Common Goals For All Humans

I have put up a central poster here. It is an attempt to generalize the process of coming out of confusion into a policy and action position. I've labeled it "Steps of Liberation." The steps are: (1) Accurately perceiving reality, (2) Setting a full range of goals, (3) Drafting and agreeing on policy, (4) Communicating policy widely, (5) Organizing leaders, groups, and allies of groups, (6) Thinking, acting, and then discharging on the revealed blocks, then thinking and acting, etc. in a continuous cycle (whatever else we're doing, this three-part process goes on), (7) Reclaiming power (a crucial step because we have not yet worked our way up to practicing that widely. It's the not-yet-well-tackled part of re-emergence), (8) Succeeding. You may or may not have noticed that most activists' groups are enchained within some kind of liberation policy - philosophy that "all is hopeless but nevertheless we must try," along with "we made a good effort, didn't we?", "it's not our fault we didn't win." What reality is all about is succeeding. We need to add these two, the reclaiming of power and succeeding.

I have some wider generalizations that I want to present. This is the first time I'm talking about these. They come under the heading "perceiving reality accurately."

There is an upward trend in the universe and it has expressed itself on at least one planet that we know of in the development of increasingly complex chemical molecules that eventually became able to replicate themselves and were the beginnings of what we call life. Then the process of evolution and its development of more complex central nervous systems reached the point that brought intelligence - the ability to construct fresh, accurate responses to each new moment. As a side effect, that development brought another function, very delicate, that we don't well understand but we know is there, that we call awareness.

The development of intelligence also brought with it the vulnerability to the distress pattern phenomenon. Once we had this high-level ability to think, it was vulnerable to the previously present conditioning mechanism. Our pre-human ancestors could be conditioned, as horses and dogs still can be, in what amounted to a very crude type of learning, so that the individual could learn from distress experiences to avoid similar situations. For our preintelligent ancestors or other mammals, this process of substituting a new rigid pattern of behavior for the inherited, rigid, instinctive behavior, did not degrade the level of functioning. For human beings, having once attained the level of intelligent functioning, the distress pattern conditioning degraded, and degrades, our level of functioning enormously.

Humans have had to struggle with the phenomenon of vulnerability to distress pattern imposition ever since we became intelligent.

Apparently, we now think, another great resource also appeared with the same development of central nervous systems of the complexity that brought intelligence. This is the freedom to decide as we wish without any limitations. We'll go into this more later, if you like, because it's quite startling, but we apparently have the power to decide anything we wish to, quite independently of other factors. This has been thoroughly hidden from us. At our very free-est we've thought of deciding intelligently or deciding on the basis of the evidence, but I now propose that the power of decision is absolutely unlimited. We are quite free to decide even in the teeth of the evidence. We are quite free to decide unintelligently if we wish. We can decide wisely or we can decide perversely. However uncomfortable or dangerous this sounds, I think it's important that we recognize that independent availability of the power of decision because it will take us around a whole batch of confusion and gobble-de-gook left by oppression and bring us very close to the actual reclaiming and use of our power.

That's all I'll say about that at this point. It's a summary of what I've been trying to say at other workshops.

A GENERAL PICTURE

I wanted to start more generally than that. I want to see if we can take a look at the whole picture that we are involved in and get agreement on a broad concept of reality and a broad program for dealing with it.

I start by simply saying that we exist. However we got here, we exist. We have some pretty good ideas of how we got here. We are an expression at a very high level of the observable upward trend in the universe that exists compatibly with the downward trend of entropy. We're here. Here we are. We're alive creatures, we're mammals, we're primates. We all belong to the same sub-species of homo sapiens sapiens.

We're part of the world of life. Just as we are, if we clear away any illusions about what's actually going on, we have a built-in motivation to survive. This is very bottom-lineish. We share this motivation with all life. All life is motivated to survive. We may individually have to uncover this motivation if a death-wish pattern gets on top of it, but we don't have to create it. Survival is intrinsic to our nature. We share this motivation, always there, however covered over, with every other form of life. We've not observed any form of life that doesn't have this motivation to survive, pursuing it in myriad ways and in myriad environments.

As intelligent creatures that are not only alive but also intelligent, we can think about this survival. When we are our intelligent selves, we think of it in terms of our individual self-centered survival but also the survival of our close associates, of our wide associates, of our species, of the great web of life of which we are a part, of the planet itself (we would not want our planet to be struck by too big an asteroid), and of the universe. We are part of a big universe. We're very much a part of it and we're at home in it. We've been fine-tuned by evolution to belong in this universe and play a leading role in it.

