As source expands, layers form. Its innermost core remains solid and unyielding. The gravitational center of All That Is, holding fast to the truest truth, the clearest perspective. It is the heart that informs all integration and expansion, all progressive layers. Outward from this core, each layer is increasingly fractured and fragmented.
A Self experienced at an innermost layer cannot be sustained at an outer layer. In general, a being who is whole at one layer becomes fragmented at its outer expansion. It becomes expressed through fragments of itself. As if each facet of a cut gemstone could peel off and manifest its own existence. The farther outward, the smaller the facets/fragments of Self.
As one example of fragmentation, a single Self might manifest across a planet's entire evolutionary arc - from a single-celled carbon based life form to a highly intelligent humanoid, to the most evolved consciousness possible for that planetary context. Take time out of the mix, and recognize that linear-modeling "reincarnation" systems conceptualize the many fragments of a being as incarnations. They reflect fragments of a Self participating in the evolution of Earth, as this participation also facilitates adaptive evolution in that Self.
Naturally, the outer layers of reality are composed of many fragments of many Selves, interacting with one another. These interactions create and adapt-to novel experiences/energies. Earth, for example, offers a unique space that facilitates particular kinds of experiences for many fragmented selves to interact. Each fragment's unique consciousness adapts to its local situation/context. These adaptations integrate and inform an updated version of each Self.
Stepping back again to that largest scale, All That Is constantly processes and integrates all its selves. Its facets become selves which fragment into smaller selves. Each self processes and integrates its own fragments. And so on. The “higher self” imagined by the New Age communities can be observed as any Self more whole, closer to Source than the fragment's location. The outermost fragments of each Self — some fragments represented as incarnations — are in a process of integrating novel experiences on behalf of All That Is.
As a "higher" Self desires unity, its fragments (such as a humanoid incarnation) adapt and evolve in their context with that priority. Typically a fragment holds a subconscious priority/bias to adapt/grow in a way that enables the self to experience wholeness. So a fragment's adaptations don't necessarily attempt to make everything better, and don't necessarily push in the most profound or creative direction. The many adaptations across many fragments pursue collective coherence for their shared higher self.
If successful, that self experiences wholeness. From an Earth-based perspective, we might say a being fragmented and reunified here has "ascended" from the world, or "beaten the game" if you're into video game metaphors. Thus the concept of Ascended Masters. Even one such as these is a fragment of a larger, higher Self possibly fragmented across numerous worlds, the entire galaxy, or beyond.
It's possible that all adaptation and mutation contains infinite potential. And these concepts are shaped as components of an unfolding process, despite timeless existence. Therefore this model is simplistic to make it more digestible.
MattSeven is a name I intuitively connected with in the early 2000's, using my legal name Matt. In 2013 I learned "Seven" represented the extradimensional collective from which it seems my individuality originates. MattSeven represents an effort to integrate the individual, collective, lower, and higher as one coherent consciousness.