Let’s go from ‘Sight’ to ‘Subject’.
‘Subject’ is the idea closest to me. It is me. It’s ridiculous to doubt it, of course. But just to be sure we are going to take a closer look.
With ‘Subject’, it’s not just ‘Seeing’; it’s any sensory relationship.
I can’t see the source of my seeing, I can’t hear the source of my hearing, taste the source of my tasting… In general, I can’t have any sensory relationship with my sensory source.
It’s not just sensory relationships. It’s any and all relationships.
I cannot have any kind of cognitive relationship with my cognitive source; affective relationship with my affective source.; volitional relationship with my volitional source. And so on.
I can’t have any true relationship with ‘Me’. Any relationship I have can only be with an idea of ‘Me’ in a ‘confounding of Object as Subject’. All markings of Subject are through, and only through, Object. This is the Axiom of ‘Self’.
The Object confounded as Subject could be direct or inferred, extrapolated or truncated, clear or contorted, explicit and verbalized or implicit and muted. Look in the basement. Check the attic. It’s a learned acquired skill to find the fellow.
This is the basic principle. In delicious irony, ‘I cannot say anything honest about myself’ is the only honest thing I can say about myself. [Is that a Self-Negating Expression sneaking by?]
The historical evolution is marked in three stages: The Axioms of Sight, the Axioms of Subject and finally, Shūnyam.
I cannot have any kind of relationship, sensory, cognitive, affective or volitional with ‘True Nothing’. Any relationship I have can only be with the Concept of Nothing, the idea of Absence, the ‘Confounding of Something as Nothing’ [as in -1<0<+1; see the numerous examples].
‘True Nothing’ says: ‘You cannot see me, smell me, love me or hate me, grasp me or recoil from me. You cannot think of me, appraise me, perceive me, comprehend me or remember me, give me features or properties or tendencies, foist names, attributes, aspects. qualities…
The way, only way, to get to me is by the procedure of the Self-Negating Expression. The systematic sawing-off of the tree branch you are sitting on.’
Identifying and investigating every possible confounding of ‘Object as Subject’ is both laborious and very slippery. But identifying and investigating every possible confounding of a ‘Something as Nothing’ is straightforward, unambiguous. The risk of error is hugely reduced.
It is ridiculously simple to lay-out and extraordinarily difficult to effect. All you need to do is systematically keep rejecting every ‘Something’, keep stepping back, until you get to ‘True Nothing.
The Vedanthins proposed a very intuitive relationship: scuttle your Modeled-Self and arrive at ‘True Self’. So why didn’t their understanding converge?
As is common in such short-stops, the Vedanthic notion of the ‘True Self’ was itself little more than an exalted, deified extension of the Modeled-Self [‘True Self’ was ‘lost’ and had to be ‘Found’; the World was ‘illusory’, even inherently ‘Deceitful’ and so on. See the later Posts on the Tradition.]