So as a part of my major as an english major we study literary criticism, which often crosses paths with philosophic writings such as Plato, Freud, Kant, etc. We recently studied Derrida, who is best known as the father of deconstruction. Derrida goes about showing how we structure everything in life in order to give it meaning. Language itself is a type of structure. However, the problem is is that we don’t tangibly have the meaning in front of us. Meaning is actually missing, it is that action that has happened and its essence cannot be recaptured. This action/essence is called the center. The structure is structured around the center. So if making a piece of art is the center, once it is made, the action cannot be recaptured. People only have the effects of the center left, the actual art piece. Structure seeks to organize these effects.
Once we realize there is no center, a sort of anxiety and possibly chaos arrises. The center has never been there, but we seek to fill it with substitutes as centers are proven false or missing. But really the place of center, meaning, essence, being, etc. is missing. The only thing that can work is something outside the structure of life, outside the time of the ever moving present, something that can be the center because it is not an action that once was, it always is. Even as people, we are constantly in flux, who we were two seconds ago is not the same as now.
At first it seems like a sort of relativism has arisen. But then my Professor made an astounding point. After weeks of wrestling through Derrida and trying to figure out how he touched my life, it made some sense. This lack of a center, or stability, of an ever-present essence should not astound the Christian. We know that. This world is ever changing, man is not the center of all things. The center of all things that escapes structurality, time, and is in Himself I AM, the constant being and essence…is God. And that is why the fact that our world and we ourselves are in constant flux is not a worry. Because we are loved by and can know the Center of all things.
Longing is like the Seed
That wrestles in the Ground,
Believing if it intercede
It shall at length be found.
The Hour, and the Clime—-
Each Circumstance unknown,
What constancy must be achieved
Before it see the Sun!