Higher self

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. Adherents believe each and every individual has a Higher (and lower) self.

The development of the human being is but the passing from one state of consciousness to another... It is the progressing from consciousness polarised in the higher self, ego, or soul... till the consciousness eventually is Divine. ~ Alice Bailey


  • Unless you go against your lower self, you cannot unite with your higher Self. Now what is the lower self? That which makes you think you are small, that which makes you feel that you are not satisfied, not happy, that which makes others see you as small. So the meaning of going against the lower self is to transform this in quite the opposite direction... Remain pleased and contented, happy and satisfied. When you are displeased, unhappy or upset and moody, it is your lower self asserting itself. (p. 2143)
    • Meher Baba, Lord Meher Prabhu: The Biography of Avatar Meher Baba, Volume One, 1894-1922 (1986)
Atma, the “Higher Self,” is neither your Spirit nor mine, but like sunlight shines on all... For Atman or the “Higher Self” is really Brahma, the Absolute, and indistinguishable from it. ~ Helena Blavatsky
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. ~ Jesus
That man who lives with his heart and who constantly dwells on the idea of being of service to the welfare of humanity, that man is in complete harmony with his higher Self. ~ Helena Roerich
  • Spiritual freedom has to be won by oneself for oneself through watchful and unfailing war against the lower self and the lower desires. (p 2313)
    • Meher Baba, Lord Meher Prabhu: The Biography of Avatar Meher Baba, Volume One, 1894-1922 (1986)
  • The development of the human being is but the passing from one state of consciousness to another. It is a succession of expansions, a growth of that faculty of awareness that constitutes the predominant characteristic of the indwelling Thinker. It is the progressing from consciousness polarized in the higher self, ego, or soul, thence to a polarisation in the Monad, or Spirit, till the consciousness eventually is Divine.
    • Alice Bailey in Initiation, Human,and Solar, Lucis Trust, 1922, p. 7
  • A recognition that the development of the Christ Consciousness and the Christ Nature in individual man, and in the race as a whole, carries with it the solution of our world problem.
  • Atma, the “Higher Self,” is neither your Spirit nor mine, but like sunlight shines on all. It is the universally diffused “divine principle,” and is inseparable from its one and absolute Meta-Spirit, as the sunbeam is inseparable from sunlight.
  • This “Higher Self” is Atma, and of course it is “non-materializable... Even more, it can never be “objective” under any circumstances, even to the highest spiritual perception. For Atman or the “Higher Self” is really Brahma, the Absolute, and indistinguishable from it. In hours of Samadhi, the higher spiritual consciousness of the Initiate is entirely absorbed in the ONE essence, which is Atman, and therefore, being one with the whole, there can be nothing objective for it. p 136
  • The Higher Self is Atma, the inseparable ray of the Universal and One Self. It is the God above, more Self is than within, us. Happy the man who succeeds in saturating his inner Ego with it!
  • A God is not the universal deity, but only a spark from the one ocean of Divine Fire. Our God within us, or “our Father in Secret” is what we call the “Higher Self,” Atma. Our incarnating Ego was a God in its origin, as were all the primeval emanations of the One Unknown Principle. But since its “fall into Matter,” having to incarnate throughout the cycle, in succession, from first to last, it is no longer a free and happy god, but a poor pilgrim on his way to regain that which he has lost. I can answer you more fully,,, what is said of the Inner Man in Isis Unveiled (Vol. II. 593):—[143]... Such is the destiny of the Man—the true Ego, not the Automaton, the shell that goes by that name. It is for him to become the conqueror over matter.
  • Belief is of the lower mind, and often is swept away by a torrent of opposing 'logic'. But real knowing is a bringing through of truth from the high level of the intuition. Thus what we know in this true sense no man takes from us, as was promised long ago. Truly, the realization we bring through from the higher Self is unshakable knowing. What a contrast to mere believing, which is like the proverbial house built on the shifting sands.
    • Howard Ray Carey, in The Joy of Christ's Coming: From Traditional Religion To Ageless Wisdom (1988)
  • I may love my neighbor as myself. But if my love for myself is limited, sentimental and conditional, then my love for others can turn out to be also very limited, and thus of questionable value. But if I rise to the level where I love as Christ loves, from the higher Self or Soul level, then that is a new expression of love indeed, at least for most persons.
