Friday, July 7, 2017

Honor Your Subjective Experience

We live in a reality that is, above all, a subjective experience. Sure, there may be objective truths which we all agree upon, yet still these objective truths are observed through a conglomeration of subjective points of view. You are you, I am me, and though the awareness which is the essence of your experience and my experience may be the same, the experience itself varies greatly. No matter how often spiritual teachers preach about oneness and unity, there is no escaping the relative truth of this Universe; it is, for all intents and purposes, a subjective experience.

Subjectivity is a beautiful thing. It results in uniqueness, nuance and variation. It gives rise to an infinite expanse of experiences for one to behold. Were there only one point of perspective in this Universe, there really couldn’t be any experience at all. The same way that there is really no time, space, or movement until two points arise, if there were only a single point of focus, nothing could really happen. There would be no experience, no contrast, no varying sensations and perceptions: there would simply be the isness of I, the only I there is. The I must fragment itself into multiplicity for experiences to arise.

The problem with subjectivity begins when you believe that everyone is experiencing what you are experiencing, and that everyone should know how you feel and what you are thinking at all times. It’s almost like a covert narcissism. You, being the center of your own Universe, believe that everyone around you should cater to your experience, that they should hold your subjectivity above all else, and that you should be the center of their Universe. But this is not the case. So when people do things that make you feel bad, instead of establishing healthy boundaries and being honest about the way you feel, you just expect them to know that they are making you feel bad and to stop what they are doing.

The divine source of this narcissistic and self-absorbed tendency arises from the truth that, in essence, we are all one. We all share the same basic nature which is the awareness or consciousness that experiences our own subjective reality. This universal awareness is what unites us beyond our apparent surface level differences. Yet we still must honor the subjective nature of this Universe, though true only relatively, and we must be authentic with our thoughts and feelings and establish healthy boundaries.

Too often we can get caught up in catering to someone else’s agenda because we wish to help and we wish to experience the love and belonging that comes along with helping others. But many times helping doesn’t actually feel good to us. It feels like self-hate. This is why you must honor your own subjectivity, you must hold tightly to your own personal truth, and you must even be willing to risk others not liking or accepting you in order to honor your own personal feelings and desires. Because nothing is more important than how you feel.

Everything we do is either consciously or unconsciously intended to make us feel better, so why not go straight to the better feeling instead of beating around the bush? Why sacrifice the way you feel now for some hypothetical better-feeling future that never comes? You must honor your subjective experience and do what is best for you. No one can and no one will do this for you. You must do this for yourself. Do what you know is right, and as Shakespeare once said, always “ To thine own self be true.”

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