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Challenges to the 1997 World Conference


It is possible for an entity to be passive, to be largely inactive. It is possible for an entity to actively react. It is possible for an entity to respond in a programmed way to a situation. It is possible for an entity to think flexibly, intelligently.

It is possible for an intelligent entity to think about thinking. Up until now, for most of us, most of the time, our intelligent thinking has involved thinking about our surroundings. It is possible, however, for us to make a regular practice of thinking about thinking.

The following are some observations about thinking that may be useful in reminding us to stay intelligent and avoid some of the patterned substitutes for thinking that are common in our cultures.

Any proposal, from any source, can be questioned.

Any part of reality can be mentally put aside and ignored, temporarily, as a way of simplifying a discussion, but no part of reality can intelligently be finally or completely ignored.

Decisions or conclusions should be sought for that are pro-survival, that are pro-survival immediately, intermediately, and long-range, and that are pro-survival for everybody and everything.

Any space is a valuable resource, is expendable and usable, and should be taken into account as a resource.

Any entities are possibly valuable resources.

The relationships that exist between entities are valuable resources in themselves.

Any manifestation of life, from the simplest virus to the most complex relationships between and among large societies of humans, is an influential factor and possibly valuable resource and should be taken into account in our thinking.

The more complex forms of life tend to have a greater potential value (providing they are not afflicted by parasites or by attached distress patterns which influence them to be hostile to other beneficent forms of life or to the evolution of complexity or to the operations of intelligence).

Forms of life that can think intelligently are qualitatively more valuable than non-thinking forms of life.

A human organism is infinitely valuable.

A human organization or society is comparatively valuable to the extent that it is intelligently supportive of the survival and upward-trend activity of all individual humans.

Any oppressive activities of a society are destructive contradictions to the desirable trend of the society towards functioning more and more intelligently.

The historical evolution of class societies requires that the next major shift in societies must eliminate class divisions and provide for cooperative, non-exploitive relationships between people.

The foregoing requires that individuals in the present societies become committed in large numbers, in the near future, to operating in non-exploitive cooperation.

This, in turn, requires that these large numbers of humans discharge and become free of their acquired patterns of oppression, become free of being oppressive or being oppressed through classism, sexism, racism, the oppression of young people, the neglect and abuse of older people, the neglect and abuse of disabled people, and any other manifestations of oppression.


On November 28, 1997, representatives of several thousand people who have reached a rough working agreement with each other to try to eliminate distress patterns from themselves and their relationships and to assume responsibility for the future have gathered at Monte Toyon, California, USA, for discussion, for reaching agreements, and for drawing up programs for future activity.

The organization to which these people belong has begun to function on seven continents and in ninety-one countries. These people have adopted the form of organization described as the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities.

These Communities now include 2,345 certified Re-evaluation Counseling Teachers, 290 Area Reference Persons, eighty-one Regional Reference Persons, thirty-nine International Liberation Reference Persons, twenty-five journal editors, and 4,867 regular subscribers to Present Time. They have nineteen books in print in English, forty-two pamphlets, twenty-eight journals which have published one or more issues (one journal, Present Time, has published 109 issues), and 120 publications in other languages. The organization has a well-functioning Internet Web Site (<>) and nineteen e-mail Discussion Lists.

These Communities have reached this status at approximately forty-seven-and-one-half years after their beginning.


We who are meeting at this Conference have become increasingly aware that making the distinction between intelligent behavior and behavior arising out of distress patterns is the crucial requirement for the success of the upward-trend processes in the universe. As representatives of the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities, we are meeting here to attempt to apply intelligent planning to the next years of our activity as an organization and as a leading responsible component of the human species.

Ten preliminary conferences have already been held in 1997, drawing together representatives of Re-evaluation Counselors from Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania; then from Southern Asia; then from Eastern Asia; then from Western North America; then from Eastern North America; then from Northwest Europe; then from Southeastern Europe; then from Central North America; then from Latin America; and finally, from Africa.

Preliminary discussions appropriate to the participants and their experiences have been held at all these preliminary conferences. Summaries of these discussions are being presented at this World Conference.

Closer permanent acquaintance with each other, on behalf of all the peoples of our planet, will be eagerly sought and be an inevitable result of this World Conference.

Clear policy on the broadest issues is an aware goal of this World Conference.

A "universe-wide" attitude toward reality and toward our future is a lofty part of the goals we seek to establish at this conference.

We are here to review our existing Guidelines, bring them up to date, include in our policies and programs the changes that had been adopted temporarily over the last four years (through the Guidelines procedures which had been established for making temporary changes), note the achievements attained on our previous sets of goals, reaffirm the changes not yet completed, and extend our goals thoughtfully into the future.


At all of our preliminary conferences, we worked on a set of draft goals for the next period. We need to decide upon concrete steps to implement these goals.

What steps should be taken to eliminate the oppression of racism? Sexism? The oppression of young people? Of elders? Of disabled people? Of people targeted for destruction because of the patterns that have been placed upon them?

How do we propose to re-organize the world to eliminate dangers to human life from epidemics? Parasites? Ill health? Overpopulation? Loss of any cultures? Contamination of the land? Contamination of the ocean and other bodies of water? Deforestation? The production of armaments? The elimination of any forms of life? The mistreatment of children? Drudgery? Dangerous work conditions? The installation of distress patterns on humans? Which steps should the United Nations take, and how should individual national governments be organized and required to support these steps?

How can we draw up a complete, detailed set of proposals for the future of humanity?

How can we eliminate every non-survival activity from human operations everywhere?

How can we challenge each person to hold the whole world in trust for every other person in the world?

How can we challenge all Earth inhabitants to publicly declare our individual citizenship in Earth's society and our individual responsibility for this society's maintenance and thriving?

How can we challenge each nation to strive to excel in its responsibility, generosity, and creative activity as we develop our Earth citizenships and eliminate all negative influences, including distress patterns and false information?

Harvey Jackins
(Present Time No. 110, January 1998)

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