When we are functioning well we think easily and necessarily on all these levels. We don't put off big issues as being too much for "little old me" or we don't forget to brush our teeth or exercise because we're out to save some endangered species. All the indications are that our natural functioning is to apply this motivation of survival on a broad scale, to be concerned about the whole picture. We think about the fine details and the broad outlines, about the things close to us and the entities light years away, about what's going to happen in the next second and what we have to accomplish by the time we take the spaceship for the next interstellar colony. We are inherently motivated for survival and if we awarely face this and become at ease with it and adjust to the ramifications of it, it will give us a much better picture of the problems that we have been trying to confront, in individual ways and in group ways, and what the solutions can be. We shall see better how we can bring about what we have yearned for intuitively, however confused we've been in acting toward it.

This is basic, this is reality - we are alive, we are intelligent, sometimes aware and able to be independent of circumstances in terms of making decisions.

ILLUSIONS AND CONFUSIONS

It is also part of reality, in the actual, current situation, that we are confused by illusions we have acquired. We live and function inside a great mass of illusions. This is our principal problem. These patterned illusions take deceiving appearances or camouflage themselves in sneaky, parasitical ways as if they were pro-survival. They appear pseudo-survival. One example, the illusion of an addiction, is a very familiar one. It is very, very plain to any observer that another drink of alcohol is not going to do the victim any good, but, to the victim, "it feels good," "I need a little relaxation," "one more won't hurt me," "blah, blah, blah."

This great pile of harmful, patterned illusions in which we have become enmeshed (through no fault of our own) attach themselves to our basic motivation, however ridiculous such attachment may seem when one is looking at someone else's illusions, however ridiculous their claim to be part of survival is. As we bumble along, all of our problems are caused by acting as if these illusions were real, acting as if these pseudo-survival pulls actually represented survival.

Besides the actual reality, which is handleable and delightful and interesting and which we're used to and which we evolved to fit, we move in a great cloud of the pseudoreality. I used to see a cartoon character in a comic strip whose face, whatever he did, was obscured by a great swarm of flies which surrounded him, attracted by his sticky, messy beard. It's as if our progress is surrounded by and impeded by a great cloud of these illusions.

The source of these illusions was, for a long time, mysterious. We've only had a fairly clear look at the source and main component of them for thirty-four years. Now the view is clearing and clearing. Part of what we're trying to do this week is clear it up a lot more. The source is what we call the distress pattern the result of susceptibility to being conditioned by stress experiences.

This mixture of illusions, the pseudo-reality that surrounds us, is certainly held together by distress patterns. However, it isn't composed only of them. It includes certain other factors such as oppressive structures, false information, and lack of information.

THREE SOURCES

Where do we get the distress patterns? We've recognized three main sources. First, some distress experiences that leave distress recordings happen by accident. We fell off the porch. Our little red wagon lost its wheel and took us out into street traffic. Second, we acquire them by contagion. We have known for a long time now that a person, hurt in a certain way and tempted into a replay of the resulting distress pattern (whether we use the old definition or the new one, whether we decided to be restimulated or whether we were unwitting victims standing there with our hands in our pockets when the restimulation hit us), feels a pull to endure the replay of the distress recording in a different role than it originally happened. This is the basis of the contagion of patterns. The beaten child becomes the beating father, the sexually-abused youngster becomes the adult rapist, and so on.

Patterns are imposed by accident and by contagion. They are also imposed by oppression. The rigid societies into which we've suffered ourselves to be organized are based on oppression and must systematically install distress patterns on the society's members, not only on the exploited members but also on the exploiting members, in order for the rigidities of the societies to continue to operate. Such societies always eventually collapse from their internal contradictions but, while they last, that they lurch on in their rigid way at all is dependent on distress patterns. Such societies systematically install these distress patterns in many ways, such as adultist mistreatment of children, sexism, racism. One very large channel for installing distress patterns is called the educational system. It educates slightly and installs patterns thoroughly.

So, we have three sources for the distress patterns that largely constitute and totally bind this pseudosurvival ball of illusions together: accident, contagion, and semi-deliberate installation by oppression.

OTHER FACTORS

Ignorance is part of this matrix of confusion/illusion. It has been a big factor in the past. When we didn't have enough information about what was going on in reality, we often came up with frightened guesses. In some cultures if the corn crop wasn't adequate one season, the priests sacrificed fourteen virgins on the stone altar instead of seven as they had done the year before. Ignorance about why the corn crop had failed was a contribution to this mass of illusions that we acquired.

