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- Bill Gaum
One of the most important topics in all of spirituality is that of: "Our Higher Self". Every religion or spiritual path refers to something that is part of us that is greater than our normal human consciousness. It might be called our conscience, our Soul, our Higher Mind, Higher Consciousness, the Source of our Integrity, our Immortal Self, our True Divine Self, and so on. In Hinduism it is called the "Atma". In some forms of Mahayana Buddhism it is called the "Tathagathagarba" or Buddhic Self. In the Ascended Master teachings of Saint Germain it is called the "I AM Presence" (or sometimes the "Magic Presence"). Some mystical Christians might refer to it as the "Christ Self", "Inner Christ" or "Christ Consciousness". But most Christians would probably call it their "Eternal Soul". You might also say that our Higher Self is our "God Self" or "Goddess Self". Most New Age people simply call it "our Higher Self". For the purpose of this website we will usually be using the words "Higher Self" and "I AM Presence" to refer to this exalted, Divine Aspect of ourselves.
In brief, it is that part of us that is "made in the image and likeness of GOD". It is wholly pure and perfect, and at all times it is perfectly aware of GOD's Divine Plan for us and is pouring down our Mother-Father GOD's Light, Love, Wisdom, Power, and Divine Inspiration into us. When we finally come to our last lifetime and have earned the right to the Ascension, we Ascend up into our Higher Self and merge into it. At that moment we become forever wholly pure and perfect and find ourselves living in exquisitely beautiful, eternally youthful bodies of pure Divine Light. Just imagine how beautiful Jesus, Blessed Mary, the Buddha, Quan Yin, and Saint Germain are now. That is how beautiful we will be too. From that moment on, we are infinite, unlimited Ascended Beings of Light and Loving Kindness and on the road to becoming Cosmic Ascended Masters like Jesus, the Buddha, Saint Germain and others.
It is not only inspiring and hopeful to learn about the reality of our Higher Self, but the more we know about it, the easier it is to pray and intune to It. And this in turn is very helpful for our continuing spiritual growth and for ultimately attaining our transcendent, blissful, eternal future: the Ascension. This is because, once we learn about our Higher Selves and how to start tapping in to its soul power, we open the door to a much more fruitful way of progressing spiritually. It's as if we gradually become conscious of the Source of all our Spiritual Love, Wisdom and Power, as we simultaneously become aware of our true purpose in life, our true destiny, and how to get there.
It's also crucial to realize that our heart, (actually our heart chakra), is the inner doorway to our Higher Self - our I AM Presence. And our Higher Self is the Inner Doorway to our Mother-Father GOD (the Infinite "I AM", the Infinite Buddha Nature, the Divine Mother, the Great Spirit, the Great "I AM", the Tao, or whatever is our favorite term for "GOD"). Also, it's good to know that we can pray to our Higher Self just like we can pray to Jesus, or the Buddha, or to our Mother-Father GOD. This is because since it is our True Divine Self, divinely created pure and perfect by GOD, it naturally is our inner doorway to GOD. Once we become kind enough and pure enough and have done enough good to have earned the right to Ascend and forever merge into it, it is "who we will be" for all eternity. Which is pretty amazing and wonderful!
So what does our I AM Presence, our Higher Self look like? And how does it work? Please read on.
