“The fool’s standpoint is that all social institutions are games. He sees the whole world as game playing. That’s why, when people take their games seriously and take on stern and pious expressions, the fool gets the giggles because he knows that it is all a game.”
“All humane people should admit that they are jokers; that they are playing games and playing tricks.”
I’d like to go a little bit into Alan Watts’ idea of jokers (or fools), and how the characteristics of Watts’ Joker can be related to the character of The Rauschmonstrum in my book “The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum”
Watts discusses his idea of jokers in several of his lectures. He describes the archetype of the joker as followed:
Qualities of Watts’ Joker
- Has a Flexible Sense of Reality and Morality
- Is Humorous
- Is Not Interested in the Status Quo
- Is Anti-Establishment
- Engages in Trickery and Thinks of their Trickery as a Valuable Service
The Rauschmonstrum has many similarities with Watts’ Joker. For one thing The Rauschmonstrum is as slippery as they come, always changing his appearance, and altering the pillars reality is based on wherever he goes. To him, everything is constructed out of deception, the way he is constructed out of smoke. His humor is dark, and he seems to take joy in the joke he is playing, while Jesus and everyone else in Judea take it all quite seriously.
The Rauschmonstrum is clearly anti-establishment After all, at the get-go of the book it is made clear he does not like the Roman’s occupation of Judea and does not like the laws of Judaism. It is for this reason he decides to see them done away with and transforms Jesus into a false messiah. This is matched with Ol’ Rausch’s desire to play a big trick on mankind. At the start of the story the Rauschmonstrum wants to trick mankind with a false messiah simply to amuse himself, but as time goes on he decides he may well be performing this trick for humanity’s own good as well.
Interestingly enough Watts once described Jesus himself as a jester, saying “of course the church formed itself around a particular jester who couldn’t be stood and thus had to be crucified, it was just too much.” Jesters all abound!