Real objectivity is disappearance of the subject, and hence freedom from the object || Acharya Prashant (2015)

To personally meet or connect with Acharya Prashant: click here.


(Speaker is taking up questions from the audience)

Speaker: Sushmita asks, “What does it mean to look at anything, or anyone, afresh? Memories, inkling, or a very basic thought, always persists”.

Dhirendra says, “Sir, you said that look at everything and everybody as if it is for the first time. How is it possible? How can one erase the memories?”

See, whenever something is said in words, try to pay attention to that, which cannot really be expressed in language, but which is the whole target of communication. So, because of deficiency of words, because of the necessities of communication, one will have to use words like ‘first time’, ‘afresh’ and such words.

When I say, “Whenever you look at somebody, or something, look as if you are looking the first time,” do not take this word ‘first’ too seriously. Because where there is ‘first’, there is also the second, the third, the fourth, and so on.

All that is meant by saying, “Look at the person as if looking for the first time,” is that you look from a point where you are not a slave of your own changing perceptions. You are listening to me. All your listening will get modified, if at this moment, somebody tells you a few statements about me.

He may come and say a few things, and you will find that your listening has changed, because the ‘person’ that you are, and the ears of that ‘person’ are composed of a thousand external effects. As soon as those effects change, that ‘person’ changes, and the ‘person’s’ listening changes. Now you will listen, what your mood will tell you to listen. You will listen, what your opinions will tell you to listen.

Can you look at a person from a point, where there are no influences upon you, and hence no numbers are relevant? First, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, tenth, all these refer to counting something, right? What is it that is being counted? Nothing, but your experiences, and hence the influences.

Can you look at the world, not as ‘the world’? Because if ‘the world’ is looking at the world, then just a very random combination of diverse influences, a very accidental, perchance combination of diverse influences, is looking at the world. And what will it see? Nothing, general randomness, not the Truth. Not at all the Truth.

Can I look at the world, while not being ‘of’ the world? Can I look at the world, while not taking an identity given ‘by’ the world? Can I look at the world, somewhat like an outsider to the world? This is what is meant by – looking at something, or someone, for the first time. This has no relationship at all, with the deletion of memories. That is an impractical and stupid thing to say. No one wants you to delete memories. And it cannot be done – even if you try.

So the entire game is going on. Can you look at the game, not as the player in the game, but as somebody who is standing just outside the arena? And remember, that does not preclude you from participating in the game. You are participating in the game, very much participating in the game. But at the same time, parallely, is it possible to look at the game, really objectively?

Do you know what ‘real objectivity’ is? Real objectivity is when the subject and the object are one.

Usually, people lack objectivity. What do they do? They bring their subjective biases, whenever they are looking at an object. Hence, people talk of objectivity, as a virtue. They say, “One should be objective.” And what do people mean when they say, “Somebody should be objective”?  What they mean is – do not bring in your subjective perceptions and biases.

Slide1But the fact is, as long as the subject is there, his prejudices and biases will be there. So what then is ‘pure objectivity’? ‘Pure objectivity’ is when the subject has disappeared. And when the subject has disappeared, the object too has disappeared. So, ‘pure objectivity’ is, the disappearance of the object.

Can you be ‘purely objective’? That is what is meant by – looking at somebody afresh. Can you look ‘at’ a person, but not ‘as’ a person? That is what is meant by – looking at somebody afresh. Can you look ‘at’ the world, but not ‘as’ the world?

Are you getting it?

Because if you are a ‘person’, looking at another ‘person’, this this ‘person’ is surely composed of the influences of the other ‘person’, and the rest of the world.

Now it is not possible to know, anything.


~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.

Watch the session at: Prashant Tripathi:Real objectivity is disappearance of the subject,and hence freedom from the object

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