Book excerpts from the Spirit and Flesh religion and spirituality online library.
Highly sensitive person (people), Mercurius, the Tarot Fool, Sananda, and openness
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
One thing may seem as odd to the reader as it was for me to experience during my living through the experiences of which I have just written; I am speaking of my becoming so many different aspects of being as I moved through different chapters on my journey, without ever really being any of them.
How was it possible to become one with Krishna, Christ, Shiva, Parvati, and all the immortal spirits which have walked into my consciousness and become me?
I say this is possible only because I am also Mercurius. Which is to say I am always changing, I am mercurial, I am Change.
To be Mercurius is to be everything and nothing. It is to be like mercury- or quicksilver, as the alchemists would call it- which is solid, yet without form, and can take the shape of anything, yet of itself has no shape, for Mercurius is the impersonal self.
The disposition of one who becomes a Mercurius is one of immense openness, and a complete lack of inner identity. The outcome of this is a childhood or young adulthood composed of great confusion and psychic defenselessness.
Modern terminology would call a person with such inherent openness a highly sensitive person.
To be so open- to be a highly sensitive person- is at first a disastrous social constraint. For the open individual is constantly bombarded and swamped by other people's psyches, as well as existing at the mercy of the spirit realm wherein lives invisible forces beyond the senses.
As one who is so open matures, there is often a lengthy period of inner imbalance, unavoidable distress, and a thoroughly chaotic life. This is because such a person is constantly inundated with the outer world's agony, loneliness, disquiet, and mania, for which one has no psychic defenses. He or she is therefore at the mercy of the inner and hidden spiritual and soul forces which are, for them, more real than the material plane.
I have been so open at times that if I was in someone's presence, or even had a thought about them, I consciously became them; that is, I took on their consciousness, and so my I was the same as their I.
This level of inner absence forces one into the psychic role of being an unwitting redeemer. An unwitting redeemer is one who is so empty that he or she becomes an open conduit from creation, back to the Creator.
The only order I seemed to receive from the Godhead, due to my unchosen openness, ran something like this: "Your penance is not to be God amongst them, but to let God be amongst them- to be absent so that the Presence can be."
As such I would empty myself and become nothing, and in doing so I could get a glimpse of the operation of the whole. This was not the intent behind my emptiness; the intent was to let the whole operate through the vacuum I had created, by not-existing while in existence. This is the function of awakened emptiness.
I make no claims here about sainthood or the like. I am both good and bad, and I am open, that is all. Many people are open. To be open means to have no armor around your psychic being, and therefore to unconsciously, or shamanically, take on other people's processes and problems, and then have to work them out for yourself. This is something I became tired of very quickly, and so in succeeding years I did my best to shut the gates and let no one into me who came with more than I could carry.
In fact, when you are so open, it is often hard to distinguish what is yours and what is someone else's, because to be open is to be an opening through which the earthly realm can flood into the psychic, and from which the psychic can flood into the earthly.
Once when I was in Hampi, India, a town about one day's travel from Mt. Arunachala, I had a waking-dream in which I was fornicating with a monkey. I 'awoke' and was disgusted with such a prospect. And even though I knew quite well that I had no such desires, the dream was quite disturbing, as you might imagine.
It wasn't until later in the day that I learned the main temple at Hampi was devoted to Hanuman- the monkey-faced God- and so I realized I had symbolically picked up on the ancient, ambient consciousness of the area- where people spiritually 'made love' to their beloved Hanuman.
When you're open to this extent it is often hard to distinguish between who you are and who you are not, because your 'I' changes as you move from one place to another, encountering and tuning in on differing consciousnesses in different locales.
When you are this open and empty there is a danger in associating your receptions with your own self, your 'I', and then believing that you are the consciousness you are receiving.
However, on the brighter side, as an open person grows, there is the possibility that he or she will become acquainted with the true nature of their fluid existence, and thus learn the process of the continual purgation of all identity, and the re-instatement of their pristine emptiness. Only in this way does the danger of false identification end for the open person, and the glory-chalice of mercurial, infinite emptiness remain clear.
As well, if such an open, growing person can maintain an inner identitilessness, and yet not lose hope, they will find themselves likely guided and assisted by a host of helping spirits from the invisible realm. Throughout my books I have documented many of those who came to my aid in one way or another.
In the end, to accept one's inexorable fluid being, is to become consciously mercurial. This allows one to move into and out of any situation, to become that situation completely, to leave it when it is time to leave, and then to purge oneself again into identitiless awareness, before moving onto the next arena of interaction, be it with humans, or with immortals.
There is no solid ground to stand upon when one operates as a Mercurius. There is only a constant influx and outflux of spirits, souls, identities, ideas, troubles, agonies, ecstasies and exuberances, because Mercurius becomes everybody and everything simply through relation to anybody or anything. Mercurius becomes all while being none.
