Boldly Working Together in New Ways

From RC Teacher Update 62, by Tim Jackins, April 2020

I’m making this recording in early April of 2020, a very difficult and challenging time for the human population. I’m doing it alone at my office in my house, staying separate from as many people as I possibly can to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

Challenges of the Coronavirus

The challenge of the coronavirus is probably one of the biggest challenges each of us has had to face in our lives. It’s very clear that we will meet the challenge successfully but at significant cost. I’m glad that I get to talk to you and I’m glad that you are connected to RC. I’m very pleased that we have done the work in RC that has led us to understand distress patterns and their great effect on humans’ thinking and behavior. I’m very glad that we have managed to do the work to understand how much early childhood distresses have separated us and limited our perspectives.

Understanding this allows us to meet the challenge of the coronavirus much more effectively. We are together in this in a very real sense, and more than ever I think we in RC understand this connection that we have with each other and that all humans can have. We are connected. We will continue together. We will find solutions to this challenge and the later challenges that I am sure we will have to face.

Our current situation is that the virus is still spreading rapidly, sickening more and more people and killing more and more people. The virus spreads from person to person, and none of us have immunity to it since it is a new disease. We have ways of disinfecting ourselves, but clearly the most successful way of triumphing in this challenge is to keep ourselves separate enough that the virus cannot be transferred from one person to another. As we learn to do this “social distancing” in this situation, our effectiveness at slowing down the spread of the virus is becoming apparent. The virus is still spreading to new places. This is a challenge that can happen only when humans have developed to the point that they can travel so widely. The particular aspect of the virus that makes this troublesome is that one can be infected and infectious long before one feels ill, or without ever feeling ill, and so it is passed easily and unawarely.

This transmission is still happening.Larger and larger numbers of people are understanding the need to make large changes in their behavior in order to stop the virus. And the changes are taking place widely enough that the spread is clearly slowing down in some places, and it will slow down later in others.

Vaccines will also be developed so that this particular virus will be managed. There will be countermeasures against it, and it will not be a large threat forever. But it will have done a lot of damage. It will have sickened probably millions, it will have killed perhaps hundreds of thousands, and it will have disrupted the functioning of many societies.

A Chance to Triumph 
Over Our Distresses

For us in RC to handle this more and more effectively, we of course have to look at what gets restimulated in us by this challenge and this situation. We need to discharge on all of the restimulations we have. We need to look clearly at what the reality of the situation is and at all of the things that have been restimulated by it. We want to use this harsh challenge as an opportunity to look at, face squarely, and discharge on distresses that we have lived with all of our lives and that have limited our functioning ever since we acquired them. We want to view this challenge as an opportunity to move forward so that we can be more effective in our lives and in changing the world. As in every challenge, we want to find a way to face the challenge and do the work needed, so that we can come out clearer and in better shape after the challenge.

We need to look at a whole collection of restimulations. We all have feelings of being alone from early times, and though we more and more clearly know we are not really alone any longer, especially in RC, the feelings still misguide us and often leave us acting in isolation when we could easily make contact and function in a more connected fashion. The challenge is to both work on those distresses so we can remember this more clearly and, at the same time, decide to act in spite of the way the distresses pull at us, decide to act connected with other people, to share thoughts, to remind each other that we exist here together, to encourage each other to move forward in the directions we wish.

What gets restimulated for you? The isolation? The feelings of powerlessness? The fears about damage and death? Feelings of being forgotten and needing to handle everything by oneself? There’s quite a collection that we’re running into. These are distresses that we’ve had a long, long time and that have influenced our behavior and greatly influenced the way we have felt. And of course, those feelings leave us confused about reality in the present time. The current reality is nothing like what you had to survive as a young one when you got hurt. It’s often hard for us to remember that’s true because the feeling of those distresses is so familiar and so persuasive. We can remind each other that we are different from when those things happened to us, that the feelings of powerlessness and aloneness are about back then, that they’re not about now. Now I know, simply because you are listening to this recording [reading this article], that you are likely to have a significant number of people who know you and know you well, who care about you, who will never forget you and who you are, who will always be delighted to have contact with you.

A New Reality with New Possibilities

The coronavirus and the conditions created by it cause real hardship. It’s important that we look directly at the damage the virus itself is causing and the damage that our irrational and oppressive societies are causing under the conditions created by the virus. We need to use this as an opportunity to squarely face the reality of our current situation. We need to look at things we often shy away from [avoid]. Looking at them will illuminate the distresses that get in our way of thinking about those situations and being part of the forces that will have to move to correct them. 

