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subject/object relationship

justwannabe2010-07-05 00:40:25 +0000 #1
I talked with my teacher about subject/object relationship

I am the subject, my car is the object, I can focus on the car and become obsessed with the car and my life be all about the car, so to a large extent I am the car.

the car cannot focus on me and become me though. I am the subject and it is the object

I am the subject, the money is the object. I can focus on the money and become obsessed with the money and my life be all about the money, so to a large extent I am the money. the money cannot focus on me and become me though. I am the subject and it is the object

I am the subject, fear is the object, I can focus on the fear and become obsessed with the fear and my life be all about the fear, so to a large extent I am the fear.

the fear cannot focus on me and become me though. I am the subject, fear is the object

If I am the subject and my thoughts are objects, what am I?

easy and hard concept at the same time

same for life

Pandara2010-07-05 00:56:48 +0000 #2

Yes, intellectually this seems to be a hard question and the answer is no easy one. However, viewed from a spiritual point of view, it isn't that hard. Yoga teaches that everything is ultimately energy. Therefore your car, money everything around you are energy, some in more denser forms to manifest as paper or metal etc., some in more lighter forms. You yourself is energy and as such are One with all.

So is it possible to become your car for example? Depending on your own spiritual awareness and your intention, yes you can. My car has a life of its own, I bless it everyday and I protect it everyday against accidents and other mishaps on a spiritual level. So my car is more than just a composite of metals, plastic, rubber and oter materials. When in my car I AM One with it and as such derive great joy driving around in it. Some will say it is all in my mind (thoughts/projection) it might be true, but for me it isn't all in my mind, it is very real to be at One with all.
Hubert2010-07-05 01:15:04 +0000 #3
I don't even have a car. I have a licence though. But I rarely drive. When I do, I enjoy it so much, that I am sure it is a sin.
Bentinho Massaro2010-07-05 00:53:15 +0000 #4
Hmm Interesting subject, thanks for sharing seeker.

Pandara, I want to disagree with you on some part. I do not believe we are energy. And I believe that is not exactly what yoga is teaching. But I understand what you mean and yes you, or the mind can experience the oneness of all, yet, depending on whether this is done with the mind, or in the highest level of consciousness, makes alot of difference. According to me, what we are is more mystical, uncomprehensible than energy. Let me try to explain my point of view, however difficult that may turn out to be, so bare with me and let's discuss this matter, cause I find this subject/object thingy highly important as well as interesting and I would like to continue this free-thinking we are doing here:

There is energy, sure, I won't deny that. Everything we see, every object, like you said, is a different manifestation out of, and in, the field of energy.

However, what we are, is not energy: The mind has the power to expand to the point in which it can comprehend the subtlest level of nature (read: Energy). So yes, then the mind is one with all energy, as it is this very energy itself. The mind is a substance, just like the car. Our thoughts are an energy, just like a brick. Mind = Matter.

Then there is something which is of an entirely different order: It is us, it is you, it is me. What are we? I don't believe we are energy, no. Energy is a substance, energy is a thing. Energy is manifested whether it is in a latent and unmanifested state, or in an active state; Energy is energy, it is some-thing. Whereas we are no-thing.

It is difficult to explain this intuition, it is difficult if not impossible, to picture this concept, because picturing a concept is done by the mind and the concept nor the mind can ever be the intuition, the real thing. The mind can never comprehend the true. But you could try to picture the difference between energy and consicousness, or in yogic terms: Prakriti and Purusha like this:

Just picture our world, our earth as you know it, with all the objects, mountains, houses, cars, bodies, different layers of earth, etc: Now also picture the sky surrounding the earth, the air and realize that this very air is still matter, it is energy. It may be subtler than a brick, than your car, it may be invisible to the physical eye alone, but it is there, it exists, it is some-thing; It is Prakriti. All of this is energy.

Then try to picture consciousness: This may be the most ridiculous question one can ever ask another: "can you picture consciousness for me please?" nothing is more impossible than that, however, I would like you to try it anyway . Just create a mental concept that reflects consciousness. Even though it will never be consciousness, a mental concept can resemble its qualities and such to some degree and hence opening or cultivating a certain intuition or wisdom about the true object of the concept.

