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I have recently come across the research in art education and learning and teaching art, by Dr. Stephanie Baer, Assistant Professor of Art Education, Miami University, OH. In an article she published in Education and Culture 28(1) (2012): 42-61,  Dr. Baer studied the habitual fears that her beginning Arts in the Elementary Classroom course she taught had: (1) "I'm not very artsy" -the fear of doing a daily art sketch book, (2) "Others won't like what I have to say" - the fear of being judged, (3) "nervous about getting outside my comfort zone" - the fear of performance. Although this was a class of non-majors in art, they were afraid of art and their own creativity incapabilities and how they would look bad in front of their peers. Dr. Baer knew that they needed to talk about these greatest fears up front and work with them as part of the course material, and as the philosopher John Dewey would suggest in the early 20th century writings on art and experience and learning, that the students need to be aware of the impact of affect and emotions and utilize them as authentic experience in everything they are trying to accomplish and learn so that, with practice, support and teacher guidance, they could move with that energy converting it into "interest [motivational drive] rather than fear [alone]" (Baer, 2012, p. 51). [Note: Saunders & Jenkins, 2012 argued fear also has to be taken into account consciously in its impact on future envisioning; see below for Reference] 

Having taught this course eight times, Dr. Baer noticed these same basic fears year after year in her preservice teachers, and she was attempting to utilize fear in the course learning process. She wrote, "My responsibility as their instructor is to question mantras that reflect insecurity in process and make pedagogical use of their fears" (p. 42)--because otherwise, fears such as these blocked the students' imaginations, creativity and seeing the possibilities of art's power in expression and communication. Their own K-12 students would likely also face these blocks in schools they were going to teach in, so it was better to address these fears now and understand them before teaching children. Dr. Baer also wrote of her own fears encountering this unfamiliar and difficult experience with these teachers and risking to find ways to deal with it all in the course itself. What I like in particular is her energetic vision, mostly as I read her dissertation (Baer, 2012), upon which the above article was written, as it is entitled: "RE-ENVISIONING FEAR...". I like her question: "In what ways can fear be interpreted to included a greater understanding of fear's roles and capacities..." (p. 16). Now, she has my attention, because that question is the basis of all my research for nearly three decades. I begin that question, unlike Baer, with assuming "fear" has not been well interpreted or defined period, and that's where we should start our inquiry to "re-envisioning fear" (what I call 'fear'). And, to do so, I assume fearlessness has to be interpreted dialectically right there, right along with fear ('fear') to get the best holistic-integral analysis and interventions. 

Most of us can recognize these fears in likely any new learning situation, more or less. Importantly, from a philosophy of fearism perspective, the teachers above are recognizing that fear has to be part of the everyday discourse of learning, regardless of the subject content. Education as a whole has not always given enough attention to the role of fear in learning, and with the current climate of fear in schools and culture of fear in general, especially in North America, this ignore-ance is no longer tenable. Curriculum and pedagogy and fear are a must as far as I am concerned. But that's only scratching the surface of the issue, and Dr. Baer's research study and experience also is only scratching the surface. John Dewey's progressive educational writings likewise. Yet, I found in a rare quote from John Dewey that he also was in favor of fearlessness. I found my FM blog over 2.5 years ago on Dewey's "rant" as I called it, and how he is an important advocate for both what today Subba calls a philosophy of fearism but also what I would call a philosophy of fearlessness. So, in that regard, I will republish that blog below, as it is so important and worth reconnecting with for any of us who are educators especially. I also want to note that I have written an extensive critique of two educational philosophers who are Deweyians and who did a major study on fear and learning (of which Baer, 2012, relied heavily upon in her interpretations), mainly because of the emphasis on "fears" and loss of meta-context of fear itself (e.g., culture of fear) and neglect of trance-based learning (e.g., Four Arrows' CAT-Fear dynamic), for e.g., see Technical Paper No. 37.

References: Baer, S. (2012). Re-envisioning fear: The role of conversation in an arts classroom for prospective teachers. Unpubl. Diss. University of Nebraska; Baer, S. (2012). The fear of art and the art of fear. Education and Culture, 28(1), 42-61.

[Insert: Saunders & Jenkins (2012) wrote, "This paper explores the significance fear plays, or does not play, in the practice of envisioning. Envisioning is seen as a powerful tool in the delivery of education for sustainable development, for it seeks to engage people in imagining and creating a better future. However, drawing on work undertaken with undergraduate students at the University of Glamorgan, South Wales, we argue that envisioning relies upon ‘absent fear’: it works to suppress, or make absent, fear as a valid response to present and future development. The presence of ‘absent fear’, we suggest, poses a barrier to fully engaging with the challenges and opportunities of a sustainable future, for it is difficult to conceive of a positive vision without first acknowledging and confronting our fears. It is in articulating fear, we observe, that people are more able to respond to the challenges of the future in hopeful and creative ways. Utilising work undertaken with our students this paper revisits envisioning and suggests the need to understand envisioning as a broader process of reflection and action."] Saunders, A., and Jenkins, S. (2012). 'Absent fear': Re-envisioning a future geograpy. Futures, 44(5):, 494-503.


Holy Rant: John's Dewey's Fearlessness Project

Remember the folk wisdom: Never judge a book by its cover. There's a metaphor there as well as a concrete and literal truth. And, of late with my discovery (below) one could add to this folk wisdom, and Never judge a philosopher by their books-- that is, unless you've really looked into them all in fine-detail. 

In the past couple days, due to meeting some interesting people and a project they have cooking in Murphysboro, IL (1), I've been researching in an area I have not looked at as intensely in the past as I ought to have. And, a good couple lessons it taught me: one of them being, that just when I thought I spent decades getting to know the literature in the field of Education, and thought I knew most of what educators (from scholars to practitioners) had and/or were saying seriously about fear and fearlessness (that's my speciality)... ahhhhh... 

I have to say I am a bit "shocked" that I have finally found a Western philosopher-educator, thought by many to be The Greatest Philosopher in America in the 19th-20th Century era--none other than John Dewey (1859-1952), writing a "holy rant" (prophetic) piece on fear and fearlessness.

My second lesson in finding this prophetic gem (quoted below), is that I have bolstered my respect for Dewey's life and work by a whole lot of positive notches. Fact is, I never liked Dewey (meaning his writing)--nor, did I like the male philosophers at UBC (my alma mater) who were so off-putting because they were Dewey experts and I hadn't read much Dewey. I tried getting into his work a few times in my undergrad and graduate years and later but... it bored me.

I should have read Dewey, after all I was in Education becoming a teacher and later a curriculum and pedagogy scholar and so you have to read John Dewey (it's part of the educational culture and W. canon)--but I preferred reading a lot of others and mostly I enjoyed reading the educational philosophy of Jiddu Krishnamurti (2) and others (primarily, Eastern type philosophers or my fav was E-W integral philosophers like Ken Wilber). I was not (still am not) a big fan of the philosophy of pragmatism he advanced in America during his life, with great success I might add--he had enormous impact in this country at many levels and I felt it the moment I moved here.

The Center for Dewey Studies was just one block away from where Barbara and I moved in to rent a house. And, part of the "awakening" in myself and others here is that SIU just bull-dozed that Center to the ground yesterday and relocated (3), with several disturbed people (myself included) taking pictures of the devastation. One by-stander told me "it is so violent" how the university administrators have only an interest in profit and have disrespect for history, and tradition (i.e., John Dewey). What they mean is there is an increasing disrespect for the Arts & Humanities in the current university system all across this country and many other W. countries. Yes, right here in Carbondale is one of the best collections of Dewey's work in the world. It attracts an ongoing stream of international scholars, and apparently Dewey has never been so popular in other countries around the world, while his reputation in America has fallen considerably since his death (albeit, with small revivals now and then). And guess what? I never ever went in that Center since I lived here, now 7 yrs. I rode by it on my bike many times, and looked in the windows, but could never get myself to go in, even though I thought of doing so. I should have but I had no calling strong enough. There were too many brewing arguments in my scholarly head, filled with complaints of why I didn't like Dewey's work (i.e., it didn't fit my way of thinking) (4). I suppose I was also ticked that Dewey got so much attention here and it felt like there was no philosophical room for my own views. All of that was part of my alienating feelings as a Canadian coming to live in the USA for the first time. A lot of mixed feelings there, as I have been an out and out critic of much of America's philosophy and politics (mainstream that is, Americanism as ideology, etc.). I didn't think Dewey's work was critical or radical enough. But now I realize that was a short-sighted judgment (5). Oooops!

Okay, my great excitement was to discover a passage published in 1922, from an interview with Dewey by Charles W. Wood, and I just thought of a great piece of art to accompany Dewey's Holy Rant on the role of fear and fearlessness in American education (then and now, as his rant so applies to everything today, 93 years later). 

Art work by Art Young (entitled: "This World of Creepers", c. 1907 [15 yrs. before Dewey's published Holy Rant on fear and fearlessness], published in a political magazine I found in the library stacks at UBC in my graduate years (unfortunately I didn't write down the exact reference info. and haven't been able to find it again). Oh, this image is slightly 'touched up' by yours truly as I added the 'ISM' part in the original version. I love that the artist (Young) was tapping into the climate of increasing fear and its consequences in the world (America) at the time of post-WWI, and it is rather earth-shaking, spine-shaking, to me the prophecy in Art Young's piece and John Dewey's piece (below). These are both markers of the history of fear and fearlessness that has been left out of the history books, I'm sorry to say, it is sad. I really need to write my own version of the history of these fascinating and important ideas/realities-- fear and fearlessness, and their dynamic relationship. Mostly, what is missing is the history of fearlessness! (I have found at least five good scholarly works on the history of fear). So, why the absence of a history of fearlessness (especially, in the West)? See my recent technical paper "What is the West's Problem with Fearlessness?" (scroll down the web page link to find a pdf). 

John Dewey on Fear & Fearlessness

[This is not the complete interview, nor the complete text from the summary of the interview by Charles W. Wood in 1922, just after Dewey had returned from a long visit to China; this article was originally published as Wood, C. W. (1922). Professor John Dewey on the hysteria which holds teaching in check. New York World, 27, Aug.; the current excerpt [reprinted version] below is from Boydston, J. A. (Ed.) (2008). Report of Interview with Dewey (by Wood, C. W.), In John Dewey, the middle works, 1899-1924, Vol. 13, 1921-22 (pp. 425-32). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press]

[with bold added for emphasis] [Dewey:] "The greatest enemy to human progress is fear. People generally tell the truth unless they are afraid to--afraid of punishment, afraid of someone's opinion or afraid that some competitor will gain an advantage. A large percentage of human ills is due to greed, but back of greed lies the sense of insecurity and its accompanying fear. Fear is the soil in which wars are bred. Fear engenders hate. Individually and socially, wherever human life and human relations become inhuman, we are quite sure to discover that they have been poisoned by fear. Cowardice in public office, cowardice in business dealings, cowardice in international relations--we are all more or less familiar with the havoc wrought by these; but the most insidious poison I know of in modern society is cowardice on the part of those who are charged with the responsibility of teaching our youth" 

[that open's Wood's article, and Wood responds to it:] "Before I tell you who said it, I wish you all read that paragraph again. Find a flaw in it if you can."

[Dewey continues:] "And the boys and girls in our New York schools... are not getting half a chance. They are the victims of an inherent timidity, if not an active intimidation, within our school system. There can be no real education unless there is fearlessness, but New York teachers are not free to teach. The situation in this respect is worse, it seems to me, than it ever was before.... [re: his critique of "training" vs. true "education"] But the very basis of such training is fear of what they [the child] may do without it. When we are trying to draw out human intelligence , there must be no such fear.... the system is now additionally cursed by a set of silly laws conceived in fear and born in political hysteria [culture of fear] which seized this country during and immediately after the war.... The public now would like to return to sanity: But unless it provides some antidote for those poisonous [fear-based] laws, the minds of our children generally must suffer incalculably.... The school authorities, in the very nature of their organization, cannot be trusted with this task. They are, to say the least, timid. It is their nature [fear habit] to travel the beaten paths. They are afraid of innovations. They are necessarily afraid to run counter to the public wishes.... [and what we must do, he says] see to it that this haunting fear is eliminated from our school life [and society]."


If I am over-zealously reading Dewey, forgive me for my ignorance, and passion, it is just that it seems obvious this mild-mannered philosopher is going for the juglar vein, with no holds barred. That's prophetic pedagogy and philosophy of the kind very rare to see in the Western world, especially in the Education field. But it was the 1920s. I wonder if Dewey ever came back to these poignant points and arguments and fleshed them out? I am going to find out. I wonder if all the hundreds of scholars who have taken up to critique and follow Dewey's legacy, with multiple angles of interpretations, do they write about this interview on fear and fearlessness? Why have I never seen this referenced in my 26 yrs of researching on fear and fearlessness? I'm sort of thinking that perhaps no one has picked up on the holy rant of Dewey in 1922, which I am dubbing as John Dewey's Fearlessness Project. Again, I caution myself that perhaps I am overly reading into Dewey's grand philosophical and educational (and political) project... and, it then seems clear as a bell when I re-read and re-read his interview extracts here. Thank you Charles W. Wood (if you are still alive) for bringing this holy rant out of Dewey and publishing it. Thank you all the Dewey followers for reprinting it (note: in a book/journal issue published in Carbondale, IL by SIU Press in 2008). I haven't read it in the complete yet, and will do so soon. 

John Dewey's Fearlessness Project is not a label I use lightly, it is however one I am totally glad to apply and I am considering (after more research, perhaps) to end up including Dewey's movement in progressive education and philosophy in America (19th-20th century) as a contributing "Fearlessness Movement" initiative and add it to the Wikipedia on that topic. One outstanding question is can a pragmatist (6) like Dewey be prophetic (are they supposed to be, based on the definition of pragmatism and its history in American philosophy and as American philosophy)? I won't go on and on here with so many questions that arise, some very troubling as to the 'absence' of this holy rant in all my scouring the Educational field (albeit, I will say I have found other W. critical thinkers, and educators saying very similar things to Dewey in the above--but that's another article; I'm wondering if they had read Dewey's rant or it was picked up in them by osmosis--matrixial threads--unconscious collective archetypes?)--I trust some of you may like to comment on this. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Oh, one last (very interesting) thought, according to a Dewey scholar (Ryan, 1997, p. 80), it was Alice Chirman, Dewey's wife (1886 on) who gave Dewey three things he need, says Ryan, "The first was fearlessness about the ideas and opinions of the rest of the world" -- the other two things (note) follow from that gift... now there is a great feminist, womanist, feminine acknowledgement. See Ryan, A. (1997). John Dewey and the high tide of American liberalism. NY: W.W. Norton. 


End Notes

1. I am referring to a very interesting duo (and others), Prof. of Philosophy Randy Auxier, SIU and Prof. of Philosophy John Shook, University of Buffalo NY, who have decided to pool their huge libraries, each over 15,000 books, into a library and research center in Randy's home in Murphysboro, IL (a 5 min. drive W. of Carbondale, IL where I live). They are putting together a non-profit organization at the same time and already have other retiring philosophy professors donating their life-long book collections to their center. Auxier and Shook believe their project reflects, as a counter-response, to a growing disturbing trend of American higher education institutes in general, which have disregarded the best quality of philosophy from American scholars in history. They are more than a little perturbed at the "State" of funding losses in higher education from the public purse and the overly business attitude of administration in many universities today in N.A. I agree with their critique and I think it is fascinating they are taking their passions into their own hands and not depending on anyone else to secure the best of knowledge and wisdom. One could write an essay about this changing landscape of American higher education in the past few decades where institutions care more about "profit" than securing the wisdom of a culture, in particular through the academy. I think they are marking a trend of alternative learning centers. The place at Randy's will be available to the public not merely scholars. It will have a residential component for scholars as well. I am even putting together a proposal for such a year long residency (I'll talk about that later perhaps). 

2. My all time favorite education book has got to be Krishnamurti, J. (1953/81). Education and the significance of life. NY: Harper & Row.

3. The Dewey materials from the Center are now in the (cold and dark) basement level of Morris Library, SIU. Larry Hickman, Director of the Center for Dewey Studies has been demoted to a small cubicle in that basement and most of his budget for research assistants and graduate assistants sliced. This doesn't speak well of the attitudes of the upper administration in SIU. 

