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Philosophospeak and Wiseacres' Gobbledegook


Stage setting: Front of a university building.

Players: I) Bachelor student. (A little bit uncertain of himself).

II) Professor of philosophy. (A bit of a maverick).

III) Master student. (Well dressed).

IV) Wife of first student. (Pregnant).

Three first players come out of the university. They stand still for a second, following the lead of the professor.

II ] "What marvelous spring time air!"

I and III chime in ] "Indeed!"

I ] "Excuse me, professor, but on second thought, I do not agree with the misleading second premise that leads to the shocking conclusion as presented by his intricate calculation after the complex analogy as based on the Pythagorean idea of the music of the spheres. To me it seems founded on thin air, to say the least. Don't you agree, professor?"

II ] "That ain't no bull, ma boy. In fact Dooyeweerd would state that this is a perfectly typical example of an abject case of idolatry of the numerical law sphere. Are you familiar with that philosopher at all?"

I ] "Yes, I am a little acquainted with his ideas."

III ] "If you two don't mind me interrupting, I positively agree as well. But we must not negate the harmonious and consummate beauty of his Homeric like analogy. It tends to overwhelm the reader like a bathykolpian and callipygian goddess such as Calypso that traps unsuspecting visitors."

II ] "And who robs them of their reason and their manhood as well. Fortunately Odysseus was not fooled by her. Ha! Ha! Ha!"

I ] "Precisely. Even though the facts and ideas follow in a rhythmical staccato, in the end one is left with an unsatisfactory impression, as if there simply is not enough substance to the piece. It leaves one homesick just like Odysseus.

III ] "But what impresses me so much is the absolute acumen with which he points out the flaws and sore spots of the trains of thought of his opponents. For instance the way he unnerves Professor Johnson's carefully crafted analysis of Sartre's existentialism."

I (Interrupts)] "I'm sorry, but I don't happen to be exactly acquainted with that analysis."

II ] "O, it is simply based on the onion idea. One can peel off all the layers of an onion and have left nothing in the end. "

I ] "Ah, I understand now! Very interesting indeed. Yes, go on by all means."

III ] "What I was going to say is that his holistic approach to the universe endows him with such a deep sense of perspective that he can see through the narrow-minded thinking of his opponents at a glance. To me his understanding is like a dolphin in deep waters, and theirs of a trout in shoaly brooks"

II (Irritated)] "That is abominable treason to a person so imbued in the Western mind like me."

III (Defensive)] "I can respect that, professor. But to me even Dooyeweerd is way too analytical. His philosophy is based on an atomistic composition. What I want is holism."

I (sighs)] "It's the age old conflict between Apollo and Dionysius, between analysis and holism, reason and art!"

III(Shrugs his shoulders)] "Maybe it is all a question of the right and left brain hemispheres. To me art, like music for instance, speaks a deeper creative language than the greatest intelligent syntheses of the most learned analytical coryphaei."

II (Sad look)] "The highest theological verities, my son, are analytical. Take for example the first chapter of John: 'The Word was God . . . the Word became flesh.' Here we have a union of two analytical facts."

III (With assured bow)] "I humbly beg to differ, sir. It is the miracle of the "union" of the two hypostases that appeals so much to me. Christ is ONE person, not a union, despite His two natures. I know you consider my bent for holistic philosophizing as a treacherous New Age phenomenon. But I personally find much solace in the solitary contemplation of Christ's love. But Dooyeweerd's analyses leave me cold, lonely and spiritually impoverished."

II (Glaring)] "What!"

I (Conciliating)] "Perhaps we must find some consensus between you two."

II ] "I do not imagine for one second that I can tolerate such a total outrage to a superb mind like Dooyeweerd's was. He found the answer to a history of almost three thousand years of dualism. He showed us the way to practice philosophy on a fully Christian basis. He delivered us from the ever warring sides of the ancient Greek body versus mind, or matter versus form, the Scholastic nature versus grace, and the humanistic determinism versus liberty motifs. This is an outrage!"

III(Apologizing)] "Sir, I am sorry to breed such bad blood in you. I could answer to this enthusiastic summary of Dooyeweerdian accomplishment, but I won't; lest I heighten the pitch of altercation. But, please, do remember that I also am a Christian and that I hold Dooyeweerd's theological principles as dearly as you do."

II (Relaxing)] "That is true. But every time you go against the grain, you ruffle up my feathers.

III ] "Well, I'm sorry. But let us return to the subject that so interested us. As ever his argumentations are honed to the nth degree. Frankly I find it a Herculean task to drive a wedge between any of the factors that he adduces. Sometimes it drives me nuts. Yet I know it must be baloney."

II ] "You must not allow yourself to be flabbergasted. If the final conclusion is wrong, the entire reasoning must be full of holes. It is just a question of analyzing well enough, and then you can scuttle his fine-tuned compositions."

III ] "Please, sir, do not take umbrage at my bold reply. But I think his ideas go altogether beyond analysis. By merely analyzing one absolutely cannot get to the bottom of this. That is what is so conspicuously lacking in his opponents. They try to find punctures in a perfect tire. The problem is not punctures; the problem is that the tire is oval shaped in lieu of round."

I (Sheepish look) ] "Someday you must enlighten me, Frank. Per aspera ad astra. n'est-ce pas?"

III ] "Bien sûr, mon ami! Disco docens."

II ] "As long as he does not indoctrinate you with his holistic thinking!"

III ] "Holistic, sir? If you do allow me the liberty of correcting you; Dooyeweerd's heart was in the right place, but his mind was too rationaliscistic."

II ] (Brushing everything aside with a move of his arm) ] "There comes your dear, better half, John!"

I ] "Too bad the better halves are also called the weaker sex."

IV (Approaching; pregnant) ] "Hey, what are you guys talking about? Can you fill me in?"

II ] "O, just some philosophospeak and wiseacres' gobbledegook."

IV (Pointing to John, I) ] "But I wish, as the domestic engineer, that he will relieve my duties once in a while. It's O.K. to me if he flies to the upper regions of wisdom, as long as he does not forget me. But often he is so absent-minded, he doesn't even hear me."

II ] "We'll cure his sham deafness by educating him in the ethical law sphere. Then he will land in an upwards spiraling positive circle that will strengthen the two poles of career and fatherhood."

III ] Like an eagle he will be lifted up to Elysian elevations by means of the thermodynamical currents of true spirituality. "

IV (Panting) ] As long as it is not a castle in the sky and as long as he takes me along! But if you ask me, you guys are drunk, as drunk as a skunk!"


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