The self is a complex, multi-faceted concept comprising layers of personality traits, spiritual aspects, karma, life experiences, etc.
It is known that the self as we see it is the result of the Higher Self vs Lower Self merging together – and the word “versus” emphasizes the “fight” between the two.
The Higher Self and the Lower Self, or as some might say, the lower self and higher self, are very different from each other, two aspects of the human psyche trying to coexist together.
In this article, we will look at the main differences between the “lower self vs higher self”, as well as the ways to make them work together for your own benefit and to master your Lower Self.
Higher Self Meaning
It’s hard to offer an established highest self meaning, as the definitions given across time are slightly different from each other, and each is complex in its own way.
Thus, I would like to offer you my own definition, the one I managed to offer after doing the necessary research.
I would define the Higher Self as “our spiritual self, that part of us that is immortal and is defined as a spiritual, higher structure made of light, and it is expressed through our best self manifested in the physical reality.”
Thus, the Higher Self is a spiritual part of us, strongly connected to our Divine Essence – our Soul.
It is the part of us that incarnates from life to life – but the lighter side of that part.
Because even the part of us that incarnates from life to life to learn spiritual lessons has a light and a dark side.
The Higher Self has a naturally high vibration; it is attuned to the higher realms, it is full of Divine Love, and has a higher consciousness.
The Higher Self knows that all beings are one and that life as we see it is an illusion. Thus, the Higher Self always acts with love and compassion towards all human beings.
The Higher Self does not believe in the “boxes” in which society tells him to fit – does not care about fake norms, constraints, prejudice, or labels.
The Higher Self knows it is atemporal and omnipotent (Divine Essence) – thus, it expresses itself powerfully and freely in the living world.
It is generous, forgiving, loving, intuitive, caring, healed, and empowered.
It is expressed best in the physical realm when the person is healed and becomes their best possible version.
Lower Self Meaning
The Lower Self also has a spiritual component – it is that side of us that also incarnates from life to life and from dimension to dimension but encompasses more the dark side of your spiritual structures.
The Lower Self is just the naturally dark side we all have besides the light side – this is how human beings are spiritually built.
It also can carry all the suffering we have felt during our lifetimes – emotional wounds, pain, anger, sadness, and a lot of other undesirable traits.
This part of our self is expressed through traits such as selfishness, bad choices, anger, tendencies toward harmful behaviors, etc.
The Lower Self can be compared to the “Id” from Freud’s definition of the human psyche – that part of us that is primitive, “animal-like,” and is only focused on survival.
Also, the Lower Self holds our limiting beliefs – the ones acquired in this lifetime or in past lives (and manifested through the subconscious mind).
The Lower Self is very focused on the material side of life – is that part of us that is selfish and shallow and contains our “guilty pleasures” or “destructive tendencies.”
Also, this side of our psyche is very much shaped by society’s norms – even by the ones that go against the Higher Self’s true nature.
The Lower Self is that part of you that believes, for example, that has to stay in a job you hate just because it pays well or because that’s what your parents want.
Also, the Lower Self is the part that chooses to be dishonest in a variety of situations – such as lying to get certain benefits.
Thus, now, having a deeper understanding of what is the Lower Self and the Higher Self, which do you think is leading you through life most of the time?
I invite you to have a look at the following 10 main differences between the Higher Self and the Lower Self and then to see how you can master and integrate your Lower Self so that it does not actually lead your life.
Higher Self vs Lower Self – The Key Differences
#1. Empathy vs. Selfishness
One main trait of the Higher Self is empathy; in contrast, one main trait of the Lower Self is selfishness.
The Higher Self is aware that we are all one and respects and loves all living beings. Its aim is to bring love and light into the world.
When you are dominated by your Higher Self, you feel empathy towards other people’s and beings’ pain and never hurt anyone on purpose.
Quite the contrary, you’re trying to do good and to help, being an instrument of light and love.
When you are dominated by your Lower Self, you are selfish, and all you think about are your own desires and wishes.
You would neglect other people’s desires and wishes, only prioritize yours, and even be willing to lie, cheat, and manipulate.
#2. Compassion vs. Maliciousness
Another main difference between the Higher Self and the Lower Self is how compassionate each of them is.
How do you know if your Higher Self or your Lower Self shows in a situation? Look at how compassionate you are towards others and even yourself.
The Higher Self has integrated compassion and cannot be angry or upset for too long. It feels other beings’ pain sometimes as if it was their own.
On the other hand, the Lower Self does not have compassion and can be quite malicious.
When you’re planning revenge, “fighting fire with fire,” or acting from a wish to “give them a taste of their own medicine,” you’re definitely being guided by your Lower Self.
Like I showered before, the Lower Self is also the “Id” – the part of our psyche which is dominated by primary impulses and has quite a low vibration.
#3. Oneness vs. Individualism
The Higher Self is very aware of the fact that we are all one – all a part of the Divine Energy – and each part of this energy is to be loved and respected.
With this in mind, when you act guided by your Higher Self, you treat each being and person as if they are sacred.
In contrast, the Lower Self is dominated by individualism. When you’re guided by the Lower hand, you’re in the “it’s all about me” mindset, and perhaps you do not even realize it.
The Lower Self feels separated from others and often times can consider them opponents, and thus will be in competition with other people very often.
Yes, competition is one attribute of the Lower Self.
Thus, when you feel as if “we are all one” and you are being considerate towards other beings, you are guided by your Higher Self.
When you are in competition, only caring about your success and feeling “separate” from other people, you are letting your Lower Self rule your life.
#4. Spirituality vs. Materialism
The Higher Self is always aware of every situation’s spiritual, energetic aspects. When you’re being guided by your Higher Self, you are looking at life from a bigger perspective.
