenomena) marks the new term (e.g., fearscape) in a new way that expands the imaginary and analytic probe into an investigation of just how much fear is involved in the phenomena--which, hypothetically is "central" as Tulumello (2016) says in the following quote from his new book: 

[My operating] "hypothesis... [is] that some of the sociopolitical processes and spatial practices characterizing the last few decades, in the Western world and beyond, have been, and are, using fear and urban fear, instrumentally for agendas that are placing the civic and public gist of urban spaces worldwide into a state of crisis. As a result, fear, togther with the geopolitics of security stemming from it, has been producing exclusion, affecting especially marginalised groups.... If this is the case, putting fear at the centre of planners' agenda is nowadays inescapable." (p. 3)

I have often dipped my toes into architecture, urban planning/theorizing, and attempted to bring my own ideas and a philosophy of fearlessness (or of late, philosophy of fearism) to the table of analysis and perspective. Perhaps, Tulumello and many of us on this trajectory can have dialogues in the future. It is fascinating to me (and Subba) that Tulumello has adopted this "linguistic trick" he calls it in his naming of fearscape (Tulumello, 2015, p. 268).

Of course, the interrelationship of fear and fearlessness (a dialectic) is something that Tulumello seems not to enter into in what I have read of his work so far. In order to keep this short, I note that Tulumello's strategy for working with fear (of which he did not know our work) is quite similar (in part) to my own and to Subba's [5] and that is to keep the imaginary of fear (or fear imaginary) open-ended for the most part--and, I so appreciate his project is "... to build a comprehensive and critical theory [of fear]" (p. 108) and he also wants such an inquiry to be "exploratory" and thus avoiding reductionism around the conceptualization of fear, our ways of knowing fear, defining it and making meaning of it and ourselves. He notes that such an open-ended approach fits well for the very phenomena of "urban fear" today and it is preferable "rather than outline a clear definition... of fear or the way fear shapes planning" (p. 108), thus, Tulumello continues in the vein of study of fear much like a philosophy of fearism would-- "multiplexing fear" ongoing. I often talk about building a critical integral (holistic) theory of fear, and indeed, it is always exploratory, and for much of the same reasons that Tulmello gives in his recent works. Fear is complex, to say the least--it is perplexing as well, and contradictions and paradoxes linked with fear are seemingly inevitable the more one studies it in depth. 

I appreciate this insight of Tulumello to approach fear this way, which in no way prevents Tulumello from being pragmatic at times, and it in no way blinds him to seeing "we must be aware that fear is capable of throwing urban planning policy into crisis" (p. 107)--and he warns us all against overly technical-functionalist discourses on fear as inadquate--and, he warns that they typically don't engage fear enough as it deserves (p. 107). He concludes: "... there seems to be no simple/technical solutions for urban fear" and thus the project is preliminary and ongoing, and the actual benefits from such a methodological openness re: fear and the various applications of theory to practice in urban planning are yet to be shown fully--especially, as to whether they "work"... more so, we are in the beginning stages, as is philosophy of fearism, when it comes to "tested" applications and creating real improvements in the "urban fear" and/or just the "excessive fear" that is everywhere it seems. 

There is lots to read, understand, and critique in this work by Tulumello, and I trust as he reads my work (at least) he'll have critiques to offer as well. 

 

Notes: 

1. Tulumello, S. (2016). Fear, space and urban planning: A critical perspective from S. Europe. Springer. 

2. Example, Fisher, R. M., Subba, D., and Kumar, B. M. (2018). Fear, law and criminology: Critical issues in applying the philosophy of fearism. Australia: Xlibris. 

3. Tulumello (2016), p. 106. This is a great term (complexifying approach), one that I and Subba have taken in our study of fear(ism) for several decades. 

4. I recommend: Tulumello, S. (2015). From "spaces of fear" to "fearscapes": Mapping for reframing theories about the spatialization of fear in urban space. Space and Culture, 18(3), 257-72.

5. Example, see Fisher, R. M., and Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.

 

 

 

 

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Fearwalking Practice

I am introducing a new practice here for all. It may be particularly of interest to budding fearologists who are studying at The Fearology Institute. However, like all practices, be they around physical exercise, diet, or yoga practice, etc. are all meant to assist one's overall goals of reaching their highest potential. Fearwalking is no different. The difference is that it is a practice (to make into a routine) for attuning one to fear (and/or 'fear')--and thus improving one's learning about fear and one's self and others. In this sense, it is a learning exercise, with focus on fear. 

