Objectification is above all exteriorization, the alienation of spirit from self.

Nikolai Berdyaev

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Treating a person as an object is quite common.  It is not limited to men treating women as objects.  Indeed such a private claim of objectification reduces the idea and makes of men and objectification an object itself.

Voltaire, like Berdyaev, wisely saw that objectification separated finitude from infinity – the finite from the everlasting.

Objectification exists in families.  Yes, mothers and fathers can treat their child as an object, a source of satisfaction for the parent, a tool, an instrument to serve the parent, fulfill the parent’s needs.

All reduction of the human person to a material status, a body, a mere mortal is hurtful in the deepest possible way because such acts of reduction are a lie, a negation of what is true.  The human person is an eternal reality.  Yes, a spirit more than a self.

Most of the public policy we encounter operates on the predicate of objectification – the reduction of the person to a digit, a problem, a decaying entity that must be dealt with until death.  In such a frame of reference, abortion is “no big deal” and euthanasia a logical proposition.  Yes, our public policy does not see the Spirit – nor does our mass communication secularized culture.  The result – life is, for many, unsatisfying – and addictions and suicides flourish when hedonism has lost its “charm.”

You can live differently.  But to do so requires that you discount the objectifying acts around you, and erase any expectation that those who objectify you will ever behave in a way that provides comfort and emotional sustenance to you.

Indeed, to feel whole sit with Jesus.  No objectification there.  Make Jesus your baseline relationship and your life will be of the Spirit, more than merely a self to be objectified.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me … he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free …”

Lk 4: 18

What other remedy is there but Christ?

Shalom.

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