Consciousness is none of all that you just pictured in your mind, the world and all, all of that was matter; energy. But then there is an awareness of that matter, it is not as subtle as the sky or as subtle as the space, nor is it subtler than those, because if it would be subtler, it would mean it is something. Consciousness is something beyond gross and subtle energies. It is somehting entirely different in nature, because unlike energy, consciousness has no nature; it is no-thing.

Consciousness/awareness seems to position itself in, or on, or around the matter in our world as it is aware of a certain area filled with energy. The energy is not the consicousness; consciousness is the very process of awareness, of witnessing. The very process of witnessing = awareness. This awareness is free to go anywhere in time-space and free to expand and shrink to any size/form/formless-state in time/space, it can travel all dimensions and all possible forms of energy simultaneously. Energy is bounded by rules, depending on the density of the energy, the rules that apply to that manifested form differs. However, that some-thing, or rather that no-thing that is aware of that particular place in time/space continuüm, is present there, yet it is no energy. Consciousness does not surround or inhabit the energy or matter, for it would have to be a substance in order to do that. Instead: energy resides in the awareness. Awareness is the container holding all the cargo, it is not just a subtler form of cargo surrounding and penetrating the other forms of denser cargo. Awareness is free from that, it is no-thing, it is the spaceless 'space' in which the cargo resides, moves, develops, evolves, etc.

Like a video camera recording a piece of scenery, a part of nature, matter, for example: a car. In this example Consciousness is not the car, it is not the camera, but it is the field of perception in which the recording and perceiving takes place; the process of perception = the awareness. It is nothing, it is not bound by anything, it can change the way it is aware of energy at anytime. You can choose to become aware of the energy under your but, that we call a chair. At this point, the chair is in consciousness. You can choose to immediately jump over to president bush and become aware of him, and at that point, Bush is in your 'field' of consciousness and forms the content of your process of witnessing, yet there is no field in this process, just the awareness of energy.

Realizing the difference between Purusha and nature, is the highest form of discrimination. It is the Purusha that can move freely in and out of form through all deminsions in all time/space continuüms, or comprehend it allin one. It is absolutely free as it is awaren of the bounded energy that resides in consciousness. It is suggested by the science of yoga that we all realize this difference to the utmost: to the very end of nature we should go, realizing that it was us that went there, so we can see clearly that we can never be whatever it is we find there or anywhere else.

This is the best I can explain my view on this challenging subject for now.

Love & light,

Lars Rimböck2010-07-05 01:24:59 +0000 #5
I would agree with Pandara that finaly we are energy.

Rig Veda says: Prajanam Brahma - Conciousness is Brahman.

Sama Veda says: Tat Twam asi - That thou art.

Atharva Veda says: Ayam Atma Brahma - This self is Brahman.

Yayur Veda says: Aham Brahma Asmi - I am Brahman.

In those text it is pointed out clearly that we all are Brahman.

Superficially it may look like the prakriti and the purusa are seperated but finaly all is energy all is one.



__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___

Patanjali Yoga Schule Münster:
Bentinho Massaro2010-07-05 02:15:31 +0000 #6

In those text it is pointed out clearly that we all are Brahman.

Superficially it may look like the prakriti and the purusa are seperated but finaly all is energy all is one.

All is one: I agree, We are Brahman: I agree, all is energy: I disagree. I believe Energy is the superficial expression of brahman. Energy is nature, and brahman is the ultimate which has no shape, no form, is not even the unmanifested state of energy. It is freedom, consciousness, un-nameable, indefinable, infinite.

Energy is always finite, it has to be. Anything that is some-thing, has an end to itself, even energy. Only that which stands beyond all creation (Brahman; Pure Unity Consciousness) is endless and infinite. Energy and brahman are one, because all of creation (read: all energy) - from the grossest forms to the subtlest qualities - reside within Brahman, however: brahman itself is not energy, energy exists within Brahman as it takes on millions of forms and densities. Brahman itself is not this energy, it is nothing, it is; both are one, but not the same.

