I had an enjoyable conversation with a lightholder about enlightenment under normal circumstances vs. enlightenment at this time of mass ascension and I’d like to make a few comments arising out of that conversation.
Many people say, “I’m happy with my spiritual path. I don’t need to be thinking of Ascension.” That’s an acceptable choice, but how likely is it that a person would achieve an enlightenment of a similar level to Ascension by their own efforts? I would say the chances are not great.
Only a permanent heart opening, which occurs in a level of enlightenment called sahaja samadhi, leads to a stable, enduring and “full” experience of enlightenment, (1) as far as I’m aware. And a stable, enduring and full experience of enlightenment is what we can expect from Ascension.
The lesser experiences, such as stream-entering (when the kundalini reaches the fourth chakra), savikalpa samadhi (sixth chakra), and nirvikalpa samadhi (seventh chakra), don’t result in a permanent heart opening and so don’t lead to liberation. (2) They’re not equivalent to Ascension, as far as I know.
In the lesser experiences of enlightenment, the vasanas or latent tendencies survive, which accounts for all the stories of “enlightened” teachers having sexual escapades, giving way to violent fits of anger, enjoying palatial mansions, etc.
Their habit patterns haven’t been eradicated. They’re not siddhas or “boiled”; that is, their seeds or vasanas are not boiled, so to speak. They’re said to be halfway up the mountain.
If one was to count the number of seekers who experience sahaja samadhi in a discrete period of time, I’d expect the number to be relatively small. And the number becomes even smaller when one subtracts the people who’ve experienced enlightenment in previous lifetimes.
So, for instance, if Mohandas Gandhi was a later life of St. Francis of Asissi, as St. Francis said was the case, (3) then Gandhi experienced a sublime enlightenment in his past life and had a great leg up on his lifetime as the Mahatma.
We’d need to subtract from that number also illustrious personages like Sri Ramakrishna, Mata Amritanandamayi, Anandamoyi Ma, etc., who were avatars. An avatar is a descender from God; an ordinary spiritual seeker is an ascender up to God. Avatars are fully enlightened before they ever came here.
The number becomes even smaller when one subtracts the great spirits who came back to serve an avatar and were themselves known sages or eternal companions of avatars in other lifetimes. If we subtract them from our number, we lose such masters as Swami Vivekananda (reputedly one of the Seven Sages) and Swami Brahmananda (an eternal companion of Krishna) and many others.
Whatever the number may be, it would be a very, very small figure in any one time period.
Now we come to the present day in which a very large number of people are promised a very high state of enlightenment (in relative terms, not high dimensionally perhaps). Ascension will carry people to the Fifth Dimension and to a permanent, stable and full enlightenment. Masses of people will ascend at the end of the present age, which will soon be upon us.
Therefore if one were to contemplate Ascension and say, “Well, I can achieve enlightenment without being associated with this thing called Ascension. I can achieve it by my own practice,” the question becomes: how realistic might that thought be?
Very few people achieve sahaja samadhi at any time and sahaja frees one from the wheel of birth and death. Ascension will also free one from the wheel of birth and death and very many people will achieve that. How realistic is it to pass up such an opportunity?
So to the spiritual seeker saying this, I’d respond that Ascension offers an opportunity to get off the wheel of birth and death that isn’t widely available, not generously offered at any other time than at an end-of-cycle Ascension. It isn’t an opportunity to be scoffed at, as far as I can see.
There are very few people who reach the same heights that everyone who chooses and assimilates sufficient light can achieve at this time. It is a gift that’s seriously to be considered and only after deep reflection to be set aside.
(1) I don’t believe there is such a thing as “full” enlightenment, at least not till a point of accomplishment that is so far down the road that it cannot even be speculated about or commented on.
(2) The various stages of enlightenment are discussed starting here and in sections following: http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/fdl/e1.html#e1
(3) “St. Francis Reveals at Least One of His Later Lives: As Mohandas Gandhi.” at