- The act of ascending; ascent
- the bodily ascent of Jesus into heaven on the 40th day after the resurrection
Derivation: Latin ascendere < ad-, to + scandere, to climb.
(Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition)
In various mystical teachings, the word expresses the concept of entering heaven alive.
“… we have this simile of the bridge, and the bridge goes from this state of existence to that state of existence.” – LRH
(from the filmed lecture “Classification and Gradation.” Transcript, page 6.)
In Scientology we see the concept of ascension put into practice very concretely. The Scientologist, almost literally, “walks up the Bridge.”
Anyone who is able enough can be trained to deliver the services that constitute the steps up the Bridge. Most people are capable of “walking” those steps, and many have.
At the top, you are a being who can “enter heaven alive.”
But in finding this way, LRH learned some interesting things about life and about “heaven.”
Biology: A hypothetical permanent change produced in the protoplasm by a stimulus.
Psychology: A permanent effect produced in the psyche by a stimulus.
Dianetics: …a recording like the ripples in the groove of a phonograph record: it is a complete recording of everything which occurred during the period of pain.
Scientology: A mirror of old motions. It is made by the mind’s ability to duplicate the wave or motion patterns of the physical universe. It is undone by dropping out its “motion.”
The Bridge is really a series of processes designed to rehabilitate a being’s ability to control the creation and destruction of engrams, or more broadly, of any mental mass or pattern.
The analogy to a recording mechanism, such as a phonograph, can be extended to what most of us understand now as how computer programs are stored, in “memory.”
Any “program” can be used against us if a way can be found to get us to execute its commands automatically, without “thinking” (evaluating the consequences of our actions).
And ways have been found.
Thus, a method of enabling a being to take back control of his own programming (or more generally, mental information) is pertinent to the problem of freedom versus slavery.
Scientology may not be the only workable way to “ascend.”
I have not tried any of the others, and I don not intend to. I assume that I would run into the exact same problems.
The same barriers to ascension exist, regardless of what method is used to overcome them.
And those barriers involve the contents of our programming.
This programming states, roughly, that meat bodies are the best bodies, that dependence and obedience are better than independence and revolt, and that if you knew the real truth, you would die.
Some go through life without ever really running into this programming. Others of us run into it occasionally, and find it irritating and confusing. Others still are totally engrossed by it, and for all practical purposes, have lost all ability to defy it.
The more able among this last group, compelled as they are by the duress installed along with these programs, fight madly in the direction of a slave planet.
Those of us less affected, when confronted by such beings, are aghast, and wonder what their problem is. But we often dismiss them; they are too unreal; yet their message has a seed of truth in it; we fall into doubt about the workability of opposing them.
The problem of ascension
This problem was stated rather succinctly recently by John Kettler.
“…those ascending literally abandon the others.”
In other words, “ascension” has been practiced in the past as a way for the spiritually more able to escape earth. We need the spiritually more able on earth helping to solve the problems of earth. And our biggest problem is the ability of our programming to overwhelm us. It is really an “ability” that we ourselves conferred upon it. But be that as it may, the way out is greater spiritual ability, and a full, permanent handling is needed. That means everyone on the planet is involved until we’re finished.
In Scientology, what LRH did was set certain targets that must be met before the higher levels are released to the general public. This keeps the spiritually more able here, working, instead of wandering off to a cloud somewhere and sleeping for the next ten thousand years.
The goals of “ascension” will fail if it is not possible, ultimately, for all to ascend. For those left behind will find new ways to drag the rest of us back down.
Ascension is a very worthwhile goal. But it is a long-term goal. We have a lot of work ahead of us.
But what goal would you rather work for? A castle in the Alps this lifetime, or a new game that all beings everywhere can play, forever?