This irony and contradictionary issue of unity versus duality goes hand in hand all the way till we reach the final nature of ourselves. The irony is, IMO, that only once we realize the difference between ourselves and all of nature, will we be in union, because the the realization of the difference between brahman (which is the essence of purusha) and energy (Prakriti) creates unity because only in energy does duality exist. Therefore, the experience of union comes only when we transcend energy (prakriti).

Yoga sutras 2.18 to 2.26:

The objective world has the nature of illumination, activity, and stability (gunas), and comprises the physical elements as well as the senses. Its purpose is for the sake of experience and the liberation of the experiencer.
The four aspects of Nature are gross (or general), subtle (or specialized), the once resolvable (or primal) and the irresolvable (or unevolved).
The Seer (Purusha), although pure consciousness only, sees through the senses and mind which becomes colored by the object.
The visible universe exists for the sake of the Seer.
Although the visible universe has ceased to exist for those who have achieved enlightenment, it still exists because it is common to all other experiencers.
The relationship between the Seer and Nature (Prakriti) is that of the owner and the owned, and this causes identification of the Self and not-Self.
The cause of that identification is ignorance.
When this ignorance is absent the identification is also removed, and the Seer attains absolute freedom (kaivalya).
This ignorance (and consequent identification) is removed by unwavering discriminative knowledge of the Seer and Nature.
Yoga means union, yet the entire practice is about realizing the difference in nature between that of Prakriti and consciousness. Union, unity, it is there, all is one, yet there is a difference in expression. One is the source (Brahman), another is the expression (Prakriti/Nature/Energy). The expression is one with the source, yet the source is not the expression.
Pandara2010-07-05 01:36:42 +0000 #7
Hi Bentinho,

Thanks for the insight that you shared with us, I agree on some parts of it as well, perhaps I simplified my answer too much initially. And yes yoga teaches many things and I appreciate your kind response in this regard. This is how we all learn, from each other.
justwannabe2010-07-05 03:04:56 +0000 #8
bentinho, can you simplify your answer please?

it is a lot to digest and may take a life time, or many lifetimes, I am not sure.

I read your post but have I experienced what you write about, not sure. thanks for your response

Pandara2010-07-05 03:39:55 +0000 #9
Hi Bentinho,

I must say after re-reading your posts (and again thank you for the profound insight, knowledge and wisdom you shared it made me think for a long while and I enjoyed it), I would like to add the following. On a mundane (read also maja) level we are energy, everything is energy, it is a fact from which we cannot escape. This is the simple and easy explanation, because I think language in general lacks the necessary vocabulary to really explain the more subtle forms, that which you refer to and perhaps that is how it should be. I will try to explain.

As I can see auras and pick up on energy I usually experience energy on a very intimate level, no matter from whom or what it comes (and I might use the wrong words here as English is not my first language, thus bear with me). But, in my dreams and when I do ceremonial tantra I do not experience energy, what I experience and pick up on is perhaps what you refer to in your post. I don't know how to describe it, but I just know it is not energy, and for a lack of a better word I will use the word "essence" here. It is also interesting that I AM not one with these "essences" it seems to be impossible to be One with them/it. Whereas with energy it is so easy to become One.

To explain, it is like electricity. We cannot see the electricity running through a cable to the socket in the wall, but we trust that the socket in the wall will give us energy when we plug an appliance into it. So the socket in the wall respresents energy to us although we cannot see it. There is an unseen part behind it, the electricity, which we cannot see, but we trust it is there. I hope this makes sense to you. It is the same with "energy" for me, there is the seen and unseen part of it.

So for me to a great extend, everything is energy, because that is what I also see, when I look at a person or a plant, or my car, I see an energy around them, therefore for me personally I AM more ready to belief that all is energy as it is so easy to become One with these energies around people and inanimate things.

My own conclusion over the years is: there are different levels of "energy" (and I use energy here very cautiously) and as I have said in my initial post, depending on your own evulotion and where you are, you can experience energy in a certain way. Are there forms/manifestations of non-energy, yes there are and that is what I call "essence". Can we experience "essence", again yes, depending on where you are.