Misinformation becomes part of it. Patterns, of course, are involved in this, too. It becomes pseudo-survival for large numbers of people in the oppressive society to lie. The deliberate spreading of misinformation becomes a socially-enforced role for some people. This is a little different than lack of information. It is worth making the distinction. The oppressive societies preserved, extended, and magnified the confusion. The oppressive societies operate only on the basis of gaining acceptance of these illusions.

This pretense of pseudo-advantage coats every part of this mass of distressed illusions. "I may feel a little better if I invalidate someone else." "I'll feel superior if I can participate in the oppression of another group." "I'm kicked around as a man but at least it's better than being a woman." "I just got my head bloodied by the police but now I can go home and yell at my children." "I can get the illusion of advantage from oppressing somebody else."

There is the pseudo-advantage of chemical addictions. "After a few drinks I can relax a little bit." "It feels good to get high."

There are many and various coats of such rationalized paint claiming such pseudo-advantage on behalf of the illusory mass which fogs us up.

OUR GENERAL GOAL

No matter what limited goals brought us here, now that we are gathered together, I propose that we agree that all our efforts are actually directed to becoming free of this great mass of pseudo-survival illusions. I further propose we recognize that every human being in the world is eager to participate in just this effort to become free of these illusions. This really is what our common task consists of whether different ones of us have called it "making a revolution" or "liberation" or "getting one's head on straight" or "living decently with one's suburban neighbors" or "preventing crime from spreading too far into the suburbs" (or whatever).

To attain this freedom from oppressive illusions is a universal goal which we share with every single other human being. This is the great commonality between us.

We can look at it this way: All around us stand 4.8 billion other human beings eager to do something workable in this direction. They are occasionally failing on their faces, acting against their own interests and pursuing harmful addictions because the pseudo-survival illusions and the misinformation are so heavily piled up. Basically, however, they are motivated in this other direction with us because they are intelligent. This goal comes with our intelligence. Given our human ability to think and our human ability to decide, all of us humans must necessarily want to seek freedom to be our real selves.

This is why we've gathered together. This is why anybody participates in anything anybody does that is vaguely toward the upward trend, is ready to try to become free of this great matrix of pseudo-illusions.

If we look at the situation this way, I think a lot of the confusion that has persisted in liberation efforts, in wide-world-changing efforts, in "revolutionary" efforts, will tend to dissipate. Looking from this point of view is like seeing the illusion for what it is, from the seamy underside. We know from experience that whenever one can see a pattern as a pattern, it discharges immediately. If one can see the pattern for what it is, the discharge and re-emergence are prompt.

As a part of the general process that we are participating in, in order to become free of the pseudo-survival illusions that have glued us into non-survival behavior, I propose certain common moves.

DISCHARGE AND REEVALUATION

One, certainly, that this group cherishes, is discharge and re-evaluation. It is the only completely purging process that we have found. To discharge thoroughly kills off the illusion permanently.

(To discharge partially only wounds it. Most of us have had the experience of discharging what seemed exhaustively until the pattern was lying flaccid on the ground and we felt we certainly deserved a little rest before we went on and demolished it completely. The instant we drew a deep breath and relaxed, the apparently knocked-out pattern scampered up our leg got at the back of our head, and began running our mouth.) When it's done thoroughly, the discharge and re-evaluation process does kill off illusion, does do away with it finally. It's part of the reason we urge people to clean up an incident completely at least once so they can actually experience this thoroughness. There is no distress left, no nonsense left, no pseudosurvival illusion left, if you actually clean up an incident.

(Most of us in the RC Communities, of course, have only grazed over the tops of the accumulated distress, discharging on whatever distress protrudes most. Even that procedure has lowered the level of our illusions significantly. Discharge and re-evaluation is one tool and one that we rightly cherish, even though we've been using it fumblingly to date compared with how we know how to use it, how we can theorize how to use it, and even occasionally demonstrate how to use it. The level of counseling, much as it has improved in the last year or two [and there's been a very noticeable improvement] is still sloppy compared to what we could probably achieve by the end of this workshop if we use our power of decision.)

Another principal tool for eliminating this pseudo-reality is the spreading of accurate information. To make a revolution people have to have the real picture. As we get a better picture (and I hope in the next few days to present a more deeply accurate picture than we've had before) we need to spread it widely, to share it. When I first tried to organize in my home town, I found that one of the people who at least partially shared my viewpoint was a railroad brakeman. One day I went down to the shack whore I knew he was living to take him some message and the Native woman that he was living with said that he wasn't there but that I should come in. I was shy and hesitated but she said, "Come in, come in." She said, "You read the same pamphlets he does, don't you?" I said, "Yes." She said, "I'd like to know more about it." I said, "Well, sure, but he's not home, I'll come back another time." She said, "Sit down!"