Here is the link to the instructions and my rationale for this new practice of Fearwalking.docx

Enjoy, 

M. 

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What I have seen dominate (with its own hegemony) in discourses on fear and its management/education for so long has been the "rational" mind approach as solution (or cura). There is something great about the modern "rational" modality for sure and yet, I think it is not very wise because it is not holisitic-integral, and it especially (typically) misses the arational means by which humans communicate and respond to the world via magic, art, aesthetics, culture, etc. So, I just did a quick artistic/magical (?) poster up and thought while making it that this is my initial arational response to the articles (and real situation) going on in Nigeria in the last two blogposts on the FMning ... 

Of course, 'a picture is worth a thousand words,' as the saying goes ... it is important to have creative "fun" in working with the worst "wicked problems" on the planet, of which the "embers" problem in Nigeria seems to be a symptom of the Fear Problem that is no fun at all when looked at only in a rational lens of inquiry and solutions. The fearologist, I think, has to draw on all means and modalities of Defense Intelligence, to come up with prompts, ideas, and generative possibilities for managing fear better on this planet. One could interpret this picture (a poster) I quickly put together mostly by intuition without a lot of rational thought. Feel free to say what you think this poster is "doing" and "saying" in its form. I think inventing the term "Fearember" is actually potentially really useful (hmmm???)... 

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                                                                                            Michael Bassey Eneyo

Introduction

We are in the world where frightening and tension-laden incidents are increasingly threatening the freedom; peace and liberty of humanity in such a way that many individuals have been left in the condition of constant fear because of the uncertainty of safety in their various living communities. In recent times, the most trending news on social media are such that bring the feelings of fear. We’re somewhat witnesses to the frequent broadcast on television and radio on crises in different parts of the world in both local and international communities. Frankly speaking, news headlines on daily bases are not without some incidents of fear. War and rumour of war across the globe are enough to create fear and panic. Terrorists’ activities and their destructive impacts are amongst the emerging factors and incidents of fear in the contemporary society. Apart from this global threat, every society has it peculiar prevalent type of fear, their causes and the season in which such incident(s) is believed to be more rampant than any other period. More often also, many of these incidents are directly caused by human beings. Examples of such fear factors caused by human beings are: war, terrorism, kidnapping, accident, arm robbery, etc, which are often instigated by human desperations to meet up with their daily challenges or the pursuance of their selfish goal. Most of these fears can be eliminated if human beings choose the path of peace, carefulness and love. But there are other incidents of fear that are beyond human ability to fully control or stop from happening. Such incidents are: earthquake, flood, volcanic eruption, death, etc. These are natural phenomena which may occur without man direct interference. The kind of fear these incidents generate cannot be completely overcome. However, it can be managed, subtly controlled or reduced if we inculcate the habit of observing what is going on in our environments and make steps to addressing them. Thus, human being is expected to familiarize himself with the happenings in his environment and also pay attention to seasons of events and try to know the impacts such events can have in the life of the people; thus, knowing the measures to be adopted in addressing them. But then, we must also know that some of these phenomenon cannot be completely overcome. Thus, the belief in the existence of natural disaster as part of human existential challenges can also contribute in eliminating fear; hence, reducing the impact of threat such incidents can cause us.

Another kind of fear is the one caused by certain belief systems or myths of a people. This type of fear is what I called “accident of fear”. This is what R. Michael Fisher refers to as “fear culture”[1]. Accident of fear has varieties, but in this article, we shall be looking at the kind of accident of fear I called “periodic accident of fear”. It is under periodic accident of fear that the phenomena of the “ember” months and the belief that goes with is contextualized, using Nigeria as a mirror.

Thus, in this article, we shall identify “periodic accident of fear” as the ruling fear in the “ember” months within Nigerians context. But then, such fear can be overcome if we should separate myth from reality or superstition from fact. Before we go further, it’s important we make some contextual analysis on the above concepts so as to know their roles in this article. Hence, let me quickly define the above mentioned concepts in order to make our ideation more clearing and appealing. In my book Philosophy of Fear, I argues that fear is said to be accidental if what you’re afraid of is actually not real, but are created by your own imagination [2]. Thus, “Accident of fear” as a kind of fear is founded on the belief in the superstition, falsehood or error which should not be taken as true. In other words, accident of fear is man-made fear either in his attempt to overcome other factors of natural fear or as means to instil the spirit of carefulness as it is common amongst the traditional folk tales and myths of different societies. In the same way, “periodic accident of fear” is the belief that there are certain period or time where certain negative things must necessarily take place more than any other time. According to this belief, such incidents are natural to the period or the time they occur. This notion is what I refers to as “generic fallacy” within Nigeria communities. It is a fallacy because such belief is not always the case in the real sense of it; it is just human creation which has affected the psychics of many individuals negatively, thus, creating unnecessary fear among people. A clear instance of this false belief is captured in the attitude of most Nigerians toward what is tagged “Ember Months”.

