Here is some verse I wrote about the emptiness of human philosophy, à la John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, when Christian encounters Worldly Wiseman. How do you answer worldly wisdom? Here is what I would say, in the form of a heroic:
‘Philosophical Wisdom’ by Felix Sennitt (April 2020)
Along a path I walked, my prayers in mind,
Until the straight and narrow turned to wind:
In pin-striped suit and red fedora hat,
There was a lonesome man who simply sat.
With the buttered voice of education,
His rounded vowels spoke a declaration
As he stood when I passed his shadowed bench.
His lilting academic tone seemed wrenched.
“Sir, you are trekking a path which shall fork.
I shall join you; you shall learn from my talk”,
Pressed he. “Good grief, no thanks”, I screamed inside,
Though I fought to ensure it did not slide
Out, and I reluctantly acquiesced.
Then he babbled on like a soul obsessed.
“I am a figure, well renowned to some:
My name is Philosophical Wizz-Dumb.
I can see you carry a well-read Bible
In your hand, though it’s unreliable.
Well, I’ve been around for hundreds of years,
Seen many people with worries and fears.
If you think your God will teach you life’s ways
You’d better first hear what I have to say”,
He said with a grin which pierced dark and cold.
I wanted to see how this would unfold.
With more Wizz and Dumb this aged fellow
Spoke of -isms and thoughts of men mellow,
Voracious, systematic, and published,
Who wrote papers, though some had been rubbished.
“Marx, as you see, had an honest passion,
To toil for workers with great compassion.
There’s Foucault, Descarte, and Neitzsche the German
Who sought to rat out the human vermin,
Charles Darwin penned with smashing precision
Against creation with such derision!
Holds sway does Dick Dawkins who hates so much;
He blinds with science. He’s cold to the touch.
Though Stephen Hawking spoke like a machine
Men hope, in aliens, for light to be seen.
The truth is out there for you to discover,
Rainbows of thought to learn and uncover.
Why use the Scriptures as your only source
When Philosophy’s armies wrote and fought
To enlighten your eyes?”, this man gushed out.
I discovered the words to win this bout.
“While on my walk I was calm and relaxed,
Then weathered the storm of blows and attacks
Which you launched on me quite uninvited;
Your passion, sir, was quite unrequited.
Questions of whether I exist or not
Have taken my feet to a murky spot,
And now I am far from my loving Home,
And now I feel scared and very alone.
In the last twenty minutes and two hours
I have heard so much about human powers
Of reason and titles so grandiose,
Of contradiction and Anything Goes.
Which philosophy is best? Please tell me.
The options are as vast as the ocean, see”,
I gave reply to this old, rambling soul.
“Such propositions are dead, on the whole,
For which of your authors of basic thought
Shed both soul and blood for my ransom sought?
Did they set the world and stars in motion,
Make man in their image? Fill the ocean?
Which of them suffered the mean, tortured Cross
To die for sinners and seek out the lost?
Your Neitzsche and Marx dreamed of killing men;
My Saviour, Christ, took on Hell to save them.
Can cold philosophy comfort a heart,
Wipe tears of grief, or paint the greatest art
The world has ever seen? Education
Snatched from Eden’s dead tree of damnation
Will cost the souls of every man and child.
Be gone, Doctor Wizz-Dumb, back to the wild!”
With that the man turned serpent and slithered
To the top of a tree cracked and withered.
His clothes turned to fruit from the Tree of Know;
Against me he spat some hisses of woe.
Back Home ran I; with my Bible I fled
To my Saviour’s bosom, my sweetened bed.