The subject-object relationship

Omkaradatta's picture

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Let's take a look at the subject-object relationship (the notion that we are a subject in relation to an objective world), and see if there's any reality to it.

First, let's pretend to gather all of humanity together into one huge group of people, and line them up so that each alternative line of people are facing each other, like this:

>-O O-< *** >-O O-< >-O O-< *** >-O O-<

>-O O-< *** >-O O-< >-O O-< *** >-O O-<

When people are lined up this way, we have a subject-object relationship. Everybody is facing someone else. When you talk to me, you are the subject and I am your object. When I'm talking to you, I take the role of subject and you become the object.

Now, let's line all of humanity up in 'parade formation', everyone facing in the same direction.

>-O >-O *** >-O >-O *** >-O >-O

>-O >-O *** >-O >-O *** >-O >-O

What do we have now? We have around seven billion subjects, all saying "I Am", all looking out at the world subjectively. But... where is the object? There are nothing but billions of subjects, all perceiving *AS* subjects. Nobody alone can claim to know objectivity, therefore nobody together can do so either.

We seem to have a strange issue here. In order to really have a subject, there must be an object. Without an object, with seven billion subjects, we have only a one-sided coin! It's like the sound of one hand clapping.

This is actually the reality of the situation. If we do not define objectivity via a false consensus-reality (based on social agreement and other conditioning), there are no objects -- only subjects.

The true meaning of this has to be 'realized' on a deeper level, but we can go ahead and draw some preliminary conclusions anyway.

As there are really no locatable object(s): We, the apparently soft-bodied, short-lived subjective creatures, are the Reality, and the universe, apparently long-lived and objective, is the unreality. As Nisargadatta has said, the universe does not come to tell us we're a part of it. We conclude that we are in the universe, based on social agreement masquerading as objectivity. But, what if the universe is really in us?

With seven billion subjects (that's not including other life forms, of course) and no object(s), the whole subject-object notion collapses. There is only the Self, which we all are, reflected in the various bodies as "I Am". Without a 'you', the 'me' (small self) has to be false too. There is only God, Self, Reality, Life, whatever you want to call it. All is One.

In order to realize this, we have to consent to stop accepting things on hearsay, second-hand, based on social agreements and conditionings... even notions as apparently obvious as that we are born into the world as bodies. Larger and larger numbers of people agreeing on something really mean little or nothing, as we can see e.g. from the behavior of an angry mob. Here and now, only our own subjectivity can be true... as there is nothing else possible but subjectivity.

When we do this thoroughly, subjectivity collapses too, as based on a false objectivity that isn't there. Yet, it has to be done... we have to go deeply enough into subjectivity first, reject the so-called objective as nonsense, relinquish all external supports and rest solidly on the truth of our own Being, our awareness.

Go within. The sages have been saying it for over two thousand years. The truth is near at hand, close by, easily accessible... stop looking so far away for it, through objectivity, through social agreements, somewhere "out there" to be located. It is within you, nowhere else.