Climbing Jacob’s ladder

The ladder to heaven needs a good foundation on which to rest.

The famous biblical story in which Jacob dreams he sees a ladder of angels can tell us great deal about our spiritual development.

Because he wants to get away from his brother Esau, Jacob leaves his parents’ home in Israel, and sets off to visit his uncle Laban in Mesopotamia. On the way, Jacob stops for the night and falls asleep on the ground:

And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

(Gen. 28:12)

Jacob’s dream describes a spiritual ascent. He is accessing higher dimensions of reality. He is looking into ‘heaven’.

Our spiritual lives follow a pattern: sometimes up, sometimes down, rather like playing a game of snakes and ladders. But we are moving towards enlightenment, illumination or self-awareness by incremental steps. We make progress one or two steps at a time. We might have a sudden awakening experience, and we feel we are already at the top of the ladder, then realise that we need to ground this experience. The ascent needs an unshakable base.

The word in the original biblical verse for “set up” is mutzav (מֻצָּב). This comes from the Hebrew root which means “to be firm, unwavering”. Jacob’s ladder was not just standing, it was securely fixed in the ground. This is why meditation is so important. It centres us on the Divine Source which is the ‘ground of being’, and allows us to start our beginner’s steps up the ‘ladder’ towards expanded awareness. Regular, daily gentle Zera Meditation sessions will be your foundation stone for a firm, unwavering spiritual ladder. It is not the goal of a meditation session to have conversations with angels, but they may drop by occasionally! And, when you begin to realise your true self you may, like Jacob, get a change of name….