“Theo (cont): This “Higher Self” is ATMA, and of course it is “non-materializable”, as Mr. Sinnett says. Even more, it can never be “objective” under any circumstances, even to the highest spiritual perception. For Atman or the “Higher Self” is really Brahma, the ABSOLUTE, and indistinguishable from it.
In hours of Samadhi, the higher spiritual consciousness of the Initiate is entirely absorbed in the ONE essence, which is Atman, and therefore, being one with the whole, there can be nothing objective for it.
Now some of our Theosophists have got into the habit of using the words “Self” and “Ego” as synonymous, of associating the term “Self” with only man’s higher individual or even personal “Self” or Ego, whereas this term ought never to be applied except to the One universal Self. Hence the confusion.
Speaking of Manas, the “causal body”, we may call it – when connecting it with the Buddhic radiance – the “HIGHER EGO”, never the “Higher Self”. For even Buddhi, the “Spiritual Soul”, is not the SELF, but the vehicle only of SELF.
All the other “Selves” – such as the “Individual” self and “personal” self – ought never to be spoken or written of without their qualifying and characteristic adjectives.
Thus in this most excellent essay on the “Higher Self”, this term is applied to the sixth principle or Buddhi (of course in conjunction with Manas, as without such union there would be no thinking principle or element in the spiritual soul); and has in consequence given rise to just such misunderstandings.
The statement that “a child does not acquire its sixth principle – or become a morally responsible being capable of generating Karma – until seven years old”, proves what is meant therein by the HIGHER SELF.
Therefore, the able author is quite justified in explaining that after the “Higher Self” has passed into the human being and saturated the personality – in some of the finer organizations only – with its consciousness “people with psychic faculties may indeed perceive this Higher Self through their finer senses from time to time.”
But so are those who limit the term “Higher Self” to the Universal Divine Principle, “justified” in misunderstanding him.
For, when we read, without being prepared for this shifting of metaphysical terms, that while “fully manifesting on the physical plane…the Higher Self still remains a conscious spiritual Ego on the corresponding plane of Nature” – we are apt to see in the “Higher Self” of this sentence, “Atma”, and in the spiritual Ego, “Manas”, or rather Buddhi-Manas, and forthwith to criticize the whole thing as incorrect.”
H. P. Blavatsky