subject and object are one
A selection of quotes from the writings of Wei Wu Wei.
The eye that sees, the ear that hears, the tongue that tastes are only apparatus, but the I that sees, hears and tastes is Reality. We only need to realize that and the first perception becomes satori.
All concepts are dualistic. Therefore in order to transcend dualism (the opposites and complementaries) we must transcend concepts. That is known as direct cognition.
– Fingers Pointing Towards the Moon
Everything we perceive is only an interpretation in a dualistic, temporal and formal framework, of a suchness, a reality which we are unable to know. Were we able to know the reality of anything at all, we may surmise that it could only appear to us as something such as a mathematical or algebraic symbol.
In the Wan Ling Record, Huang Po says textually: ‘A perception, sudden as blinking, that subject and object are one, will lead to a deeply mysterious wordless understanding; and by this understanding will you awake to the truth of Zen.’
Evidently in our consciousness, dualistically divided, we know ourselves as subject and object, as positive and negative, as yang and yin (as the Chinese put it), and since we are unable to be conscious of more than one thought at a time we have to recognise these dual aspects of ourselves consecutively, and can never recognise them together, which indeed is the mechanism of duality. Yet Huang Po tells us that they are not divided in reality, that they are one, and that to realise that unity in an intuition – since we are unable to realise it as a concept – is to realise our reality.
How simple it appears!
Perhaps it is? What, in fact, is hindering us from experiencing this essential intuition? Surely just the concept whereby we think of our objective aspect as subject? That is an erroneous identification, for subject and object are one but object is not subject when experienced dualistically, and that error is responsible for the notion of an ‘ego’ which all the Masters told us does not exist.
Subject and object, positive and negative, can have no independent existence; when one appears both are present: therefore they are one whole thing in reality. Are we the obverse or reverse of a coin, the effigy of the sovereign or the symbols of sovereignty, ‘heads’ or ‘tails’, ‘subject’ or ‘objects’? We are the coin itself – nothing else in the reality of this image; in its dual aspect we appear as both sovereign and symbols, but our reality is just gold.
As subject I speak, look, listen, as subject I am action – but that which seems to do it is object.
– Why Lazarus Laughed: The Essential Doctrine Zen-Advaita-Tantra
Of every direct perception, however luminous it may be, we should know that
to the majority of the readers of its expression it will appear nonsensical,
to a minority a mystery,
and to a very few a faint reflection of a luminosity that glimmers within themselves.
For it is the nature of such expression to appear impenetrable
to the deductions of the objectivising mind.
– Open Secret
Every sound, and all forms of sense-perception, can lead us directly back to our source, as every shadow to its substance, which is the immutable wholeness of mind… The Buddha is recorded as having stated, regarding the six sense-perceptions, that while by their misuse they are the chief hindrance to our recognition of integrality (or whole-mind), they are at the same time our most direct means whereby such recognition of integrality may be recovered. He also stated that whereas all six senses are of equal value in these respects and that the apprehension of what any one of the six is reveals what all are, one – that of hearing – may be more suitable for a given phenomenal individual.
– Posthumous Pieces
Reality? An object is ‘sensed’, i.e. a perception occurs in mind: the notion of an object arises in mind, produced by stimulus and obtaining body from memory. Such is the genesis of a thought.
Then this impression is repeated again and again with incalculable rapidity until the impression assumes ‘form’ and is cognized as a ‘table’ or a ‘star’. Each of these repetitions is a separate quanta, and the object is composed of these quanta, and so is built-up as a supposedly material unit. Such is the ‘reality’ of the object, and its dimensions, shape and distance are judged by these quanta, the quanta being attributed to the light by which the object is perceived, whereas they lie exclusively in the perceiving mind.
All light being presumed quanta, all distance is presumed quanta, and all velocity, and all are only in the observing mind. All, therefore, depend upon succession, the sequence of time, which itself is nothing but seriality – the repetition of quanta.
– Posthumous Pieces