The Key  -Ascension- pages 1-64

     The ascension is the topic of a book by Whitley Strieber called ‘The Key’ that was the result of a long conversation Whitley had with a man he refers to as ‘The Master of The Key’.  This refers to the spiritual growth attained so that one needs no longer to reincarnate and learn the lessons of the physical plane.  

     The master explains that humans are trapped on a planet whose imminent climate crisis could bring them very close to extinction but a new way of seeing ourselves as eternal beings could ‘spring the trap’ in a number of ways.  The master explores with Whitley the innumerably spiritual paths up the spiritual mountain people have taken, how the journey can happen very quickly, and how we need this expanded consciousness in an urgent way for both our physical and spiritual survival.

     Whitley was on a book tour in Toronto in June of 1998 when he was awoken by a knock at midnight by someone who he assumed was coming to get his room service tray.  The twinkly-eyed, older gentleman of moderate build wearing a turtleneck entered and requested some time.  He was there “on behalf of the good” who were seeking “ascension” which is the “process of finding God within and the universe without”.

      This opening thought is strikingly equivalent to Saying 3 in the Gospel of Thomas: “the kingdom is inside you and outside you.  When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father.”

     The master really got Whitley’s attention with his next assertion that the most important event of the age was the murder of a Jewish couple during the Holocaust who would have given birth to a child intelligent enough to have unlocked the secret of gravity.  This would have allowed humans the ability to leave the planet.  Instead, we are faced with the possibility of extinction in coming climate changes.

     The obvious question that Whitley did not ask was: “But that is so unfair?!”  Instead he asks about why we are so blind which allows the master to say that a part of us is a demon “that hungers for destruction”.  Much later in the conversation it is explained that we were responsible for destroying Mars in a war that was fought and we miss-used higher soul technology.   A part of us, apparently, wants us to experience karmicly the underside or results of the destruction we caused. 

     The master, however, discusses the point that the true answer is “Surrender to God”, “Be as the lilies of the field”, “Return to the forest”, and become “friends of God”.  This is not just being servile, however.  By becoming aware of “the much larger world behind your backs” you will become a true companion of God and “you will find your plan”.

     The master brings home the seriousness of the issue when Whitley asks what happens if the earth is destroyed and he replies that our access to earthly bodies ends even though we are not ready to live as an independent spirit.  However, the real goal that is readily obtainable is to develop a radiant body formed of conscious energy.  To do that you must “learn its needs, learn to fulfill them…You can learn to signal and be heard, and record response.”  Here is where the master drops an amazing piece of information in saying: “Souls are part of nature”.   They are an engine just like the physical body is for radiant energy.

     The conversation returns to the radiant body later but discusses that which is not radiant: government policy.  He says “the greatest present evil” is official secrecy of the alien presence which we must openly admit and defy: “Your place will not be given you.  You must be strong enough to take it.”  Later on, the master makes the point that these enemies are our best friends because they provide the resistance or the irritant in the oyster that makes the spiritual pearl.  Presumably, this would create a unity of humankind against a common threat that could only be overcome with spiritual tools of fearlessness, prayer, and the use of inner guidance.

     Whitley returns to the question of the higher world and the master dives deep into the meat of his message.  In order to avoid the reincarnation process one needs to be able to consciously “maintain the structure of the radiant body by the action of the attention” after the body is no longer there to automatically do that.  This is why meditation is so important. 

     Meditation means simultaneously “being aware of one’s own self while at the same time absorbing impressions from the outside.”  This goes back to his “finding God within and the universe without” and “the kingdom is inside you and outside you” from the Gospel of Thomas in a process the master calls a “journey toward ecstatic and conscious union with one another and all that is”.   The master explains that with meditation the “increase of spin (of the electrons in the body) and enrichment of the complexity of the pattern of being that results brings more and more form to the radiant body.”

     After the explanation of developing a radiant body the master delivers the sobering news that it is not possible to change after death because it is not possible to be blind to anything since the dead see everything.  It is like a test in school where the questions afford the opportunity to provide answers.  After death there are not those questions for growth.

     The Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Philip very decidedly make this same point of the importance of spiritual growth in this life.  Saying 41 in Thomas coldly states: “Whoever has something in his hand will receive more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little he has.”  Saying 59 warns:  “Take heed of the Living One while you are alive, lest you die and seek to see him and be unable to do so.”  The first saying of Thomas speaks of doing something—like meditation, maybe?  The second saying speaks of listening to or experiencing something or someone.

     The Gospel of Philip is just as straightforward:  “Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error.  If they do not receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing”.  Philip emphasizes this point again at the end in the summary section in speaking of receiving the light as a “son of the bridal Chamber”: “If anyone does not receive it (the Bridal Chamber sacrament) while he is here, he will not be able to receive it in the other place.”  The Bridal Chamber sacrament, as can be inferred from a careful study of Philip, was a meditative technique widely practiced from Greece to Egypt in mystery schools involving scrying with dyed water or a darkened mirror.

