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A ladder is the emblem of the monk and abbot St John Climacus (d. 649), author of the treatise The Ladder of Paradise from which his name comes (Climacus means ‘ladder’), in which he developed the concept of the ladder as an image of spiritual life.

kick down the ladder reject or disown the friends or associates who have helped one to rise in the world, especially with the idea of preventing them from attaining a similar position.

See also crosses are ladders that lead to heaven, Jacob's ladder, snakes and ladders at snake.

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