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Moving Everyone Forward, Including Ourselves

From a talk by Tim Jackins at the Actively Getting RC into the World Workshop, in California, USA, March 2018

I think the questions to consider are as follows: (1) What is the most effective thing we can do to move us and the world forward to end the damage that is being done to people and the world? (2) How do we have a good life at the same time? And (3) Are these things in conflict? I don’t think they can be in conflict. Having a good life and moving the world to where everyone has a good life are in the same direction.

The feeling that they are in conflict must come from how we were hurt. We grew up seeing our families, our people, in deep trouble and didn’t have the resources or ability to do anything about it. Just about [almost] all of us grew up in these circumstances. We all have different patterns from it, but the general effect is that we would do anything to stop the damage, which can make us less thoughtful in our actions.

We have to recognize where we are in our development as humans. Tremendous damage has been done, for centuries and centuries, and it shows itself on all of us. We can’t change the fact that this has happened, and it will take a large amount of work, by many minds, to keep it from continuing. There will always be more good, interesting things we can do that would make the world better than we’ll ever have time to do. We can’t just do everything we possibly can and then fall down exhausted. That can’t work.

We have to figure out what will move our entire situation forward and include in that our own continued existence and the improvement of our own lives. The push to make the world better isn’t going to work if it doesn’t make us better. We can plan to do a lot of things—including some that we find very difficult and unpleasant—but our job is to figure out how to come out of doing these things in better shape [condition] than when we went in. It is not to use ourselves up; it is to strengthen ourselves as we move the work forward. If we can’t figure out how to do that, something is wrong and we need to stop, discharge, and figure out how to not just go ahead and burn ourselves out [exhaust ourselves]. There are very few circumstances in which sacrificing oneself is the best option. But it can seem like the noble option, the best option, when we accept the limitations we feel because of distress.

There are going to be losses for a time yet. We are going to lose people. We are going to lose pieces of the environment. We are going to lose species. All of that is going to continue for quite a while because of the momentum in that direction. It is sad but unavoidable. Can we discharge enough to not be restimulated by it so we can figure out the best and quickest path forward? I think that’s our job—not just working ourselves to death. We never want to belittle the efforts people have made, but when these efforts are shaped by distress, they are not as effective. That we preserve ourselves and our minds, and enjoy moving things forward, is important for our continued progress.

So we get to work on what’s gotten in the way of remembering ourselves. And we get to help each other discharge when we see each other forgetting. It’s helpful when someone from the outside says, “No, wait; let’s have a session on this before you burn yourself out.”

It’s possible to have very difficult good lives, very difficult enjoyable lives. In oppressive societies it feels like we have to escape to enjoy ourselves and have good lives. So we try to accumulate enough resource that we can run away to a locked community or a long vacation, believing that the only way to escape feelings of distress is to avoid the reality we live in. I think that is mistaken. I think we can enjoy the hard struggles, the difficult things, that are part of moving the world forward. We also have a lot of early distress to discharge to be able to get to and hold on to that perspective.

Tim Jackins

(Present Time 192, July 2018)

Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00