There are countless teachings these days about Higher Self, yet I have a feeling very few people really understand what it is. While it's certainly true that this so-called "higher" self is with us all the time, it's generally treated as something "out there" or "up there." How can we know it as the center of our being within us? The first step, of course, is realizing that the purpose of life is to learn lessons, develop awareness, and further our healing and balance. After this, we need to put these nice ideas into practice -- by discovering exactly what lessons should be learned, which aspects of self can be developed, and how we can heal and balance. Actually, this entire process of self-work is a return to Higher Self. But what exactly is this greater part of ourselves?

The path of self-understanding requires this kind of search, and demands that we face all the conflicts and confusions of our obvious self, also known as personality. According to ageless wisdom, "personality" is simply the union of 3 forces: physical, astral and mental. The physical consists of dense and subtle bodies (bio-chemical and etheric); the astral relates to emotional life; and the mental is made up of both lower and higher aspects (the analytical and intuitive). These three modes of normal human being are purified and transmuted through spiritual work.

Higher Self or Oversoul, (also called Atman or Monad), is considered the source of personality and its primary guide through its long eons of incarnation in all dimensions of time and space. This Oversoul is like the light at the end of the tunnel, the castle of our homecoming to welcome back the "Prodigal Son" -- a metaphor, of course, for the manifest self (body/mind/spirit complex) as it returns to Oneness.

But what exactly is this Atman? Of course, it's impossible to describe it fully unless you're fully enlightened; and even then, words fail. Yet, some words can help us build a conceptual framework. According to my handy Glossary of Sanskrit Terms, Atman is "the divine aspect in the sevenfold constitution of man; his highest principle." Unfortunately, this definition doesn't go too far.

As you might expect, The Law of One gives us a lot more to chew on. In RA's view, the first thing we need to understand is that Higher Self is a 6th density entity in its own right -- not some kind of nebulous cloudy thing. This means that each Monad can be considered a soul who has achieved enlightenment through its own efforts along its the path of evolution (usually in an earlier portion of the Creation or another solar system). This is the metaphysical basis for the statement that, in essence, all souls are from elsewhere, not only Wanderers. So Higher Self is an old soul.

These ideas are already quite radical, and remind me of the classic Tibetan Buddhist teaching that considers some high Lamas to be emanations of particular Buddhas and Bodhisattvas (who, in the Vedanta/Theosophical system, would be 6th, 7th, and 8th density souls). You could say that we, as a manifest body/mind/spirit, are also emanations of particular oversouls, which have passed through their own soul-evolution. So, Higher Self is your own private Master!

Additionally, RA notes that Higher Self has "full understanding of the accumulation of each entity's experiences" through all lifetimes -- and is therefore aware of exactly where we stand on the path. Furthermore, it is aware of all the lessons needed achieve full Self-realization, and is like "a map in which the destination and roads are all well known." Atman knows the entire path of evolution back to Itself, and knows exactly how to get there (or rather, how to get Here!).

With this in mind, we can consider Higher Self a tremendous resource for personal growth. In fact, it is both the source and central re-source of our entire evolutionary path. It (our inner being) knows our full past-life history and present point of development, the complete path to unity-consciousness and every iota of energy healing and balance that we need to achieve Its own 6th density enlightenment. However, the degree to which we use this resource is totally up to us.

Like all good Star Born and Confederation ET groups, the Higher Self strictly follows the Law of Free Will. It will never command our behavior nor issue demands: it waits for the calling. In RA's view:

"...the Higher Self aspect can program [our 3D life-plan] only for lessons and certain predisposing limitations if it wishes. The remainder is completely the free choice of each entity. There is the perfect balance between the known and the unknown." vol. II, pp.64 (italics added)

To contact this inner being, we have to open "the proper pathways through the roots of mind". In other words, we must activate what RA calls the spirit-complex or gateway, which is an energy field between higher mind and Monad, between personality and the transpersonal. In physical terms, this is the relationship between pituitary and pineal glands in the brain. The key to such bridge-building is meditation -- not because of its moral value, but because it is the most efficient method of activating 6th chakra (the forehead or brow center) -- which, in turn, activates 7th center and develops the needed energy fields in the head. This creates access to cosmic mind and power.

What actually happens is that the energy fields associated with 6th and 7th centers begin to blend forces in the subtle, etheric channels of the head, and a "gateway" is opened. Like a stream of light inrushing and down pouring, the pure Will of Higher Self streams into body/mind/spirit (us!), and in time, our personality is wholly transformed. The beginning of this may be felt as a tingling in the forehead...

Yet, meditation is not enough, and each of us has significant areas of imbalance which require healing, which is best accomplished in our primary school house: daily life experience. To address these issues, Higher Self programs each incarnation (before we take birth) for particular lessons and certain predisposing limitations. These programs for 3D experience are specific forms of catalyst or life-experience, such as childhood illness, educational opportunities, family influences, or social forces. The purpose of Higher Self programming is the hope that in response to such catalyst, we may be inspired to seek greater wholeness and self-integration, in the various regions of our total body/mind/spirit that need healing and balance. Life-experience that seems to "come to us" of its own accord are often forms of catalyst that have been planned by Higher Self for specific learning. There aren't really too many accidents in this journey we call life.

Therefore, if we want to contact Oversoul and progress towards greater unity (i.e. non-dual consciousness), then we have to understand and deal with the specific lessons that we intended to learn by programming our lives as we have. These are the specific issues of our present life, and are as unique as one's astrological chart (which is often a clear picture of just what the Higher Self has planned for us).

And so, we need to look closely at the particular difficulties that life seems to be handing us, which of course, are just forms of catalyst (reflected by the world around us) intended to stimulate our efforts. These spurs to growth take many forms, including intimate and social relationships, worldly job and career, the arena of public service, and all creative pursuits. If we have conflicts in any of these arenas, we can be sure there are hidden lessons to be learned -- and hidden within each lesson is the face of Higher Self.

If you really want to contact your Source, you can begin with self-reflection regarding your own life-lessons. Try asking yourself, "Why did I choose my parents, my body, and my early influences?" Looking deeper can help you unlock greater understanding about the specific spiritual lessons you've set for yourself. And by the way, this kind of inquiry is a form of meditation, and also has the power to activate 6th chakra. By doing so, you'll draw closer to the essential Self and slowly unwind all conflict, struggle and paradox. This is the path of Unity.