Can We Understand Our Being?

Via Ben Ralston
on Mar 21, 2012
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This walking talk is in response to the question asked by my friend George, on Facebook:

Life-long issue: intellectualizing ‘spiritual’ or ‘mystical’ experiences. My desire to understand everything makes it difficult to rest in the intuitive knowing of ‘God’ or ‘Truth’ or ‘The Universe’ or ‘Consciousness’ —whatever you want to call it. That which cannot be named. I’ve experienced it so profoundly but always return to the quest to define and comprehend it. Then I end up with a lot of concepts about what I experienced, a poor substitute for simply “being” it.


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About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting. He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.


20 Responses to “Can We Understand Our Being?”

  1. Ben_Ralston says:

    And please leave a comment, or better yet, a question!

  2. Robert says:

    Popeye’s philosophy says it best. ” I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam” This simple line was my first exposure to personal philosophy, even as a child I got it.

  3. ValCarruthers says:

    Terrific, Ben!

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Valerie Carruthers
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

  4. Ben_Ralston says:

    Popeye was my Old Man's favorite. Thanks for reminding me of him!
    And it's a great line – simplicity is very underrated 🙂

  5. sarah oakley says:

    Thank you Ben, was great to see your face 🙂

    Can you help me understand please. When you speak of trauma, I am assuming this is from past events. By returning to the past to heal trauma – can we release emotions, thoughts, blocks that disturb us more than they need to. Bringing into play energies that are from the past not the present. So can returning to trauma ever do more pain that good? For example feeling that someone was not emotionally available, but with understanding realising that they were as emotionally available as they could manage at the time. The latter view being a more positive reflection that would bring less pain than delving into the trauma? Or could it be that I am speaking of thoughts and fears which have nothing to do with healing as it comes through the belly/heart. So actually all the above doesn't matter.

    With love.

  6. Becky says:

    Great question. Great answer. Defffffffinately had to sit back and listen. Motion sickness to the core.

  7. Ben_Ralston says:

    Hi Sarah, thank you! Would be nice to see your face too!

    To answer your Q's – yes trauma is past. But not only from our own life, also from our ancestors lives. We don't need to know what happened though, in order to heal it.
    Returning to trauma CAN do more harm than good, yes. In fact, many healing modalities that use regression, or psychotherapy methods that involve repetition of the 'story' of the trauma, often do harm – because what happened in the past is not important! It is the consequences of that trauma, that are PRESENT, that are important.

    Your second point seems to be about forgiveness, right? And I would say that forgiveness comes automatically when we heal the trauma (no longer feel hurt by that person's unavailability) – then we are no longer caught up in a subjective web, but become able to see that, as you see, they probably didn't know better / did the best they could.

    Hope this makes sense and actually answers your questions!


  8. Ben_Ralston says:

    Really got motion sickness? Should I sit down to talk?

  9. Becky says:

    Na. You should keep doing what you enjoy doing :). I have to be careful of motion sickness things all the time. I vomited after the Blair Witch Project, after some home videos, and after two out of three visits to the Omni-max theaters. I get motion sickness in boats, small airplanes, some carnival rides, and in vehicles if not by a window, ever since I was a kid. Dramamine works, especially the non-drowsy kind so I don't miss the event!

    I prop my feet up on my desk, kick back, and listen to your videos. It's good 🙂

  10. Sarah Oakley says:

    Yes that helped. Thank you. I am just wondering though….. it seems that your focus is on healing trauma. Please explain why you focus on "trauma" rather than focus on feeling "joy. love. peace ect". Do we need to heal trauma to find peace? Is it not more effective to find peace, and this in itself will heal trauma? Or are they both the same and I am contextualising you in a way that was not meant.
    Ps My dog Alf sends yours a friendly high five!

  11. Ben_Ralston says:

    Great question that goes right to the heart of why I feel what I'm saying is so important!
    We are innately peaceful and joyful and loving. If we feel we have to *find* peace, it's because we're not really feeling who we really *are* already.
    Why is it that most people don't feel peace, joy, love (or Satchitananda)? Why is there, on the contrary, so much greed, corruption, and violence in the human world?!
    It's because our experience is tainted by the subconscious blockages that result from trauma. Instead of experiencing *reality*, we experience the veil of illusion caused by those blockages.
    And here's the really cool part – when you heal the subconscious blockages caused by trauma, you don't have to *find* anything, because beneath that layer of blockage peace, joy and love are already there, waiting to be uncovered.
    I found peace many times through meditation and yoga, but you know what, it always disappeared, and I had to *refind* it – more yoga, more meditation, don't miss a day. When I started this work I found a much more permanent state of awareness.

  12. Ben_Ralston says:

    I love that you are propping your feet up on the desk and kicking back to listen.
    Nice image 😉

  13. Jodee says:

    I love the walking talk, and you got your pup walked along with the walking talk. Good time management. 🙂 I liked your message as well, and just newly discovered you here and on Facebook. Looking forward to seeing/hearing more. Thank you.

  14. Sarah Oakley says:

    Great reply, Yes I must not forget – I don't ever need to find peace. Peace is my being, my essence not something that needs to be found. It's there all the time.

  15. Ben_Ralston says:

    yep, it just gets obscured. All we have to do is get rid of the clouds 🙂

  16. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you Jodee, I look forward to getting to know you better too.
    With love, Ben

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