Difference between revisions of "Ascended Beings"

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Revision as of 12:02, 11 August 2005

SG-1 first encountered the ascended being Oma Desala
The terrible destructive power of the ascended beings

Summary

Ascended Beings exist as a form of energy in a higher plane than the one in which corporeal beings exist.

Stargate References

Many Planes of Existence

Daniel in his "stop along the way" to ascension
Anubis "stuck somewhere between human existence and ascension"
Oma Desala in bright energy form

According to what Daniel was told by Anubis/Jim, "There are many planes of existence, between human existence and ascension." When one exists in any of these planes beyond the corporeal, he is referred to as an Ascended Being because he has "ascended" to a higher plane as a form of intelligent energy. (8.18 "Threads")

Within the Stargate Universe, the majority of the Ascended Beings met thus far were originally humans. Whether or not humans are the only ones who can evolve to naturally ascend remains to be seen. However, it should be noted that Anubis, a Goa'uld, learned to ascend, but he did this by trickery while in the body of a human host. The Atlantis Expedition Team in the Pegasus Galaxy came across some research that the Ancients left behind 10,000 years ago which supported the idea that not all advanced humans are able to ascend naturally and they performed research to genetically alter themselves to advance their evolution in order to ascend. They had even entrapped an energy being to study its level of existence in support of this genetic research. The Ancients that left the Pegasus Galaxy 10,000 years ago were humans who had not reached the point where they could ascend, and they, most likely, continued their research into ascension after they returned to the Milky Way Galaxy. Daniel Jackson theorized that one of those Ancients who returned to Earth 10,000 years ago, Myrddin (aka Merlin), was advanced enough to aid mere mortals, such as the legendary King Arthur, to ascend, even though he might not have been ascended at the time himself. The thousands of years that Myrddin and the other Ancients who returned to Earth lived could have been a natural lifespan for these advanced humans or could have been supported through the use of advanced Ancient technology. Based on the evidence of the influences left behind by the Ancients on Earth's cultures throughout the time between 10,000 years ago and the present, it is possible that some of these Ancients died on Earth while others left the planet or eventually ascended. (8.18 "Threads", 9.02 "Avalon Part 2";Stargate Atlantis: 1.03 "Hide And Seek", 1.15 "Before I Sleep")

The evolution of a human includes both physical and mental states. It appears that the various planes of existence not only dictate the powers a being has, but also his level of understanding the universe, or his degree of "enlightenment". The higher level of ascension at which a being exists, the more power, knowledge, and understanding of the universe he possesses. When Daniel Jackson was helped to ascend by Oma Desala, he was only exposed to certain knowledge and understanding that Oma gave him. He told Jack that all he knew was what Oma told him. She educated him at the "beginning of the journey" until he had managed to acquire all of the knowledge and power that an Ascended Being at Oma's level could have. Oma had the power to take that knowledge away, but chose instead to bury it along with his memories into his subconscious mind upon returning him to human form. Daniel, during the early days of his ascension, told Jack, "I see things, I understand things, in a way I never could have before." Near the end of Daniel's year of ascension, he still did not know everything because he constantly insisted, "All I know is what Oma has taught me. Ascension doesn't make you all knowing or all powerful. It is just the beginning of the journey." This journey was Daniel's Path to Enlightenment, the one on the road to the Great Path, which is most likely the ultimate level of ascension a being can reach. This ultimate level, however, Daniel has implied can never get a being to the level of being omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. Col. Mitchell stated it this way, "Look, just because we know there is some beings on a higher plane of existence than ourselves does not mean there's not an order of being higher than them." (6.06 "Abyss", 6.22 "Full Circle", 9.03 "Origin Part 3")

Whether or not Daniel reached the highest plane of existence an Ascended Being can reach during his first ascension remains unanswered, but since his mind contained the "infinite" knowledge of the Ancients and the "universe is infinite", he most likely reached one of the highest forms. During his second ascension, however, he was brought into one of the lowest planes of existence where he was self-aware, but did not possess any extraordinary powers or become any further enlightened. Oma described this low level as a "stop along the way" to ascension where Daniel could make the choice as to whether or not he'd like to give ascension another chance or end his life because his body was already dead. Daniel rephrased this choice as to "contemplate my own enlightenment." (8.18 "Threads")