4. The almost repulsive quality I had built up inside myself for over 3 decades in the field of Education, can be summarized (albeit, a bit grossly) to what I read in his work as a functionalist perspective (even if he was somewhat a radical liberal reformer challenging the status quo) and not a conflict perspective (i.e., based in critical theory). This is a much longer argument of differentiation that I spent years in my graduate work sorting out and researching, to come to the conclusion I was a conflict theorist not a functionalist (pragmatist) theorist. It makes a big political difference. For those really keen to know more about this you can check out these terms online and a really good summary of the distinction is my daughter and her collaborator's chapter in a recent book I also have a chapter in, see Fisher, V., and Nicholson, S. E. (2014). Introduction: Developing a critical integral praxis for sex, gender, and sexuality. In S. E. Nicholson and V. Fisher (Eds.), Integral voices on sex, gender, and sexuality: Critical inquiries (pp. 1-12). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. 

5. I still am not convinced his work is strong enough to bring about the transformation that I think America needs to go through before it destroys itself and the rest of the world with it. Thus, I am still rightfully critical he was not "radical enough" (you could say)--that is, he never was a good conflict theorist. Now, even that, as I age, is becoming a little more tenuous of a divide in my mind (despite E.N. #4). But that's a longer story, and I'm interested to study Dewey to look at just what kind of conflict theorist he perhaps was and/or he was an integral theorist and I just missed it and frankly, I haven't read enough nearly to even assess this anymore. 

6. I had read a scholar recently writing on Dewey's work and suggesting Dewey preferred to be called some working with the philosophy of "experimentalism" and yet, many have dubbed him working with the philosophy of pragmatism (along with William James, Charles S. Peirce, etc.). Albeit, Dewey is uniquely a pragmatist with a strong social philosophy (activist) bent; and his background in Christianity (which he left the church eventually) and as a social reformer connected with religious life in America (i.e., New England)--all this leads to him being "prophetic" (and I mean that, because of his confrontation of our society with its culture of fear and the need for fearlessness). 

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Fear Poetry: Form of Fearism

 (This review of Fear Poetry by Rana Kafle, from Assam, India, is published in Lok Chintan Monthly Magazine January-February 2018 issue from Kanpur, India. His book reviewed by Surendra Gupta Sikar. This review is translated into English by Surya Prakash Pangdhak Limbu. Rana Kafle is an ardent believer of theory of Philosophy of Fearism. He has written two other essays, one story book and one book of poetry based on the philosophy of Fearism by Desh Subba.)

Surendra Gupta "Sikar"

Tulasidas, the world famous poet, wrote in his Ramcharitmanas, "Without accepting humble requests promptly, three days have gone. Laxman, handle your bow being absence of fear and affection!"

The mentioned couple of verses confirm "Fearism." Lots of congratulations and best wishes for the publication of your work "Bhaya(Fear)". In the course of Fearism-tradition, "Bhaya" is an important step. Certainly, "Bhaya" will be the useful work for those researchers working on "Fearism". I went through "Bhaya Poetry" thoroughly. I liked it very much. Fear is everywhere in the core of all human activities and biological achievement as the fundamental fact. Fear leads a person to be oriented for goal achievement. "Fear" is the philosophy that transmits biological life. Buddhism is also the return of "Fearism".

Art and edition of the work "Bhaya" has come to be so beautiful. Congratulations and best wishes once again.  -RK


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I have just written and published a new article Technical Paper No. 72; below is the abstract: 

The Fearlessness Movement: Meta-context Exposed!

- R. Michael Fisher,[1] Ph.D.


Technical Paper No. 72


 We need a new context, and beyond that, we need a new meta-context as a context of contexts for locating our perceptions, our thinking, theories, critiques and philosophies on the topic of “fear” (and fearlessness). Meta-context is a place of vision and new imaginary creations. The author asks the question of what would fear management/education look like today and in the future if there was an overarching meta-context given for fear and its management—that is, what the author shares in this technical paper as his unique discovery of a historical and evolutionary “Fearlessness Movement”? Although, use of this concept by Fisher is relatively late in arriving in his repertoire (around 2000) for creating new fear-words, he says that he has since 1989 always thought that some “movement” or “spirit” was articulating and shaping human history beside fear, right along with it—and, that is “fearlessness.” The 21st century challenges and crises demand a new meta-context for looking at history from broad and deep perspectives, with good quality critiques. He co-founded the Fearlessness Movement ning as a community of inquirers and where his latest writings can be found. He summarizes this historical discovery and its implications and what he has noticed shifting in the last year or so regarding an interest in his work and the ning.



[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 ( 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 ( Currently, he is developing The Fearology Institute to teach courses. He can be reached at:

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Young Fearism Star from Nigeria

Book review

Young Fearism Star from Nigeria
                                                                                                    —Desh Subba

I have written in his book, "Emerging Fearologist of the world." P. 37

"We as the foundational members of fearology/fearism are building a good foundation for the discipline, so many writers have written and said much about fear but none has taken the bull by the horn as we are doing it to carefully understand what fear truly is and at the same time building a better lexicon for it in academic milieu." P. 37-38

Contribution done by young Nigerian author Osinakachi Akuma Kalu, “Conquering The Beast Fear Philosophical cum Psychological Approach” and “The First Stage of the Fearologist.”

These two books are first step towards "Philosophy of Fearism" world from Africa. First step following the footsteps of Tenzing Norgay, Yuri Gagirin, Neil Armstrong and Rene Descartes in the shaping of history. How pretty such move was. The world keeps record of significant contributions. In my opinion, OAK's enlightenment was first and fundamental to his writings. Without enlightenment nobody can be a scientist, spiritual leader, political leader or philosopher. It is people’s enlightenment that conduct, guide and control them in pavement of their future. Osinakachi is already enlightened and I enjoin you to travel with me briefly through his renowned two books:

In “Conquering the Beast Fear: Philosophical cum Psychological Approach”, Fear was considered as a giant beast. What gives birth to the fear beast? How does it grow and affects people’s life? It is written in the first book. Fear was seen almost in its negative sense. But even though it is negative, there is enough seed to grow philosophy. I haven’t seen such kind of philosophical approach to fear from Africa before, though there are a lot of fiction, literature, and biographical books.

"The First Stage of The Fearologist" is growing from seed which he planted in his previous book.

This book is biographical, essay cum critical. We can read his childhood, adolescent and adult entry into the school and world of "Philosophy of Fearism". I noticed his patience, hardship and continuous devotion. I wrote in the beginning; how pretty his entry was; is not important because beauty is not a pioneer. Starters usually encounter many thorns on the way. It is after their passing through the rough path that paves the way for later comers to work with beauty. It was very hard to climb "The Mount Everest" in 1953. When Norgay and Edmond's expedition team climbed from different corner, latter somebody even climbed 25 times.

Osinakachi deserves to be called the first fearologist in the world. Even though Fearology contents are difficult to find in the book, but when we read it, a new horizon of knowledge is opened for us and some of our “fearological talents” will be exposed. He is indeed a young star of fear management/fearlessness/fearism. The world can expect something new from him.

Example, "The Young Buffalo" is the best. P. 90

One of the most beautiful quotation among many is "The place of fear in our existential struggle is a pointer to a Supreme Being." P. 103

There are some fearological poems which depict the philosophy of fearism in the book. All I can say is that the book is a form of biography, philosophy, fearology, criticism and literature. I rate his works gold. It is pertinent to note that every root can grow in its' own pace and I hope that one day Osinakachi will shine as a greater Fearologist cum philosopher in the world.

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Hi all, I have just written and published The Fourth Stage of the Fearologist in Technical Paper No. 73, for your free download. 

Here is the Abstract of that paper: 


There is an emergent impulse, noticeably stronger than ever, in the last few years, especially in 2017, for the field of study called “fearology” to take its rightful place in the world. Albeit, fearology is still a baby growing with lots of mistakes and victories, good and bad, to learn from and mature. This essay is an autobiographical reflection of Dr. Fisher on his life as a self-named fearologist, with a focus particularly on what the four stages of the fearologist may look like. It is an essay inspired by The First Stage of the Fearologist (Kalu, 2017). A healthy non-competitive comparison is made of the first stage as a beginning-point and the fourth stage as moving to an undisclosed end-point in one’s development as a fearologist. This is thought to give the ‘book ends’ of a new field of study—that is, arcing out a spectrum of possibilities in which to understand fearology (and the fearologist) from different developmental levels/stages. This ought to lead one to engage fearology appropriately with those distinctions in mind and with a guiding map for negotiating the basic journey it involves on its way to becoming a mature field/discipline of knowledge and personhood. Dr. Fisher gives attention to his own challenges to articulate what he calls the “three discourses” in his intellectual life at its current stage. He shares these difficulties for teaching purposes because the three discourses make conversations he has very complicated when arising around topics in the realm of fearology (e.g., is “fearless” a good thing or bad thing?) and how best to practice as a fearologist in a world of increasingly diverse perspectives, values, and worldviews on “reality” and “truth” and fear management/education.

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Deepak Subedi

Koirala, who accepts himself as a socialist, exposes fear inherited in human beings as open and naked version in his stories. Under the theory of “Philosophy of Fearism”, the basic idea of human life is “fear” and that “fear” leads the life. This is the central philosophy of Koirala’s stories.

Bishweshar Prasad Koirala, the apex personality of Nepalese politics as well as story writing in Nepalese literature, was born on September 9, 1914 to his father Krishna Prasad and mother Divya in Banaras, a religious city of India. He passed his childhood with his father in India although his permanent residence was in Morang (a district in eastern Nepal) since his father’s exile with all properties. He had started his college life in Kashi Hindu University, completed BA from Banaras Hindu University and completed BL from Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

In 1942, regarding Koirala’s political career, he became secretary of Congress Socialist Party, Bihar section. Koirala, who started doing politics being part of Anti-British Quit India Movement while living in India, became home minister of Nepal after Anti-Rana Armed People’s Movement in 1951. He became the first elected prime minister of Nepal from June 30, 1959 to December 15, 1960 after winning in parliamentary election from Biratnagar that was held under multiparty system.

Koirala was impressed and inspired by many veteran writers such as Prem chand, Tagore, Tolstoy, Turgenev, Chekhov, Gorky, and so on. His political activities has great importance in political history of Nepal. Koirala, who had become president of Nepali Congress Party, was also an active participant of “Socialist International”.

Koirala’s literary writing began walking by the inspiration of Shanti Prasad Dwivedi when he would live in Banaras. Some consider his Hindi story writing had begun from “Haridatta” in 1929 and some point out his story writing stepped ahead from “Wahan (he/she)” that had been published in “Hansh (Swan)” newspaper in 1931.

He started writing Stories in Nepali being inspired by Surya Bikram Gyawali in Darjeeling while practicing advocacy after completing BL. “Chandravadan” story that published in “Sharada (Literary Magazine month of Mangsir)” Nov/Dec issue in 1935 was the first story of Koirala in Nepalese language which was the beginning point of psychological story writing in Nepali story writing, too. “Doshi Chasma” (fault eyeglass) (1949) and “Shwet Bhairawi” (White goddess) (1982) have been published as collection of stories. All his stories have been collectively published in Bisheswar Prasad Koirala ka Katha (Stories of Bisheswar Prasad Koirala)  (1993) edited by Hari Prasad Sharma.

Bisheswar Prasad Koirala, who has been successful with the use of innovation fiction experiment, innovation establishment and knowledge-identification as the essential conditions for modernity, is a FEARIST storyteller. The tale of mental intervention in human’s intercourse comes under FEARIST stories.

Koirala, who accepts himself as a socialist, exposes fear inherited in human beings as opened and naked version in his stories. Under the theory of “Philosophy of Fearism”, the basic idea of human life is “fear” and that “fear” leads the life. He aims to open a wide variety of fears of human life through his story. He has analyzed the fear by allying with human’s consciousness in fascinating and artistic manner. In his stories, he has presented horrific facts in how much fear is powerful, while inaugurating the intense fear of unconsciousness. That’s why, nearly all characters of his stories have become prey of fear frustration because of strong presence of inspiring fear within them.

Any storyteller creates the character to present the fears of human life and they have ability to catch micro organs of fear entering into the depth of characters’ fear. Life is a lot of deaths in the course of survival of a terrible life, even if life is not like life itself. That’s why, it is not easy attempt to find the meaningfulness of fearful life, for making sense of reality about fear in human life. Similarly, Koirala, in the course of searching the essence of fear, sometime he gives birth to Krishna Ray (character of story), sometime Keshav Raj (character of story), sometime a soldier, and sometime reins general people in his writings.

Koirala is able to find out what ideas come in the minds of people being completely feared that people refuse the presence of fear in practical life. He has shown the inter-struggle among feared minds through his stories. He believes that all decisions of human beings becomes possible due to activeness of fear. In this way, creating characters according to human activities, he analyzes subtle fear of characters. To know the true nature of his characters, we must assume fearful mind as the source. He has discovered secrets of fearful minded person’s work by premising Fearistic Analysis.

Consciousness and fear play vital role while creating contents of Koirala’s stories. His stories can be felt realistic due to presence of discrimination, scare of human beings, meaninglessness, defeated fear of destiny, and the actions of characters driven by fear. Koirala is very intense in search of the effects of horrible situation to character’s mind.

Human being has a desire to organize and confirm life as well as to look at it, but it is frightening to do as much as possible. Managing life and giving determined direction, due to the same fear of doing increases human being’s stress. Due to the fear, a person living in a small way does a lot of work to please the people living in a high position. When a small employee has a minor weakness for a person of high position, there is fear with small employee if later would get angry. Due to this, a small employee is forced to live in a fearful situation.

… Army General came up with horse. Keshav Raj was trembling by fear. Making comfortable situation to himself, he cried out with fear, “My lord, the fault of the glass…I’m sorry.”

Army General asked by stopping horse, “What sorry?” Keshav Raj got nervous. How much anger as if he is not ready to forgive. He started seeing dark around himself. Trembling feet couldn’t work.  He sat suddenly by holding his hair with both hands. …Keshav Raj looked like a fifty year old man as if hands should be put on waist while walking. He felt the need of stick to walk …. In this way, in the story “Doshi Chasma (fault glass)”, Keshav Raj couldn’t be able to bow to Army General, and effect that his mind has been thrilling that is a reflection of fear of the people who are still in the care tradition. (This story is taken from Fault Glass of Koirala)

The fear being far away from actual stuffs and problem is the artificial. Orthodox, blind beliefs make people afraid, and this is not real. Doubt and illusion gets birth. It is illusion to see the rope as snake. It is a doubt that watching rope whether it is a snake or real.

The fear of doubt is by product of human mind. It is not awaken in all situation. The incident occurred in the opposition of any person, even by fear of doubts, the general incident works, as incident of stick hitting happened to Krishna Ray in the story “Shatru (enemy)”. Because, he expressed his fears as a reaction to the incident before clarity of the event. It is the nature of human beings, which can be taken as proof of the fact that the tiger of mind consumes than other tigers instead.

Koirala, in his stories, has presented in realistic way that the scenario of how an innocent person considers others as his enemy after thrilled when he is in asleep. Similarly, he has made contents while plotting his stories that how fear appears in human beings’ mind.

Fear covers infinity like the horizon. Consciousness, knowledge and sky of fear are like the horizon that can’t be touched by a traveler’s step or feet. There are three layers in living beings as consciousness, knowledge and fear. The stories of Koirala have presented the vision that consciousness and wisdom are close to fear, it is forced to live with fear where there is a chance of explosion in an opportunity. The power comes from the fear of a person who works in his life. In Koirala’s stories, what an inspiring and unwanted form of this fear can be found.

The central essence of his stories is the fear in human beings’ intimidation and consequences created by that fear. The person who has sunk in fear can’t save his self-respect if he doesn’t get success as high as his fear that he has. Feared person can never walk with head high and he can’t get pleasure in his dream, too. Thus, it is the success of storyteller Bisheswar Prasad Koirala that he could inaugurate the true fear by presenting in brief, by analyzing in fascinating way, and by giving message to discourage fear so that self-respect could be saved, success could be achieved and a joyful life could be lead. 

(Article is written by Deepak Subedi and translated by Surya Prakash Pangdhak Limbu. Deepak Subedi is General Secretary of “The Fearism Study Centre”, Nepal. This article was published in Nagrik Daily News 22 June, 2018 in Nepal. “Philosophy of Fearism” is propounded by Nepalese author Desh Subba. Bisheswar Prasad Koirala was renowned author of Nepalese literature and he was political leader. He was the first elected prime minister of Nepal 1959. This is the first critical  article of “Philosophy of Fearism” in the world.)

