In our family we are strange. And we like it that way. We are freed up to talk about things in ways that ‘normal’ people would not even consider, and we can talk about things that do not even exist! This is very useful, but it poses some problems. Such as, how do you refer to something when you have no idea what its name is, or even if it has a name? This is something that we run into quite frequently, and so we decided to make, borrow, or steal names from languages past, present, and future in this world and others for these rascally non-named entities. Out of that decision emerged several new things that are very useful to us writers, but none so useful as Essence (hereafter to be relegated to non-caps for the sake of time).

Essence is a flexible but precise system of complex metaphors, designed expressly for the purpose of being able to efficiently and accurately communicate an artistic impression or idea, no matter how nebulous or exact it is. I like to tell people this and then watch their eyes glaze over. A few people are interested in what that means, but most are not. The few people that are interested are not interested enough to go through the process of learning how to use our little system. So do not expect me to have much practice in articulating how it works and how to use it. Also do not expect it to be very standards compliant.

There are three things that need to be impressed upon your pre-essenced mind before I prevail upon your mind to explain essence to you.

One: this system is invented entirely by us, and so you are permitted to make up and add your own variations, extensions, modifications, alterations, accommodations, laxations, restrictions, avulsions, conversions, fluctuations, deformations, transformations, transmutations, destabilizations, desolations, or devastations upon it, just as long as you don’t credit us innocent Lauser with all your ensuing monstrosities (of course if it turns out good, then be sure to note that it was we that invented it in the first place).

Two: this system was invented entirely by us, and so we have not developed it to perfection. That means that if there is something about it that annoys you unbearably, just grin and bear it! It also means that if you really like something about it, then it was entirely due to our overdeveloped imaginations and highly advanced, sensitive, artistic sense and not to any great amount of intentionally developed foresight or study. In other words, we are not professors with Ph.D.s in our own system. So do not expect us to know all the answers.

Three: this system was invented entirely by us, so if you seem to detect a similarity between our system and anything else, it is because of one of two things (or maybe somehow both). Firstly, it might be utterly a coincidence, a result of random chance, focused with premeditation upon our poor little selves with malice aforethought. Secondly, it might be a mere outpouring of a slightly demented part of your imagination. In other words: it isn’t our fault.

Ok, enough caveats (Why can’t they pronounce that word like it is spelled? (Probably because it is French, and they are trying to have and extended revenge on us Americans for Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon. Weird, those Europeans. (Oh yes, I am European now too. Bother. (This is getting to be a rather long, convoluted, and unnecessarily extended obfuscation of a parenthetical statement. I will now terminate it, if I can. (I like that word, obfuscation. (Sorry.)))))). Here we go on with the system.

Anything can have an essence, literally anything. At least I have not found any exceptions. Technically, each thing can have only one essence proper, but obviously each person will perceive a different essence for each thing, and so each thing actually has the potential for several billion essences: one for each person on earth. An essence is made up of attributes, categorized into a hierarchy of three categories. There are metaphors, classes, and elements, in that order of precedence. Each attribute is made up of one or more of the attribute next below it in precedence, or optionally of one or more additional attributes of its own category. Thus you can have a class and a metaphor inside of a metaphor, but not an element, and you can have multiple elements inside of a class, but not a metaphor. See?

There are different types of each kind of attribute. These types are not fixed in stone, and you can really just invent whatever ones that you want for what you are doing. But we have compiled a list for each to get you started, which are the ones that we have generally found useful for describing pretty much everything that we have found need to describe. The syntax of an essence is structured similarly to CSS, but not utterly. Each attribute consists of an identifier that tells what type of that attribute it is, followed by a block of content enclosed in brackets. Each kind of attribute has different kinds of brackets to be more clear. I will now go through each category of attribute, describing what it is, how it works, and some of the types that we have made for it.

