The Eternal Subject
The difficulty we have understanding the Self, the eternal subject, is that it cannot be experienced as an object. It’s the one thing that’s unavailable for objectification. If it were, it would be part of the field and thus subject to the field’s limitations. .
If you think about it, a camera can take photographs of anything within its range, but the one thing it can never photograph is itself. The mere existence of the photograph, however, presupposes the existence of the camera. Similarly, the very existence of objects and experiences presupposes a subject/experiencer.
The essence of the Bhagavad Gita is a meditation upon the nature of the Self. Krishna says: “As the Self, I am the knower of the field in everyone.”
This Self is without beginning or end. It is limitless, pervades all things, and dwells within all beings—or, to put it more accurately, all beings dwell within it. It is the support of all creation; “the sustainer of all.” It enables the world of creation to exist, yet remains untouched and untainted by the creation.
This Self is not a part or product of the body. As we have established, the field of matter is inert and insentient. Sentience cannot arise from the insentient. It can only be lent by that which is of the nature of sentience. Just as the sun lends its light to the moon, making the moon appear to shine by itself, the Self lends the body consciousness for an allotted time.
The materialist assumes consciousness to be a product of the brain, even though science cannot substantiate this claim. How can sentience arise from the insentient? To assume that the brain creates consciousness is like an ignorant man turning on a radio and somehow believing the radio set itself to be the source of the broadcasts. The radio set is only a medium through which radio signals can be received and played. In a similar way, the apparatus of mind and body is a medium through which consciousness expresses.