Over on God is Not Dead in comments, Eric observed that “… it occurred to me that there was no such thing as objectivity as it relates to any branch of knowledge. We are subjective creatures…” He went on to say “there is an ultimate truth or reality the awareness of which would require a perceptual frame work that could only be thought of as objective. So now I am looking for that “Third side of the coin” as Adya[shanti] calls it; that place where non-duality encompasses (and validates?) both view points.”
Eric made an important and powerful observation. The objectivity of science is an illusion as they make no account of the observer. Not recognizing or even acknowledging the mechanism of perception means that science remains subjective.
|Photo by jef safi|
We simply need to witness the history of science to confirm this. Virtually every major scientific construct has fallen to new theories. Certainly this is due to the evolution of information and technology. But at the time of acceptance, the theories of science are held by society as beliefs, as truth.
Let’s simply consider what science does. Science creates theories to describe our experience of the world, then tests them in systematic ways to prove or disprove them. But they do not ask who it is that is having the experience which affects how it is experienced. No perceptual biases are considered that may be being brought to the table. They also do not recognize that these theories are held as mental constructs within their subjective reality.
Through conditioning of the subject, partly what formal education is about, a scientist from any given field carries a similar construct and bias. Thus there is general agreement on principles and framework. But they also live in a sometimes unintentional box. This is not necessarily a bad thing but if they do not recognize it, they fail to be objective. Results are only perceived that fall within the constraints of the box. This is why it is eccentrics or people outside the field that sometimes make the big discoveries.
Science is also highly politicized. Certain study areas, like the question of who is experiencing, are not considered objective so are not science. If you want funding and a career, you have to stay reasonably in the box, even when your field may be drifting off into irrelevancy.
In the post Objective Subjectivity, I touched on the eastern tradition of the objective study of subjectivity.
To fully understand Eric’s point, it’s worthwhile exploring the evolution of the subject or observer.
Firstly, everything we experience is through a relationship between subject and object. The subject or observer experiences the object or thing through a process of observation. So there is subject, object, and process of observation.
In early human development and in primitive culture, subjectivity is dominant. We are most closely associated with our inner and sensory experience. We are more reactive and emotionally driven.
As we develop and mature, the sense of individuality becomes increasingly dominant (terrible 2’s through teens) until we tend to associate more with the objects of sense than our inner experience. We are as if absorbed in the world and may pay little attention to how we feel. We seek gain of objects for pleasure, security, and competition. Accomplishments in the world.
With maturity of awareness, we begin to notice a gap in experience. Pleasures are fleeting, there is a sense of something missing. We begin to look within.
With awakening, our association with ego falls away and we become Self, pure subjectivity. The world of objects seems to be separate and falls away in importance. As awakening matures, we clean the windows of perception and awaken from Maya, the illusion of the world.
In Unity, the subject-object relationship collapses into oneness. Subject and object are one and the same thing, moving within Itself. There is simply the process of experiencer experiencing itself.
When this waking process is complete, no illusion or false causality remains. We see the truth of what is and connect with pure intelligence, pure knowledge, Veda.
That is the dawning of true Objectivity. What Adyashanti referred to as the “third side” of the coin. Most scientists would be appalled to even consider the idea that they lack true objectivity and that true objectivity is within pure subjectivity. But that is where truth resides, in the one reality of the liveliness of silent alertness. The worlds greatest teachers have spoken this truth for as long as there has been speaking.