People have a lot of misconceptions about the idea of the higher self. They see it as a form of escapism from the so-called real world; they believe that there is no such thing as the higher self and that our ultimate purpose in life is to constantly hustle for the external world’s pleasures.
I’m not judging anyone here because, in my understanding, we are all undergoing a spiritual evolution, and each one of us must go through a transformative phase before we can realize who we are and what our true purpose is in this transactional material world.
I understand that our body is a material, and it has needs that must be satisfied. But our mind usually magnifies these needs and turns them into desires that have no boundaries. What I mean is, when you feel hungry, you satiate your hunger by eating food.
You know exactly what to eat and how much to eat. If you overeat, or eat less, or eat the wrong kind of food, your body will immediately react and make you feel sick.
But when it comes to aspects like earning money, there’s no physical boundary. How much money will satiate your thirst for it? What is the highest value item you can acquire that can keep you permanently happy?
When I ask such questions, the response I usually get is that “Happiness can never be permanent. We earn it in bits and pieces through hard work and luck”. This type of thinking persists in the world because we have lost access to our ‘higher self’.
Our higher self is the abode of abiding happiness. It is our real home. It is who we truly are. Realizing the true self leads to a state of permanent bliss and peace. This is very different from what we usually refer to as happiness.
The regular daily high that we call happiness is nothing more than a mild addiction. We are happy till it lasts. We become sad or even resentful the moment it is gone.
What is the Higher Self?
Our higher self is the absolute truth and unlimited bliss. It is our ideal superconscious mind that is the master of both conscious and unconscious mind. It is something genuine and not just a figment of our imagination.
Once you connect to your higher self, you don’t feel the need to acquire happiness in bits and pieces. You experience a feeling of ecstasy that will be with you at all times.
The whole meaning of happiness changes after connecting to the higher self, and things that you desired once become insignificant now. You realize that “you are the happiness”, and that you don’t require anything in the outside world to be happy.
Does that mean that after connecting with the higher self, we will distance ourselves from the material world and run off to caves in the mountains?
No. On the contrary, when you connect with your higher self, you’ll be more effective in your dealings with other people, whether it’s work or interpersonal relationships. You will be able to fulfill your responsibilities more efficiently. You will become strong, focused, and fearless.
You will attain what is known as vairagya in the yoga philosophy, a state of detachment from the objects of your desires. This detachment allows us to function more effectively. It clears our minds of unproductive negative thoughts.
It allows you to focus on the process than the outcome of the work you’re doing.
You will no more be concerned about the fruits of your labor. Your whole focus will be on the work you’re doing, and your heart will be full of love and compassion while you do that.
What is Blocking Our Access to the Higher Self?
Most people in the west require proof of everything at the material scientific level. And I think that’s okay. If I catch inflection, I will go to a doctor than trying to cure my body through the mind or pseudo-scientific methods.
Meditating upon infection will not make it go away. Either it disappears by itself, or it should be treated by a medical professional.
I’m not against science – what I’m trying to say is that scientific analysis works best only when studying the physical objects.
For subtle non-material objects like thoughts and feelings, science is still useful but has limitations. A thought, in essence, cannot be adequately understood only through empirical methods. And even if we do reduce it to charts and numbers, those numbers will mean different things to different people.
For example, if I ask you how much money will make you happy? Can science come up with a universal number that will make us all happy in exactly the same way?
The predominant western view is that our consciousness is just a product of our brain, and that limits us from exploring anything beyond the body. Our whole existence is based on satisfying the needs of the body.
The idea that the body influences the mind and not the other way around is the one that prevents us from understanding and going beyond the mind. It is the mind that blocks us from seeing our true self just as the clouds block the sunshine.
The whole framework of capitalism and economic growth is formed around this idea where our needs and desires are highly amplified through constant advertisements. We easily get trapped in the cycle of compulsive consumption, thinking it will make our lives easy.
I’m not saying that the western way of thinking is wrong, but it is very different from that of the east. I’m giving you an eastern perspective here. Although I must admit that even the eastern way of thinking is no more what it used to be.
I’m not making up these concepts on my own. All of this has been very clearly documented in the ancient Hindu philosophy known as Vedanta that was written some 5000 years ago.
It is one of the deepest philosophical texts that delves into the inquiry and nature of the ‘self’.
How Do We Connect With The Higher Self?
