On the left are the transcripts of extracts from several interviews with Douglas Harding. This extract here is from 1977.
From 1977 interview with Douglas Harding
Conducted by Richard Lang
Is your message something new in the world?
No, and yes. Far from being new-fangled, it’s deeply traditional. After all, it’s just another version of the Perennial Philosophy that’s been around for perhaps three thousand years. The basic doctrine of the Perennial Philosophy is that you and I are God herself travelling incognito. The one we all really are is the one reality behind all things—call it God, Buddha-nature, Atman-Brahman, what you like. What one is doing is only to connect up with and celebrate and live from this perennial wisdom, which is to be found at the very heart of all the great religions. There it is, unrecognised, neglected, scorned, denied, but there it is. One is simply continuing in this tradition as best one can. That’s the first part of the answer. The second part is: yes, there is something new here and I think it has to be new if it is to be alive. I think that every real enjoyer of this superb, supreme essential insight comes to it from a different place. Every real discovery of this is through a unique gate, and this gate of mine is not going to be exactly like anyone else’s. In fact it happens to be different—a real breakthrough—and in some quite important respects. It’s a thoroughly contemporary approach with its own new and very effective technology, and its procedure which we call workshops. It seems to me that if it weren’t up-to-date in this way it would be in danger of lapsing into a moribund, half-dead or altogether dead traditionalism. It tells the old, old story, but in a drastically demythologised version. It is credible, now it is shorn of incredible embellishments. I would say that here we have demythologising at its limit at this time in history. Here the Perennial Philosophy is clarified and simplified, pared down to essentials—thanks to the experiments which are the heart of the matter.