You are interested in gaining spiritual qualities as well, and you are interested in understanding the deeper truths of the world.
When you let your Higher Self take the lead, you read, meditate, pray, and focus on developing yourself spiritually and trying to understand your real-life path.
In contrast, when the Lower Self is taking the lead in your life, you are almost obsessed with material things.
All your concerns become things such as how to make more money, how to have the nicest car or body, etc.
Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong with wanting nice things for yourself.
When that becomes the main focus and comes with the expense of your happiness or moral integrity, it becomes a problem.
When your Lower Self is at the lead, you will be willing to sacrifice doing what you love to gain material wealth, or you will be willing to do bad things for money.
The Lower Self would sacrifice anything for power and money and would completely ignore their spiritual values.
#5. Healing vs. Destructive Behavior
The Higher Self is always guiding you towards finding healing methods – books, meditations, therapists, types of energetic therapy, even something as simple as a friend who will positively influence you.
The Higher Self is aware that we are all here to heal and evolve; thus, in every situation, no matter how difficult, it always guides you towards finding the light at the end of the tunnel.
In contrast, the Lower Self relinquishes destructive behaviors such as toxic relationships, substance abuse, stealing and cheating, sabotaging your own health, etc.
Want to know if you’re being guided by your Lower or Higher Self in a certain situation? Good, have a look at what you’re choosing.
Are you choosing to heal and making healthy choices, or are you going for destructive behaviors?
#6. Self-expression vs. Fear
Your Higher Self will always guide you towards beings self-expressed and creating the life of your dreams.
It is going to lead you towards making the choices that empower you and make you feel good about yourself.
The Higher Self is not afraid to be bold and daring. In contrast, your Lower Self will always be afraid to let you be yourself.
Remember that your Lower Self is also your wounded self, so it probably has stored a lot of pain, insecurities, and shame in it.
The Lower Self is the self that was formed every time you avoided telling the truth, made yourself small, or neglected your true needs and desires.
The Lower Self doesn’t have confidence in itself- in you, in God, in the Universe- is afraid of everything and tries to play it extra safe!
Every time you make a choice out of fear or you don’t allow yourself to be self-expressed and speak your truth, you let your Lower Self take the lead in your life.
Is that what you truly want? I get that being self-expressed is not always easy.
However, I encourage you to try to see what your Higher Self believes about a situation before making any decision!
If you don’t know how to listen to what the Higher Self is saying, keep on reading, as, at the end of the article, you will find a meditation about how to get in touch with your Higher Self.
#7. Originality vs. Fitting in a Box
A big difference between your Higher Self and Lower Self can be seen in how original you are.
The Higher Self is limitless, powerful, and strong. It nudges you to be your true authentic self even in situations in which that is hard.
It guides you towards being original – showing the real you, choosing what you really want, expressing yourself in any way – regardless of people’s opinions.
Your Lower Self will always be preoccupied with fitting inside the box that other people have created – obeying society’s norms, choosing what others see fit, following the steady path in life rather than creating your own, etc.
Whenever you find yourself about to make a choice that makes you “fit the box,” you are being guided by your lower self.
#8. Truth vs. Lie
This is probably not hard to guess, but your Higher Self is oriented towards telling the truth in any situation – no matter how difficult it is to do so.
Your Lower Self, well… it would rather get away with a lie. And that part of you that is willing to live in a lie, guess what? Still your Lower Self.
Thus, if you want to express your Higher Self more often… start telling the truth, even when it is really hard to do so.
#9. Taking Responsibility vs. Victim Mentality
One behavior that really expresses your True Self is taking responsibility for your life and your deeds – even the not-so-pleasant ones.
After all, we all make mistakes from time to time, but the only way to make the situation better is by taking full responsibility for your choices and how you live your life.
Your Lower Self, on the other hand, will enjoy living in what is called the “Victim mentality,” making you think that others are responsible for your happiness or to blame for your failures.
#10. Following Your Heart vs. Doing “What You’re supposed to”
Your Higher Self will always tell you to follow your heart, perhaps to take your head with you, but always do what feels right.
The Lower Self, as it is full of traumas and fears, will always want to choose the safe option.
It will be inclined to make you choose what you or others think “you should do” rather than powerfully choosing what you want to do and what makes you happy.
How to Master the Lower Self
Here are a few suggestions that can help you master the Lower Self and not allow it to rule you instead:
- Do Shadow Work – shadow work is meant to bring to the surface the unresolved traumas and fears that can sometimes nudge you in the wrong direction.
- Have a spiritual routine in place – a spiritual routine will maintain your vibration high, and your angels and spirit guides around as well. This way, you can hear your Higher Self when it is telling you something.
- Invest in therapy and personal development – these can be expensive, but your mental and emotional healing are worth every penny.
- Learn to develop your intuition – your intuition is the link between you and your Higher Self – it is literally the voice of your Higher Self, but sometimes, it’s hard to hear it with all that noise in your head. Look for ways to listen to and trust your intuition more.
- Meditate in order to align to your Higher Self – the meditation to connect to your Higher Self is simple – you just visualize your Higher Self from a meditative state and silence your mind, inviting it to speak and guide you!
The more you do this, the stronger its voice becomes in comparison to the voice of your Lower Self.
Did you enjoy this article on the Higher Self vs Lower Self? If yes, we would love to read your opinion in the comments section below!
Alexandra, the head author at Subconscious Servant is a Psychologist, Reiki Therapist, and writer. She loves writing about any topic from Applied Psychology, Metaphysical and Spiritual healing, hoping that people on a spiritual, self-discovery journey will find guidance and light through her articles. If you want to read more about Alexandra, visit her full author bio here.