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Jed McKenna’s Play

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

I was at the library again, mostly just to collect my pass, and picked up a couple of interesting books. One was Jed McKenna’s Play, which is a spiritual book in the form of a play of seven acts. These mirror certain stages of the spiritual search, and the contents of the play is a series of dialogues which enact certain core dilemma’s. I thought it was quite well done and wanted to post up a few notes.

The first act is a dialogue between two babies in a car. It touches on certain existential questions, including Camus. The thing is, it folds certain aspects of the reality of a baby’s existence in with the philosophical discussion. It’s kinda neat.

The second act is a dialogue between two wartime soldiers who are guarding a prisoner who is going to be “questioned”. This is where reality meets philosophy, such as does a soldier actually have time for having philosophical thoughts. It has quite an impact.

The third act is a dialogue between an old couple watching a parade. I think it’s inevitable that the questions raised here would occur to most people in their lives, such as have i made the most of my life, but it’s well done and the conclusion was new to me and made sense.

The fourth act is a debate between Science, Religion and Philosophy, where Philosophy (cast as a 15 year old girl) rather upsets the usual discussion by asking, how do we know there is anything at all? A very clear discussion.

I’ve yet to read the last three acts, but so far I’ve found it energising and informative. Well informed writing.


  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    The fifth act is rather odd. Its a long rant about the deconstruction we suffer as part of the spiritual search, presented as a monologue.

    The sixth act is a remix of parts of Moby Dick, with Captain Ahab philosophizing about why the fates have drawn him to hunt the white whale.

    The seventh act is a meeting between a man and the Delphic Oracle, in an undetermined space, which ends with how the arc of the man’s life led to this meeting and how its all an expression of the pattern.

    I found this second part of the book to be less satisfying. It seems less insightful.

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