Making Bigger Changes

Tim Jackins,1 at the Southwest USA Teachers’ and Leaders’ Workshop, November 2015

You are the high point so far in the development of complexity in the universe. That’s you. You get up and you feel horrible every morning—and you are the best there is!

Just what are you waiting for? Something better? Well, in a sense we all are waiting for something better. We got stuck in our distresses early, when things were hard and should have been better and couldn’t have been. And so we are frozen in distress, waiting for things to get better, not being able to keep a perspective that says, “You’re the best. If you want it better, you’re the thing that will make it better.”

We have the capability of learning more and more, of being more and more aware, of cooperating more and more with other intelligences like ours. We’re it, and yet we feel small and overpowered. We wait for someone with more clarity and initiative and power than we think we have, to make it different for us. That’s a big confusion—one that almost all of us have. And it’s not an accident. It’s not an accident at all.

We live in a society that can perpetuate itself as long as almost everybody is badly confused. If we had any idea of how powerful we are, how well we think, and how much other people want to function with us and figure out better solutions, society wouldn’t have a chance of holding on to its rigidities. But all of the distresses installed on all of us keep us separate, not able to work together, trying to do good things but feeling small and isolated.


It’s interesting that at this point we are being pushed out of that position. It would be nice to say that we have recovered and those patterns don’t affect us anymore, but it’s not true. We are being pushed out of them by the fact that distresses, mired in our current economic system, are destroying the world. That’s a fairly good motivation. We can feel small and alone and helpless and still know that we’ve got to do something, when things are bad enough.

The problem has always been that big changes only occur out of desperation. We don’t get a revolution because people think that it’s time for a change so the world can be better. We get it because people have nothing left to lose, essentially, and feel desperate about it. That motivation is playing out2 now, to a certain extent, with the climate.

No big change has happened from rational guidance, from minds thinking about it clearly. There’s always had to be a tight corner before something happens. That tight corner is coming now, and so change will occur, whether or not we can think about it.


But now is the first time, I think, that a significant number of people are dedicated to trying to think about the whole situation—about what’s going on3 not just for themselves but for all of us, and increasingly for all life forms. And a significant number of those people have a tool for getting their minds to think better, anytime they choose to use it. That’s the interesting thing about us—that we can get our minds back if we do a little work. We get confused about it, feel that it takes too much time, that it should go faster. Maybe we don’t use the tool as effectively as we might. But we are here because we don’t get confused about it for very long.


We get to go out now, even though we’re scared, and try to interrupt the enormous harshness, the big oppressions, the big irrationalities, that function in our systems. There is the racism, the sexism, all the confusions about sex and gender, the anti-Jewish oppression, and more. We can go out and interrupt those things, keep them from being acted out and passed on. We can be part of the beginning of the end of them.

You can do far more than you are aware of. All of us can. And we struggle to do it. One of the best things to do, because of this material,4 is to do anything. Anything. It hardly matters what or how small it is. The fact that you move against the distresses that have held you in place is important.

It is important for your next session that you said one word out somewhere when people were loudly voicing some upset. Maybe you just said, “I don’t think like that,” and then walked away. That would be fine. Any little step clarifies in your mind that you know something, that you can do something. And you’ll have great sessions because of it. You’ll know how afraid you were to say, “I don’t think so.” You were waiting for someone to hit you, or blow up5 at you, or do whatever people did at other times in your life that left you small and quiet and waiting.

There will be ways to handle the irrationalities that have seemed so strong in the world. We have some basic understanding of them, but we don’t yet know fully how to handle them because we’ve never done it. We haven’t tried.


You don’t need to know the answer before you try something. You don’t need to have a picture of what the product will be at the end of getting rid of all oppression, or how an economic system will function that doesn’t oppress everybody, before you start. The fact is you can’t know. It’s too big, too complex; things change too much. But you don’t need to know. A lot of us feel like we need a defense of knowing everything, of knowing how to respond to every single thing. A good response is, “I don’t think so. I don’t know, but I don’t want it to go that way, and I will try to figure out other things that don’t go in oppressive directions. I will try to figure out how we can make sure that everyone has enough to have a good life. I don’t know how, but I want that, and I will work in that direction.” That’s enough for you to begin feeling your way around out in a bigger world.

