Stephen Jenkinson: Will youth of today’s Western world, respect the elders of today, for their future?

Interviewed by

Tim Lynch

Stephen Jenkinson: Will youth of today’s Western world, respect the elders of today, for their future?

This was for me both an interesting and a daunting interview - especially as I was intent and hearing from a very experienced person who had a Masters Degree in Theology.

So how does a human live on a planet or should I say a human being - live on a planet - because we are not really ‘being’ are we?

Growth has become the secular religion of our time.

What Stephen answered with is that the so called ‘dominant culture’ and materialism is now in an extremely problematic phase. That growth in its many ways has become the secular religion of our time. This desire for consumerism is also consuming our future, yet ‘growth' - and even the ‘personal growth’ industry is exponentialising itself - as an idea that ‘inner growth and awareness can be sold as a commodity to people.

This preoccupation of ‘increase’ - which can be easily seen in the consumer culture, is becoming predominant.

Stephen who has worked in palliative care in what he called the 'death industry' he talks about - oncology, the study and treatment of tumours. He said they have a word that is a synonym for tumour and it is called - ‘a growth’ which is as a word widely used outside the industry too and it is called just ‘growth.’ He goes on to talk about what is this growth thing? Well, in cancer it grows itself to death. This can be seen in how industrial man keeps on growing his business and the repercussions are being seen in all areas of the biosphere.

Tumors grow themselves to terminate the host

A growth or a tumour has no concerns about anything other than its continued unrestricted growth until finally - it terminates its host. Its mania is its demise. And the collateral damage is the person in question.

Respect for the Elder Generation

‘Respect your elders’ … in his days this is what Stephen said was a description of the way things were.

That elders were to be held in generic high regard. Not elevating them over the top, not inflating them to some kind of heroic status but just a sense that they have endured as long as they have - has conferred upon them some sort of - what he calls reliability - and that is the way it was - however it is not the way it is now. And the change from then (only 75 to 100 years ago) - is now extreme. To the extent to respect your elders now is much more of a plea - that is his present day description of the way it is.

Stephen says that something very fundamental has happened to people’s willingness to hold older people in inalienable high esteem.

The other half of this equations is that he says: Respect your elders and they - behave and comport themselves - respectably.

Where is the respect of Elders today?

The young today are having difficulty in finding common ground with elders and are fundamentally challenging the term ‘respect your elders’ - if not dismissing this notion out of hand.

One reason is that youth are in a position where they are inheriting a world that is in considerable disrepair - and when they look to their elders they say but this has been done on their elders ‘watch!' Listen to the interview.

So the youth ask, how come we let this happen when we knew that there are going to be repercussions in the future and still the elders did nothing!

This being the case - we can understand why the younger generation have difficulty in respecting ‘the elders.’

Respect what? Becomes their question. See Stephen’s book ‘Come of Age.’ What happens when you do not hold older people in high regard? Plus how does this demean the culture fundamentally?

Stephen says that we today have inherited deeply troubling challenges and we can not 'wish them away' - we have to quietly and in a focused way deal with them … Listen ...

Wisdom

Wisdom - how does it come about? Can you inherit wisdom? Stephen says it is not the case - Listen ...

Prejudices …and bigotry

He also ask the question what can you inherit? He then states - Prejudices …and bigotry - how do we pick these up? There is no labour in picking these up. There is no wisdom involved. How come these be so easily picked up?

There are many subjects that are covered in this interview. Stephen’s intellect and its acuity, shows that he is very adept at the spoken word.

Awake?

Awake what is it? An elevated mindfulness or … a kind of achieved state?
He breaks down words like A-Wake and explains what they convey

Hope?

What is hope? This was a big one and he deconstructs this word as well.

Tim here, I had a huge list of questions that I did not get around to asking many of these:

Questions that I had lined up - in any order ...

The Great Mystery … Life, death and beyond. What does he perceive as ‘the great mystery?’

The tyranny of hope … Pandora’s Box was the only gift that did not escape - We are in grim times. He did elaborate on hope.

Zen poet Thich Nhat Hanh was asked, “what do we most need to do to save our world?” His answer was this: “What we most need to do is to hear within us the sounds of the Earth crying.”

Did Stephen wish to add anything to this? We just did not have time ...

Psychology has become monotheism without God. This is what Stephen had mentioned in a video. Could he explain?

Anima Mundi, the Latin word for World Soul. His thoughts on this?

We are Spiritual Beings having an earth existence? Stephen did answer this, but not in a way that it was being asked. That as there are 7.7 billion humans on earth, were they not in someway on a spiritual journey? Or as many would say be inhabited by soul, or have a soul connection? He did no concur or he may have misunderstood my question. Listen

Many people today are generally perceived as so disconnected from any sense of the deeper self, or soul - having instead being so busy with the outside world with all its distractions and diversions - that they have omitted to cultivate any inner values, or ‘knowing thyself’ and deepening their inquiry into why they are here in human form. This translates to being in many ways, devoid of any spiritual context. Thus not peacefully knowing how to die - But dying by medication - sliding into a worsening stage of coma and drugged out - lacking any focus or coherency - 'dying badly.'Stephen has written on ‘dying badly.