The concept of the “Ember Months”

The word “ember” as it is used here is different from the lexical meaning which has to do with a glowing piece of coal or wood from fire[3]. In this context, “ember” is a derivation from the last suffix of the names of three of the four months in the last quarter of the year (September, November and December). October is also included amongst the ember months even though it doesn’t have the prefix “em” added to the suffix “ber” which is generic to all the four months, but for sharing the suffix “ber” ends it a membership of the “ember” school of thought. What then is the philosophy driving the belief in the “ember” months in Nigeria society?

The trending philosophy of the ember months in Nigeria

This article was necessitated after receiving hundreds of well intended messages of prayers from my numerous friends, relatives, colleagues and well wishers on the 1st September, which is the first day into the “ember” period. Such messages like: “you shall not experience death throughout this ember months”,” blood sucking demon shall not taste your blood in this ember months”, “there shall be no accident on your way as we begin the ember months”, every evil altar raise against you in this ember months shall be destroyed” and many of similar prayers. These were prayers I received wholeheartedly with a faithfully affirmative “amen”, knowing fully that no well intended prayer is useless. Before 1st September, I had also witnessed many evangelical and ministerial billboards and churches posters along the streets and some members distributing fliers; inviting the general public for the ember months programmes with similar inscriptions as the ones I received through text messages and calls. Putting the inscriptions on these various billboards, fliers and the messages I received together, I realized that the central message was an invitation to re-awaken our consciousness of the ugly experiences people always observed during the period, I also understood that it was an appeal to people to rise up to conquer this fear(s) through the belief in a God who can rescue them from the terror of the devil and the challenges which is believed to be associated with the ember period. Most importantly, I realized that the blame of the ugly and bitter experiences of the ember period were put on evil men/women and their master; Satan, rather than putting it on the desperations and carelessness of the people.

Ember months are always believed as the period in the year where different rituals, sacrifices, festivals, spiritual rites, etc, are performed for appeasement of some gods and deities. The sacrifice that demands spilling of blood whether human or animal blood is often called rituals [4] This is always done to appeal to the gods of the land for a particular favour or to appease the gods for the misdeed(s) of the people or of a person. It is a strong belief among people including Christians and other religious that people ought to be very prayerful during ember months in order to break any forms of satanic covenant(s) that was made against them for the period. During this period also, there’s always “full load” of religious activities in churches and prayer houses as people pray against the spirit of death, spirit of accident, spirit of sickness, spirit of bad luck and other forms of bad spirits. Also, many prayers have been channelled to rebuking every kind of demon on assignment to execute any of these ugly incidents. In short, it is a period in which expectancy of bad incidents is at its maximum horizon, thus, increasing our fear(s).

Separating myth from reality

This article is not targeting at negating completely the philosophy or the belief characterizing the ember months, rather, it is an attempt to refute the exaggeration of attributing every of the ill of the period to demon, Satan or evil people as if ember months is a period dedicated to the devil, without looking at the desperations in the part of human beings to fulfil all his budget before the end of the year. In as much as I don’t deny the existence of some supernatural powers and principalities with their corresponding influences on the affairs of men, I do not agree with the belief that ember months are always characterized with ugly incidents caused by demons. This work shall therefore separate the myth and the fallacious notion about the ember months from the fact or reality surrounding the period. This separation I believe shall help us go about our normal businesses throughout the period with care and caution. We need to separate the myth that demons is always at work during the ember months, that demons have positioned themselves in strategic junctions to collect human blood by causing accidents on the road. We must conquer the myths that ember months is the only time the ritualists have kept to appease their gods and deities; using human beings as sacrificial lambs. We must separate the actual state of affairs of the period from the belief that satanic manipulations are always at work in our society during the ember months. These are the main trusts of this article, which I think is timely and demanding.