Of all the descriptions of our Higher Self, the one I am most familiar with is that described in Saint Germain's teachings. So I will include that here:
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The following excerpt about our Higher Self - the I AM Presence - is from a spiritual biography that I'm writing about my spiritual teacher, Pearl Dorris. It's been slightly re-written for this web page. I hope you find it helpful and inspiring. - Bill Gaum
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As has been partly explained, our Arisen Sisters and Brothers teach us, that each one of us has already lived hundreds of lifetimes in different physical bodies, during the many civilizations on our planet. During these various lifetimes, "embodiments" or “incarnations,” we are gradually learning the lessons of mastery: the lessons of kindness, humbleness, forgiveness, patience, perseverance, courage, and so on. But the most important thing the Great Ones teach is that each one of us has a “Higher Self” which is made in the “image and likeness” of our Mother-Father GOD. This part of ourselves has always been wholly pure and perfect, and always will be. The Arisen Ones call this Higher Self the “I AM Presence.” In some of the Mahayana Buddhist paths it is referred to as the "Tathagatagarba". In India, in the Hindu religion, it is usually referred to as the “Atma.” For instance, Sathya Sai Baba says:
Man is not a machine, contrived by clever combinations of legs and hands, head and heart, mind and matter. In these, and over these, there is an immanent, but yet transcendent Entity, which is called Atma, the Overself.1
Our Ascended Sisters and Brothers tell us that it is from this “I AM Presence,” or “Atma,” that the energy of “Life” itself flows into us. It is this Divine Energy which not only gives life to our bodies, and awareness to our minds, but which also inspires us with feelings of kindness and compassion; a depth of wise understanding towards all life everywhere; and expands the qualities of courage, perseverance, patience, endurance, and nobleness of character. The Arisen Ones stress that it is essential that we understand how and why the words “I AM” or “I” are intimately connected with this transcendent Divine Entity above us. In fact, the heart of both the Ascended Master’s and Sai Baba’s teachings is the same: we can only come to know our own divine reality by understanding the deeper spiritual significance and meaning of the sacred words “I” and “I AM.” This is why our Arisen Friends often call their instructions, the “teachings of the ‘I AM.’” And individuals within the Saint Germain Foundation usually refer to themselves as “‘I AM’ students.” Likewise, Sai Baba says:
The word “I” does not belong to the body. It emanates from the Higher Self, from the Atma itself. This “I” should not be associated with the body, or the mind, or the intuitive faculty, or any other aspect of the individual, for it transcends all these limitations and relates to the unlimited Atma alone.2
He further states:
It may be asked, what exactly is the urgency to understand the meaning of this “I,” when there is an infinite number of topics that call for study in the Universe? . . . Of what benefit can it be? . . . The expression is simple of course, but its implications are infinite and fundamentally satisfying. This is why all great teachers exhort the seekers, “Know thyself” . . . 3
This “Atma,” or “I AM Presence,” is also sometimes referred to as the “Magic Presence,” the “I AM,” the “Infinite I AM,” the “Mighty I AM,” the “I AM Self,” the “God-Self,” the “Divine-Self,” the “Higher Self,” the “Christ-Self,” the “Self” (with a capital “S”), our “Higher Consciousness”, and as has been mentioned, in some of the Mahayana Buddhist paths it is referred to as the "Tathagatagarba".
Pearl learned from the teachings of our Arisen Friends that our own true Divine-Self, our I AM Presence, or Atma, is located about twelve to fifty feet above the physical body. It exists in a realm of exquisite perfection and beauty. This is the same realm in which the Ascended Ones dwell. Imagine how beautiful Jesus or Beloved Mary must be now. That is how beautiful our own I AM Presence also looks. This “Higher Self” of ours is surrounded by magnificent concentric auras, or spheres of Light, of varying colors of purest gold, pink, lavender, violet, blue, green, as well as lovely transcendent colors unknown to us at the physical vibratory level. These beautiful spheres of Light are often referred to as our “Causal Body.” They are the accumulation of all the Light that has poured through us throughout the ages, which we have used wisely, kindly, and unselfishly. Thus, in this manner, all the Light that we have used constructively eventually returns to us. In the Hindu scriptures, this sphere or oval of Light surrounding the I AM Presence or Atma, is sometimes called the “Atma Linga.”
Our Ascended Sisters and Brothers explain that it is a tremendously, uplifting activity just to visualize the beauty of our I AM Presence and the brilliant light radiating from it as we pour our love, devotion, and gratitude to it. This loving, grateful devotion opens our hearts as nothing else can. And once our hearts are open, our I AM Presence can begin pouring into us all the love, peace, and happiness it has been wanting to fill us with all along, but which could not enter our consciousness, because we had inadvertently closed our hearts by dwelling on the “hurries and worries” of life.