To come back to the original post which started this thread, personally for me there is no subject/object relationship, All is just One. Again this a personal experience and it might be different for each person. I like this post, it takes a beautiful direction.
Bentinho Massaro2010-07-05 02:22:08 +0000 #10

bentinho, can you simplify your answer please? it is a lot to digest and may take a life time, or many lifetimes, I am not sure.

I read your post but have I experienced what you write about, not sure. thanks for your response


Hm, I can simplify it I guess. It will not be is fewer words, but it will be explained from a different angle, more structured step-by-step wise perhaps. At least, I can try :

H20 is water. Whether the form is manifested in solid (ice), liquid (water) or gas, it remains H20. Ice is more gross, more concrete than liquid H20. And Gas from H20 is even more subtler than the liquid form. This is a simple analogy for a delicate and much more complex process that is inherent in Nature. In energy. So I agree with you Pandara: there are different levels to energy. But don't stop here, many do so, let me try to explain.

Note: When I use 'Nature' with a capital, I refer to all that is created in this universe, or better yet: I refer to the entire universe. All forms of energy, whether dense, or subtle, all energy belongs to Nature.

Basically, what it comes down to, is that all of our universe exists of forms, energy in different forms: The grosser, more concrete, more solid and obvious forms are those of physical matter. Then there are the forms that exist within the astral level of vibrations. For example the auras we see around people, like Pandara described. These forms are still forms of energy: manifested patterns of energy. Even though they are subtler, less concrete, less solid and less obvious than those of the physical level, they are there and they are forms of energy. They are created, they are manifested somehow. And not to forget that therefore: they are bound by rules that are less concrete than the physical rules, however, they still have to follow nature's laws. They are limited because they are forms, they are energy, they are manifestations. These can never be free.

Then there are even subtler forms, those of the causal and buddhic level for example, as yoga classifies them: These forms of energy are even subtler and they are invisible to most of us, even to the aura-viewers. They are not dense, I am not even sure if they can be seen in the way I can see auras, it works a bit different here, but fact is, these forms are there and they are less concrete, less manifested even, than those of the astral and physical plain.

Then there is the subtlest state of energy, which has no specific form: it is the unmanifested state of energy, it is like a formless field out of which all other forms and less subtle levels manifest from.


To simplify it by using a 2-3D analogy: Like a cloath lying flat on the surface of the table: This cloath, when flat, represents that field; the unmanifested state of nature; the unmanifested and indefinable state of energy. This cloath, when flat on the table, has no specific form, has no manifestation as you might imagine, it just lies there latent, or at least unmanifested.

However if you use your thumb and indexfinger and grap yourself a bit of cloath in between your two fingers and pull the cloath up abit on that specific place, suddenly you have created a mountain like shape in the cloath, do you follow?

Now suddenly, the unmanifested field of energy has manifested into a form and suddenly there is an indication of space. The mountain-shaped form is more dense, more obvious and more concrete than the field that was flat and unmanifested. The higher you go from the base of this mountain-shaped form, the more gross and more concrete the form becomes.

When you relate this analogy to our universe, to Nature; you will see how the cloath that lies flat on the table is the unmanifested state of energy. The purest state of Nature. The base of the mountain could represent for example the very subtle and non-concrete, non-obvious forms of the buddic and causal levels. Then halfway up the mountain-shaped form in the cloath, we encounter the more concrete, yet still subtle when compared to the physical, forms of the astral level. Then when we reach the top of the mountain-shaped form of the cloath, there is an obvious end to the form, the form has reached its peak in the process of manifesting outward into form. It is now very solid, very concrete, very much definable. We can now start to name each different peak because they are very distinguishable.


Now let's return to my point in this discussion: When we look again at the most essential state of energy, the latent, unmanifested state, this state is often considered to be the ultimate level, the level of God. I say that is a huge missassumption and one of many reasons why this path takes so long, even for the advanced yogis. Thinking this is God comes from a deluded mind IMO and that's no shame because it is a very understandable misassumption. This is all my view I am sharing btw, no offense to anyone here .