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Dialogue on FEARCRIMINALYSIS (Part 2): R. Michael Fisher, B. Maria Kumar and Desh Subba

Editorial Preamble:

This second dialogue with two fine thinkers, Maria and Desh, and two accomplished writers of several books and awards, is one of great treasure for me as I am simultaneously talking with law enforcement people, Desh a guard, and Maria a top position police officer. The first dialogue we had is worth reading over before you begin this one, but it is also not a necessary pre-requisite. Go to:

The Dialogue


“Hundred of years before modern human life was present, there were less terrorists and risk. Not too much murdering, kidnapping, stealing and raping. People generally felt more secure everywhere.”  - Desh Subba


Fisher: There’s so much to pick-up on if we wish from the last dialogue (Pt. 1). Though I’m starting this dialogue off with some more practical issues, especially in regard to how you both experience your work as in jobs and careers in the security and policing worlds. I’ll then stir up a very specific conversation around applying a philosophy of fearism to law and enforcement and security, especially, at the large domain of research and attention that has been given to “fear of crime” and its relevance to Fearcriminalysis.

So, let me start off by asking you both a professional question but also with a personal and subjective component. You Desh are a security guard for a private company. Let me start with that. Could you respond to the empirical evidence I have seen that there are now like several times as many security guards in the world as police.

What has happened in societies, and I am presuming this isn’t just a Western phenomenon that brings about this relatively recent recorded trend of seeing privatized security guards--working in for-profit companies-- just about everywhere, even in grocery stores and schools? Equally, I also am aware that prison guards and prisons are one of the fastest growing industries and mostly privatized now. I sometimes think civil society and the world is being invaded by Security Forces! Is there a connection between these two industries? And, lastly, how do you feel about this personally when you are out there working? And how does it all relate to a philosophy of fearism for you?  

Subba: You are right the Security Industry is one the fastest growing. We can take it as an industry. Security guards are not a basic requirement of life. It is one kind of luxury related to standard of life. Rich people are getting more and more rich. The gap is greater. When people become richer they need more security as a buffer protection from the poor in need. Because they have more fear, it means together with being rich--fear and risk is growing in this class.

It has also put some pressure on to improve the standard of security guard work. Rich demand more honest, sincere and loyal security guards. In Hong Kong and India, for example, richer people lean more to Gurkha Security. Gurkha security guard has a good trade name. Mostly in Hong Kong, rich people hire Gurkha Security guards. They are more expensive than other security guards. Gurkha security has the elite name and fame since WW-I. When India was ruled by the British, the British forces attacked many times Nepal, which is my home. All effort of the British became unsuccessful. First the British recruited them, the Gurkha as British soldiers. Then retired soldiers started to be recruited in the Security Guard industry. Wherever there was a British Colony, the British people as invaders hired the Gurkha as their security. British colonialism in that sense made them so famous and contributed greatly to the professionalization of the security industry. Belief and trust in a security person itself is a kind of security guard. If a client does not trust them fully then insecurity starts.

Fisher: It’s a kind of worrisome world this whole security forces business. We know that at times an honest security force can build very strong but it also can turn against it’s rulers and clients if need be. I’m not historian about this but I’m sure there have been lots of cases because security forces once working on your side tend to know all the insides and outsides of their client’s defense systems, because they are the defense system largely. So, there can be a lot of vulnerability set up when the security force or some radical faction of it decides it’s better to turn and betray your boss, so to speak and gain power-financial and/or blackmail power. Criminality amongst security forces and growth of the industry leads to corruption and more fear, it seems to me. Who can trust who after awhile? It leads to a paranoid world.

Also, I want to say one more thing about what has happened in American in a few places at least that is a very troubling trend. And, this has to do with civil disobedience on the streets that the public has a right to protest and then privatized security forces, other than government and state forces, are being hired to suppress and intimidate the protestors, often in quite brutal ways. Some of this has happened with the private security forces coming in and infiltrating civil disobedience protestors’ movements like in the Black Lives Matter and the Water Protectors in North Dakota this past fall at Standing Rock. I know my friend and colleague Four Arrows was involved in the latter situation four times in the field representing support for the Native people to protect their lands from an illegal oil pipeline. Four Arrows, a former US Marine officer and now Indigenous scholar and peace activist, was a representative of the Vietnam Vets for Peace at the Standing Rock Camps. He and others wrote about the vicious private security firm contracted by the State, which is made up of largely past special forces from the US Marines. Again, these corporations recruit these people and they have tactics that are more extreme. And because they are contracted by local police forces, as they were in North Dakota, it was found out that their tactic were determined by an internal company protocol, not by the State, because they named the Indigenous peace-protestors “jihadists” and thus they were treated unfairly, and illegally, as such, with no consequences for law enforcers [1].  

Subba: Most places people use CCTV security technology as well. It is a form of mechanical guard. The purpose of human and CCTV guards are almost same. If people cannot affordable high security capacities then they don't hire. It is a class-based tiered system of privilege for some and not for others. That's why I said security systems, guards and such are a luxury. 

Hundred of years before modern human life was present, there were less terrorists and risk. Not too much murdering, kidnapping, stealing and raping. People generally felt more secure everywhere. Generally, communities and cities were smaller and people were helpful, honest, co-operative. There’s so much conflict and technologies in weapons have advanced greatly. Nowadays, everywhere there are bomb blasts, kidnapping, murders, rapes, stealing, etc. It makes more danger and life becomes full of more risks. Most countries of the world people can’t relax and walk in the evenings. Nobody can predict  where the target of attack will be. If you watch media like most people do, we are always listening news of mass killings, bomb blasts, etc. It makes people generally more fearful, frightened of the smallest risks or big ones, and sense of dread and pessimism can set into our lives and societies.


“Desh, I think your model somewhat matches with the sociologists for example naming the postmodern era as a “risk society,” which really means predominantly fear-based, paranoid society and/or “culture of fear,” that is where most are now afraid to risk, afraid to live…”   -R. Michael Fisher


Fisher: In Subba (2014) you give your own informed and thoughtful history of the “Ages of Fear” (Chapter 3). You write, “When human beings existed in this earth, consciousness began to increase. They began to consider the necessity of security. As was knowledge about different caste/ethnicity, life, and the world, so was fear in human minds.” You then describe the evolution of nine Fear Ages humanity has gone through overall in a global macro-scale, even if certain parts of the world may not have advanced consciousness and technologies and their fears at such levels. Desh, you claim that currently in the developed world overall, we have entered the “Extreme Fear Age” not very long ago [2]. I think your model somewhat  matches with the sociologists for example naming the postmodern era as a “risk society,” which really means predominantly fear-based, paranoid society and/or “culture of fear,” that is where most are now afraid to risk, afraid to live; because living is so risky or at least it is perceived and inflated by media etc. to look and feel that way.

In this Extreme Fear Age people with money live behind gated communities with security guards 24/7 and so on. Fear often dictates the changing shape of our communities and cities and policies. Architects have said that we have moved into a postmodern era in urban planning of creating “defensive architecture” that is quite ugly and meant to withstand bomb blasts. Some leftists call this a growing “bunker mentality” and a general “domestic militarization” of police forces, security guards, and society overall, including our schools [3]. These are a few examples of insecurity and fear, mistrust, shaping our educational institutions [4] and the ‘new world’—a world competing for how to bring Order and Control. The latter, supposedly, is to bring peace and security back?

Subba: Yes, this is the way I see it. As I wrote in my book, with different ages there are certain fears created as people become more conscious, as their brains evolve bigger and life gets more complicated by more information and knowledge and awareness of things: “Knowledge generates fear” [5]. The historical ages develop “different thoughts and faiths” [6] and/or secular ideologies and theories as ways of managing these fears and stresses. The first age I label “Primitive Low Fear Age (primitive hunting age)” and the cultural evolution moves through various fear ages with agricultural, feudal, industrial, nuclear developments, etc. My thesis is that the first fear age consisted of “only 10 per cent fear compared to the present. Therefore, it is the primitive low fear age” [7]. By the seventh fear age or “Space Fear Age,” “fear is increased to 70 per cent” [8], and yes, that’s a big jump but so has knowledge jumped relatively as well.

Fisher: I have always found your historical theory of Fear Ages fascinating. The conclusion is that human history has grown more consciousness, more knowledge, and more fear.

Subba: Yes, that’s correct. And, as our discussion today suggests, and more security forces. It challenges notions of “progress” as supposedly taking human civilization out of a world driven by superstitions, fears, etc. –this is what one gets when one takes a fearist perspective on history, it is a different result and progress is not one-side.

Fisher: Indeed, it’s a unique and controversial perspective you’ve offered us. I think your Fear Ages logic of development makes sense in terms of who I have studied regarding evolution, that is, Ken Wilber the integral philosopher. He argued that evolution of consciousness has vertical increasing complex levels or stages as well, some 9-10 or so depending on your categorizing. Humanity has gone through these, and some place and times change slowly and don’t evolve to higher stages and some shift quickly. One is not absolutely better than the other, the key issue is adaptability of the consciousness for the conditions at hand and the brain-size available—that is, what works best is best. But, evolution happens because conditions change, nothing is static. New strategies evolve to meet new demands of the environment, etc.

Wilber’s main point, as I see it from a fearist lens, is that all stages of development, culturally and individually, he argued, are challenged by certain emergent fears based on conditions and brain development and complexity of living systems; that is, consciousness maturation. He argues that the simpler—meaning less complex structured systems—as consciousness stages do not construct the same kinds of fears as complex higher stages, each stage has its own fear-set, you might say [9]. Again, this also includes environmental conditions. So, evolution, according to Wilber, is growth and maturation where one set of old fears are eventually (re-)‘solved’ and at the new level of transformation and new potential also comes new fears that also have to be solved [10]. He calls it a view of evolution based on a “dialectic of progress”—and, that means not everything as you evolve is just great and better, loving and harmony, without problems—the latter, is an artificial abstract idealistic view of progress. He also says something very interesting: when a new level develops/evolves and a society and/or individual take it on as a ‘better way to go’ but still have some old fears not yet fully resolved but rather are missed by error of communications, and/or bypassed consciously, that is, forgotten temporarily, and/or dissociated from and placed completely in denial and unconscious repression shadows, he then argues the new emerging level of consciousness will eventually be limited and undermined in its full potentials and even fraught with pathologies from the earlier levels (i.e., fears) unresolved. You may recognize that some of that psychological theorizing is quite similar, but different, to what Freud found regarding the unresolved unconscious repression patterning from the past that can haunt our futures. So, if there are “cures,” or what Wilber calls a philosophical “therapia” [11] for evolution and the human situation, they will be found in our ways of managing fear(s) well. That’s where the fearism comes in, right?

Now, I suppose some would debate, as I read and hear at times, that the world is less risky for the majority, and surely in the first-world developed countries so-called. They compare statistics over time. Historians speak of a lot more terrifying times for human groups thousands of years ago, empires invading other empires, torture, horrible plagues and massive deaths, as well or during the Middle Dark Ages, and so on. I tend not to have that historical statistical debate but go with my gut and some evidence from sociology that say “fear is on the rise” and contagious--even if less actual crime is reported statistically when looked at by quantitative data.

And people generally today feel much less secure than they did a generation or two prior [12]. Several critics have said that around the early 1980s much of the Western developed nations entered a state of “risk society” [13]–a by-product of late modernism and the coming postmodern era.  And because of the security risks rising all the time, and technologies like nuclear energy have added to this problem there is a huge tendency for citizens and their leaders to then become overly gun-shy about taking risks in governance. Another topic we can come back to later, but it is probably more appropriate to the development of Fearpoliticology. I also want to say that it has got to put people in a lot more fear-risk expectation every time they see a security guard on the corner of this street or that, or the grocery store or school hallway, and so on. When are they going to start wearing guns too, just like police? I think this is a subtle thing perhaps, but most people don’t like seeing security forces all over their communities. Of course, they don’t like seeing crime and violence in their communities either. It’s a real Catch-22 or double-bind scenario with no easy and pure answer to the problem of insecurity. I call it all part of the Fear Problem.

Subba: Right. But people with power and wealth want higher security and pay for it and that keeps the market growing for security forces of greater effectiveness. These problems are every where. In developed countries generally, governments take this rising insecurity more consciously and with responsibility to protect others and try to solve the roots of the problems. Yet, in underdeveloped countries less so, where there is more corruption in government-and private security forces working together. Or they just don’t take it seriously if threats are not coming to them and only to the poor people. 

Fisher: So, what is your 10th Fear Age, Desh?

Subba: The Fearless Age. Now we are talking about the future vision in my historical theory and logic of Fear Ages in humanity’s history. It’s a positive with the negative. There is the 10th stage called “Fearless Age.” As we are undergoing the Extreme Fear Age, some of us will be driven by evolutionary adaptation and intelligence systems to develop the counter to the worst of the Extreme Fear Age. Fearless is also extreme and a response to extreme. That’s how I see evolution and development works at its best.

Fisher: Right. A strong problem creates a strong solution—potentially, and it helps only if we take the opportunity and manifest its gifts. And you write that the Fearless Age is “the last stage of fears—is fearlessness” [14]. Of course, I was really happy when I read that a few years ago in your book. Both Wilber’s work and my own have also such a theory built-in with potential of fearlessness and beyond that to fearless [15]. What would law, and policing and security world look like in a Fearless Age? But, let’s leave that topic aside and hear from Maria. Could you also comment on these beginning queries of mine re: security and prison guards in general and also more specifically how this relates to your vocation so dedicated to policing? I’d like both professional answers and your personal more subjective views too, if you would. And how do you think this relates to a philosophy of fearism?


“A considerable number of policy makers also don’t seem to know that the enactment of their own policies, laws, rules etc. creates fear in the minds of people.”  - Maria B. Kumar


Kumar: Sure. One of the foremost traditional and current objectives of policing is the protection of life and property. Police are supposed to safeguard the rights of people in regard to their lives and properties.  Right to life, right to livelihood etc. emanate from what we call human rights. Right to life doesn’t simply mean that of living for living sake. A life shall be lived and enjoyed freely. One has to have freedom and liberty in exercising the right to free life. ‘Free’ means free of crime, theft, bondage, restrictions, threat, slavery etc. and ultimately it boils down to freedom from fear while exercising the right to life. Liberty is the other face of freedom meaning that the individual has got the right to lead his or her life freely. Here ‘freely’ means fearlessly. That way, freedom connotes ‘freedom from fear’ whereas liberty demands ‘liberty to act fearlessly’.

In order to ensure these fundamental aspects of human life, the institution of policing system was envisaged and with a view to equipping the police force accordingly for that purpose with requisite authority, accountability, duties, tools, legitimacy etc.; laws, rules, regulations etc. were framed. So we may say finally that it is the responsibility of police to facilitate public peace and order in the society so that all the individuals enjoy their lives freely and fearlessly.

Fisher: Wow. That’s a wonderful framing of policing function, Maria. First, I wonder if other police and/or law policy makers understand policing like this? Do they train their leaders and staff to implement it? And, who is actually teaching them about fear and fearlessness in order to be informed widely and deeply and critical enough to bring that about as a good vision for law? I am skeptical about what is really going on, in terms of priorities, in policing world, you might say; but maybe I just don’t know enough.

Kumar: That’s a good question Michael! Very few police officers understand policing in terms of fear and fearlessness. Most of them look at policing as an instrument of controlling crime and keeping order in the society. In the process, some resort to instilling a feeling of fear. Of course, fear to some extent is a necessary evil for example in case of dispersal of violent crowds as a deterrent mechanism to prevent the criminals from committing crimes. If fear serves for larger good, it is okay. But if it worsens the otherwise tranquil climate to deteriorate, then it is bad. So it all depends upon the principle of larger good.

Fisher: I understand the practicality of that reality. I think the principle would be summarized as simply: fear is useful for some good, but not too much fear then turns destructive. Basically, that is not a different principle than most of the literature one can find in popular and professional discourses. Many books I’ve read on fear management and psychology in general say that kind of thing and use that pragmatic principle. They usually call it good fear and bad fear, and they name the various symptoms of them both and typically end up in a quantitative paradigmatic meaning frame on the subject of “fear.” The referent measure of distinction is always some fear is good as long as it is not too much because then it is bad. And, again, I am not saying that has no common sense validity, it is obviously pragmatic for where we are in our maturity of a species and how much or little we are informed about fear management and fearology etc.

