Recently, I have been thinking a lot about deep and universal structure of existence and essences. I have been going around and asking people what they think their underlying structure is. What exactly is beneath people’s appearances, behaviors, actions and thoughts? And is this structure static, fluctuating, or in states of flux?
I may be wrong, but what I realized was that my question was a metaphysical, subjective, and ontological one. And what I have come to realize is that there is a non-metaphysical deep structure that predates human consciousness and subjectivity. And before I can even ask this ontological question of “what your underlying structure is behind your appearance”, I have to consider a deeper layer of structure that exists, and has always existed before the humanistic and unconscious structure that assigns meanings to yet another veiled structure of appearances, behaviors, and spoken language.
I think this deep and basic structure is an underlying structure that precedes and embodies all branches and disciplinary, ontological and epistemological sources of meaning. This deep structure is an anti-metaphysical one, a material and physical force that determines, transcends, undermines, engages, and excludes all beings, humanistic pursuits, historical modes of production, inter-disciplines, and any other meaning-making systems.
I think what governs and give rise to this deep structure is deterministic and unconscious. All reality (including living organism, organisms with consciousness, and organisms/matter without) embodies this system of deep structure. This most basic structure is matter in motion – particles or/and waves of energy, force and impulse that are passive and governed by mechanical and physical laws.
This substructure is an underlying reality (that’s beyond reality) which lies all around us. Too elusive and far less amenable to description. It dogs our every step, it’s the limit of language, it’s colorless, odorless, opaque, but we can’t keep it off of our heels or keep ourselves from sniffing it (or sniffed by it) without realizing it. The whole in the middle of a donut is what is not in it, but at the same time, it’s what makes a donut what it is. By the same token, deep structure give raise to our sense of reality, but at the same time, it is excluded from it.
When we beg for meanings, we can already be presupposing that this system of structure governs and determines our ability to assign meanings and the subjectivity of our ideas. Unlike the idealists and what Platonic thinking may tell you, the qualities of ideas do not precede existence. Ideas and meanings are not eternal, and the essence of everything does not exist up in the heaven and proceed downwards and install itself into human consciousness. Rather, this elementary structure spirals upward, materialistically, into the human mind and causes a being to come into being in order to formulate a “secondary” structure that realizes its own existence and essence.
Before we come into this world, our existence is already predated and determined by this deep and materialistic structure. The laws that govern our structure of experience and the way in which we come into being are deterministic and unconscious. Each one of us is “thrown” into this world without our permission or control. There are universal material forces that already pre-existed, and determines where, how, (but not why) and when this disclosure occurs. We are all born into a certain culture, historical period, place, social class, family structure, and race. None of which we have any control or permission over. Our very un-determinedness is brought upon and emerges out of this deterministic, unconscious, objective, and material force.
As we live our lives, we began to experience the influences of these forces. When we cry when we are hungry for milk or we “unconsciously” pick up our first language, we are exercising and being determined by these forces. This deep structure is the “core” of all existence of reality and experiences, so therefore it is universal. All human beings and animals are governed by this hidden and pervasive structure to procreate, consume, attack, fleet, and etc.
Humans for example, have an innate capacity to acquire language based on universal structures of grammar, syntaxes, and etc. How did these language modules and grammatical structures come about? What is their source? They come into existence from the very forces of the deep structure that governs and predates everything else that is embodied in the physical reality that in itself embodies the higher structures of truths, knowledge, ontology, and consciousness.
The deep structure in itself has no meaning. It is only through systems of differences that produce complex symphonies of knowledge and truths throughout the mind. For example, the binary system of 1s and 0s that is embodied in our computers and compact discs has no meaning in and of themselves. But when you take these 2 numbers and connect them together, they form complex and higher structures that are meaningful and pragmatic for and in themselves. Human beings, like computers, have deep structures of DNA. The individual codes of DNA have no meaning. But when you string together these codes, a living, breathing organism is produced. Once this organism comes into existence, other secondary and metaphysical structures that give rise to consciousness can then be added on top of the deep material structure.
This material deep structure and other secondary order metaphysical structures combine to give things their appearances, actions, and meanings. When I said that only by understanding the underlying structure, thought, and rationality can I hope to make real, lasting, and substantial changes in any given practice or situation, I am speaking of the metaphysical and ontological structures that emerged with and are governed by deep structures of material forces. Deep structures spiral themselves up to give rise to higher forms of structures. These secondary layered metaphysical structures are ontological in nature, which give rise to human subjectivity and experiences of being in the world. As deep structures continue to spiral themselves upward, as these ontological structures give rise to collective consciousness of men that in itself actuate ideology, branches of epistemology, truth, religions, arts, law, and other higher orders of superstructures.
We cannot possibly hope to replace or alter deep structures because it is hidden, inaccessible, pre-dated, and pervasive. Simply by contemplating the possibility of replacing deep structure pre-supposes their pervasive existence and eternalness. However, even without changing its fundamental makeup, deep structure is not static. It is constantly in a state of flux. Spiraling outward in a historical and organic matter, adapting, evolving and re-organizing its structures of differences and combinations in accordance to whatever it brings into existence.
Again, this deep structure governs and determines all categories of reality, and it is only the system of differences that plays a role in determining the different categories and elements and experiences of higher-leveled structures. To make changes in our lives and how others perceive us, we have to replace our secondary and metaphysical structures that rely on differences of principles and ontology.