Photons are subatomic particles of light and we are now experiencing a significant increase in photon activity, in our solar system, as well as outside it. We are about to fully enter the "photon belt", a ring of photons which will dramatically affect the availability as well as our cells ability to pick up and store light. This happens in the Age of Aquarius and the Age of Leo, the two 2,100 year time periods in Earth's (and our solar system's) 26,000 year long elliptical orbit around the Great Central Star when Earth is closest to our great star. In 2012 we will fully enter the photon belt for the first time in in 11,000 years but we already feel its influence.
Ascension is about living your life as a master. There was a time when humans couldn't carry enough Light in their body, so in order to reach the frequency of Ascension they had to "drop their bodies" and "pass over". But I think that has passed. We have now raised our consciousness and developed our capacity to carry more Light. We can contain that Light and live our lives glowing and radiating that Light, like Angels. People who hold higher Light levels can choose to stay on earth in order to lead others forward. When they pass over, they can choose to come back to help raise the consciousness of the masses and serve humanity. They can lead children forward, or help prisoners, or do out-of-body service by helping those who are ill or dying. Others may choose to work with souls in non-physical realms who need to be healed and helped.
The more Light we have in our cells, the closer we are to Ascension. Diana Cooper explains that "in order to pass the Third Initiation, we have to have a Light level of 50 percent. Then we merge with our Soul or Monad. The Light level for the fourth initiation is 62 percent, after which we leave the Wheel of Rebirth (necessary or karmic incarnation). For the Fifth Initiation, the Light level is 75 percent. For the Sixth Initiation and Ascension we need a Light level of 80 to 83 percent. To pass the Seventh Initiation and become a full Ascended Master we need a 92 percent Light level. It is then no longer possible to sustain a physical body."