I had great parents. A dad who taught me to live by the values of honesty, integrity and loyalty. And a mom who loved me unconditionally.

But they both did one thing that annoyed the hell out of me and my five older siblings: Constantly correcting our grammar.

I would be in the middle of a poignant story, and this is how it would play out:

ME: “And then me and Bill decided to — “

MOM: “It’s Bill and I!”

ME: “Mom, would you please shut…”

I’ll leave out the rest. It wasn’t pretty.

The point being that the general area of grammar has always been a sore spot for me…Until today!

Because today I’m going to relate how we can use grammar to understand THE most important concept in any person’s life. I know that sounds hyperbolic but it’s true.

It’s all about self-realization

What is this basic concept? I’ve touched on it before, but today’s article goes all in. It’s about self-realization, which is simply realizing our true identity. Which is everything.

What is that true identity? This is where the grammar comes in.

The basics of a sentence are: subject, verb and object. I drank the water. In that sentence, I is the subject, drank is the verb and water is the object.

Subject/object is all we need

For our purposes, we’re going to drop the verb and just deal with subject and object. Because one way we can look at our lives is that they consist of only two elements: Our consciousness, which is the subject, and whatever that subject is aware of, the object.

How does that work? I hear the plane. I see the car. I taste the peanut butter. I smell the eucalyptus leaf.

The consciousness, you, experiences all of these objects. That’s all our lives are. The subject (us) experiencing a bunch of objects.

The subject never changes

Critical to all this is that, while the objects constantly change, the subject never does. It’s the same conscious you all the way through life.

Sounds simple enough, right? And it is. Where people get into trouble is when certain objects distract our consciousness so much it gets lost in those objects.

Like what? Mostly it’s thoughts and emotions. You might think, wait, thoughts and emotions aren’t objects of consciousness.

Thoughts and emotions are also objects

Oh, you bet they are. They’re like any other experience of our consciousness.

How does this work? Let’s say you have the thought, “I’m not worthy of a man. I’m not smart enough and I’m not attractive enough.”

The truth is that youare not that thought. You are not unworthy, unintelligent or unattractive.

Who are you? You are the consciousness (the subject) that is aware of that thought (the object).

Here’s the problem

Now you see the problem. The person thinking that thought isn’t aware they’re having that thought. They are identified with that thought. The thought has subsumed their identity.

Therein lies the fundamental problem facing humanity. Because almost everybody on this planet identifies with their thoughts and emotions instead of treating them like ice cream cones, sunsets, bees and all other objects of our consciousness.

I’ve gone into why we all do this many times. It’s because we develop egos early on that are so strong they are able to distract our consciousness.

Why meditation helps

That’s why we meditate. It helps us quiet that ego noise enough that we can say to ourselves, “Oh, there’s a thought. There’s an anxious feeling. There’s a honking horn.” In other words, meditation helps restore consciousness to its rightful place: As the subject experiencing and noticing any and all objects in its field of awareness.

What the heck does any of this have to do with you? Everything.

Again, this sounds so overblown, but it’s not: Realizing that you are the consciousness (the subject) is the entirety of the spiritual path. One way or another, it’s what all spiritual traditions teach.

The great 20th century Indian saint Ramana Maharshi taught nothing else but this. Simply realizing that you are the consciousness within and that everything else is false and illusory was the sum total of his teachings.

Why this is so hard

The hard part is “achieving” that, something few people manage to do. Why is it so hard? As I said, our egos are incredibly powerful and create thick clouds of thought and emotion noise that obscure our conscious selves.

But using this seemingly ridiculous tool of subject/object can help. It simplifies things.

The takeaway

We just keep telling ourselves, multiple times a day, that we are merely the subject and that whatever is in front of us, or in our heads, at the time, is the object. That perturbed feeling I just got from the snide comment my boss made about my outfit? That feeling is just an object that my consciousness is noticing.

That’s what the great beings do. The great ones from India and elsewhere. They just experience life from a place of clear consciousness. No commentary. No complaining. No attachment. Just the bliss of experiencing the moments in front of them.

Subject, object.

That’s all life is.

Keep it simple.