Headless Blog

Reflections on living from Capacity

As I See It

Richard Lang - Thursday, January 14, 2016

Behind the scenes we are busy! Our aim is to make available all of Douglas Harding's writings, both as paperbacks and ebooks. We are working steadily with this goal in mind. The 'we' being friends around the world, but in particular Mary in Western Australia who tirelessly co-ordinates our many volunteers and then designs the books, with much help from her husband Sam. One of the books in the pipeline is a collection of essays by Douglas Harding. During the summer I spent a month going through all of Douglas' papers to work out which essays he had written that we had not so far published - currently we have three collections of essays - Look For Yourself, To Be And Not To Be, and The Turning Point. I was aware there were many others, so I looked through all the papers I have here at home and compiled a final collection which gathers together everything not yet published. This will be a special edition in the sense that it will include essays spanning practically the whole of Douglas' writing life, including essays he wrote before he saw who he really was. Such a span reveals much about how Douglas' style developed. Our title for this collection is As I See It, and I am looking forward to sharing it. We are still in the early stages of getting it ready, but hopefully we will have everything ready sometime later this year.

Interview with Spanish subtitles

Richard Lang - Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Spanish friend, Diego Merino, has translated into Spanish the interview I did with Douglas Harding in 2001. I've now uploaded both interviews to the Video-On-Demand page. Where you will find lots of videos, with and without subtitles. I have spent a lot of time adding subtitles to this film (English, Spanish, French, Japanese) so I know it well – apart from the fact that I did the interview in the first place! I've also edited it into many short video reflections which are available on our YouTube channels - here's a link to the English language one. And every time I watch this interview I am inspired. What a deep, broad-minded, humorous, eloquent man Douglas was – and original. Astonishingly and refreshingly original. He takes seriously what he sees, and what he doesn't see – you would think most people do but they don't... And then he shows how taking seriously your own first person view of yourself leads to all kinds of important implications in every area of your life. Each time I watch this video, and each time I look afresh at my own Self, I am re-inspired.

Headless Dao on its way...

Richard Lang - Saturday, December 19, 2015

For many years Jim Clatfelter has been exploring the links between 'the headless way' and the ancient Chinese classic, the Dao De Jing. Jim has been exploring this in a special way – through writing his own headless versions of the Chinese classic. Plus deeply thought-out commentaries. Jim's verses are inspired – and reveal a deep knowledge of, and love for, the Dao De Jing. Jim and Mary – our Jill-of-all-trades who works so tirelessly to bring into the light of day book after book after book! –have now produced a final revised version which is nearly ready to publish as a Kindle ebook. This is a beautiful work. A classic in itself. I am excited that I will soon be able to share this gift-from-the-Source with everyone. This is a book that quietly draws you in. You can just read the first verse and let it soak into you, or you can step into the next verse, and the next, and be carried along as if on a stream into a world that holds in one loving embrace both 'this and that', 'self and other', the reader and the text... 

Graphic biography update

Richard Lang - Saturday, December 12, 2015

Three years ago a friend, Victor, and I began a graphic biography of Douglas Harding. It was Victor's idea. Victor had seen my film about the life and ideas of Douglas Harding and suggested the graphic biography version. Victor is an artist and has produced at least two graphic novels in the past. I agreed, not knowing at all what I was in for. It was my job to write the script, imagining each page, and Victor's job to do the artwork - and contribute ideas of course. It has been a journey and a half! A big challenge, and great fun. Now of course, one of the landscapes we travel through is when Douglas wrote The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth, is magnum opus. I love this book, and wanted to communicate some of the ideas in this book. Which we did – at least, in the first draft of the book. But after showing what we had done to friends, we realised that we had gone too deeply into the ideas. This section of the book was a moment when readers got bogged down and lost the momentum of the story. So lately we have been revising these pages, communicating the ideas with scenes from Douglas' life rather than the maps and diagrams we had used before. We have nearly completed the revision. I think it's much better. 

The book is about 100 pages long at the moment, illustrating Douglas life from cradle to grave. We have more revising to do, so it will take us a few more months. But I'm looking forward to the moment when we have it right and are able to share what we have done with everyone.

