Higher self is a term associated with multiple belief systems, but its basic premise describes an eternal, omnipotent, conscious, and intelligent being, who is one's real self. Blavatsky formally defined the higher self as "Atma the inseparable ray of the Universe and one self. It is the God above, more than within, us". Each and every individual has a Higher self.
The Higher Self is generally regarded as a form of being only to be recognized in a union with a divine source. In recent years the New Age faith has encouraged the idea of the Higher Self in contemporary culture, though the notion of the Higher Self has been interpreted throughout numerous historical spiritual faiths. Some denominations believe that the higher self is a part of an individual's metaphysical identity, while others teach that the higher self is essentially our tie to the heavens. Similar to the notion of the soul, the higher self can be defined by many different sects, while also being a topic of interest in the scientific and philosophical fields.
Christianity: In the Christian interpretation, all beings contain a fragment of the Holy Spirit, which ties them to their Higher Self. The concept of the Holy Spirit is widely taught by various Christian sects, but the idea of the individual higher consciousness is discussed less frequently. Christian theology adheres that the Higher Self is what connects one to God, and thus one must honor and keep one's Higher Self pure by following the ethical guidelines outlined in the scriptures. Jesus said, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41); a central tenet of Christianity is that the body is still under the bondage of sin and is therefore imperfect, unlike the Higher Self, which remains untainted.
Buddhism: In Buddhism, the Nirvana Sutra describes the notion of Higher self.
Hinduism: 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, rather the self is the subject which perceives. In his book, The Higher Self, Deepak Chopra utilizes the views of the Hindi denomination to support his claims concerning the divine force that is acquired with the awareness of the self. Hinduism teaches that through the examination of self-knowledge, or “atma jnana,” one can attain salvation by comprehending the true self.
New Age: Most New Age literature defines the Higher self as an extension of the self to a godlike state. This Higher Self is essentially an extension of the worldly self. With this perspective, New Age text teaches that in exercising your relationship with the higher self, you will gain the ability to manifest your desired future before you. In other words, the self creates its own reality when in union with the Higher Self.
Higher self meditation and channeling
In numerous reports concerning the Higher Self, the practice of meditation or channeling to contact the Higher Self is highly encouraged. Most of this ideology agrees with the concept that with mindful awareness of the higher self, peace, salvation, or enlightenment may be procured. This is due to the idea that the Higher Self contains an advanced amount of insight into man’s most taxing questions, such as the purpose of existence or death, etc. Evidence of this insight is found within the book, Open to Channel: How To Connect With Your Guide, where dual authors Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer report a collective and educational account of the practice and benefits of existing in alignment with the Higher Self. This piece cites views from numerous practitioners of meditation and channeling who claim a consistent result of newly acquired peace and intuition. Essentially, the idea behind this practice is that through spiritual exposure, a person can make a conscious connection with their higher self or other higher beings. In this state, the meditator is free to tap into this higher intelligence in order to develop a more enlightened perspective on world matters.
- The Key to Theosophy, H.P. Blavatsky, 1889, p175. ISBN 0-8356-0427-6
- Holcombe, Alfred D., and Suzanne M. Holcombe. "Biblically-Derived Concept of Mankind's Higher-Self-Lower Self Nature." Journal of Religion & Psychical Research 28.1 (2005): 20-25. EBSCOhost. Web. 10 Sept. 2012.
- Chopra, D. (2001). The Higher Self. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
- Hanegraaff, Woutner J. "New Age Spiritualities as Secular Religion: A Historian's Perspective." Social Compass 46.2 (1999): 145-60. Scp.sagepub. Web. 10 Sept. 2012.
- Roman, Sanaya, and Duane Packer. Opening To Channel: How To Connect With Your Guide. Tiburon: HJ Kramer, 1987. Print.