There are many ways to talk about the Higher Self, but those who have encountered it agree: It feels like one is meeting an intensely loving, deeply personal, individually focused aspect of God.
In The Beginning
As the path winds up the mountain, it gets a little narrower. The real meaning of life is a question which begins to appear in our thoughts. We find ourselves less interested in old activities and the goals we used to pursue. We find fewer around us who share our concerns for the Soul. Yet something, Someone, is calling, and this call cannot be denied.
We become disenchanted with the doctrines and rituals of formal religious traditions. They have competed for our loyalty, casting aspersions on other paths. Yet we grow doubtful of their truth claims.
So much history has been great battles for our souls by those who built small idols and called them God. It may come to us early or late in life, but at last we leave behind the politics of the Tao, knowing that if the Way has a name, it is probably not the Way.
On our own, we may drift for a time in various spiritual waters. Glancing at titles of popular books, we see that others have wandered here before us – books abound about discovering spiritual life not framed by formal doctrine, institution, or rules of membership.
Older books resurface, such as those on Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet, with his thousands of channelled readings from the Akashic Records. His Source said that, for each one, Mind is the Builder, that we live not once, but many times, and that each is on a voyage of self-discovery as a part of discovering God.
We wonder, at first, if this spiritual path will be lonely, but there are many who have walked it before. We reach out to them, across time and space, finding companions in other centuries, other cultures, and sometimes – for awhile, on the path right beside us.
Then we learn that even when we find ourselves alone on the path, we are never alone. For if we listen with the heart, we sense a Presence, a luminous, numinous Self from which an unseen Guidance flows. In time, we learn this is the Higher Self – and that we walk on a path lit with Light.
Who – or What – Is the Higher Self?
Carl G. Jung, great explorer of psychological and spiritual realms, made popular the idea of a Self, or Higher Self which acts as an organizer and guide to inner life. In Hindu philosophy it is known as the Atman. Edgar Cayce spoke too of a Higher Self (Henry Reed, Channeling Your Higher Self).
Note: Sometimes the term Higher Mind seems used interchangeably with Higher Self, but my sense is that these are separate aspects of the Soul and that the Higher Mind arises more out of the Brain/Body/Mind nexus. (In astrology, for example, Mercury rules the ordinary mind, and Uranus rules the Higher MInd).
Jung’s personal experience and observation of the Higher Self in clients accords with my own personal experience as well as in psychic Life Readings and leading dreamwork groups.