The World Conference Year

Tim Jackins, at the Southern USA Teachers’ and Leaders’ Workshop, November 2013

This year is a significant one in our four-year cycle. We have had all ten of the Pre-World Conferences as well as the World Conference. These conferences are where I get the best sense of who we are, all around the world, and how we are doing.

For the first time we have a (minimum) count of active RCers. Diane Shisk1 asked all the Area2 Reference Persons to tell us how many classes happened in their Area in 2012, and how many students were in each class. This was just classes in organized Areas (about a third of RC teachers are outside of organized Areas), but there were fifty thousand people actively Co-Counseling! We have never before had enough information to even guess at this.

If fifty thousand people are in classes, it means that probably five hundred thousand people have gone through classes and are circling around. An interesting thing about them is that they are almost all full of goodwill for you whom they left, and favorably inclined toward this set of ideas. (laughter) They really are. They think fondly of you. They don’t have any argument with you. They just couldn’t figure out a way to make RC work for them. Our Communities have not yet figured out how to get the exact right resource to every single person. We just don’t have that much resource.

We are gaining experience. We are getting better at it. We are always trying things. Some of them we can’t make work, but that’s all right; it is not a mistake. It’s part of how we gauge whether we are reaching far enough and not being too timid.

There are lots of people around the world very much like you. This is what I get to see at the conferences: collections of people who understand and have chosen to use this tool for the rest of their lives. They understand how big a change it consistently makes in their lives and they are not going to give it up. It’s theirs. They have this in common with you, and you can count on them. There are sizable groups of such people in many different places. They are not free of distress—they continue with their struggles, discouragements, and feelings of unhappiness—but they are clear enough. They have done enough work. Though they may sometimes act out their distress at each other, they are not deeply confused by it. They just can’t stop acting it out yet. You know how that is. (laughter)


The Communities are in the best shape3 I’ve ever seen them in. There is a clear, deep understanding of RC, and we keep figuring out more things. We continue along the same paths we started out on, and they get broader and more inclusive. We are reaching places in the work on our distresses that we haven’t been able to go to consistently before.

Some people have to handle a particular question after they have been in Co-Counseling for a while. People outside RC ask them, “Well, when are you going to be done?” (laughter) “When are you going to be all better?” My answer is that every time I have a session my life gets better. Why would I ever stop? There may be a point when we aren’t as driven toward sessions as we have sometimes been, when we can go off and not have restimulation grab us as quickly. But RC stays a useful tool, and we keep understanding it better and better.

A recent example of how far we have come was a workshop on eliminating racism that Barbara Love4 and I led two weeks ago in Washington, D.C. (USA). There were 240 experienced Co-Counselors there who wanted to further their work on racism. The RC Community has done a lot of work on racism and has made great progress. (We also know we have more to do, and we’re always hunting for ways to work together more effectively.) It was interesting what didn’t happen at this workshop. People didn’t get easily upset and restimulated with each other. They knew that they were allies, no matter what distresses society had laid on them. They understood that. They could listen to things they’d never been able to listen to before. They didn’t have to quickly retreat into having a session. They could keep thinking about something and then, when they had the opportunity, go have sessions on it. It’s clear that we are gaining mastery in places where we have been chased by our distresses. This is also happening in other areas—for example, in women’s work and men’s work.

You are in RC at a good time. If you are fairly new to RC, boy,5 are you lucky! (laughter) Ask an old-timer what it was like when she or he started Co-Counseling. (laughter) There was more confusion and restimulation. It had to be that way, but we have continued to move on. Now the process is actually accelerating. This is useful, since society seems to be collapsing faster and faster.

1 Diane Shisk is the Alternate International Reference Person.
2 An Area is a local RC Community.
3 “Shape” means condition.
4 Barbara Love is the International Liberation Reference Person for African Heritage  People.
5 In this context, “boy” is an exclamation that means wow.

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