Anubis reached a high plane of existence when Oma was tricked into ascending him. He had found Ancient research into ascension and knew that he could find help in reaching ascension by going to the planet Kheb, where Oma had built a temple and placed writings on the walls to instruct one on how to reach the higher planes of existence. When Daniel visited Kheb during his search for Sha're's son, the Harsesis Shifu, he read the writings and also talked with a monk who appeared there. Oma, who was considered an outcast by the Ascended Ancients (aka The Others), felt that it was her duty to help people ascend, even if their physical bodies had not yet evolved to the level the Ascended Ancients had reached. She felt that a person should be allowed to ascend based on the goodness of his soul and the degree of enlightenment of his mind and not be hindered by the evolutionary state of his physical body. She saw "humanity's potential" in Daniel when he first came to Kheb and offered him ascension when his body died from radiation poisoning. Her philosophy was, "When the mind is enlightened, the spirit is free and the body matters not." Anubis had tricked Oma into not seeing the evil that he was and after she realized what she had done, she tried to undo it, but The Others stepped in. Although Anubis held a high degree of enlightenment as to what ascension was, his soul was not pure. The fact that Oma could be deceived proves that ascension doesn't make you all-knowing, just as Daniel said. The Others sent Anubis down a few planes of existence, what Daniel described as "stuck somewhere between human existence and ascension." Anubis was still left as a being of energy, but his powers were limited. The Others instructed him that he could only use the knowledge and power he would normally gain as a regular Goa'uld, and Anubis amazingly followed that rule without waver. He gained eternal life through ascension, but now this eternal life is being spent in a never-ending fight with Oma. Oma engaged him in this fight in order to prevent him from destroying all life in the Milky Way Galaxy and to take responsibility for breaking the rule, "No lone ascended being shall help a lower ascend." (3.20 "Maternal Instinct", 5.21 "Meridian", 6.06 "Abyss", 8.18 "Threads")

It has been assumed that when the original Ancients, the Altera, left their home galaxy that they left other humans behind. Those who remained also learned to ascend and they became known as the Ori. The Ori's galaxy is home to second evolution of humanity, just as the Milky Way Galaxy is. When Daniel met the Ori through a psychic link with one of these humans, he found out that the Ori claimed that they were humanity's creators. It is possible that the Ori did in fact create humanity in their home galaxy through the use of technology similar to what the Ancients used in the Milky Way Galaxy after life was nearly wiped out by the plague which occurred five to ten million years ago. Anubis/Jim told Daniel that the Ancients used the advanced device on the planet Dakara to reseed life in the galaxy after the plague "some million odd years" ago. The circumstances of the Ori's re-creation of humanity in their home galaxy is not known, but Daniel assumed that this occurred after all of the Ori had ascended. The Ori manifest themselves in a wall of fire near the temple in the City of the Gods on the Plains of Celestis. (8.18 "Threads", 9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.03 "Origin Part 3")

Powers of the Ascended

Ascended Daniel prepares to kill Anubis
Ori takes Doci as a temporary host
Orlin shares his essence with Carter

Ascended Beings possess a great many powers which one might associate with all-powerful beings. They can:

