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Subjectivity

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

Excerpts about Subjectivity

Absolute Objectivity Only Occurs at the Level of Nonduality

Absolute objectivity doesn’t happen except at the level of the Absolute. At the very moment we reach that level, we transcend the uncertainty principle. This is because we see that the recognizer and what is recognized are one, not two. There is no observer and no observed, no explorer and no explored – only one objective existence. The whole basis of the uncertainty principle – the duality between the observer and the observed – has disappeared. Only on this level of nonduality can objectivity be complete. So understanding continues to deepen as we move through degrees of objectivity. More precisely, for understanding to deepen, we must become more objective, more exact, more precise. We then see things more as they are.

As Our Attention Collects Into the Inner Subjectivity Our Value System Changes

Before we can live the totality of our realization, our practice needs to become continual and needs to become clear about itself. Why do we practice anyway? Why do we bother to take the time, the trouble, the expense, and spend the energy to practice? This is always a big question for us as we begin to engage inner work. As our attention collects from being dispersed in outer activities and forms into the inner subjectivity, into the inner atmosphere, our value system changes. We practice because we want to live fully, we want to be free, we want to discover the mysteries of existence, we want our life to fulfill its purpose. We can see our motivation in many ways. It’s a natural process. The journey commences for some sooner than for others, and for some more intensely than for others. We are fortunate if it has commenced at all. We are lucky that we are willing to dedicate so much energy and effort to it.

Essence is an Objective Ontological Presence which Means that Personal Subjectivity Does not Touch It

These essential aspects are absolute in the sense that they cannot be reduced to anything else. Truth is always truth and always feels the same. In other words, regardless of how much the person changes, truth still retains its specific substantial characteristics. This permanently absolute aspect of truth remains the same for every human being. Whenever it is experienced by anyone, it is experienced as the same thing. It is universal truth. In other words, its substantial characteristics of texture, taste, color, density, and so on are invariant for everybody. As we have stressed before, essence is an objective ontological presence, which means that
the personal subjectivity does not touch it.

Experiencing the Soul as the Very Fabric of Our Subjectivity

When we are finally able to experience the soul directly, we can recognize that she constitutes a medium in which all of our inner events occur, a unified container and vessel that is the very fabric of our subjectivity. We can actually experience her as a sensitive field, a field of consciousness or awareness, where all experiences arise and pass away. We can imagine the soul as completely coextensive with the body, forming its experienced interiority. Whatever we perceive as happening within us, whether a thought, an image, an emotion, or a sensation, occurs within the body, but more intimately within the soul, because the soul functions as the sensitivity or awareness of the body. This kind of perception leads us to the understanding of the soul as the inner vessel, necessary for the inner process of transformation. It is then clear why the development of this perception will help hold and support our inner journey. To understand the soul as locus of experience is important for the direct experience and development of the soul. Without this understanding we simply remain in the normal experience of the ego. In this egoic experience there is the experiencer and there is what we experience; the locus is not perceived. Thus, to perceive the locus of experience is to begin to recognize the soul.

Personality Dominates or Influences Our Subjectivity

So to summarize, we can say that subjectivity means that our approach is dominated or influenced by our personality’s positions, feelings, reactions, preferences, and judgments. Objectivity means the absence of all such inner coercive agencies in the presence of an openness that embodies love, sensitivity, and all the essential qualities that constitute the Diamond Guidance.

Seeing Reality Without Our Subjectivity

To summarize, we have seen that Holy Love is the recognition of the intrinsic blissful goodness inherent in existence. It is the beauty and wonder that makes reality lovable and lovely, the heartful quality of existence, the experience of existence as heart. This is not what is usually meant by the word love, but it is what makes love possible. It is the beautiful, delightful
preciousness of Being. When we see reality without our subjectivity, without our ego bias, we recognize that inherent to it is this wonderful, enjoyable, lovely, and lovable quality. This quality is not a part of reality, but is, rather, the nature of it, just as wetness is an inherent quality of water. You cannot separate Holy Love from Being any more than you can separate the wetness
from water.

