Home Spiritmails
286ste Spiritmail


Saturday September 4 2004 09:11

By Karmayogi

Subjectivity is to understand the world from our point of view. Detaching ourselves from our own understanding, looking at things as they are, is objectivity.

These lofty concepts in philosophy are termed in daily conversation as narrow-minded and broadminded outlooks. In slang, one is called foolish and the other is called clear-headed. An extreme example in life that has become proverbial for subjectivity is one seeing the world through coloured glasses.

An ayurvedic doctor found by experience that his patients would not take the full course of medicines. Ayurvedic medicines are usually bitter. The patient wants the disease to go, but does not want to swallow a bitter pill.

After taking the bitter pill once, the patient feels he has tortured himself. Most patients take two or three doses out of ten, but FEEL concretely that they have taken all the ten pills. The disease partially persists. This doctor was over 60 years of age. As soon as he comes, he will ask someone in the house for the unused packets of medicine.

In one case, the young patient vehemently complained to the doctor that he was not cured, in spite of his taking all the doses of that horrible medicine. The doctor showed him the seven unconsumed packets which spoke for themselves. This is the extent of subjectivity one is capable of.

The earth is flat for our perception. It is often cited as an example of human subjective perception. The sun going around the earth is a classical example of ocular evidence disproved by scientific objective calculation. It may be possible or easy to be objective with material objects, not so easy when we study our feelings, emotions and attitudes.

Youth accepting a new philosophy or religion and embracing it will find that creed is the ultimate TRUTH in the world. It is mental subjectivity. During the days of monarchy, the majority of the population would not bring themselves to think that the king could do any wrong. Some of them would go to the length of saying that by virtue of the king having done a certain thing, it is right.

Modern scholarship has developed objectivity to perfection with respect to FACTS. To a scholar it is an article of faith to present the fact truly. He cannot bring himself to change the fact to suit his argument. Science gave the world this attitude of objectivity. Even those scholars, when they come to pronounce on persons, events, religions, etc., find it difficult to be objective. Khrushchev once said that nations might be neutral, not individuals.

To maintain one's objectivity with respect to other nations, races, religions, and schools of thought is not so easy as with Facts. Centred in the Spirit, it is possible. One major discovery of the Vedantic period is that Reason devoid of sense impressions becomes objective and rises to Intuition.
Contact: info [@] sriaurobindo.nl