How Do We Talk to Our Higher Self?
CHAPTER 2 Hearing Heaven’s Word
Tis the witching hour of night, Orbed is the moon and bright, And the stars they glisten, glisten, Seeming with bright eyes to listen For what listen they? —John Keats (1795–1821)
As children, most of us were taught to say our prayers before bed, to give thanks for all that we have, and ask God for the rest that we want. We get so busy with our lives, always asking and wanting and wishing and doing, that God’s voice wouldn’t have a prayer against the din of our thoughts.
But the lines to Heaven run both ways. We can talk, and we can listen. The heavens may not speak to us in a booming voice from the clouds, or in a burning bush—but then again, they may. The miraculous happens when we look beyond ourselves. God can speak loud and clear when the necessity arises. Near-death experiences have transformed many lives. Countless people will attest to being helped by angels, or to having had premonitions, visions, or extraordinary dreams.
But what about those to whom God remains silent? The irony is that God is not ever really silent, we just can’t hear. Heaven is always with us, whispering in our ears . . . a call, waiting to be heeded. To listen, we must quiet our minds. Never will we be listeners while we are caught up in our own desires and self-expression. By releasing our attachments and expectations, and opening our selves to what Heaven has to offer, instead of what we think we want, we open the lines of communication.
Meditation is the first step in building a consciously communicative relationship with the spiritual world. Meditation is not about quieting your mind to the point of vacant boredom or sleep. It is about quieting your mind in order to fill it with other things—heavenly things, better things than worries and petty thoughts.
Meditation can be extremely interesting. It is where we meet our higher selves, where we release ourselves from the grip of our daily burdens, where we raise our consciousness, where we receive answers and guidance, where we may interact with spiritual beings on a conscious level.
So, what exactly is our “higher self”? To begin with, a higher self implies the existence of a lower self. If we see our “self” as a consciousness that vacillates between higher and lower levels of awareness, we will understand that when we embrace our higher self, we intend to make ourselves more than we are, better than we are; when we live in our lower self, we wrap ourselves up in our ego personalities, where it is easy to become trapped by our desires and subjective points of view. Our egos are, ultimately, illusions of our own perspective. Our higher self is a point of awareness that transcends our ego drives.
To live from our higher self is to live in a state of deeper awareness, which is a vital part of spiritual evolution and self-realization. Our intuition is our primary link to our higher self, and the higher states of consciousness that accompany it. Our higher self speaks to us through our intuition. But how do we know the divine voice when we hear it? How do we know the answers to our questions? How do we know that our experiences are not tricks of our imagination? The answers to all of these questions come with a deeper understanding and reliance on our intuition.
To understand our intuition fully, we should recognize the following:
• There exists a universal creative energy that unites all living things.
• Death is not an end, but a transition that takes us to another realm of existence.
Most spiritual belief systems are based on the notion of humankind’s self-mastery. We are here on this earth to evolve, not just as physical beings but as spiritual beings. We learn from our mistakes. Whether we are following the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment or avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins, life is a course that allows us to master our weakness and triumph over our selves.
The spirit of God is within all living beings and is all around us, bringing opportunity and inspiring us to make the right choices. And that is the reason for our lives: To better ourselves, to grow closer to God, and to become perfect. The closer we are to God, the more we are fulfilled, the more we are complete. Each day that we open our hearts to love, beauty, play, friendship, laughter, joy, hope, or tenderness, we live more in the heavenly spirit that calls each of us back to the only home for which we were made.