News flash

🌏 Sustaining All Life 🌍 
Poster Fundraiser

🪻  Webinars  🪻

Creating the Conditions
to Cause a Big Change

Tim Jackins
June 18


Discharging Our Deepest, Heaviest Hurts

From a talk by Tim Jackins at the West Coast North America Pre-World Conference, January 2017

The RC Community has a one-point program: to get the effects of distress patterns out of everyone’s minds. We are trying to end the grip of distress patterns on our peoples and on our societies. That’s a big project. We are implementing it more and more effectively as time goes on, but it always starts here in our minds.

We have made a lot of progress. If we never discharged again, we could go on doing good things for a long time. You know how limited you still feel by your distress, but part of that is just a feeling; we have a lot of power in spite of undischarged distress.

Still, although we can think and take action in spite of it, distress recordings still have effects. Being free of distress is different than struggling intelligently in spite of it. I think we would be happier without it, and life would be much less confusing.


Deeper and deeper layers of distress have come within our reach. We are now at a place where we—how can I describe it—have hit hardpan. Anyone who has dug very deep in soil knows what hardpan is. It’s the layer of compacted soil that doesn’t move. You ram your shovel into it, and step on it, and the shovel goes in a quarter of an inch. It’s “pick-ax soil.” It will move, but it takes another level of effort. A number of us have arrived there. We are all headed there. There is no escape from it. It’s the layer of distress that underlies all of our lives.

I think we acquired it early in our infancy. What happened was different for each of us, but the effect is surprisingly similar.

Every one of us arrived thinking there would be someone like ourselves out here to meet us—someone who thought like us and was interested, the way we were, in everything in the world. In particular, we thought there would be someone who was interested in us, who would look at us with awareness, welcome us, be delighted with us, understand what we were, and be happily willing to do anything we needed—be delighted to play that role for a newborn.

None of us had anyone in good enough shape [condition] to do that very well. The people around us had endured too much hurt themselves. It didn’t matter how delighted they were with our arrival; they could only show little bits of it, at best. Then all the restimulations from oppression and other distresses would engulf them. We each came out and looked at this, and we each had different reactions. Some of us were startled, some of us were puzzled, some of us blamed ourselves, some of us were angry. But none of us understood it. We were not prepared for it.


Every young mind keeps trying to find that contact. No human mind gives up quickly. So we kept trying, we kept looking—but not forever. At some point the disappointment, the rejection became too much. I don’t think that would have happened if we had been allowed to discharge all the way through it. I think we would have come back. It would have been a battle, but we would have had a tool to fight the battle with.

Without being able to discharge, the distress builds up and up and up. Every person I know at some point has been overrun. There is a point where it gets too hard.

Each time we were hurt or restimulated, the distress pulled a little bit of us away. Our humanness, our ability to be aware of ourselves as humans, eroded with each new layer of distress. At some point we decided not to go out and look anymore. “I’m not going to do that,” “You’re not going to fool me anymore,” “I’m not going to get stuck out there.” It was too expensive. It used up too much of a dwindling resource. So we slammed the door shut and figured out how to live life the best we could.

The picture in my mind is that we are slowly sliding down an icy crevasse and at some point we just ram our ice pick into the icy wall and stop: “I’m not going any farther.” We do it just by determination, and we do it alone—without any resource or support. We just ram it in, and the decline stops. But we can’t climb out. We are stuck there, and all the hurts and limitations from having been pushed to that point are there. Still, it is a victory. At least we have stopped the decline; there is great usefulness in that.

We stop it there and go on and build our lives separately. It isn’t that we don’t care about each other—you care about some of the people here as much as you have ever cared about anyone in your memory—but we are caring from such a distance. “I love you, but you know that.” (laughter) How do we get it across that distance? Well, we don’t (very well), because of the early hurt and also the discouragement from having tried so hard to care and not having seemed to get through to anyone.

This early piece of distress seems to be there for all of us, and we’ve been unable to go after it [pursue discharging it] consistently by decision. That’s probably because it started so early and has been so pervasive in our minds. There is little that stands out as a beacon that we can go forward toward. We haven’t often seen other people conquer it.

Going after this tends to make use feel as bad as we’ve ever felt, and sometimes we can’t tell [perceive] what is in the past and what is in the present. To look at how bad it was and how bad we felt can make us feel the same way now, and then we can’t differentiate between the two. They’re really very different, but we can’t separate them well.


Yet we can go back and look at how it was, and how it never should have been for any child. We can be aware of how much we suffered, without having to step back into it as if it is happening in the present. I can’t quite tell you how to do that, but I can see people doing it as they work here. They become able to tell the difference between then and now more and more clearly.

The feel of the past doesn’t change for a while—I don’t want to give you false reassurance. After two good sessions you won’t float free. I think the reason is that this is not about one incident. It is about the way we lived day after day after day, for years. We never got a picture outside of it (though we did get to escape some of it as we grew up and gained more of our own life and power).

We’ve done really well. We have come long distances. We have done great things. All of us are out in the world more than we have ever been. We have bigger perspectives and are reaching more people—and we are still hampered badly in this corner.

As I’ve said for a while, society is collapsing. Some of us are upset that it’s collapsing in the way that it is. How did you think it was going to collapse? In some pleasant, predictable way? It’s too chaotic for that.

The environment in which we operate is changing, and it would be nice if we could discharge the distress that has made us give up—on ourselves, on relationships, and on making changes in the world. We have all gone ahead and tried to do something in spite of it, but you know how discouraged you get and how alone you feel.

There are many developments in the world that we can be a good part of and many things that need to be done—more than we will ever have time to do. We can play important roles in more places than we will ever have time for, so we get to choose where we will go into action.

I want us to take on [take action on] these challenges free of the old distress that drags behind us and slows us down. Starting here, we get to challenge it.

Tim Jackins

(Present Time 188, July 2017)

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