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From 'The Hidden Gospel'

by Douglas Harding

HOW TO SEE GOD

Jesus said: 

Why do you call me good? There is none good but one: that is God. 

The Father is in me. 

When you see the one who was not born of woman... he is your Father.
 
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
 
The time is coming when... I shall plainly show you the Father.

Set-up: Get into pairs. Time: 8 mins. Gear: None. 

We think that it is easy to see a man, but hard to see God; easy to see a hand, a flower, a chair, but hard to see its origin. Let's test this.
 
Examine very carefully your neighbour's face, at a distance of about 10 inches.
 
Notice how, at this very moment, only a tiny area—a wrinkle, a pore, a hair or two
—stands out sharp and clear, and how hazy it becomes when you shift to another. 

Go on scanning that scene. 

How many days, months, years, would it take to attend to every detail in turn, so that at last you could say you had clearly seen that face—had taken in the lot? 

Would it obligingly stay the same, awaiting the end of your survey? 

Could you hope to keep pace with its changing? 

Could you ever see it with complete objectivity, as all others might do? 

Aren't your ever-changing viewpoint, the pattern of your scanning, indeed all your impressions, at least as much to do with you as with him? 

In short, can you ever do more than glimpse your neighbour? 

Now, still looking at his face, compare it with yours—with your no-face, the kingdom within, 'the one who was not born of woman'. 

Seeing this, don’t you see it all-at-once, free of time, perfectly (with or without your glasses), as it always was and will be,
 exactly as Jesus saw it 2000 years ago, 

exactly as every one of its observers—past, present, future—sees it? 

What is here to uncover, to differ about, to get to know better? 

To see this at all is to see it to perfection. 

Only God can be truly seen because only God is truly simple. 

And who could it be that is now seeing God here, but himself? 

Repeat the texts: 

Jesus said: 

Why do you call me good? There is none good but one: that is God. The Father is in me. 

When you see the one who was not born of woman... he is your Father. 

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 

The time is coming when... I shall plainly show you the Father.

('The Hidden Gospel' was completed by Douglas Harding in 1974 and first published in 2012. In this book Harding takes many sayings of Jesus and tests their veracity with experiments. As Harding used to say, "Test the scriptures by your experience, not your experience by the scriptures.")

(All books presented in our Book Extracts are available via Amazon or our website shop.)

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