Whatever your belief system, the term Higher Self is prevalent in multiple religions. It refers to an eternal, omnipotent, conscious, and intelligent being, which is one’s true self.
In the globalized world, and with the vast reach of social media, the term Higher Self seems to have become popularized, gradually losing its true meaning. In fact, many of us simply relate the expression to something spiritual, and little else.
What is the Higher Self?
The Higher Self is generally considered to be a form of being that is only recognized in a union with a divine source. Madame Blavatsky formally defined the higher self as “Atma, the inseparable ray of the Universe and a self.” For the iconic seer, the Higher Self is the God above, rather than within, all of us.
For Christianity, only those who are “born again,” through baptism or acceptance of the doctrine of God, receive the indwelling of the “Holy Spirit,” or the personal presence of God.
In Islam, both in Sufism and in some esoteric Shi’ism, the Higher Self has a role related to the notion of al-Insān al-Kāmil, the six organs, Al-Nafsul Mud’ma’inah and Fana’.
And in Hinduism, the higher self is one and the same with the Jiva or individual self. With this perspective, the Hindu faith generally teaches that the higher self, or Atman, is not an object possessed by an individual, but that the self is the perceiving subject.
How do we recognize our higher self?
When we seek to connect with our higher self, it is important to first admit its existence in order to create that connection. We must explore within ourselves and think that it is not something we can find outside, it is something that is already in us and has always been. Some recommendations are:
- Let go of your ego: As we grow up, we form our own ways of relating to others, of dealing with our fears and insecurities, and we create our own perception of reality. This is all a very individual process and that’s where the ego comes in, which gives us a mask and a protective instinct, but sometimes we let it dominate us.
Stop and analyze how you have let the ego interfere in your life as something more than “protection.” Try to understand how it has been shaping you and question whether it has been for better or worse. Don’t let the ego put limitations on you and let your true potential come to light.
- Meditate: Meditation is a practice that has many physical and mental benefits, but it requires a lot of dedication, discipline, and willpower. Ideally, do it at a quiet time of the day when you are well-rested.
Use meditation as a means to listen to your deepest thoughts, but don’t dwell or get caught up in thoughts about your everyday problems. It is also a great practice to purify your mind of the external noises and toxicity around you, analyze all these aspects, be honest with yourself and put in a balance what brings more good things to your life.
- Cultivate your mind: Finally, educating yourself and reading is always the safest option, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. There is a wide variety of literature on the Higher Self, from theosophy books to romance novels. However, Good Reads has a good collection to get you started, which you can check out by clicking here.