There are a fair amount of people who come to Medicine Work with the goal of Enlightenment and/or Spiritual Ascension. Some of us seek to understand the meaning of all that is or want to "reach the top" of the spiritual quest we see ourselves on. But what does it really mean to be Enlightened? What does it mean to participate in a Spiritual Ascension? Not only do we not really have full control over these occurrences, but we also cannot possibly anticipate what they are without truly experiencing them.
A search for Enlightenment is usually a quest we establish that never really ends. Many times it's a story we tell ourselves to keep moving forward or keep focusing on an unattainable or fantasy-based goal as a means to escape from our day-to-day experience. If we just stay the course and eventually become Enlightened through meditation, prayer or Medicine Work, we can bypass all the negative and hard shit, right? That's a great story! And it will definitely ensure that you aren't experiencing life to the fullest.
Here's the secret though, we aren't here to become Enlightened. On top of that, it's not something that we can actually grasp until it finds us.
Is Enlightenment that moment of ego death? Is it the glimpse of understanding how the universe works? Is it the "God Moment" people search for through the use of drugs and Plant Medicine? Yes to all of those things. But the beautiful part is that when you choose to fully be present in your experience as a human, Enlightenment finds you.
Ascension is another facet that I wanted to discuss and it's in a similar wheelhouse as Enlightenment. By definition, Ascension means the act of rising to an important position or a higher level. It implies that we are rising up, becoming higher or better or above where we were. Many describe it as being upgraded or moving into a higher frequency. But I would encourage you to explore how much ego is present in that perspective/definition.
If we are rising above and moving up, where is everyone else? Is where we were, or where they are, less than? Does it mean they are lower or further behind than we are?
Most definitely not. I encourage you to consider the perspective below and the potential impact on how you view and/or judge those on the spiritual path to be "behind" or "beneath" where you are now.
First, I want to remind you that we live in an space made up of energy. Everything is operating at a frequency, including our own consciousness and experience. Entering a "higher" frequency just means that the sound waves are closer together, whereas a "lower" frequency means they are further apart. For visual effect, I will include a demonstration below.
To take that a step further, Spiritual Ascension is indeed about traveling to a higher frequency, but that is not literally higher or above where you are now. Ascension isn't about the climb upwards, it's about the climb inward. It's about moving closer to Source, to Love, to the highest vibration within yourself. I wish I had a word for this, and honestly I am sure there is one in one of the ancient spiritual cultures, but I would encourage you to think of Spiritual Ascension as the climb inward towards yourself and not up some spiritual ladder.
As you do The Work (spiritual work, shadow work, Medicine Work, integration, etc.) you will continue to move closer to the authentic version of yourself. This is the version of you that lives in a place of pure love and vibrates at such a frequency. When we are not living from a place of love, we are vibrating with some frequency of fear. Therefore, the Ascension process is really about moving out of that vibration of fear (which is said to be 19 hz) and into the vibration of love (528 hz).
Since we are, at our core, Love, this is indeed a journey in and not a journey up.