The triumph of objectification at the societal level is the solidification of society as a world of objects in which human beings are treated as things and turn themselves into things. The root of objectification is despiritualization, and the consequence of despiritualization is, inevitably, dehumanization.
When people allow themselves to be despiritualized at the individual/personal level, they inevitably place themselves on a path toward eventual dehumanization. People who do not recognize the reality of spirit within themselves and others do not accept the very essence of what makes a human a human. This thinking then extends to all the other beings in Creation.
The rejection of spirit relegates all relationships, communication, and participation in Creation to the level of thingness. The result is isolation, alienation, and inauthenticity. Instead of spiritual beings having human (or other, non-human) experiences, the world becomes a place of spiritual beings having "object" or "thing" experiences.
Part of the spiritual learning we undergo in this world involves challenging and overcoming thingness and objectification, and a big part of that appears to involve the understanding that thingness and objectification cannot be completely overcome at the societal level.
If we are connected to our true natures and our divine creative powers, we have the opportunity to relate to other people as spiritual companions, perhaps even as companions in a spiritual community, but this entails that our companions (or our community/society) are also be connected to their true natures and divine creative powers. Without these connections, our societal communication and participation quickly degrade into objectification and the manifestation of an anonymous society in which everyone is essentially “alone together” in thingness.
Participation, communication, and relationships grounded in our true natures and divine creative powers reveal, add to, and expand Creation. At the same time, it very much appears that most of the “products” of spiritual participation, communication, and relationship are confined to the objectified world.
For example, picture an individual choosing to help another financially because he feels such assistance offers the possibility of spiritual benefit. The spiritual benefit of such an action expands Creation, but the money involved and the material ends toward which the money is invested remain grounded in the objectified world. At best, the money and the material ends it purchases exist as symbols. They can point to the spiritual action, participation, communication, and relationship, but they are not the spiritual action itself. Those attuned to their true natures and divine creative powers will recognize and intuit the spiritual action toward which the material results point; “objectified”, despiritualized people will see nothing but thingness.
Another example – imagine two artists collaborating on a project. The creative collaboration they engage in (the communal, societal action of cooperation) overcomes objectification if the creativity aligns with the God and Creation, but the end product they create does not – at least not entirely. As a symbol, the created work may inspire others to seek, recognize, or align with the spiritual essence behind the created work; however, for despiritualized people in society, the created work remains just a thing, capable of little more than enjoyment, amusement, or distraction.
On the other hand, evilly aligned people might recognize the spiritual aspect of the created work and aim to subvert, invert, distort, or destroy it. The subversion, inversion, and distortion of spiritually-motivated created works can do much to hide or bury spiritual essence, especially if the bulk of society is already despiritualized.
By the same token, not even the destruction of any created work in the objectified world can obliterate or damage the spiritual “good” and expansion of Creation that occurred while the work was being “thought of” and created. Put another way, the product “produced” from spiritual creativity and love can be totally destroyed in the objectified world, but the spiritual creativity and love that went into the product overcame objectification and, thus, can never be destroyed.
The healing miracles Jesus performed were primarily spiritually creative acts. Though these acts provided an immediate and undeniable physical benefit to their recipients, Jesus’s primary motivation was aimed at benefitting the recipients’ spirits and souls. After all, death would eventually extinguish the cured blindness, but the spiritual benefit Jesus made possible could overcome even death. It is interesting to note that Jesus shared no grand vision of overcoming societal objectification in this world, and his mission indicates that such an overcoming at a mass scale is likely unachievable. Nevertheless, he did leave clues about how individuals and communities might be able to overcome the thingness inherent in all societies.
The triumph of objectification at the societal level in our time and place is undeniable, but this should inspire us rather than dissuade us. Instead of succumbing to the pressure of an objectified world, we should challenge the triumph of objectification by nurturing relationships, communication, and participation based on spiritual love and creativity.
The triumph of the objectified world is – now – largely a matter of quantity; thus, our concerns should be largely a matter of quality. All thinking, action, and creativity that aligns with God adds to and expands Creation; however, much of what constitutes the “products” of God-aligned thinking, action, and creativity in this world remains firmly embedded in the realm of objectification.
At best, all such "products" can do at the societal level is act as symbols that point toward an example of overcoming objectification, but they cannot provide the actual overcoming itself. That is exclusively the business of individuals or small communities of individuals, not society.