Down the ages, across the world, and from many different perspectives human beings have wondered about and debated the true nature of the self. The Headless Way offers a contemporary and practical method of investigating this perennial question for yourself. At the heart of it are the experiments...
Who Are You?
The world’s great mystics have a common message:
"There is a Reality which is Indivisible, One, Alone, the Source and Being of all; not a thing, nor even a mind, but pure Spirit or clear Consciousness; and we are That and nothing but That, for That is our true Nature; and the only way to find It is to look steadily within, where are to be found utmost peace, unfading joy, and eternal life itself." (From Religions of the World by Douglas Harding)
Science’s AnswerWhat you are depends on the range of the observer. At several metres, more or less, you are human, but at closer ranges you are cells, molecules, atoms, particles… Viewed from further away your body becomes absorbed into the rest of society, life, the planet, the star, the galaxy… Science’s objective view of you – zooming towards and away from you - reveals a hierarchically organized system of layers that is alive, intelligent and beautiful. Thus you have many layers, like an onion. You need every one of these layers to exist. Your human identity, vital and important as it is, is just one of these layers. You are also sub-human and supra-human. (See The Hierarchy of Heaven & Earth.)
What are you at the Centre of your many layers? The scientist cannot say because she can only observe you from a distance. However close she gets to you, she remains outside you. What or Who you really are, the Ground of your Being, remains a mystery.
Other People’s Answer
Other people are like the scientist because they cannot see what you are at Centre either, only what you are peripherally. Reflecting back to you what they make of you, their feedback is about you as a person.
You are not distant from yourself, not outside yourself. You – and you alone - are therefore perfectly placed to see what you are at Centre. All you have to do is look.
How do you look into your Centre?
The Experiments direct your attention inwards to your centre. They reveal the One you really are, the One at the heart of your life. Take some time now to explore them.
When you have carried out the experiments, explore the rest of the website. You will find articles, short films, quotations, comments, interviews and more… You can subscribe to the e-Course in Seeing and, if you like, let us know your response to seeing Who you really are.
Over the past [sixty] years a truly contemporary and Western way of 'seeing into one's Nature' or 'Enlightenment' has been developing. Though in essence the same as Zen, Sufism, and other spiritual disciplines, this way proceeds in an unusually down-to-earth fashion. It claims that modern man is more likely to see Who he really is in a minute of active experimentation than in years of reading, lecture-attending, thinking, ritual observances, and passive meditation of the traditional sort. Instead of these, it uses a variety of simple, non-verbal, fact-finding tests, all of them asking: how do I look to myself? They direct my attention to my blind spot - to the space I occupy, to what's given right here at the Centre of my universe, to what it's like being 1st-person singular, present tense. (From The Headless Way, a leaflet by Douglas Harding.)