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Symbols - What does heaven look like

Stairs

The symbol of Stairs is connected with that of the Levels and Layers and may be a symbolic representation of them.  It is connected with the idea of Ascent and Ascension as well as Descent.  Symbolically a Ladder and Stairs, as well as Chains that climb upwards are the same thing.

Although Ladders/Stairs, Ropes and Wings all appear to be similar as means of Ascent, there is a very distinct difference symbolically. The ones with Wings are those who are capable of having spiritual experiences with little difficulty. In a sense they are the ‘mystics’, but they are also naturally able to ‘fly’.

Those with Ladders and Stairs have a rather slow upward climb that involves stages and steps towards the goal of enlightenment. This is why Chains and Ladders are interchangeable – the word chain is a pun – the ‘links’ in the chain are the links between stages of progress. This is a more Hermetic path.

The ones using Ropes have to have assistance from above and occasionally below and are always having to pull themselves up by sheer hard work against the ‘gravity’ of the pull to the earth – the physical. It means the person is much more attuned to the world of physical perceptions and the physical, and is not naturally a spiritual traveller. If they make it, it will only be through sheer force of will and perseverance.

Ladders and Stairs are seen when the Ascent is also symbolic of some spiritually perceived path.  [see Spiritual path].  Pilgrims of old often saw Ladders and Stairs.

The symbolism derives from the Levels and layers.   In the greatly simplified diagram shown below you can see that progression up the levels appears to look like a Stairs or Ladder and the combination of the two sides gives us the characteristic Pyramid shape found all over the world from Chichen Itza to Egypt, Africa with its Ziggurats to South America and its Aztec and Inca temples.

The Ladder/Stairs and the spine are related concepts.  The longest ‘ladder’ is the spine, in effect there is a belief that the rise of kundalini energy up the spine is a ladder to the ‘gods’.

Observations

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