The trick, therefore, is to find the subtle, fluid, characterless nature of the eternal self, and to know that you are that, without knowing what that is, and so to never identify yourself with anything or anybody who comes and goes from within you, because there is no identity within for Mercurius, there is only a fluid unity where inner and outer intermingle through the open door of identitilessness.
This is to become as the element mercury, which is both solid and liquid, and is therefore an undulating union of the sun (Sol) which has penetrated the darkness of matter (Luna). This is the alchemical union of Sol and Luna.
Hence Mercurius is said to be the alchemical catalyst, the transformer, who quickens all who he or she encounters.
Mercurius must therefore ever exist without personal pride or arrogance, for to be arrogant is to arrogate, which means to claim ownership of something. But Mercurius possesses nothing- no qualities whatsoever. The moment pride enters the mercurial being, identity has been accepted, and therefore nothingness has fallen into and become somethingness, and this is the end of the mercurial nature, and the death of Mercurius, because Mercurius, who is no-thing, cannot be something.
Mercurius is instead everything, because Mercurius is nothing; Mercurius is the eternal, characterless ocean into which others dive and the ocean from which they then emerge as transformed identities on their way to the great identitiless ocean of Self.
To grow within this emptiness is to be nothing and all; it is to gain and lose identity over and over again, until finally the transcendent empty consciousness washes through the last flood-gate of temporary personality, and the eternal, impersonal self awakens for good.
And so when I say I am also Mercurius, I am only using a name for a nothingness which has no name. I don't even know what it is. It is primordial, subtle, eternal, ever-shifting awareness within existence.
Mythologically Mercurius is equated with the Fool in the tarot deck. This card then became The Joker in a deck of conventional playing cards.
In west coast North American aboriginal cultures such a being was represented by the cosmic Raven, who was constantly playing jokes upon the people of the land. In other similar mythologies Mercurius was called the Trickster. This is because the two anthropomorphic traits which adhere to all mercurial characters are pranksterism and delight.
It is through such characteristics that we may find the mercurial aspect of Christ. For Christ is not just a suffering savior. Not in my experience anyway. In fact, in one of my most precious visions of Christ, I see him full of jocularity and laughter, his soul dancing in rhythmic ribaldry, and his eyes glistening with tears of mirth.
It is perhaps for this reason that Christ is known as Sananda within the mystical community of India, for the Sanskrit word ananda means bliss.
I think I love him more this way than any other. Perhaps this is because I have experienced Christ to be most often a hard and brutal lover of mankind; and I know that he is this way not for himself, but for those of us who need him. But when his tireless work is done, I see that he returns again to merriment, dance, and play, and so fills this universe with his greater nature, which is a banquet of bliss, and love, and laughter. Amen.
 Modern accounts of such 'openness' can be found in Woody Allen's film Zelig, and Ben Okri's book The Famished Road.
 Please do not mistake the word 'redeemer' for someone who is spiritually advanced or in possession of a holy existence. A redeemer is simply an individual who is 'open' to both the external world, and the Godhead within. It is this emptiness which is the individual, and so it allows the intermingling between the Godhead and the world. I say that such redeemers are in no way worthy of praise (unless of course they consciously make the choice for this role), for their emptiness is often a characteristic which they would instantly revoke were they capable of doing so. However, this is often impossible, for they are who they are. I consider Prince Myshkin, the main character in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, to have been a fine, literary example of the redeemer type which I am describing now. The title of Dostoyevsky's book is quite apt, for the redeemer type of which I speak is often very close to being, at times, a complete fool. Such individuals are often scapegoats early in life, and outcasts or eccentrics later. Nevertheless, God can see through them onto the world, and it is through this seeing that others are redeemed.
 Note: the word solution is an etymological combination of 'sol' and 'luna'. As well, semantically a 'solution' is both an answer, and also a liquid medium into which a 'solute' dissolves. This is an important metaphor for Mercurius, who is a solution into which individuals- solutes- dissolve, which is the solution to the problem of existential separation.
 "The Tao which can be named is not the eternal Tao." Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching
 A brilliant description of the Fool from the Tarot (which I equate with Mercurius) is given by Leigh McCloskey in his masterful work Tarot Revisioned. A brief excerpt runs as such: "The attribution Zero (0) to the archetype of the Fool is revealing insofar as it has no numerical equivalent. It is unconditioned abstraction, a state or point that is intermediary between positive and negative qualities. The Fool is not considered a part of the tarot wheel, just as the zero is not considered a number. This hints at a sublime and wholly metaphysical concept, the no thing or that which is not and yet is." (Tarot Revisioned, p 272. Olandar Press, CA. 2003)
by Jack Haas