Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life.
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, cites principles as his key to success.
Higher-level thinking isn't something that's done by higher-level beings. It's simply seeing things from the top down. Think of it as looking at a photo of yourself and the world around you from outer space. From that vantage, you can see the relationships between the continents, countries, and seas. Then you can get more granular, by zooming into a closer-up view of your country, your city, your neighborhood, and finally your immediate environment. Having that macro perspective gives you much more insight than you'd get if you simply looked around your house through your own eyes.