I think every human being, as they free themselves from the distresses that have limited their thought and perspective, will choose to play a larger and larger role in overcoming the irrationalities of our society and in creating societies that benefit everyone.

While the virus is probably disrupting everyone’s life, for some of us the virus is creating very real hardships. That number of us is very likely to grow through the coming months of the virus’s influence and through the years after that when the irrationalities and limitations of our societies are going to show more openly and cause more difficulty.

Facing the difficulties and dangers in the present will help us work on the distresses that have kept us turning away from those situations in the past. It will also help us understand the way society functions, which is often hidden from many of us if we have not been targets of that society. We need to understand more and more fully the irrationalities, the injustices, that we have lived under in these societies so that we can more effectively move for change and create possibilities for societies that are not limited in these ways. 

This sounds like a lot of hard work. And it is. But it’s work that we can do, it’s work that will benefit us, each in our own minds as well as in the relationships we will be able to form as we do this work. And it will open up possibilities for us. What are the possibilities? Well, it’s very clear that people better understand the limitations our societies have been showing more and more clearly. That will continue to be true in spite of efforts by our governments to confuse and misguide us. In sharp and challenging times like this one, it’s very hard to hide the failures of society. This creates opportunities for us in many different ways. 

First of all, there is the chance for us to more openly simply be ourselves. There is a latitude in times of great challenge that allows people to show more of themselves. We get to do that. There is an opportunity for us to use what we know from RC to both help people get through some of their distresses and help them discover that they can move in spite of their distresses. People still think, in spite of being hurt, and people can still decide to move in the ways they figure out even if they’ve never been able to do it before. We can help them discover that, both by our being examples and by encouraging their thoughts and actions.

We can help the RC Community. We can do that with each other. We can be bolder with each other as counselors. We can challenge ourselves to step in closer to our Co-Counselors to offer more openly the caring and thought we have about them to challenge our separation and all of the distresses that keep us separate as Co-Counselors. This is one of our best opportunities. We can challenge ourselves as clients to more openly and fully show the struggles that we discharge on to our counselors and to invite them in as closer and closer allies in those struggles in spite of the feelings of needing to handle it alone that we carry from those early distresses. In Co-Counseling sessions, support groups, and workshops, and in our whole RC Communities, we can figure out how this struggle against irrationality is not simply an individual struggle. It’s a collective struggle of our species to triumph over this, once and for all.

The Continuing Destruction 
of the Environment

Humans clearly will meet the challenge of the coronavirus and triumph over it. I think we will all learn a great deal in the process. I think those of us in RC can use the opportunity well and make large gains at the same time. There will be other large crises. The one facing us now, that was there before the virus and will be there as we come out of this challenge, is the destruction of the environment. It’s very clear that people must think more clearly and must take actions soon to change the way society has functioned and the ways we have functioned individually. Those ways have not taken into account the effect of our behavior on the environment.

The environment cannot handle much more of the damage we have unawarely inflicted. It will take big changes in society and in our lives to stop the damage from happening.

Before this moment and before the challenge of the coronavirus, one of the things that stopped efforts to fix the destruction and keep it from going on was the argument that the changes were too large for society and individuals to make. In the current situation we have made very large changes in our behavior individually and collectively. Governments have made very large changes in their functioning, doing things they have never done before to try to handle the challenge of the coronavirus.

Changes just as large and significant will need to be made to meet the challenge of the destruction of the environment. And I think we have proved that that’s possible. There will still be much to overcome. There will be much irrationality to fight against. There will be many actions to be taken to interrupt the irrational actions that have such momentum in our societies. But those actions can be taken. And the challenge of the environment can also be met.

The challenge of the environment is a symptom of the bigger challenge of the irrationality of society. Bigger, I think, than the challenge of the coronavirus. But, the current challenge of trying to keep as many people alive through the reach of the coronavirus is a good training ground for all of us. It helps us learn how much we can change our lives individually. It helps us face the irrationalities, the inequities, the injustices of our societies. It helps us face the magnitude of the changes that are going to be necessary. And it reacquaints us with how much we care about everyone in the world. 

I think we will meet the challenge of the destruction of the environment in time for almost all species to survive, including us. And we will learn a great deal from meeting that challenge as well. I look forward to finishing the current challenge together. And I look forward to meeting the challenge of getting a rational society and an environment that allows all species to persist. I look forward to doing it with you.

(Present Time 200, July 2020)

Last modified: 2023-04-15 09:24:12+00