However, I think like all principles and pre-fixed definitions of “what is fear” and “how should we best manage it,” even if they seem to have served in the past, have to be analyzed critically in postmodern contexts and beyond—because such knowledge assumptions and experiences are  themselves in part constructions of perception, based on understanding at the time based, on experience, tradition, and likely habitual discourses, with some utility but maybe ‘out of date. They made need to be asked as questions of fresh inquiry within new contexts not used in the past or now [16]. I’m saying more or less, what I said in the Editorial Preamble in Part 1 of our Dialogue: “Regarding tradition, although we each respect it in its best offerings, just because something was and is done this way or that, certainly doesn’t mean by necessity it is the ‘best’ way.”

I know that may sound too abstract to some. My own research and the imperative of fearology, with its epistemic doubt, itself demands more re-examining everything we think we already know about fear and how to best manage it and, of course that boils down to how we’re going to manage human beings, conflict etc. Policing and law are all about that, from one point of view.

Subba: I am less academic than Michael, however there are two things I found in my research on why fearism is so important in a new fear management outlook and plan. First, I found the heavy bias toward fear is due to a negativism in people’s views, and fearism has the counterbalancing to make fear more positive. Next, I found that fearism is a platform for criticism, it began with literary criticism, and quick spread as a philosophical fearism critique to reinterpret all things. Policing and law is one of the things that fearism has yet been applied to and I think that is what Michael is getting at. The Third thing I found is that fearism alone is not sufficient to understand anything. I ended my 2014 book writing, “Thus, fearism interprets, investigates, and analyses many things….It unfolds the folded aspects/sides. It also opens closed doors.” [17]

Fisher: Thanks Desh for clarifying. Your point Kumar about how police understand fear and fearlessness and your view to me show a significant ‘gap’ and that’s exciting territory to explore, especially because you are a career policeman yourself. Police and law and policy makers may actually listen to you and your context of how things may be done differently. Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt your train of thought….  

Kumar: A considerable number of policy makers also don’t seem to know that the enactment of their own policies, laws, rules etc. creates fear in the minds of people. A climate of fear. For example, curfew during war. The efficacy of their policy making depends upon how well it succeeds on a cost-benefit scale.

Fisher: That’s the economic-logical-rational paradigm—now, largely dominating fear management discourses under the rubric of “risk management” and “risk analysis” as you seem to be indicating.


“If we browse through the preamble of any national constitution, we find liberty, equality, fraternity, dignity, pursuit of happiness, justice and so on but nowhere is the word ‘fearless’ found.”  

- B. Maria Kumar


Kumar: Right. Here also the principle of the larger utilitarian good steps in. Larger good means that larger number of people are fearlessly pursuing their respective affairs. Practically speaking, complete fearlessness is only utopian whereas total fearfulness is dystopian. All policies, laws, rules, regulations etc. are supposed to grant legitimacy to institutions for fearless working. As said by the philosopher John Locke, the end of law is not to abolish or restrain but to preserve and enlarge freedom. Like- the institution of marriage was established in order to facilitate fearless sex between consenting partners. A firm is established under law just to function its way to achieve business objectives fearlessly. But the problem is that the true spirit of fearlessness is not expressly pronounced in the tenets of the institutions of police, business, politics, education etc. but is only implied. Hence training curriculum is deficient on that count.

Fisher: Exactly! Desh and I would agree with you. “Fearless” and/or “freedom from fear” for marriage, or policing, or education, are only words with some good intent. We seem to have an impulse for that true freedom as the spirit of fearlessness—but the psychoanalyst Erich Fromm, for example, also showed humans who have operated under the fear-principle a long time as dominant, when shown “freedom” they tend to “escape from freedom,” which was the title of one of his books in the early 1940s-50s as I recall. I think the link here is similar to the paradox Maria you pointed out in the freedom from fear that good law and policing intend and the reality that people too often end up fearing the police. Although, other factors are going on too in the climate of fear that grows around the world of policing and militarisation. As you say, there are some police for example, who operate on a different principle than what you are suggesting and it is anything but true fearlessness. Indeed… the problem is receiving a better education for police and law and policy makers and everyone else-- a quality curriculum on fear and fearlessness that just doesn’t exist, and I doubt if it has ever existed in human history. It is coming though!

Kumar: If we browse through the preamble of any national constitution, we find liberty, equality, fraternity, dignity, pursuit of happiness, justice and so on but nowhere is the word ‘fearless’ found. Therefore, I think that this is the time to emphasize the need for explicit provision of ‘the right to fearlessness or the right to be fearless’ so as to help all institutions including police redraft their vision, mission and objectives.

Fisher: What a great place to end Part 2. There’s so much I wanted to get to as well around “fear of crime” as a problem itself in law and policing today, but that will have to wait for Part 3. Thank to you both for this.



  1. See Four Arrows’ 2017 article,
  2. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris, pp. 44-45.
  3. See e.g., Giroux, H. (2001). Mis/education and zero tolerance: Disposable youth and the politics of domestic militarization. Boundary: An International Journal of Literature and Culture, 28: 1-92. Most of these critiques link the fast growth of a privatized prison complex with this domestic militarization—and, all the racism that has been shown to accompany it in the US especially.
  4. A more problematic American trend in the last few years but also after 9/11 somewhat, is the expansion of U.S. State Homeland Security Office. There has been a growing infiltration of “homeland security” as a subject matter for junior and senior high school students in public schools and now these are coming into colleges and universities—as basically funded and taught by State officials of Homeland Security, with the objective on the surface to provide young people with career jobs for the growing state security industry. See Nguyen’s new book Curriculum of Fear that studies this infiltration problem; I posted on this
  5. Subba, p. 21
  6. , p. 35
  7. , p. 37
  8. This is an empirical reality in the USA, as security expert Gavin de Becker has researched over the years.
  9. This fear-set is basically a particular generalized Fear Management System, which I have identified 10 in the evolution of humanity, accordingly with Wilber’s stages of consciousness evolution. See Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world’s fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear management/education for the 21st Lanham, MD: University Press of America. I also take a slightly different view than Subba’s continuous model of Fear Ages. I have constructed more a “point of departure theory” to explain certain fear dynamics in human and cultural evolution (i.e., of fear management systems)—whereby, one sees at a certain point the fear became ‘fear’ (a very toxic form and fearism-t began to rule as an ideological pathological system or ‘Fear’ Matrix, around 9-10,000 years ago, according to Four Arrows)—note, this is all in Fisher (2010) more or less, and now I have aligned some of my thinking with Four Arrows, and an Indigenous worldview critique, see his wonderful theory and writing on fear and fearlessness in Four Arrows (aka Jacobs, D. T.) (2016). Point of departure: Returning to a more authentic worldview for education and survival. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.
  10. Wilber (1995) wrote, “Each successive stage brought new information, new potentials, new hopes and new fears; brought a greater complexity, a greater differentiation, a greater relative autonomy—and the capacity for a new and greater pathology [i.e., bigger Fear Problem] if a corresponding integration and embrace did not ensue [i.e., was missed or by-passed]” (p. 104). Wilber, K. (1995). Sex, ecology and spirituality: The spirit of evolution (Vol. 1). Boston, MA: Shambhala.
  11. Wilber (1995) wrote, “each discovery [evolutionary development] of a new and deeper context and meaning [i.e., expanded consciousness structure] is a discovery of a new therapia, a new therapy, namely: we must shift our perspectives, deepening our perception, [and do so] often against a great deal of resistance [i.e., fear of change], to embrace deeper and wider contexts” and with these shifts is a shift in the very identity of the self-Other reality (p. 73).
  12. , p. 43
  13. g., see Beck, U. (1992). Risk society: Towards a new modernity. London, UK: SAGE.
  14. Subba, p. 45.
  15. For Wilber it would be the achievement of “integral” consciousness or “vision-logic” to get to fearlessness as the basic motivational core, and it would be to achieve the higher stage of “nondual” consciousness to reach fearless. I use this same foundation for my Fear Management Systems Theory and Fearless Standpoint Theory, and I have been writing about the notion of a “Fearless Society” at least since 2000; e.g., see Fisher, R.M. (2000). A movement toward a fearless society: A powerful contradiction to violence. Technical Paper No. 10. Vancouver, BC: In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute.
  16. Two such meta-contexts off the top of my head: (a) Fearless Age and historical unfoldment and theory in Subba’s work and, (b) the Fearlessness Movement as I have conceptualized it. So, I would ask about law and policing and security principles and practices and suggest they also need to be calibrated and re-constructed within at least these two meta-contexts, and then see what we learn from that process. Even if we don’t see anything immediately relevant or practical to use, the exercise is one that will likely give us new perspectives on our old and traditional ways of doing things. However, I don’t know, I can only speculate. This dialogue is a beginning first in this field of bringing together enforcement people (e.g., Kumar) into relation with thoughts about fearism and my own fearwork(ing).
  17. Subba, p. 333.


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American Institute for Philosophical and Cultural Thought has officially promoted my work and upcoming courses on Fearology at The Fearology Institute, as an online alternative higher education site. Here is the supportive endorsement quote from their website. In nearly 30 years, this is the first academic group (happens to be in the USA), especially a bunch of philosophers, to acknowledge my work in this capacity. I think it says something about what academics and philosophers are beginning to see--that which cannot be ignored anylonger by humanity--the Fear Problem: 

"Dr. R. M. Fisher’s Courses on Fearology 139w, 606w" alt="" width="279" height="300" />

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As you may or not have been following the development of philosophy of fearism (especially with Desh Subba's 2014 text; and then the Fisher & Subba 2016 text), there is a particular way (not the only way) of framing how to better deal with fear in the world, individually and collectively. Of course, this is still nascent and hypothetical, theoretical and philosophical. But today I want to set a simple scenario of (fictional) action that I would argue (not here) is actually a useful way to approach how to better deal with fear, that accounts for the larger fearological diagnosis of the global "Fear Problem" but without necessarily exacerbating that "problem" and how it easily can be seen as a "failure" in the actual therapeutic and/healing and transformation process. 

Okay, if all that is just too many words and ideas, and spins your head, and/or if you really just want me to get to the point, I'm going to suggest I will below in a simple fictional action relationship between a feariatrist and a client (or, this maybe less formal without all the role-titles) give a practical working example of fearwork. The fearologist, I'm suggesting is not so interested or focused on this issue that will be revealed below, but the feariatrist (analogous with a psychiatrist, for e.g.) has to be more attuned to the therapeutic and/or clinical dimension of fearwork(ing). 

Okay, enough already, here's the feariatric lesson: 

Imagine a feariatrist meeting with a client: 

Feariatrist: Welcome. I am so glad you've decided to see me today and take time out from your normal life to do something less familiar or even what some may see as abnormal or just weird.

Client: Sure. It is a little weird. I don't really like psychiatrists or doctors much...

Feariatrist: I'm guessing they haven't appealed to you for good reasons. My focus is on the how are we going to solve any fear problem(s) you want to work on with me. 

Client: Sure. 

Fearistrist: Okay, well before we begin, I wanted to let you know that I did read over the information you supplied to me about your background history and your issue(s) you wanted to work on with me. Thanks, that was helpful. Though, I have to say I want to make sure we get off to a good start on this process, so would you answer a question for me first? 

Client: Sure.

Feariatrist: Oh, good. I want to talk to a part of you that most people, including psychiatrists usually, don't talk to. You could call it your unconscious, if you like. But at least, we could call it the hidden part of yourself. Is that okay?

Client: Sure. What do you mean?

Feariatrist: I want to talk to you about the purpose of your hidden part. 

Client: What?

Feariatrist: I want to talk to your fear. 

Client: Okay, but that isn't very hidden. I am afraid of ..... 

Feariatrist: Yeah, I know you were very good in outlining those fears in your preliminary information. We'll get to those. I merely want to talk to your fear first before your fears? Is that okay?

Client: Ah, sure, I guess. 

Feariatrist: Are you sure?

Client: Yes. 

Feariatrist: Good. Let's start. Sit back as comfortably as possible. Let your eyes close, and signal me some way, when you are ready to listen to my voice... 

[process of relaxation and induction goes on; details of that are not important here for this lesson]

Feariatrist (continues): Good, now here's what I want to say to your fear, that hidden part of you that doesn't get talked to, at least I am guessing so, very often by anyone. And, I'm even thinking maybe you haven't talked to it either, or at least not lately as you've been occupied with other important things. I'm not sure I know how to talk to your fear myself. But I'll do my best, you correct me after this exercise; for now, we are taking the time and space as you have chosen to come here and do this fearwork with me and get the communications going again. Right?

So, let's begin. This is what I want you to hear, which your fear already knows. [long pause, watching for responses from the client] 

There's a Fear Problem out there in the world. It's annoying. But it's not your problem. It's really not yours. It merely impacts you everyday, in mostly hidden ways. And, from the day you were conceived, or at least born, you knew. You knew but you couldn't make full sense of it, in adult terms, but you knew it had a purpose. The Fear Problem is out there in the world and it's not your problem. I want to tell you it will be totally up to you to decide how the impacts of the Fear Problem will impact you. Your fear knows already these impacts but has not always and/or not yet communicated them all to you. It wanted to protect you from some, and for good reasons. With us working together creatively we are going to help you to decide how you will be impacted, what are useful ways of being impacted and what are not useful ways of being impacted by the Fear Problem. I welcome fear now in all its gifts and ways and I welcome you [gives clients name] to a new relationship with fear. 

[this is enough for this purpose here as a lesson]


Again, this is a fictional session I have dramatized for teaching purposes in the work of feariatry. As you as readers may engage this or ask more about it, I will share more, but at least I think these vignettes of practice of feariatry could be useful for the development of theory and praxis down the road. At this point, I have put a good deal of thought into this, as well as drawing on my own therapeutic experience as a practitioner for decades, and yet, it is all still tentative and exploratory. I trust you will find these at least "interesting." 

p.s. as a prompt for you to Comment on this "session" feel free to take the feariatrist's perspective studying this case, or being in the session, AND/OR the client's perspective likewise, or a witness to the whole thing, etc. 




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"Psychology is how to struggle with it. Philosophy is always looking for an exit out of it." -Jon Amundson (psychotherapist) 

Dr. Jon Amundson

I just had to quote my fav psychotherapist from Calgary, AB. Long story of our connection. But when I saw this on his website tonight, it made me think of this as a traditional view where there is "problem" and psychology and psychologists help people struggle with it (pragmatically). Maybe there is some truth that philosophers and philosophy tend to be more about ideas and questions and offering better "exits" from problems. Though, that is all too stereotypic generalizing, and what strikes me is that the philosophy of fearism is anything but an exit per se but a way to engage the struggle with fear, and in fact is a philosophy all about fear in all its dimensions from genetic to biological to psychological to sociological to philosophical and even theological. The fearologist works with this philosophy of fearism as a basic guidance, at least that is the way Desh Subba (founder of philosopher of fearism) and myself envision the education, practice and development of the new fearologist of the 21st century--they are a hyrbid cross, both in the struggle with the Fear Problem and also looking for an exit (e.g., what "fearless" may mean)--but there is no separation or divorce of the two types of fearwork(ing)... they must be integrated all the way, and the very word "fearism" and "fearology" makes sure there is deep and wide investigation and struggle and working through all things to do with fear ... [just some thoughts for the night]... 


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

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

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


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

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Carl Leggo, Ruminating on Love and Schools

A colleague at the University of British Columbia invited me to visit his doctoral seminar on February 14, 2018. Questions had been asked about the role of love in schools. My colleague remembered that I had written at least a few articles about love and schools. An invitation to speak about love on Valentine’s Day was a delightful treat. Prior to my visit I asked the class to read my article “Living Love: Confessions of a fearful teacher (2011). In this article I address Michael Fisher’s thoughtful and inspiring work on fearlessness and love:

I lean into the strong words of Fisher’s writing. I am glad he is calling out his erudite and energetic vision for an education of fearlessness. He knows that “Perfect Love, like perfect non-violence (i.e., non-revenge, non-hate, non-ego) is a highly demanding ethic and consciousness to attain” (pp. 161-162), but he sustains the hope that “if we look and trust radically and deeply enough” (p. 191), we can replace the “Law of Fear” with the “Law of Love” (p. xii). This is a timely and complex vision for education in our globalized and cosmopolitan world. (p. 127)

A day or so before the class, I received an email message from one student in the doctoral seminar. I have met the student a few times, and he always impresses me as theoretically sophisticated, insightfully rigorous, and thoughtfully dedicated to asking big questions about urgent issues of education and human becoming. He especially raised questions about the notion of “Perfect Love” and whether or not it is attainable. He expressed his clear concern that “Perfect Love” is simply not attainable. I was struck by the difficulty of language in discussing love.

