The higher self is referred to and understood by many different schools of spiritual teaching. The lower self, or our ego personality, is not our true self, because the ego is trapped by a plethora of its own desires, needs, likes and dislikes. As soon as an ego based person achieves his/her desire or acquires an object, a new desire springs forth in a never ending sequence. An ego driven person will judge everything exclusively in relation to its own needs and desires. Only when one can detach themselves from their ever present I, Me or Mine, can they step back objectively to view each life lesson or circumstance. Ultimately we must all understand the ego personality to be the illusion that it actually is. By engaging in spiritual practices such as meditation, study and prayer, a person is enabled to transcend his/her ego personality and begin to realize their higher self. Through this process one can truly discover his/her soul and begin their genuine approach to the Divine.
When your personality (the unification of your spiritual, emotional and mental bodies) has fully developed, integrated and evolved, it then becomes your higher self - the perfect instrument through which your soul can fulfil its goals and express itself on the earth plane. As your higher self, you then carry out the purpose of your soul instead of following the desires of your ego personality. Your higher self is the intimate and integral aspect of yourself that remains aware of and interacts positively with the whole of your being. Your higher self is the most perfect form of ‘you’ that exists in the universe and it actively guides you on your journey through life.
This guidance manifests itself in your life in many subtle ways: as the still, small voice within (conscience), or it may communicate directly as vivid images or pictures, through flashes of insight and feelings and as intuition or knowingness. In trying to understand the perspective of the higher self in relation to the ego or personality self, we might visualize ourselves attending a conference in a huge auditorium, that has been partitioned into many smaller rooms. Our greater whole being occupies the entire floor as well as all the smaller rooms, while our 3D consciousness would only be aware of the one small room in which we were focused. Our higher self, in comparison, would be fully aware and be participating simultaneously in all rooms on the entire floor. Thus the higher self holds a much greater vision of our entire being and of the many rooms or planes within which we exist.
Our lower personality self is not always aware of our higher self if our lives are cluttered with busyness, actions or attitudes that cut us off from our higher self. Our higher self always signals to us when we are out of alignment with it through pain, tension and disease. People always know and feel deep down inside if they are not aligned with the laws of life or are not living out their true purpose. When the personality self uses its will against the higher self, signs of conflict begin to appear in the conscious mind. These manifest as feelings of anxiety, stress, warning dreams, discontent and uneasiness. If ignored these feelings accumulate and manifest as illnesses in the body, mind, emotions and relationships. This leads to conflict between the lower and higher selves that could ultimately result in a split or cleavage within the psyche. Dr. Albert Schweitzer called the higher self, ‘the wise doctor within’ and its streams of positive energy hold the key to healing.
Contact with our higher self is demonstrated by:
· A growing sense of responsibility and purpose for living
· A willingness to accept responsibility for all of one’s thoughts, word and actions
· A desire to openly practice forgiveness
· Making choices that lead to a growth in wisdom, inner peace and gratitude
· Practicing spiritual will and genuine service
· Reflecting joy, harmony and unconditional love to each and all
We can begin to open a pathway to union with our higher selves by first practicing self-respect and self-esteem. Without this, a poor self-image could prevent gifts of the higher self from flowing into the personality. It is through meditation that we are enabled to contact the life of the higher self, so as to be nourished by its strength, wisdom and total love for us. We can relax and soften our body, emotions and mind in order to release much superficial tension. We can also choose to live more quietly and to simplify our lives. But when true contact is finally made it will result in the awareness of a new ability to think more clearly and with greater understanding. One will become more forgiving and have better rapport with others; knowing and feeling that there is a powerful presence within us – a wonderful source of healing, courage, strength, unconditional love and a new motivation.
We can draw our higher self to us through the following exercise. Sit quietly and relax with several deep gentle breaths. Release unnecessary thoughts and identify with the higher self by visualizing or imagining a bright column of healing light that comes from above your head (where the higher self is located). See this enter your body and move downward radiating outward and bathing every organ and cell in your body with white light. Then see it continue down into the earth under your feet, grounding you into the planet. Now call lovingly to your higher self, inviting it to come forward and to co-create with you. Ask it to fulfil your life, to become your ultimate coach and partner in order to express its qualities. Your higher self loves you truthfully and totally and will reply to your request. But you must first begin this process through your desire and conscious invitation. Therefore it is the task of your personality self to become aware of the higher self, thereby achieving the state of higher consciousness. This is a major goal of spiritual development and self-realization.