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September 17-23
Volunteer &
Online Access to Workshops

NYC Climate Week
Hybrid Workshops
September 23


Women Reclaiming Our Physical Power
Teresa Enrico
September 30 or
October 1

Close, Caring Contact

We in the RC Communities have worked for close, caring contact with each other—for not accepting the separations pushed on us by society.

We are all longing to be close to everybody. We are social creatures. Being close also makes sense in terms of our intelligence. Other humans are the most interesting things for us to pay attention to. Nothing else shows the complexity and wonderfulness of reality as well as another human being. Of course we are interesting. Of course we want to be around each other. We also evolved out of a line of social creatures, so it’s not surprising that would still be a part of us.

Rigid oppressive societies stay in place by keeping people from being close to each other. We couldn’t tolerate what society does to other people if we were close to them. Only by dividing us up, by installing distresses and pushing us far away from each other, can society make us detached and numb enough to collude with oppression. Thus, one of the battles to regain our full humanness, and to establish the connections that will allow us to change everything, is for us to fight against being separate.

Our minds don’t get in very close communication. We are also physically separate. This shows itself if we simply try to stand next to each other. Watch any group of people, and you see this vast collection of ways to be near someone and avoid noticing that he or she is there. We have the patterned habits of expecting not to be close and figuring out how to live our lives on that basis. Everyone is longing for some sort of contact, some sort of information from this other intelligence that closeness could give, but we don’t know how to move toward it.

Because of all the distresses and desperation that get locked into closeness, we’re clumsy about it and desperate and driven. We are driven one way or the other—either toward or away—and our actions are often not aware or thoughtful. Those of us who compulsively head toward others and grab on to them, when we get close hope to find some sort of interruption of the desperation. However, because we still have all of our control patterns about discharge, we can’t use the closeness to discharge our difficulty in being close. So we compulsively try to do this with person after person after person, with little lasting effect.

Because we have frozen fascinations about being close, there’s lots of information we never get to think about. The problem isn’t a lack of information. It’s like with sex. What is there you don’t know about sex? Then why are you still so fascinated? It’s because with the distresses in there, you can’t understand sex, be at ease with it, and make intelligent decisions about it.

This Community has done well in not letting people wander too far away from each other. Every so often, someone knows to pounce on someone else and stay close to him or her while he or she squirms and pretends to try to get away. Sometimes this happens under the pretext of “physical counseling” or roughhousing.* What most of us want is for someone to lie close to us, or for us to lie close to someone else, for hours. The roughhousing is fine. We try to absorb the closeness out of it because we can’t say that what we’d really like is “for you to be close with me long enough that I have a chance to notice and feel it.” We want to actually feel somebody there and not be scared or worried about that person—not think, “Is this something I have to guard against or their irrationality will come out?” but just be close.

We need to get close to someone and stay there, feeling him or her, no matter what we have to discharge to do that. None of us got supported in being openly close and affectionate with someone else. We all had to figure it out as best we could, usually under hostile circumstances.

Tim Jackins

* Roughhousing is rough, boisterous play.

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00