The pages illustrating The Hierarchy that we have not used have come in useful. Obviously it was part of the process. We had to go through that stage. We had to realise the appropriate level at which to pitch the ideas. But last year, 2014, at the Salisbury Gathering, I gave a talk on the Hierarchy and used some of the images we had created for our book, but which we have now taken out. So in fact they came in useful in that way. The film of that talk – I illustrated it afterwards in a video with lots of images – on our youtube channel

Working together

Richard Lang - Wednesday, February 25, 2015

There are several videos of Douglas Harding giving workshops or talks. A friend - Mack - sent me a video that was filmed in Sweden in 1992. Douglas was giving an evening talk - for almost two hours. The quality of the video, and the audio, is not great, but it's good enough. Douglas is inspiring. So I made that video available for download a while back. Now a good friend in the States, Danielle, has transcribed Douglas' words - a big job! Currently I'm finishing dividing up the text and adding it as English subtitles to the video - which makes it easier for friends who do not have English as a first language. At the same time, Catherine Harding is translating this text into French, so soon I'll be adding in the French subtitles. There's a team of us working together on the videos across the world. Tarsila in Mexico has just translated into Spanish my short video on The Four Stages of Life, and will soon be translating the interview Ben did with me in California last year at the SAND conference. And Yuko in Tokyo is going to translate more of our videos into Japanese. And the friends working on the videos are just the tip of the iceberg. Many other friends are part of this endeavour, working on the website, publishing books and ebooks, telling their friends about Seeing... And our video hangouts now have a presence in Russia with Lana doing live translation for a short course we are giving. We are all working (playing) together to make more widely available this wonderful, simple, accessible Vision of who we all really are. 

4 stages of life

Richard Lang - Friday, February 20, 2015

I've uploaded another video - The Four Stages of Life. I spent a couple of days working on this. This is an idea of Douglas Harding's. The idea involves looking at our personal development in terms of where we see ourselves from. The baby only sees itself from its own point of view - headless. The child is beginning to see itself from the viewpoint of others - with a head. But is not yet fully identified with this viewpoint - it's default position, so to speak, is still, more or less, the original headless one. The adult is fully committed to the external view - 'I am what I look like' - and dismisses the validity of the original headless view. The fourth stage of the seer is where you re-instate the original headless viewpoint, accepting it's validity - and then, with fresh eyes, discovering how important and meaningful it is. This fourth stage develops naturally from the adult stage, and really is everyone's birthright. If you don't go on to the fourth stage you are missing something important.

Hangout Feb 7

Richard Lang - Saturday, February 07, 2015

A delight to hang out with friends. Join us!

New interview

Richard Lang - Saturday, February 07, 2015

When I was in California in October, at the SAND conference, Ben Berry interviewed me. It was fun. Here's the link to the video

Sweden Workshop

Richard Lang - Thursday, January 29, 2015

A few years ago, a friend in Sweden, Mac, sent me a film of Douglas Harding giving a talk, and workshop, in Sweden in 1992. I made it available on DVD, and now it is available on demand, via the website and our Vimeo.com channel. Then last year a friend, Danielle, volunteered to transcribe it so that I could make it available with subtitles. Danielle has just sent me the transcription for the first 30 minutes, and this evening I've been adding the English subtitles to the film. I'm 14 minutes into the film, and it's inspiring. I'm just pausing to voice my feeling about Douglas' presentation! In fact, earlier in the week I looked at the film of the Melbourne Lecture and Workshop which Douglas did the previous year in Australia. In his eighties, Douglas was firing on all cylinders. I highly recommend both of these films. I was looking at the Melbourne Lecture because I was wondering if we had it with a French translation. I found one - so I'll be uploading that, once Catherine Harding has checked it. And when I've put in the English subtitles, with Danielle's further help, I'll send the English transcript to Catherine and she is going to translate it into French. What a delight to be part of a team like this. Anyway, go and buy the videos :-)

Different responses

Richard Lang - Saturday, January 24, 2015

In a video hangout this week, one person said that with Seeing, when he is driving now, he doesn't play the radio as he used to. He is content to be space for the scenery - as it moves. Empty for the scene which he finds so full of interest. He doesn't need the radio to entertain him. Then another person said that now he plays the radio! Before Seeing he was trying to preserve his 'inner peace' and not let it be disturbed by the radio, but now he sees that his inner peace, this Space, this Silence, can never be disturbed, so he turns the radio on! Isn't that great! Different responses to being Who we really are.

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