I Want Us to Be Us

From a talk by Tim Jackins at the Australia and New Zealand Pre-World Conference, April 2013

It’s always possible to try a different solution, even if we don’t know what one is. A number of people, in facing early places where they gave up, have said to me, “Yes, but how do you do that?” They’re being asked to do something they don’t know how to do. They never had the resource to develop the understanding of how to do it. It was interrupted by distress. And they couldn’t discharge, so they couldn’t think and figure it out. They didn’t have the chance.

We forget that nothing is better at figuring out new solutions than the human mind. How to face and end our early distresses is something we have to figure out. I have figured out enough to talk some about it, and I can work with someone to show you what I know so far. But the important thing is that you have a mind that figures things out if you put it there, including things you don’t know or feel hopeless about. The problem with our distresses, especially the chronic ones, is that we won’t put our minds there because to do that feels like defeat again. We can’t tell1 the difference between the recording of defeat and the present difficulty.

This isn’t going to be simple. It isn’t going to be quick. I do think it is necessary and possible. I don’t know of real problems that human minds don’t solve if they keep going after2 them. The key difficulty at this point is to not be run off by the recorded feeling, to remember that things are different now from when we got hurt. We went through day after day after day of hurt existence, so the feeling has that tone to it. Persistence is needed to keep our mind there—talking about it, and not hoping for a quick solution—but I have no doubt that it can move.

We also have to do things we don’t feel like doing. I don’t think there’s a comfortable way of facing the early chronic distresses. We are going to be very uncomfortable. Part of the discomfort involves trying hard, out in the open, in spite of all the things that came at us when we tried as children—all the belittlement and the negative phrases. We now have to do something that we weren’t allowed to do then.

I’ve decided that, for me, the result doesn’t matter. What matters is what I choose to try to do. I will try to do it the best way I can. I will try to be successful, but I don’t really care if I am. I care that I get a chance to find out what it might be like to be human again—like it was at the start. I’ve built a successful life, but on a stiff, limited version of relaxed reality, on a small piece of ground. I know how to do that, but it is not all I want. It is wonderful we can do as well as we do. It is necessary, but it is “not quite us” yet.

More than anything else, along the way to ending oppression and making things as good as we can, I want us to be us—finally. I want us to see what it’s like to be human without continually being misled by distresses from the past. That’s the way I want my world to be. I myself am willing to take any chance on that. I made a decision to do that; some of it is a little reactive, but it’s useful. We can all risk facing the discomfort of the distresses we’ve had to put away. We can decide that it’s worth it and that we have a chance to overcome all of it.

I will come back and talk about this in different ways, because when you go away by yourself you forget it. When I go away by myself, I forget. The best chance we have is here together, recognizing that this is not simply an individual struggle. It is all of us fighting in the same direction. It is a collective struggle, even though it happens in individual minds. We need each other’s minds to be able to fight this battle.

1 “Tell” means perceive.
2 “Going after” means pursuing.


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