This state of nature, this deepest, purest state of energy, is the very foundation of all forms that are created: It is the ground that consciousness uses to built houses and trees from. It is the very essence of energy. However!, and here is the trickiest part of the entire quest for truth: this very energy, is not god, is not consciousness, is not our final state. Consciousness uses this state to form and shape energy, but if consciousness uses this state, then you must see there is a distinction in nature between consicousness and this most fundamental level of energy, because consciousness is using this energy like a tool. And as you know by now, we are never the tool, we are never the observed, we are never the created, we are never the seen; we are the creator, we are the seer, we are the one using the tool. Consciousness is free even from this state of energy. Hence I must conclude for myself that consciousness, God, Brahman, is no energy, for energy is created.


In the light of our previous example with the cloath: Where The most fundametal level of energy is the cloath lying flat on the table operating as the basic ground to manifest and recreate our universe from, Consciousness is the hand making the shapes and forming the cloath.

On a side note: Whether consciousness creates a form or not, whether consicousness is busy with creating or not, whether consciousness incarnates into form, comprehends just one, or all forms in its awareness simultaneously, or not... it does not make any difference; Consciousness will never be creation, it will never be the cloath.

Thinking we are the cloath, is avidya; ignorance. Realizing the distinction between consciousness (the hand) and Nature (the cloath) is moksha; liberation.


Now Consciousness can be making the shapes or it can choose not to, both ways, it is free from any state of energy whatsoever. It is the mystical, undefinable, uncatchable and unexplainable no-thing that is free and infinite for it has no state and it has no form. It has no source, it is free in itself. Does it make any sense?

What I believe has happened, and what the science of Yoga is telling us:, explained very bluntly, is that consciousness (the hand) got too caught up with creating and playing with these forms to the point of incarnating in one of them and being blinded by his own creation. The hand is now buried under the cloath! Our quest lies in realizing that we are the hand. We are not the physical body, we are not the astral body, we are not the buddic soul even, we are not the mind and we are not that oneness state of nature. We are God, we are the hand. We are consciousness, free even from the very purest state of energy, which is still a cloath in itself. We created that cloath, but we will never be it, even though all forms and non-forms are one. They are one because they exist in us, in our consciousness. And Consciousness is One.

I did my best, hope this clarifies my view a tad,

Love and Luck,

Hubert2010-07-05 04:03:05 +0000 #11
Nice thread. I agree with Bentinho's philosophical point of view, I mean I can relate to it mentally. But I feel that it is all reduction, and so it is not too inspiring.

My mind cannot be satisfied, but my heart can. I long for knowledge, but I do not believe that the higher we go, the more impersonal and emotionless we become, on the contrary. Perhaps I am wrong (it would not be the first case) but when I long for knowledge, I long for something higher, to be more, and not less. I am not satisfied with what I think I am now ... even though I accept myself. I want to go "so deep that the mountains gonna weep", as Leonard Cohen says. But perhaps this is just gratification of certain emotions.

The more I visit and post this forum, the more like a fool I feel ... but strangley, I do not mind it as I would do it before.
Pandara2010-07-05 05:54:01 +0000 #12
Hi Bentinho,

Thanks, I fully agree with you and I like your analogy of the hand, simple explanation but great wisdom behind it.

Dear Hubert, unfortunately I think language has the ability sometimes to reduce concepts as there is sometimes not sufficient/adequate words to always describe what we experience and perceive. I am limited by knowledge and command of English as it is not my first language, but we can try.

Om Namste
Bentinho Massaro2010-07-05 04:08:11 +0000 #13
Analogies are reductions, simplifiers, concepts resembling the real thing. At least trying to reflect the real thing. IMO language is an obstacle. It is not an obstacle at times if we want to explain something, it is an obstacle, period. 50% of the mind has become language, we can hardly live without the constant voice, the constant language. In my meditations even, I have experienced language as a real barrier. Everytime I got to the point of reaching something new, of transcending something, suddenly the experience starts to deteriorate because my mind wants to name the state I am entering. Then the real thing reduces as it is no longer the real thing, before you know it, it has become a mental concept with a language label on it, a name.

Knowledge, language, they are both barriers in my experience.

Nevertheless, I think this was/is a good discussion. Thanks for sharing and listening/reading.





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