There is a fundamental principle found in most religions that dominate recorded history. Wisdom has been accredited to those who claim that demateriality is the only evidence behind which reality hides. Perhaps the most systematic evolution of this belief has been in South Asia for more than two millennia. For religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, theology has focused on criticism of materiality. In its simplest Hinduism, for example, is based on the concept of the Maya which proclaims the illusoritation of the material world. The purpose of life is to overcome what seems to be obvious; the stone against which we cut our toe, or the body as the nucleus of our sensual existence. The truth comes from our fear that it is only illusion. Yet, paradoxically, material culture was a means of expressing this belief of considerable importance. The only vestigial shapes in the center of a temple can be contrasted with the massive doors on the periphery.
The faded pastels of an elderly woman are in stark contradiction to the bright and sensual colors of the bride, precisely to express in a material form the purpose of overcoming our attachment to material life. For Hegel, this circular process had a particular sequential shape. The basic process of objectification (Miller 19-33 1987). Everything we create through this act has the potential to appear to us and become alien. We may not recognize them as the creation of history or ourselves. They can take on their own interests and their own trajectory. A socially viable order, such as a hierarchy, can be considered immutable and one that oppresses us. It does not seem to have been created by man, it is experienced as sui generis.
Even a dream can be attributed to another agency and literally “pursue” us. But once we realize that these things are created in history or in the imagination, we can begin to understand exactly the process that explains our own specificity, and that understanding turns us into a new type of person, who can potentially react to that understanding. As Rowlands notes in his speech, the critical point about a dialectical theory such as objectification is that it is not a theory of the mutual constitution of earlier forms such as subjects and objects. It is completely different from any theory of representation. In objectification, all we have is a process in time by which the act of form creation creates a consciousness or ability such as ability, thus transforming both the form and self-awareness of the conscious, or the ability of what now has skill.