(from Ascension! by Maharishi Sadashiva Isham [MSI])

The Science of Ascension

The Science of Ascension involves a process of systematic unlearning. From birth, we have all structured certain beliefs, based on our own direct experience. If we are burned by a hot stove, we quickly learn to believe that fire can hurt us. We structure beliefs about the range of temperatures our bodies can safely withstand; we culture other beliefs about the nature of our bodies and how they can be damaged.

Some of our beliefs are obviously useful to continuance of our physical lives. It is useful to remember how to drive our car without having to reread the owner's manual each time we sit behind the wheel. It is useful to remember which house is ours each time we wish to return home without having to ask our neighbors.

But it is also true that other beliefs are self-defeating and counter-productive. If we believe we are failures, this is the kind of experience we will continually draw to us. If we believe that life is hard, that we are unloved and perhaps even unlovable, that we are unhappy, that we are unworthy, will we experience an easy, effortless life of love and joy?

Unmaking or unlearning old belief patterns is extraordinarily difficult by consciously attempting to unmake them or change them.

But it is possible to change deep-seated belief patterns easily and effortlessly by the introduction of a few new seed thoughts. Each of these seed thoughts has the result of unmaking past belief patterns that keep our lives from unfolding in a healthy and harmonious way. Each of these seed thoughts, correctly practiced, causes the entire range of the personality to become aligned with the most basic force in the Universe. Any individual, correctly practicing over a long enough period of time, effortlessly and systematically rises beyond his previous restrictive beliefs and habit patterns into a new and much more beneficial style of functioning of his/her nervous system.

The Science of Ascension is a systematic and graduated methodology for developing the mind. "Ascension" means to rise above. What happens during the practice of Ascension is that the individual rises above his/her previous state of conscious awareness and begins to experience the higher states of appreciation of Reality that lie hidden inside.

This creates a state of problem-free living. "Problem free" does not mean challenge-free: life doesnot become flat or passive; problem-free does mean that inner stability is greater than any challenge from life; the inner creativity available for use is greater than any problem. Any challenge can be and is met and solved in the simplest, most graceful and most beneficial way once this state has developed.

The mechanics of Ascension are quite simple. What is necessary is to learn how to listen: to the people in our Universe, to our world, to our bodies, to our minds, to our hearts. Every moment of every day we are being told everything we need to know to live in complete freedom, harmony and joy. From fear, we usually choose not to hear. Our judgments of limitation, of good and evil, have chained us into small lives of pain and suffering. To be free, it is necessary to acknowledge what we have done and are continuing to do to ourselves to keep from listening.

Four Ascension Attitudes

There are four basic emotions or Attitudes that lead to Ascension: Appreciation, Gratitude, Love, and Direct Cognition. For example, any feeling of love for anyone or anything tends, to some greater or lesser degree, to cause the vibratory rate of the individual to rise, to expand the conscious capacity of the mind, to improve the health of the body, to decrease the boundaries of life. This is an example of expanding awareness, but such occurrences are typically not consistent or powerful enough to transform life permanently.

Even repeated and regular attempts to Ascend through prayer, a form of the Direct Cognition Ascension Attitude, are typically not ultimately transforming to the life. The reason for this is not necessarily from any lack of commitment or dedication on the part of the praying person. There are usually three causes for this common failure. The first is the limited amount of time spent in prayer. The second cause of failure usually comes from conflicting desires. One part of the personality may sincerely desire an answer to a problem, but another part may, perhaps even secretly, be desiring the opposite. In such a state of conflicting desires, no clear answer is the most likely response from Nature. The third cause of failure is that the content of the prayer is often simply not effective. Of the thousands of possible applications of the four primary Ascension Attitudes, only a surprisingly small number are either extremely effective or universal in application.

In the Ishayas' experience, approximately one hundred and eight of these are the best for everyone; of these one hundred and eight, twenty-seven are all that we commonly teach, for these twenty-seven are the most powerful, easy to use, and lead most directly and quickly to the desired goal. These twenty-seven are taught by the Ishayas' Teachers of Ascension in a systematic and verifiable manner, with individual practice and progress interlaced with further instructions in the techniques. This way establishes tangible results as the strongest reinforcing agents for continued practice.

Each of the twenty-seven Ascension Attitudes possesses the quality of immediate feedback — that is, the effect of practice is immediately noticeable. The reason for this is that each of the twenty-seven has the extraordinary and unique characteristic of allowing the mind automatically to continue Ascending to ever higher levels of experience and understanding.