     The master describes most of us after death as those who “bear only fragmentary bits of what you were in life: simple patterns, weak spin, no clear form to the radiant body and no ability to maintain it.”  The result is that we cannot resist the magnetic pull of the light and end up reincarnating in a new physical body that matches our “essential attachments” or, if not, we live eternally with unfulfilled desire.

     Although most of us after death can be found in the immediate surroundings of their lives clinging to our memories before we are absorbed back into the light, the master eloquently stakes out a different path for those who wish: “The light is the fate of sleeping man.  Awakened man makes his own light, as part of the radiant choir who sing forever the song of God, which is the Word.”  Later in the conversation the master mentions that the singing of angels allows them to go into super-position to everything that is or to attain cosmic consciousness.  In terms of the master’s earlier verbiage: “being awake means being aware of one’s own self (an angel does it by singing) while at the same time absorbing impressions from the outside (or universe).”

     The master reveals a very similar view of our after-death states as the famous second century gnostic, Valentinus, who vied at one point to be elected bishop of Rome according to Tertullian.  According to the master, while ascension is possible it is more likely that most of us will be reincarnated while a few “who have no further potential and have not grown into anything” enter the “memory of God” whose experience dies with the elemental body.  This seems fairly cold.  Is there a higher self in these people which just moves on to other experiences?  Valentinus posited three kinds of people similarly.  The spiritual or gnostic move on to the Pleroma or spiritual source.  The earthly ‘psychical’ Christians attain a lesser form of salvation.  The earthly people are doomed to destruction.  Clement of Alexandria, who flourished at the end of the second century, held the Valentinian view on this subject that earthly people would just blow away like chaff in the wind.  This imagery is strikingly resonant with the view of the master.

     One of the most interesting and informative parts of the discussion comes next with the master discussing the area most people regard as the ‘aura’.  It is an organ that is a “tiny layer of electrons” that also “fills the central nervous system” but “rests a few centimeters above the skin, outside of the body” which is in quantum superposition to the universe and means that they are, effectively, everywhere.  Impressions from this sensory organ are delivered to an area near the pineal gland which has been referred to as the ‘third eye’.  

     If one meditates by focusing on physical sensation then incoming impressions are blocked and the mind is allowed to expand.  The organ has a tendency go out of superposition when impressions are imprinted to it so it is important to “watch and not watch at the same time” while one is processing the information.  This organ allows one to see other worlds, the past, the future, other people’s lives, “haunt God”, and “become God”.

     The master, once again, dances between “Anybody can become God...What is imperfect is your vision. You can find your perfection right now, this moment, always.” And the stark reality that: “A true human being has four levels of mind. Most of you have only three and perhaps a vestige of the fourth.  Your destiny is to enter the humanity of the universe. But you may not fulfill it.”  Most of us appear after death as children longing for sensual lives.

     In this discussion area the master discusses perfection: “You must understand the difference between sight and imagination.  Real inner vision unfolds with unmistakable spontaneousness”.  He doesn’t define the four levels of mind but one could think the three most people have would be an emotional body, a mental body, and an astral or dream body. The fourth one would have to be the one the Gospel of Thomas spends so much energy speaking about which is a dew drop of consciousness outside of time and space as we know it.

     The master discusses Jesus who came as a spiritual revolutionary to preserve the knowledge of how to weave a radiant body.  His message was corrupted by Roman politicians, but he was a human who came fully aware of his divinity and was “fully invested in all and everything”.  He did make physical appearances after his death because his radiant body was under his control and he could project images of himself.  His radiant body normally fills the universe but can be projected.  What is especially interesting about this discussion is that the master abuts this discussion with a comment about how angels sing in a similar ‘discipline of ecstasy’ which allows them to “release thought” and “ride the infinite…see all worlds then, and participate in the ecstatic union that fills the universe>”

     The master discusses the mission of the Buddha which he says is two-fold.  In the context of meditation, the first objective is to “organize the energetic body” so you will be able to maintain its structure after death?  The second and interconnected objective is to fill it with “objective sensation”.  What do these descriptors mean?  One could easily hypothesize that it means visualizing the light in and moving through your body.  This is an act of intention like Terence McKenna in an altered state saw other beings through their acts of intention “making objects come into existence by singing them into existence…like Faberge eggs”.   Yet, there is a spontaneity that the master recognizes and which Terence McKenna experienced in an altered state where his own voice came forth from his chest in an act of creation while he identified himself as the observer of it.  The master says that only those parts of your being that you see are taken with you into ecstasy.  It is this ecstasy that is crucial to forming the radiant body.

     It is here that the master makes one of his most amazing and significant statements in saying that: “All life is potentially ecstatic, no matter what suffering or sin is involved”.   Presumably, suffering can lead one to reach in deep for the higher self and the consciousness of sin can lead to repentance and a radical turning around of behavior and viewpoint.  As a benchmark of progress towards this end is that a person doesn’t die “weighted with recriminations and regrets” but learns to forgive one’s self.

     The forgiveness of one’s self is put in the greater context that it normally takes many lifetimes to “row the boat of being toward ecstasy” of starting and stopping and starting again.  Although, the master did say it is possible to speed up the process by following one’s inner path and outer signposts.