Objectifying ourselves, others, and anything

I thought I would briefly revisit this topic.

As many points out, we live in a culture where we tend to objectify ourselves and others. We may emphasize ourselves as a desired object to get something we want. Most or all of us do it sometimes, in some situations, and to varying degrees.

We can go a step further and find other ways we objectify ourselves. We may dress up nicely in order to give a certain impression. Present and cultivate a certain image. And so on.

None of this is inherently wrong or bad. It’s understandable, relatively universal, and ultimately comes from innocence.

If we live from it without noticing what’s going on, it can create stress. And if we notice and explore it, it can help us hold it all more lightly and it can release a lot of the stress inherent in it.

A MORE FUNDAMENTAL WAY WE OBJECTIFY OURSELVES

There is a more fundamental way we objectify ourselves.

Whenever we take ourselves to most fundamentally be an object within our field experience, we objectify ourselves.

We assume that one of the most fundamental characteristic of what we are is an object. And when we do, we tend to do that with others and anything. We assume that we, they, and everything else most fundamentally are objects in the world.

It’s not completely wrong. In a conventional sense, we are human beings and objects in the world.

But if we look more closely, we may find something else.

When I look in my own first-person experience, I find I more fundamentally am capacity for my experience. I am capacity for my experience of this human self and the wider world and anything else. I am what it all happens within and as.

This is not an object. (Although I can mentally make it into one, which is a fantasy and doesn’t make it into an object.)

Are others, to themselves, the same? I cannot know for certain, but it seems that way judging from the reports of others. It’s what mystics from all traditions describe, and it’s what people who do a range of different inquiries report, whether it’s the Big Mind proess, Headless experiments, or Living Inquiries. I assume this is the same for all conscious beings, no matter the species.

It’s very likely inherent in consciousness independent of what type of being that consciousness happens within or through. It’s difficult to imagine it’s not.

When I notice what I am to myself, it helps remind me that others – to themselves – likely are the same as I am. It helps me add another dimension to seeing myself and others as objects. Yes, as beings in the world we are objects, and more fundamentally we are not. We are capacity for our own world.

It helps me hold objectification a bit more lightly, and it helps me de-objectify myself and others.

PRACTICAL CONSEQUENCES

Why is this important?

It isn’t inherently important, but whether we are caught up in unconscious objectification or not does have some practical consequences.

If we assume we most fundamentally are this human self, an object in the world, it tends to create stress. We perceive and live as if we ultimately are this separate self. We tend to operate from a fundamental sense of I and Other.

And if we notice what we more fundamentally are, it releases a lot of this stress. It helps us to notice and live from oneness, and another name for that is love. It can be a messy process, and we’ll only do it imperfectly, but it still tends to be profoundly transformative.

INITIAL NOTES

  • Objectifying ourselves, others, and anything
    • when assume is primarily an object
    • when assume we know

We live in a culture where we tend to objectify ourselves and others, and many point this out. For instance, we use our body as an object to attract desired attention from others. Most of us do this sometimes, and to some extent, probably because we live in this culture or perhaps just because we are human.

There is more to explore here, and there is a more fundamental way we objectify ourselves.

Whenever we take ourselves to most fundamentally be an object within our field experience, we objectify ourselves.

….

There is more to explore here. For instance, there are many other ways we objectify ourselves. We may dress up nicely in order to give a certain impression. Present and cultivate a certain image. And so on.

None of this is inherently wrong or bad. It’s understandable, relatively universal, and ultimately comes from innocence.

If we live from it without noticing what’s going on, it can create stress. And if we notice and explore it, it can help us hold it all more lightly and it can release a lot of the stress inherent in it.

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