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The Objectification SpectrumUnderstanding and Transcending Our Diminishment and Dehumanization of Others$
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John M. Rector

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199355419

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199355419.001.0001

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The Ego (Part Two)

The Ego (Part Two)

Having versus Being

(p.120) Chapter 10 The Ego (Part Two)
The Objectification Spectrum

John M. Rector

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the tendency to equate having with being as a natural byproduct of living under the ego—that is, of identifying with and attaching to forms of various types. Ego is a factor that contributes to objectification—the phenomenon of experiencing other human beings as objects rather than integrated wholes of psyche and soma, worthy of respect and even reverence. The chapter considers the implications of the having and being modes for our tendencies to objectify others and presents examples of having and being by citing Erich Fromm's views on D. T. Suzuki's comparison of Alfred Lord Tennyson and the Japanese poet Basho. More specifically, it analyzes Suzuki's “Lectures on Zen Buddhism,” in which he contrasts Tennyson's poem with that by Basho. It also looks at the views of Victor Frankl and Mohandas K. Gandhi before concluding with a discussion of subtler modes of having versus being.

Keywords:   having, being, ego, objectification, Erich Fromm, D. T. Suzuki, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Basho, Victor Frankl, Mohandas K. Gandhi

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