Facets of Unity, pg. 225

The Sense of Complete Subjectivity

The absolute is such a mystery that even though it is total selflessness it is also the ultimate self. What can that mean? We have seen that the absolute is the divine essence, the inner essence of Being. It is the final nature of everything, including ego and essence. It is the absolute nature of the soul, her deepest ground. To realize it is to recognize in direct experience that there is nothing that is not constituted by it. We feel we are constituted by it, that it forms our very substance and identity. We are it, and it is us. We feel and see it as a luminous crystal presence of black clarity. But at the same time we feel it is I, nothing but me, for there is nothing else that can be me. It is not like there is a cognitive sense or feeling of I, identity, or self. There is no conceptual quality of the beingness of the mystery. But there is a perception or apperception that it is none other than I. It is a perception of the luminous night being the beingness of me, without the feeling of me. The I is not the familiar I, whether ego or essence. It is like I know it is I because I am it. There is nothing else that is I. It is the sense of complete subjectivity. It is like recognizing the subject that is I, which turns out to be the absolute.

The Truth Arises as the Truth but We do Not See It as It Is

Our exploration is not only into the nature of our experience or state, but also into the totality of who we are, including the nature of the part of us that observes or explores. All of this must become an object of study and inquiry. This means that to be objective about a situation, we, as the inquirer, will need to become objective—free from subjective influence. For when we inquire into what prevents our understanding from being objective, we find that it is the fact that we bring our subjectivity to our experience. The truth arises as the truth, but we do not see it as it is because of our own unclarity, our own positions, prejudices, identifications, limitations, preferences, and goals—the totality of which we call subjectivity. However, if we really love the truth for its own sake, we will want to see it as it is, we will want to behold the objective truth. This will translate into the wish and passion to discern all our subjective positions that are preventing objective perception. So, for instance, I do not just realize, “I’m feeling angry,” but I also observe and discern how I feel in response to seeing my anger. Do I have a judgment about it? Do I believe that it’s okay to be angry or not okay to be angry? What are my opinions and prejudices about anger? I explore everything I bring into the experience of anger. In other words, we always need to be aware of our subjective reaction to our experience in order to see how we interfere with it.

True Objectivity is the Most Compassionate, Loving Attitude

Through this discussion we are introducing another element necessary for inquiry besides the love of truth. Love of the truth actually points to this element: the need for objectivity. In inquiry, perception and understanding become objective at some point, which means that they become the perception and understanding of the facts of the matter – what actually is. Then we are perceiving what is truly arising in the situation, and our understanding is the discernment of the truth of what is arising or unfolding. Then neither our understanding nor our perception is colored by our subjectivity… True objectivity is the most compassionate, loving attitude because it is totally open to the truth. This truth is not only the savior, it is also the beloved.

We Always Need to be Aware of Our Subjective Reaction to Our Experience to see how We Interfere with It

Our exploration is not only into the nature of our experience or state, but also into the totality of who we are, including the nature of the part of us that observes or explores. All of this must become an object of study and inquiry. This means that to be objective about a situation, we, as the inquirer, will need to become objective—free from subjective influence. For when we inquire into what prevents our understanding from being objective, we find that it is the fact that we bring our subjectivity to our experience. The truth arises as the truth, but we do not see it as it is because of our own unclarity, our own positions, prejudices, identifications, limitations, preferences, and goals—the totality of which we call subjectivity. However, if we really love the truth for its own sake, we will want to see it as it is, we will want to behold the objective truth. This will translate into the wish and passion to discern all our subjective positions that are preventing objective perception. So, for instance, I do not just realize, “I’m feeling angry,” but I also observe and discern how I feel in response to seeing my anger. Do I have a judgment about it? Do I believe that it’s okay to be angry or not okay to be angry? What are my opinions and prejudices about anger? I explore everything I bring into the experience of anger. In other words, we always need to be aware of our subjective reaction to our experience in order to see how we interfere with it.

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