A Generation Without Role Models, in an Age of Nothing Sacred.

Via Ben Ralston
on Jun 8, 2013
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To live in this age is a challenge.

Without church, love, spirit, teachings, without role models, and without intimacy.

Yes, bereft of intimacy. Terrified of intimacy.

And I don’t mean the church, I mean without a church.

I don’t mean without teachers, I mean without anything worthy of being taught, nor anyone worthy of teaching it.

What were you taught, what have you learnt, and from whom did you learn it? Think about that…

No role models.

Few heroes left alive that didn’t take our dreams and trample them into the dirt.

But the truth is harder even than all that (as if all that isn’t hard enough). The truth is that to be alive today is to bear the burden of so many generations of loss, and irresponsibility, and mindlessness.

When I was a child I knew what all children know deep in their bones: that nothing in this life is not mine. That there is no part of this experience that I am not a part of and that is not a part of me. That nothing I touch ever frees itself from my greasy paw-prints, and every step leaves a footprint.

How heavily have those that ought to speak to us in whispers, truly trampled on our spirits.

How heavily have those that ought to whisper in our ears sweet truths of nothingness… how heavily have they laid upon us their loss, their abuse, their trauma.

Abuse is not something that happens to other people or that might have happened, or might happen, to you. It is happening to all of us all the time, even now as you sit reading this, because we have built a society that is abusive.

Abuse means violation and any time your rights are violated you are being abused.

Every advertisement or media that thrusts cheap, petty, gratuitous crap through your too-tired eyes, trying to manipulate and cajole you into believing that you don’t have everything you need, right now, to be happy.

To love and be loved.

Every child sold, or mis-taught, or neglected, or simply un-acknowledged.

Every ‘journalist’ who distorts, or exaggerates, or simply creates ‘news.’

Every politician who pretends to believe that corporations are people, and really believes that people are worth less.

Every doctor who exchanges “a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage.”

Every time you are sold the lie that you are anything less than an absolute miracle.

We are so surrounded by abuse that we don’t even recognize it (the wood for the trees).

Our trauma begs to be healed, begging and begging and begging. But we’ve become so skilled in the dark arts of numbness and self-deception that we’ve lost touch with our ability to see and hear the frequencies of our own light and sound.

There is nothing more tragic than wasted life.

And wasted lives are what surround us. We live in the landfill of lost time, and spend so many precious moments desperately pretending to be in heaven. Fooling not even ourselves.

We are in heaven, but it’s frequencies and subtleties and vibrations are so alien to us that we may as well be in hell.

Don’t bypass the truth. Don’t pretend that everything is perfect. Everything is perfect, but when truth is so alien that you can’t understand the perfection of truth, then all that’s left is shadows, shadows, everywhere.

We’ve gotten caught up in shadows, and lost sight of the light.

The truth is that you are pure consciousness (or God, or divine cosmic love, or spirit, or energy, or love and light, or whatever you want to call it). I call it pure consciousness. The same intelligence that keeps the planets in their orbits keeps the cells of your bodies doing what they do. Birth and death, life and love, spring and autumn, it’s all here in you. All of it, and there is nothing that isn’t. Honestly.

All knowledge, all knowing, all wisdom—in you. Now.

You are transmitter and receiver, creator and destroyer, producer and consumer, all at once, in every moment of now that ever was and ever will be.

And if you want to experience that truth directly (if you want to taste heaven and embody your own true self, fully) there is work to be done.

And because it’s what I do, I’ll tell you what work needs to be done:

We need to all of us take the time to ‘heal our hurts’. We carry many generations worth of ancestral trauma in our bodies, because our ancestors forgot their responsibility to heal. The Iroquois believe that every action must be considered in the light of its impact on the next seven generations. They are right – everything we do, or fail to do, affects our children’s children… for many generations.

In the light of Epigenetics (which has proven a link between ancestral trauma and present day disease) this belief has become a cold, hard, scientific fact.

So forget about past lives and karma. They are irrelevant right now.

What is relevant, right now, is trauma. Healing it.

Right now, and in every moment, there is a simple choice that we can make. Do we continue doing things the way they’ve been done lately, or do we take responsibility ourselves, right now, for the change that needs to be made in the world today.

If you continue doing things the same then you are part of a system that is abusive, and you are both the perpetrator, and victim of, abuse. Every day.

And that’s a gift you give your children.

Every time you choose the path of responsibility and transformation you not only take a step directly from ‘hell’ towards ‘heaven’, you also bequeath a more loving, simple, healthy world to your descendants.

It’s that important. It’s the only thing that is important.

We didn’t and don’t have role models. Let’s figure out what we missed, take personal responsibility for it, and forge ourselves into its image.

I know we can. And so do you. It’s why we’re here right now.

Please spread the love – share.


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.


15 Responses to “A Generation Without Role Models, in an Age of Nothing Sacred.”

  1. Rachel says:

    Wow, the passion and truth to your words is really powerful, thank you so much for sharing. They are both timely and insightful for me. I have been on a journey of what I sometimes call my (somewhat belated) initiation into womanhood, and sometimes call a 'dark night'. Whatever the words, yes, I feel it – the lack of intimacy and connection. Yet everyday I try and find the learning to be had. I have been lead to explore the generational trauma that I carry.
    And I do agree with you that we do not have set role models in our culture, and it is something that I have grieved for. The structures in our culture do not recognise the spiritual journey. I have lost myself sometimes wondering what it would have been like as a young girl to be surrounded by a community of strong women guiding me into my woman hood as a sacred journey….how different things would have felt.
    The beautiful thing though, amongst what can seem like a dark wasteland when we fly above, can become windows to new wisdom when we explore the truth to any one individuals story. I always say there is never anything more real than a persons story. I know if Im brave and share, or am open or listen, or seek support – sometimes we find that the understanding to what we thought were wild imaginings is there in anothers heart. Well I know that has been the case for me.
    I feel that we in this time are, or can be the 'Chain-breakers' – the generation that has access to the trauma carried in our blood lines. An access that with assistance (perhaps from people like you 🙂 ) can be healed.
    I have to believe that we have been born with the capacity to evolve as spiritual beings in this time. That we need to call within to the generations that have been before – not only the trauma, but the love and wisdom that is carried in the seed of consciousness we carry. That those points of initiation will open and bloom of their own accord – and the fact that we are asked to discover this without assistance only increases our power.. Our capacity to love and heal.
    Just my 2 cents……
    Thank you…

