We have effectively separated the subject from the object in our culture. We no longer see other people as people, but as “bodies.” This is evident from quotes I’ve heard and read from Ta-Nehisi Coates referring to black bodies rather than black people. Not only have our philosophy and politics divided the object and subject of the human person, but so has our art.
In our art, architecture, music, and literature, we have divorced the object and subject. This is most evident in the title of this episode: pornography. We watch sexual acts of people who treat each other as objects as we treat them as objects in order to satisfy our pleasures. We do this in our music and literature as we play to the base appetites instead of challenging the appetites and urging change toward the divine.
“Home is the center of life. It’s the wellspring of personhood. It’s where we say we’re ourselves.”–Matthew Desmond
Pornography– printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.
This is what we’re going to look into today because I’m tired of seeing it, and would like to bring this to the forefront.
I tweeted this over the weekend, and had one emphatic, correct response.
There are three ways to understand the human experience.Tweet
1. Subject encased in an object
2. Subject emanating from an object
3. Subject and object intertwined inextricably
Which describes your experience? via @ConOfOurGen
Places where we’ve divorced object and subject effectively in our culture:
- The body from the person
- Human experience from art
- Individual from politics
- Real people from their digital avatars
In order to push back, we must reunite the subject and object of the human person, recognizing each other as a body-soul composite. We are temporal beings, immortal souls that give life to our impermanent bodies, but souls that will be reunited with a permanent body at the end.
If we take that approach to each other (whether or not you’re fully sold on the idea) it will revive our culture and give it a substance. We will soar to new heights, and hopefully, more will come to understand this as true.
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