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The Effective Use of Literature

We have used the term “re-emergence” to summarize the reclaiming of our inherent natures and abilities into operational use again. The oppressive society and the accumulation of distress patterns have placed confusion, occlusion, mis-function, and indoctrination into false concepts and assumptions upon us. We have assumed that individual re-emergence is possible because to assume otherwise seems to confine us to assumptions of powerlessness or hopelessness or helpless dependence on someone else’s initiative. Yet we have been fairly clear that, practically, re-emergence depends on cooperation between individuals, and therefore necessarily on communication between them. Decision plays a powerful role in making Co-Counseling effective, but communication and clarity of concepts are even more fundamentally important.

Our treasure, our working capital, and, in some respects, our greatest achievement has been the accumulating insights into the actual nature of reality which we have extracted from the confusion in which we started and from which we are re-emerging. To communicate these insights to each other in effective ways has been, of necessity, a principal preoccupation. In pursuit of this we have convened and reported on innumerable topic groups. We have exchanged directions, sung songs, taught classes, given lectures, and tried to communicate in every other possible way we could imagine.

A constant difficulty with all of these kinds of communication has been contamination of the authentic insight by patterns. This contamination stems from two principal sources.

First, the patterns of the communicator which lard his or her speech with meaningless phrases, misleading tones of voice, and facial expressions that have no connection with the present scene. Second, the patterns of the person communicated to, who hears things that are not being communicated at present but echo from past distresses restimulated by some similarity in the present. Often, too, either the communicator or the communicated-to quickly forget what was said or what was heard and substitute for it, in their perception, a patterned message from a persisting chronic pattern.

We have sought to find ways to combat these difficulties and we have had outstanding success in one area. This is our written and recorded literature.

The written word contradicts all three of the pseudo-abilities of the distress recording. The distress recording can persist, can confuse one, and can make one forget, but the written word can out-persist the pattern; it can clarify, re-clarify, and re-clarify by its continuing existence; and it can remember and remember and remember (and remind one) no matter how many times forgetting has intervened. Most of these characteristics and this effectiveness are shared by the audio- or video-recording.

Our literature is a remarkable compilation of creative and inspired thinking by a very large number of people of the most diverse backgrounds and interests. Many of the most crucial and central generalizations have appeared under my authorship, but even these, in almost every case, are summaries of the thinking of a large number of people. The way in which the many relationships between Co-Counselors which we summarize in the word “Community” have arisen has provided an unparalleled opportunity to promote, gather, and be inspired by the thinking of this vast variety of people.

A voluminous correspondence from all over the world has developed (which requires several hours of each day to reply to). A vast array of workshops are held in every part of the globe and centered on every conceivable topic. Thousands and thousands of topic groups report on issues about which the contributors are deeply motivated and concerned.

The development of our many journals represents a completely new kind of people’s journalism. In these, people write about the subjects that concern them most, about the details of their own lives and struggles, on the topics about which they are actually experts out of their own experiences. They are inspired by and respond to each other’s writings. Good editing strains out patterns and sloppiness from these writings and meets the goal of helping the contributor “say what he or she was trying to say.”

Thirteen books, fifty-six pamphlets, two hundred separate issues of twenty-nine journals, sixty-two videocassettes, and twelve audio-cassettes have been published and mostly remain in print. Very little of this treasure-trove ever goes out of date.

The use which Re-evaluation Counselors have made of this treasure and the extent to which it has been implemented as an avenue for wide and rapid communication to the world is another matter. Here, obviously patterns have interfered with and limited the effectiveness of our publications drastically.

There are hopeful signs. There is now a growing group of aficionados who eagerly await each new publication, who call their friends in excitement to urge them to read particular articles, and who order twenty copies of each new journal to distribute to their growing circle of friends who look to them as wonderful sources of these exciting ideas. However, the full use of our literature has only begun.

Certain patterns can be perceived in this slowness (which I think it is time we challenge decisively). One seems to be a kind of general embarrassment, which the oppressive society has put on us, over being meaningful. (We were probably belittled when we spoke as small children with wonder and feeling about important things because this contradicted the sleazy apathy, into which many of the adults around us had resigned themselves, and made them feel uncomfortable.) We were rebuked and belittled and called childish or naive for caring about things, for openly enjoying beauty, for marveling at the wonder of the world around us.

We communicate the precious insights of RC in many ways. Our modeling of them by the way we live and relate to others is basic. Our attentive listening, our careful oral communication, our asking of insightful questions, all serve as channels of communication to the people around us.

Now that we have our printed literature, our videocassettes, and our audio-cassettes available, it makes very good sense to use them to the fullest. To sell (or, if necessary, give) a subscription to Present Time to a friend requires a small amount of energy and then the journal will continue to communicate for hundreds of hours. To establish a lending library of all the literature in beginning Communities lays a far better foundation for the Community than the traditional hit-or-miss contact with the theory only through classes and workshops. To offer audio-cassettes to people, as companions for time spent driving in one’s car or for relaxing company before sleep, can have a long-lasting effect.

To purchase videocassettes for an Area library and allow classes to view them for a very small fee (but sufficient to pay the cost) can bring much of the benefits of top-notch workshops to the nine-tenths of our Communities who don’t get to workshops.

The thoughtful, systematic use of our literature can bring very satisfying results and enhance all of our other efforts.

Harvey Jackins 




Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00