Sunday, July 03, 2005

Subjectivity and Objectivity


The roles of subjective and objective views are balanced in the spiritual life. The most that we can positively know, through personal feelings and observations, is all "subjective." The "objective" is reducible to a consensus of subjective views of the cosmos.

The mystical view of the cosmos is that it is a world of Mind. In this sense, every experience is ultimately subjective. But, with the reality of the collective Unconscious, human beings have developed an "objective" collection of views and data over the millennia, which we call the "scientific" perspective.

Some simply deny and drop this, in the metaphysical community, as if it has no value. The mystic avoids such extremisms. When she examines her philosophy, she makes absolutely certain that it is in harmony with two factors: Love and reason. The second is largely "objective." She does not build a perspective in mental or subjective isolation. Instead, it is her Way to "compare notes" with others, so that she does not get lost in a purely subjective understanding of the cosmos.

This objectification of spirituality keeps her on the moderate course. It prevents her from falling into falsehoods or delusional, or attractive, dreams.

The Greek word aleithia means both "truth" and "reality." The mystic seeks truth, and emphasizes truth. For this reason, she does not adopt every cockeyed scheme that comes along. She defends the right to withold judgment about any number of concepts, some of which are very popular among "new age" or "metaphysical" types.

As an example, people are always convincing themselves that they are "channeling" other (often higher) extraterrestrial or extradimensional beings. Many mystics do not buy into this pop "pneumobabble." Why? Because there is not a shred or particle of objective evidence that anything real is occuring. There is no good evidence that these "channelers" are not simply delusional. This is a perfect example of the imbalance and extremism that can occur when your spirituality becomes only subjective, when you completely abandon objectivity.

The mystic is an ultimate realist. She is on the opposite end of the spectrum from wishful fantasizers or dreamers. She has, and respects, dreams, of course, but, in the construction of her philosophy, wants to create as solid a core of objectivity as possible. The use of Love and reason as her criteria constitutes an analog, for the mystic, of the "scientific method."

In science, as in metaphysics, historically, some absurd ideas were held to be "truth." But because it uses replicable experimentation and clear observation as its criteria, science is better at explaining many natural processes than is metaphysics, which is both freer and more speculative.

So, the mystic also avoids the other extreme of using only "objectivity" as the basis of her thinking. For this leads, at the present primitive state of our science, to only dead-end materialism. (Science is not yet mature enough to explore and explain the great mysteries of Mind and spirituality.)

So, caught in her own subjective cosmos, the mystic nevertheless respects and consults objective views before embracing an idea or concept, even though she is not dominated by the "objectivity" of a view.

No comments: