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Putting Forth a Larger Perspective

From a talk by Tim Jackins at a workshop in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, April 2006

Sometime since we started RC, or before, those of us here got a picture in our minds that big changes could be made, that people could have human lives, that things could move forward toward something that would work well and not just be an attempt to avoid the worst of things—that society could actually be changed.

As conditions in society have shifted and things have gotten more difficult in different corners, it’s been hard to hang on to that idea and to show it to other people. It’s felt less safe. We get more reaction if we stand out and say things loudly. This has also been true in RC. Those of us who, at least a certain percentage of the time, are determinedly thinking that we can make big changes, do it in private more often than we did before.

For almost everybody, the recent changes in conditions grab onto feelings of personal failure. Because of this, we need to work on times back early when we first felt failure and discouragement. We need to look at what came down on us, where we thought we failed, and where we were confused and disappointed.

To do this well, we need a better picture than our distresses give us of what the actual present situation is. In fact, things are moving forward fairly well. RC and many other aspects of our world are progressing. Situations are developing in such a way that change has to happen. It doesn’t always happen thoughtfully, or neatly, or without being quite destructive in different corners—but inevitably things move forward.

And though you feel discouraged here and there in different areas, the fact is that you are in better shape1 to make things happen now than you were when you were less discouraged. I understand that you loved that feeling of rising above the heaviness—that feeling that you could take off2 and the world would follow—but the actual fact is that you are now more capable, you understand more, you have better relationships, and you communicate better than you did in that period.

I’m sorry you lost that little loophole in your distresses that let you feel alive in that certain way, but you can fight and discharge and get it back. You had something, a contradiction to your distresses—someone, some condition, something—that would pop you out of the heavy restimulation and let you think enough that you could look forward to being that way again. If you could just get with the right people, you could feel that things could move, that you would get to be part of making that happen, that there were things you could do. You may not have had very specific ideas of the role you wanted to play, or could play, but you knew that there were things you could do. And that’s what mattered.

You can still do everything you ever imagined. You’re in better shape now to do it. You have far better understanding and far better relationships. Remember what you imagined you could do, and then remember what your relationships were like. Now you know how to sustain your relationships. Now you not only have the relationships but you’ve worked to where you have a commitment to each other and you have the necessary tools. And you have practiced using the tools enough that you know how to do the job. It isn’t just hopefulness. It isn’t just a direction. It isn’t just a contradiction.3 You have actually developed the capability.

So we get to start again. We get to take a fresh look at who we are and what we know. We get to challenge the hopelessness and discouragement—not dramatize them4 or just try to rise above them. We get to go back and discharge them so they’re not there to be restimulated.

In this recent period small groups of Co-Counselors have occasionally been meeting and discussing revolutionary ideas. This has not been the focus of the broader RC Community. We continue to feel like we can’t make RC accessible to everyone if we put forward a revolutionary perspective on the way things are now, and the way they can move in the future. In most Communities things are quiet and careful as we try to reach people and give them RC. Only much, much later do we give them a larger perspective.

This is, I think, part of the reason a number of people leave RC. They can’t find big enough perspectives to hold up against their personal distresses—ideas that are hopeful enough, of enough substance, and clearly enough in everyone’s interest that they can stand against their restimulations. We don’t know how to communicate these perspectives very well yet, partly because we’re still scared of openly being an element for changing everything. We’re still looking around corners and waiting for attack and annihilation.

We get to look at how making a larger perspective available to people might strengthen the RC Communities—but not with us glistening with eagerness and a frozen urgency that insists, “You must understand this.” Rather, we get to work on whatever distresses keep us from knowing that people will understand a larger perspective if they get enough resource and a chance to use the discharge process. One of the most revolutionary things we have to offer is discharge. No oppressive society can survive if discharge is allowed, and no revolutionary change is going to be more than temporarily successful unless people can discharge. Long term there is no other choice but to change both society and people’s access to discharge.

1 Shape means condition.
2 In this context, take off means start moving.
3 Contradiction to distress
4 Dramatize means act them out.

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