To the residents of the physical plane, the whole notion of ascension is novel, but to the residents of the spirit planes, those who have passed through the transition we think of as “death,” the notion of ascension is well accepted and much better understood.
Frederic Meyers tells us that “we dwell in each state or world during the time we are attached to the appearances that constitute that world.” (1) His is not an uncommon comment.
The unnamed teacher who spoke through Betty Bethards also revealed that “you experience the level to which you have learned to attune your consciousness. When you learn the lessons of a particular vibration, you may move to a finer vibration of experience.” (2) That is essentially what’s happening for us at this time, is it not?
And Silver Birch, the well-known spirit guide who spoke through Maurice Barbanell and who was the earliest channeled voice I listened to and the SaLuSa of his day, also told us many years ago about ascension. As I said a few days ago, the spirit world works differently than the material plane in the sense that people are sorted out according to their level of attainment.
“The sphere or plane on which you exist in our world contains individuals at the same stage of spiritual development as you are. You can’t go higher spiritually until you are ready. You can go lower, as many of us do to perform missionary work among the unenlightened beings in the lower spheres.” (3)
Ascension involves movement of people from one dimension or plane to another, he explains. “As you advance beyond [one plane], you leave it behind. As the spirit qualifies itself, by growth, progress and evolution, so it naturally passes to the next stage of spirit life.” (4)
He describes ascension from one plane to another this way: “You do not climb from one sphere into another; you grow, you evolve. The lower gives way to the higher. You ‘die’ and are born again and again.” (5)
Silver Birch reminds us that “there are many deaths and many births.” (6) There is one “death” so to speak for each plane we ascend to because we leave the body appropriate to the former plane behind. It isn’t similar to physical death, he explains.
“You do not lose the astral body in quite the same way that you lose the material body. It becomes rarefied, it becomes refined, as the lower drops away. That is its death, for death really means transformation, resurrection, the rising of the higher out of the lower.” (7)
Some like WWI soldier and artist, Sigwart, advanced quickly from sphere to sphere. What I’ve called spiritual evolution, he called “continuous development.” (8) And he was very eager to advance.
He was given a preview of the Mental Plane and exclaimed: “When one has had a few glimpses into the higher spheres, how great and glorious everything is! This is a strong incentive to advance further.” (9) There was no holding Sigwart back: “My will to know is becoming greater every day and daily I am gaining more.” (10)
Then he entered what probably was the first subplane of the Mental Plane and told his relatives: “I am not in the so-called “Astral Sphere” nor in the “Devachan Sphere” [Heaven or the Mental Planes proper] at present, but in a middle realm. I have advanced farther in a shorter time than many others because of my interest in everything spiritual during my life on earth.” (11)
Residing in the early stage of entry into the Mental Plane, he told his earthbound family: “I have reached a sphere where everything is easier. I am less disturbed by many things that used to confuse me. An oscillation of equanimity surrounds me.” (12) “New doors are opening for me; I may behold glorious sights. Have I not reason to be happy? … It is … satisfying to advance as quickly as possible and explore all the splendor.” (13)
In this first subplane of the Mental Planes comes the reflective process known as the” Judgement,” after which comes the shedding of the body in the “Second Death.” (I don’t believe these processes will be a feature of our Ascension.) Prior to these events, Sigwart says:
“I do not know how long I shall remain on this present spiritual level, but I believe it will not be much longer. Then I shall step out of my present body just as you would lay aside your physical body.” (14)
Waiting was tedious for him. Yet he was now in touch with the higher life of the “Devachan” more completely than he had been when he merely visited the Mental Plane from the Astral.
“How long the process of dying lasts! I am still dying; I am divesting myself continuously of sheaths and each time I perceive more and feel differently. …
“My true life has begun now; the dream condition has ended.” (15)
He then passed through most of the Judgement, as he states here:
“I have overcome most of the hardships now. I have passed a test. It was not easy but then the feeling of success is glorious. … The period of self-contemplation has ended. Part of my ego is still occupied with it, but for a few hours I may enjoy again the pleasures of sublime existence.” (16)
After the Second Death and the total falling away of the Astral body, he exclaimed: “The fetters of earth have been stripped off me.” (17) After his ascent, he related back to his family: “You have to imagine me in a different light now, because I have changed completely.” (18)
In an earlier article, I described the ascent of “Dr. G.” (19) Here then is a second ascent: that of Sigwart.
I’ll look more at ascension from the spirit side in other articles. But these descriptions for now can show us that ascension is well known in the spirit planes and anticipated by all residents there who are aware of it.
(1) Frederic W.H. Myers through Geraldine Cummins, medium, Beyond Human Personality. Downloaded from http://www.trans4mind.com/spiritual/cummins/cummins2.html, n.p.
(2) Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, medium, There is No Death. Novato, CA: Inner Light Foundation, 1976; c1975, 15.
(3) Silver Birch, Light from Silver Birch. Comp. Pam Riva. London: Psychic Press, 1983 19.
(4) Silver Birch, Silver Birch Anthology. Ed. Wm. Naylor. London: Spiritualist Press, 1974; c1955, 57.
(5) Ibid., 58.
(6) Ibid., 57.
(7) Ibid., 58.
(8) Sigwart in Joseph Wetzl, trans., The Bridge Over the River. Communications from the Life After Death of a Young Artist Who Died in World War One. Spring Valley: Anthroposophic Press, 1974, 34.
(9) Ibid., 14.
(10) Ibid., 15.
(11) Ibid., 28.
(12) Ibid., 30.
(13) Ibid., 32.
(14) Ibid., 9.
(15) Ibid., 30.
(16) Ibid., 35.
(17) loc. cit.
(18) Ibid., 34.
(19) In “Dimensions: Differences and Similarities,” July 23, 2012, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2012/07/dimensions-differences-and-similarities/ and “Why is This Transformational Process Called “Ascension”? Nov. 17, 2011,” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/ascension/what-is-ascension/why-is-this-transformational-process-called-ascension/. The account of Dr. G’s ascension occurs in T.E. Lawrence through Jane Sherwood, medium, Post-Mortem Journal. Communications from T.E. Lawrence. London: Spearman, 1964, 77.