It’s strange. We think we want to see Who we are; we think we want to be free. But in all of us I perceive a great resistance. This resistance to seeing Who we are is largely due to the fact that seeing we are nothing seems to be the end of the story. If we can quickly go on to perceive that as nothing we are also all things, that it’s a case of trading one little guy for the whole world, then we can see it’s very good business. It’s not losing out. Quite the contrary. But the threat seems to persist. (Face to No-Face
, Douglas Harding, edited by David Lang)
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. Nevertheless, I thought 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.) Anne.
(Watch the video of Richard Lang's interview with Anne Seward
I want to thank you for having sent me more than fifty reflections. Each one of them has been wonderful, inspiring and motivating. I have not sent you feedback before though you have encouraged me to. The reason for this is that I seem to have nothing to say. My biggest problem is in forgetting to See. This is why the reflections are so helpful. I see that others have also commented on this difficulty and it has been helpful to hear this because otherwise I would think there was something lacking in my efforts. How can it be, I wonder, that I continue to forget Seeing who I really am? Intellectually, I know it's the most important thing in my life but still, I forget to See. Your constant reminders are therefore a great reminder. Tess
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