Skip to content
August 7, 2020 / Congau


There is an essence, and everything else is excrescence. Take any object, any phenomenon, any person, tell me what it is, and then describe it. What it is, is its essence and the description its excrescence. 

Now, it seems rather arbitrary to distinguish the two, doesn’t it? After all, what do you do when describing something other than explaining what it is? 

On the other hand, everything about an object is not equally important. The deer has horns, but it doesn’t need to have horns to be a deer; they grew out of the young animal that already existed. People have ears, most everyone, in fact, but it is an outgrowth and if someone lacked them, he would still be considered human, wouldn’t he?

What does it mean to be a deer? What does it mean to be human?

What does it mean to be an onion? They say an onion has no core. It consists of layers of layers and the innermost is just another layer, growing out of nothing. One might conclude that onions don’t exist, but since they obviously do, its excrescence must be its essence. We wouldn’t expect much of an onion anyway.

Is a human being an onion? Do our limbs and organs grow out of essentially nothing? The human body is an animal body, and as such it is hardly essential, since if it were, humans would not be any different from other animals. But humans are frequently defined as rational, and if that is so, that rational mind must be the essence and the biologically growing body the excrescence in a double sense. 

Any being is itself, and its outgrowth. There is an it, a subject that acts and grows. There is someone behind all the layers of appearance; or so we must hope. Are you there?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: