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Objective Reality

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Objective Reality

Harmonizing Yourself with Reality

The objective view of reality facilitates progressive unfoldment by continually opening up our experience, while the egoic view tends to hold and fixate it. Through understanding how reality works, we develop basic trust in the nature of Being. Trusting the reality of Being is of primary importance in facilitating our experience to unfold and mature. It does not matter if you like the view of reality or not. It is how things are. If you like it or don't like it, that's your business -- it's not the business of reality. If you don't like how things are, the best you can do is to find out why, so that you can begin to harmonize yourself with it. Otherwise, you will suffer. This doesn't mean reality is punishing you. It simply means that if you harmonize yourself with reality, you will experience a sense of peace and freedom, and if you don't, you will experience discord.

Facets of Unity, pg. 255

How Things Really Are

We are using the term objective reality in contrast to subjective reality, which is reality seen through our inner mental filters that are shaped by our past conditioning. Objective reality is how things really are. Although it is possible to perceive objectively, we cannot take in the totality of reality and say anything about it; we can only point to some of its characteristics. So whenever we explore reality in any specific manner, we have to leave out something. For example, when you describe an orange, you cannot say anything about its totality. You have to talk about its color or its taste or its shape. If you want your description to encompass the whole thing -- its color, shape, and taste all together -- you can only say, "orange." It is the same with objective reality. If you want to say anything about it, you have to focus on its specific characteristics.

Facets of Unity, pg. 206

In Objective Reality there is No Such Thing as the Physical World that We Know

For instance, our knowledge patterns our experience to the extent that we actually experience a physical reality. We end up believing that there is such a thing as physical reality and physical matter. In fact, we are completely convinced that physical reality is a fundamental truth. In objective reality, there is no such thing as the physical world that we know. If we experience our body without the filter of ordinary knowledge, we will not experience a physical body, we will experience a fluid patterning of luminosity. Our experience is so conditioned and determined, that not only do we believe we have and are a body, we believe in something more basic that underlies this belief: that the body is the body as we take it to be. For most people, this is absolutely true: The body is physical matter that is born and hurts and dies. From that point of view, how can we possibly think of it as a fluid patterning of luminosity? This is just an example, maybe a little extreme, to tell us how far the patterning of ordinary knowledge goes.

Mirror-like Awareness is What makes it Possible to Perceive Objective Reality

The quality of mirror-like awareness is what makes it possible to perceive objective reality. Working with, understanding, and realizing the Holy Ideas, brings us closer to that mirror-like awareness as the view of reality expands to include the whole of reality, rather than being oriented around the delusion of a separate sense of self. The view of objective reality of the Holy Ideas makes it possible for the soul to correct the distortions of perception that dominate the egoic view of the self and the world, thus clarifying the soul’s awareness, or “polishing the mirror” of the soul. The clear awareness of the human soul, then, perceives the objective view of the patterns of creation with an understanding of the place of the human being in this creation. This understanding awakens the soul to its own unfolding as the expression of Being, and its own participation in the greater pattern of unfolding whose nature is wholeness, dynamism, intelligence, and openness.

Facets of Unity, pg. 293

Objectifying Reality

We have seen how when we reify and identify with something, we objectify it. We make it exist as an object, we make it concrete. This habit of mind reveals our movement toward objectifying and solidifying our experience. It would be natural for the mind to try to know reality, but it goes further than that; it always tries to pin it down, to establish it, to see reality as a concrete, stable thing. So we see that all our mental operations imply the same tendency—to try to solidify reality, objectify it, make it as concrete as a physical object is.

Objective Truth is Not Ultimately True

What is true shifts. In one sense, truth is what you experience to be real in the moment. But when you really understand any particular experience, you realize it is not truth, it is falsehood. Then you discover a new dimension and realize that as the truth. You stay with it for a while until you realize it too is false. Even when you get to objective truth you realize it is not ultimately true. So what we really refer to as the various dimensions of truth are in a fundamental way only levels of conceptualization.

The Need to Suspend the Mind

Our only hope of really seeing things as they are is to suspend the mind, to go through the mind. And, as we have seen today, to go through the mind means to suspend what we believe we know about the world, about ourselves, about reality, about everything. That is usually scary, and it will not be easy. It is quite a jump, but that is what we want to work on. Only when we can do this can we perceive what is called objective reality—what truly exists, what truly is. Only then do we know in a deep sense, in a real sense what we are, what the world is, and what’s really happening. This is the beginning of a real world, a real universe, a true living from the moment, from the now. Then true life happens. True existence is lived. In a sense, what we are talking about today is something that cannot be talked about. How can you talk about something if you don’t use concepts? When you are completely experiencing reality without concepts, you can’t even say that something exists—existence is a concept. Ultimately, “experience” is a concept. We have tried to live according to these concepts; we have tried to know the world through them and fit our experience into them. What will happen if we don’t do it that way? What will happen if our knowing is one hundred percent spontaneous?