    • Howard Ray Carey, in The Joy of Christ's Coming: From Traditional Religion To Ageless Wisdom (1988)
  • Disease is ultimately the result of wrong relationship: to our higher self, the soul; to our brothers and sisters throughout the world; and to the Whole of which we are a part. By the misuse of soul energy we set in motion the causation. By wrong relationship to our fellows we bring about disequilibrium and disharmony, and illness of all kinds.
  • Self-realization — The process of recognizing and expressing our divine nature.
    • Benjamin Creme in The Ageless Wisdom, An Introduction to Humanity's Spiritual Legacy (1996)
  • Self-realization is the same as God-realization. When unity or at-one-ment has been established between the individual in incarnation and his or her soul, and through the soul with the Monad (in Theosophical terminology) or Spark of God, Self- or God-realization takes place.
  • Christ Consciousness — The energy of the Cosmic Christ, also known as the Christ Principle. Embodied for us by the Christ, it is at present awakening in the hearts of millions of people all over the world. The energy of evolution per se.
    • Benjamin Creme, Maitreya's Mission Vol. III, Glossary, Share International Foundation (1997)
  • Yoga is defined as a method – the process of nirodha (mental control) – by which union (the goal of yoga) is achieved. Yoga is therefore both the process of nirodha and the unqualified state of niruddha (the perfection of that process). The word yoga (union) implies duality (as in joining of two things or principles); the result of yoga is the nondual state..., or as the union of the lower self and higher Self. The nondual state is characterized by the absence of individuality; it can be described as eternal peace, pure love, Self-realization, or liberation.
    • Baba Hari Dass, A Study Guide and Commentary for Book I, Samadhi Pada (Sutra 2, p.5); Sri Rama Publishing, (1999)
  • View Blanketed by an azure sky, the orange-yellow rays of the setting sun can, at special times, gift us with a moment of such considerable beauty, we find ourselves momentarily stunned, with frozen gaze. The splendor of the moment so dazzles us, our compulsively chattering minds give pause, so as not to mentally whisk us away to a place other than the here-and-now. Bathed in luminescence, a door seems to open to another reality, always present, yet rarely witnessed. Abraham Maslow called these "peak experiences," since they represent the high moments of life where we joyfully find ourselves catapulted beyond the confines of the mundane and ordinary. He might just as well have called them "peek' experiences. During these expansive occasions, we sneak a glimpse of the eternal realm of Being itself. If only for a brief moment in time, we come home to our True Self.
  • Penetrating to the roots of fears and doubts, we can change radically... On an individual level, we discover a self that does not compete. It is as curious as a child, delighted with testing its changing powers. And it is fiercely autonomous. It seeks self knowledge, not gain, knowing it will never probe its own furthest reaches. As one recovered alcoholic put it, "The only person I need to be is myself. I can be really good at that. In fact, I can never fail if I am simply me and let you be you." Redefining the self defuses competition....
    If there is rebirth, what dies? The actor, perhaps. And illusions—that one is a victim, or right, or independent, or capable of obtaining all the answers. Illusionectomy can be a painful operation, but there are profound rewards. "You shall know the truth," says a character in Brunner's Shockwave Rider, "and the truth shall make you you."
  • According to Buddhism, individuals are masters of their own destiny. And all living beings are believed to possess the nature of the Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra, the potential or seed of enlightenment, within them. So our future is in our own hands. What greater free will do we need?
    • Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, in answering the question: "Do sentient beings have free will?" in Dzogchen : The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection (2001)
  • In your hours of physical pain and languor, your thoughts naturally fly to the Higher Self – to God, or to some Master or Saviour to whom you have hitherto aspired; you realize your weakness, and feel around with the arms of your soul, hoping to touch a hand in the darkness, which will impart the courage, the magnetic force to lift you out of the valley of the shadow and set your feet on the rugged path of life. When disaster overtakes you by means of loss of fortune through the treachery of others, or your own lack of wisdom, you fall into a similar condition of weakness, and again you reach out into the great silence for help...
    Jesus said, "If ye love not your brother whom ye have seen, how can ye love God whom ye have not seen ?" If we cannot perceive and love the godlike attributes in our brother men, how can we comprehend and identify ourselves with an individualized part of that Godhead, such as we believe our Higher Self – the Holy Spirit – to be ? p. 18
    Until man has evinced the possibility of keeping his body free from sins of voluptuousness, his mind free from hatred for his kind, his soul capable of faithfulness to his Higher Self, he might with just as much surety of fulfillment expect the sun to be given him for a pleasure boat. p. 142
  • The women of the present race are approaching such a period in a cyclic round, and every woman who helps to save a man from his lower self by refusing to yield to the temptation her lower nature places in her way, thus proving the existence of a higher plane of life . . . does more to save the race to which both belong than any man, however great he may be, can possibly do in the present age." The coming epoch is the epoch of woman and therefore "it is womankind that will be finally held to strict account for the laxity in morals of the present race, far more than man. . . . The present cycle is woman's great opportunity, so again I appeal to you, daughters of the King, pray the God within to keep you clean.