We learn by trying things out—by seeing how they work, or don’t; discharging on how restimulating it is; and then trying again and learning a little more. Each time we refine the way we understand the world and the way we interact with it. There doesn’t seem to be any limit to this for any of our minds.


Being able to discharge on things is important, but we can make up our minds6 in spite of anything we haven’t yet had the chance to discharge. Our minds can still make good, sharp, important decisions and hold to them.

We don’t have a lot of that going on around us, and we’re not encouraged to decide against the noise of society. So most of us don’t get any practice in making up our minds in opposition to anything, but especially in opposition to our distresses. This is a place where we have to decide something. We have to decide not to go along with the noise of our distress. It doesn’t mean we won’t have the feelings—we will, until we discharge them—but we don’t have to believe them. We can refuse. We can stand against the pull of distress.

People have always known how to do this. Many of the people who are remembered in our family histories are those who stood against their distresses in harsh times, who didn’t give up, who didn’t act on their fears. They stood there, when everyone else was running. Just their standing there, not giving in to their distresses, makes them memorable and lets people use that image. “This is the epitome of our people. This person stood up, and we are still a people because of it.”

What we haven’t known is that it’s not just exceptional people who can do this. Everybody’s mind has this capability. We haven’t understood what was involved in it. I think we can figure it out.

You can stand against anything. You can make up your mind because you think something is true, even if everybody else thinks it isn’t. You can do that. You have your own mind; you have your own information. You can decide independently against restimulations about needing to go along, or others being smarter than you, or everybody being upset if you don’t agree. You can make up your mind, especially if you discharge discouragement about it and decide that it’s your birthright because you are human—not because you are special or different, but because you are human. You were born with it. You get to claim it and fight for it. The biggest fight, of course, is against the installed distresses. You have to say no to them. “No. I refuse. No, nope, nope.” In sessions you have to take that stance.

Fighting to be able to make a decision, fighting against discouragement in particular, is very useful, especially as society collapses. You may have noticed it’s collapsing more quickly? It would be nice if we sped up a little, too—tried to at least keep pace, even if we can’t get in front.

We need to continue figuring out ways to move more quickly through our distresses. We need to not be confined to the things we knew how to do before but challenge ourselves to take on7 bigger pieces. The discouragement confuses us about many things in our lives. And it is pervasive, a culturally common chronic pattern.


Who is going to contradict it? Everybody’s got it. They go ahead with life, feeling discouraged, just as we all do. Everybody trudges forward, not remembering that we might leap forward. We might leap forward with a smile on our face into big battles. We should enjoy big battles. We’re scared of them, but big battles are a time to change the world and make it different. That’s what you always wanted, wasn’t it? You wanted to play a role in making things better. Big battles give you that opportunity. They should be an enjoyable challenge for us—and they would be, except for the distresses.

Society is getting a little shaky. It’s getting shaky enough that it can’t be hidden. This means that big changes are going to be made, and it would be nice if there was a lot of intelligence guiding them. You are one of the most hopeful sources of that intelligence.

We have all used counseling well, and we have better lives for it. But we have mainly reformed our lives. They’ve gotten better and better, less troublesome, but I don’t know of many people in RC, or anywhere, who have made gigantic changes in the way they live.

It may be that bigger changes are necessary for us to have full lives as humans, particularly in this time when things are rattling toward collapse. I guess the question is, how afraid are we of making a revolutionary change in the way we think, in the way we live, as well as in society? If we can’t change our lives in big ways, why do we think we can guide the change in the society? Are we still constrained by things that happened to us as children? Are we still just trying to be good kids and make it all work better instead of figuring out how we actually want things to be? These are some of the big questions we need to ask as we figure out how to use RC more intelligently and effectively.

Tim Jackins

(Present Time 182, January 2016)

1 Tim Jackins is the International Reference Person for the RC Communities.

2  “Playing out” means being acted out.
3 “Going on” means happening.
4 “Material” means distress.
5 “Blow up” means act very angry.
6 “Make up our minds” means make a decision.
7 “Take on” means take action on.

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