Then she said, "You know, he's all the time reading pamphlets. If he isn't out on a run, he's laying there reading, all the time reading." Then apologetically, "I can't read. I know it's my own fault. I shouldn't have left school in the second grade, but I can't read. I wish I could. I say to him, 'Read to me what you are reading,' and he says, 'Aw, you wouldn't be interested.' I say, 'Well, how do you know?' He says, 'Aw naw, it's too much trouble.'"

So she said, "I'm standing there. I'm doing the laundry. That's the way I make my living, doing laundry for the businessmen uptown. I'm standing there ironing and I say, 'Come on, read me a little bit.' So he read a little bit out of the pamphlet. I heard what it was saying, it made sense of the world. It made sense out of something I'd never been able to make sense of before. I say, 'Read more.' He says,'Well, that's enough. See. You weren't interested.' I took the hot iron and I went over and put it right in his face. I said, 'You son-of-a-bitch, all my life I've been looking for some information like that. You had it there all the time and you wouldn't bother to read it to me. Now you're going to read to me!' He did!"

Everyone, everywhere, is wildly hungry for some sense where they've had to put up with nonsense. Everyone is wild to hear the accurate word. This is one of our tools. Discharge and re-evaluate our own nonsense away. Spread accurate information about reality. Free others from their nonsense by helping them to discharge and re-evaluate. Give them the information about Co-Counseling and teach them how to do it with each other. Spread the word.

ORGANIZATION

What else need we do? Organize. We're going to spend quite a little time at this workshop on what effective organization can be done compared to what we have been doing. I have the greatest admiration for all of you for how much you have accomplished in the last few years in terms of organization. I also have word for you that you've been almost completely incompetent compared to what can be done. I hope that we can clarify the old organizational confusions so that we can begin to be really effective. We need to leave here with this clarity in our heads so solidly that we can't forget it. To organize well is necessary. Most of the critical problems that we're facing, in terms of our survival and of whether this world will go on, being a world of life or not, depend on group action for solutions. Organizing is crucial. People must be able to move in concert to do what we're going to have to do.

ACTION

The last thing on this list of things to do is act. Just simply act. This requires recognition that we have the power of decision, that we always have the power of moving. This has little in common with the general picture of how we've been doing up until now. In spite of how praiseworthy we have been, I think we need to face the reality that, in the ratio between dithering and acting, dithering is, so far, ahead 95%.

What is our general goal? What is the general goal that we at this workshop seek more and more awarely? What do other people that we spread the word to want? What does every one of the 4.8 billion people in the world, unawarely but intuitively yearn for, seek for? What is our natural goal? When we can get the signpost in the clear and help break the concrete boots off people's feet, in which direction are they going to stream?

I propose that it's at least time to resume functioning in world-wide numbers on the advanced information, in the tremendous knowledge about reality, that even our constrained efforts under oppression have brought us.

It's true that real information about economics or political economy is unknown except in very narrow circles because this is censored by the oppressive society. In other fields, fields such as medical science, biology, including molecular biology, or physics at the deepest levels, we have acquired enormous information. Consider agriculture. In my lifetime agriculture has moved rapidly. I walked behind a one-blade walking plow. Now look at what happens in agriculture. There is tremendously efficient use of the land. There are a few things wrong, a few abuses that need to be cleared up, but there is enormous mastery of the environment through our acquisition of information in terms of producing food.

THE FUTURE WE SEEK

We know so much! It is time to begin functioning rationally in worldwide numbers on this advanced information. It now gets used only occasionally and in limited ways and only for purposes of quick profits. Such use occasionally drips off some incidental benefits to people, but its use is currently very contaminated in general by the overriding profit motive of this society.

I think our goal is necessarily, given where we are, to resume functioning. In world-wide numbers, free from stress patterns, in a rational social organization, making full use of high technology. (Asked to say it again.) I propose that our goal is for all humanity to resume functioning rationally in world-wide numbers on advanced information and high technology.

We are not going back to the small-town primitive living that we sometimes dream about because the view ahead has been so obscured. We are going ahead in our huge numbers, all of our numbers. There will probably be ten billion of us before we quit expanding. That would be my guess. I think the world can support ten billion beautiful humans before we put a top limit on population. We will be doing some limiting before that, of course, because we have to allow an increase in numbers for the groups, races, and cultures that have almost succumbed to genocide. They certainly have to increase to viable numbers in order to make their full contribution to our general knowledge.

We will live in world-wide cooperation, on advanced information and knowledge, free from the distress pattern phenomenon, in a rational social organization, using increasingly advancing technology. Drudgery, which is the misapplication of physical or mental effort, should disappear from the world very quickly.

