Travels With the Higher Self

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).

Carl G. Jung, the great psychiatrist student of alchemy, archetypes, syncronicity, and – at times – astrology!

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.

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.

Jung described the Higher Self as the magnetic, unifying Center point of life experience unfolding within an ever-expanding Sacred Circle recognized in Hindu philosophy as a Mandala. This beautiful reality enfolds each of us in a highly personal, invisible and numinous “field” or container for spiritual and psychological initiation, communication, and integration.

The Sacred Circle or Mandala

Indigenous cultures around the world and stretching back into our earliest times on Earth know about the Sacred Circle as a socially necessary structure. It is a place created by sacred ceremony, usually by spiritual leaders in a community, in which personal and collective stories are told (sometimes several times), endings are accepted, beginnings consecrated, journeys initiated, gifts bestowed, transformations carried out and celebrated.

In the private life of a solitary seeker, the ultimate goal of the Higher Self seems to be to create awareness of one’s own Sacred Circle, as a place to “meet” the Higher Self on a regular basis. At the same time, the Higher Self works within a larger Sacred Circle, the Mandala of our Soul’s experience as a unique spark from the Mind of God.

So this is an amazing relationship, and an amazing journeythrough increasing levels of self-awareness. Far more than mere meditation to quiet the mind or practice deep breathing, connecting with the Higher Self in a daily intimate setting helps the Soul orchestrate and facilitate the integration of all aspects of our psychological and spiritual lives into an ever-evolving, ever-enlarging Whole. This is not for the novice on the spiritual path, but it is not outside the reach of those who persevere in setting aside time for solitude, and who have the courage to begin a voyage within.

This path – travels with the Higher Self – leads into the depths of the unconscious, connects us with past identities and their unfinished business from other lives, and thus leads us to understand the existence and purpose of the Akashic Records. In this way, we are led gently into ideas of reincarnation and karma which are not only fascinating, but in time, liberating.

And here, a note of caution: This is the work of a lifetime, though often begun quite late in life. It can and will function as therapy, for numerous problems flowing from this life and other lifetimes, but it also functions as a space of development for psychic and other gifts of the Soul, Mind and Body. It is a spiritual university, one might say, a Sacred Grove one attends faithfully – if only for very short periods – each day.

Though the Higher Self is many things there are some things it is not: It is not a “person” but a spiritual essence with what we sense is a kind of personality. We do not hear the Higher Self as a voice, much less an intrusive, nagging one. There are no commands, no threats, no startling or alarming “revelations” about End Times or other apocalyptic themes.

Yes, it is mysterious, and intangible, but perhaps part of our spiritual training is learning to discern such a presence, without feeling any need to give it a name, force it into some kind of “relationship”, think of it as boosting one’s “power” – or anything even remotely concerned with effecting worldly influence, wealth or presence. It goes without saying this is not an experience about which one would brag as if it were an accomplishment to be envied by others.

Above all, one must be patient and loving with oneself – there is no hurry at all. We have been given not only this lifetime, but many more, so if we make only a beginning now, it will be there, waiting for us, whenever we resume…

The Higher Self As Inner Shaman
Perhaps the simplest way to think of the Higher Self is as the Shaman within. The Shaman’s magical transformations in time and space can create miracles within, both physical and psychological, not to mention sublimely spiritual. These transformations invoke the essential findings of quantum physics and emerging frontiers of science.

Who could know us better, in all our many lifetimes, with their darkest shadows and hidden Light?

Who else could orchestrate the great and tiny miracles of our lives? Who but a Higher Self can introduce hidden personality fragments to each other, bringing broken, hurt little selves up from their depths into communion with and eventual union with, the whole personality? The Higher Self has the vision of Past, Present and Future embracing the whole of our inner and outer worlds. This is an enormous tool kit.

The Higher Self creates from the stuff of our lives interwoven meaning…like the petals which make up the Rose of Self. The Higher Self may be using at any time some of, or all of, the following:

Dreams, meditations, synchronicities, prayer, thoughtful reflection and conversation, humor, psychology’s insights (and occasionally medication too), love, compassion, philosophy, gardening, creative work, movies, travel, astrology, tarot, I Ching, occult traditions, science, and some or all of Pagan, Wiccan, Earth, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Islamic, Hindu and other religions of the world.

The Higher Self has room on the Team for all one’s Spiritual Guides too, along with loved ones from this and other lives, for they play their roles in helping us, they are all part of the Plan, and brought together in patterns of Meaning by the Higher Self…

Thus the Higher Self is intimately present within us as a Light, as a source of transcendental grace and love, The Higher Self is a bridge to higher realms, and intimately in touch with our DNA so that it is a source of healing for the karma underlying our physical and life problems and patterns.

Travelling Light * Spiritual Feng Shui of Letting Go
We expand our awareness to take guidance on the fly, as part of our everyday waking conscious state. We still meditate for deeper work, but we know about that Bridge now, and just being aware can infuse our days and our decision-making with more balance, more wisdom. Travels with the Higher Self require – and help us develop – a certain quick subtlety of awareness. We learn to conceive and enjoy goals and plans while making adjustments as we go along – and can even leave them behind in the light of new insight.

We have goals and live in anticipation of each tomorrow, yet we understand that tomorrow flows out of today, just as today is part of all our yesterdays. We realize that trying to predict the future is like trying to predict a musical composition when we can and should be writing it for our own and others’ enjoyment.

