Is the subjective point of view the actual “you”?


(Originally published in QUORA – with slight modifications). Title was provided by them. It would have been more correct to say ‘subject’ or ‘subjectivity’ instead of ‘subjective point of view’, which amounts to circularity or redundancy.

 

QUESTIONER – I think a lot about the mind. I wonder “what part of my consciousness is me, the experiencer?

 I not only march to the beat of a different drum, I make my own drum!

My consciousness is the accumulation of all things that I am.  The subjective part is not a complete representation of the person that I am.

All parts of me influence who I am, how I think, how I react, how I interpret an experience.  No one thing exists entirely separate from all of these things.  To what degree they interact and or influence each other, I cannot say, but I know that my sense of touch is affected by my personal internal workings.  I may feel hot when others do not; my fingertips have lost some degree of sensation so a grain of sand and some of the beads I work with may feel identical, so I use another sense, sight, to determine whether my original (subjective) interpretation is correct.

So, in answer to your actual question “Is the Subjective Point of view the actual “you”? no, not all by itself.

M. Your ‘own drum’: Is that the totality of your bodily and mental/emotional experiences? That is an extremely restrictive field. Are you such a tiny being, encapsulated by the skin of your physical body? Are you not the whole world, and even beyond the world?

W. I’m not sure what my byline has to do with this answer or why you are asking questions about it.  My byline is not a part of my answer at all, so no such thing as a “restrictive field” in regards to making my own drum and drum beat.  All that means is that I am unique, and tend to be a non conformist.
No, I don’t feel I am the whole world, just a small part of it.  Perhaps it is because of my uniqueness that I do not feel that I am anything more than a small part of whole world.

Yes, I suppose I am a tiny being on a very large planet, which is relatively small compared to other planets, in a small solar system at the edge of a medium sized galaxy.  “Medium” would be a subjective guess on my part and not to be quoted as truth.

While I can empathize with the others creatures on this same planet, I can not share their experiences. Empathy does not equal knowledge or experience and does not contribute to the being that is me, rather it is a byproduct of the experiences that I have had.

Does this answer your question?  If not, then I am not understanding what you are asking.

M. Your reply is understandable, and quite normal. The vast majority of people, like you, feel themselves to be unique, and that is correct in so far as they see themselves encapsulated in their own skin, nothing beyond that pertaining to their ‘unique’ beingness. The clue here is what you say in the last but one sentence, but I suggest that your empathy towards other beings indicate at least implicit knowledge and trans-individual experience, which could lead, if cultivated, to a vision of self-transcendence (or non-duality). But, again, most people are not interested in pursuing this possibility, even when they are spiritually inclined – for that, one has to immerse him/herself in a long path of transformation, such as advaita vedanta or some type of Buddhism or esoteric Christianity, Cabbala, Sufism, etc.; or, simply, by introspection and a contemplative attitude. I hope this is clear… only a suggestion.

 

 

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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10 Responses to Is the subjective point of view the actual “you”?

  1. There is no such thing as an objective point of view. All points of view are necessarily subjective by definition.

    • Quite right! There are many people in Quora (many of them students) who cannot write (or even think, evidently) within normal standards of logic and expression. The title was not mine, and I will try to edit it in some way.

  2. What is the relation of what you perceive to what exists?

  3. In pure perception there is no separation or dichotomy subject-object; rather, there is – if we are going to use words – identity with the ‘object’. No thinking (and thus no time) being involved, only feeling which is indescribable (I don’t like using such expressions as ‘wide space’, ‘oceanic feeling’, etc., though they may be adequate). There is only Being, but this is also a word. Clearly, it is what is called mystical experience (or intuitive perception). Ontological realism may not be sympathetic to this view of things, I suspect.

  4. I just answered a question in QUORA (there are other answers):

    Q. ‘Is there really a difference between the observer and the observed? Or does the observed merely arise in consciousness?’

    The distinction observer-observed (subject-object) is merely conceptual. Concepts are a necessity of thought and language and thus extremely useful, even unavoidable – that is, in transactional life.

    To ask whether ‘the observed merely arises in consciousness’ is not well put. Consciousness is what it is (equivalent to ultimate reality): everything arises in consciousness, including the bipolar concept under discussion. One could (awkwardly) say that consciousness – being the only ‘thing’ that exists – is its own object, but it is better said as Ankur Sah does (below): ‘… there is just observation’. Or, even better, ‘there is just observing’.

  5. My secondary PC is faulty, and your last comment on what I wrote on science and spirituality was erased. Agreeing with you, I wanted to say that CP Snow was one of the first to write on that great divide: empirical science vs. humanities. I have noted another divide within, or between, spiritual people: those who value only the ‘experiential’ as against the ‘intellectual’ (“that is only intellectual”), as if understanding a reasoned proposition or philosophical position is trespassing on the hale and holy. I have had debates in Quora on precisely this. The first are after ‘having an experience’ – nothing less than Samadhi, wanting their ego to disappear altogether.

  6. I agree with what you say here. Thanks.

    About one month ago you wrote, “I just answered a question in QUORA (there are other answers):

    Q. ‘Is there really a difference between the observer and the observed? Or does the observed merely arise in consciousness?’

    The distinction observer-observed (subject-object) is merely conceptual. Concepts are a necessity of thought and language and thus extremely useful, even unavoidable – that is, in transactional life.

    To ask whether ‘the observed merely arises in consciousness’ is not well put. Consciousness is what it is (equivalent to ultimate reality): everything arises in consciousness, including the bipolar concept under discussion. One could (awkwardly) say that consciousness – being the only ‘thing’ that exists – is its own object, but it is better said as Ankur Sah does (below): ‘… there is just observation’. Or, even better, ‘there is just observing’.”

    I could not find this in QUORA. Could you please give me a link to this. Thanks.

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