Similarly Sai Baba states:
We see that the Ultimate Source, which illumines everything, is the Atma. It is the main switch. Therefore, it is the Atma you should worship. 4
Pearl would later share with her students, including myself, that our I AM Presence is continually pouring into us a radiant stream of “Christ Light” – the “Light of Universal Divine Love” – which contains the perfect balance of Love, Wisdom, and Power. This is the very same “Christ Light” of which Jesus has been a continuous Cosmic Outpouring to our planet for the past two thousand years; and which he is continuing to pour forth to us today. Over the centuries it has been steadily increasing in its power and brilliance within each one of us. Every Arisen Being has become Ascended, precisely because they learned to become an outpouring of this Universal Christ Love to all beings at all times. This is why Jesus said that it is only through the Christ – Universal Love – that one can attain the “Kingdom of Heaven.” For only by becoming saturated with this Holy Love, and becoming an outpouring of its peace, mercy, and goodness to all life, do we achieve the freedom of our Ascension and enter into the Arisen Realms, the Kingdom of Heaven, to dwell forever in perfect bliss and joy.
Pearl would later teach the thousands of people who came to see her from all over the world and from all walks of life, that this transcendent Light is naturally pure and flawless as it enters our physical bodies at the top of our heads. She also taught us that since our Divine Parent has given us the gift of free will, we are able to “qualify” or change the energy of this Light in whatever way we desire by simply changing our feelings and thoughts. In fact, as the Light is entering our bodies, whatever feelings and thoughts we happen to be entertaining at that moment are automatically coloring it. And this happens whether we want it to or not. We can not stop the light from being affected by our own consciousness; we can only choose how it will be affected. And it turns out that this is a very important choice, because our future experiences will be determined by how we are presently qualifying our light. In short, if we allow the light pouring into us to retain its unqualified divine purity by choosing to be peaceful and harmonious; or similarly, if we qualify our light with kindness, forgiveness, humbleness, and other divine feelings; it creates happy experiences for us and others, both now and in the future. But if we misqualify it with fear, selfishness, anger, and so on, then we will become the victims of these same self-destructive energies both now and in the future.
Thus, each of us is always free to determine our own future, and always have been. We just had not realized it before. In this same vein, Sathya Sai Baba says:
GOD has the power to shape the Nature of man, but He does not exercise that power. . . He leaves it to the free will of the individual, [who] has to learn the lesson by experience . . . 5
In other words, what we are experiencing now is simply the result of previous choices we have made, and if we want to experience greater peace and happiness we need to become kinder, humbler, gentler human beings.
Pearl learned that if we are thinking and feeling sweet, kind, peaceful thoughts, the pure “Christ Light” pouring into us from the “Presence” takes on this quality of sweetness and kindness we are feeling, and we in turn radiate this beneficent, healing energy to those around us. This also helps to heal and uplift the world. And as we have these uplifting, constructive thoughts and feelings, we are literally an outpouring of the Light of our Mother-Father GOD to life everywhere. This gives us a deeper insight into Jesus’ statement, “Ye are the Light of the world.” (New Testament, Matthew 5:14). But if we are upset, or entertaining other kinds of self-destructive feelings and thoughts, this pure Light coming into us through the top of our heads is now forced by our own free will to take on that same quality of irritation, selfishness, anger, or whatever. Thus, this Light, which was previously Divine, is now changed into a dark, discordant energy which spreads out from us – even if we are not saying or doing anything destructive – and makes us and the people around us uncomfortable, and possibly even miserable. This murky, misqualified energy then continues to flow out into the world and adds to the vast accumulation of discordant energy in the atmosphere of the earth, making our planet a little sicker. This also increases those stressful feelings in the world which pressure us to feel, think, say, desire, and do things which we know are going to cause unhappiness for both ourselves and others. This humanly misqualified energy is also the underlying cause of all wars. In short, it creates more discordant, destructive energy on the earth instead of expanding the love and peace which this planet so desperately needs. Pearl soon realized that this loving, harmonious energy flows from us so easily when we make the effort to stay kind, humble, and serene in our hearts in everything we think, feel, say, and do.
