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Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows

The True Story of an Indigenous-Based Social Transformer


R. Michael Fisher

In times of extreme cascading global crises facing humanity, all responsible humans need to re-evaluate the dominant worldview that has brought us to this point of facing extinction. As a species we need to relearn the "good" ways from our greatest allies in Nature and from Indigenous cultures that lived in relative harmony with Nature. Equally, we need to learn the best ways to think critically and act on the holistic understanding that may guide us beyond our individual and collective trance and illusions cast forth like chains upon modern societies through elites who manipulate fear.

Fearless Engagement of Four Arrows offers a unique strong "medicine" for the reconstruction of a healthy, sane, and sustainable future for all. Utilizing the form of an intellectual biography of Four Arrows (aka Dr. Don Trent Jacobs) and his daring activist life and true teaching stories, the author creates a powerful adventure into the firey philosophy, activism, and emancipatory inspirations of one of the world’s great visionary prophetic educators and social transformers. Through a number of unique experiences, including firefighting, white-water kayaking, wild horse training, world-class athletic competitions, and counter-cultural activism, Four Arrows has become a connoisseur of fear and courage. This book shows how he walks a universal ethical path of Fearlessness at a time when too many remain trapped by their fears.

Among other readers, high school teachers and post-secondary teachers across diverse disciplines will find great ideas, eliciting dialogues and study questions for students, who now face a globalizing world where they can take charge of the future via fearless engagement.

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7. Befriending the “Gift of Fear”


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Though television news would have us think differently, the important question is not how we might die, but rather “How shall we live?” and that is up to us.

—Gavin De Becker1

If fear is often named in the recovery movement of Alcoholics Anonymous and popular culture as F. E. A. R., meaning False Evidence Appearing Real, the courageous truthing of Four Arrows’ practices and CAT-FAWN are healing contradictions to the norm. They ensure we are not led down a distorted path by F. E. A. R. but rather led by Fear and, the Fearlessness that follows from it. It’s an authentic path to our positive highest human potential. The “connoisseur of Fear” that Four Arrows has in mind knows the distinction of the “good” and “bad” path. Such a connoisseur is also humble and wise enough to keep learning to make the distinction, of what security expert Gavin De Becker distinguished similarly as “true fear” (a “gift”) from “unwarranted fear” (a curse).2 We have to keep learning because Fear in all its forms and masks3 is a tricky phenomenon that is continually morphing (aka I have called ‘fear’)4 and continually requiring an expanded critical literacy in order to understand it and ourselves well.

The aim of Part III is to articulate Four Arrows’ relationship to Fear and courage(ous). III-6 focused on intellectual, creative and moral courage, and III-7 is going to focus on physical courage, while keeping...

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