The Realization and Understanding of Space is Necessary for the Perception of Objective Reality

The realization and understanding of space is necessary for the perception of objective reality—what we will call objective perception. Objective perception means perceiving reality, all that confronts our awareness, as it is. It is a matter of seeing things as they are, rather than seeing them from a certain point of view or position. So by objective we do not mean the scientific positivist sense, in which objective means what exists physically outside us rather than in the mind. We also do not mean objective in the sense of not being emotional, or not being experiential. We mean seeing things, seeing internal or external things, as they are, instead of subjectively. Subjective is the antithesis; it means according to our positions, feelings, filters, beliefs and attitudes. So objective perception means pure perception, free from all positions, bias, filters, conflicts, intentions, etc. It is perceiving whatever it is without any obscuration or intermediacy, so we see it just the way it is in itself.

The Void, pg. 151

The Relationship Between Logos, Teaching, Method and Reality

This understanding of the relationship between logos, teaching, method, and reality has another important implication. As a methodology is practiced within the logos of a particular teaching, objective reality will reveal itself in forms relevant for the journey of self-realization undertaken through that teaching. In other words, a profound and fundamental manifestation of reality characteristic of one teaching may never arise for followers of a different teaching, because each teaching orients to reality through a different logos. One way of understanding this is that because each teaching traverses different terrain in its unfolding journey, the same underlying reality will be revealed in different forms along the way. Consider, for example, that the Inuit people of the Arctic Circle recognize more than twenty forms of snow and ice. These are true forms of physical reality never recognized by someone living in temperate latitudes, because the climate and the demands of the environment are different. In a similar way, followers of a spiritual teaching will encounter distinct experiences of objective reality that are appropriate to the journey of the soul addressed by that teaching.

The View that Unifies All Experiences

An important part of the Work is to understand the view of objective reality. This understanding comes through discussions about it and through your own investigation, your own exploration and experience. This view is, in some sense, not one experience, but what unifies all experiences. It is the over-arching picture that makes all experiences intelligible and meaningful. The more we understand the view of objective reality, the more we know where we are in our journey. The more we understand the view, the more we know how distorted or how objective our experience is. Thus, understanding the view is a valuable guidance and an important orientation. In time, as our realization process progresses and deepens, our experience corresponds more with the view. When experience is exactly harmonious with the view, this is what is called total realization or enlightenment.

Facets of Unity, pg. 246

To Experience Reality as it is Means to Apprehend it Without Our Representations of It

The way the conventional or ego self experiences things, the way we ordinarily perceive reality, the way we perceive each other, the way we feel, sense, touch, and see are generally speaking not objective. Our normal, everyday perception is filtered through a great many obscurations. An important part of spiritual work, in a sense the point of it—that which is sufficient to take us the whole way on any path—is to experience things objectively: to experience, feel, sense, taste and see objectively. When this happens we say we are experiencing Reality. So, what is called spiritual realization, which is the same as experiencing Reality, does not mean having supernatural experiences. The primary way we lose our objectivity has to do with representations. To experience reality as it is means to apprehend it without our representations of it. In other words, the main reason we don’t experience things objectively is that we look at reality through our representations of it. We take our ideas of it, beliefs about it, images of it, memories of it, etc. as describing it, and then look at reality through these filters. We are using the word “representation” in the general sense of the word, not in the technical, psychoanalytic sense like in self- or object representations. Whenever we need to think, talk, or communicate with others, we need to represent reality. We cannot speak without representing. In verbal representation we take a string of words or a string of letters to represent some percept. Representation makes it possible for us think and communicate verbally, and so, of course, it is important and necessary.

The Void, pg. 151

We Need the Knowledge of the Soul, of Essence and of Objective Reality to Learn How to be a Human Being

But if we want our experience to impact our life, it will have to become something more than a lollipop. Experience will have to be approached as nourishment that will lead to actual growth, actual development, actual evolution. What we need is an education about how to be a human being. We might not have any idea what it means to be a human being. Being human does not simply mean being human in isolation from Essence, in isolation from God or Truth. Being human also means knowing how we are related to other realms. So we need the knowledge of the soul, of Essence, and of objective reality to learn how to be a human being. But what is needed more than anything else is an education that will transform our approach to experience in general. Whether we’re experiencing other people, or daily life, whether we’re experiencing emotions, essential states, or realizations, we need to approach our experiences in a mature way. The experience will have to impact us in a certain situation, in a certain circumstance, in connection with other facts and elements for it to transform our consciousness into a consciousness that can relate to experience with more maturity. Otherwise, our experience is wasted. It’s a lollipop that tastes good or tastes terrible, and then we have to start all over again. We could learn to approach our experiences, whether negative or positive, whether profane or sublime, with balance, maturity, and sensitivity.

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