Center for Spiritual Inquiry and Integral Education

R. Michael Fisher
Indigenizing Fear to Fearlessness
by R. Michael Fisher - Monday, November 18, 2013, 03:51 PM

I am on a research, writing and teaching journey of late that involves a thorough study and comparison of Four Arrows's work and my own. He is one of our CSIIE instructors, and author of many books with emphasis on indigenous education. I am particularly focusing in my new novel on his work in regard to its contribution of "From Fear to Fearlessness." This last signature phrase he coined for his chp. 13 in his new book Teaching Truly (2013), of which I am one of the guest authors.

I have included below a book commentary on chp. 13 below (published on "Reviews" the other day). This is the next small step on this journey to articulate the best theories on fear and fearlessness to aid the "culture of fear" transformation to a "culture of fearlessness," which more and more (albeit, still very few) people are talking and writing about. See further information on these concepts on this website Department of Integral & 'Fear' Studies. What I wish to share in this post as well, is the skeletal part of my thinking in order to create more unity in the discourse communities interested in this transformation. I invite you to join me anytime to further how to do this.

The basic idea I envision, and it is part of the In Search of Fearlessness Project (1989-  ), is to both compare, critique, and synthesize and unite the best information and knowledge about fear and fearlessness. My next aim is to research deeper into the "Indigenous" writings, especially of late, and the postcolonial critique that goes with them, to see what they have to offer in our understanding of "from fear to fearlessness." It is a big project to do properly, and I'm only scratching surfaces, but Four Arrows work seems to be a 'leading-edge' for sure amongst the Indigenous writing and communities. He has theorized fear to fearlessness (especially in his book Primal Awareness, 1998) unlike any other I have read in the Indigenous communities. Now, that doesn't mean it is the best, as there may be others and there may be knowledges that are still only in oral form not written down. I am open to learning and discovering all forms.

The Indigenous investigation will go on and end up with an article I am considering for a journal on Indigenous education. I want to foreground Four Arrows work (as a mixed-blood) on fear to fearlessness (e.g., his CAT-FAWN theory). I will also ask the question for that research and writing that moves me down the road to learn more from the Indigenous teachings everywhere. I realize, that in my own book The World's Fearlessness Teachings (2010) that I did not give the Indigenous literature its due. So, now is time to make up some ground on that 'gap' in my own thinking and theorizing. So, "What offering has the Indigenous teachings (texts) offer to enhance our knowledge on "from fear to fearlessness"?

Basically, this initiative has clarified that I have a few initiatives streams that will accompany this specific search of the Indigenous stream. The other two major streams that have been interested in from fear to fearlessness I can generalize fall into the woman/feminist stream and the esoteric stream (spiritual philosophies). Again, with the Indigenous stream, these are all global and across time. Each has a great investment, as I see them, in the transformation of a world based on fear to one based on fearlessness-- and the ultimate outcome of the success of that is a world based on Love.

So, stay tuned...