Cultivation: Ascending the Ladder-Like Path
The ladder and stairway symbolize the ascent from the sleeping world of the lower self to the Divine Presence of the Higher Self. It is an upward Path or an ascending Way, comprised of techniques and methods to promote Conscious Presence.
Ouspensky: Initiation unites the human mind with the higher mind by a chain of analogies. This chain is the ladder leading to heaven, dreamed of by the patriarch.
The Bible, Genesis 28:12: And Jacob dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven.
Nicephorus the Solitary, The Philokalia (Greek Orthodox Christian text): The ladder leading to the kingdom is concealed within you, that is, in your soul. Wash yourself from sin and you will see the rungs of the ladder by which you can ascend thither.
Peter of Damaskos, The Philokalia: The Lord has established the commandments like a ladder. In the end they make man a God.
Egyptian Pyramid Texts: A stairway to heaven (presence) shall be prepared for the King, that he may ascend to heaven thereon.
Buddha: Ascend the steps of the staircase, without jumping any steps, and proceed gradually to the end.
Theophanis the Monk, Philokalia: Ten steps that lead one up to heaven. Ten steps through which a man knows God. The ladder may seem short indeed, but if your heart can inwardly experience it, you will find a wealth the world cannot contain.