The myth

Myth is a story or an idea that is believed by the people but then, not true [5]. Such story may be the one that was told in an ancient culture to explain a practice, belief, or natural occurrence [6]. Thus, myth is a folklore genre consisting narratives that play a fundamental role in society, such as foundational tales [7] Using the above definition as a mirror, we can argue authoritatively that the over emphasized threat of death, accidents misfortune as the effects of the activities of spiritual interference in the affairs of men during the ember months is mythologically conceived and such belief ought to be refuted. Empirically speaking, there is never a period of a year that has ever been celebrated as death and problems-free period than will justify one to think that death or misfortune in any other time of the is caused by some demonic forces. It is therefore counterproductive to raise the feelings of fear when there’s actually nothing to be worried about.

 

The facts and realities of the ember months

The main reason for the seemingly increase in the mortality rate during the ember months is not mainly as the result of certain spiritual manipulations by some gods or deities as it is often alleged, neither is it because of the activities of the ritualists. Rather, it is as a result of desperations on the part of the people in trying to meet up with their financial challenges before the end of the year: this is what many pastors, preachers, teachers of times and seasons have failed to tell us about the ember months. Since the beginning of the ember months marks the beginning of the end of the last quarter of the year, it is pertinent that people will work even harder to put finishing touches in their projects for the year and it is logically true to say that, it is a period in which people check their scorecards to know if their outlined plans have been achieved or not. It is always a period of stock taking and account balancing. Ember month is a period of business and self evaluations; those in business must take stock to know if their business is growing or not; if they make profit or loss. People want to know if their budget for the year is deliciously executed. It is the period where many financial institutions, both public and private are rounding up their financial year and as such; all debts are expected to be paid to ensure that account book and the transaction thereto is in order. So it is always a challenging period to those indebted to these institutions. Parents must pay their wards school fees; prepare them to return to school. It is also a period that many people struggle to complete their project before crossing to another project year, this is predicated on the tradition of people making budget and drawing of proposal in the beginning of the year for what they wish to achieve before the year is ended.

The fact is that people are always desperate to accomplish their given budgeted projects before the end of the year. The pressures which many people found themselves during this period are capable of changing their psychics and then alter their senses of reasoning and behaviours, and this can affect their lives in a more devastating way such that it can lead to death. Since the ember months are made up of the last quarter of the year, it is always a period of clashed programmes and activities. In Nigeria, ember months always come with its unique fanfare, variety of feasting and other kinds of celebrations in the families, communities as well as in the states. For example, Calabar Carnival that is always celebrated from every 1st December to the end of the year demands so much financial involvements from those who may desire to have a full dose of the period. Many families and communities always fix their get together during this period. Everyone wants to travel home to reunite with their love ones. Many marriages are fixed for this period; all sorts of social anniversaries, end of the year parties, visits to friends, welcoming loved ones for a holiday, etc, are the common experiences of the period. Another demanding celebration among Christians at the last month of the ember is Christmas celebration. Here, parents, whether poor or rich are expected to buy Christmas wears for the children, the husband must buy for the wife, while wife must visit her parents with gifts. Earnestly speaking, ember month is a month of huge spending.

From the above, we can see why there are always so much desperations; everybody wants to meet up with the fanfare and the obligations of the period and nobody wants to be left out. And the result of these desperations is displayed in the careless driving by commercial drivers, absence mindedness of other commuters as well as roughness exhibited by different road users while applying the road; all in the name of meeting up with the demands of the season. The end product of this is an increase in road accidents and death. We need not to work in medical laboratory to know that too much of thinking can lead to High Blood Pressure and can affect our brain as well. We must not be medical practitioners to know that commercial drivers who overwork and deny themselves rest and sleep are bound to sleep while on steering (car steers well). We must not wait for a nurse to tell us that our failure to eat well just because we want to meet up with some financial commitments can make us collapse. We all know if we overwork ourselves without corresponding medical attentions, we can die at anytime. Many people because of the desperation to travel home, they don’t care about servicing their cars before embarking on the journey. For those who do, they often be in a hurry to move without test-running the vehicle before putting it on a far distance journey. All these are parts of the carelessness associated with the ember period. These and many more are the real causes of high mortality rate during the ember months and not the devil as we believe it to be. More often, during this time a lot of people only think about money and forget about their health. Human desperations during ember months have caused more death within the period than what demons may believe to have caused, but this is the truth that many have refused to know.

