Harvey Jackins

My father's death is a great and sad loss. It's not a catastrophe. It's not the end of anything except his life. But it is a loss.

There are an amazing variety of distresses that get attached to this loss, including all of the ways that we looked to him for things we hadn't learned to do for ourselves. It scares us that he's not there. Some people get confused because it feels like he's not there in their minds anymore. It seems to some people that his death and its restimulations somehow took from them everything they had gained from him and his example, everything they had learned about themselves by using him in different ways. None of that's true. We haven't lost anything by his passing that we ever had from him, or ever figured out for ourselves.

What we lost is that wonderful mind being active in our continued struggles. We lost the future thoughts of that mind. We have lost nothing of what he ever did or accomplished or communicated. In fact, you'll find as you counsel on all sorts of things, you'll get a lot more from him than you're aware of yet. (laughter) As we discharge, we think through things again, and we're surprised at what we know that we didn't quite see before. There are a lot of things we gained from Harvey that we have yet to be fully aware of. Don't think it's over just because he's not actively here next year for this workshop.

I'll probably say this several times at this workshop: we all have continuing work to do about this loss. I know many of us have worked long and hard, but it's interesting how access to discharge can close up as other things need to be done. Then only occasionally it re-opens and we remember that there's still some work there.

I don't think this project can go on as well as it must until we've counseled through this loss. Until this is worked through, our thinking about counseling and what we're trying to accomplish will run into these restimulations. Discharging thoroughly on this loss is important - for us personally and for what we're trying to do: We are trying to get these ideas, which have let us change our lives so markedly, out to all other people, so that they can do for themselves what we've done. That's what we want. We want everybody to have the chances we've had. This requires our being able to think and work with less and less restimulation as we go on.

I know this is important. I know it's important to me. I can watch what happens if I don't remember to keep discharging on this area. It isn't that life becomes unbearable or that I become incoherent. It's just that things get tight; things get thin; I lose depth and perspective. Something gets taken away, and my full mind doesn't operate the way it can, the way I've seen it operate. This happens with all sorts of restimulations, but this one is across our path in a very important way.

We get confused about our own abilities. My father saw wondrous things in us. In every one of us. That was one of his strongest points. He could look, and no matter how we were acting at that moment, he could see past it and he could communicate what he saw. That was very important for a large number of us because we couldn't see it for ourselves. Some of us now get scared that we'll lose the path to those thoughts because of running into the restimulation of his death.

People get afraid that the Community will get confused without him. The Community will be different without him. The Community will not get confused. I promise you. That's my job now. I will not do it the same way he did, but I promise you that job will get done. It may take me a while to learn all the different things my father took on, but I promise you, those things will be done and will be done well, and better and better. Also, many of those things will eventually be done by a large group of people rather than just one person. We are nearing the end of the period when it was necessary to rely on one person who had particularly good judgment and could take initiative, and we're near the beginning of a period when there is a group of people with good judgment who will hold strongly on to good perspectives and put them into action.

If I need to assume everything that my father had taken on, then I will for now. I'll take it on, and I promise to make it work. But I don't intend to leave it at that. I want you taking on the work that Harvey showed was possible to undertake, and to not only undertake it but develop it past the point where he was able to demonstrate it to us. There's lots more. But we can't do this unless we work through this loss.

Another place we need to work is on all of the unhappy things we hung on him (laughter); all of the things we worked on by being upset with him about them. It was part of his job. Anyone who's taken on leadership knows it's part of what happens to them. If you look like you can handle it, it can feel easier for me to work on some things if I blame you for them. Without that I can get confused enough to blame myself for them, and that doesn't work. If I can't get far enough out of the distress not to blame anybody, then the leader will do fine, and I can continue working on it. Lots of us have distresses that we've worked on this way, and blamed Harvey. Some of us took it seriously. Some of us knew better and did it anyway - because it worked. We put it aside when we needed to and went back to it when we couldn't figure out another way to work. We need to counsel and discharge on all of those places where we feel he made mistakes, all the places where it felt hard on us because we thought he made mistakes. Not that he didn't make mistakes, but that isn't the question here. The question is the way our distresses got caught and restimulated.

When we get tangled in our distresses around our mistakes or other people's mistakes, then we've got work to do. If we don't do it, those events remain confused in our minds, and we can't think, can't correct, and can't make things go better. Harvey played a big enough role that lots of us took advantage of it and attached our distresses to him so we could work on them. Well, you can still do that. It's fine to use him that way. Just don't confuse this counseling technique with reality. When somebody dies, everybody feels badly about using him or her that way. (laughter) He wouldn't mind. (more laughter)

You need to know that Harvey was pleased. There is never a good time to lose somebody. There is never a good time for someone's mind to stop functioning and to lose an intelligence in the world. Every single one is valuable. We don't ever want to lose any of them. It's a loss and sadness that he died. But he died at a moment when he had his best picture of what has been accomplished. It's very good he got that.

He understood that many people had worked very hard, and he saw what had been accomplished. He had just finished leading the week-long conference for Regional Reference Persons, International Liberation Reference Persons, and others, and it had gone beautifully. It had gone so beautifully that he had seen that it had gone beautifully.

He was happy about it. That was not an easy place for him - to have a sense that something had been accomplished which was not ever going to be lost. He saw that this set of ideas to which he had dedicated the last fifty years of his life were well-established beyond any chance of their disappearing.

I want to urge you to think about him, to think about what you knew about him, whether or not you had contact with him. Think about what you heard him say or what you read of his that changed something in your life. Also, look at all of your disappointments: the things you didn't get to, the things you wanted to do with him, the communication, the relationships, and all the things you were upset about with him. Counsel on those. If you don't work on those, not only will they interfere with this project, but guess who you'll hang them on next. (laughter)

Harvey Jackins' existence was a joy. It made possible things that will never be forgotten. It's a sad loss that we don't have him with us now, but it's not grim, it's not a catastrophe. It's a sad loss that he is gone, and it continues to be a great joy that he existed.

Tim Jackins
(From a talk at the Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Teachers' and Leaders' Workshop, September 1999.)


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07