THE COSMOLOGY OF MEISTER GOTTLOB PUCK: THE TEUTONIC THEOSOPHER
Pucktheosophie is the trendy new theological movement fast gaining currency in major American seminaries (not among professors, mind you, just students). It derives its name from its Originator, the late German theosopher Gottlob Puck (properly pronounced "Puke;" we prefer to say "Puck.")
Gottlob Gottleiben Gotthammer Puck was born in Berlin in 1947, the son of a seventh-generation Lutheran Pastor. It was taken for granted that Gottlob would continue the family ministerial legacy and he entered seminary in 1962. As a student he made a brief but fateful excursion through the neo-orthodox theology of Karl Barth. He spent long nights wracking his brains over the thirteen volumes of Barth's Die Kirchliche Dogmatick until, inevitably, he lost his wits trying to untangle their meaning and went complete mad.
The shipwreck of Meister Puck's intellect only facilitated the imaginative thinking which alone may scale the lofty heights of transcendental reality. He could by no means have attained his High Knowledge had his mind been impeded by the leaden cog-wheels of rationality. The greatest poets, prophets and visionaries in history have all been madmen and madwomen. It is no coincidence that the rise of clinical psychology has been contemporaneous with the decline of culture.
One night, shortly after shaking hands and parting ways with sanity ("Blessed riddance!"), Meister Puck fell into a trance in which he found himself in a void of infinite nothingness, before the dawn of time. Suddenly the head of God appeared in the void and ripped a mighty belch. From His mouth proceeded billions of galaxies which He spewed forth in all directions as the hosts of heaven sang, "Hallelu! While heaven slept and eternal night ran her still course, Thine Almighty Belch leapt forth from Thy throne and thus the worlds were."
Meister Puck awoke roaring with laughter, his mental universe flooded with light. Having attained Gnosis, he seized a scrap of paper and gave expression to the joy that pervaded his being in a rhapsodical expression reminiscent of Pascal's Memorial:
"Wooooooohooooooo! Oh happy universe! God of laughter, God of light, no more buffoonical Old Testament volcano-god. God of jesters, not of philosophers and theologians. God of the Inner Astral Starchild, not of the Outward Corporeal Vegetable Man. Let the little children come unto me. Truth is so simple only a child can understand it. He who laughs at the Universe is the Theosopher of the High Knowledge. Foolish guys confound the wise."
(After his death this parchment was found sewn into the lining of his asylum gown.)
Next day, Meister Puck packed a lunch and canoed to America, where he earned a Ph.D. in theology from Universal University, a mail-order institution that sells doctoral degrees at bargain rates, and was offered a professorship at Union Theological Seminary. He was later forced to resign as the result of his role in a student burp-in in which more than 200 students armed with bullhorns assembled on the steps of the Governor's Mansion and waged a Belchkrieg against the authoritarian Governor LaGuardia. The subsequent FBI investigation found Meister Puck at the bottom of it.
Disenchanted with "High Church priggishness" he joined Jesus People USA in Chicago but was soon expelled for unruly conduct. At JPUSA's annual CornerStone Festival, during the "stage-dive" phase of a performance by religious death-metal band Sinnerslayer, he rushed onstage, seized the microphone and delivered himself of a belch that shattered every window on the premises and altered the weather pattern in a hundred-mile radius.
That same year he published his first scientific work, Logos, in which he proponded his then-controversial Big Belch theory, and accepted a post with the Molecular Thinkers Institute. Ever the robust thinker, Meister Puck marshalled evidence from astrophysics, quantum theory and alchemy to prove that the moon is a giant cheeseball with a crushed almond coating. Despite the fact - or perhaps because of the fact - that none of his colleagues could logically refute his argumentation, he was summarily fired. MTI president Robert M. Anderson could only say, "The fact that molecular thinkers are forced to contend seriously with such claims is a tribute to the staying power and contemporary resurgence of pre-scientific modes of thought." Surely not the first time that progress was thwarted by the dogmatism and inertia of the scientific community.
Returning to his first love, he moved to Dallas, the ultimate destination of all great modern religious thinkers, and took on the pastorship of Bible Baptist Church (member IFCA). He opened his inaugural sermon with a resounding belch and said, "That God is a Merry Jester, that Man was created strictly for laughs, that the Fall of Man was a cosmic banana peel joke, that the universe began with the Big Belch, that all the world's a Vaudeville stage and we are merely ham actors, that Salvation consists in getting the joke and playing out one's own appointed role in the Divine Comedy, that this alone is true Christianity - these things have been revealed to me by my familiar spirit, Ralph the Bottle-Nose Dolphin..."
Next Sunday the sanctuary was as empty as a Kenneth Copeland Faith Partner's wallet. Thus Meister Puck lost the congregation, but he kept the building and used it to incorporate his own Unchurch of the Astroesophagal Eructation (later changed to the Church of the Magic Banana).
But Satan struck back at his arch-nemesis when Meister Puck and a young disciple applied for a marriage license only to find that because the girl was only sixteen they would need to get release forms signed by her parents. Knowing this would be impossible, Meister Puck resolved to adopt the girl and sign the papers himself. For this scheme he was arrested, examined by a court psychiatrist and promptly remanded to an asylum. There he remained until the end of his days, composing his magisterial Die Puckliche Dogmatik.
Meister Puck's life ended tragically (but then, so does everyone elses) when he allegedly fashioned a pair of wings out of mattress feathers and Elmer's Glue and tried to escape out an eighth story window. Some suspect foul play, which is plausible since the facility was a government institution and Puck was a known subversive. This is substantiated by the testimony of a patient in an adjacent room, who claims to have heard Meister Puck quarrelling with the asylum chaplain and another man. There followed the sound of scuffling and breaking glass, then Meister Puck cried, "Does thy god, oh priest, take such vengeance as this?" And was heard no more.
The matter remains shrouded in mystery. Whatever the case, Meister Puck always said, "I want to die laughing."
And I'm sure he did.