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The Six-Legged Table

Below is a summary of a class I led this spring for RC teachers, leaders, and assistants in the Basque Country. It was edited by Shirley Thatcher.1

What we understand as RC determines how we teach and how we build our Communities. Our personal understanding can affect our perspective on the only point we need to agree on, our one-point program: “to use RC to seek recovery of one’s occluded intelligence and innate humanness and to assist others to do the same.”

It is not always easy to define RC. My definition has been changing over time. The more I make RC central in my life, the easier it is for me to provide an understandable definition of it for those who do not know about it. (The less central it is in my life, the harder it is for me to explain it understandably.)

Sometimes I see RC as a big round table with six legs. One leg on its own cannot support the table.

FIRST LEG: DISCHARGING

Because in the beginning I was astonished by the effects that discharge could have on my mind, I used to talk about RC from the angle of discharge. This can work for reaching those who are able to release emotions, but they are not the majority of people in our oppressive capitalist systems. If my perspective on RC relies only on the effects of discharge, I am not going to reach all the people who cannot yet use the discharge process. I am using only one leg of the whole RC project. I need to have a broader perspective.

SECOND LEG: RC LITERATURE

Sometimes getting accurate information can help people re-evaluate wrong information or pseudo information and stop the hurt that bad or incorrect information is creating in their minds. Without the chance to discharge, people commonly use this strategy.

I find RC literature really important. Having in mind our firm and logical theory helps me work better against my distresses. My “weapons” are stronger. I do not necessarily need the counselor’s thinking as a life jacket. I become the creator of my own discharge process (though it is noticeably improved by the full attention of my counselor). The probability that I will stay in RC, even if I am not having “good sessions,” is greater. I can be going through a hard period with sessions because I am fighting a deep chronic,2 but even though I feel bad after the sessions, I don’t leave RC. Knowing what RC is about (it is very well explained in our literature) helps me stay and not give up, not make decisions based on feelings.

THIRD LEG: THE PEOPLE AROUND US—OUR COMMUNITY

The more I know about RC theory, the more I understand where it comes from: people like me. There is no more mystery about it.

When we meet together and create spaces for re-emergence rather than for restimulating each other, our thinking improves and enough space appears in our minds to think in new ways. If we have a little but committed group of people around us, we can do things that were impossible on our own. It will make all the difference in our life—including being the tool we need to build and engage with the “framework” of the Community, which will help us make better use of the re-emergent, hopeful spaces.

FOURTH LEG: STRUCTURE AND GUIDELINES

If we build relationships according to some kind of organized thinking (guidelines), everything becomes easier and goes faster for everyone. Our minds get better with the structure. We can produce good ideas we have not had before and so contribute to the whole Community. When we see that a structure allows and encourages our re-emergence, and that of the people around us, we want to become a part of that structure.

FIFTH LEG: LEADERSHIP

We may notice that when someone is thinking about the whole group, not just about his or her own re-emergence, everything grows and moves forward in rich and new ways. Leadership is natural for us, is inside of us. I think that we would love to be that person who thinks about the whole group, that we personally want to preserve the structure and make it even better. We cannot wait for someone else to do the job.

There is a huge difference between thinking of RC as something that can give us good sessions and make our life easier, and understanding RC as a whole project—a project that will help us make changes that at first look impossible. If we understand it as a whole project, we do not guide our own re-emergence, and the re-emergence of the people we are leading, according to whether it generates good or bad feelings. We can tell3 that the process is good and worthy no matter how we feel about it. We don’t depend anymore on our feelings as a guide. Instead we depend on our thinking, and our capacity to make the right decisions based on that thinking. This is a big relief. Feelings can confuse us, but our logical thinking will not.

SIXTH LEG: THINKING A BIT BIGGER THAN USUAL—THE INTERNATIONAL RC COMMUNITIES

Once we have understood and based our functioning in RC on these five legs, it is time to look at the sixth leg, the International RC Communities.

Unless we have discharged a lot about our own first community (probably our first family, at home), we will find it difficult to understand, create, and stay in a community. It is a long journey to decolonize our mind from the structures of the first communities based on capitalism that we were exposed to in our childhoods.

At some point we need to believe that we are worthy of a community and that it can (and must) be the best place for our re-emergence. We need to start thinking of ourselves as right in the middle of our RC Community, whether it is an Area or a Region.4 When we have grasped this idea, we have somehow understood that giving is as important as taking, that it is exactly what will create relationships bigger than our limits. We take as we give. In my language (Basque), the word harreman means relationship. It is formed from har (to take) and eman (to give).

We could decide to be bigger and put ourselves in the center of the International RC Communities. This is about “increasing our zoom.“ The International Communities are not strange and far away. They are not for only some few of us who have had the luck to have access to them. No. They are there just waiting for you. They are yours. You only have to decide that they are yours, and believe it.

Language or distance is not a problem. If you do not speak English, this is not a problem—as you will find out. It is only an opportunity for your mind to keep on growing, evolving, and broadening. It is an opportunity to think of yourself as a person with no limits. It is up to you5 to decide what role you want to play in this life: the victim role (“I probably will not be able to do it”) or a more real role (“Why not me?!”). My mind develops, evolves, grows, is faster and deeper, and surprises me much more in the second role. And your mind and mine are really similar.

My little Region has been able to create and maintain a structure from which a Regional Reference Person and an International Commonality Reference Person have been created. We are not smarter than you at all. We are not a huge number of convinced people. We are about fifty people, working every day on this project. If we have grasped something, it is because we have been inspired by the decision one of us made that he was as human and intelligent as anyone else in RC. I would not want you to lose the opportunity to believe that this is true of you, too.

Xabi Odriozola
Donostia, Basque Country


1 Shirley Thatcher is the Regional Reference Person for Bristol and the southwest of England, including Cornwall.
2 Chronic pattern
3 “Tell” means perceive, see.
4 An Area is a local RC Community. A Region is a subdivision of the International RC Community, usually consisting of several Areas.
5 “Up to you” means your responsibility.


Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00