Exploring Headlessness with Douglas Harding
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Seeing Anew: Exploring Perception

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There is a marvelous and puzzling little book entitled, ON HAVING NO HEAD: ZEN AND THE RE-DISCOVERY OF THE OBVIOUS. 

In this strange and beautiful book the author, D.E. Harding challenges the reader to embrace the possibility that we have no heads. He makes a strong case and suggests that embracing such a realtiy might precipitate a dramatic shift in consciousness. 

In the book's Foreword, Professor Huston Smith states that Harding has 'gotten it just right.' as he writes: "Not that the magic will work for everyone, one can never be sure that words will produce the effects they intend. But I know of no other piece of writing as concise as the opening chapter of this book that stands a better chance of shifting the reader's perception to a different register. And the reason is clear. Insight derives from images more than it does from reasoning, and the image Harding hit on is a powerful one." 

"I have no head." "Outrageous on first hearing, the author stays with the claim - circling it, returning to it, until (as with ko-ans that likewise sound absurd on first hearing) a barrier breaks and we see, not something different, but in a different way." 
(Webmaster note: Could it be that the Headlessness Harding is proposing is another version of 'Seeing as if from the back of the head'.)

"Light breaks on secret lots. 
When logics die, 
Truth jumps through the eye." 

"Behead yourself!... Disolve your whole body into Vision: become seeing, seeing, seeing!" 
Rumi 

"Give yourself utterly... Even though the head itself must be given, why should you weep over it?" 
Kabir 

"Seeing into Nothingness - this is the true seeing, the eternal seeing." 
Shen-Hui 


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