Excerpt About Duality

Subject and Object are Two that are Always Together

One characteristic of dualistic perception is that it contains traces of nonduality. The separateness of subject and object is never total. What I mean is that you never find a subject by itself. A subject always implies an object. And conversely, you can never only have an object; there is always the experiencer of the object. There cannot be an other without somebody saying, “This is an other.” So, in dual experience, there is no experience of a self or a subject by itself, and there is no experience of an other or an object by itself. Subject and object, although distinct, always arise as a unit; they are always connected to each other somehow. This is a mysterious sort of perception that most of us, when we are experiencing from the conventional view, never even consider. If you are alone in your bedroom, you might notice that you are all by yourself, which is true in a sense, but you are not simply alone as a subject. You are the subject, but your object has shifted from being somebody else to being your bed or being your feeling of aloneness. As we recognize and explore this, we see that a central feature of the relationship of subject and object is not that they are two, but that they are two that are always together, two that never leave each other, two that are part of one. They are intrinsically wedded to each other. Why is this so? How come we never find a sole object or a sole subject? These are good questions. This does not mean that it is not possible, only that it is not possible in dualistic experience. In dualistic experience, object and subject go together, the other and the self go together. If we simply inquire into that, we realize that in every perception, there is always the object and the subject arising together. If we can leave aside our opinions and ideas, if we can think of it as neither good nor bad, if we can be liberated from associations, from spiritual jargon, from the past, from all other influences, we can purely perceive that subject and object arise together.

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