Why We Have an RC Community

From a talk by Tim Jackins at the Eastern and Central European Pre-World Conference, June 2005

Co-Counseling left Seattle (Washington, USA) in about 1968. From 1950 to 1968 it was happening only in Seattle—there was no thought of an RC Community. Everything centered around Personal Counselors, our little research group. Only when RC spread out farther did we have to start thinking about how we wanted to organize ourselves.

The first workshop took place in 1970. It was organized to help people learn enough that they could go far away and teach RC. (That first workshop was two weeks long. It’s hard to imagine.) Once people started teaching Co-Counseling far away from Seattle, we had to think about how we were going to make that most effective. All of our structures and guidelines started to develop at that point. We organized the Communities initially to help people teach Co-Counseling to more people.

Then we figured out that more referencing was needed than could be done from Seattle—so we created Area Reference Persons. And many years later we created Regional Reference Persons. Before that we had created the credentialing of teachers. All of these things were aimed at giving people who were far away a good, accurate picture of RC. That’s still an important function of the RC Community—the teaching of new people.

There’s a second function that’s also important and that only became clear later: we need the Community for people who are already Co-Counseling. It’s not enough to simply know Co-Counseling and have a Co-Counselor. Though it’s wonderful to be able to Co-Counsel with one person, it’s much better to have two or three Co-Counselors. It’s even better if we have a class to go to every week. It’s better yet if we have an Area1 of forty or fifty Co-Counselors around us. People generally seem to progress in relation to how many RCers they have around them. Leadership has also developed best in the places with the most Co-Counselors. The more densely you pack in Co-Counselors, the faster they develop. (It’s a little like a nuclear reaction—it helps if you have enough of them, packed closely enough together.) This has become clear over the last decade.

I’ve tried to think about why this would be true. I think it’s because we need each other in order to keep re-establishing our perspectives. When we have sessions, we fight against our material2 and discharge. Then we go out alone, with all the reactive forces of society restimulating us every day. We work against these, but they wear on us3 and we lose our perspective. We start off in a certain direction—and then there’s this restimulation, and that one, and that one, and we lose track of exactly where we were going. We don’t have enough reference points. Having a solid Community around us provides reference points and contradictions. It’s like this gathering of all of us here. If we can get together for a couple of days, we all see the world much more clearly. Part of that is the discharging we do, but part of it is being together, where we are less afraid of really looking at each other. We remember what it’s like to be human and to be close to each other.

1 An Area is a local RC Community.
2 Material means distress.
3 Wear on us means tire and discourage us.

Last modified: 2015-02-04 01:18:34+00