  2. Judy says:

    There are still some good role models out there. My daughter had some truly wonderful teachers in elementary school. But I can't disagree with your basic drift, and the tone of urgency is appropriate.

  3. Laura says:

    YOU are a good role model, Ben. 🙂 Thank you. I’m so glad you are writing again! I can hear your voice speaking as I read your words. There are so many things we, as individuals and as a species, need to let go of. Including the trauma we carry around with us. That will be my meditation today. Thanks ❤

  4. Ben_Ralston says:

    Very insightful 2 cents Rachel. I'd say that you are far along on your journey.
    If I can help, let me know.

  5. Ben_Ralston says:

    I agree Judy, of course there are still some. But they're few and far between, and (as I said already once today, strangely) I like to emphasize a point!
    Thank you for reading.

  6. Snowyogi says:

    Every doctor who exchanges “a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage”.

    I don’t get this

  7. Ben_Ralston says:

    I think that the war is the battle we all fight for a healthier, saner, more balanced life. Doctors should really be on the front line, but too often they step back and settle for an easy life of prescriptions and referrals. I've met few doctors who really consider themselves healers…

  8. Ben_Ralston says:

    Well thank you so much Laura. I hadn't even considered myself as a role model but I suppose I am a good one now that you mention it. Very sweet to realize that 🙂
    Happy meditating.

  9. MargotCollingBeevers says:

    But we DO have our role models. They do not necessarily have to be currently living ones, although we probably all have some of these, and probably have many more, some as yet unrecognised, but whom we shall understand, shall appreciate their influence on us, and be grateful for as we grow older. What we have lost is our sense of history, the ability to differentiate between good and evil, as mankind has latterly evolved. There has always been more known of evil in the world than of good – it makes for more interesting journalism. But one needs to hold on to the good … in a former educational world one met insights and food for the soul within language: in Shakespeare, in the King James' Bible, in John Donne and Gerard Manley Hopkins, for example – plus the writings of the "Saints" – St Francis of Assisi, St Benedict, St Teresa of Lisieux – and, of more recent times, Monsignor Knox. And the spirit needs music – Bach, Plainchant, Handel, The Sixteen with Harry Christophers … And because all these experiences require personal and active participation, how shall we communicate with such mentors unless we are shown the way? What we have lost is not only Education, but the knowledge of the "True Purpose of Education" … that is the travesty and the tragedy … and that it is which is passing on, to the majority of us, the utter bleakness of today's morally and spiritually empty educational experiences.

  10. Ben_Ralston says:

    A role model who is not alive is not a role model. It's something else. A legend, a hero, someone to look up to.
    We need people who can literally *model* a role. And that relationship needs to be a living one. Ideally, our parents!
    Who do children these days model themselves upon? The famous…

  11. Wow…this resonates with me so deeply…you've touched on so many of the things that I ponder on an almost daily basis. Thank you so much for your words and the authenticity behind them.

  12. MargotCollingBeevers says:

    Well, Harry Christophers (music) and Andrew Motion (previous Poet Laureate) are very much alive – and both continue with the traditional values that we need today. Nothing and no-one stands uniquely alone – everyone has a bloodline link with the past, through family and role models of times long gone: it's just that the present generation has been engineered into disregarding its values. I strongly believe that it is because we have lost the knowledge of our historic role models that the parents of today have nothing to hand on to their children. And not just parents … we are now into roughly the third generation of families who have been deprived of a sense of spirituality – of whatever type – so that the majority of today's role models offer nothing to the young but a short-lived, often tainted, superficiality based mostly upon monetary success. If we are unwilling to learn from the past, there is no hope for the future, because we will remain ignorant of the moral options waiting to be rediscovered.

  13. Elise says:

    It is difficult to live in such a dysfunctional society. I had fairly well stepped away from society, hadn’t actually become a hermit, but it was my fondest dream.

    Then I had a kid.

    Now I feel I’m walking a tightrope – trying to teach her about love, true divine nature of our being while still trying to teach her how to live in this messed up world without damaging her… Is that even possible?

    Of course, the answer is to fix our society. But where do we even start?

  14. @madgroove says:

    "We are in heaven, but it’s frequencies and subtleties and vibrations are so alien to us that we may as well be in hell." YES YES YES YES and HELL YES. So much truth and power of presence in this writing, Ben. It is what eats at me day and night, as well. May it NEVER stop eating at me and sending kindred spirits like you to me in SWARMS =D Each and every moment most precious. Too important to try TOO hard, 1/2 brained, living life through the scope of the media, parents, friends, the past, the future worry, and missing the LIVING, LOVING & HEALING part entirely. Far too many moments have already been wasted. The time is NOW. Thanks, Ben *GODSPEED*

  15. Lori says:

    Margot, I would like to offer this to you for your further consideration with regards to current and historical "morals": http://theblueturtleblog.blogspot.com/2014/03/you…. I welcome your feedback.