I get this image of a ladder reaching up into the far beyond and stretching below into the far below. On this ladder, there are people occupying the ladder, each one climbing the ladder moving upward, but at the same time, reaching down to the person just below him/her, pulling that person up, helping him/her to ascend to the next rung of the ladder.
The reason I bring this up is because quite often, it seems like there is an end, that once you become a master, for instance, that’s it, you get to retire so to speak, but the factual truth is, there is no end, no all done with nothing else to ever do again. Just like that ladder, even the Master has someone just above him/her reaching down to help him/her ascend to the next rung, and he/she is also reaching down to help the one below him/her ascend to the next rung. Note whether one is a master or a student, is a relative perspective. We are each one of us Masters and at the same time Students.
There are aspects of this ladder concept to consider; (I can go into greater depth regarding each one of these aspects later if there is an interest in me doing so.)
1. We are all ascending towards higher degrees of mastery/illumination/clarity/ability through our life experiences.
2. There is always someone who is higher than you are, who knows what you have gone through because he/she has “been there, done that,” and he/she is reaching down to help you move up to the next rung of the ladder. So, you are the student, and the person above you is the teacher/master. (He/she has mastered the rung you are currently on and ascended to the next higher rung.)
3. There is also always someone who is lower than you, someone who hasn’t learned what you now know, and so, by your reaching down, you help him/her to learn the lessons which help him/her to ascend to the next rung that you are vacating by moving up the ladder yourself. To that person just below you, you are the teacher/master, and he/she is the student.
4. Because of the structure of the ladder, you aren’t able to move up the ladder beyond your capacity to reach the next rung. Also, you are not able to descend the ladder because it is fully occupied with everyone ascending the ladder. (You wouldn’t want to descend anyway. You might compare this descending to the idea of having graduated from college, gotten your degree, then deciding you wanted to be a student in the first grade again.)
5. Because of the structure and direction of movement, because the one above us helps us to ascend to the next rung, as he/she is helped to ascend to his/her next rung, there is no doing it all on your own, there is always help available to you.
6. In order for each person to most efficiently ascend, it behooves each one to help the one just below him/her to ascend because in so doing, progress is enabled.
7. Through the unity of effort and everyone intent on ascending, everyone benefits and ascension is possible for everyone.
8. A person’s scope of concern, or realm of effective control is just that person above him/her, and that person just below him/her. These are the realms within his/her reach, within his/her ability to effectively help and to effectively be helped. While it is possible to pay attention to those who are way down the ladder, or to pay attention to those who are towards the top of the ladder, those points of attention aren’t as helpful/useful as paying attention to his/her realm of effective control. If you look back, you can appreciate the progress you’ve made, and if you look forward, you can appreciate the progress you anticipate making.
The ladder of ascension concept portrays harmony and cooperation, or advancement of the greater good, or whole. Let us consider such a ladder which doesn’t portray harmony and cooperation, but rather one of individual striving motivated by individual intentions and direction.
Consider this same ladder where each individual attempts to ascend and/or descend the ladder as his/her own whims dictate. Consider this same ladder where you are only intent on your own movement upon the ladder, and therefore you may try to climb over others to move up the ladder, or knock people off the ladder below you so you can descend the ladder. Consider the struggle that is certain to ensue due to this attitude and approach.
Consider the confusion on this ladder where it is everyone for himself or herself, no one helps anyone, each individual is only in it for his/her own benefit no matter what the cost to anyone else.
Consider the chaos of such a model. Do you think any type of real progress would be possible? Do you think the ladder would even be able to sustain such chaos?
Without cooperation, the whole is doomed to destruction and eventual annihilation.
You might realize that the difference between these two ladder concepts is the difference between the ego approach and the unity approach, the individual approach and the all inclusive approach. If you could step back and see the entire picture, you would see that the unity approach enables the system to thrive, grow, and progress while the other one doesn’t.
The universal intelligence knows which system works optimally, knows which system insures its continued evolution and growth. Because it is the nature of existence to evolve and grow, the natural impetus is to facilitate that through the structure of the system it utilizes.
In terms of life experiences, if you help someone else get what they need, that enables them to more fully realize their own progress and growth, which in turn enables them to more fully be empowered to help someone else get what they need. Also, at the same time, as you are helping someone else get what he or she need, there is someone helping you get what you need too.
Both parts, the giving of help and the receiving of help are rewarding experiences. Both engender good feelings of appreciation and gratitude.
As each of us adopts this cooperative attitude of giving and receiving in equal measure, the whole benefits and the life experience is in harmony with the eternal flow of existance. As we ascend the ladder into greater knowledge, awareness and experience, this evolutionary path becomes easier, more enjoyable, and more enlivened and energetic. So, it may seem that the steepness of the ladder, the verticale angle of the ladder seems to flatten out a bit as one ascends to greater heights. This is experienced through the greater joy.and ease of being accutely aware of and in tune with the flow of existance in being.
In life experience it isn’t as simple to see, i.e. one person below you on a ladder, and one person above you on a ladder, there are interactions with many people and you may know your place in all of it by the giving and receiving, by the ease and flow of your life experience. As you truly allow this ascention, you will know first hand what I’ve described here. You may actually already know this, and with that rejoice in this knowing and being.