There is no longer any excuse for drudgery at all. I paid $8 for this watch which probably contains a $2 silicon chip. It can do things that the literature on it doesn't even tell about and I have to find out accidentally. They went cheapo on the literature, but they made a good chip. It will switch from a twenty-four-hour day to a twelve-hour day on some command I haven't discovered yet. It will switch from a date U.S.-style to one European-style on some other command that is still obscure. It will keep times for two other time zones besides the one I'm in if I set them and refer to them which I haven't understood how to do yet. There's no need of drudgery in the world anymore with technology like that.

ADVANCE TO, NOT RESUME

Question: You use the word "resume" functioning as if we once did. Could you explain why you use that word?

HJ: That was probably a poor word. I probably should have said "advance to" functioning. There was a time before oppression when a lot of the stupid things that we take for granted now as necessary were looked at with horror and not participated in by members of our species. That's what I was thinking about, but that isn't very clear.'

Advance to functioning is better because we certainly are not going back to village handcrafts unless a tiny fragment of us has to when the rest of us are turned to cinders. That's in case some of us mutate enough to resist the radiation. That's not our goal!

If we could keep this general goal in mind, unity would not be so difficult to achieve between all our varied efforts. The changes that each of us has been seeking to bring about in our various world-changing efforts, or liberation struggles, or lonely ponderings even, should fit into this general picture. I'm quite sure that fitting into the general picture will furnish a great deal more vigor and vitality and leave us much less vulnerable to despair and defeat and giving up and dropping out

I think this generalizing will enable us to look at what we were really trying to do even it we didn't know we were trying to do it and will show up some of the previously unaware limitations. We are activist organizers. Perhaps we organize to have a demonstration. Why do we organize to have a demonstration? Well we have some intuitive sense, we must have and I think most organizers of demonstrations could give a quick answer, but, if pressed for what's behind that answer, would have a little trouble. (I don't think it's a bad idea to press them for answers. It's a part of the same process we're trying to get to here.)

We used to say that we want a revolution. Now we say we want wide-world change, liberation, freedom.

WIN PEOPLE'S MINDS

Where does a revolution take place? This is a crucial question. It doesn't take place when you seize the television station or the armory. It doesn't take place in the big demonstration. (Except incidentally. It may take place a little bit there. It may take place a little bit with the seizure of the armory, too. I've got nothing against seizing armories providing you know what to do once you seize them.) I think we have to face the fact that the big change, the change we're after, takes place in people's minds. That's where it's accomplished. If we get a person out for a demonstration, we've only incidentally and partially tackled that goal. Participation in a demonstration can be a fast learning process. Participation in a tough struggle is a very fast learning process. Things can happen fast. The Paris Commune created a wealth of new ideas in three months while defending Paris against an invading army and the traitors in the French government and organizing food supplies and education and local government. Beset by enormous problems, they nevertheless move ward rapidly. So, I'm not putting down the changes in people's minds that occur incidentally from various activities. I do think, however, we will do a lot better if we keep clearly in mind that what we want is the change in the person's mind.

There's a point in keeping our goals clearly in mind. I was trying to remember the old businessman's joke that says that when you are up to your hips in alligators, it's hard to remember you came to drain the swamp. Putting aside the question of whether the swamp should be drained and whether the alligators are not really our allies and so on, the businessmen were still trying to say something about keeping goals clearly in mind rather than get distracted from them by the exigencies of the struggle. If we can keep clearly in mind that our situation is to free people's minds for these goals that I've been talking about, then the alligators won't confuse us so much.

Do we want our fellow activist or the new person we are persuading to come to the demonstration, to become committed against nuclear arms? Yes, we do. Is that all we want from them? I don't think so. I think this is a mistake we most often make. We don't know what further to do.

NO LIMITS FOR ANYONE

I would propose that we keep clearly in mind that whenever we make contact with another person our goal is to take that person completely along with us for complete liberation of every human intelligence in every way. We want that person to go just where we are going. Anytime we do not avail ourselves of every bit of knowledge and every bit of skill and every opportunity we have with another person to do that, we've gotten confused, we're milling around. If you have no more opportunity than to say hello to someone, you say hello in the way that brings them along toward re-emergence. If you get stuck in the same train compartment with a total stranger, you think, "Aha! (unless you're too tired, in which case you take a nap). A chance to make a warm, close friend for the rest of my life and get him or her started on the road toward liberation for everyone!"

