I have never known anyone who made more mistakes than Harvey Jackins. I began to notice this after he pointed it out at several workshops. He said that most people never noticed all the mistakes he made because of his quickness, that he might try a hundred things and only ten of them would work, but that people thought he was a genius because he did ten things that worked.

I have never known anyone who did as many things right as Harvey. He would invent the most amazing counseling directions, use his body, imitate, exaggerate, make exactly the right expression, lower his eyelashes to give attention to someone while in the midst of counseling someone else, chirp, sing, organize people, create new reference positions on the spot, learn new languages, get people to write to him, and invite the kitchen help in at workshops.

I have never met anyone who was both so explicit and so relaxed about his remaining patterns. I have never met anyone who functioned so brilliantly in spite of his patterns. It was inspiring to see him change through the years as he discharged -- becoming more relaxed, taking better care of himself, and, incredibly, becoming a better and better counselor.

I have never known anyone who took such delight in people -- all kinds of people. Once he was counseling a man and couldn't get a straight answer out of him. Finally he said, "You have a pattern of indecision, don't you?" The man replied, "Maybe. I guess so." Harvey chortled. He was clearly pleased with the person under the distress.

I have never met anyone more impatient than Harvey. He was always exhorting all of us to rid ourselves of our distresses as fast as we could. I have never met anyone more patient than Harvey. He reminded us that we were neck-deep in garbage, tied with barbed wire, and that it was a little bit difficult.

I have never known anyone who allowed people to love him so much and who used himself so fully as a tool.

I have never met anyone as literate as Harvey. He knew so many poems, so many authors, so many stories, so many jokes. At the same time he was a mathematician and formulated RC with a mathematician's rigor and assumptions.

I have never known anyone more committed than Harvey. He would not back down when he thought he was in the right. I have never known anyone more flexible than Harvey, more attuned to the present moment. I have never known anyone braver than Harvey. He clearly had discharged all his fear in a number of areas, and he functioned quite differently than most people. I believe the combination of his commitment, flexibility, and bravery forged his remarkable creativity.

Harvey was many things to many people. Once he told a workshop that he was not our father but our little brother. I always tried, after that, to think of him that way. This was not the easiest thing in the world, for obvious reasons. I also thought of him (in a parody of the theme song from the 1950s U.S. TV show, Davy Crockett) as "Harvey, Harvey Jackins, King of the Wild Frontier." Since he died, I think of him as a giant, a Sequoia, someone who was always there, a uniqueness in the history of the universe.

Isabel Auerbach
San Francisco, California, USA


Last modified: 2016-08-22 02:11:22-07