The Betrayal of Ourself

We enter into this world with an experience that is completely subjective and boundless without awareness of how to differentiate. Evolution has provided humans with the gift of very unique cognitive abilities that has enabled them to thrive and survive, at least until present times but his gift has come to be a yoke simply because we do not understand the whole of ourselves, that what we believe to be absolute truth is quite relative.

Shortly after birth humans begin to develop the ability to perceive in a very selective and relative way. Through the process of conditioning we come to increasingly rely on this way of seeing that involves the  perception of the external world in terms of objects separate from the observer. We further refine this ability to reduce, separate and objectify most everything in life, coming to lose any connection we have had with that original subjective experience. Even with religion and nature, the few things that help us to retain some grounding in the subjective we come to see these in new terms, through these new means. Our culture and the related forums perpetuate this. Some of the more primitive and native cultures remain grounded in the subjective experience although western culture has gravitated towards a more complete embracing of this new perception and principles which are reflected in the value that they attach to objectivity, materialism and rational thought. They are universally embraced as means of understanding life events. We have all come to be conditioned to see life in terms of our reductionist, analytic and materialistic thought forgetting what we once were.

There has been a consequence in the abandoning of our subjective experience and although this is fundamental in the consideration of what we have emerged from; it has in general been forgotten and denied. In that denial there is a betrayal of what we are. There is a betrayal of authentic self that occurs in us and in our perceptions of ourselves as individuals. We can’t in reality deny what we have emerged from; it remains as an underlying, unconscious yearning to return to it, but as we embrace our more subject/object ways of seeing ourselves and life there is an ever present influence of the schism that exists, projected in our rigid believe of what we think that we know, however much our understanding may be missing something essential. In the end we become what we perceive ourselves to be. In the greater more absolute truth what we are and what we have emerged from is and always will be a part of whatever it is we create ourselves to be despite the fact we can not see it or measure it and however veiled it remains. 

In summary a consequence of this dualistic development is the creation of the perception of separation.  We have become blind to the connection that inherently exists with all else as well as with our own authentic nature. In the denial of our authentic self we deny our humanness. This  seems to have enabled the carrying out of incredible atrocities, brutality and violence that human kind has been perpetuating for thousands of years.

I have doubts that our reliance on technological ingenuity will save us from ecological disaster. It is partly what has caused it. If we are to save ourselves and the planet it might be that it will come from being re exposed to a more eternal wisdom that we once knew. The step towards this realisation is in a way a simple one. It does not involve going back to an old way and forgetting what we have learned in our ability to objectify. It might simply involve a letting go of what we think and allowing for a more direct awareness of what we are and what all else is and how we fit into that and are a part of it. If we are able to remember and to live in a way of embracing what is more authentic and whole, it will of its own energy transform our perceptions in a way that we understand the limitations of our relativity truth.

13 thoughts on “The Betrayal of Ourself

  1. May I ask, when you refer to the ‘subjective experience’ as apprehended by new born babies and ‘some of the more primitive and native cultures’, then are you equating that to an un-delineated, or non-dual, awareness? My apologies, I am not clear as to what you mean by the phrase ‘subjective experience’ if no ‘objective experience’ is a counterpart to it.

    Best regards.

    Hariod Brawn.

    • I have been contemplated this notion of subjectivity all morning since your comment, which is good, and I realise that there are not words sometimes to grasp the experience. But I think that I am conceiving subjectivity as an experience without object. Does it not require a subject to have a nondual experience.I realise that the non dual experience can seem to be without a subject or perceive and maybe it is that this is transcended.

    • Yes definitely it is a non dual experience. I refer to the subjective experience because the subject object consciousness has not yet been developed. There is no identification with a dual consciousness at that early time. I can experience nondual consciousness but I have the dual consciousness as a reference and means of expression. It is also a reference to Kierkegaards exploration of Truth as Subjectivity. I am interested in the experience of many of the existentialists. Some of the more religious ones express an experience that is closer to the non dual experience that I know.
      Ultimately the subjective experience is meant to refer to nonduality. The key for me is that it can not be captured objectively. The direct experience is subjective beyond all expression.

    • I do understand what you are saying that the idea of subjective as opposed to objective is a dual concept.
      But can we capture the non dual experience with concepts? All language is abstract expression. Poetry a liitle less so.

