The Higher Self is the highest part of your psyche. It is known by various names including Superconsciousness, Christ Consciousness, Deep Self and Transpersonal Self. Sometimes it is associated with the Neshamah (in the Kabbalah, associated with Wisdom and the reconciliation of opposites), or the Holy Guardian Angel (HGA), although these associations are more likely to be disputed.
What is important to understand is that the Higher Self is the part of your psyche that connects you with God / the Universe, and which is beyond duality, therefore making it a reconciler of opposites. It is the bigger picture of you, and contains the blueprint for your potential, but at the same time, as a divine aspect, it is perfect and pure, and not bound by human qualities. It is often associated with height and depth, representing its ability to ‘see’ and understand the overall territory of our lives and experience.
General symbolism for the Higher Self includes ascending into the sky on a cloud, to survey the environment or your life, or climbing a mountain and standing atop a lofty peak to see all that exists. In a more shamanic context, shapeshifting into an eagle and flying high into the sky is another symbolic expression of the Higher Self. Some people see the Higher Self as their Guardian Angel, giving them wise advice and assistance on their life path – watching over them. Another common expression is the Wise Old Man or Wise Old Woman, aspects of the Higher Self that can spontaneous arise in dreams or inner work.
One important quality of the Higher Self is its ability to reconcile opposites. That is, it aids in the synthesis of opposites into something new and holistic. It is through the Higher Self that we are able to actively and consciously transform paradoxical or diametrically opposing beliefs into a new workable belief.
The Higher Self is a source of unconditional love – love energy that is harmonising and able to heal our inner wounds and unite conflicting parts of our psyche. This is not a touchy-feely New Age concept, but something important to experience and understand.
Some of the qualities associated with the Higher Self experience include: stillness, peace, an ‘inner knowing’, an all-pervading aura of unconditional love, contentment, feelings of being outside of time, sudden bursts of flashes of insight or inspiration, and inclusiveness.
Other spiritual or transpersonal qualities include: beauty, comprehension, creativity, goodness, joy, serenity, will, calm, confidence, energy, harmony, love, silence, wisdom, compassion, courage, enthusiasm, humour, patience, and simplicity.
Guidelines for Assessing Authenticity of the Higher Self Experience
As with all inner work, knowledge and understanding of the Higher Self is an intuitive process that takes experience and the development of skills to effectively achieve genuine results. Primarily, you must ensure that the communication with the Higher Self is ‘pure’, and that you are not simply accessing a lower part of your psyche and deceiving yourself with justification and rationalisation for your desires.
Intuition is a type of immediate understanding of something without conscious reasoning. Working with the Higher Self enables more effective use of intuition, to see the bigger pictures and work in an integrated and holistic manner. Working with the Higher Self brings the experience of an inner knowing, which produces feelings of inner calm, certainty, joy, and resolution. This knowing has a sense of truth with it – that is, you understand and intuitively know it to be true. This truth may be personal to you or Universal. The experience should reveal something new to you, or at least a new way of looking at the current situation. The new information will be beyond polar opposites of positive or negative options. In simple terms this can be considered the ‘And’ that lies beyond the ‘either’ / ‘or’ alternatives. The knowing may be received in a symbolic form and require you to go beyond the simple, literal interpretation.
Only repeated experience will allow you to build your skill and judgement for working effectively with the Higher Self.
Exercise – Symbol Reading 2
This exercise develops the Symbol Reading exercise (Exercise 2) from lesson 4, Inner Work. It adds the new dimension of the Higher Self perspective.
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes
- Take a few deep breaths and allow your body to relax
- Allow a symbol to come to mind that represents you at this present moment in time. The first symbol that appears is the correct one, do not attempt to change or choose a ‘better’ one. Alternatively, use the same symbol as you saw in the previous exercise.
- Concentrate on the symbol. See it clearly in your mind’s eye.
- What does this symbol tell you about yourself?
- Explore what concepts and beliefs this symbol represents, and how those things relate to you.
- Keep scanning the symbol for concepts, words, thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and how they relate to you.
- (Optionally, you can stand up to perform the next part of the exercise – try it standing and sitting)
- Now, imagine that you are ascending high into the sky on a cloud, rising up, higher and higher.
- Once you are high above the ground, you can now see a bright, luminous being – your Higher Self.
- Take a moment to get a sense of the energy of your Higher Self.
- Now, imagine a cord of energy coming out from your Higher Self and connecting to you.
- Take some time to feel this connection with your Higher Self. Get a good sense of the feelings, emotions, and energy of Higher Self.
- When you are ready, imagine that you are turning around so that your back is to your Higher Self. Then step backwards into your Higher Self.
- Allow yourself to feel what it is like becoming one with your Higher Self energy. Breathe into this energy.
- Once you feel completely immersed in the energy of your Higher Self, bring to mind the symbol again, and allow thoughts, feelings, and more images to come into mind and allow yourself to receive the holistic perspective of your Higher Self.
- Once you have finished, step back out of your Higher Self.
- Turn to face it, and thank it for what it has shown you.
- Imagine yourself descending back to the ground on the cloud.
- When you are finished, open your eyes and draw the symbol and write about this experience in your journal.
Last modified: 12 June 2010