For most people, this awakening comes after facing lots of hardships in life. There comes the point when you realize that all your running after the objects of your desires is an attempt to fill up a void within you that can never be filled. The more you try to fill it, the bigger it becomes.
So the first step in connecting with your higher self is to understand the nature of that void within you. You realize that through self-observation and self-inquiry. Both of these require a lot of focus and discipline.
Before you access your higher self, you have to understand your psyche and the compulsions produced by it. To fully explore this, you need to reflect on the following:
- The nature of your addictions.
- The cause of your compulsive behavior.
- The cause of restlessness of the mind (stress & anxiety).
- The cause of anger and irritation.
There’s no harm in consulting a certified mental health therapist for this purpose.
Even talking to someone who understands you and is willing to help unconditionally, helps a lot. Besides, you can also maintain a writing journal where you write your daily thoughts in short sentences.
Merely being aware of your behavior will enable you to manage and regulate the thoughts within your mind. You will be able to distinguish between constructive thinking and repetitive chatter.
Please understand that the mind’s restlessness is due to the afflicting thoughts and fears that reside with the unconscious mind. And the reason for your misery is that the conscious mind out of sync with the unconscious mind.
Dr. Carl Jung, and many of his well-known contemporaries like Freud, believed that the psyche comprises of three separate interacting systems:
- Our ego (i.e., the conscious mind).
- The personal unconscious.
- And the collective unconscious.
He emphasized that it is our unconscious mind that dominates our behaviors. The conscious mind’s role is to merely give expression to the complexes and repressed memories stored within the unconscious.
According to Jung, the collective unconscious mind is one that contains the evolutionary memory imprints. There has been a lot of debate around these theories. But the unconscious mind and its dominant effect cannot be denied.
To access the higher self or the superconscious, one needs to transcend the boundaries of the unconscious. According to eastern philosophy, this is done through the practice of ‘self-inquiry’.
Combining the best of both western and eastern worlds, we start with the process of self-actualization (understanding your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and realizing your full potential) and finally move towards self-inquiry.
Simply being in the state of awareness accomplishes both of the above. One of the best ways to achieve this state is to practice meditation and mindfulness exercises.
Can’t stick to your meditation routine? Confused about how to get started?
Mindfulness is a practice where you witness the contents of your mind. You allow thoughts to arise, play, and subside within your mind, without creating any label or judgment towards them.
The idea is to realize that you are neither your thoughts and nor your mind. Because anything that you see cannot be “the real you”. The experiencer is always separate from the experience. This is the essence of Vedanta.
Dr. Carl Jung said that the libido was not just a result of sexual energy, but also psychic energy that motivated an individual to progress spiritually, intellectually, and creatively. This psychic energy has been called the kundalini (life-force) in yoga.
Kundalini rests in the dormant state below the region of the reproductive area. And when we practice meditation, this energy rises and hits various energy points across the body, known as the chakras.
The rising of the mysterious life-force energy has a tremendous effect on our mind and body. It generates within us clarity, focus, discipline, compassion, empathy, and many other virtuous traits.
Finally, the kundalini reaches its ultimate destination, i.e., the top of our head (crown chakra), and this is where we get access to our higher self.
The feeling of bliss experienced at this point never fades away.
It is present even in the most adverse of situations experienced in life. When this happens, both our conscious and unconscious mind works in perfect harmony.
“Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.”Sri Ramana Maharshi
Don’t feel disappointed if you’re unable to connect to your higher self. As I mentioned earlier, we are all undergoing a journey of spiritual evolution, and sooner or later, you will get there.
Don’t even think yourself to be less than anyone just because you didn’t have a spiritual experience. No matter what you feel about yourself at this point, you are a part of the same divine light experiencing yourself as an individual in the realm of duality.
Any person who claims to be a higher human being and claims superiority above the rest is a fraud. Beware of such spiritual gurus who promise to give you something you don’t already have and charge exorbitant amounts of money in the name of enlightenment.
I will suggest that you go through the information given on this website and practice meditation regularly. Your soul will guide you towards the right path.
When your time comes, you’ll realize your higher self and even go beyond into the absolute. There is something even beyond the super consciousness.
It is known as the universal self or the cosmic consciousness, wherein you don’t experience yourself as separate from anything that exists in this universe.
When you merge with the universal self, you become free from the law of causation. At this point, all the worldly concepts of happiness, joy, sorrow, and misery completely dissolve; and all that remains is pure bliss and harmony.