On the Subject of Objects
Continuing with our discussion of the bifurcation of reality into subject and object, the reason why the subject may know -- and the object may be known -- is that they descend from a Oneness that is anterior to them. If this were not the case, then there would be no possibility of real knowledge, or truth, or cosmic intercourse.
A critical point is that we begin with the idea that the world is true because created, and that it in-forms the subject for the very reason that it is an ex-form of the Cosmic Subject who bears the objects within. This is very much in contrast to Eastern religions that regard the world as maya, or something from which we must escape (which in itself is a misunderstanding of the maya principle, since maya is real and even necessary on its own plane, just not the "ultimate Real").
Nevertheless, the human subject is not nothing -- as if its only function is to be a mirror of the object world. Rather, as Schuon points out, "it bears the element object within itself, in the sense that pure subjectivity potentially contains the metaphysical essence of the knowable."
This is reminiscent of the idea that God is not in the cosmos, but vice versa. Being that we are mirrorcles of the Absolute, we can equally say that we are not in the cosmos, but vice versa, hence, the possibility of the actualization of real knowledge. In other words, the soul is not in the cosmos, but vice versa.
Furthermore, no object is merely an object, or it couldn't properly exist (for it would be like an outside with no inside). Rather, every object -- if it is an object -- has the potential to be known by a subject. In other words, to say that there could be objects that cannot be known is an absurdity. An object is by definition "on the way to" knowledge, like an arrow shot toward the subject who "completes" it in slackful contemplation.
Now, subjectivity comes to us in two modes, one unconscious, the other conscious, which is to say Life and Mind, respectively. Life itself tends toward conscious mind, while the conscious mind obviously has deep roots in unconscious life. One can draw no fundamental line between life and mind, at least for embodied humans (angelic beings are another matter).
This is another dialectic, or complementarity, that prevents consciousness from coagulating into the dead letter of rationalism. Rather, consciousness is always nourished by waters from above and below, which is why man is "condemned to transcendence." Thank God reality is what it is, on the one hand, but always more, on the other!
Schuon points out that the word "objectivity" has moral connotations, which is entirely appropriate, since it is really another way of saying "truth." To know truth we must be objective, impartial, and dispassionate, and overcome petty self-interest.
But at the same time, "subjectivity" has wrongly taken on negative connotations, as if it is a "defect" -- you know, "pay no attention to Bob's ranting, it's all subjective nonsense."
It is obviously possible for subjectivity to become imbalanced and disproportionate, but Schuon says that this ought to be called "subjectivism," just as the scientistic rationalist who pretends that reality can be stripped of the human subject ought to be called an "objectivist" (he wasn't referring to Randians).
Schuon says that ideally, "objectivity" ought to imply "conformity with the nature of things," which comes very close to the cardinal virtue of prudence, pieperly understood (more on which later). And "subjectivity" ought to convey on the one hand the idea that "the kingdom of God is within you," but also that in encountering the object world, we ought to do so with a view to interiorization and a return to our Self.
In other words, the object world is not like a flat, two-dimensional surface; rather, it has a degree of metaphysical transparency that can only be known by a human subject. It radiates not just truth, but beauty and other spiritual essences, from Subject to subject, or O --> (¶).
I am reminded of a commenter at American Digest -- I think that's where it was -- who asked why all of those Hubble photos of stars, planets, and galaxies are are so beautiful. I mean, that's the first thing you notice, isn't it? It's such a strange property to be present in a cosmos, and yet, almost a mundane observation. "Another beautiful galaxy. Whatever."
The Beauty of Woman is quite easy for the Darwinian to explain, since he can assure us that the attraction is just an illusion created by our genes in order to compel us to drag her into the nearest bush and dispatch our genes into the next generation. But this is to put the immanent ass before the transcendent horse, as if the horse's ass is the first and last word of this marvelous cosmos. Which is of course the quintessence of a backassward metaphysic.