This is what we are about, this changing of people's minds, this enlisting them with us for enlightened knowledge, confident power, and decisive action on every front. We want everyone to be straight on every liberation front. We know how to get them there. Since Liberation I and II we've known that people have to speak to each other from within their individual groups and be listened to thoroughly and formulate their own program before they can help anybody else well. We know now that people are ready to hear each other if we organize it right. If we act like liberals and get different groups together and try to be unified in one step, they wind up more disgusted, more quarrelsome, and more divided than before. This is one of the precious bits of lore that we've accumulated.

We are after people's minds. We are after every person's mind, not to enslave it, not to make a buck out of it, not for any of the old motivations, but to free it to help us guarantee our own and the universe's and everything in between's survival.

Maybe you've always thought this way. I suspect you have, but I think that our failure to communicate to each other on this level has held us back. We're after people's souls, assuming the soul is the freed intelligence with broad goals, equipped with good tools, and with no discouragement following it.

If you are fighting nuclear weapons, this simply means that you have noticed an issue that is negative to survival and, acting on that limited issue, have tried to enlist other people with you to do something about it. That's just great. The main point, however, is that taking this action gives us access to enlisting all these intelligences on every other issue, broadening their awareness out, giving them the whole picture of what humankind has to be about at this point if people are going to survive.

ONE ISSUE, ALL ISSUES

Scaring people is not much help. Perhaps I shouldn't keep mentioning nuclear weapons, but it's hard to ignore them. Did you see Carl Sagan's comment about the great listening posts that we've set up to try to catch any intelligent signals from somewhere else out in the universe? He said that the great radio telescopes that have been functioning for a few years, trying to pick up any meaningful signals from the rest of the universe have, so far, not picked up any. It's true that the equipment is still fairly primitive and they haven't listened very long and the appropriations keep getting cut off, but he shared the information that a number of senior scientists are worried. They are afraid that this lack of any intelligent signals from out there could mean that intelligence has a built-in limitation, that it can never evolve past the development of a certain level of technology without destroying itself.

If we did not know about distress patterns, it seems to me the odds in favor of a holocaust would be fairly heavy. I don't know if putting a burden of heavy individual responsibility on you helps. I would like us to realize that this store of information that we have acquired in RC is very, very important. Incidental to our Co-Counseling we have acquired knowledge that it is crucial for us to share widely, widely, widely, widely. The attitude in which we keep Present Time to ourselves because "nobody else would understand our jargon or such weird ideas" has got to go. The reality, of course, has been for a long time that people outside of RC who get to read one of our magazines become tremendously excited and write me excited letters wanting to know how they can get more. At the same time many RCers are afraid to let anyone else see the literature.

When leaders work with the commitment to be in complete charge of absolutely everything, including the entire RC Community, they frequently flinch at the mention of the RC Community. Well, of course. What did you expect? It's not our fault that the RC Community is sometimes difficult. We attempted to set up a certain safety for people. We created a permissive atmosphere within RC and many people took this as an invitation to dramatize and client inappropriately. Some of this moss hangs from our Community's branches wherever one looks. We saw during the introductions last night, when people were asked to briefly answer certain questions, it seemed completely impossible for a number of intelligent people not to grab the chance to try to tell the story of their lives. We all heard some very interesting stories, and none of us died from listening, but inappropriate clienting was going on.

THE NECESSARY TOOL

Of course it's harder to do RC in the RC Community, but how well are you going to do wide-world work without an RC Community? You're not. Your springs are going to dry up and you're going to wind up rigid and out-of-date, as the remnants of the patterns take over. Of course you have to build RC along with everything else you do. Of course every person you reach should be on the way to participating in the same way that you do, in the core part of re-emergence, in the discharge and re-evaluation. That notion, that we can build in the wide world without bringing key people into RC, can be disposed of. Of course you need to have one foot leading in the Community and one foot leading in the wide world. Incidentally, a lot of RC leaders have accomplished this. The days when we had to exhort leaders to do something in the wide world are past. Almost all RC leaders are also doing something effective in the wide world. That's a big transition. We can change, we do.

We have to have a place to bring people along all the way. One-issue programs or one-plank programs are great ways to organize large numbers of people together. If you get people together on one popular issue, you can get a lot of people. If we don't remember that all of them deserve to become smart on all issues, if we don't take each person that's ready to go and challenge him or her and give her or him a boost toward acting more broadly, then most of the activity that we put in on the one-issue campaign will dry up and blow away. If we have mistaken ideas of organization, if we take them into activity with us, if we think that organization consists of an organizational structure and lists of names and assigned roles, then our organizations aren't going to amount to very much. In particular, of course, the RC Community isn't going to amount to very much on that basis. It doesn't amount to very much yet in places where we have gotten stuck.

