The Vast Realm of the Abject

Objects are discarded by people, and returned to the field of the in-itself from the world of the for-itself.

The field of the in-itself is flat, a plane of being, a world of equivalents.

This is a metaphysical view - observed from the world of the human, in particular the capitalist human trained in reification, in the abstracting of value and the exchange of things for other things. All things can be exchanged for all other things, except a human, which is unexchangeable, removed from the world of exchange, the field of the in-itself.

We fear the objects we discard. They disgust us. Why? By returning them to the field of the in-itself, we release them from captivity. They haunt us, or perhaps more correctly they are haunted. We cannot forget the time that their existence was only for us, the time when they were defined by their use by us.

But now they are spread out before us and we see in them the physical qualities and particularities of their former use. That use is no longer possible. The smashed up vacuum cleaner, the hubcap bereft of its wheel, the insulation foam bloated from the rain.

They will outlast us, we believe. No wonder we bury them.