We are death phobic and grief illiterate - these are from his previous statements and we just never had the time to follow this up.

Re-wilding our Planet and E.O Wilson’s idea of ½ of or planet being 'locked away' to regenerate without or with very little human interference. With no extraction of anything from these areas.

https://eowilsonfoundation.org/e-o-wilson-on-saving-half-the-earth/

Lack of vernacular to express one’s feelings … that men in particular are generally unable to open themselves up to being more vulnerable in showing their feelings. This was a big one being, that men in general just seem to not have the ability to articulate and say how they feel.

Ecological connection - to a planet that is under siege. We did cover this, however not in the sense of that of an indigenous person, living immersed in nature. i.e have mystical experiences - as a result of fasting or a vision quest.

The denial and ability to hide from the responsibility to wake up to what is happening on earth. The Anthropocene stage that of humans now have overtaken the earth’s natural systems to self balance or heal itself from the ecological damage that we are doing it to it/‘her.' We did cover this to a small degree.

That so many contemporary adults are reading non fiction, i.e Mills and Boon books - (plural) and are engaged in living vicariously through literature that is increasingly becoming more risqué and going into fantasy. That we are not acting responsibly, but in fact - deluding ourselves.

A Planetary Cry In - that if we all did it - it could 'shift the field.’ This was a blue sky - 'what if question' -the fact that humans, especially men do not cry, (very few) thus are emotionally blocked - that in a grief filled moment that when we realised what we have done to the world and our collective future and continue to do so - if we realised this, have you Stephen, any opinion on such a concept?

That today especially in education that women lead the men in their fields - schools girls academic qualifications are higher - since 1893 when women emancipated themselves for the first time on our planet, do you see woman as being pivotal in bring our civilisation to its senses?

www.OrphanWisdom.com

Stephen is in NZ from April 30th 2019

Come of Age: Author Reading and Reportage ~ Christchurch, NZ

April 30, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Venue: Halswell Community Hall , 450 Halswell Road

Halswell, Christchurch 8025 New Zealand + Google Map

"Getting older is inevitable, becoming an elder is a skill. " Stephen Jenkinson Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 (7-9pm) - Ticket link: here Host: Sarndra Fowler, Email: info@sarndrafowler.co.nz, Phone: 021-826672 Venue: Halswell Community Hall, 450 Halswell Road, Halswell, Christchurch, 8025, New Zealand Facebook Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble by Stephen Jenkinson | book video trailer The sages seem to be departing. Elections enthrone Change, that’s all. The tribal lines deepen. And there's the weather, and the waters. The appearance of it…

Find out more »

MAY 2019

Come of Age: Author Reading and Reportage ~ Auckland, NZ

May 1, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Grey Lynn Library Hall, 474 Great North Road

Grey Lynn, Auckland, 1021 New Zealand + Google Map

"Getting older is inevitable, becoming an elder is a skill. " Stephen Jenkinson Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 (7-9pm) Host: Matthew Monahan, matthew@monahan.com Ticket purchase: registration link here Venue: Grey Lynn Library Hall, 474 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland 1021, New Zealand Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble by Stephen Jenkinson | book video trailer The sages seem to be departing. Elections enthrone Change, that’s all. The tribal lines deepen. And there's the weather, and the waters. The appearance of it all…

Find out more »

Come of Age: Author Reading and Reportage ~ Wellington, NZ

May 3, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba Street

Te Aro, Wellington 6011 New Zealand + Google Map

"Getting older is inevitable, becoming an elder is a skill. " Stephen Jenkinson Friday, May 3rd, 2019 (7-9pm) - Consider attending Stephen's day long talk on Saturday, May 4th. Host: Hannah McOwan, johannahmcowan@gmail.com Ticket purchase link Venue: Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba Street, Te Aro Wellington, New Zealand, 6011 Facebook link Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble by Stephen Jenkinson | book video trailer The sages seem to be departing. Elections enthrone Change, that’s all. The tribal lines deepen. And…

Find out more »

Come of Age: day long talk ~ Wellington, NZ

May 4, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba Street

Te Aro, Wellington 6011 New Zealand + Google Map

"Getting older is inevitable, becoming an elder is a skill. " Stephen Jenkinson Saturday, May 4th, 2019 (10-4pm) - Consider attending Stephen's evening talk on Friday, May 3rd. Host: Hannah McOwan, johannahmcowan@gmail.com Ticket purchase link Venue: Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba Street, Te Aro Wellington, New Zealand, 6011 Facebook link Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble by Stephen Jenkinson | book video trailer The sages seem to be departing. Elections enthrone Change, that’s all. The tribal lines deepen. And there's the…

Find out more »

 

 

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Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch, is a New Zealander, who is fortunate in that he has whakapapa, or a bloodline that connects him to the Aotearoan Maori. He has been involved as an activist for over 40 years - within the ecological, educational, holistic, metaphysical, spiritual & nuclear free movements. He sees the urgency of the full spectrum challenges that are coming to meet us, and is putting his whole life into being an advocate for todays and tomorrows children. 'To Mobilise Consciousness.'

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