Subject and Object

The shift in perspective of taking what was the subject of the action and turning it into an object for our reflection and consideration is at the core of all developmental shifts. Let us look at the shift from 1° to 2°.

At 1° I am my experience. I am hungry. I am happy. I am tired.

At 2° [Personal-material: choice] I am someone who is having experience. I am one who is experiencing hunger, happiness or fatigue. Further, I am one who can make choices which will impact my hunger, happiness or fatigue. What was subject at 1° becomes the object of the consideration of 2°.  At 2° I am one who is making choices in my life which are creating outcomes.

But as I move to 3° [Interpersonal-relational: experience] I reflect on how those choices impact those around me. I transform from just being one who makes choices to one whose choices arise in the context of a set of cultural expectations. What was the subjective experience of being the one who chooses becomes the object of the attention of who I am at 3°. Are my actions consistent with the social expectations in which I live? Am I someone who has honor?

But as I try to remain honorable, that is, as I try to conform to the dictates of the cultural milieu in which I reside, I find that I cannot consistently do that and still meet the demands of my own personal experience. As we saw with Anne and her daughter discussing sex, sometimes we have to step back from the immediate rules we have set for ourselves and discover a more inclusive and comprehensive way of being.

It is this action of stepping back and looking at the current circumstances that is the core of what we have to do to effect our own transformation. So as Joe gets up from his chair in front of the TV and walks into the other room where Jane and Jack are engaging each other, he must attend to each of these parts arising in him from the perspective of his Self, not from the perspective of the parts themselves.

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