The Subjective and The Objective: A Conjoined Relationship

The subjective and the objective are twin halves of a whole experience, in the same way that consciousness and matter work together to form living, even self-aware, organisms.

Subjective reality works in conjunction with objective reality. The two are not separable in any way.

We intake objective reality through sensory impressions, which we’ve defined as sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Note that all five of our externally-focused senses describe the means by which we interpret what exists outside of ourselves. Used together, they help us interpret objective reality across a wide range of distances. Sight grants us the capacity to discern what exists a considerable distance beyond ourselves; sound and smell enable us to evaluate what’s closer to us but still not quite “here”; touch and taste are contact senses that inform us about what’s “on” me, and what’s going “into” me. In all cases, our five senses provide us with helpful information about what’s going on “out there” (in objective reality) so that what’s “in here” (the subjective aspect of ourselves) can draw helpful conclusions about what’s happening to me. We then use those conclusions to discern how best to respond to whatever is arising in our field of consciousness.

We’re taught to use our subjective capacities to translate the objective sensory data that reaches our awareness in order to try and make “sense” of what is, so that our bodies can move about the objective realm without harming itself as it goes. We don’t possess our five senses so we can “know” the whole of reality. We possess only the senses we need—given the scale and scope of our limited human experience within the grand context of the entire cosmos—to enable ourselves to navigate the part of reality that we’re required to navigate—in order to stay alive, contribute to the whole, and have our unique life experience.

For all we truly know, the whole of objective reality contains billions upon billions of material forms, information streams, and energy flows that exist well outside the ability of our five senses to capture them. So at best, everything we think we “know” about objective reality falls within the narrow bandwidth of human sensory perception…plus whatever we can add to that database by extending the capacities of our five limited senses through the use of more sophisticated instruments, like microscopes and telescopes. The rest of objective reality unfolds at bandwidths that lie beyond the deciphering capabilities of our five senses, so may be ultimately unknowable to us…especially if we opt to confine our understanding of reality to only the data we gather through the external portals of our human senses.

I believe it’s false to assume we can know the truth about objective reality without any involvement by the subjective half of ourselves. At best, we can reduce the static created by ignorant subjective opinions about what is. But because the subjective element remains fundamental to the process of knowing, it can’t be eliminated. To eliminate the subjective would mean we’d have to surrender the very means by which we attempt to know anything.

As one who has followed and studied the scientific method and its theories for many, many years, I deeply appreciate the efforts of science to remove the “taint” of subjective opinion from all scientific inquiry, and from the scientific discussion about the nature of objective reality. The scientific method is useful to us; although by definition it has a limited capacity, since only that which is falsifiable is accurately considered worthy of scientific investigation. However, if we ONLY accept what is scientific as worthy of our serious consideration when it comes to understanding the nature of reality, we must limit ourselves to focusing only on that which can be falsified. That means we can never, using only the scientific method, KNOW truth. We can only ever inch closer to the truth, while always keeping the door open for what we imagine to be true to be falsified by others at some future point.

Clearly, we cannot know it “all” by firmly limiting our exploration of reality solely to that which flows in through our five external senses, and then by further limiting what we’re willing to consider “real” as that which can potentially be falsified. While that process has its place, so too does the expansion of our interior sense of INSIGHT, which is the sixth beneficial sense that we humans possess. Insight enables a person to direct their consciousness toward the aliveness, awareness, information, and energy that exists within their own body and lies closer to them than their own skin, thus operates beyond the reach of the objective, data-gathering processes of the five senses. The body itself offers us a mind-blowing treasure trove of information. To turn one’s attention to how the body operates from the inside-out, as a self-aware living organism, involves observing the subjective part of the self while it performs its functions. This internal process of self-observation enables us to know far more about the entirety of the whole of reality that has conspired to create the complex organism that is the self than does simply studying the way our external reality works—as if there exists no “inside” worth including in our analysis of what is.

So long as we negate or denigrate our own (or others) sense of insight, we will not be able to fine-tune or use it to our highest advantage. And frankly, I don’t care if it’s considered unscientific to tap the sense of insight and investigate how it works. What we choose name this capacity, or what we call our study of it, does not change the fact that it exists. Insight is a genuine phenomenon that’s been experienced by many, many humans…and it has been noted in our historic records going back many thousands of years. The greatest beings who ever walked this Earth all reported having had some form of interior transcendental experience. Without exception, they each pointed to their insightful realizations as the source of their personal, highly spiritual transformation. Each of our great religious traditions emerged out of a collective desire to honor one individual’s interior spiritual journey. We even scribed our holy books in an effort to record the insightful wisdom garnered by history’s greatest avatars, prophets and mystics. Humans have never stopped making these insightful journeys; they simply fell out of favor while science ascended to the throne of what we now honor as “most real.” Over time, it seems we began to revere the value of our objective experiences while simultaneously rejecting the value of our subjective experiences, until we tipped the scales of balance way too far toward the objective. At best, we now consider the subjective to be suspect, untrustworthy and therefore unworthy of either our respect or our attention. At worst, we’ve tilted so far in favor of the objective as the sole source of reality that we’ve begun to deny the existence of the subjective in its own right. That degree of imbalance will not serve us as we go forward, and is causing much of the suffering we’re experiencing today within our species.

