In my scattered reading, I came across a Wallace Stevens poem that seems to speak to the recent discussion on essence.

On the Road Home

It was when I said,
“There is no such thing as the truth,”
That the grapes seemed fatter.
The fox ran out of his hole.

You. . . You said,
“There are many truths,
But they are not parts of a truth.”
Then the tree, at night, began to change,

Smoking through green and smoking blue.
We were two figures in a wood.
We said we stood alone.

It was when I said,
“Words are not forms of a single word.
In the sum of the parts, there are only the parts. \
The world must be measured by eye”;

It was when you said,
“The idols have seen lots of poverty,
Snakes and gold and lice,
But not the truth”;

It was at that time, that the silence was largest \
And longest, the night was roundest,
The fragments of the autumn warmest,
Closest and strongest.

-Wallace Stevens

Which in turn reminds me of Pessoa’s thoughts on the mystery of things:

There! That’s what my senses learned unaided:—
Things have no meaning: they have being.
Things are the only hidden meaning of things.

-Fernando Pessoa

Eliminating any pretensions to the truth or the essence should be liberating; it dramatically lowers the bar for a work to have worth.