PERSONAL LEADERSHIP

What is the actual content of organization? Lists of names and organizational roles for leaders are important. I don't knock them; but effective organization consists of you and your ability to get other people to trust you, love you, listen to you, read what you offer to read, and join with you on specific acts. That's what it consists of.

The close, personal tie is the only thing that is durable enough for people to move very far on. It's time to organize the unemployed. Okay, I'll call a meeting of the unemployed. You mean I've got to love them? Yes, you've got to love them. If you are going to have any worthwhile organization, you've got to go in there and set up love relationships. You may not call it "love." The word is generally too embarrassing. They may be ready to talk about "mutual respect" or something like that and that's fine. It's the same thing.

TOTAL INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY

I am currently challenging the leaders of RC that I meet with as I travel on three points. We will do some work on these. The first point is total, individual responsibility. I ask them to make a commitment that goes like this: "I promise that from this moment on I am in complete charge of absolutely everything, including the entire RC Community." And then for purposes of discharge you say, "Hah, hah, hah, hah!" with a rich ripe tone of confidence and enjoyment and power. "And this means...." You add that last "And this means..." otherwise the pattern will do its usual jelling and words will be repeated glassily without any examination of what the person is saying. The glassiness can last until the person gets so bored he or she has to look at the meaning, but that takes, often, a hour or two and we don't usually have the time for that old-fashioned technique of waiting for boredom to motivate the person against the terror.

We know what a powerful weapon tone of voice is against patterns. Hardly any pattern's ever been challenged by tone of voice except by a few very skilled actors and presidents. So we put in the "Hah, hah, hah, hah!" syllables in order that you have to hear the tone and everybody discharges. You say, "Hah, hah, hah, hah! and this will mean..." and you say the implications. You keep the brain in gear with the promise. This is about individual, total responsibility. "I promise that I am in complete charge of absolutely everything."

When I first started asking this, people would go very cheerfully until they said "Including the entire RC Community" and then shudder because, of course, the RC Community has its special difficulties. You cannot skip building it, however. You can't have what you want in the wide world without an RC Community to back it up and safeguard the lore and keep it straight so you have fresh water always available from a dependable spring. That's what the RC Community, in one sense, is all about.

EARLY ROOTS

This commitment to individual responsibility for everything turns out to be important. Sure, there were already roots to it. Way back when the pamphlet "Who's In Charge?" was written (remember?), we faced that you have to take complete responsibility for the farthest atom in the farthest star in the farthest galaxy, that otherwise putting any limitation on your responsibility is going to be a screen that moves up closer until pretty soon your entire responsibility is hidden from you on one excuse or other. We had roots from total undivided responsibility back there, but, in practice, individual total responsibility has only appeared now and then. I don't mean that maybe all of us didn't dream about it, but as far as acting on it, it has been not totally missing, but a rare phenomenon.

More and more in the last months leaders have taken this kind of responsibility. There's a number of RC leaders who don't look too bad in this light at all, but, so far, compared to the need, it's a tiny number.

In our failure to stress this, our failure to get it up into awareness, our Communities have been riddled by irresponsibility, hiding under the names of "group responsibility" or "joint leadership" or "collective leadership" or "committee leadership" or "Area-Reference-Committee-meetings-every-two-weeks leadership." If you look at the Guidelines, Area Reference Committees were never intended to meet at all.

They were people who agreed to be consulted individually. Yet in Area after Area they meet and they meet and they wear each other out.

At Juneau four leaders went over and over and over the commitment and then began to set up what actually needed to be done. There was a lot of discharge. When they decided who was going to do what needed to be done, almost all of the "work" of the Community had disappeared. What they each individually need to do took hardly any time or effort at all. It was consulting with each other, making sure the other person agreed and would support them and checking that each had done his or her part that had exhausted them. Almost all the work had disappeared once they had fully agreed to be individually responsible.

Making this commitment exposes some of the illusions about working together which turn out to be irresponsibility and dependency patterns in disguise. The reality is that we have always been totally responsible for our us-centered universes and the commitment just reminds us of this reality.

A number of leaders have moved in this direction and where leaders have taken this kind of responsibility is where the Communities are moving. Some of them did it a while ago and there we have very strong Regions. Compared to the rest of the Community they are very strong and functioning well.

CLOSENESS

Leaders have also felt a need which I have intuited and tried to fill with some success. This is a need for "not being alone." I think this need of "not being alone," misinterpreted, was what was motivating the "group leadership" mistakes to a great extent, but it isn't the same thing. What I've tried to do with these leaders is to set up close relationships. "You can count on me anytime. Call me. If you are broke, call me collect. I'll take a certain number of those calls before I tell people in the office I don't know you." It seems to make a great deal of difference. People have said that to have this contact makes the individual responsibility easily bearable.

