...I thought you might be interested to hear from someone who took ages to "get it" - i.e. to fully accept there was nothing to get. I first met Douglas at a talk he was giving. There were no workshops in those days (he did all the pointing!) but I saw what he was directing my attention to - that I have no head (here), that everything moves through me when I'm driving, that I can see nothing when I look at what I am, etc., etc. Nevertheless, I thought (sic) I didn't "GET it". I couldn't believe that what I saw was what he was talking about. It seemed so banal, obvious, and unpromising - unappealing in every way!
But I did want to "get it", partly because he said he found this insight at the heart of all the great religions, which intrigued me greatly. I accepted his open-house invitation, returning again and again over a period of months, no doubt driving him and the friends potty by repeatedly, in effect, both acknowledging what I saw and denying it in the same breath.
Then one day, after what turned out to be the last time I ever said: "But I still don't get it", Douglas said gently, "Well, there's some resistance somewhere Anne". I was indignant! Of course I'm not resisting; no one could be keener than I am to "get it". And then I burst out laughing. In denying I was resisting there being nothing to get I could no longer continue resisting that very fact! It was as if at this point I said, "Okay, okay, I surrender! YES, I see there's nothing here. Stop." No more 'yes butting', no more delaying tactics!
Nothing changed. Nothingness didn't suddenly glow red or anything, I just stopped resisting being It. Having fully acquiesced that once, I could never again pretend that I couldn't see it. (Though the number of times I've chosen to ignore it, well, that's another matter.) A.S. UK.
Being a marketer by profession I've often noticed that it's almost impossible to attempt to dissuade a person of their hard-held beliefs. It's just too difficult for the ego to change. However, if you simply give people evidence and ask them to "see for themselves" you can quickly change their perspective - almost as if you've transcended the ego and are in a place of pureness and truth. This is what I love about the experiments. They are infinitely more powerful than they appear on the surface. Craig.
I was experiencing an occasion of personal crisis at the time, and I was loaned On Having No Head by a friend. Reading it completely changed my way of being.
But it was a very difficult time. I didn't understand fully what had happened - "Who am I? Who is this that is seeing - and if there is no 'me', what's all this? (indicating: environment). If there's no subject, how can there be objects?" It was a very painful time. That was 1975. I recently described it as initiating an enquiry into the-one-who-is-seeing-but-can't-be-seen. I suppose that says it.
Then, in 1979, I went to England to attend talks by Krishnamurti, at Brockwood, and after that was over I went to London. As headlessness was still the dominant theme of my life, I decided to track down Douglas. It was simple: a visit to the London Buddhist Society, a phone call to Nacton, and off I went. Douglas invited me to stay overnight, and so I had the opportunity to see It with him. (I must admit he looked at me with suspicion a couple of times, 'cause I was a bit off the planet, but he was kind and, seemingly, patient.)
Then - when was it? 1992? I'm not sure - Douglas came out here to Australia and I attended a two-day workshop. Confirmation time. The-One-That-Sees-is Unsee-able. It was then that I mentioned that after reading his book, I couldn't ever believe again that I was a little someone on the inside looking out, but that I'd had 17 years of difficulties due to this. He said: "Yes, the little man doesn't give up easily." All that pain summed up so simply, but he was right! That's all it's been.
Formally speaking, I practice Zen, being an inheritor of a lineage and all, but the heart of my â€˜practice', or what I always come back to, when the chips are down, is headlessness. C.M. Australia
I do find it extraordinary how some people 'get the point' without any previous conscious thoughts on such matters. Conversely, there are those whom one would have thought already 'in the market ' who completely fail to get it. I had one very close friend, outstandingly gifted and intelligent, who had even had a spontaneous mystical experience of 'no-self', but could never see the point either of Krishnamurti nor Douglas' seeing experiments. It may be something to do with the sheer willingness to look at oneself, either physically or psychologically. A.R. UK
My observation is: there has to be a questioning, or a deep need, for one to turn and look for something else, to seek something other than one's normal sense of being a someone-on-the-inside. So, it's possible if you haven't shaken up the someone-on-the-inside illusion, to miss the significance of the fact that you can't see your head.
Similarly, the reason that people don't know their own Essence of Mind is precisely because it's their own - it's too close! One has to feel the acute distress of the illusion of separation from one's nurturing Root, before one is motivated to look into the Impossible. A.H. Almass, an American teacher, suggests this is one reason that children lose touch with their Essence.
While I'm on that theme, and continuing our Christian theme: Joseph Campbell said in that television series that the Devil had the greatest love for God, of all the angels, and, the very point of his suffering in Hell is this: he suffers separation from the One that he so loves.
Just so - the Ground of his Being! C.M. Australia.
To anyone struggling with it I would suggest you seriously consider that Seeing might not be your way back to your Self. Who knows, this could take the pressure off and allow you just to relax into It (with or without the aid of "Seeing"). A.S. UK
Just wondered if you ever get a hostile reception when pointing to "No-thing" The reason I ask is because a few times when I have tried to describe this Open Clarity or point to this Aware No-thingness here (where we assume there is a thing) the person I am talking to can become very defensive and even aggressively defending their right to be a "thing". One person even ridiculed the notion of "Nothingness" saying - "it`s obvious there is something here" and - "you are not Awareness, you are a person just like me". This came as a bit of a surprise because "seeing" has always been an easy, peaceful way of letting go for me (and most of the other people I meet) but some people want to hang on to their burdens.
Dear N., I have this wonderful feeling here that you are Seeing and as such, have always been Seeing. And there has never been anything else. Maybe you just have not recognised it. It's like you are looking for something, when it is no-thing at all. It's what you are. You are the space for everything, even the scientific thoughts that arise from the space where you are that seek the answers that will prove to N. that he is Seeing. Give up trying to prove anything. Relax into the awareness of the space where you are. What you are presently experiencing is somewhat like tearing the house apart looking for your car keys, only to give up, and then realize the keys were in your hand all along. I am trying to simply explain the way it is, but words are elusive. There really aren't the proper words to grasp what it is. The best words for me is 'space' or 'capacity', sorta like having the 'room' or an 'emptiness' if you will, for anything and all things. Love and peace to you. J.
back to top