    • Hilarion, in Teachings of the Temple (1948), pp. 250, quoted by Helena Roerich in Letters of Helena Roerich II
  • A man or woman who persists in being true to the Higher Self, who cannot be deceived by the specious tales of others, that one takes his or her place with the Initiates of the White Lodge when his trial is over as surely as tomorrows sun will rise in the east. This does not mean that such an one is blind to the evil committed by others, or to personal weakness; it only means that, having seen the light, he becomes a part of it, and no matter what darkness reigns in the hearts of others the power to stand by and see divine justice work out its decrees year after year has been won. p. 287
    • Hilarion, in Teachings of the Temple (1925)
  • You should affirm the power of Good with all your strength, and at the same tune identify the Higher Self with that good. By constantly holding in mind the thought of such identification you entirely ignore the lower self – which is the one thing it fears. By refusing to give it the substance it requires to live upon, that is, the substance of your own evil thoughts and words, it is rendered powerless, becomes more and more tenuous, and disintegrates quickly after death, and even before death, in the case of the Masters or advanced chelas who have killed it out by overcoming it with Good, thus changing its nature... Do not feed and nourish that lower self... p. 298
  • Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.
    • Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to H. Tompkinson, a.k.a. Samuel Kercheval (12 July 1816)
  • Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’?
    • Jesus, Christian Bible, John 10:34, (New King James Version)
  • 6. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
    • Jesus, Christian Bible, Psalms 82, (King James Version)
  • The Soul: Also known as the ego, higher Self, inner ruler, the Christ within, or the son of mind. The soul is not a body. It is the linking or middle principle, representing the relation between spirit and matter; the link between God and His form; the Christ principle. The soul is that which provides consciousness, character and quality to all manifestations in form, and it is therefore also the inner guide of the personality.
  • Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another.
  • Traffic with one's higher self. Everyone has his good day, when he finds his higher self; and true humanity demands that we judge someone only when he is in this condition, and not in his workdays of bondage and servitude. We should, for example, assess and honor a painter according to the highest vision he was able to see and portray. But people themselves deal very differently with this, their higher self, and often act out the role of their own self, to the extent that they later keep imitating what they were in those moments. Some regard their ideal with shy humility and would like to deny it: they fear their higher self because, when it speaks, it speaks demandingly. In addition, it has a ghostly freedom of coming or staying away as it wishes; for that reason it is often called a gift of the gods, while actually everything else is a gift of the gods: this, however, is the man himself.
  • Now what is this Guardian Angel? Is it outside of man? It is a part of man's spirit, pertinent to his pneumatology; not the human part but a part of his spiritual being. You can call it the Higher Self, but I prefer to call it the Spiritual Self... man's inmost entity, the Guardian Angel, this spiritual self, is like a god compared with the man of flesh... Compared with his knowledge it has omniscience; compared with his vision it has vision of the past, the present and the future, which three really are but one eternal now in the ever present. This Guardian Angel will always strive and is incessantly striving to guide its wilful errant child, the man of flesh. There is the whole thing in a nutshell, and if you can make your mind pervious to this inner monitor, and follow its mandates, your life will be safe and happy and prosperous.
  • The only difference between the ordinary man on the one hand and the Christ-man and the Buddha-man on the other is this: that we ordinary men have not succeeded in becoming absolutely at one with the Guardian Angel within, and the Buddhas and the Christs have. The Buddha or Christ is one who has made himself, his whole being, his heart, so pervious to the entrance of the Guardian Angel within him that that Guardian Angel within him has actually imbodied himself, so that the lower man is scarcely any longer there: it is then the Guardian Angel that speaks with the lips of flesh, it is the Bodhisattva, the inner Christ.
  • That man who lives with his heart and who constantly dwells on the idea of being of service to the welfare of humanity, that man is in complete harmony with his higher Self.
  • Soul (Ego, Higher Self, inner ruler, Christ within, Son of Mind, Solar Angel) ― The linking principle between Spirit and matter; between God and His form. Provides consciousness, character and quality to all manifestation in form.