We learn to get by without having an immediate answer to a particular question, while taking note that the answer to another has arrived today. We stop trying to orchestrate the order and pattern of our development. There is a Plan, and we did not make this Plan. We love life and we trust the Road as it opens before us, setting destinations of course, but knowing they can change. We realize that the spiritual life has rhythms and patterns all its own, and if we listen, the affirmation or visualization that is uniquely right for us will drift up from within rather than be something we have tried to impose from the top down.

Attuning to the Seasons
A guiding principle of all travels with the Higher Self is this beautiful passage from the Bible: “To every thing there is a season, a time and purpose under heaven.” Our lives do unfold in seasons, and knowing “the time” and the subtle signs when it is changing, is an important part of one’s spiritual life. Just as a note, thinking about “the Seasons” is the kind of topic which just “emerges” in daily visits/meditation with the Higher Self.

Synchronicity is one of the ways in which the Seasons, and the Higher Self, speak to us. In synchronicity we are startled by “cosmic winks” – events which occur together as sudden coincidences having no connection to one another in terms of causing each other in any conventional way. We wonder about exploring Shamanism, and the next day a brochure arrives in the mail advertising travel to Peru – the itinerary features a visit with a Shaman!

We talk with a friend about making a major change in our life, and the movie we randomly turn to later that evening features the precise change we were considering, as if we had ‘ordered’ a private seminar! Synchronicity brings a sense of wonder, no matter how often it happens and we feel the soft touch of angels’ wings as they sweep by…

To Boldly Go…
The spiritual path is an unknown Road to an unknown country. To set out on this Path requires real, old-fashioned courage. Truly the image of the Fool from the Tarot deck becomes our own. We need a boldness of spirit to act on the messages we receive in our dreams, meditations, and synchronicities.

There is sometimes tension between the facts of a situation as we know them, and the signs and symbols we sense we are receiving from the Higher Self. Our framework of choice expands considerably when we include the options suggested in dreams, meditations, psychic readings, astrology, a Tarot card, an I Ching hexagram or a simple, dramatic synchronicity seeming to confirm, for once and for all, that we are on the right path with an intuition.

Yet balancing common sense with esoteric guidance requires a maturity that can accept that sometimes the mundane and the boring may well be the best path for this time, within this season. Infatuation with various tools of divination is a sign of spiritual and psychological immaturity. Drawing a Tarot card several times in one day to ask for guidance on the same issue is not traveling with the Higher Self – it is being dragged behind the runaway horse of a willful, stubborn Ego which regressing, and is not living up to its better role as executive of the Higher Self.

Keep in mind too that what is right for us in one situation may not be right for another in the seemingly identical situation. There is no one-size-fits-all in spiritual or psychological life. Our lessons may be just a little bit different. The karma for one person may be to stay in a particular relationship to balance the act of careless, selfish abandonment in another life; yet for another, staying too long may be the result of jealous, manipulative or materialistic reasons, so for this person, current best choice is to go, and go honestly.

The most important tools of spiritual life turn out to be prayer, silence, and a regard for the tender pangs of conscience informed by moral sensitivity and compassion for all living beings.

Problem-Solving * The Inner Compass, or Still, Small Voice
Mature spiritual life – the goal of the Higher Self – brings some old-fashioned values and morals into play. Concepts of right and wrong may be relative to the philosophers, but we know, in our hearts, that there is a “better or best way” in most situations. Daily meditation with a view to self-knowledge helps keep us honest, helps illuminate the inner corridors of the Self…

A popular problem-solving technique for the Higher Self is to bring up the question: Why are we doing something? What is the true motive behind our choice or choices? To answer that question we will be led, again and again, on an amazing trek through our innermost being, seeking to crack our own Da Vinci Code. The masks we wear we will meet in dreams – in the various personalities showing up there, challenging, frustrating, helping or harming us. We meet ourselves in the faces and masks of other people – especially the “types” we keep attracting into our lives.

Symbolic clues will also be found in the anatomies of our deeds, in this and other lives. The code can often be discerned in the birth chart, and whenever we consult symbolic symbols, especially in the company of a sincere, gifted metaphysical counselor.

From Little Things…

Surrounding ourselves with beauty, with finer things, however humble, is important as we create our own Sacred Circle in daily life.

Choosing only clear and pleasant speech, free of vulgarity and words associated with harsh, angry, threatening meanings help attune our inner selves to peace and truth within and without.

In time, travels with the Higher Self become the Way and our daily sessions of solitude, introspection, self-attunement, and openness to what some may call “channeling” bear fruit. Small changes, which “come to us” in these sessions, are implemented, and as time goes on, there is a quiet sense of security in who we are, and the open Path that is Life.

Many find that without knowing exactly when or how, they have been able to manage fears, crippling anxiety, old hang-ups and hold-overs from childhood, and even seen larger patterns connecting to past lives. The goal is not to become a saint or guru, but in some cases this may be happening. We may not feel we are psychologically “perfected” or healed, but can be certain that without these travels with the Higher Self, the Road would have been far harder, and in many cases, much darker.

For though we travel without fanfare, costume, book or ritual, every breath we take and each beat of our heart will be in tune with the Spirit of God.

© Carol Leigh Rice 2021

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