>what is the use [of Initiation and union with Higher-Self/HGA] & how does it help in the end?
The use of it is to make contact and access the part of your consciousness that is at the top of the 'hierarchy' of your Being. If you've studied modern magickal references to the 'higher-self' or 'H.G.A.' then that is what you are going to be drawing from. The use of it? You said you'd like self-knowledge, and I can't imagine any other more reliable source than the divine root of your own consciousness. Why try to get information about yourself from some lowly external entity (i.e. through goetic or other forms of lesser magick) who could potentially manipulate you, when you already have all of that information within yourself if you wanted to take the time to learn to access it? By going to your own source, it eliminates any unnecessary chance of error or false information.
How does it help in the end? In my case, I would have studied useless garbage for years and never achieved any real success or useful information if I hadn't gone through this basic process myself.
>Is it worth it?
In my opinion, it (and similar workings) is an aspect of the single most important work to be done in magick, period. I'm referring to the process of union with the Higher-Self or H.G.A. The realizations about your own life and path that you can achieve through this work are priceless.
>what has it done for you?
It began an intense path of self-discovery that has never let up since it started. Hidden unconscious limitations were driven to the surface and worked out. Certain bits of past life information were eventually driven up to the surface and worked out as well during those times of my life that I've needed to do so. Egocentric distorted views of reality have been slowly proven false and worked out so that greater appreciation for all life was developed, and my quality of life slowly improved.
If you're looking for slightly more exact personal info: It changed my personal life completely around. For example, my views on a 'perfect mate' were completely unrealistic and unobtainable, and shortly afterward I realized the stupid errors I was making by having the veil lifted from my eyes. My professional life changed completely, as I no longer wished to go into the same direction with my pursuit of music. Instead it brought my ideas down to earth (accomplishable reality rather than unobtainable fantasy) and I realized that I was going to have to have 'real' jobs along the way and do something more like teaching, or writing in order to be satisfied with my life, since my preoccupation with music was nothing more than a plea for attention left over from early childhood. Spiritually, I've completely out-grown the need for any organized religious system of dogma, as magick has become my entire life. (I prefer to experience things directly rather than taking some book's word for it.) Everything I do and study is related back into my metaphysical life (whether I tell anyone about it or not) and serves to reinforce my higher will and understanding of myself and the world I live in. Spirituality has become Science and vice versa, after going through several experiences along the way which reinforced those views for me. As a result of making conscious contact and learning to work more in harmony with higher portions of my consciousness, I also care little for the more superficial views of humanity. I see people in a different light; whereas before I was preoccupied by what looked 'cool' or how someone acted, now I just see everyone as being individuals on their own path of self-discovery. It taught me greater acceptance and tolerance. I like and appreciate them all equally, although I don't always like the things they do to themselves or others. What others actually think of me or anything that I do is of little consequence as long as I'm acting within the bounds of legality. My sense of morality changed to where it can now be summarized simply as, 'do anything you want so long as it does not involve anyone who does not wish to be involved.' That pretty much rules out any violent crime, stealing, rape, animal abuse, etc. as all such things would involve someone who did not wish to be involved. This is an almost non-human code of conduct, but it came about through having different views shown to me as a result of making contact with my higher spiritual portions. Will everyone come to that same conclusion? Nope. That's just how my own 'spirit' views the world. What everyone discovers about him/herself will be different.
Sources of Information on the 'Higher-Self' a.k.a. Higher Genius or H.G.A. (Holy Guardian Angel)
Two good sources would be the 'Bornless Ritual' (see Golden Dawn and any related notes on it) and the Abramelin operation (see 'The Book of the Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage' - 15th century Hebrew magick text translated by Mathers). Both sources give methods of ritually invoking the 'higher-self'. In my own methods of practice, I've always felt that this aspect of magickal work should be accomplished first as it saves much wasted time and effort in the end. The individual will just 'know' exactly what it is that he/she needs to study afterward for his/her own personal path without fumbling around needlessly with grimoires and junk that he/she doesn't need.
>is that [i.e. the H.G.A.] access to that part of the brain which you normally don't get info from?
Speaking from the viewpoint of a magickian, I'll make one thing very clear here: You are more than just a body. Your brain does not contain you or what you are. The brain is just a sensory organ like anything else and is used for the channeling of your formless massless consciousness. A car may have a sophisticated computer that controls functioning of electrical circuits within the vehicle, but it still can't drive around on its own- it requires a Consciousness with a Will to either control it or program a series of actions for it in the first place.
That was another thing I realized through this process. Consciousness is not bound by the physical body at all. You'll have to experience that personally on your own.
>what i really want to know is, what it is you feel everyday after this (other than that tingling sensation).
Myself, I've had confirmation of the reality of magick in the sense of reality being more than what most rationalists will try to make you believe it is. Something really major I noticed as a perceptual change was that I was able to sense aspects of my energy fields that I never did before. Prior to 'turning on and tuning in' via the 'higher-self' (actual union occurred later on after the first Initation experience of course) I had little control of my own personal energy compared to now, and afterward I suddenly felt a direct connection to those portions of my mind so that moving my personal energy to touch something astrally felt the same as just moving my hand or arm or any other part of my body (except slightly different - hard to explain or describe that sensation other than in physical terms). I also found that it is possible to 'think' from any part of my body or beyond it and not just through my head; in other words, our belief that thoughts come from the brain alone was made false to me as I found that it can be experienced otherwise.