In the last few months I've been working in groups of leaders to first do the commitment to individual responsibility and then work on, "What would get in the way of you being completely close to me and completely open with me?" It turns out that people don't have any trouble thinking of what that is and if they talk about it they start discharging.

I originally tried to get two other people to try to be close to each other, but that was very complicated. If I say "close to me," at least I know what's going on in half of the relationship. It simplifies it. Amazingly enough, if they discharge on what gets in their way of being close to me, they first move very close to me and then they move very close to each other. It has that effect.

Two hopeful indications are:

(1) That there's probably only one big set of patterns interfering with closeness between people. If you knock these patterns out for one person, they are gone or seriously weakened for others, and

(2) An encouraging validation of our expectation that being completely close is the inherent relationship between people. It isn't something we need to contrive and finally learn to do after taking several classes in theology. If we get the patterns out of the way, we go back to just the way we really are.

The indications are strong that this is so. It's very encouraging.

When we think of our working with each other in RC and in the wide world, it is important to face that the wide world is exactly the same as RC. The RC Community is only a subset of the real world and is in fact only a temporary subset. The fences that we erected between RC and the wide world lose their utility when we get to the point of confident leadership. We begin to treat wide worlders the same way we should have been treating RCers all the time and find out it works amazingly well. People don't need years of indoctrination in our early mistakes in order to use our valid discoveries.

"STANDING GUARD" AND FATIGUE

A third prong of the work with leaders is dealing with fatigue. This is simple, but it's been overlooked. We have had leaders "burn out" and we've told them to take a year off and we've told them to try to be more efficient and we've told them to "counsel on it." (This terrible pattern has permeated RC to too great an extent. When people raise a problem, they are told to "go counsel on it." Can you think of anything more irrational, more in violent conflict with the inherent content of RC than telling somebody to "go counsel on it"? Yet, this terrible practice persists.)

It turns out that fatigue does record (surprise, surprise!) as distress. I wonder why we ever thought it wouldn't. It can be discharged. A certain level of anxiety interferes with rest. I have complained loudly to everybody who would listen to me for years that I can't sleep well, that I wake up at 4 AM. I hear about that 4 AM syndrome from some of you others here.

The solution appears to be very simple. You go to the person who is overfatigued, "burnt out," or whatever, and say, "Hey, I'll stand guard (for an hour or for five minutes) to see that nothing goes wrong. You don't have to worry about anything. All you have to do is rest." You put your arms around him and hold him if it's in front of a workshop.

Sometimes there's an immediate explosion of discharge. Sometimes they simply tell you how tired they are. (If anybody listens to me talk about how tired I am, I yawn and yawn and yawn and they yawn and yawn and yawn.) Sometimes they just stand there and go to sleep on your shoulder. If you've only got three minutes you say, "For three minutes you're safe. I'll take care of things." The discharge of what needs to discharge occurs. (It's so simple maybe you all knew it and you've all been doing it and I just finally found out, but I'm very excited. Think what this could mean to me!)

This is all work on the frontiers of leadership. It comes into all our activity, I think.

RE-CAPITULATION

Let me review again, briefly. We are people with a built-in motivation for survival like all other forms of life. Because we are intelligent we think of survival across the whole spectrum of time and space and complexities. We have functioned as long as we have been around inside a great mass of illusions in the society around us, in the culture around us, in the people around us. Even if we popped out still undistressed, having had no trouble prenatally and our birth was easy, the people around us were covered with patterned illusions which began to contaminate us. We have been trying to function and struggle for clarity in the middle of a great accumulation of illusions and confusion with a pseudo-survival flavor to them. Whether it was a "you do what the sergeant tells you or he'll shoot you" kind of illusion or whether it was a "one cocktail never hurt anybody and it helps you relax" kind of illusion, this pseudo-survival mass of illusions was acquired. They were acquired from patterns received through accident, contagion, or oppression from three kinds of sources: (1) ignorance and misinformation, (2) the operations of oppression, and (3) the illusion of pseudoadvantage. "Come into Marlboro Country and girls will look at you with respect."

Our basic goal that all people should be able to agree on is to become free of this entire web of pseudo-survival illusions. We do this primarily by discharge and reevaluation, by helping others to discharge and re-evaluate, by spreading accurate information, by organizing, by acting powerfully, and by succeeding. Our goal is to advance to functioning in world-wide numbers on advanced information, on complete freedom from patterns, in a rational social organization, on the basis of high, luxurious, undrudging technology.

Harvey Jackins



Last modified: 2016-12-20 06:43:20-08