Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education

R. Michael Fisher
Fearanalysis Guide Book: Newton, CN Mass Murder
by R. Michael Fisher - Monday, December 17, 2012, 02:40 AM

If CSIIE is a new creative venture in higher education, and worth its salt, then we are challenged to face into the forces of great movements. Sometimes these forces and movements are temporary, sometimes political and rhetorical, yet, sometimes they may be deeper and will prove to be a "tipping point." Change and transformation on large-scale, for a culture, for a nation, like the USA is not easy. You may have heard of the Newtown, CN primary school mass shooting a few days ago. I'm suggesting there is good news out of this tragedy, at least, a leverage for change in the right direction (albeit, 'right' direction is debateable for some). I've attached a letter segment I wrote to a colleague (expert on security and fear) and an excerpt (draft copy only) from the beginning of my new booklet Fearanalysis: A First Guide Book (2012). I trust these may stir you all to think of putting our collective CSIIE intelligence together for a real problem... one of many real problems...  -enjoy, M.

Hi Gavin [de Becker],

No doubt you've followed to some extent the Newton, CN school shooting disaster, and Obama's speeches to the nation. His latest from Newton made it pretty clear:

"... we, as a nation, we are left with some hard questions.... Can we honestly say that we're doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm?.... We're not doing enough. And we will have to change.... We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.... In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens--from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents to educators--in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this...".
Of course, you and I know where he's going with this on one stream, and that's gun laws. Okay, good, the leverage is probably there for some progress on that front.
I'm writing you because I have a vision that you gathered some 10 hand-picked people to gather in Washington, DC (or somewhere) for 2 weeks to share our findings, discuss and deliberate a position paper for the President. We'd of course deal with the problems, but unlike the others that Obama is going to consult with, we'd have an 'edge' that is about time it showed its face on a larger contextual analysis and solution set-- that is, our think tank would include the "crime problem," the "gun problem," the "violence problem," the "mental health" problem etc. related to these mass murder events Obama wants stopped. Yet, we'd start on the premise that we have a "fear problem" in America (and beyond) and that this has inadequately been examined in attempts to study the above more obvious problems. We are going to get at the source, not treat just symptoms. And, so on... in my terms, we have a fear management/education (FME) problem. And one can go as deep down the rabbit hole as one wants to get to what is the "change" Americans need to make and show the world we can lead in this movement.
That vision, needs leaders like you Gavin to pull it off. It needs resources, and it can happen. I'd be there in a flash to assist you 100%. I'd be in such a group (of course if I was invited--smile) as an educator and fearologist. Your work on fear likewise to me is what needs to be heard way more than it has... you get my drift no doubt... and there are others...
Would love to hear your thoughts... (I know you are crazy busy)... and, maybe you have a few suggestions for me how to work with Obama's lead and the leverage of the moment in US history (yes, obviously I am looking for just paid work as a consultant, who isn't making a dollar for some years, but money is not why I am doing this)...
not without grief, yet filled with spirit, in fearlessness,

Dec. 17, 2012


PREFACE: This guidebook is a first introduction to the study and practice of fearanalysis. It guides you how to better understand your past and current relationship to fear. Equally, it recommends theory, ideas, principles and practices to create a new relationship to fear that has typically not been taught in one's society. As you will soon see, this learning challenge is an ethical one, not a mere accumulation of more information that is stored and brings forth little change for the better of humanity and life on earth.

A full-length philosophical and technical book is being written as An Introduction to Fearanalysis. This brief guidebook is kept as non-technical as possible. See endnotes for selected references that have helped create and support the evidence for this new methodology (several are available online as free pdfs). With your experiences using this methodology, you are invited to join a dialogue on how to improve it. Send your views to the author.

For a quick feel of what fearanalysis is and isn't, you may wish to go to the Q & A narrative on p. 13 and then return to the start of the booklet.]


What's all the fuss about? What's so bad about the world? Everyone would have an opinion about what is 'broken' and how to 'fix-it'. What is broken, is our connection to fear. This guidebook is all about that relationship. How can that help this world? A big question. It will take some study of fearanalysis, and complicated conversations to figure that out. There has never been anything like this methodology created before. But so what?

Before you read on to understand the methodology, I suggest you imagine what value it may have if you examine one thing that is 'broken' in our society. Let's start with a contemporary American example: Mass murders by gunmen (mostly teenage and 20s-30s something males, who were born in America and attended its schools). The problem most recently came to a symptomatic head in Newtown Connecticut (Dec. 14, 2012) as a 20 year old man killed his mother at home with her guns and then took them to the elementary school he attended in the neighborhood in his childhood, and shot and killed 20 (6-7 yr. olds) and 7 adults (staff, teachers and principal), before taking his own life at the scene of the massacre. Of course we could examine statistics of similar mass murders by gunmen, yet that would lead us astray from the point, as at least 10 such events have happened in the USA since Pres. Obama took office in 2008.

These are devastating to all who find them hard to make sense of. Besides all the various rhetoric and theories of media and experts, what you'll never hear around these events is the labeling of them as a "fear problem." Why is that? How are they a fear problem? Well, people like to think of it as a crime problem, youth problem, gun problem, or a mental health problem (always looking for a psychiatric disorder in the individual). Sure, those are significant aspects, yet they exclude too much from the analysis.

I call these events acts of terrorism, with an informal atypical politics all their own—one that is coming from very terrified (and hurt) individual males, who want to kill themselves (usually) and want to kill and terrify many others with them in the spectacular process, of which our media gives great attention to. Most people would analyze that these youth aren't afraid enough, like they aren't afraid of breaking the law of a society and ethical moral codes. I'd say these are inherent extra-sensitive individuals not sensitive-deprived individuals. Are they "fearless"? And what does that mean? The issues get more and more complex. I don't want to overly simplify any case of mass murder and its causes.