      • Thank you for your further thoughts Gord . If it is permissible to add a thought or two of my own, then I would say that non-dual awareness can indeed incorporate the play of subjectivity and objectivity; though this is not the whole picture as those modes may be absent too. Let me try and give my take on this:

        When the binary interplay of subjectivity/objectivity obtains in non-dual awareness (I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms, bear with me!), then these are seen as categories and constructs of the mind; they are the mostly necessary delineations that the mind makes for (what were once ) survival purposes but are now merely efficient and at times helpful category orders.

        An analogy: Do you remember that game that children play in which they sit around a table and build a perpetual pile of hands upon the table? Each hand at the bottom of the pile moves to the top in succession, covering the previous hand in the process. This is something akin to what happens with subjectivity and objectivity; each sublates the other in succession. At any moment, the ‘hand’ – which is the mind configured either as subjectivity or objectivity – knows only itself, and the history of itself. There is at no point an awareness which sees this interplay – the whole pile of hands – and which understands the fragmentation and sense of separation that is caused by each hand referencing only itself.

        You question whether we can capture the non dual experience with concepts. My own response would be categorically that we cannot. This is because it is not a representation of the senses, and so it is not storable and recallable as a concept or percept in the way that a memory is. The non-dual awareness is prior to the representations that the mind makes so as to ‘make (further) sense’ of the senses. It is rather more the case that awareness knows itself as itself rather than as an image of itself such as a mood, mental state or memory.

        Forgive me Gord, I have prattled on a bit here!

        Many thanks, and I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and perhaps exchanging further ideas with you.

        Hariod Brawn.

      • That was well written and it does express my direct experience. I at times wonder why I choose to express my experience in writing but I think that it is the similar to the urge to paint. It seems to be that it is a creative initiative. I does seem that there is some benefit in attempting to develop a language that discusses this at the same time remembering that concepts do not capture the truth of the experience.It is more that it is a way of seeing.

      • I feel it is always worth writing down our thoughts as it acts as a clarifying process that otherwise may prove elusive to secure in verbal thought alone. I have heard several writers on subjects such as ‘consciousness’, ‘selfhood’, ‘the mind’ and ‘subjectivity’ say that the writing process acts as this clarifier. It is a testing, if you like, of our assumptions, beliefs and knowledge that places the whole under rigorous scrutiny. Still, you are quite correct Gord, linguistically expressed concepts do not capture the truth of the experience; they may serve as clarifiers and pointers, yet never can act as any facsimile for any non-dual experience, any more than they can for our perceiving the scent of a beautiful rose.

      • I always find that what in one moment eludes me if it is from a more authentic place it will reveal itself again. I think that there is something wonderful about the ability to express and maybe there is something to the clarifying part. For me there is something wonderful in being able to read another who has been able to touch the depths of their own being. There are many ways that this can be expressed. I am enjoying your book. I find you to be one of those writers and your writing is unique, open and reflective. I am probably not capturing everything but it touches me.

      • Thank you Gord for your kind words and for the exchange here generally. If you manage to struggle your way to the end of my book (Ch. 14 is the killer!), then if you felt able to leave a comment on Amazon I would be forever grateful. I am receiving very little feedback even though several hundred copies are now in readers hands – what on earth are they making of it I wonder? o_O

        Many thanks.

        Hariod.

      • Yes I will. I am headed to Canada for a month but I think it is the kind of book where I will absorb slowly. One reads and lets things seep in and simmer. In this way it has the quality of expression that is promoting change that we have discussed. It is what I enjoy about it.

      • Thank you Gord; I very much appreciate your offer to oblige; truly I do. If you would like a gratis copy of the paperback (I’m not that enthusiastic about eBooks myself), then simply let me know a forwarding address via email (see: dashboard/ my comments) and I will happily oblige. It would be cheaper for me to send it to you in Germany rather than Canada if that is okay, and if you feel you would like to take me up on this offer. Obviously, you must not feel any obligation to say anything on Amazon other than what you truly feel, and you may also want not to publish this comment here as it is not relevant to your article of course.

      • I have no problem commenting on Amazon. It is not going to be difficult to be honest in a way that is appreciative of your writing. Yes I would appreciate a copy but I wont be there for a month to receive it. Im getting use to ebooks but I always prefer a real one. Considering the amount that I travel ebooks are a load off.
        Thank You Hariod

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