In the seminar I shared anecdotes and ruminations about love and schools. And I distributed a list of several quotations I have been mulling over, including the following:

hooks, bell. (2013). Writing beyond race: Living theory and practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

“When describing the political system that we live within here in the United States, more often than not, I use the complicated phrase imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. This phrase is useful precisely because it does not prioritize one system over another but rather offers us a way to think about the interlocking systems that work together to uphold and maintain cultures of domination” (p. 4).

“As we move away from dominator culture towards a liberatory culture where partnership and mutuality are valued we create a culture wherein we can all learn to love. There can be no love where there is domination. And anytime we do the work of love we are doing the work of ending domination” (p. 37).

hooks promotes: “education for critical consciousness that re-shapes thought and action” (p. 185)

Kogawa, Joy. (2016). Gently to Nagasaki. Halfmoon Bay, BC: Caitlin Press.

“For my part, I hold with a fierce and painful joy my trust in a Love that is more real than we are” (p. 42).

“The life of which I was a part, my family’s life, my community’s life, everything that was done to any of us or by any of us—everything—all the good, all the evil, all the shame, all the secrets, all the kindness, all the sorrow, all all all, was fully known. A tide within me surged forth and I acknowledged the Knowing as the Presence of Love” (p. 70).

Finney, Sandra, & Sagal, Jane Thurgood. (2017). The way of the teacher: A path for personal growth and professional fulfillment. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

“The profession of teaching is one that calls us to be lovers of wisdom, to love learning new things, to more deeply understand old ideas we hold, and to ignite this spark of curiosity and wonder in our students” (p. 107).

Heller, Chaia. (1999). Ecology of everyday life: Rethinking the desire for nature. Montreal, PQ: Black Rose Books.

“In love, there is a paradox. In order to know and understand that which we love, we must first know ourselves. We must engage in a continual process of becoming conscious of our own beliefs, prejudices, and desires if we are to truly see that which we love. When we fail to know ourselves in this way, the beloved can be nothing more than a projection of our own desires, a projection that obstructs our vision of the desires, history, and distinctiveness of those we love” (p. 35).

Nonnekes, Paul. (2001). Three moments of Love in Leonard Cohen & Bruce Cockburn. Montreal, PQ: Black Rose Books.

“Structures of love are created not through the fixing of desire in secure borders and boundaries, but through establishing frameworks of intersubjectivity, the activity of subjects reciprocally recognizing each other’s independence and freedom, recognizing each other’s difference, establishing a big space for the entertaining of diversity” (p. 174-175).

Taylor, Barbara Brown. (2009). An altar in the world: A geography of faith. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

“…the hardest spiritual work in the world is to love the neighbour as the self…” (p. 93).

In the course of my conversation with the seminar participants, I asked, How can we learn to live with one another in our diversity? That has always been one of my main commitments as an educator—learning to live with the other, with one another, with others, with myself in relation to all the others who are not me. What does it mean to experience Perfect Love in relation to all the others I know as you?

I don’t think the participants in the seminar were ready to take up the kinds of issues and questions I offered. Conversations about love are messy! I drew the class visit to a close with a recent poem, full of memories of my brother.

Apple Tree

growing up on Lynch’s Lane

my brother and I always loved

fall when apples sparkled

on Old Viv Drover’s tree

and we slipped over the fence

from Cec’s backyard to stuff

our pockets full of apples like

sour stones after a season

too short for anything but

potatoes carrots turnips

but we still stole the apples

because they hung on a tree free

ate a few and threw the rest

like grenades in the war games

we fought constantly like

democracy depended on our defiance

slipping over the fence in October

dark like we were winding through

barbed wire on the Berlin wall

intent on espionage and escape


last August I remembered the raids

on Old Viv Drover’s apple tree

while standing in the backyard

of my brother’s house in Mt. Pearl

outside St. John’s Newfoundland

where an unlikely apple tree stood

in the corner because my brother’s

six-year-old grandson suggested

with infectious hope they plant

an apple tree since an apple a day

will keep the doctor away but no

apples could battle cancer and on

the day of my brother’s funeral

he and I are still sneaking over

the fence in the cool dark autumn

evening to steal the last apples

on Old Viv Drover’s tree bulldozed

decades ago for an arterial highway

even though the apples still taste

hard sour stomach-slaking as always



Leggo, C. (2011). Living love: Confessions of a fearful teacher. JCACS (Journal of

     the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies), 9(1), pp. 115-144.


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Gun Problem: Fear Problem

Dr. Jonathan Metzl, a psychiatrist and Director of the Center for Medicine, Health and Society (Vanderbilt University, TN)

I just watched an interview with Dr. Metzl on Democracy Now on the internet, and I know his expertise is very important to the debates, as we now witness the tragedy of another mass murder shooting in a Florida highschool, another one, one of 18 such incidents in the school year so far in the USA. 

Most important in the discussion on the program was the impact on society of such events, which Metzl raised as the "broader questions" beyond all the details and symptoms of these mass murders. I heartily agree, as he says, "In terms of what I think psychiatry and mental health can do.... the question that rarely gets asked at times like this is why do we need so many guns in the first place? What kind of society do we really live in and want to live in? the aftermath of this people start to mistrust each other, all of a sudden, we need more guns in schools, more armed guards, more metal detectors....this mistrust becomes so pervasive," he says.

And, yes, mistrust only can register and grow like a virus damaging the social fabric (i.e., sociality and social trust) if fear is rampant and spreading like a virus. The word fear was not actually mentioned on the entire story Democracy Now covered, or in Metzl's dialogue. I think this is where feariatry (as one of the branches of fearology and the three pillars, in Desh Subba and my books) comes in... we will not get to the roots of what Metzl is concerned about without a serious study of the Fear Problem, as more important than the Gun Problem, and that whole shift would really give us a chance to ask what kind of society we live in and want to live in. Since the mid-1990s these issues have been brought up with the documenting and naming of the "culture of fear" problem in America, but fast spreading around the world... and, actually, this label goes back to the early 1980s. So, clearly, there isn't much take-up of the problem, and much really serious public discourse on fear--and, certainly, in my 29 years studying this all the school systems are loath to get into discussing it. We so lack vision in W. society.

Anyways, there will always be more opportunities, and unfortunately, more deaths... more guns... more mistrust and more fear. Feariatry has to be brought up to help inform psychiatry (and mental health) at all levels. I have written on several of the mass murders about these things for years. So far, no one really is listening too intently and rather people follow the fear trail... and look who to blame ... a point Gavin de Becker made back in the late 1990s as he studied these issues as a security expert... yes, change is very slow. Though, one cannot predict the future totally by the past--thank goodness, otherwise, I'd be motivated to say, "we're fucked!" 




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Philosophy of Fearism in African Nation

Philosophy of Fearism in African Nation

Pradip Menyangbo 

[This article, which I have translated into English is published in one of the main newspapers of Nepal Kantipur Daily (02/13/18) in Nepalese language. Translated with the permission of the author/reporter] [Assistant translations by Surya Prakash Pangdhak Limbu; also edited by R. Michael Fisher] 


February 13, 2018 

Western intellectuals have accepted the…Bhayabad (Nepalese word for Philosophy of Fearism) or Philosophy of Fearism produced by Desh Subba, who has been living in Yuen Long in Hong Kong for two decades. Philosophers and writers from Canada and different African countries are collaborating together with Mr. Subba in order to further re-interpret and redefine the Fearism writings that have won dozens of international awards, including in the USA.  

While the intellectual world is interested in discussing fear(ism), high officials of the police and military departments of some African countries are facing violence and civil war. They recently have expressed their concern about the practical use of the philosophy of fearism to manage the fear of society in practical life. Police and military have shown good interest to formulate policy for fear management by practicing Mr. Subba’s philosophy through maintaining peace and security in society, family, and whole country, by freeing any kind of terror also coming from natural disasters, and setting the fear management agenda as the main purpose of their countries. 

Furgeli Sherpa, a facilitator of fear management, said that seven nations’s senior police officers from different African countries had drawn the conclusion in a workshop held in Mukjar, a city in Sudan, that growing fear in their country could be managed according to Fearism. Sherpa is working in the UN peace keeping force, Sudan. He is from an Armed Police Force of Nepal. 

Sherpa said 27 police and military officers from Tunisia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia and Jordan had responded that Fearism is practical philosophy to manage different types of fears in family and society. Their goal is to improve ways to manage fear and control crime, civil war, murder, violence and they require philosophy in order to be utilized from the ground all the way up to the policy formulation levels. Fearism recognizes that “life is conducted, directed, controlled and operated by fear,” as Subba’s book sub-title suggests. 

Fearism was conceptualized and coined in 1999 by Mr. Subba, who has been living in Hong Kong with his family for two decades. Philosophy of Fearism has come on the world stage of thought as the latest philosophy, which has been awarded after acceptance of western authors and philosophers. It is the first time in Africa to be utilized. The philosophy has become attractive to many universities from Hong Kong, Sikkim, Northeast India, Bangladesh, USA and Europe, where Subba has lectured. 

Armed police force of Nepal reaches into Sudan, Sherpa said, "They have drawn the conclusion that the philosophy that has been founded by a Nepalese (Subba), can help those African countries facing violence and civil war to better manage fear.” Facilitator of the program in Sudan, Sherpa added’ “Every work done by the police and the army of any country, is to make citizens free from fear and terror and give them protection and peace. The philosophy guides to how to make citizens free from fear and establish calmness in society.” 

He said African police personnel and the army self-approved of the philosophy as a positive fear which could be used as a means of increasing courage, motivation and will. Sherpa reported, after his introductory workshop, that Tanzania police officer Sheila Msami, said, “Fearism will be able to help to manage fear generated by terrorism and civil war.” He added that Msami responded Fearism as relevant to the peace, security and development of the nation.Mr. Subba expressed his gladness that police and army personnel of some African countries had taken his Philosophy of Fearism as the means to develop their countries with establishing fearless peace. He added, “Up until now, the philosophy has become an interesting subject for philosophical studying and some scholars, but I felt good that it is entering Africa, as police and army have also started to realize Fearism potential.” 


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Fearpoliticology And Democracy's Fragility

The recent dialogue (on the FMning) on initial ideas surrounding Fearcriminalysis brought forward thinking about the relationship of law and crime and safety and security enforcement, etc., with politics, and especially with thinking about democracy and the future, as things are getting tense around the world and liberal republics (and democracy) are showing signs of breakdown and being over-taken, more or less, by forces of fundamentalism of one kind or another, often with their own forms of terror(ism) and fear(ism)-t (i.e., toxic variety). 

Barbara sent me an interesting article recently in the N.Y. Times (01/2718) which I want to quote some excerpts for educational purposes here [1] on thinking about governance, politics, law and I think they very much run along parallel to concerns that ought to be taken up in a new subdomain I am labeling Fearpoliticology [2], with concurrent parallel themes in fearcriminalysis. This article is by two Harvard University professors of government. 

Levitsky & Ziblatt (2018) wrote, 

"The problems we face [in America] run deeper than Trump [and his particular autocratic leadership style].... We should not take democracy for granted. There is nothing intrinsic in American culture that immunizes us against its breakdown. Even our brilliantly designed Constitution cannot by itself, guarantee democracy's survival. If it could, then the Republic would not have collapsed into civil war 74 years after its birth. 

To function well, democratic constitutions must be reinforced by two basic norms, or unwritten rules. The first is mutual tolerance [i.e., basic social trust], according to which politicians accept their opponents as legitimate. When mutual tolerance exists, we recognize that our partisan rivals are loyal citizens who love our country just as we do. 

The second norm is forebearance, self-restraint in the exercise of power [and concomitantly, fear]. Forebearance is the act of not exercising a legal right [to win and dominate]. In politics, it means not deplying one's institutional perogatives to the hilt [maximum], even if it is legal to do so. [i.e., what has been called "constitutional hardball" by some legal scholars]

History suggests... that democratic norms are vulnerable to polaraization [via legalism in extremis--i.e., constitutional hardball]. Some polariation is healthy, even necessary, for democracy. But extreme polarization [i.e., enemy-making] can kill it. When societies divide into partisan camps with profound different worldviews, and when those differences are viewed as existential [if not religious] and irreconcilable, political rivalry can devolve into partisan hatred [i.e., extreme fear]. Parties come to view each other not as legitimate rivals but as dangerous enemies. Losing ceases to be an accepted part of the political process and instead becomes [seen as] catastrophe [if not as terrorism or anti-democracy and thus forebearance is abandonded].

If we believe our opponents are dangerous [e.g., fearsome], should we not use any means necessary to stop them? This is how democracy died in Chile [S. cone in 1970s-80s in Latin America] [where, social political life turned into a "death spiral" [3].... [today] our parties are more polarized than at any time during the last century. [according to a Pew Survey]49% of Republicans and 55% of Democrats 'say the other party makes them afraid!' 

This is not a traditional liberal-conservative divide [i.e., it is a Fear Wars, and a type of ideological cleansing campaign]. People don't fear and loathe one another over taxes or health care. As political scientists have shown, the roots of today's polaraization [and growing fear-based governance and rancid conflict, violence] are racial and cultural.

... the norms [informal sociality] that once protected our institutions are coming unmoored....Democracy remains at risk--president Trump or not president Trump." 


 I have long thought about this, and when Trump got elected, it was a clear sign to me of where a burgeoning (e.g., post-9/11) culture of fear will end up, if it keeps control and manipulates the fears of the people. There is an important role for fearpoliticology and fearcriminalysis in helping to better analyze this reality so more people are aware of the dynamics and how to contradict them, transform them to more creative and transformative growth. We have our work cut out for us. 



1. From Levitsky, S., and Ziblatt, D. (2018). How wobbly is our democracy. New York Times, 01/2718. 

2. Although, I have not fixed a definition or meaning on this term, it obviously has a lot to do with political life and governance overall, and it has to do with what many have called the "politics of affect" (and/or "politics of fear"), and it has a lot to do with fearmongering and enemy-making, and conflict and its managementin its many forms in political life. As I will shape a definition or meaning down the road, fearpoliticology is definitely going to involve my own DCFV theory (i.e., Domination-Conflict-Fear-Violence) which I unraveled and somewhat developed in grad school in the late 1990s.

3. It is not insignificant that the very first coining of the term "culture of fear" came from this time and from interdisciplinary researchers working in the aftermath of these horrors, as they came to configure a new understanding of the major role of fear in these political dynamics and dictatorships. 

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About my lecture On Fear

Since 2014 I organise philosophical meetings (in Dutch) regularly. Both moderated debates and philosophical walks. My aim with these activities is, in the first place, to encourage people to exchange their ideas with others in a philosophical way, seen from their own life experiences.
I have no academic background. Just passionate about philosophy. Practical Philosophy in particular.

In November last year I gave a lecture about Fear.

I started with the question: “Why philosophize about a theme like Fear?”
Fear and anxiety are both basically natural emotional reactions on life situations. They can have both, positive and negative effects on our daily lives, and I think we should approach them with curiosity and openness.
In view of current events, the theme of fear is not only a topic that philosophers think about. Anthropologists, psychologists, neurologists and other disciplines also investigate the phenomenon of fear/anxiety. In addition to the academic world there are, among others, politicians, media, managers and the like who are also concerned with fear. Consciously or unconsciously, motivated by the fact that they themselves are afraid, or because they want to take advantage of using the effects of the social/societal effect of fear.

According to many authors, we are in the "Century of Fear". We are confronted with it daily, our own (existential) fear, social fear... despite the fact that the world, and not least the Western World, today is safer than it has ever been in known history. Fear does not just happen to us, it is also used, or misused, to influence us. Reason enough to learn to understand the phenomenon of fear/anxiety and to learn how to deal with it. The omnipresence, rightly or wrongly, of fear makes this, I think, necessary. We also do this with other social phenomena ... eg. mobility and traffic is such a topic about which a constant social debate is taking place, primarily because it affects all of us ... so why not have a debate about fear.

