ART : ‘Jacob’s Dream’ ~ by William Blake (c. 1805, British Museum, London)
Climbing Jacob’s Ladder
Posted by Steve Beckow on July 21, 2014
Enlightenment is the realization of our true nature.
Ascension is the adjustment of our energies to a higher frequency so that the dimension of existence we’re currently aware of disappears from our experience and we find ourselves on a new and higher dimension.
Ascension happens within subplanes of a dimension and between dimensions. However, the word “Ascension” is usually reserved for ascension between dimensions. But we ascend within dimensions nonetheless. People are always ascending, except under exceptional circumstances.
What exceptional circumstances? Well, we chose this lifetime to descend, to come down from higher dimensions to assist our brothers and sisters on Earth to rise to a higher one. We’re the leaven in the loaf. The work of starseeds and lightworkers raises the vibration of the whole planet.
Enlightenment is usually the mechanism that causes Ascension. In our case, if we chose to leave the body, we’d return to our native dimensions as a matter of course. The experience of enlightenment would not be needed.
In the Third Dimension, enlightenment consists of the seeing of the Light of the One (or the Form of the One) in more and more refined ways.
If it were the Light, then the first stage of enlightenment for Third-Dimensional people would be the seeing of a discrete Light, the Light of the Soul or Self.
Christians call this the Son of God and the Christ. Hindus call it the Atman. It is the Light of our nature. But it’s seen first as a discrete Light. Jan Ruusbroec describes it here:
“In the abyss of this darkness in which the loving spirit has died to itself, God’s revelation and eternal life have their origin, for in this darkness an incomprehensible light is born and shines forth; this is the Son of God, in whom a person becomes able to see and to contemplate eternal life.” (1)
Why contemplate eternal life? Because meditating on the sight of the Light causes it to expand, as we’ll see below. The end of its expansion is “eternal life” in the sense that we need not be reborn. But we’re eternally alive already.
“It is Christ, the light of truth, who says, ‘See,’ and it is through him that we are able to see, for he is the light of the Father, without which there is no light in heaven or on earth. (2)
This experience occurs when the kundalini, the spiritual current that the Divine Mother is, reaches the fourth chakra. Hindus call it spiritual awakening and Buddhists stream entering.
The next stage of enlightenment is when that same Light expands to fill all of creation. Christians call it the vision of the Holy Spirit; Hindus the Divine Mother. It’s also called cosmic consciousness and savikalpa samadhi (or samadhi while seeing form).
Here is Wordsworth describing the experience of the Light in all creation.
“‘Such was the Boy — but for the growing Youth
What soul was his, when, from the naked top
Of some bold headland, he beheld the sun
Rise up, and bathe the world in light!
“He looked –
Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth
And ocean’s liquid mass, in gladness lay
Far and wide the clouds were touched,
And in their silent faces could he read
“Sound needed none,
Nor any voice of joy; his spirit drank
The spectacle: sensation, soul, and form,
All melted into him; they swallowed up
His animal being; in them did he live,
And by them did he live; they were his life”. (3)
Sri Ramakrishna describes the seeing of a Form rather than a Light. This level of enlightenment still features the dualism of seer and seen.
“Then comes the sixth plane, corresponding to the centre known as Ajna. This centre is located between the eyebrows and it has a lotus with two petals. When the Kundalini reaches it, the aspirant sees the form of God. But still there remains a slight barrier between the devotee and God. It is like a light inside a lantern. You may think you have touched the light, but in reality you cannot because of the barrier of glass.” (4)
The next stage of enlightenment sees the Light transcend creation. We “see” the formless or the transcendental. It comes when the kundalini reaches the seventh chakra and is the first transcendental vision of what Christians call the Father and what Hindus call Brahman.
Jan Ruusbroec describes it here:
“There follows a third kind of experience, namely, that we feel ourselves to be one with God, for by means of our transformation in God we feel ourselves to be swallowed up in the groundless abyss of our eternal blessedness, in which we can never discover any difference between ourselves and God. This is the highest of all our experiences and can be experienced in no other way than by our being immersed in love.” (5)
It may be the highest of Jan Ruusbroec’s experiences, but it’s not the end of the experiences of God that await us. Sri Ramakrishna describes it here:
“Last of all is the seventh plane, which, according to Tantra, is the centre of the thousand-petalled lotus. When the Kundalini arrives there, the aspirant goes into samadhi. In that lotus dwells Satchidananda Siva, the Absolute. There Kundalini, the awakened Power, unites with Siva. This is known as the union of Siva and Sakti.” (6)
It is the first “seeing” of the formless God, but it will not even bring with it entry into the Fifth Dimension.
Nonetheless, now we see why the Trinity is so important: because we’re set the task in life of realizing while still in the body the Light of the Christ, the Mother and the Father, or of the Atman, Shakti and Brahman. The purpose of life is knowing our true nature and that true nature is God. And we see our true nature in broadening stairsteps by realizing each level of the Trinity in turn.
None of these levels represents the stage of enlightenment that we’ll realize some time after Ascension. Not upon Ascension, but in a later subplane of the Fifth Dimension.
That stage of enlightenment is called Sahaja Samadhi, the natural state. Interestingly, Jesus through John Smallman once called Ascension a “return once more to your natural state of Oneness with your Source.” (7) That’s a pretty good definition of Sahaja, in my view.
It represents a permanent heart opening, whereas the earlier stages represent a temporary heart opening. It brings liberation from the need to be reborn, what Ruusbroec called “eternal life.”
Sri Ramana Maharshi describes it here:
“[The] Heart is the seat of Jnanam [wisdom] as well as of the granthi (knot of ignorance). It is represented in the physical body by a hole smaller than the smallest pin-point, which is always shut. When the mind drops down in Kevalya Nirvikalpa [samadhi], it opens but shuts again after it. When sahaja [nirvikalpa samadhi] is attained it opens for good.” (7)
“The Sahaja Nirvikalpa is permanent and in it lies liberation from rebirths.” (8)
So this is the stairway to heaven. Why heaven? Because “heaven” is the Christian word for the Fifth Dimension. This is a part of Jacob’s Ladder of consciousness and we are the angels descending it and then mounting it again.
Sahaja in no way exhausts the experiences of enlightenment that beings go through on their return journey to God. But of the loftier levels of enlightenment, we know very little.
(1) John Ruusbroec in James A. Wiseman, John Ruusbroec. The Spiritual Espousals and Other Works. New York, etc.: Paulist Press, 1985, 147. [Hereafter JR.]
(2) Ibid., 74.
(3) William Wordsworth in Marghanita Laski, Ecstacy in Secular and Religious Experiences. Los Angeles: Tarcher, 1961, 399.
(4) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 499-500. [Hereafter GSR.]
(5) John Ruusbroec in JR, 176.
(6) GSR, 499.
(7) Jesus via John Smallman, November 27, 2013, at http://johnsmallman2.wordpress.com.
(8) Ramana Maharshi, S.S. Cohen, Guru Ramana. Memories and Notes. 6th edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1993, 96.
(9) Ibid., 88.