Saturday, March 19, 2016

Circumcision...The Spirit of Abstraction


The spirit of abstraction is a psychological mindset that reduces a human into a function so that you can treat people with cruelty and indifference and go to bed at night and sleep soundly without a sense of culpability or guilt in having done so.
There was a time when it was a legal right and choice to own another human being as a slave. Everyone knows that slavery is an insufferable existence.  Whether that be human trafficking in our present day, sweatshops across the globe, slavery in America or even the slavery of Hebrews in ancient Egypt. Slavery is a blight on civilization.
In the United States, before slavery was abolished, there were people who were opposed to it and advocated on behalf of the humanity of those held in slavery. But the people who owned slaves advocated for their rights and choices to own slaves under the law as property.
We know that slavery is wrong. But people actually believed at one time that this was their right and their choice to engage in owning other people as property.
Slavery was never a right or a choice afforded to humanity ever. It has always been wrong and always will be wrong. And the reason why it lasted so long is because of the spirit of abstraction. The spirit of abstraction is that psychological mindset that reduces a person from a human being to a function, thereby making it easier to treat a person with cruelty and indifference without a sense of culpability or guilt in having done so. And that is a psychological defense mechanism that provides conscious camouflage so that we can be ok with elevating a person's function over their humanity. Since functions are disposable, each time we engage in this, we send a clear message in regards to how we value others. And the message is that we just don't value them at all.
That's why slavery lasted so long. Slave owners couldn't break free from that psychological mindset in order to see a race of people as human beings. Slavery is a blight on humanity. If it was legal to own slaves in this day and age, it would be appalling.
So very simply, why can't we apply that same mindset to circumcision? The answer is that we are clearly operating from the spirit of abstraction. We don't see the humanity of boys and girls or men and women. Instead we see functions are valued over humanity and we want to control functions. Because it's legal or considered religious or cultural, we can do this with impunity. It's our right. It's our choice. It's legal...It is an undeniable fact that boys are the primary target of circumcision. I've seen so many videos at this point where people focus the debate on a choice between circumcising or not circumcising. We knew we were going to have a boy so we had to sit down and go over the decision to circumcise him or not circumcise him. This is not where the focus of the conversation needs to be.
This is not a decision that was ever supposed to be afforded to the human race. It was never meant to be a choice and that's the insidiousness of having choices offered to us. You can choose to circumcise or not circumcise. That is a smokescreen. That choice needs to be rejected with  the same attitude of being offered the choice to own a slave as an option. It surprises me that people don't see it that way. It should sicken them to even consider it...to even entertain the choice.  We should say...what are you doing offering me a choice like that? Are you insane? That's no choice. That was never afforded to the human race.
That's what circumcision is in today's world. The exact same spirit of abstraction that made slavery possible for so long is the exact same spirit of abstraction employed to deflect attention away from guilt and culpability related to violating a person's rights and choices, regardless of gender...male or female. This is why circumcision has lasted as long as it has. It's the same reason that slavery lasted as long as it did. Because we can't break free from the spirit of abstraction that reduces a human into a function that we can dispose of. Circumcision disposes of function.
When I hear people discussing their rights and choices to do this to their children, it disturbs me as much as it would to hear someone defend their right and choice to own a slave. Slavery is a blight on humanity and so is circumcision. The attitudes of people engaged in the spirit of abstraction are a blight on everything that we call civilized. Circumcision rights are not afforded to parents anymore than the rights to own a slave are afforded to anyone.
Today could you imagine a debate about the benefits of slavery vs. freedom? It would be atrocious. It would be called racism and discrimination of the worst kind. Yet we still think that by having this discussion, where the focus is primarily the rights and choices of parents and religions or the benefits and risks of circumcising vs. not circumcising, that we don't see that as a deflection away from where the focus really needs to be.
The focus of conversation needs to clearly point out that it is healthier for humanity to operate from a psychological mindset that is void of the spirit of abstraction. After all, it was the spirit of abstraction that also made the holocaust and every genocide possible in the first place.
The spirit of abstraction is not human health. What's healthy is not affording to ourselves the right to treat people with cruelty and indifference without connecting it to personal guilt and culpability. It's healthy that we can't do that without feeling guilty. The spirit of abstraction promotes the same exact mindset that made slavery possible. That is where the argument lives and breathes. That psychological mindset is where the blight is, and it needs to be acknowledged as such. It lives in our hearts and minds. That's what needs to be circumcised...the spirit of abstraction. That's where the focus needs to be. That's where the conversation and debate needs to takes place.

There is nothing wrong with our bodies. There is something wrong with our beliefs and to continue in beliefs that are held in the spirit of abstraction, preserves the mindset that is the motivation behind all of humanity's cruelty and indifference and when we employ this to serve ourselves we give up our right to call ourselves civilized.
Take care.

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