(B) THE TRUE MEANING OF OBJECTIVITY
Objectivity is generally held to be a scientific way of looking into a problem or thing. From the standpoint of Buddhism, we should understand this popular term clearly, or we would miss its important sense entirely. If there is an object to be viewed, there must be a subject capable of viewing it, and whatever the view may be, it is always subjective and cannot be objective at all. As to the object, it may be a living being or a non-being; if it is a non-living being, logically it cannot view itself objectively at all, and if a living being, then it would turn into a subject and what is viewed would be subjective. From this, it may be said that the conventional conception of objectivity is vague and confusing. By the conventional standard, the so-called objectivity implies the following three characteristics: 1) unmixed with sentiments; 2) in accord with generally accepted truth; 3) based on logical reasoning. If these requisites can be fully met, objectivity is right there. This, as viewed by Buddhism, however, is not absolute objectivity at all. The fundamental truth is this: all dharmas are essentially pure and equal with one another. However, holding the misconception that the I-personality is real and permanent, sentient beings make distinctions and barriers between themselves and other people, they become increasingly egoistic. Consequently, whatever they like, they accept, and whatever they dislike, they reject. Such is the general way of life with all sentient beings of the world. Consequently, antagonism and conflict of interests is their order of the day; hence, what is fundamentally pure becomes defiled at once, and what is fundamentally universal equality, is no longer practised. This may be illustrated with a metaphor. If stones are thrown into a clear and smooth pool, the water will be turbulent with numerous bubbles; extending its way from its center to the outside, each bubble comes into collision with other adjourning ones, thus the water of the pool is all commotion at once. The subjective mind of every sentient being, like each bubble, acts identically the same, and also with the same effect. From this metaphor, it may be inferred that with regard to everything and every phenomenon, sentient beings are bound to think of them subjectively, and moreover, even the so-called objective phenomena and objective principles are not uncommonly interwoven with a good deal of subjective thinking, and are not devoid of the motive of self-interest. With scientific measurement instruments and mathematical formulae, this also holds true. In order that truth may be absolutely and truly objective, it is necessary that ego-personality be completely eradicated, with neither a subject nor an object to be involved. In this way, the mind is calm like still water, and bright like a clear mirror, and whatever it reflects, is nothing but the true image. This is true objectivity.