Believe in nothing, no matter who says it, even if I say it, if it does not agree with your own experience and your own common sense ~ Buddha

Doing the woo-woo stuff I do (affectionately known as BodyTalk) , people pass me stuff that stylistically, I really don’t appreciate. Even if they’re not factually incorrect or damagingly misleading, I look at it and say, “Jesus H. Christ. This is why my industry gets no respect.” I sympathize with marketers and lawyers for the same reason.

So, recently, this video landed in my inbox, and it’s a fairly generic, largely unoffending bit of glurge. So I thought, if y’all could stomach it, I would attempt to translate, and maybe it would stimulate some conversation. Because we all know I live for my comments section, right?

Here’s the transcript, which I have thoughtfully provided because I’m sure there are a few people out there who hate video like I do.

[Enya singing, otherwise, no audio. This is what dramatically unfurls over the screen:

Ascension: Raising your vibrational frequency.

Ascension is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual ascension

Raising the vibrational frequency of all lower bodies…

into a unified love-light field

We are ascending from one dimension of reality to another

Less concerned with physical survival and more…

with raising our vibratory forms to that of lightbody

When we consistently maintain a loving vibration….

we experience a rise in vibrational frequency

Activating and re-awakening our atomic cell structure

And begin to in-body 5th dimensional qualities….

of Love and Creativity

Ascension is being fully in-bodied

Yet vibrating at the highest possible frequency

We no longer need to leave our body in order to ascend

We can raise our vibration and step into the higher realms

Ascension – the journey home

Like all religious writings, there are certain metaphors you have to absorb to understand the context. The problem with the spiritual-not-religious set is that they’ve gone to great lengths to ‘secularize’ and divorce their imagery and dogma from any single religion.

To that end, by examining the ‘dialect’ you can see which spiritual author or tradition they are drawing from. This one is Eckhart Tolle, and Esther Hicks.

Further clouding the subject matter is the fact that present-day spiritualists are simply reincorporating ancient concepts with imagery and spin that’s more palatable to modern people. Just like to translate the poems of Rumi you need a far bit of cultural context, you need to know a bit of spiritual-not-religious dogma.

Like I said, there’s nothing really horrible about this meditation. You can somewhat excuse the poor grammar and the general incomprehensibility by the fact that it is a meditation and is therefore supposed to provoke feelings, not thoughts.

So, actually, once you understand the metaphors, it’s not so bad.


This one is one of my personal pet peeves, so don’t take me as an unbiased source. It refers to the fact that all matter can also be conceived as a wave, and therefore, has a frequency, or a vibration. Or even,  “a vibrational frequency.”  Evaluative adjectives like “good” “positive” or even “higher” frequencies makes it a matter of metaphor, not actual quantitative data.

Love/Light Field

This is another bit over overdrawn metaphor. It’s drawing from the tradition that enlightenment is floating in transcendental bliss in the blinding light of contentment, compassion, and unconditional love. The field part refers to….

The higher realms

which are a comfortable mishmash of planes of enlightenment/reality and some perrennially misinterpreted quantum theory regarding dimensionality (if 3 dimensions is space and 4 dimensions is time, 5 dimensions is space-time travel. That’s not the actual physics, that’s the popular misinterpretation).

Atomic Cell Structure

This one had me puzzled. I mean, taken literally, the phrase has very little meaning; medicine does not treat the atoms of cells. Ok, fine, it does, but not in popular interpretation. What it put me in mind of was epigenetics, a very interesting field that explores the complex interplay between environment and genetics. And also the 2012 theory that the next step in our evolution is to develop 12 strands of DNA. Hopefully they’re referring to epigenetics, which is still a new enough discipline to be mysterious.


What I might call ‘transcendence’ or ‘enlightenment’. Probably transcendence got too overused and it stopped connoting quite what it used to. But I think that’s why they’re emphasizing that you don’t have to lose your body in order to ascend.

The Translation

Ok, got all that? So here it is in less mystical terms.

Ascension is enlightenment. It makes you happy. It releases you from your suffering, by raising you above it. Because we are not suffering from material wants, we are free to focus more on enhancing our state of being. When we concentrate on compassion, we rise to a higher state of being. In this state of being, we transcend time and space, and live in an eternity of bliss. Even in our corporeal form, it is possible to achieve this transcendence, and so achieve Unity.

So, what do you think about these types of things? Do they show up in your inbox too? Most importantly, do they even make sense?

Comments on: "Ascension: The Modern Enlightenment" (6)

  1. I am all for combining quantum physics and other sciences with metaphysics and spirituality, but … this just turns me off. Maybe I’m just old-school and appreciate the zen stories more than new age stuff like this; maybe I like my science not to be an iridescent rainbow. But their phrasing and presentation does not incline me to give any of my time or synapses to considering what they say.

    Your version makes a lot more sense to me, and I don’t get a worms-in-the-stomach uneasy feeling when I read it, but the message still doesn’t resonate with me. That may just be between me and the concept of ascension, though.

    • I know, it’s pretty glurgtastic. 🙂 I heard another snippet today about “vibrational frequencies” and emotions meaning that you’ve simply “tuned your internal radio into the frequency of that emotion, which is all around you, like sound waves” Apparently, emotions just ‘happen’ to you. Huh?

      Like I said, they’re not *horrible* but they seriously damage their credibility. But hey, I’m glad you liked my translation 🙂 Maybe I should try my hand at it.

  2. To some extent, I understand why the “spiritual-not-religious” distance themselves from words that might evoke a negative, or simply a sectarian, association.

    For one thing, it’s a far better marketing strategy. One casts a wider net when his words are ambiguous enough to be subject to interpretation.

    Also, it’s much easier for many New Age teachers to “borrow” key tenets from established traditions without crediting them if they use a new vocabulary.

    Finally, some audiences think that the more metaphorical or riddle-like, the “deeper” a teaching is. Enter the woo.

    What I love about your blog, Shanna (and what makes it decidedly un-woo), is that it’s so very smart without being smart-ass. You appear to be a highly intelligent person who comes by it honestly.

    Thanks for your efforts.

    • Thanks, Rupa. Coming from you it means a lot. I love how your blog remains grounded with quotes from *actual* sutras. I have often wished that when people told me about some “new” truth they had suddenly become aware of, that they had felt like studying some of the “old” truths too. It’s not like they wore out.

      I’m glad I’m not smart-assed on my blog. 🙂 Plenty of time for that to come out in person. I hoped I wasn’t being too mean on this post, but I hate incomprehension passing for mysticism. I think you made a good point about people assuming that if they can’t understand it, it must be *really* deep.

  3. I should add that I have no way of knowing someone’s unstated intentions, and didn’t mean to presume it (in what became the longest comment I’ve ever made on a blog, above). Truth is truth, however it’s packaged, branded or generic or not.

    And now I’m rambling, like schoolgirls with crushes tend to do. Best wishes, darling.

    • Your longest comment ever? I’m so flattered. I highly encourage it. I like to have conversations in my comment sections, so if you ever feel moved to comment, please do.

      mi casa es su casa, so hang out whenever you like.

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