  • shape their form to appear human and communicate in that manner, but their manifestation remains unsolid. Because of this, they can pass through solid objects and solid objects can pass through them. Energy weapon blasts also pass through them when they are in this state. (Oma Desala, 3.20 "Maternal Instinct"; Orlin, 5.03 "Ascension"; Daniel Jackson, 6.06 "Abyss" and 6.22 "Full Circle")
  • retake human form at their own choosing. (Shifu, 4.17 "Absolute Power"; Orlin, 5.03 "Ascension"; Daniel Jackson, 7.01 "Fallen Part 1" and 8.18 "Threads")
  • remain invisible and influence thoughts of those in the corporeal plane. (Orlin, 5.03 "Ascension"; Oma Desala, 7.01 "Fallen Part 1"; Daniel Jackson, 6.06 "Abyss" and 6.22 "Full Circle")
  • retake human form and ascend again at will. It is not necessary for the body to die to ascend. (Shifu, 4.17 "Absolute Power"; Orlin [with stipulation], 5.03 "Ascension")
  • control nature, such as light fires, levitate objects, make the wind blow, toss lightning, control electrical devices, and harness devastating energy. (Oma Desala, 3.20 "Maternal Instinct"; Orlin, 5.03 "Ascension"; Daniel Jackson, 6.22 "Full Circle")
  • travel through space without the use of a Stargate. (Oma Desala, 5.21 "Meridian"; Daniel Jackson, 6.06 "Abyss", 6.19 "Changeling", and 6.22 "Full Circle")
  • share their essence with humans. This sharing is physically pleasant to the human. (Orlin, 5.03 "Ascension")
  • advance humans in their evolution and give them powers of the ascended. (Ori, 9.03 "Origin Part 3")
  • manifest themselves in a bright, shape-changing, form of energy. (Oma Desala, 3.20 "Maternal Instinct"; Shifu, 4.17 "Absolute Power"; Orlin, 5.03 "Ascension"; Daniel Jackson, 5.21 "Meridian" and 6.22 "Full Circle"; Skaara, 6.22 "Full Circle")
  • appear solid and create solid objects, such as balls, tents, a temple, a pyramid, and a Stargate. (Oma Desala and Skaara, 6.33 "Full Circle")
  • select who hears them and sees them in their manifestations. (Daniel Jackson, 6.22 "Full Circle")
  • have power over other beings like themselves. The Others placed Anubis in a lower plane of existence after Oma ascended him. The Others stipulated that Daniel's memories be erased when he decided to return to human form. Oma, however, buried his memories instead and sent him to Vis Uban where he was discovered by his friends, taken home, and regained his memories. Oma buried the infinite knowledge of the Ancients in his subconscious mind instead of erasing that as well. This knowledge was discovered by Replicator Carter and Daniel used it in his fight against her and her brethren. Anubis clearly believed that Daniel could destroy him as Daniel was about to use energy orbs against him. Oma pulled Daniel out of his confrontation with Anubis before The Others got a hold of him and did something more drastic to him. Oma has engaged Anubis in an eternal struggle to prevent him from taking further action against the corporeal plane. The Others hid the existence of humanity in the Milky Way Galaxy from the Ori. (6.22 "Full Circle", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2", 8.18 "Threads", 9.03 "Origin Part 3")
  • manifest themselves in a group. The Others have done this in a storm cloud. The Ori do this as a wall of fire. (The Others, 5.03 "Ascension"; Ori, 9.03 "Origin Part 3")
  • take a human as a host with or without that human's awareness. (Anubis, 8.03 "Lockdown" and 8.16 "Reckoning Part 1"; Ori, 9.03 "Origin Part 3")
  • read the minds of humans. (9.03 "Origin Part 3")
  • resurrect or kill a human. (9.03 "Origin Part 3")

Diverse Philosophies of the Ascended

The Others manifested in a storm cloud
Daniel while he was an Ascended Being
The Ori manifested in a wall of fire

The Ascended Beings that are known to-date all came to be ascended after shedding their physical bodies. The majority of them physically and mentally evolved into the ascended state. Because they were human to start, they are as diverse as any human individuals would be. Not all Ascended Beings agree as to their role in interacting with the corporeal plane. There are different philosophies of thought among them.

The two largest groups of Ascended Beings are The Others and the Ori. The majority of those who are in the collective known as The Others are Ancients. (6.22 "Full Circle", 8.18 "Threads", 9.03 "Origin Part 3")

Right now, it is assumed that the Ascended Ancients were of the same race of humans, called Altera, as those who ascended to become the Ori. If this is the case, then the difference in philosophies on ascension could have happened prior to the Altera leaving their home galaxy while they were still human, but advanced enough to have already started research into ascension. Since both the Altera and the Ori ascended and subsequently recreated humanity in their home galaxies and the Altera kept the existence of their second evolution of humanity a secret from the Ori, it is possible that both groups used the same method of re-creating humanity (through the use of devices like that on Dakara). If so, the existence of that technology might have been what spawned the difference in their philosophies as to how much they would interfere with their new creations. The actual reasons behind the separation have not yet been revealed.

The Others appear to have established a rule to counter the very actions the Ori take when dealing with the corporeal plane. Whereas The Others have kept their existence a secret from humanity for the most part, the Ori demand that humanity worship them as their creators and gods. There are some of The Others, however, who have strayed from the rules because they see something of value in humanity which they feel must be preserved rather than leaving it to fate and the exercise of free will.

The following table compares the philosophies of The Others with the Ori and also presents the philosophies of those Ascended Beings who have felt compelled to travel a road inbetween.

