There is a significant amount of conversation in popular culture about how people have a “Higher Self,” another part of you that exists in you, somewhere, that knows the way. A part of you that believes in you, fully accepts you, and is your greatest fan. People seem to find this concept to be attractive, but they also have some questions. In response to the phrase “My higher self is,” Google Instant offered “Is my higher self God?” “What is my higher self?” “What is my higher self’s name?” There is a definite belief in popular culture that a person’s higher self is a kind of glorified individual.
A greater fabric of relationship
Steps to Knowledge adjusts this idea in Step 88 “My Higher Self is not an individual.” Since we identify with our individuality, we tend to think that if there is such a thing as a Higher Self, then it must be an individual as well. But what if we identified less with our individuality, and more with our relationships? This step portrays life as “an inclusive network of evolving relationships.” I freely admit that my eyes rolled in the back of my head when I first read that phrase. Even now, my mind is a little boggled from just thinking about that idea. Sometimes I remember it as “an evolving network of inclusive relationships.” I think that might be true too.
Yes, there is a Higher Self, but it’s not what you think it is. Steps to Knowledge teaches that your Higher Self is part of a greater fabric of relationship. Your Higher Self is the part of you that is meaningfully bonded with others. I consider “meaningfully bonded” to mean “engaged in relationships that have a connection with your mission in life.” Engaged in relationships with those people you have come into the world to find. I can only surmise that there are big parts of many people which are meaninglessly bonded with others.
It should be noted that the idea of a Higher Self is not an idea which Steps to Knowledge wishes to stress. In fact, Step 88 is the first and last step where the phrase “Higher Self” is used. I believe this is because many of the qualities attributed to the Higher Self in popular culture (strength, courage, compassion, devotion, etc.) are attributed to Knowledge in Steps to Knowledge.
Yes, there is a Higher Self, and it is indeed part of a greater fabric of relationship. I am content to be a thread in that fabric, touching other threads in many places.
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