Want to Be a God/Goddess, or a Real Human Being? ~ Ben Ralston

Via Ben Ralston
on Mar 10, 2014
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The only time I write anything that I come anywhere close to feeling good about is when it comes straight from the depths of my heart.

If there is any other motivation other than True Expression—if I want to impress someone, or to show how great I am at something, or how much I know, or ‘teach’ someone something – then, well you know that feeling you get when you sick up a little in your mouth—that’s how I feel when I write something inauthentic.

So writing, for me, is both cathartic and painful.

It’s painful to bare my soul again and again. Even when what I’m expressing is pure joy there’s always pain close behind. When I’m truly expressing my Self, there’s both joy and pain, because that’s what we are—us little humans spinning through space on this great, beautiful, wondrous Earth-Home.

At our core we’re made of light, and the only way light can exist is in the context of darkness. Without darkness there is no light.

What we really are is pure consciousness, or love—and the only way love can know itself is in the context of life. So here we are…

We’re divine animals. Sacred beings blessed and cursed with the potential to experience the full range of emotions, feelings, and sensations that this miraculous body gives us. And spirituality, if it’s real and authentic and grounded, as opposed to the kind of escapist, bypass spirituality that is unfortunately all too common, is painful. It’s dark, and it’s bumpy, and rough, and treacherous.

Because it’s all about bringing out the light more fully—and the only way to do that is to go right to the heart of the shadows. Only from there can the light be experienced fully.

If you do the opposite—if you aim too much for the stars, then all you’ll see, in the end, is darkness. Try too hard to bathe in love and in the end you drown in fear.

I’m convinced that we’re not really here, as many think, to become Gods and Goddesses.

I’m convinced that we’re here to simply be more fully human.

Why else would we be embodied beings?


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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: courtesy of the author


About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston is a therapist, healer, advanced Sivananda Yoga teacher, and writer. His writings have been read by millions of people and can be found on Elephant Journal, Rebelle Society, and various other portals online. He has been teaching Yoga for 16 years in hotels, ashrams, beaches, gyms and rooftops worldwide. And he runs a busy international therapeutic practice from his home in rural Croatia. Offering sessions in person or via Skype, his therapeutic work is based on healing trauma, and the tools he uses for this are varied – mainly RPT, Shamanism, and energy work. He has also developed some of his own methods, particularly in the area of abuse trauma; ‘resource state’ awareness; and boundary reconstruction. He regularly runs retreats combining Yoga and other energetic exercises with his therapy. He would love nothing more than to see you on one of these retreats, since he believes that this approach to personal development is really the only effective way of bringing love and peace to global human society. Connect with Ben on Facebook. Read more of his writing on his new website with integrated blog! Yes, he's excited about that :)


15 Responses to “Want to Be a God/Goddess, or a Real Human Being? ~ Ben Ralston”

  1. encounterillumination says:

    Thank you for your insight..it rings true in my spirit. I have been contemplating on Jesus' message of dying for our sins for months and what I am concluding is that for me, the death represents me not having to "kill off" my ego. Jesus transformation was essentially so we could find love and compassion for our shadowy ego. He is saying his sacrifice is a metaphor of us no longer needing to die to our lower self. His being fully human and fully divine is the ultimate in telling us that our humanity is not the opposite of our divinity, it is merely the manifestation of it.

  2. Lori Bell says:

    You know I'm going to agree with you, Ben. Truth is I have found myself feeling more grounded, more truly authentic than ever as I have actually let go of Any ideas about there being something "more" than this, something "more spiritual", something "more perfect", than what is Here and Now, in this Body, with all its Emotional Biochemicals, with this Mind, on this Planet, and with all the other living beings and Human Cells of the entire static/Dynamic Living Organism we call "Society". Whatever the "organizing principle" might be, it's been at this a long, long, long time, and I'm just glad to be in the kind of body that can actually begin to have some understanding of how it all works. That's where I get to experience "Dynamic Quality" myself in my own capacity for synthesis and insight. When I really Feel Into and Honor That; i.e. my mind's capacity for Dynamic Insight…then I feel that much more grounded and authentic. And it's a very Stable feeling, not a fleeting one. Something I am really beginning to Enjoy more and more all the time! So Keep On Keepin' On, Brother!

