Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
photography & writings

The wind carves shapes into the beach sand

Search over 5000 pages on Nonduality:

Click here to go to the next issue

Highlights Home Page | Receive the Nonduality Highlights each day

How to submit material to the Highlights

Nonduality Highlights: Issue #3714, Saturday, November 14, 2009, Editor: Mark

When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj

In Arthur C. Clarke's famous story 2001, A Space Odyssey, the HAL 9000 computer can be seen as a perfect metaphor for the human ego. In the story, HAL is designed to run all aspects of the space ship, including life-support systems. When the crew notices that HAL has begun to make errors, errors it is not willing to admit, they realize the computer will have to be disconnected and the ship piloted via radio signals from HAL's twin computer back on earth. But HAL is not so easily disconnected. Its own preservation becomes more important than the service to mankind for which it has been designed. It begins to manipulate and destroy anything and anyone that threatens its existence, anything that might expose the lie of its betrayal.

The human ego operates in much the same way. It also is not so easily disconnected. Ego is pure illusion, created by the mistaken identification with mind and all its projections - mental, emotional, physical, and circumstantial - as who one is. Like HAL, it will put up a mighty defense to protect this illusion. Most people cannot see through the illusion, or the defense, long enough to really sever the habit of mental identification. It's like trusting HAL to sever its own misguided circuits.

This severing is traditionally the role of the guru, meaning literally, "dispeller of darkness." The guru is not only someone who has cut through the illusion, but one who reflects so purely this limitless reality which we all are that our own infinite Self can be seen reflected there. An indication that one has met one's true teacher is in this seeing of Self in the teacher, as in a spotless mirror.

This seeing is mysterious. It cannot be deserved. It cannot be bought. It cannot be explained or understood by the mind. The only word that comes close to describing it is Grace.

It is a mystery how this Grace may appear in one's life and penetrate the dream of separation.

- Amber Terrell, from the prologue to Surprised by Grace

Grace is always present. You imagine it as something high in the sky, far away, something that has to descend. It is really inside you, in your heart . . . When the mind rests in its source, grace rushes forth, sprouting as from a spring within you.

Ramana Maharshi, posted to The_Now2

Realization is nothing to be gained anew....Realization consists of getting rid of the false idea that one is not realized.

- Ramana Maharshi

Whatever needs change is a thought, an idea, a phantom....Even though you're full of desire to improve or change, really see that there is not now, nor will there ever be, a way out of what you are. You can never become what you already are!

- Karl Renz

top of page