Metaphors basically delineate the description that it encloses to a general aspect or facet of the essence. Examples are: body, soul, spirit, mind, that which is immediately apparent (we call this the First Level), that which is just under the surface (Second Level), that which is deepest in a thing (Third Level), span of time, etc. We generally use the following syntax for Metaphors:

identifier { content }

Classes are specific, allegorical aspects of the metaphor that encloses them. Examples are: light, depth, density, motion, image/sight, scent, sound, texture, taste, balance, complexity, beauty, size, etc. We generally use the following syntax for Classes:

identifier [ content ]

Elements are simply different ways of articulating the nature of the attribute that it is in. They can either be abstract and nebulous, concrete and precise, or indirect and allegorical. There are only a few that we use, but they can be as powerful and as flexible as you have the skill to use them. There are six main kinds: color, color pair, color triad, description (a sentence, paragraph, or even a poem), percentage, or a reference. A reference is really a reference to a whole or partial essence of something else (or even another part of the same essence). These can be precise or abstract, depending on what you want. The color elements were actually the foundation of our original essence system, and are very useful, although somewhat subjective. A color is a single color taken as itself, a color pair is two colors taken together (not mingled), and a color triad is three colors taken together (also not mingled). If that makes no sense, that is fine, just use it, and it will make more sense.

I hope that was somewhat helpful to some of you. If it wasn’t to you, it was to me. Every time I try to explain essence I figure it out better. So feel free to ask questions!

With joy and peace in Christ,

Jay Lauser aka Sir Emeth Mimetes


10 Responses

  1. Well, Jay, you were right. That was a funny post . I laughed several times. You can be quite funny if you want to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I will have to read it a few more times to actually get the whole essence thing, though. ๐Ÿ™‚ It sounds pretty cool.

    I gave papa the link to your blog, and we were sitting at the table (Hannah and Josiah and I were doing our biology like good children) when he said, “So Jay likes abstract thinking?” I was like, “What?” (I just now saw this post) And he said something about that you like thinking in general and I said yes, he does. And then we started talking about biology again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyway, good job making it funny.

    I am praying for your papa on his driving test.

    Talk to you later,

    Carissa aka Duchess Daisy

    • Carissa,

      Thank you. I have fun being funny, and I can do it rather well when the mood strikes me, but I have a massive list of things to write about that I am deadly passionate about. Things like theocracy, youth groups, etc. So I end up writing about those and I end up with a very serious overall tone. I hope that people will not see me as some sort of mean Spock… ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, I seriously enjoy thinking just for thinking’s sake. I analyze it, categorize it, and define it to within an inch of its life. Sometimes I mercilessly catch, strain at, skin, and tan a random, innocent thought merely for its hide and tallow. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Essence takes several looks before it becomes intelligible. I didn’t give an exhaustive reference by any means. There are variant syntaxes, shortcuts, implications, loopholes, and unexplored vistas at every look. So have fun exploring. I will be starting a thread in Holy Worlds about it so that y’all can ask questions there.

      With joy and peace in Christ,
      Jay Lauser

  2. Oooh, youth groups. I wonder if you agree with us on that. Probably. I will give you a hint about how we feel about them.

    I stayed in the 5th grade Sunday School class for about 2 years so I wouldn’t have to be in the youth group. ๐Ÿ™‚ (That was at a different church from the one we are at now.)

    Have you done a post about that already? Or is it upcoming?

    • Yep, it sounds like we agree. The article is forthcoming. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Mama and Papa were both youth group workers for years. They know what it is like, and they don’t like it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. I am looking forward to your discourse on the youth group. I would like to write one, but am working on several different posts at the moment. From what you wrote, I think we basically believe the same. God give you grace and blessing as you write.

    Sola Scriptura,
    Nathan Hamilton

  4. i โ™ฅ essence.

  5. […] like swavery (smooth+waves, like the motion of leaves in a light wind on a balmy day), and essence (see my article on that). One of our favorites, though, is fractalling (or fractallating as one of our friends called it). […]

  6. […] like swavery (smooth+waves, like the motion of leaves in a light wind on a balmy day), and essence (see my article on that). One of our favorites, though, is fractalling (or fractallating as one of our friends called it). […]

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