Further on I talked about the evolutionary origin of fear. About fear that comes mainly from our perception. From the way we imagine reality. And especially how we deal with it.
About fear as an emotion, I referred to psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett, who explores in her book "How emotions are made" the important question whether rational thinking influences our emotions. Even when fear concerns an intentional object, that does not always mean that it is a real object. An example of what is meant by this: many of us will have been afraid as a child there was a monster under our bed. I myself included. I remember several times, after gathering all my courage, I went to look under my bed to make sure no monster was there. The monster was exactly the object of which I imagined that it really existed, and it was hiding under beds.

Furthermore I also referred to the Jewish-German philosopher Ernst Cassirer. He typified man as an animal symbolicum, a being that defies meaning. We people can be afraid of most things. Our fear has a much greater range than what any other animal can feel, precisely because we are an animal symbolicum.

Another aspect of fear is the fear of the unknown. As Elias Canetti put it in his book "Mass and power": "there is nothing that a person fears more than to be affected by something unknown”. One wants to be able to see what comes out of things for oneself, to identify oneself or at least to place things in their context. In our current context, I referred to the fear of refugees coming to our regions. Or fear of an unknown faith like Islam. Such a fear of the unknown is therefore not objectless. The object of this fear is undetermined here. But at least it remains a fear of something. It is a fear that something uncomfortable or frightening could happen.

A number of emotions are supposed to tell us something about a reality. Fear is such an emotion. It is then regarded as an instrument of perception, the way we experience things. However, all these instruments can function both adequately and inadequately. To explain this further, I went back to what psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldmann Barrett says about this in her book "How emotions are made". Her research shows that emotions are formed by constructions made from different parts of our brains. Our reaction eg. something that arouses fear is not determined by the event itself but by what we make of it ourselves. Things that we experience during our lives, experiences from the past play a major role in this. We may all remember a situation that evoked an anxiety reaction and, if we thought about it later, we realized that an earlier situation was actually the reason for that fear. Eg. someone whose child was once bitten by a dog, who now becomes very anxious whenever a dog comes close.

Further on I used the following passage from Lars Svendsens book "A Philosophy of Fear":
“The fact that we are not affected by a particular accident is no guarantee that we will maintain a correct attitude”. Fear tells us very little about the object of that fear. The fact that a person or a society does certain things to protect themselves against a danger says little about the nature of that danger. Our fear probably says more about us than about what we fear. That we are afraid of something does not mean we have to fear it. But because something is feared, the authorities have a tendency to introduce measures that often affect our freedom - and that without any more security as a result. The fact that someone is afraid of a risk is not in itself sufficient reason for the authorities to reduce that risk. If the risk is unimportant, the authorities should limit themselves to inform that person exactly. Similarly, the authorities should intervene if there is a serious risk, even if the majority of the population is completely unconcerned about it.

There will always be fear but the object changes. In the post-war years, until 1989, the threat of communism came. That was replaced by the threat of environmental degradation, and in recent years terrorism has consistently reached the main lines of the news. The object of fear is changing, but it would be an illusion to believe that we could live in a world without fear. However, we must realize that our fear is not an objective reflection of reality, and there are strong interests that govern the direction of our fear. Fear is one of the most important power factors that exists, and he who can regulate the direction in society acquires considerable power over that society. Perhaps we can say, together with the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, that today we are living in a permanent state of emergency, where the reference to serious dangers works almost like a trump card - and that card surpasses our democratic rights.”

At the end of my lecture I told how during my search for various sources and different insights about the phenomenon "Fear" I came across the book "Philosophy of Fearism, A First East-West Dialogue.” of R. Michael Fisher and Desh Subba. And via this book found out about the Fearlessness Movement. I am particularly interested in how we can "promote" fearlessness with correct arguments to a world, in order to create a society that is much less or no longer controlled by fear. This is particularly important when we talk about the fear that leads us to make wrong decisions in our personal lives and socially, fear being the worst counselor according to me. This idea suits me well in my search for what is needed to have a good life.

I’m here, at the Fearlessness Movement ning, eager to learn. To learn more about the insights on Fear, Fearlessness, Fearology. I will go on, inviting people to discuss, exchange ideas about these topics.


Hugo Janssens




Read more…

 Dialogue on Fearcriminalysis (Part 1): R. Michael Fisher, B. Maria Kumar and Desh Subba

 I am intrigued by the long standing traditional ethic in law, be it judges or police officers that they are to do their duty “without fear or prejudice.” Easier said than done.  -R. Michael Fisher

 Editorial Preamble:

I (R. Michael Fisher) took on the initiative to start this sub-field of Fearcriminalysis because of the recent email communications of Desh Subba (founder of philosophy of fearism) with B. Maria Kumar. See our bios at the end of this dialogue. I thank both of my colleagues for their important work and life experiences and how they have so easily and sincerely taken-on this dialogue series I envision on Fearcriminalysis, as we explore together the first roots of what this sub-field may entail.

Recently, I wrote on a FMning blog “What I have learned over my 45 years of teaching, more or less, professionally, with then getting three post-secondary degrees in Education as a field, is that it is good to continually reflect not only on our thinking and content, but on how we design curricula, how we imagine the nature of the human being, and how we actually teach in diverse conditions and to whom.” The analogy with “teaching” (and learning) that I was speaking about seems very appropriate when it comes to the field of governance, law, criminology, etc., of which Fearcriminalysis is focused on. I am intrigued by the long standing traditional ethic in law, be it judges or police officers that they are to do their duty “without fear or prejudice.” Easier said than done.

Like Subba and Kumar, I am interested in how we design organizations and governance, create laws (facilitate authority- power structures), make rules, regulations, policies and practices of enforcing them. Our imaginary in designing for such work are often passed on from past generations, protocols, institutional traditions, cultural and religious habits and often without a lot of critical thinking and examination of the deeper (and invisible) assumptions behind such ‘norms,’ ‘beliefs’ and practices of governance and law. And, concomitantly, our assumptions behind those who ‘break’ the law. Thus, our focus of conversation involves the political but focuses on criminological aspects in the largest sense where fear is important to account for.

Regarding tradition, although we each respect it in its best offerings, just because something was and is done this way or that, certainly doesn’t mean by necessity it is the “best” way. We all love inquiry and change. But then we have to define what best and better are, and in what context are such qualitative and/or quantitative assessments made. I’ll never forget the trial of the late Mahatma Gandhi in the British courts of India during colonization, where he more or less said to the judge and jury, “You may be following your laws, but I am following justice.” And, on that difference, Gandhi was charged and imprisoned, a similar story to the late Nelson Mandala in S. Africa.

There are always hidden biases, for nothing is value-neutral when it comes to how to best organize and manage societies. I am interested in the issue of fear-based laws, rules, etc., and what would fearlessness-based laws, rules, etc. look like in contrast and would they work better? I would like to address in this series of dialogues the notion of a Fearlessness Paradigm for law. Tagore seemed to point to the possibility of a new society, after my own heart, when he wrote, ”where the mind is without fear....into that heaven of freedom, my Father! let my country awake.” [thanks Maria, for sharing this relevant quote]

It is evident in the dialogue below the three of us quickly move into discussions of human nature, the human condition and the human potential, at least implicitly. Our own “politics” may also come through somewhat in these discussions. There is every intent in the dialogue to be non-dogmatic, non-coercive and at least listen to each others’ views respectfully, even if at times we may not all agree. The articulating worldviews, philosophies, values and methodologies that come from how we see relationships in society are important to analyze as well as the pragmatic details of governance, for e.g., policing and security, of which Kumar especially has a long track-record of highly accomplished professional competency that he brings to the table of the discussion on the nature and role of fear related to governance in India. It is also obvious that the disciplines we draw on in the discussion, although mostly about governance and law, one can see we dip into anthropology, sociology, social psychology and criminal psychology, flowing back and forth as the conversation develops. As Editor of this dialogue it was challenging also at times to interpret our words, our linguistic meanings by email, as we come from different cultures and parts of the world, with various degrees of background in English language use and writing. Each of us can Comment on this dialogue on the FMning as well to enhance and/or clarify points made.

Clearly, the world is in a lot of crises these days. Political tensions and nuclear war has never been so high a probability since many decades. The global Fear Problem is self-evident. How countries, cities, and people in general get along and/or don’t get along is crucial to the outcomes of how we are best going to solve ecological, social and political problems. Conflict is inevitable in such diverse landscapes and mindscapes of differing cultural backgrounds, and even “Culture Wars,” and so Fearcriminalysis seems ready to emerge to help out. I tend to agree with the contemplative Thomas Merton that “At the root of all war is fear” not unlike Subba’s (2014) claim, “War, murder, terror, etc. are produced by fear. Anger, conspiracy, suspicion, and hatred are produced by the fear…” (p. 11). That is, fear which is not understood or managed very well. From my research, no full attention has been given to “fear” systematically in relation to governance and law, even though fear is mentioned and seen as a factor (e.g., “fear of crime,” or “freedom from fear” in the UN Declaration of Human Rights). Centralizing analysis, through what Subba (2014) called a “fearist perspective” (lens), as the philosophy of fearism and fearology suggest, can be very valuable. This is totally new and exciting exploratory territory.

I personally, cannot think of a more important topic than these critical issues of governance and what democracies may look like that better serve the people (of all kinds). I also cannot think of a more controversial topic. In my experience in the past, be it with government leaders, bureaucrats, police, or military, or teachers and/or parents and citizens-- everyone has very strong opinions on the “best” ways to govern and keep law and social and moral order. But we need more than “opinions” to rule a society and be healthy, sane and sustainable in all ways that are moral and just. Governance and its institutionalization, on the macro-scale, is much like being parents raising children at home, or schooling them—there are a lot of “hot” contentious views in this domain. We are talking about Authority and Power every moment we talk about governance and law(s). And at the same time, we are talking about Fear related to Authority and Power and issues of freedom or non-freedom. Big stuff. So, without further comment, let’s proceed and let you the reader experience and interpret what is going on in the dialogue(s) and how we may shape Fearcriminalysis. We hope you will Comment on this blog, and/or send us personal emails as well (see bio.’s and contact info. at the end of this Dialogue).

The Dialogue:

[Ed.: For readers of this dialogue, and to remind each of us (Subba, Kumar and Fisher), I have copied [1] my recent correspondence with you both re: Fearcriminalysis (the name I coined), just to get us started, and after that it is anything goes, as an emergent creative exchange.]

Fisher: In regard to your background Maria, which I know little about re: policing and your writing and publishing, I did want to share with you that I have thought for some time that the Fearlessness Movement or whatever we call it has to bring a new radical paradigm to inform new research, thinking and applications re: fearology, fearanalysis, and feariatry, also terms Desh has used to all sorts of domains of society today.

What has not been talked so much about in Subba’s and my work is that we need to bring the study of fear and fearism in closer relations to the entire world of law, criminology, safety and security, i.e., social order--so, that we can take new and better directions in the future of governance and in how we manage societies and the plagues of phenomena like the growing "fear of crime," “fear of policing,” "terrorism." etc. There's a larger conversation I'd be glad to engage with you and Subba, if you are interested in being part of another sub-discipline of philosophy of fearism that directly relates to the above, perhaps we call it Fearcriminalysis? This would be the next specialty study for the 21st century, so that we truly can begin to turn around the growing toxic "culture of fear" that is invading all aspects of life for virtually everyone. 


"I watch people running towards the objective of happiness be that achieved individually or in groups. Unfortunately, this aim is undermined somewhat by the ‘Free World,’ which is changing to more value on competitive aims and financial gain."  - Desh Subba


Kumar: I appreciate your kind gesture in sending information about your brain child, i.e., Fearlessness Movement and references to your books, blog, tech papers etc. Desh and I are also recently corresponding and exchanging books. It will take some time to study this material to familiarise myself with both your research and teaching projects, which are quite important.

As regards to your observations on prospective expansion of fearism into the realm of crime, law, public safety and order, etc. I would like to say that it is a brilliant idea to pursue and if you and Desh Subba could guide me, I will certainly put in my efforts to work on Fearcriminalysis with you both. Having been in India’s police service as a career for the last 32 years, I have had first hand experiences about how people fear not only crime and criminals but also policing and police and other crime fighters; which is itself intriguingly a paradoxical reality.

Fisher: This is wonderful news Maria to be able to develop the sub-fields of fearism having a practitioner like yourself working alongside the philosophizing and theorizing that Desh and I have done. I note from your recent correspondence you also appear to love writing, poetry and you quote famous philosophers and mystics. That was sweet music to my ears.

We’d equally like to find a psychiatrist to work with to develop Feariatry. So, I’m curious how Desh you respond to Maria coming to this work on Fearcriminalysis at this time and what you see happening in this area of law, safety and security, etc.? I know for an example, you have a professional side career, beyond being a philosopher, writer and poet—you are a security guard in Hong Kong.

Subba: I am honored Maria has been offering to help us out. He has a prestigious reputation. Yes, I am. Somewhat like policing, our job is to provide a sense of security through watch and secure. I have since being a child closely watched the activities of people. Aristotle once mentioned that the aim of humans ought to be happiness. And happiness is not only an emotion, it involves activities. Those activities must be unique. I watch people running towards the objective of happiness be that achieved individually or in groups. Unfortunately, this aim is undermined somewhat by the ‘Free World,’ which is changing to more value on competitive aims and financial gain. I observe this kind of world creates more fear for them and less happiness the harder they strive. Between being human and finding happiness they need to cross many barriers. Every barrier is full of fear. It is not easy to reach the top of happiness.

Fisher: It has long struck me as I observe people in competitive modern societies that they seem not to be conscious of the contradiction between the high value put on competitiveness, usually a win-lose scenario and how it undermines human happiness because the latter is undermined by feeling more insecure, i.e., fearful. In a sense, it is logical that “feeling safe” is not going to be secured under highly competitive societal structures and processes of winners and losers. After my own education in such a North American society and being a school teacher and curriculum designer and social critic, it is more than obvious children generally are not very happy in these systems—mostly, they are very frightened and motivated by fear nearly chronically, and I think in postmodern society this has got worse. Insecurity is the dis-ease of choice, so it seems ironically in a society constantly seeking “safety and security” in order to avoid risk; a paradox many sociologists have seen, e.g., in labeling the West’s “risk society” [2].

Subba:  I used to watch activities of the rich man to the poor man. Most of rich couldn't sleep at night.  They wake up and drive their car early in the morning, even at 2am, 3 am., Because they are burning inside and try to cool it. Sometimes they used to take lot of medicine. I am first witness of their hide and seek activities. They used to leave medicine and 4 or 5 mobiles in guard room. These mobiles used to call entertainment girls. They keep all these in the guard room and keep away from the reach of their wives. Sometimes I watch office staff. They come early 3 or 4 o’clock to work. Their office time is 9 am. They have been given some task by manager. They must complete assignment work within tight time frames. Otherwise they lose commission, promotion and remuneration. They are always running behind so called “happiness.” It makes them hard, fast and better workers but that is where things fall short.

The rich man fears losses:  losing name and fame. To maintain it he suffers from anxiety, stress, fear, depression. Similarly, employee fears losing their job, income and family and social status. It gives overload, burden, restless etc. Slowly these activities change into sickness physically and mentally. Family life is more strained.

For these people, rich and/or poor, to meet their demand, they engage in lying, smuggling, stealing, and blackmailing. Sometimes it changes into family and social violence. These are crimes. The source of the crime maybe differs, but to solve crime we need to follow the surface symptoms of behaviors to the deeper root causes. Directly of indirectly, some parts of fear must be examined there. If we treat the root, some crime can be cured.

Kumar:  Let me at the outset congratulate you all on your unfailing enthusiasm and dedicated yeoman service for the cause of fearism. Truly, with Mr. Oshinakachi Akuma Kalu, I believe you have hit the nail on the head when you wrote [Desh’s book subtitle]: ”life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear.

As we all know, Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1913), became synonymous with his emphatic lines when he wrote, ”where the mind is without fear....into that heaven of freedom, my Father! let my country awake.” Unless fear is undone, freedom has no meaning for existence, rather existence has no meaning. It is here in this existential context of political life, that whether it is the American Declaration of Independence, or any other democratically-based national constitutional provisions and laws, there ought to be fearlessness alongside the inalienable rights of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, fraternity, justice and equality.

