The battle between the higher and lower self is a never- ending battle that is being fought, in your thoughts, actions, and beliefs. The lower self would be the ego which is constantly battling for existence and control usually through fear- based tactics. The higher self is associated with the spirit, the eternal energy or consciousness that is beyond the physical body and mental plane. The higher self is unlimited, undefinable, and always based in love. There are an infinite number of ways to move closer to your higher self, the following are a few techniques I practice that work very well in my own battle for the higher self.
Visualizing the higher self is what I believe should be the first step. Close your eyes and imagine yourself at the best you can be. Do your best to be detailed and specific. How does your higher self look and feel? What does your highest self do? What would the thoughts of your highest self be like? How would you act at your best? How would you walk, talk, eat, sleep and breathe as your higher self? What is your health like? Get deep into your visualization until you FEEL your highest self, your potential, within you. This may sound like defining the higher self, but that is impossible. Visualization is not used to define the higher self, but to create a goal you can comprehend.
THE HOW AND TURNING POTENTIAL INTO KINETIC
Once you have visualized, your mind (the ego), will attempt to disprove the potential you have to become the higher self by creating doubt and problems. Why? The ego is fighting for its existence! It doesn’t want you to fulfill your spiritual potential because when living in the spirit, the ego cannot exist. So you must create the how. Any self- doubt or challenges presented by the mind must be met by a creative, positive, spiritual, how. You (the spirit) tell the mind this is how it shall be and this is how I will do it. When the mind presents a negative thought, you tell the ego this thought does not empower me and thus I shall not entertain it. Then replace the negative thought with an empowering and positive thought. The spirit must control the mind. Choose your thoughts and empower only those thoughts which empower you and your goals. Find creative ways to convince the mind of the how to the goal.
Now that you have realized your potential, you must turn that potential energy into kinetic energy. ACT. You will only ever actualize the amount of personal potential that is equivalent to the amount potential energy you made kinetic through action. Not acting the way you would as your higher self will never get you there.
FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT
This expression is well- known throughout the world of self- improvement because it works. Simply imagine the higher self and ACT the part. Literally pretend you are your higher self until such behavior becomes natural. When you wake up in the morning, visualize the higher self, and then go throughout your day assuming that role for as long as you possibly can. If you realize you are straying, refocus and start again. It will be hard in the beginning because you will be using a lot of energy being aware of what you are doing, and adjusting accordingly. However, the longer you practice, it easier it becomes because you no longer have to dedicate as much energy into doing things once you have done them enough times to become natural. Reinvent yourself everyday and as Jesus said, “die to self.”
WHAT IT IS? WHAT IT DO?
I’ll never forget the day my brother said this to me. We were sitting on his porch joking and laughing, drinking beer, and having some good ol’ fashioned brotherly bonding. He suddenly turned to me, eyes wide and smile stretching ear to ear, and said to me in a comical voice, “What it is?” I laughed, thinking he was being ridiculous, but the next thing he asked hit me like a train, “What it do?”
The simplicity of his questions held a profound truth. You are what you do. Say anything you want about yourself, the person you really are can be truly seen by your actions. You are what you are. You aren’t what you’re not. The only way to be the higher self is to do what you believe it is that your higher self would do. If you get it wrong, adapt and adjust. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get things right the first time. If anything the failure only improves your ability to get it right because now you know what doesn’t work.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
Another simple yet profound technique to being the higher self is to always try your best. Your best self IS your higher self. So if you are always trying your best, then you are actively being your highest self. You many not be what you see and feel in your visualizations yet, but you are actively becoming closer it that image and actively being better then the person you previously were. This technique is also one of the best ways to live a regret- free life.
BE AWARE OF WHERE YOUR ACTIONS AND THOUGHTS ARE BASED
Ask yourself if what you did or thought was based on fear or love. Though thoughts and actions can be complicated, most can be categorized into either size of this great pole. If that is too broad a spectrum for you, condense, but be honest with yourself and dedicate your self- observation to truth. Was that an act of greed? Did I have good or bad intentions? Why did I do that? What was I trying to gain? Ask yourself questions and observe what you do and why you do what you do. Avoid justifying and get down to the nitty gritty. Listen to that voice that tells you not to do things you know are wrong. Listen to that gut feeling that warns you about people and situations, or even about things you might do. The voice of intuition and the voice of the higher self are one in the same.
BE MINDFUL AND MEDITATE
Mindfulness can be a confusing subject and though the idea can be simple, you will not fully grasp the concept until you start practicing it. Being mindful means being aware that you are not your mind, that you are not your thoughts, and that you can silence the mind and choose your thoughts. Being mindful is acknowledging your thoughts and bringing yourself back into the Now which is the realm of spirit. See for yourself how long you can be present (conscious) in the Now (present moment) without thought. See how long you can just BE before the ego starts trying to take control again by directing your awareness into thought and into the past and future.
I was amazed and shocked by how little control of my mind I had when I first started practicing mindfulness. I suddenly became aware of all the constant chatter polluting my headspace that was going on about nonsense or things that had nothing to do with what I was presently engaged in. When I first started, I had difficultly trying to stay present for even a few minutes. My mind would start subtly slipping thoughts in or recklessly bombarding me with them.
Eventually, with practice, I became more mindful and experienced more peace in the timespans I was immersed in the Now. Mindfulness in itself is a form of meditation, which is simply focusing your awareness on an act (being present). Any form of meditation you wish to use will help bring you closer to the higher self. I recommend The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat- Zinn for further reading on mindfulness. And there are meditation techniques available on Spiritual Warrior Scholar for further reading on meditation practices.
NEVER GIVE UP
This last technique is exactly what it sounds like. Life is just a spiritual test and a temporary one at that. So don’t get discouraged with failure and don’t let life beat you down because life is temporary, but the spirit is eternal. This is why you must constantly work to the higher self. The lower self is the ego, which is temporary, and the ego knows this and so it puts up a fight for survival. The spiritual warrior endures for they can see the trials of life are not given to hurt, but to help elevate the spirit. The sacrifices you will have to make to become the higher self are egotistical and usually materialistic sacrifices that will only give way to greater spiritual freedom and happiness once you learn to let go of those attachments.