One of our basic religious impulses is to purify the world. And by the world we mean everything – including the hidden desires of the heart.
In modern Christianity, these were exemplified by the Puritans – and their many fellow-travelers, such as Fascists of many stripes. And are represented in contemporary America by Donald Trump – and his many followers, who absolutely refuse to think – perhaps thinking that thinking would pollute their minds – which remain pure and spotless – untouched by the filthy world.
I must now speak of Business, which now functions as our dominant religion. And which is now purifying the world – of people! Because they are not pure enough for it.
To understand this, we will have to go back in time a 150 years, or so – to the Industrial Revolution – when we identified with the Machine – which made us superhuman!
This was how my parents, and their parents, thought of themselves – as semidivine – who considered human contact (with their children, for example) as polluting.
Consider this article in the NY Review – which includes
A daguerreotype, first revealed to the public in 2012, that is believed to be of Emily Dickinson in her late twenties and her friend Kate Scott Turner, 1859
Take a good look at that clothing! Dickinson was driven to reveal herself in her poetry (where she could be as shocking as she pleased) – since she could not reveal herself in her body!