I’ll respond here to this post and the two following in the OOO thread. Thing is (yes, intentional punning), the thing (referent) still is despite whatever name (signifier) or meaning (signified) is ascribed to it. Yet while the thing has an autonomous individuality it does not have some sort of ideal essence or purpose; it too is strictly constructed and conditional. Or 'empty' of inherent existence, we might say. So the withdrawn and excessive 'center' is at the heart of all three semiotic aspects.
Hence Cilliars move (like Bryant, Deleuze, DeLanda, Varela etc.) to describe self-organization in postmetaphysical terms, all taking account of the metaphysics of presence.* The latter is particularly keen on putting 'what is' into a strait jacket and holding a copyright on its 'nature' for all to kowtow and worship, typical of the metaphysical nature of the perennial tradition in all its varieties. Hence my questions, using the language (signs) of that tradition even while trying to change the meanings (signifieds). It seems the referents and the signifieds are being put into literal boxes with too strict defining lines and boundaries, especially when specifically defined in terms of pure essences and real purposes.
* Recall this post from p. 1, particular to the kennilingus notion of transcendent awakening, which is still in its integral semiotics.
There may be homeomorphic equivalencies in other postmetaphysical expressions, from OOO to speculative realism to next gen cognitive neuroscience to dynamic systems to the more general complexity crowd. But the latter are '2nd tier' to use kennililngus, and I really do think along with the kennilingus crowd that there is indeed a major shift in 2nd tier that changes everything. It's just that I disagree with the kennilinguists on where that 2nd tier is located in kosmic addressing, as it were.