The word 'Ascension' comes from a Latin verb, ascendere, which means: to go up (to ascend). In one way, the Ascension process could be seen as "the road back to God," or "the road to Enlightenment," going up one or more steps on the scales of frequency and awareness, or the density scale.
Once you reach the highest level, which is also referred to as Ascension, you have the possibility to remain an individual, to become part of a collective, to merge back with God, or to split up into billions of pieces to assist other entities on their journey back to All That Is.
The word Ascension therefore, is used in two ways in this context: it can be either going up (=ascending) one step on the scale, which is achieved by a change in frequency and a change in consciousness. Often the term 'initiation' is used in this context as a synonym of ascension. Ascension can also be the final step, the result of ascending all densities. When people talk about the forthcoming planetary ascension, it is used in the meaning of moving up into higher-dimensional spheres of existence, of becoming multi-dimensional. In Ascended Masters it is usually taken in the second sense.