Subject and Object: The Principle of Distinction and Inseparability

The Harmonizer (2010)
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One of the most important instances of distinct but inseparable entities is that of subject and object. When we carefully think about them, we realize that one term implies the other. In other words, a subject cannot possibly exist without a corresponding object otherwise we would never be able to talk about “subject.” In a similar way, an object can only be called an object because it is in relation to a subject. All opposites will in fact exhibit this same interdependence when we carefully think about them. For example, we could not speak of “blindness” if there were no one who could see. The word “blind” would never have any reason for its existence unless someone had the ability to see. Light and darkness, sleep and waking, day and night, etc. all such terms have meaning only in relation to their opposition to one another. Thus we conclude that this opposition is essential to the existence of either term. We can look at existence as a polar reality or polarity. One side rises or falls with the other. There is no possible way that one side can exist without the other.

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Bhakti Madhava Puri, Ph. D.
Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science


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