Summary: Atman, Soul, Higher Self, Christ Consciousness, Buddha Nature is something you find referenced repeatedly in spiritual texts, but, how do you come to know this True aspect of yourself? In this article we explore this very interesting question of how to realize and recognize your Divine Nature.
How to Discover Your Soul, Atman or Higher Self
Often times I receive some excellent questions from readers via email and as I set out to answer them (sometimes a few days later than I would have liked :-), I feel that the discussion would be well worth sharing with you all. So I am starting this new series where I will share the answers I give to some of these terrific questions.
Recently a very evolved and intelligent reader who is far along on the spiritual path asked the following insightful question. She asked,
Question: "How does one know when one meets one’s Higher Self?"
Her question emerged from certain transcendental experiences she is having and I think this question is of great value. First, let me just say that the Higher Self being referred to here goes by many names depending on the tradition naming it. The Buddhist’s call it Buddha Nature or Big Mind, the Hindus – Atman, the Christians – Christ Consciousness, other religions just the Soul, Jiddu Krishnamurti calls it that aspect of your being beyond time and limitation, philosopher’s call it Higher Consciousness, some just call it Love, others True Divine Nature, Sat Nam, One Mind, Universal Consciousness, Self, I AM etc, etc. Sometimes, like idiots, us human beings start to fight just because we have different names for the same thing! In any case, I am referring to this higher aspect of a human being in this article.
Answer: "How does one know when one meets one’s Higher Self?"
In The Apocalyse Post written for my friend Albert’s Blog Meme, I gave the following description of the Higher Self or Atman. The secret to encountering and recognizing this aspect of your being is to recognize or encounter any one of these attributes. In other words, the Soul is discovered when its attributes are discovered within, and as you realize one aspect of your Higher Self, in time you will realize all the rest as well.
Attributes of the Atman (Soul) or Higher Self:
You are Infinite, Eternal and Timeless. Never do you take birth, nor do you ever die.
You are the ever silent witness to the drama of existence.
Everything occurs in you. You are the substratum. The apparent world appears and disappears in your consciousness.
You are blissful and complete – lacking nothing.
You are divine love and compassion.
You are the highest intelligence.
You are an organic extension of the Lord. You and the Lord are One.
So encountering the Higher Self, is the encounter of any of these attributes of the Higher Self. If you are feeling Great Bliss, Great Silence, Great Love, Great Oneness or lucky enough to experience the Actuality of Divinity, it means you are encountering your True Divine Nature – Your Buddha Nature – Your Christ Consciousness. The Soul is shinning through and consequentially acting through "you". You are welcome to call it experiencing the Lord, as your Divine Nature (Atman) and the Lord (Brahman) are one and same. Me and My Father are One.
Having said that, the wonderful thing about enlightenment is that it’s not a fixed point. It has infinite variety and you may experience it as no one has before. So although the above is a guideline, it certainly is not law. You may experience your Higher Self in ways that perhaps it only wants you to and that is why this journey is such an adventure. It is about infinity, the deeper you go, the more infinity you find.