Attention Away from Distress

A transcript of a demonstration, at the 1986 Peace and Disarmament Activists’ Workshop, in which Harvey Jackins helps someone discharge with attention away from distress

Harvey: Do you want to try attention away from distress?

N—: Sure.

Harvey: Okay. What kind of universe do you live in? Is it big enough?

N—: Yes. (laughs)

Harvey: Would you say, “I live in a big enough universe.”

N—: I live in a big enough universe.

Harvey: “With a nice dependable sun that gives off energy at the same level for billions of years.”

N—: (repeats)

Harvey: “Consistently, day after day.”

N—: (repeats)

Harvey: So nice! (N— laughs) Big enough universe, pretty galaxy, dependable sun. Ahhh. And you are located on earth. Is that the planet?

N—: That’s the planet.

Harvey: Yes, that’s the planet. Of the nine planets, I understand only one of them has water and air on it. Do you happen to be on that one?

N—: Yeah . . . (laughs)

Harvey: Gee.[1] Summarize your luck to them out there.

N—: The universe is big enough. (laughs) We go around the sun, and it shines every day for billions of years. (laughter) And I got to live on the planet with water and trees.

Harvey: Did you get to be alive, or did you turn out to be[2] a rock?

N—: Most definitely alive. (laughter)

Harvey: Kind of nice, isn’t it? There are a lot more rocks than there are live things. You get to be alive?

N—: Definitely.

Harvey: When you think about it, it’s quite a break.[3]

(Several repetitions, with laughter)

Harvey: Most life functions on a complex but fairly low level. You didn’t happen to get to be one of the intelligent life forms, did you?

N—: Yeah, I got that, too.

Harvey: (whistles) In a big enough universe, a beautiful galaxy; a dependable sun, water, and air planet; got to be alive. Did you get to be intelligent and sometimes aware?

N—: Yeah.

(Some repetitions, with laughter)

Harvey: Oh boy![4] (whistles) You’re in a great situation, man. (laughter from N—) How does it feel to win nine sweepstakes like that, one after the other?

N—: It’s great. (laughter)

Harvey: Would you tell them that your situation is great?

N—: My situation is really great. (laughter)

Harvey: Say it in a positive tone of voice.

N—: My situation is absolutely great! (laughter, shaking)

Harvey: I understand that most of the intelligent beings on this planet of yours spent their lives not knowing their real nature because their lives were disturbed by distress. You didn’t happen to live at a time when humankind was beginning to discover its real nature, did you?

N—: Yes, I did. (laughter, shaking)

(Several repetitions, working with tone of voice)

Harvey: I understand that only a handful, relatively, of the world’s people are actually in contact with this discovery. You didn’t happen to . . .

N—: You guessed it. Yeah. (general laughter)

Harvey: You’re participating in its rediscovery?

N—: Yeah. (laughs)

Harvey: Behold! A fortunate man! (lots of laughter from N—) How could any little difficulties ever attract your attention when you’ve got a situation going like that? (laughter and shaking from N—) Lucky! Oh my God!

N—: Lucky, I’m really lucky. (gales of laughter; shaking)

Harvey: I think I’ll just stand here and admire you. (N— shaking)

(Repetition of N—’s good luck)

Harvey: This really happened to you? All these dreams come true? You got to exist in a really big universe, a lovely galaxy, adjacent to a dependable sun, on a lovely air-and-water planet? Got a chance to be alive instead of just a rock? Got that very unusual chance to be intelligent and sometimes aware? And live at a time when everything is finally coming out in the open and the sun is coming up over the horizon? Oh God. (N— shaking) I sure admire you. What a break. What a fortunate person. (more shaking) What a fortunate person. Can we put a check on this part of it?

N—: Yes.

Harvey: (to the group) Would you be happy if your client discharged like that in a session? (general laughter) And did either one of us, that you could tell,[5] pay any attention to distress? (general laughter again)

[1] “Gee” is an exclamation of surprise or enthusiasm.
[2] “Turn out to be” means end up being.
[3] “Break” means lucky happening.
[4] “Oh boy” is an exclamation.
[5] “Tell” means notice.

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