Conclusion

To overcome the fear of ember months therefore, we must shift the focus away from demons to human beings. We must not blame the ritualists, rather, we should blame ourselves for setting a goal that is difficult to achieve to ourselves. We can overcome the fear of the ember months if we stop wasting our time in church to rebuke Satan, but use such precious time to face our challenges even as we call on God to go stand by us. The fear and tension of the ember months can be overcome if we choose to be careful in all our dealings during the period, knowing fully that others will continue with their lives of desperations. Fear will depart from us if we pay attention to our health, knowing that the demands of the season might make us work more than needed.

*Don't drink too much.

*Don't drive carelessly.

*Don't set a goal that is difficult to achieve within a short time.

*Plan your life within your income.

*Always make sure you keep to the rules.

With these, you will be able to overcome the fear of the ember months.

 

 Endnotes

Ancient Sacrifices and Rituals in Nigerian Culture, informationparlour.com.

Eneyo, Michael. Philosophy of fear: A Move to Overcoming Negative Fear, Xlibris Publication, USA, 2018.

Eneyo, Michael. Philosophy of Unity: Love as an Ultimate Unifier, Nigeria, unpublished Book, 2018.

Fisher, Michael & Desh Subba. Philosophy of Fearism: A Eest-West Dialogue, Xlibris Publication, USA. 2016.

Fisher, R.” ‘Fear’ Studies, 12 Years Later: Progress and Barriers”. Technical Paper No.74, In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute, 2018.

Jeremy. “ Alternative Mythologies-The Efik Religion”. jeremyvarner.com. 7 Oct 2014

Kalu, Osinakachi. Conquering The Beast Fear, CreateSpace Publishers, 2016.

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Fear is Perplexing and Complex: Fearism

Recently, Fisher and Subba have prepared a paper and short presentation, to be given by Desh Subba at the 2018 International Scientific Conference Proceedings [1] in Moscow, Russia. The title of our paper is Abstract Expressionism Under the Lens of Fearism. This paper and presentation is a first collaboration on the relevance of fearism to art(s) and aesthetics, of which we hope to eventually create a book on that area of application of philosophy of fearism. Art(s) are so important to culture and societies and their consciousness evolution, so fearism has to take up that task of analyzing this important sphere. 

We thought we would share a short excerpt from our paper presentation with you all on the FM ning: 

"Discovering that the study of fear is best to be studied under a new philosophy of fear(ism), Subba pioneered some of the core work in this area. Fisher, working independently across on the other side of the world, was doing the same but using some different vocabularies and philosophies to sort through how best to understand and manage fear. What we both agreed upon, independently, is that the world (including art in the largest sense) can be best understood by looking deeply at fear and its role. We also knew that “fearism alone is insufficient” as a total analytic direction and it must be supplemented with other ways and methods that are not focusing on fear so intensely. We also agreed that most of the analysis of fear historically has been one of making it a negative factor in human experience. The literature on this negative bias is predominant and still remains to this day. We felt a positive-side was important to promote, yet at the same time we knew fear is much grander than merely sorting into binary boxes of good fear and bad fear. Subba’s (2014, 14) fearist conception is that we ought not forget that “Fear is as vast as the universe” and thus we keep an open imaginary regarding the nature and role of fear. We both agreed that a post-postmodern (i.e., holistic-integral) view on fear itself was required. Fear was to remain, under a fearist lens, as a very complex, if not perplexing, phenomenon requiring an equally complex and perplexing adequate set of epistemic methodologies to understand it (Fisher & Subba 2016)."

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[NB: It is a constant theme of debate in fearological circles that "fearology" and "fearism" and a "fearist lens" (perspective) really takes a very unique positioning on how to expand the prevailing fear imaginary and understand fear management/education compared to most authors/teachers/writings available. The issue of "perplexity" and "complexity" is definitely a key feature of differentiating the fearological way and the non-fearological way of interpreting "fear" and everything related to it. So, if one examines critically just about any typical writing/teaching on fear, what you'll notice is that writers tend to be very rational, clear, concise and (over-)confident when speaking about the nature and role of fear and how to manage it best. The fearological approach embraces another direction, not following that "rational" approach and thus one enters more the sublime of inquiry into a world of perplexity and complexity when it comes to the topic of fear.  -rmf]

 

 

Notes: 

1. The title of the conference is "The Destinies of Abstract Expressionism: For the Centenary of Guy de Montalur's Birth" 

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