In my opinion, my real magickal work did not begin until I had made the conscious connection to (and began working with) the roots of my consciousness or the 'higher-self' etc. Until that point, I fumbled around, didn't quite understand what I should be 'feeling' in order to do some of the psychic stuff that others around me claimed to be sensing at will, and didn't always trust the hints of intuitive feelings that I felt. I would feel things and then either forget or just brush them off as though they might not have been real. After finally getting my lower human parts aligned more with the upper spiritual parts, there was an instant increase in my ability to sense energy in general, and I also found that more direct connection to my ability to control my personal energy to 'touch' things astrally. Over time, I did find that this control is not easy to maintain; everything works off from and depends on the higher spiritual portions, so in order to keep that feeling of 'control' you have to submit to them and almost dissolve the ego. The higher-self portions of one's consciousness always remain in true control whether the human personality believes it or is even aware of it. Knowing this, I finally decided that 'I' was not going to try to be a little ruler over my spirit anymore (since that was futile and ineffective), but rather become a functional piece of the vast 'team' of levels that make up the phenomenon I call 'Me.'
Something else I noticed. I can hear/feel the different parts of my mind working all on different things all at the same time and can choose what I wish to listen in to. The subconscious is usually just playing a tape-loop of whatever was heard during the day, or indulging in images, while my upper spiritual consciousness is generally silent but flowing. Thought on that level isn't in words or with 'form' at all - it's abstract impulses. If I relax, I can sense all portions all at once and realize that 'I' (or that which calls itself 'I' ) is just another functioning component of the spiritual mechanism that I call 'me' and is neither any more or less important than any other portion. The function of the conscious 'I' portion is to make conscious choices as to what will be perceived at any one time when functioning in the physical realm; it's sort of an intermediary between all levels, but not the 'King' of them. The error that stops this ability to sense those other parts is believing that the 'I' portion is the only and most important one out of the bunch. Some magickians tend to view the phenomenon of themselves as being a grouping or collection of multiple selves all functioning together. I can view myself that way or as a collective whole with all parts being just components of 'me'. I find the latter viewpoint more effective for my ways of doing things.
>Are you getting more thoughts than you did before, etc?
Yes, I'd say so. Thoughts wouldn't really be the correct word for that. More like feelings and 'sudden knowing' when you least expect it. I didn't end up being one of those people who can look at a person and suddenly know all there is to know about them without ever meeting them first, but there are times when I'll just have such a strong feeling about something and just 'know' a certain bit of information (either through a dream or waking vision) that I can't deny the truth of what I've seen. I then do some research and usually find that my feelings were correct. Usually if I look at someone or talk to them once, I will get an abstract mental energy picture in 3-D complete with colors and feelings that represent what I'm seeing/feeling. (If I'm relaxed then I'll just visably see an electrical/neon type flowing/flaming aura around them. It was a shock when I started seeing those vividly for the first time.) This is a mental picture of that person's energy fields and consciousness as a whole. I'll usually know within a moment of meeting someone whether or not I am compatible with them socially. Seeing through the masks that people wear socially isn't a problem in most cases; it is easy to spot a person's feelings of inadequacy or overcompensation or feelings of inferiority etc. just by taking a look/feel at their 'aura'. You can also spot different forms of sickness or disease if you learn to recognize the feelings of certain ones. I used to do similar intuitive things like that form of aura reading when young, but it's much more pronounced now. Sometimes blatantly obvious since I now have the benefit of a visual perception of what I'm feeling.
There are some times, when highly creative ideas will just spring into my head from out of nowhere. That's another thing I noticed as well. (I'm not trying to say that I'm a genius or anything, but to me, the ideas I sometimes receive appear and feel more creative than normal for me and are useful to me at the time.) Usually this phenomenon will manifest when I'm very relaxed, as normal human-type mental chattering tends to block it out. That's why I mentioned practicing turning off the internal dialogue (mental chattering to oneself).
>& what is this tingling sensation like??
Sometimes similar to that feeling you get when your arm gets the circulation cut off and 'falls asleep' but not always. After a while of practicing feeling the inside of all parts of my body and around it, this tingling has become more like an airy flowing in and around. Difficult to explain. The quality of that feeling depends on what I'm doing and what vibratory rate I'm working at. Lower 'frequencies' of vibration (of personal energy) tend to feel rougher and more crude, and more like that feeling of having a limb 'fall asleep' due to lack of circulation. Higher frequencies of vibration (of personal energy) tend to feel more like airy flowing from the inside out. If I'm working with angelic Enochian invocation for example, there is usually a feeling of cool, silvery-white, internal air-conditioning that flows all around and through me, with a hint of electrical sparking to the flow.
Initiation is a beginning. It is a removal of the block to the spirit within, but it is by no means always an immediate union with one's 'Higher-Self' (note that I do not view the 'higher-self' as a separate entity - it is not separate, but simply not within one's immediate consciousness). If the 'vessel' (body/intellect/emotions) is not able to handle the influx of higher spiritual energy and consciousness (from your 'H.G.A.' aspects) then more time will need to be spent practicing and perfecting the 'lower' until it is like or in harmony with the 'higher.' You'll never get out of practicing. No magickal ritual or ceremony will ever instantly turn you into a mage with perfect and immediate god-like abilities. If you want such skill then you'll have to work for it the hard way like everyone else. All anyone can do is help you to fix up your 'vehicle'. You will still have to learn to drive if you expect to get anywhere ;)