TRUTH: There are two types of people in the world, those that treat other people like people, and those that treat other people like objects. I listened to a popular song the other day lamenting how violent the world was. The artist kept asking the question, how long before the Earth knows peace? Peace will only come when all people treat other people as people - co-creators to dance and sing with, not objects to be consumed or controlled.
War arises when people view other people as objects instead of as people. No rational person would look at the uniqueness and beauty of an individual, the eternities that exist inside them, and think it appropriate to kill, murder, abuse, or maim that divinity. To cause such violence, the violator at first needs to view the other person as less than themselves - until they are nothing more than an object of consumption or manipulation to meet their own needs, instead of an equal co-creator, capable of creating others - for eternity. This is a dark lie that starts as a shadow and grows until it consumes the lie creator and those around him or her.
In other words, to commit non-defensive violence, one needs to love themselves more than another - or not love anything at all. Such mental distortion comes when someone can’t see beyond their own needs or wants, due to fear or pain; someone who is emotionally and spiritually blind and deaf (Isaiah). Total emotional blindness and deafness is rare, because it inherent for us as children to seek out companionship, connection, and compassion, instead of destroy it. Even those who destroy others still don’t want complete isolation. But once someone treats another like an object, especially someone they have been emotionally and/or physically intimate with (parent, sibling, spouse, etc.), they are rooting out that childlike tendency for companionship and replacing it with a lie - that the people around them are objects not people - to control for their own pleasure - or destroy because they feel destroyed within themselves. When someone gets to this point, Satan has taken power in them, and is treating them like the object, the puppet, the possessed.
I saw this once with a man I was an attorney for, as he divorced his wife. The man had been very successful and amassed a large fortune. During the months of legal activity working up to the divorce, the man grew increasingly bitter and angry over how much his wife was demanding, until he finally declared that he viewed her as less valuable than a button! He had to minimize her worth to be able to harbor such anger against her and commit the violence of divorce against her.
Where does this anger come from? It comes from shame, the shame that we are violating the divinity in ourselves, or in others, by our thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
For this man, his business and its trappings, his worldy wealth, was more valuable than his wife. He remarried a few years later, and many speculated he had cheated on his wife with a younger woman. But the truth was he had cheated on his wife, and the oneness he might have enjoyed with her, long ago by working 15 hour days and treating his business (a thing) as more valuable than the relationship with his wife (a goddess in the making). As such, that created internal dissonance until this man, in a aggressive effort to calm his own fears, grew angry with his now ex-wife, blamed her for the unhappiness that comes from the lies of his thoughts, beliefs, and actions, and eventually divorced her because his lie became so strong he viewed her as less valuable than a button.
Such objectification is so obvious when we can see it this clearly - from beginning to end. Which is why stories like this are so valuable. It is much harder to catch while it is happening to us. While we are beginning to listen to, or begin to list to obey, the dark spirits that view us as objects to possess, out of jealousy and insatiable hunger, and therefore want us to treat others as objects so that we will open ourselves up to the same dark influence.
At the base of all human life is this test, are we going to react in fearful consumption, or trust in faithful compassion. For two emotions are at the base of all decisions - faith or fear. Alignment with our divinity or defilement and denial of it. If we cower to fear, we consume as darkness, if we have faith, we create as light. This is our heritage or our curse.
The most effective form of possession is not open and terrifying, it is subtle and attractive; enticing. “Let me take power in you and remove your fear of pain” Satan says - offering to shield us from our own emotions. Whereas, Christ says, I’m with you here in this pain - let me help you find purpose in it, grow from it, connect with me through it. Purpose (faith) gives meaning to pain, and can channel fear into courage.
This is also why pornography is so destructive - why it kills love. Porn is objectification - the act of prizing the object (body) over the actor (spirit).
Consuming porn is an exercise in self-deception that kills the capacity to love what really exists. When someone treats another as inferior, as an object to be manipulated, controlled, or consumed, it denies the true nature of the person they objectify. It is a lie so dark, it is compared as inferior only to murder or denying the Holy Ghost (Jacob). Objectification denies the sentience of others. This perspective is a lie because each person around us is a sentient being, capable of connecting with another sentient being and creating other sentient beings! We have the power of goodliness in each of us. One can only view another as an object by denying that sentience. This refusal to be aware of the intelligence, capacity to feel, and hurt, and love of the other, allows one to justify treating another as an “object” to be manipulated or consumed, instead of a co-creator for which true sentience (Heaven inside them) requires respect, reverence, love.
The poison of Satan’s destructive lie, that people are objects, is how far from the truth it is from God’s perspective. As His children, we are not objects to be possessed, we are people. In fact, people are the most precious things in the universe, so precious, they aren’t called things, they are called PEOPLE. Each and every soul in our circle of life, including our own soul, is the most precious “thing” in the universe. So precious we are not called things, by our Creator, we are called a “creatures”, with the same root as “creator” and as we follow Christ, we have the potential to be called His servants, His friends, His Heirs (Romans 8:11, 14-17)- capable of receiving ALL HE HATH. (D&C 18:10-11) Our progression from mortality and death, to immortality and eternal life, is His work and his glory (Moses 1:39) and he desires to fill us with His everlasting light, so we can radiate not only as a star in the Heavens, but be a creator of stars, for ever.