    • Glossary of Esoteric Terms, Share International, (April 1999)
  • The courage to be as oneself within the atmosphere of Enlightenment is the courage to affirm oneself as a bridge from a lower to a higher state of rationality. It is obvious that this kind of courage to be must become conformist the moment its revolutionary attack on that which contradicts reason has ceased, namely in the victorious bourgeoisie.
  • She H. P. Blavatsky declared that man's essential divine nature was a potent quality which should be aroused continuously: i. e., that man was dual in his nature -- that the higher, the nobler, the divine part, was the corrective and inspiring part, and that the human mind, no matter how splendidly trained, must be controlled by this higher self: before this man could not find his true place or realize his latent possibilities. She declared in her teachings that one who would know his strength must find his divinity, not outside himself but within; that he must understand the laws of evolution and involution; that spiritually he must realize that he is a part inseparable of the great human family; and that if he carried the investigation of Theosophy far enough, he would readily conceive of Deity as an all-powerful, omnipresent principle, rather than as a personal God existing at some point in space.
  • Being is the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death. However, Being is not only beyond but also deep within every form as its innermost invisible and indestructible essence. This means that it is accessible to you now as your own deepest self, your true nature. But don't seek to grasp it with your mind. Don't try to understand it. You can know it only when the mind is still. When you are present, when your attention is fully and intensely in the Now, Being can be felt, but it can never be understood mentally. To regain awareness of Being and to abide in that state of "feeling-realization" is enlightenment.
  • Being aware of your breathing takes attention away from thinking and creates space. It is one way of generating consciousness. Although the fullness of consciousness is already there as the unmanifested, we are here to bring consciousness into this dimension....
    • Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005)
  • The new earth arises as more and more people discover that their main purpose in life is to bring the light of consciousness into this world... Awakened consciousness then takes over from ego and begins to run your life. You may then find that an activity that you have been engaged in for a long time naturally begins to expand into something much bigger when it becomes empowered by consciousness.
    • Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005)
  • “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,” writes the biblical prophet (Revelation 21:1). The foundation for a new earth is a new heaven – the awakened consciousness. The earth – external reality – is only its outer reflection. The arising of a new heaven and by implication a new earth are not future events that are going to make us free. Nothing is going to make us free because only the present moment can make us free. That realization is the awakening.
  • The meek are the egoless. They are those who have awakened to their essential true nature as consciousness and recognize that essence in all “others,” all lifeforms. They live in the surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet, including nature, because life on earth is inseparable from the human consciousness that perceives and interacts with it. That is the sense in which the meek will inherit the Earth.
    • Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005)
  • No one is a solitary agent. We all have various types of guides who assist us. Most important, there is a form of God in everyone’s heart, and when you put the physical body to rest, you make closer contact with the Lord in the heart and with your higher self.
    • Bhakti Tirtha Swami 'Spiritual Warrior, Volume I: Uncovering Spiritual Truths in Psychic Phenomena (Hari-Nama Press, 1996) p. 24
  • The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all than you encounter.
    • Morihei Ueshiba, as quoted in Inspire! What Great Leaders Do (2004) by Lance Secretan, p. 45
  • Most people, they have these near-death experiences. They go through a tunnel and they meet a bright light at the end of the tunnel. That bright light is actually their higher self, or the soul, which people reconnect with after they die, after you leave the physical body. In our Sufi practice we aspire to die before we die, to reconnect with that bright light, the higher self, while we’re still in a physical body.
  • There are many synonyms for Higher Self: Inner Wisdom, Spirit Self, Soul, Essence, Eternal Self, Authentic Self, Atman, Buddha nature, the Divine within, the Tao within, and so on. But... How can I know it?... it is actually our truest nature... Your Higher Self is probably speaking if you notice..: 1. Calm and centered... It can calmly observe all the craziness of life and stay centered... 2. Seeing with compassion... 3. Long-term focus. The ego looks for short-term gratification. The Higher Self looks at the long term... 4. Win-win outcomes.... 5. Strong boundaries... Higher Self sets boundaries calmly and clearly. There are times to be compassionate, wise and immovable... 6. Positive emotional texture... Overall, our Higher Self looks to find what is right, what is good in all the people and all the parts of this set of circumstances... with time the positive feelings of letting my Higher Self run the show are so good, and the results are so worth it, that there is a positive feedback loop at work. The more I listen to the Higher Self, the better I feel. I no longer feel tempted to go back to the ego upset and drama.
    • Cindy Wigglesworth, Higher Self: 6 Ways to Help You Hear It, Huffington Post (21 October 2012)

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