Last Thursday I went to an introductory meeting about Re-evaluation Counseling (RC), also known as Co-counseling.

It’s a curious thing. The core is that you sit down with some one, and listen to them talk for 45 minutes. You don’t add anything to the conversation, just nod, be interested, engage, but certainly not ask questions or tell your own story. Then you swap over and they listen to you for 45 minutes.

There’s a bit more to this, the organisation also has quasi-religious and political beliefs. That all people are basically good, and basically much more intelligent than we normally think. That our education system is broken (there seems to be a common leftist view that this is the case), and that as a result we are all broken from our true potential, and this has caused lots of the problems in the world.

Well, this is another belief system quantum leap, like network marketing, Chomskyite politics or absolutist Buddhism. What I mean is you either do or you do not believe the issue at hand. And when you believe it you are stepping outside of your normal society, and into another one. You can’t realistically and honestly stay the same and believe it.

This is one aspect of a cult, and I’m using the word in the most positive way. As long as the organisation isn’t being deceptive about what it tries to do, it isn’t a concern.

Socially, my mind rebels against these things. I find them instinctively scary. That is part of the belief system of the comfort zone that most of us live in most of the time. Strange organisations which function differently are to be avoided, because they might make people think that we’re weird, and you couldn’t have that.

I didn’t like this RC, it didn’t feel right to me. I’m too used to back and forth discussion, and I didn’t like the quasi-religious backdrop. Also it felt marginal, like only specific people with certain sorts of problems would ever get involved in it. Unlike, say, Darwinism, where the beliefs are for their own sake, the RC beliefs felt like conveniences for the therapeutic aspects to work. Darwinistic beliefs have no direct positive consequences for yourself (e.g. as the RC belief leads you to conclude I am good, I am intelligent), so to me the RC beliefs felt self-serving.

One of my more interesting reactions is that the whole thing is that it is marginal. This bothers me because I’m looking for things that can make the whole world better, rather than just please a cluster of people and make them feel they are doing something useful. For example, I believe that co-operative business structures could be accepted by most people, provided the right form is found. However, I don’t feel the same about anarchism.

But then, if I was in Roman times and secretly visited an early Christian sect, I’d have said that was marginal.

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