When we perceive an object, we automatically tend to label it (like nice, bad, wet, dry, light, dark, etc). And our mind reacts on the basis of our own mental labeling of an object. No wonder we tend to react to situations in a subjective manner. All perceived objects are conditioned by our senses and our own mind. This leads to the dramatic conclusion that we are not and by definition can never be objective!
Our labeling leads not only to problems like anger and attachment, but also to the more basic problem that we think we are somehow separate from the outside world. But are we separate from the outside world?
When we see something—for example, a table—it appears to be separate from the rest of the world, just standing there by itself, but is that correct? How could the table stand there without the ground supporting it? How could the table exist without a carpenter making it from pieces of wood? The pieces of wood come from a tree, which comes from a seed, water, soil, air, the sun and its nuclear fusion of hydrogen atoms, etc. Every object needs causes and conditions to exist, just like we need our parents, food, air, clothes and many more things to exist. In this way, it becomes impossible to maintain that ‘I’ am separate from the outside world, however much it feels that way.
By giving the example of the table, the writer shows how: