By Tania Kotsos
PUBLISH DATE: 16 NOV 2020
The first step in knowing your true self is to ask yourself, who am I? The answer is not your name, not your personality, not your physical body, not even your physical experience or your thoughts, emotions or desires. The answer to the question 'Who am I?' is only ever I AM! The I within that declares 'I AM' is the highest degree of consciousness of a human being and is who you truly are.
Your True Self goes by many names, all of which are used interchangeably while each defines an attribute of who you truly are. Other names are the Higher Self, Real You, the Ego, the I, I AM, the Observer, the Higher Mind, Superconsciousness, Spirit, the Dreamer, Divine Spark and your God Self. While there are more names, I have chosen to focus on these twelve as they best describe the nature of your True Self in a literal sense.
We will now take a look at each name in turn to gain a better understanding of who You truly are. But no matter the name or the limitations of finite words to express the infinite, remember there is only one You! And in finding your True Self, your aim is to remember who you truly are—the You that has always existed and will always exist. Let me jog your memory.
The name Higher Self is self-explanatory in that it is the highest expression of yourself in degree of consciousness, above the physical you with your perceived personality and five physical sense, which itself is nothing more than the mask you wear in your 3D experience. The Higher Self is higher in every sense—higher than the personal self and the subconscious self.
Real here is meant in the literal sense of the word, meaning your True Self is the You that exists outside of the illusion of the 3D Physical Plane and is eternally changeless and hence real. In comparison, your physical reality and everything and everyone in your 3D experience, including the physical you, are projections of consciousness even if they appear real to the physical you. The term Real You True Self can be used interchangeably, being something that is true not illusory.
The word Ego to describe your True Self is meant in the original sense of the Greek word «ΕΓΩ» literally meaning I. This is distinct from the counterfeit or false ego of the personal self, which is the so-called ego (with a small e) wrapped up in your 3D experience. The ego of the personality has wrongly 'hijacked' the name Ego. Now, you may have been told to relinquish your ego but this advice can only ever apply to the counterfeit ego not your Real Ego. You can never be rid of your Ego (with a capital E) that is the I because it is your True Self—the You that is real and not illusory. I refer to the Ego as the Real Ego to clearly distinguish who you truly are from your personal self or personality.
'I' is the direct English translation of the Greek word «ΕΓΩ» or Ego. The letter I, which comes from the Greek letter iota, is represented by two horizontal lines above and below with a central vertical line joining the two. This represents the joining of heaven and earth as one with the central vertical line showing the way upwards to the Spiritual Plane from the lower Physical Plane. There is no other pronoun that can refer to your True Self than 'I'. The personality operates at the level of ‘me and outside people (he/she) and things’ while the I operates as the Individual, which comes from the Latin word individuus meaning indivisible. So unlike today's use that implies separateness, in its original sense the word Individual as the I is indivisibly One with All.
I AM asserts the state of being of the I. As your True Self you do not say ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’. When you take away every last word that you use to describe yourself, or who you think you are, what you are left with is who you truly are—the I AM! Try it. Ask yourself "Who am I?" Just for a moment drop every adjective or name you are accustomed to using in describing who you are. Drop them all one by one until there is nothing left. This No-Thing is who you are in the literal sense of the word no-thing, as in not belonging to the world of things. All power resides in I AM with no constraints or qualification. And since the I is the You that thinks independently of your personality without beliefs, perceptions, prejudices and so on, the I within says 'I think therefore I AM' in full authority.
Taking this further, since your will belongs to the I, 'I think therefore I AM' becomes 'I think therefore I am therefore I Will'. Your will is not to be confused with what is often perceived as being forceful personal self-control. True will is the greatest power of the Universe as it requires no force. Your True Will declares a thing already done in the sense of 'Thy Will be Done' and belongs to your True Self.
As the Observer you are undisturbed by outside events because you are not defined by anything in the Physical or Mental Planes, including your physical experiences and mental contents of emotions, thoughts, desires, fears and so on. Your True Self is the Observer and everything and everyone else, including the physical you, is what is being observed. Observation is different to perception. The Observer is unaffected by what is observed whereas the perceiver is directly affected by what is perceived in accordance with his/her perception of it.
In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, "The One you are looking for is the One who is looking". The One you are looking for is the Observer—your True Self. The One you are looking for is who you truly are. And in fact you need not look any further than within yourself and remember—You are the One.