As such, even the first of the twenty-seven Ascension Attitudes is sufficient to liberate any human being fully. The advantage of having more than one tool in the tool chest is that the mind sometimes tricks itself into activating slower loops. This happens primarily because of past desires and beliefs that life is or should be difficult and/or painful.

In our experience, it is extremely doubtful that any individual could resist the power of this small handful of twenty-seven Ascension Attitudes for long. This is true because each of the twenty-seven has the inherent property of leading the mind into ever-higher rates of experience and understanding; simultaneously, each of the twenty-seven assists the mind to undo all of its false beliefs, fears and imaginings. Each of the twenty-seven wipes the slate of the mind clean while writing there a new script. The old internal programs cannot long resist the power and clarity of the new.

The Ascension Attitudes involve no religious beliefs; indeed, they involve no beliefs of any kind. They are universal. They violate no creed or established faith. They can be equally well practiced by the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Jew, the agnostic, the atheist. They tap into universal human states and inspire Ascension from wherever one happens to be.

Three Qualities of Ascension

Each of the Ascension Attitudes has three aspects. First, there is an emotional content to drive the experiencer inward — Appreciation, Gratitude, Love and Direct Cognition. The second aspect is a direct alignment with the Ascendant. This unites the conscious mind with the Infinite Source within. The third characteristic of each of the Ascension Attitudes is a mental focus on one of the root areas of the individuality that is stressed and could be more fully lived.

Understanding this description of the Ascension Attitudes is much more difficult than the practice of Ascending. Indeed, fully understanding the mechanics of Ascension is probably impossible without experiencing it.

The three-fold structure of the Ascension Attitudes causes each of the three primary aspects of our personality — our hearts, our minds, our bodies — to move in the direction of growth. This process unwinds or loosens the deeply held judgments and beliefs that keep us bound to fear and restriction. But this is not simply a process of introspection to remove accumulated mental, spiritual and emotional debris; this process is primarily one of effortlessly uncovering ever more expanded states of awareness.

Ascension Attitudes are called Attitudes because an attitude is a way of looking at the world. They are not called Ascension Beliefs because there is no need to believe in the Ascension Attitudes for them to work. One does not need to believe that a carrot seed planted in the ground and properly tended will grow a carrot. Belief is not required. Carrot seeds grow carrots. The seed thoughts of the Ascension Attitudes grow a new way of looking at and living life.

Use of the Ascension Attitudes allows us effortlessly to rise beyond our previous experience of life into a state of problem-free existence. This is accomplished by aligning our limited individuality with Cosmic Universality. This underlying truth of creation can be named anything. We call it the Ascendant. The name is supremely unimportant. What is important is to stop blocking our perception of this level of Reality.

We do not have to "open a channel" to the Source, to Universal Mind, to the Ascendant; we are all already connected. What is necessary is that we begin to remove our self-destructive beliefs and behavior patterns that are blocking this experience from our conscious awareness. Once the blocks are removed, melted, transformed, then we can make use of our birthright — our connection to Infinite Mind. The pipeline is already there. What is necessary is to remove the self-created obstacles in the pipe that are keeping the water from flowing.

The Ascension Attitudes are designed to clear out past beliefs and behavior patterns which inhibit full mental and physical functioning. By effortlessly introducing these seed thoughts at a deep and refined level of thinking, the entire structure of the mental framework gradually and gracefully transforms to reflect Reality.

Reality spelled with a capital "R" is not the reality of life mixed with suffering, the common experience of most in the world today. The capital "R" kind of Reality means that life is lived in joy, with each moment experienced fully; each opportunity is mined for its rich opportunities for progress, creativity and love. An upward spiral of consciousness is created by Ascending; a new structure of awareness is built upon the firm basis of the direct experience of Reality.

Ascension is extremely easy to practice and quickly frees anyone from stress. This opens life to maximum creativity, enjoyment, health and success.

We all started life with innocence and brilliance. It has taken us many years to cloud our minds with self-destructive beliefs and habits. But it is easy to begin to reverse this and move back toward the freedom and power of life in the present moment. As an immediate result, life becomes easier and more enjoyable.

The Seven Spheres: The Twenty-seven Ascension Techniques


Maharishi Sadashiva Isham (MSI), Ascension! An Analysis of the Art of Ascension as Taught by the Ishayas (Waynesville, NC: SFA Publications, 1991), excerpts from pp. 158-167.

For more information visit http://www.ishaya.com/.


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Last modified on July 8, 2005 by Kay Keys (kay@kaykeys.net)