As I see it, knowing about handling or managing of fear well, as a philosophy of fearism promotes, is more potent than the feeling of being safe.

Fisher: Indeed, Kumar that is a powerful statement from someone in policing. I think the recent “safety” and “risk” discourses, especially in the West are excessive, if not neurotic and fear-based themselves. In general, I find, people care more about lowering risk, and striving for safety and security, than being moral citizens. In one philosophy conference I presented in my graduate years, I entitled the talk “Better Safe Than Moral.” This was a horrible state of affairs we had entered as societies. People seeking low risk and safety all the time easily become so dependent on someone, like authoritative “forces” or “law” or “policy” to protect their safety but rarely then do they take responsibility anymore for their own actions, and the very fact that risk is part of life if one wants to be a creative developing and maturing person. Worse, dictatorships more or less begin within this matrix of fearfulness of citizens who cower under all authorities and thus give over to them to rule with the iron fist. I see a lot of this happening in Western so-called “advanced” societies like in Europe and the USA today. Not a good sign of the future.

Kumar: True Dr.Fisher! Most of the people tend to care more about lowering risk than being moral citizens.

Fisher: Maria, is this human behavior even in India where you live and work? Do you think this tendency is part of human nature? Or, is it part of the human condition(ing)? Explain your views.

Kumar: I think that it hardly has anything to with India or any other country but strongly indicates that it is part of human nature in general. In a way, ‘lowering risk’ and ‘striving to be moral’ are equally important in the sense that they are complementary to each other. One alone can not bring in desired good because these two strategies need to be attended to in terms of prioritisation as well as simultaneity. Because, ‘risk management’ (i.e., lowering risk) is a short-term goal, usually because of its urgency. For example, a thirsty deer is about to drink water at a river but on sighting a lion in the vicinity, it immediately sprints away without touching water, in its bid to escape its life from the imminent danger. So is the case with anyone, who feels threatened and tries to minimise or avoid risk. If secure for the time being, then one has to the option to strive to be moralistic and ethical as a long-term goal.

Fisher: Sounds like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory explaining developmental and motivational priorities. In this sense, “true fear,” as Gavin de Becker, international security expert, would label it as the “gift of fear” [3] acts just as it is designed by evolution as good Defense Intelligence to reduce immanent and/or potential threat. So far no problem, our instincts as Nature’s gifts are working the system for best outcomes—not necessarily guarantees of safety but a likely best probability of least harm.

Kumar: But caution is warranted while handling a threat and lowering risk in the sense that it should not result in the creation of more or bigger risks, since I am reminded of Friedrich Nietzsche’s warning, “whoever fights monster should see to it that in the process, he should not become a monster.” As Michael is rightly apprehensive, Nietzsche’s apt quote serves as a red alert if the citizens cower under all authority and vest unbridled powers in the dictatorship to rule with an iron fist.


...civilisations also went on regulating the conduct of subjects/citizens through formal laws. Then what happens if regulations, enforcement and controls become more intense? Too much of regulation through laws and rules proves to be more harmful than helpful. If any aspect of human behaviour is controlled by unlimited creation and application of rules in the name of crime prevention, safety or maintenance of peace and order, what will happen to society as a whole? "  -B. Maria Kumar


Fisher: Then the social contract and basic trust, the republic and its principles, all take a dive and democracy itself is threatened or collapses. Terror(ism) is released, more or less. The classic is fighting “the enemy” who is “evil” over there as having weapons they could use against us, and so, pre-emptively, let’s strike them with our bigger weapon first. For example, the spiraling nuclear warheads phenomena—that is Fear Wars, fits this, and shows how easily, when perceptions and worries lead to decisions that are chronically fear-based, we end up with bigger risks—e.g., US and N. Korea for one, and maybe the same for India and Pakistan, and many gang wars, etc. War itself seems to fall into this wrong thinking as Nietzsche was getting at. In other words, It’s sort of bad policing all around. I also think your deer and lion example is only partly successful as explanation when we apply prioritisation principles to a chronically worrying sub-set of humans, that is, who are neurotically fear-based people living in culture—living under oppressive conditions [4]. Human nature is now operative, more or less, as  the human condition—the latter, a Defense Intelligence undermined and compromised by what de Becker calls “false fear.” Now risk assessment, in a postmodern “risk society,” often is exaggerated to default on the ‘worst scenario’ when there is no real evidence for it. This is the opposite of Tagore’s ideal, because the mind is filled with fear and worry and a big brain that can project that fear into the future (unlike a deer). A more complex explanation and theory is required here. Anyways, Maria could we get back to your views about the haves and the have-nots that Desh spoke about earlier.

Kumar: Let me start with an observation of four categories I have observed and named. I’ll distinguish two generic types of peoples’ patterns distinguished within the haves and have-nots. Some of such people are have-nots whose primary aim is to survive. I call them “literal survivors.” These struggling literal survivors can be of two sub-types. The first sub-type may struggle morally, ethically and lawfully to secure their most basic needs like food/water and sex—that is, the instinctual goals of existence-food for self-survival and sex for familial, tribal and/or survival of the species. Say for example that someone of this sub-type having no means of livelihood shows initiative to take-up manual work as a farmhand and marries a girl as per normal legal procedures. Let us call such people “socially approved literal survivors.”

The second sub-type of have-nots are those who struggle for existence by ‘hook or crook’ without little if any concern for upholding social standards of morals, ethics or laws; say for example that a man is starving and resorts to robbing a passer-by and/or raping a lonely vulnerable girl as instinctual acting-out. We may term them as “socially disapproved literal survivors.”

Fisher: I think this second sub-type nicely fits, for the most part, what criminologists and psychologists would label “deviants,” and Subba might call “corrupt people” [5] of which I tend to prefer to name and theorize generically as “rebels.” The issue of one’s relationship to Authority/Power becomes a major factor in outcomes of these actors and their interactions. A point, perhaps, later we can return in regard to the relationship and role fear plays in these authority-power-control and ‘game’ dynamics in governance and law.

Kumar: Okay, regarding the haves, on the other hand, as the more well-to-do people, I see two sub-types under the generic label “lateral survivors.” They don’t need to struggle for food and sex. They just want to survive their current affluent status (i.e., status quo), meaning that they don’t want to go down below the current standards of living.

Subba: They fear falling and failing. It is fear accompanied often by guilt and shame, if not terror deep down.

Kumar: Yes, it’s this fear that tends to dominate their motivations. They have to keep up the present sophistication and norms. During the course of their efforts to maintain this sameness in status, some people follow morals, ethics, and laws to do so. This sub-type we may refer to as “socially approved lateral survivors.” Similar in motivations, but strategically in contrast to the first, are those who don’t adhere to standard rules, morals and laws, these are the “socially disapproved lateral survivors.”

The socially disapproved literal survivors and the socially disapproved lateral survivors are well aware of the unsavory consequences like penalties, and legal sentences, etc. for their illegal and immoral activities; hence they continually try to lower the risks and uncertainties involved in achieving their objectives. These people feel threatened by the ‘long arm’ of the law and by lawful defenders and are more fearful of Authority.

Fisher: Are you saying the haves/laterals are more fear-based in general than the have-nots/literals? If so, that seems counterintuitive at first glance, doesn’t it? I think Desh might agree with you, as he has argued in his philosophy of fearism that people living more simple lives, e.g., traditional villagers without formal education, without high tech, and living closer to Nature and outside of big cities, etc., are generally less fearful and less fear-driven than modern urban dwellers living more complex and “well-educated” lives.

Kumar: No, I think the opposite; the socially approved survivors, whether literal or lateral, are less fearful; and less fearful in the sense that they are concerned only about natural hazards or sudden change in policy etc.. like a cargo truck washed away by unexpected floods or their share-values fell due to new pricing regulations.

Subba: I have, as Michael says, hypothesized that the better well-off generally are the more fearful compared to the less well-off. In my book Subba (2014), “After the fulfilment of all these stages [in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs], they live their lives happily. But they are more aware of some things than the common people [at less advanced stages].they have a lot of stress in regard to the[ir] security of property, necessity, and increment of investment. They always have the fear of downfall from the[ir] present position. If they have a little loss in their business, they feel as if they are completely hopeless. That is why they are hard-working; they work day and night at the cost of their health” (p. 288). [6]

Fisher: Desh, in your 2014 book you give attention to this hypothesis in your views on rural simple-traditional lifestyles vs. urban modern life-styles [7], as well you wrote about a model--“Pyramid of Renowned Person” Figure No. 71, and bluntly say, “According to this pyramid, most famous people have the highest fear and ordinary people have the lowest fear. Since ordinary people have the least fear, they have the freedom to walk wherever they want and also they don’t fear to walk wherever they like and eat whatever they like…” (p. 233). I think your security guard experience may have informed this view? Perhaps also your study of Marxism and class? Desh, where did this hypothesis, re: haves and have-nots, start in your thinking? And, I’d like to hear more what Maria thinks of it. 

Subba:  You know Michael, I have less theoretical basis and bookish knowledge for this view. I mostly do practical study. What I mentioned above can seen by everybody. When people rise in hierarchy needs, more and more, they fear more and keep more bodyguards, keep CCTV, bullet proof cars. Without checking proper security, they never dare to travel, walk freely. It is right, when people have nothing, that person has less enemies, jealousy, kidnapper, torturer, and harm. A coolie, labourer, daily wage worker normally has less fear and fears less heath and diet problems.

Fisher: It’s interesting that, at least in North America, the sociologist Barry Glassner, famous for his book on the “culture of fear” studied also the great worry and fear over what people eat these days because of a sense of always something is going to cause some health problem [8]. They listen to the news way too much and read too much about warning reports and often they have contradictory results. It leaves the informed consumer confused often. I don’t think people on bare survival on the street worry much at all about the same neurotic details of diet and health choices. I don’t suspect they listen to the mainstream media news two or three times a day or read newspapers often as daily diet. Though, in extreme cases they may fear starving to death or freezing at nights. But generally the street comm-unities take care of each other because they are all vulnerable together. In competitive and well-to-do communities people are more isolated, although they do have extra money to insulate themselves from disease and death too. It’s complex to generalize but I do think you have a good point Desh. I don’t know if it has ever been systematically researched. I wonder how it may be something relevant to our topic of law, social order and policing? It is relevant to Kumar’s model of literal survivors and how they are perceived as deviants—maybe, they are less fearful people (more fearless?) and in that sense “healthier” than the richer? Maybe if this is true, we would see them differently when we are in the middle and upper classes? I wonder. Maybe we could learn something from them about fear management?

Kumar: Yes Michael. What I opine is that riches, fame, name, power and status may bring in fear at times as shown in Subba’s model of Pyramid of Renowned Person but it may not be generalized because there are many great people in history who walked around freely. We know that the Danish king used to bicycle alone on the streets. Mahatma Gandhi was always amidst masses but he was not afraid of being killed, though as irony has it, he was shot dead by the assailant at a prayer meeting. Despite being great, one’s security can be compromised, as some people are “too bold” in terms of spiritual strength-- being loving, caring and humble. Mother Teresa of Kolkata was one example. On the other hand, the down-trodden poor like untouchables of ancient Kerala in India fear to come near to a Brahmin, so they maintain a distance of 10-20 steps or so, lest the upper castes become impure. And the untouchables may even incur legal penalties.

Fisher: This kind of code of law is based mostly around mythological-based fears that have infiltrated the culture, even if somewhat irrational, even if they may have once had meaning in earlier times--or even if they are unjustice we might say, there’s real pressures and fears as you say, regardless of reason and rationality and life in a modern world. I suppose such primal magical and mythical fears are “laws” (or taboos) that have their own logic developmentally and they can be recalcitrant to change and adaptation over time. Fear (i.e., taboos) are powerful shapers of social life and law(s). They are also the basis of a good deal of prejudice unfortunately, and they spread a culture of fear as well, even in non-industrialized countries. No small problem, from an ethical and fearist’s perspective. It is difficult for me as a modern Westerner to get my head around how an untouchable caste put upon a person is treated like this via criminalization for such an ‘innocent’ event like walking to close to another person (i.e., the upper-caste) in public space—where is freedom in that? I think Mahatma Gandhi, espousing a philosophy of fearlessness and liberation for all, was on a mission to change these traditional ways. No wonder he was assassinated, for he was not only challenging the British Rule but also India’s Religious Traditional Rule—which, I would guess he saw both as unnecessarily fear-inducing—and, ultimately creating unnecessary fragmenting and polarizing against the establishing of a just sense of modern liberty, governance, law, security and social/moral order—that is, of a true (ethical and spiritual) community and democracy.

Kumar: Indeed. This ‘forced fear’ seems to have been ingrained and conditioned in the minds of lower castes in such a manner that it led Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution of modern India to say: ”so long as you do not achieve social liberty, whatever freedom provided by the law, is of no avail to you.” I also suppose that it may perhaps depend upon the person’s state of mind as to feel fearsome or fearful, depending upon various factors. Relevant here is Steve Biko’s eye-opener observation, “the most potent weapon in the hands of oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

Subba: I discussed in my Philosophy of Fearism (2014) book the “Fear Weapon” of which is the worst configuration of fear in history (pp. 235-38). I write about law and criminals and how people fear to violate rules and laws. They fear going to prison. This is essential to society, but it can be abused. However, we have to recognize what fearism reveals over history, and that is that fear is one of the most powerful weapons to use to maintain law and order from tribes to grand nations and even over the world. It makes people more disciplined so they can function in groups and that’s a good thing generally.  

Kumar: As also pointed out by Subba earlier in this dialogue, well-to-do people do nurse fear about their wealth that it might be taken away or about how it could be secured/preserved. Same way, poor people also suffer due to fear of uncertainty about how the future holds for them in terms of socioeconomic well-being. It was also clearly visible in ancient India that the people of lower castes were more fearful than upper castes because of societal sanction accorded in the texts of some scriptures. In the 19th century of Europe also, Karl Marx felt that the upper classes were more powerful whereas the lower classes were more fearful. It is in this connection that he yelled his battle cry, ‘workers of the world! unite.... you have nothing to lose but chains.’ Metaphorically speaking, these chains he referred to were nothing but the shackles of fear. With apologies to my revision of Karl Marx, one way of looking at things could be: “history of all hitherto existing society is the history of fear maneuvers....the fearsome have always exploited the fearful; but the point however is to change it for pan-fearlessness.”

Subba: A new formation of history itself, based on a fearism perspective and philosophy. I am writing about Marx and dephilosophy soon to be published.

Fisher: I so agree that the fearsome (elites, for e.g., and/or street gangs and other leaders) of history have tended to run the course of a logic of moral order upon the basic principle (written or not) that: Right is Might! However, that will not sustain sane or healthy existence in societies. Why? Because the “might” is part of the mechanism of terror(ism)/fear(ism) in its most toxic forms. I have, like Kumar suggested, thought that history (the human condition) is one of repeated (traumatic) Fear Wars. By definition: someone somewhere is out to see how they can make (force) someone else to become more afraid than themselves—and, that, supposedly (for the short run) produces superiority, power-over, domination, and rule. These Fear Wars are killing us all and destroying the planetary ecology that sustains life. We need alternatives, time is running short re: our cascading multiple crises. We need to critique everything we do as to when excessive fear is being induced for control in one form or another to dominate. This gets critical for police officers and military. A big topic. Suffice it to say, a new kind of education is required, and fear and its management has to be part of it. That’s why I am so delighted to have Maria as part of this dialogue. I am also heartened by recent teaching at the UN bringing fearism to police and peace keepers across several countries [9]. And so, I suggest, armed and unarmed, rich and poor, black and white, secular or religious, all can, if they allow it, get caught up in this addiction to fear-power-might. The game of control and who can give freedom and who can take it away. This patterned dynamic is so dangerous when it motivates “righteousness” (i.e., rules and laws) which motivates reactions and even revolutions.

Subba: As much as I see Kumar’s point of the complexity and situation variances. I still believe for poor and workers, their life is one of more satisfactory when it comes to fear. They have big hope of having daily food and finding a place to sleep. Street sleeper, beggar life is far better than rich in sense of fear. This picture we can see everywhere. It does not mean that I fully support we all live a life-style like of those persons; I support them, their space of hope. They have many spaces of hope. In comparing to their life, the rich person’s scope of hope is limited. Size of fear is less in poor whereas full fear is in the life of renowned person. When they have more fear, certainly they have more fear-related anxiety, depression, mental sickness, stress etc. Thank you for giving me chance to put my view. I think our dialogue will be fruitful to interested readers.