Thus, the Great Ones explain that our job is to gradually learn to govern our thoughts and feelings so that we are naturally relaxed, spiritually pure, and spontaneously loving all the time. Learning to acquire this peaceful, happy, divine naturalness is a step by step process which they describe in their discourses and which will also be explained in this book. (This website article is an excerpt from a book I'm writing. - Bill Gaum.) Why is it necessary to govern our thoughts and feelings in order to become masters? Since almost all of us, at least once in a while, think or feel things which are discordant, even if they are just worries or perhaps mild feelings of criticism towards ourselves or others, then each one of us is also to this same degree misqualifying the pure Light flowing through us. And because this is so often the case, our Higher Self, the I AM Presence, pours down through us only a tiny fraction of the Light of which it is capable, lest we misqualify too much of it.
In other words, the I AM Presence is not pouring through us the enormous power which was flowing through Jesus two thousand years ago as he taught and worked his miracles in Judea, or the incredible Cosmic Power which poured through Sai Baba as he taught and worked his miracles in India during the 20th Century. Instead, it only pours down through us as much Light as we can reasonably handle – which is usually a very small amount indeed. Otherwise, we would be releasing such vast amounts of misqualified energy whenever we worried or were upset, that we would cause the world to be in far worse shape than it is already. This increased destructive energy would then make it even more difficult for Sai Baba and the Arisen Ones to awaken sleeping humanity to the need of governing our feelings and thoughts. Thus, this self-mastery is imperative if we are to begin correcting the deplorable conditions on the earth caused in ages past by our neglect of the “Law of Love.”
It is also vital to realize that our Ascended Sisters and Brothers do not want us to weigh ourselves down with feelings of shame, guilt, and self-condemnation because we have been making these mistakes. Instead, they want us to rise up on the wings of joy and love, and begin experiencing the bliss that comes from qualifying this pure Light with only constructive feelings and thoughts.
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(To continue the rest of this excerpt from Pearl's Biography, please go to this page: Introduction to Affirmations.)
(If you were directed to this page from the Introduction to Affirmations section and wish to continue where you left off, please click here: Intro to Affirmations - pickup where you left off.
(To learn more about the words "I AM" and how they relate to GOD's name - and not "taking GOD's name in vain", please read: The Significance of "The Word": "I AM".)
(If you came to this article from the page on the " 'I AM' Presence" in the "Saint Germain's Teachings" section and wish to return it, click here: "The 'I AM' Presence".)
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* This is probably a good place to explain a deliberate discrepancy in the painting of the I AM Presence used in this article. It is not easy to depict in a two dimensional painting, the multidimensional light activities associated with our I AM Presence in ways that simultaneously give the correct “eye picture” of every detail. For example, please note that the painting portrays the Violet Flame as coming up only part way around our physical form. That is not an accurate way of depicting the Violet Flame. In reality, it comes all the way up through us and continues on up past our heads. Yet, I asked the artist who painted it, to deliberately show the flame coming only halfway up the body. This was done in order to emphasize the “Tube of White Light” surrounding us. Since the normal inks used in printing do not glow, if the artist had painted the Violet Flame as coming up all the way through us, it would have made the area around our body look unrealistically dark, when in reality we want to be visualizing it as surrounded by an extremely brilliant white light. So the for purpose of clarifying the brightness of the Tube of Light around us, I decided to show the flame coming up only part way. In this way it reminds us of the reality and use of the Violet Flame, while simultaneously, not interfering with a more correct depiction of the Tube of White Light. So even though the painting portrays the Violet Flame as coming only part way up through us, it is important to remember that when we are visualizing the Violet Flame, it is absolutely vital to visualize it as coming all the way up through us. - Bill Gaum
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