The Others Individuals/Outcasts Ori
"No lone ascended being shall help a lower ascend. If you deserve to be here you should be able to get here on your own. If there's an exception, for whatever reason, a majority vote by the collective can get you in." (8.18 "Threads") Oma helped Daniel, Shifu, Skaara and all of the Abydonians, and others to ascend because she felt they were good and deserved ascension. As a consequence, she misjudged Anubis and ascended him. She did not gain permission from the collective to ascend any of these people, but it is possible that some of those she helped to ascend were accepted by The Others, since Anubis/Jim stated, "I admit for the most part, she's brought good people onboard, but as the old saying goes, nobody's perfect. Not even us higher beings." Daniel said that Oma and her followers felt it was their duty to help people to ascend and Daniel offered to help Jack ascend. No number of "rights", however, could undo the "wrong" in helping Anubis to ascend, so Oma eventually took responsibility for disobeying the rules and sacrificed herself in an eternal battle with Anubis to prevent him from destroying the Milky Way Galaxy. (6.06 "Abyss", 6.22 "Full Circle", 8.18 "Threads") "Fear not, for the Ori see all, outside and within. If your heart is pure and your devotion unwavering, they will protect you. They will cleanse your being, and you'll be taken to be with them forever. If not, may the fire burn you down to the ground and lay you in the dust." (9.02 "Avalon Part 2")
"Do not accelerate the natural ascension process of those beneath." (5.03 "Ascension") Orlin didn't wish to see the Velonans be wiped out by the Goa'uld, so he communicated the knowledge of how to build a powerful weapon to them and they defeated the Goa'uld. But then, the Velonans decided to use the weapon on other worlds for conquest. The Velonans had not developed far enough to know how to handle such power. The Others destroyed the Velonans because Orlin had prevented their destruction by the Goa'uld and banished Orlin to the desolate planet as punishment for disobeying the rule. They accepted him back into the collective when he sacrificed his newly-taken human form to prevent the weapon from falling into the SGC's hands. (5.03 "Ascension")

Right before the accident which killed him and he ascended, Daniel told Jonas Quinn of the planet Kelowna when Jonas asked for Earth's help in advancing their development of a weapon of mass destruction, "Some very wise people have shown me first hand how a sudden leap in weapons technology by a civilization that's not ready for it can lead to it's destruction." Daniel learned this lesson "first hand" when he was given the dream by Shifu (and most probably Oma, too) which showed him how he might be corrupted by the extraordinary knowledge within the Goa'uld genetic memory. In this dream, Daniel used advanced weapons meant to protect Earth to destroy Moscow because the world was not yet to a point where the destructive power of the weapons could be used only for defense. (4.17 "Absolute Power", 5.21 "Meridian")

The Ori advance their human representatives in their evolution and give them powers of the ascended as rewards of their devotion. (9.03 "Origin Part 3")
Anubis/Jim told Daniel when Daniel didn't know that Jim as Anubis, "Basically, the Others use their collective powers to keep him [Anubis] from affecting anything on a grand, cosmic level." As Oma tried to point out to Daniel, The Others would not stop Anubis from wreaking havoc in the galaxy because they believe, "The galaxy you're from, the plane of existence, is so small and insignificant compared to the rest of the universe." This led Daniel to believe of The Others: "They believe so strongly in free will that they would not intervene and use their knowledge even if it meant the destruction of an entire galaxy full of us regular old humans." But, then he found out that The Others had shielded humanity in the Milky Way Galaxy from the Ori. What he believes now is that The Others will not interfere with the Ori's human representatives (the Priors) from coming to the Galaxy and spreading their word because it is man's free will to either believe in the Ori as gods or not. Nor does Daniel believe that The Others will take action when these Priors use their powers to destroy those who reject the Ori. He does, however, believe that The Others will intervene if the Ori themselves interfere with the humans in the Milky Way Galaxy directly. (9.02 "Avalon Part 2")

When told that the Ori gave humanity free will and wait for one to come to the aid of another who has strayed from the Path, Daniel said, "It is we who must seek the truth of the universe in order to achieve Enlightenment." (9.03 "Origin Part 3")

Oma Desala told Daniel why she felt he was worthy of ascension: "Anyone can reach Enlightenment. Anyone prepared to open their mind as you did when you first came to Kheb. You must complete the journey you began at Kheb. Only then will you be able to find your way to the Great Path. Many roads lead to the Great Path. Only the willing will find their way. The success or failure of your deeds does not add up to the sum of your life. Your spirit cannot be weighed. Judge yourself by the intention of your actions and by the strength of which you faced the challenges that have stood in your way. The universe is vast and we are so small. There is only one thing we can truly control: Whether we are good or evil." (5.21 "Meridian")

Daniel added, "And ascension requires that someone be pure of spirit. One must be good to the very core to achieve Enlightenment." (8.18 "Threads")

"The Book of Origin says: "Those who seek the Path to Enlightenment must not be led astray." The power and the greatness of the Ori cannot be denied. Those who reject the Path to Enlightenment must be destroyed." (9.03 "Origin Part 3")

The New Age of the Ori

One of the Ori
Advanced Human, the Doci of the Ori, leader of the Priors
Advanced Human, Prior of the Ori, first in the Milky Way Galaxy