  3. How beautiful. You hint of a spiritual melancholy that is lofty and romantic as well as earthy and deeply grounded. And your ideas are held gently by the profound yet simple Vedic wisdom that life is nothing more than consciousness. We are here to experience life, directly. So we are here to experience pure consciousness, directly, When we have the direct experience of pure consciousness, we are nothing more than a vessel for consciousness to know itself. The knower becomes the known and the process of knowing, the holy trinity of divine experience, and the feeling is love. Not the thought about it all…the actual feeling, deep in the ego. The human being merges with the divine, which was the true reality all along. When we try to be "spiritual" without this direct experience, we are just making a mood of spirituality but that's not real love. That is nervous longing to one day be more like your Yoga teacher (and finally "get there"), who, let's face it, rises up in little waves of murky water now and again like the rest of us. The more we directly experience love, the more that murky water becomes purified – so much so that the light shines through the water so clearly the water could even say "I am the sun." The reflection (us) is also pure light. That's when we are ready to rise up in a wave of love. Not like a little pond that just stirs the mud at the bottom. But like the whole ocean. I do not want to be a Goddess either. Not for myself or for anyone. I am a human being with a human nervous system and the human nervous system cannot support omniscience. Even Siddhas have limitations.

    One day we both will die for the last time, but until then we will live madly and truly and deeply and the pain of it all is a beautiful torture that brings us to our knees in love, over and over and over…

  4. Ben_Ralston says:

    Ah, I'm drowning. Thank you Natalie, I have no words really…

  5. annaweltman says:

    i love your last line, Natalie….One day we both will die for the last time, but until then we will live madly and truly and deeply and the pain of it all is a beautiful torture that brings us to our knees in love, over and over and over…

    hard to accept and conceptualize, and hard to embrace, and painful, yet enticing…and true, I believe.

  6. Ben_Ralston says:

    I second that – the more real one gets the gooder one feels. Even when not feeling good…

  7. there is something about authentic moments where a person writes some words and those words stir the Self in us all..the "Sarvadhi Sakshi Bhutam" -the very being of THAT which is the witness of all intellects-…only writing from the Self effortlessly connects people like this. this is intimacy.

    Ben wrote from the Self and it woke THAT in me, then Anna, and then we are connected, which is why this kind of expression is so precious and should be protected from stress, from our ideas about what we should write, from straining to answer questions and gain an audience. the flow of literature is the flow of life when it's written well and there are times Ben's writing has stirred me in the same way John Keats has. I have an 1887 hardback cover of his letters to Fanny Brawne beside my bed and that book is more precious to me than anything else I own. There are only a few people on elephant journal with this effect on me; Ben was the reason I joined elephant to begin with in 2010.

    Thanks Ben, I shall leave you with Keats:

    "I will imagine you Venus tonight and pray, pray, pray to your star, like a heathen"

  8. Ben_Ralston says:

    I'm writing this comment to make sure that you see Natalie's comment below, Anna 🙂

  9. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you thank you thank you.

  10. Maria says:

    Your wonderful piece reminded me of Anthem, a Leonard Cohen song, where he sings: "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Thank you for paying close attention to the world.

  11. Brad_Linsley says:

    Yup Ben, drowning… with a throbbing heart, this last line touched my soul, damn! Thank you Natalie 🙂

  12. Anjuli says:

    Thank you, I really appreciate the contents of your words

  13. Ben_Ralston says:

    Well if that aint a compliment I dont know what is 🙂

  14. Patsie Smith says:

    Beautiful article Ben, thank you. So agree, being a divine and sacred being as we are is totally embracing the polarities of the whole fabric of life and as life. I was commenting just earlier today on an article on another site with a very hot topic on depression, where people are just so resistant toward the light-dark, up-down, yin-yang reality of our physical existence. When I cry tears of deep sorrow, I cry from the depths of my being with a joyful sadness for being so alive and human. Our whole journey and purpose is also all about integration of our divine reality, not just floating up in the clouds and like you said, "an escapist". Enjoyed your article, Blessings and Light to you, Namaste.

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