The Buffoon Philosophy

Buffoonery and Philosophy is a strange name for a blog, I know, but I will try to explain why I changed the name and what it means to me. The first word, buffoonery, has roots in Latin, French, and Italian. It is a word that is used for odd jokes, tricks, gestures, and (my favorite) undignified joking; while philosophy has the meaning, here, of an investigation of the truths of being and knowledge. These words combined together are a strange juxtaposition indeed; however, I think it is a worthy paradox for a state of mind, for a state of living.

To be able to take oneself lightly is a gift indeed, in fact, too many people take themselves way too seriously. Now do not get me wrong because there are things in this world that need to be taken seriously, but too many of us have forgotten that levity floats on the air better than seriousness. That is the gist of the philosophy of the buffoon; that levity with oneself allows a person to be able to take things seriously that need to be taken seriously. If we are always focusing on how important we are then we can never take seriously other people, causes, loves, and the things most important. Buffoonery allows us to look at the mistakes we make and learn, it allows us to take hurts from other people and laugh them off, it allows us to join in community with others and not have to worry about our egos, it allows us to dream about silly and serious things all at once. We are not the most important thing in the world…and if we were it would be a sad and desperate world indeed, would it not? I mess up way too much to have a world look to me as its star.

To follow the philosophy of buffoonery allows us to take seriously the causes in life that affect other people the most. When that focus from self is gone then the want to help others is constantly on our hearts and minds. The Bible says it best in 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica) “19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” We are not our own…so why focus on ourselves, why think that we can do it alone, why try and try when God wants us to allow the Holy Spirit to move in us and change us.

When I talk of not focusing on oneself I do not mean that we give up on the struggle to become a better person, just that we realize that we cannot do it by focusing on ourselves. The ultimate focus of buffoon philosophy is turn our focus and our viewpoint from us to God and his ways and then to people (the two greatest commandments come to mind). God will work perfection through us (taking a lifetime  and more!) and people will challenge us to become better, Godlier, and holier! A community of Christians who look outside themselves to God to find hope and worth would be a beautiful community indeed!

This philosophy of living is not easy, not always fun, and things do not always go our way…that is part of giving up our lives to God. The interesting thing about this philosophy is that it is full of joy, everlasting and always bubbling joy. Even in the hardest circumstances the love of Jesus coming through us seems to strike and move us to greater and better things, to joy everlasting. So take the journey away from self with me and move into a Christ filled life of fulfillment, purpose, joy, suffering, love, trials, and hope! It is funny because the buffoon philosophy is not something new but just another way of saying that Christ is all we need to survive and that He wants all of us to come to Him and find fulfillment in His everlasting love.

4 Responses to “The Buffoon Philosophy”
  1. Ruth M. Dowd says:

    Interesting, but the poem was better. It is fun getting to know you through your writing.

  2. darilyn jordan says:

    I like it! i miss having you around all the time making me smile with your thoughts!! Love you!

  3. Anon says:

    I find your “Buffoon Philosophy” very interesting and reminds me of great philosophers like Levinas and Derrida. Although I think your approach to this is self-defeating.

    Your approach begins by stating we cannot create a better world (or even better ourselves) when we focus on ourselves, instead we need to focus on others. This is where I see Derrida and Levinas intersect with your philosophy since it is precisely the other who dictates us and who we are. This, I believe, is where you are spot on. You begin to not make sense when you say we should instead turn to god. I’m assuming you mean god in the christian sense, since you have cited the bible. How does your philosophy take into account those others (or other people) who don’t believe in your god? Or what about those who are persecuted by your god (ie those in other religions)?

    Also, how is abandoning us for god actually abandoning a focus on us? You focus on how YOU interact with god and since you cannot tell directly what god’s reaction is how is that actually abandoning yourself?
    Lastly, does your logic not become circular? I give up a focus on making myself a better person to, instead, a focus on god who will make myself a better person?

  4. capedconstablecaleb says:

    @Anon Well I guess my logic begins to unwind is because this is taken from a Christian viewpoint first and foremost. The fact that everything comes back to God is a foundation of my personal “buffoon philosophy” as I like to call it.

    My philosophy takes into account those people who do not believe in Jesus as people that God has created and that He loves. People in other religions can be good people (some better than me I suppose though there is no way of knowing) but the only way to perfection is through Jesus Christ and the hope that He gives through the resurrection. I don’t know what you mean by saying “those who are persecuted by your god”.

    It’s not focusing on how I interact with God but focusing on the very nature of God through His Word, the Bible. I do not try to define God outside of the parameters of how He has defined Himself through the Bible, I just try to know God and to obey His Word. My focus on God is to not necessarily make myself a better person but to obey God and to follow His will for my life. Becoming a better person is just part of the process of learning of God’s nature and of studying His Word. The key is relationship with God and of loving Him for who He is not necessarily what He has done or what He is doing.

    I hope that clears some things up but if you have more questions or comments feel free to say so! I encourage thinking on this blog and thinking without questions is surely not thinking at all.

    Also I should add that I do not claim to have it all figured out. There is always much to learn in life.

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