In the fantasy novel Lord of the Rings written by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien, the wizard Gandalf follows a path to death and subsequent resurrection, transcending from his earthly persona as Gandalf the Grey to a purer, more evolved persona as Gandalf the White in a fashion parallel in many ways to the life accounts of many ascended masters throughout our history. As Gandalf the Grey, the old wizard struggles against his shadow-self deep within the Misty Mountains of Middle-Earth to overcome his challenges through defeating his nemesis, the malevolent demon known as the Balrog. Gandalf shouts his mantra, “You shall not pass!” at the Balrog, but his words are as much part of his internal dialog as they are in defiance of his opponent. Following his victory over the creature and ascent to the highest peak, Gandalf is carried by the great eagle Gwaihir through the enchanted realm of Lothlorien and up in the heavens, where he is given a new staff and pristine white garments; he is transformed into Gandalf the White — the same soul existing at a higher spiritual density (ascension) — before he is returned to his original plane of existence to fulfill his mission in the great battle for Middle-Earth. Many of the characters from Tolkien’s saga go through some decisive act of overcoming their own shadow-self to rise like a Phoenix from the ashes.
Many religions and ancient spiritual traditions have symbolized their respective accounts of ascension experiences in ways much like this vignette from Lord of the Rings. Well-known examples include Jesus’ transformation to Christhood after he faced Satan in the desert and Siddhartha’s transformation to the Rainbow Body of the Buddha after his temptation by the demon Mara.
According to author David R. Hawkins’ in his book, Transcending the Levels of Consciousness: The Stairway to Enlightenment, everything in the universe, including passing thought, is recorded forever in the timeless, uniformly present field of consciousness. Every instance and every thought that has ever occurred is equally available because the field of consciousness exists beyond time and space. In Hawkins’ book, he also provides a Map of Consciousness, a practical and pragmatic guide to understanding the evolutionary levels of consciousness to be transcended in pursuit of spiritual advancement, enlightenment, or self-improvement. It also provides a pragmatic map of the obstacles (shadows) we need to overcome in order to achieve higher levels of consciousness.
Some such obstacles being:
A helpful method for ascending from the fourth to fifth dimension (a higher level of consciousness) is to move beyond the blockages of our shadow-selves and to acknowledge and accept our own inner-obstacles. This is the final step on our stairway to Ascension. The emergence of the shadow-self is the direct manifestation of our fears and our illusion of separation from the Creator and all that is. The existence of the shadow-self is, at best, ignored — and, at worst, completely denied — by most individuals. By our denial of the existence of our shadow-self, we resign ourselves to its mercy by neglecting our opportunity for conscious control over it. The first step in removing the blockages in our physical, mental, and astral bodies caused by the lower vibrations of our shadow-self, is to acknowledge them with compassion, and through curiosity rather than judgment.
Unless we have opened ourselves to the amount of unconditional love, self-awareness and understanding necessary to transform the negatively polarized aspects of ourselves, we are often led to what Catholics refer to as a “dark night of the soul” or what Twelve Step recovery programs call “rock bottom”. Needless to say, the road continues to become bumpier and bumpier until we begin to accept the qualities of our being we perceive as undesirable, in order to gain the self-awareness necessary to transcend them.
About the author: Joy Jackson is a professional psychic/medium and intuitive guide in the Pacific Northwest.