The name Higher Mind is in reference to the first of the Universal Laws, the Law of Mentalism, that All is Mind. Mind is the underlying substance of the Universe and specifically Universal Mind. Higher Mind is an expression of the highest degree of consciousness of Universal Mind, which at its full potential as the Mind of the Absolute is Omnipotent (All-Powerful), Omniscient (All-Knowing) and Omnipresent (All-Present).
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Since there is only One Mind, present everywhere and at every single point in Its entirety, this means that your mind is Universal Mind in its entirety. The Higher Mind is the mind of your True Self. The Higher Mind knows and identifies fully with the Mind of the Absolute, and hence is above and superior to the conscious mind of the personality and the subconscious mind with its programs. And since All is Mind, this means you do not have a mind, you are Mind.
Superconsciousness or Higher Consciousness is the highest degree of self-awareness, which is to be aware of oneself as your True Self. The preposition ‘super’ is from the Latin adverb super meaning ‘above’ and is also the root of ‘superior’ meaning ‘higher, upper or situated above’. One can say, therefore, that superconsciousness is above and superior to the consciousness of the Physical and Mental Planes in which the physical you with its personality is having an experience.
The Mind that is the underlying substance of the Universe is alive with consciousness so 'mind' and 'consciousness' are used interchangeably. All degrees of consciousness from the unconscious to the superconscious make up the One Universal Mind, the difference being the degree of recognition of this oneness. At the degree of Superconsciousness you fully identify as being one and the same with Universal Mind, rather than thinking that one part of Universal Mind is in you and another part is in someone else and so on. Full identification is Absolute whereas no or part identification is relative and belongs to the plane of duality that the True Self is above and superior to.
This refers to the dream nature of reality. When you dream, your dream-world is a projection taking place within your consciousness even though you experience them as being both real and separate to the projection of the you that is in the dream. However, to the You who is the dreamer having the dream, it is all just a projection of your consciousness. No matter what happens to the version of you in your dream, the dreamer remains unchanged. ‘Waking up’ to the level of self-awareness of your True Self can be likened to waking up in physical reality from your dream-world and realising it was a dream. You are dreaming!
Moreover, to be your True Self while having a physical world experience is akin to realising that what you are 'seeing' is a dream while you are dreaming. This can be compared to lucid dreaming, which is when the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming while he is dreaming and so exerts varying degrees of control over his participation in the dream-world. This is perhaps one of the reasons why identifying with your Higher Self is also called a spiritual awakening. Remember, you are dreaming.
The name Spirit tells us the domain of your True Self is wholly the Spiritual Plane that is above the Mental and Physical Planes in degree of consciousness and hence has directive power over both of them. The word 'spirit' comes from the Latin from spirare meaning 'to breathe', so your Spirit is that which breathes life into you, that animates your existence. Spirit is distinct from the soul in that the soul is animate life itself—the seat of your senses, desires, appetites and all things relative. Spirit, in contrast, never departs the Spiritual Plane and remains above duality being one with the Absolute.
In Ancient texts the Spiritual Plane is associated with the element of fire. Since human beings are created in the image of The Absolute or God, the term 'Divine Spark' has been attributed to the True Self with 'Divine' denoting the divinity of the Absolute and 'Spark' being associated with fire. And as a Divine Spark of The Absolute you are the same in kind, only different in degree. Just as the Sun reflects itself in countless raindrops that appear to divide the Sun but the Sun remains as one, so it is that your Spirit is a Divine Spark of the Absolute while the Absolute always remains as One.
Your God Self is in reference to your identification with The Absolute, which itself goes by many names, amongst which are The Source, The All, The One and God. Being Absolute, there is nothing outside of It and being infinite means that It is beyond space and time, that it always existed and will always exist. The nature of the Absolute is All Good and Absolute Love, both of which have no opposite. When you first remember your True Self your awareness is at the very centre of your experience. By expanding your consciousness outwards from being the central point of reference of your experience to being all there is infinitely and beyond space and time, you merge as one with The Absolute, which is to discover your True Home. And while it may seem like you have returned home, you realise that you had never left.
The greatest instruction passed down to us by the Ancient Greek philosophers is the Delphic Maxim «ΓΝΩΘΙ ΣΑΥΤΟΝ» (GNOTHI SAFTON) that means 'Know Thyself' inscribed on the Temple of Apollo—the God of Light—in Delphi, Greece. 'Thyself' in this instruction refers to your True Self and when you "know Thyself thou shall know all the secrets of the Gods and of the Universe".