An Introduction to a Pre-World Conference

Tim Jackins, at the West and Central USA Pre-World Conference, January 2013

Welcome to the first of the 2013 Pre-World Conferences. Thank you for doing whatever was required to get here.We’re all involved in this important project. This project has been running since the early 1950s—beginning in a small form at first; slowly spreading out around Seattle; then spreading outside of Seattle, starting in the late 1960s.

As the number of people outside of Seattle grew, we began to think about how everyone could stay in contact with each other and keep their minds steadily involved. We have been gathering in different forms over the years. For a long time, we have been meeting every four years. Currently this means a series of Pre-World Conferences scattered around the globe, followed by a World Conference.

GETTING IN TOUCH WITH EACH OTHER

We are gathering here, first of all, to get back in touch with each other. This alone plays an important role. We get to make contact with all these people who are as dedicated as we are to using RC ideas to move the world forward, to ending the domination of distress patterns on the behavior of humans.

We have made remarkable progress. You have made remarkable progress. Your mind alone is a wonderful example of what the discharge process can do. If somebody could watch and track each one of us, year to year, and then describe how our lives and thinking have developed, it would be impressive. Part of what people like about these conferences is getting to see people they haven’t seen for four years: “Hey, I like them more this time! They’re a little more approachable. They look friendly almost all the time.” We have done consistent work, in particular on the distresses that have kept us separate, looking unapproachable, and feeling unable to approach others. Our relationships have steadily developed. This shows clearly in each of our histories. It also shows collectively here.

PROGRESS ON MANY FRONTS

We have made progress on many fronts. It took a lot of years in the beginning to develop the basic ideas of RC. Then, as we got more clarity individually, we began figuring out oppressions and starting to work on those. We have continued that work. We are looking further and further into the distresses that have hampered us, and further into society and understanding how distresses got frozen out there.

Steadily, more and more of us have taken RC ideas out into the world. We tend to begin in small ways, without letting anybody know what we’re doing. Trying to ease the tension in meetings—make meetings bearable—is often the first thing we do.

We have found thousands of ways to use RC ideas, and this has made a big difference to the people around us. However, I think the biggest difference it’s made has been in our own minds. We know now what we are capable of doing. It’s clear that RC isn’t just a small group of people trying to feel better. It’s something that can be applied more and more widely in the world. We get to think about ways to improve how we do that, so it will have even larger effects.

GROWTH OF THE RC COMMUNITIES

We also get to think about the development of the RC Communities. That’s still not easy to think about. We want to be such good people, doing such good things, that everybody joins us. Has that worked? Well, to a certain extent it has kept us going, growing, and getting more solid. However, we’ve had difficulty thinking about growth, and actually planning what we want to have happen. We just hope that by each of us individually doing good things, it will somehow all fit together in an interesting way.

SOMETHING IS STILL THE SAME

We can look at where our theory and practice are at this point. They keep developing well. However, even though we’ve done all this work, made all this progress, we still find something we haven’t been able to work on. We look better every year, we continue to move forward in our lives, but something is still the same. (Laughter) Some of the same chronic recordings1 still play in our heads. We’re still pulling against the same resistance. We haven’t been able to fully use our understanding and our ability to counsel. This has held us back. That’s why I want us to look again, more deeply, at the early childhood hurts we all experienced.

When I look at myself and many other people, it appears that we have things we’ve been unwilling to do. Some distresses have just seemed too painful. Because they’ve felt so unbearable, we’ve not been able to commit ourselves to going after2 them systematically. In fact, we’ve almost never gone after them, unless some accident has happened that’s blown them open. We haven’t chosen the accidents—we’ve hated them—but we’ve used the opportunities. We’ve made great progress and been happy, but we haven’t wanted them to happen again!

It seems we all have a collection of “unbearable” things. They are rooted back early in our lives when we were very alone—with no resource, perspective, or reference—and decided to go on alone. We can look back to that time and use our collective resource to discharge there. We’re just beginning to learn to do this well.

We’re going to spend the first part of this conference on us. We’ll use the rich resource of this group to go after things for our individual benefit. This will also clear our minds to use the rest of the weekend to think about the Community. The Guidelines3 are not a major issue this time around. We’ve put in twelve years of hard work on them. They are really pretty4 good. There are only a few developments to look at.

OUR GOALS

We will also think about our goals. We’ll be looking at the goals we’ve had, and how we’ve done in implementing them, and perhaps think of new goals. The most obvious topic for a new goal is the care of the environment. It’s a topic that is large and universal, and clearly our distresses have stopped us from being thoughtful about it. There’s also a challenging jumble of information connected with it. I’ve been thinking about it, and talking with people, and trying to find a large enough context for the challenge. A goal about the environment could be useful for ourselves as well as for reaching others. Many people are clearly concerned and interested. We could have a good and significant effect.

(Present Time 171, April 2013)


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Last modified: 2017-05-10 04:36:22-07