Kumar: Michael’s concerns are genuine in the sense that the so called authoritative ‘righteousness’ in the guise of laws and rules may foster the deadly combination of fear-power-might. After all, crime is a product of law, rule, regulation or procedure. As long as law does not talk about pass-port or visa, everyone used to roam freely across the international borders in the past. Now the pass-port Acts, visa rules, deportation and extradition procedures, etc. restrict individuals’ freedoms and define ‘non-adherence’ or any violation as crime. And then enters the police and other enforcement agencies, as the strong arm of the government to prevent/detect or investigate crime and to enforce law.

It is not illogical to say that people get such police that they deserve. If people are violent, police also have to resort to more of their coercive powers. The more intense the enforcement, the more fearful or aggressive the people are. If people are law-abiding, police rarely have to intrude into people’s privacy or conduct investigations as peace prevails in the society. When necessitated, police are required to use force as little as sufficient enough to bring back normalcy.

When laws were not enacted, there were also problems such as the reign of brutality of anarchy and fearsome chaos, the prevalence of unwritten practice of ‘might is right’ - whoever is strong, they arbitrarily dictate, etc. That kind of disorderly situation in the Babylon of 18th century BC forced King Hammurabi to formulate a code of conduct or laws that set the standards of orderly behaviour and justice. By this enactment, the hitherto prevailing unbridled freedoms of the mighty that led to fear, disorder and violence were regulated so as to facilitate order, peace and fearless interpersonal harmony.

Fisher: Maria, it is good to be reminded of some of this history of law. In future dialogues, however,  I want to critically examine any so-called “fearless interpersonal harmony” as idea(l) under law, and what the actual real(ity) may have been.

Kumar: Subsequent civilisations also went on regulating the conduct of subjects/citizens through formal laws. Then what happens if regulations, enforcement and controls become more intense? Too much of regulation through laws and rules proves to be more harmful than helpful. If any aspect of human behaviour is controlled by unlimited creation and application of rules in the name of crime prevention, safety or maintenance of peace and order, what will happen to society as a whole? Same situation as aptly assessed by Michael will occur in terms of reactions and revolutions as history witnessed exactly 36 centuries after Hammurabi’s code that the 18th century AD’s French Revolution took place when the dictatorial monarch imposed too many of laws, rules etc. in the name of “liberty” while collecting too much tax, curtailing basic freedoms and denying food to people.

Lastly, as Michael said, we are inclined to design governance, create laws, make rules, regulations, policies and practices of enforcing them. I too feel that it is here in this context that a balanced approach is required to be devised so as to ensure that the governance intervenes least in the affairs of people except in the matters of life, liberty, equality, justice and the like; facilitates an environment free from fear and inconvenience while safeguarding the rights and interests of people and at the same time preserves and enlarges the freedoms of all individuals through appropriate moral and legal framework.

Fisher: Okay, lots to think about, for our next dialogue. Thank you both for a stimulating start on issues of fearcriminalysis. It has all got me thinking about at some point there may have to be a distinction drawn with a sub-field also related I’m coining fearpoliticology as more general than fearcriminalysis.


  1. I have made slight modifications in uses of correspondence (as personal communications, Jan. 31- Feb. 1, 2018) for clarity, accuracy, English language use, and prompting purposes; but have attempted not to change the content and intent of the messages from my dialogue partners here.
  2. See, for e.g., Ulrich Beck’s work. Beck, U. (2003). An interview [by J. Yates] with Ulrich Beck on fear and risk society. The Hedgehog Review: Critical Reflections on Contemporary Culture, 5, 96- Also, Beck, U. (1999). World risk society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. Also Beck, U. (1992). Risk society: Towards a new modernity. [Trans. Mark Ritter]. London, UK: Sage. This concept “risk society” overlaps with “culture of fear” (e.g., see Frank Furedi, Barry Glassner).
  3. De Becker, G. (1997). The gift of fear: Survival signals that protect us from violence. NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell.
  4. This is where I introduce ‘fear’ (with ‘ marks) to distinguish the topic and phenomena (i.e., fear) that I see dominating today in most societies, a morphing culturally modified ‘fear’—especially in the West where I live, in a culture of fear (e.g., see Fisher, 2010). Fisher, R. M. (2010). The world’s fearlessness teachings: A critical integral approach to fear management/education. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
  5. See Subba (2014), p. 322-23.
  6. Subba, D. (2014). Philosophy of fearism: Life is conducted, directed and controlled by the fear. Australia: Xlibris.
  7. Fisher, R. M., & Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris, pp. 57, 89. In part, Subba’s views have been validated in a recent research study and article, where Subba (2014) is cited in supporting evidence. See Farzana, S. U., & Mannan, A. V. (2017). Vernacular settlement vs. fractal geometry: A comparative study addressing popular density and space quality in rural Bangladesh. AIUB: Journal of Science & Engineering, 16(3), 1-8.
  8. Glassner, B. (1999). The culture of fear: Why Americans are afraid of the wrong things. NY: Basic Books. See also Glassner, B. (2007). The Gospel of Food: Why we should stop worrying and enjoy what we eat. NY: HarperPerennial.
  9. Specifically, I am referring to the workshop on fear management and fearism by a colleague of Desh Subba’s, his name is Furgeli Sherpa from Nepal, currently working with the UN Peace Keeping services as a police officer himself in Sudan; go to


B. Maria Kumar (

Born on 5th April 1958, B. Maria Kumar studied biology at pre-graduation level, chemistry in graduation and business management and philosophy in post-graduation at Vijayawada, Guntur and Hyderabad (India) respectively. Joined Indian Police Service in 1985, he served in central India holding various positions in law enforcement and is presently working as Director General at Bhopal. Interested in literature, he wrote in his mother tongue Telugu and also in English. Some of his published titles are:

 Mahimalesa Satakam (Telugu), Sanjivayya Satakam (Telugu), Vannela Dorasni (Telugu), Nenu (Telugu), Anandangaa Vundaalante (Telugu), Generation Z (Telugu), Voh Venus aur mein (Hindi translation), Poems d’Romance (Telugu), To Be Or Not to Be Happy (English), The Teapot Book of Love and Romantic Poems (English), Policing by Common Sense (English), Application of Psychological Principles in Maintenance of Law and Order (English), Be Selfish But Good (English), Kuch kadam aur khushi ki oar (Hindi translation), Psi Phenomenon of Nestorism (English)

Some works were translated into Russian language. Besides, he wrote articles in journals of national and international repute. Reviews of his works appeared in various newspapers. The following titles of honour were bestowed on him as a mark of recognition for his contribution to literature: Sahitya Sree, Vidya Vachaspati, Acharya, Bharat Bhasha Bhushan. He was also decorated with the following medals by the President of India in recognition of his services to police profession. Indian Police Medal, President’s Police Medal. Other distinctions won are: Singhast Medal ( Government of the state of Madhya Pradesh), EOD Medal (US Administration). He currently lives in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India with his wife Vijayalakshmi. He has one son and one daughter.

 Link to books available online:

 Desh Subba  (

Is a philosopher, poet, writer, and founder of the Fearism Study Center (Nepal) and leading expert on the philosophy of fearism.

Pseudonym: Desh Subba, Full Name: Limbu Desh Bahadur, Address: 215, Yuk Ping House, Long Ping Estate, Yuen Long, New Territories, Hong Kong.

Date of Birth: 06 Dec, 1965, Birth Place; Dharan, Sunsari, Nepal, Fathers' Name: Kubir Jung Limbu, Mother's Name: Tilmati Limbu

Education: Master in business administration, Writing field: Philosophy of Fearism, Novels and Poems, Published Novel Books: Four novels, Doshi Karm 2050 B.S, Apman 2052 B.S., Sahid 2056 B.S., Aadibashi 2064 B.S., Philosophical Books: Philosophy of Fearism 2014 (English and Nepalese), It is translating in Hindi, Assamis and Burmese, Philosophy of Fearism- a First East-West dialogue 2016- English (co-author with Dr. R. Michael Fisher), Tribesmen's Journey to Fearless (Novel based on Fearism)

R. Michael Fisher (

Has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (UBC), and is an educational consultant, editor, lecturer, independent scholar, writer and founder of the In Search of Fearlessness Project (1989-), In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute (1991-), the Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education (2009-), The Fearology Institute (2018). He is a world-renowned expert on the topics of fear and fearlessness and has published hundreds of articles and books on the topic and on education: The World's Fearlessness Teachings, The Philosophy of Fearism: A First East-West Dialogue (with Desh Subba), and Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows: The True Story of an Indigenous-based Social Transformer. His latest blogs are at the Fearlessness Movement ning which he began with his with Barbara Bickel in 2015. Also go to


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Fearism in United Nations Workshop in Mukjar, Sudan

Officer Furgeli Sherpa, from Nepal here presenting.

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

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If you have followed the FMning at all lately you may have noticed one of our FM members is Osinakachi Akuma Kalu (OAK for short), a young ambitious Nigerian man (25 years-old) from East Nigeria. His second book, which I have not yet read, is entitled "The First Stage of the Fearologist" (Vol. 1). [1] I had a chance this morning to read some of the Foreword and Preface of his book online at books, and it intrigued me what others were saying about him who know him as a student and colleague, a mentoree. Later below, I'll share my view of why this book is so rare in the history of humanity, and why it is important to me and the cause I lead in world reclamation. 

The Foreword by Dr. Mehzbeen Sadriwala begins with characterization of OAK, "He is a sound and much acclaimed motivational speaker and author" (p. 7). I trust that OAK truly has accomplished some reputation in a positive motivational way for some others, perhaps online, perhaps mostly in Nigeria in some places, but these are things I do not know and so it is good to learn what others think of him and his career arising. It gives me and readers from other parts of the world, some perspective at least as we read his book(s) and his views on fear and fear management. 

The Preface, to my surprise was not written by OAK, for that is the usual standard in my experience. Rather he chose to have it written by an academic friend and classmate of his, Sir Peter U. Aloh. It seems both these writers are from Nigeria. Aloh's Preface is impressive as writing itself and kept my attention with its flare of exuberance, as an echo of the exuberance of OAK, whom Aloh has tried to paint in his positive portrait. Luckily, for me, the Preface was not all positive, happy, glowing and bright, as that would seem too unreal for anyone who takes the 'alternative' path, the 'road less traveled' and the more prophetic way. The path, I call fearlessness, is not always such a glow with only positive happiness.  

Aloh's own words are worth quoting at length (as an excerpt) as he describes OAK with crafty language, albeit it could have used more refined English editing: "Crest fallen I seek [sic] him [OAK] share his experience and ways he navigates successfully through life with me. Like an automaton he switched over to a pensive mood as he recounts the yester years of arduous sufferings and losses, years when his mind's idealism was trumped by life's realism, years when his well built castle crumbles, the years of outsourcing on the streets, the years of hunger and pain just to strike out a Diploma through blood and sweat standing nearly alone as a derided 'useless boy' who has refused to understand the limit[s] that his talent and luck can carry him." (p. 11)

"Fear must be the killer of risk taking" -OAK

If I understand OAK's experience, through his mentor's eyes here, it is one I relate to deeply myself as a young man about OAK's age and younger, where I was also driven by idealism and hard hit by the realism of the norms of society. Afterall, the fact is, that I was a teen rebel in the North American 1960s-70s revolutionary movement, something that OAK would not have known and been supported by. No, he was born much later in 1990s into a world that, in most places, had sold out to neoconservative and neoliberal capitalism and materialism to the extreme.

I also pick-up that OAK, like Desh Subba, have come out of poor working class, rural and tribal backgrounds and to achieve formal education beyond the basic primary grades, when there is not a lot of money-back-up coming from parents and family, and when they also are not all that understanding of the value of education themselves, and are more practical --it is not surprising that OAK was labeled a "useless boy" from their perspective of the normal way to live in villiage life, in Nigeria, in Africa. But, I don't know what it was like for him, yet, I get a good taste of it from Aloh's perspective, and when I finally get my copy of OAK's new book, I can hopefully read a bit more of his life autobiography--and, yet, I am not so interested in the biographical details as I am in OAK's intellectual biography and development, and that is what this book seems to be most about. 

Aloh continues: "Derided and forsaken....But one thing continues to trouble his existence even with his seeming success: why are [the] majority of the populace [e.g., Nigerians] afraid to take risks; to confront challenges that prepare them to enjoy the wonders of their being? In muted reflection he understood that great legacies are made not by fear but by courage....Fear must be [OAK concluded] the killer of risk taking which births creativity and invention." (p. 11) 

 I feel and sense here the burgeoning spirit of the artist, as the one who sees deeply what others often do not see. OAK must have seen early in life the loss of the spirit of the people, and himself potentially, if he would ignore his own "creator" and artist-inside. See some of his poetry posted on the FM ning. In my own life, it was both in Nature and in art-making that I kept my soul alive and my creative line of development in continual maturation, so it wouldn't be stunted to the 'norm' of conformity. If one wants to leave a great legacy, one has to be a creator and leader. OAK has shared with me in emails several times, he is looking ahead, and beyond the shallow, beyond only the present, in that he wants to do the good work and leave a legacy in this world, and he seems to have found it in the philosophy of fearism and Fearlessness Movement, as we hear in the rest of the excerpt from Aloh. 

 Aloh continues: "Headed [sic] to the library, he decided that people must be made to understand this fact and the bettery way to do this would be via giving a philosophical and psychological analysis of how to conquer the beast [fear: see OAK's first book]....He decided that the AWOL status of Africans at the Fearism Study Centre Nepal founded by Desh Subba and the World's Fearlessness Movement founded by Michael Fisher and his wife Barbara Fisher [sic: Barbara Bickel] is enough. That the wrong barometric reading of Nigeria and Nigerians as a liability to the world must be corrected. He enrolled into the Fearism Study Centre Nepal and the World's Fearlessness Movement [online] reclaiming Africa's lost glory that has sunk into the labyrinth of obscurity....He grabbed the headlines for the right and noble reasons reshaping fearism's trend of thought to encompass the African Weltanschuung....[becoming one, the youngest, of the] three of them [i.e., Subba, Fisher, Kalu] the world known leading fearologists." (p.11)

 Now, this is all a great introduction, albeit, only scratching the surface of this young man's philosophical, ethical and spiritual commitment. It shows he can change himself by looking at the evidence, critically examining his own views, his own moods and temperament, and seeing larger perspectives, be those taught by others as mentors and teachers, or created by his own innovative unique thinking. This is the sign of a good fearologist in the making, and that's why I am glad, as is Subba, to welcome this young learner and adventurer from Nigeria to be a founding fearologist amongst us. Sure, he has lots to learn about being a scholar, of which he has also told me. He will have to learn the lessons of patience to balance with youthful exuberance. I look forward to seeing how his journey unfolds. I also write a piece about him and his rare work in this Fearlessness Movement in the book itself, so I'll leave it up to readers now to check out this book. I imagine that as he is beginning to design his courses to teach out of The Fearism Study Centre in Nigeria, he will use this rare and important book for a text. That will create the kind of discussion needed for the nascent fearologists attracted to study with him. And, of course, any such students, including OAK himself, will always have access to Subba and myself as mentors as they so choose. We are all in this together! 

Btw, I do believe our greatest oldest ancestors, in the subtle realms of teaching of the 'right old ways' to live, are deep in the soul of Africa and Africancentric ways of knowing and seeing--which, certainly we in North America (other than maybe some Indigenous peoples) have lost--we have really lost our way, our soul from the source, the evolutonary and historical Mother Worldsoul of Africa. It is rare enough finding a truly dedicated fearologist in the world, never mind someone in their 20s, and never mind they are a beautiful black person. I could go on and on of how historically rare this moment is, when one as OAK publishes a book with "fearologist" in the title. No one has ever done that. I'm glad it was him. 

p.s. To be clear, all of my praise, also comes with critiques. I in no way endorse everything he does or writes about in his books. He is his own person. In time, he and Subba and I will have our "truthings" with each others' works, as will all the students. It takes time to do a proper endorsement of someone elses work, at least for me it does. At this point, I endorse only generically his enthusiasm and contributions in helping us move the fearwork along into the future.  








1. Kalu, O. A. (2017). The first stage of the fearologist. CeateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Amazon.

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