The Ori have declared a new age at the point that they learned of the existence of humanity in the Milky Way Galaxy. It is their belief that all humanity is their creation and that they should be worshipped as gods. Because they believe they are the creators of all humanity, they feel that they have every right to accelerate man's evolution toward Enlightenment and to destroy him if he refuses. They are on their way to the Milky Way Galaxy in the form of their advanced human representatives, the Priors. (9.03 "Origin Part 3")

Now that Daniel has met The Others and the Ori, and has been an outcast while he was an Ascended Being himself, he possibly holds the greatest understanding of Ascended Beings, what they are capable of, and how they relate to humanity. After realizing that the Ori will be sending their Priors to convert or destroy, this understanding may play an important part in the defeat of such a powerful foe. As Gen. Hank Landry, the commanding officer of the SGC, stated, "We'll use our strengths against their weaknesses." The Ori's weaknesses are not in their power, knowledge, and understanding of the universe, but in the core of who they are, as it is with all of humanity and all of the Ascended Beings. (9.03 "Origin Part 3")

Notable Characters

  • Oma Desala - Mother Nature herself, who inspired the Buddhist path to spiritual enlightenment. Oma was the first ascended being encountered by SG-1, at the mystical temple of Kheb. She disobeyed the rules of The Others and ascended people because she believed them to be good. This backfired on her when she was tricked into ascending Anubis, an evil Goa'uld. Oma is now engaged in an eternal struggle with Anubis in the higher planes in order to prevent him from destroying all life in the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Shifu - Because he was the offspring of two Goa'uld hosts, he inherited the genetic memory of the Goa'uld. This knowledge is evil and corrupts the person who holds it. Oma Desala buried these memories into Shifu's subconscious mind in order to protect him. Oma also helped Shifu to ascend.
  • Orlin - Originally an outcast from The Others because he interfered in the development of a world, Orlin was permitted back into the collective when he sacrificed his newly-taken human form to prevent the SGC from gaining access to the weapon he had given the Velonans the knowledge to design so that they could protect themselves from the Goa'uld. Unfortunately, the Velonans were about to turn the weapon on their neighbors for conquest and The Other destroyed them and banished Orlin to the devastated planet.
  • The Others - They are a collective of Ascended Ancients (also known as Altera) who have established rules for their involvement with matters of the corporeal plane. They kept the existence of humanity in the Milky Way Galaxy a secret from the Ori in order to protect them.
  • Daniel Jackson - Mentored by Oma Desala, Daniel ascended after his death from radiation poisoning. He remained with her for a year, but then his attempt to help SG-1 and the Abydonians resulted in his choice to return to human form ("descend"). Oma offered him ascension a second time after he was killed by Replicator Carter, but he returned to human form a second time.
  • Skaara - He was one of the Abydonian people ascended en masse by Oma when Abydos was destroyed by Anubis.
  • Ori - They are a collective who manifest themselves in a wall of fire in a far galaxy thought to be the home of the original Ancients (called the Altera). Their philosophy is almost in direct opposition to that of The Others. They believe that as creators of humanity, they should be worshipped as gods. They also believe they have the right to accelerate the ascension process of the humans in their galaxy and to destroy those who reject them.

Alliances

Alliances within the Ascended themselves:

  • Ori, Doci, and Priors of the Ori - The Ori have created a religion called "Origin" and those humans who follow are rewarded with advancement in their evolution toward ascension. The Doci is an advanced human who permits his body to be taken as a temporary host to an Ori being in order to "speak the word of the Ori". The Priors of the Ori are advanced humans who have been given special powers to preach Origin. They carry staffs with blow orbs which glow when the Prior uses his advanced powers.
  • The Others - These are the Ascended Ancients who have protected humanity in the Milky Way Galaxy from the Ori, but the Ori have now discovered their existence and plan to interfere in man's development. The only Ascended Being we know who is a member of The Others is Orlin.
  • Oma Desala's group of followers are those who were helped to ascend by Oma and were never accepted by The Others. They might still exist as a group even though Oma is occupied forever with battling Anubis. Daniel was a follower of Oma while he was ascended, but he never mentioned any others by name. It is possible that Shifu, the monk from Kheb, and the Abydonians are currently members of this group.

Enemies

Episodes

Gallery

  • Ascended Beings Screencapture Gallery Contains images of Oma Desala, Shifu, Orlin, The Others, the ascended Daniel Jackson and the partially ascended Anubis. Clicking on each thumbnail will lead you to a larger image which you are welcome to download. At any time, you can return to this page by clicking on the home button.

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Keywords

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--DeeKayP 05:34, 26 Jun 2004 (PDT) --Updated by Alison 27 Jun 2004