The time has come then, for us to restore our trust in, and appreciation for, the subjective; and to offer it an equal partnership with our objective perspective. We cannot suppress or denigrate fully half of what we are, and still experience ourselves as happy, or fine or whole.

The challenge we face in doing so is that we’ve not yet created an adequate language that enables us to differentiate between what arises in consciousness through the sense of insight, versus what arises in consciousness through our other five senses. This creates grave difficulties for those whose sense of insight is beginning to self-activate. Many individuals today find themselves experiencing, in real-time waking consciousness, alternative states of being or ways of seeing, but they have a terrible time translating those experiences into words that others will understand. This task becomes more problematic because such insights are non-linear; they’re multidimensional, quantum-field experiences. Because they expand human consciousness beyond the ordinary cause/effect data streams that comprise our other five senses, trying to bring these insights down into language and ground them using words that were designed to describe the way we experience objective reality presents a significant challenge. We resort to metaphors and scientific jargon to try and describe them, which arouses the ire of the science-minded, who feel that their sober field of study is being damaged or usurped by crazy people.

The fact remains, however, that once we turn inward and ‘see the seer,’ we begin to experience reality in an entirely new way. That which can look within and ‘see the seer’ unveils for us a level of awareness that exists beneath and beyond the surface aspect of human consciousness (the external seer), which focuses its attention on interpreting the data being transmitted to us through our five external senses. This shift in capacity reveals why that which ‘sees the seer’ can’t be confined or described by the same words the external seer uses to explain what it’s experiencing when it gathers data from outside of itself. Sometimes then, it’s beneficial if those who are suddenly ‘seeing the seer’ stop trying to explain what they’re experiencing to the entire world, and instead seek out the social support of others who are able to ‘see the seer.’ Those who have already grounded the capacity possess the ability to help others ground their own realizations, so that these seemingly indescribable experiences can be fully integrated.

Once we’ve fully and consciously connected with that which ‘sees the seer’, we then find ourselves able to invite that higher aspect of consciousness to come forward and commune more closely with the seer, and to work through it. As these twinned aspects of consciousness—that which sees the outside world and that which sees the seer—consciously grow more comfortable with each another, they may eventually choose to merge their processes. At that point, the way we present to the outside realm will dramatically shift. Instead of confining our experience to ‘the reality we see outside of ourselves,” we become “that which sees the ALL of reality.” We include that which sees outside of itself in this newer, more coherent whole experience of consciousness, and we then transcend it by adding to it in ways that increase its innate capacities.

That transcendental experiences are not classically scientific, and that we don’t yet have adequate language to express them, does not render them not real, or even less real, than those experiences we collect through the portals of our five senses. They may be “unscientific”, but unreal? If a blind person tells you that your eyesight does not exist because he doesn’t have the capacity to register what you see, would you believe that person? Likewise, if a person who experiences these sorts of powerful insights is told by one who doesn’t have those experiences that they’re not real, would you expect the insightful person to believe that individual? Would you expect the insightful person to accept that there’s something wrong with them because they’re having an expanded experience of reality that others don’t yet appear to be having themselves? And why, when insightful people suggest that others might also be able to experience that same level of consciousness expansion if they’re willing to allow that the possibility exists, would others grow angry with them for suggesting it?

The choice to ignore humanity’s insightful experiences, or to undermine those who have had them, does not seem to me to be a valid way to genuinely explore the WHOLE of reality. If one is truly open and curious, learning more about what these experience are, and why they’re happening to some and not to others, seems to me the most useful investigative approach for us to take. As for those who have had such experiences and have been able to ground them, I would lovingly suggest it’s time for you to come out of the closet and share your truth with others, regardless of whether they accept your truth or not. You can then serve as an attractor field for those who still need to ground, as well as help build the larger human tribe. You cannot connect with others who are having similar internal awakenings if you’re not willing to acknowledge accept or honor what’s awakening in you. Fear will not serve us at this time; only love will set us free.

2 Comments

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