The Headless Way
A method of self-enquiry
pioneered by Douglas Harding
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Knowing Nothing & All Things

Not to know is profound; to know is shallow. Not to know is internal; to know is external.  Chuang-tzu

To one who knows naught it is clearly revealed.  Meister Eckhart 

To know God God-fashion, your knowledge must change into downright unknowing, to a forgetting of yourself and every creature. Meister Eckhart 

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment;
Cleverness is mere opinion, bewilderment is intuition.  Rumi

The more forward he is in science, the more backward in reality.  Rumi

In contemplation God teaches the soul very quietly and secretly, without its knowing how, without the sound of words, and without the help of any bodily or spiritual faculty, in silence and quietude, in darkness to all sensory and natural things. Some spiritual persons call this contemplation knowing by unknowing.  St. John of the Cross

O Light eternal, who abidest in Thyself. And, self-knowing and self-known, dost love, and smile upon, Thyself!  Dante

All-knowledge is what constitutes the essence of Buddhahood. It does not mean that the Buddha knows every individual thing, but that he has grasped the fundamental principle of existence and that he has penetrated deep down into the centre of his own being.  D.T. Suzuki

If I knew myself as intimately as I ought, I should have perfect knowledge of all creatures.  Meister Eckhart

But you are going to ask me what you should do. Nothing, nothing, my daughter, but to let God act. Remain then like a block of wood, and you will see later the marvels that God will have worked during that silent night of inaction.  Jean Pierre de Caussade

Nothing but God himself can explain God to the soul; and this he does in an ineffable manner. He who requires neither words, nor human thought, who, without making himself understood, makes us at least aware that he is incomprehensible, and makes us feel it more vividly and certainly than all the eloquence of human rhetoric.  Francois Malaval

Rejoicing in nothing and knowing nothing are the true rejoicing and the true knowledge.  Lao-tzu

When the soul has entered into the vast solitude of the Godhead, it happily loseth itself. Enlightened by the splendour of this bright cloud, in its excess of knowledge it becometh without knowledge, and is established in what may be called a kind of wise ignorance. In this state it learneth by experimental knowledge that He infinitely surpasseth all things that can be known by the senses, and whatever can be written, spoken or conceived by the mind of man.  Abbot Blosius

All religion is nothing but bewilderment.  Rumi

God must be knocked out and bowled over by the mystery of himself, by the glory and completeness of his impossible victory over inert, unaware, dead nothingness, by his absolute unknowability. And bowled over equally by his absolute know-how. The unknowable God knows, without knowing, how to BE. So this impossible feat of self-origination, this incomparable success-story is mine. I'm giving rise to Myself and all things, at this instant. I catch Myself in the act, eternally poised with one foot dangling in the Abyss of Not-being, and the other planted firmly on the Ground of Being.  D.E. Harding

Those who know him most perfectly perceive most clearly that He is perfectly incomprehensible.  St. John of the Cross

When the Self is seen, heard, thought of, known, everything is known.  Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

He who knows everything except himself, lacks everything.  Gospel According to Thomas

And in that Love which is wayless, we shall wander and stray, and it shall lead us and lose us in the immeasurable breadth of the love of God. And herein we shall flee forth and flee out of ourselves, into the unknown raptures of the goodness and riches of God. And therein we shall melt and be melted away, and shall eternally wander and sojourn within the glory of God. For the contemplative life cannot be taught. But where the eternal Truth reveals itself within the spirit all that is needful is taught and learnt.  Ruysbroeck

The only means of strengthening one's intellect is to make up one's mind about nothing -- to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts, not a select party... Dilke will never come at a truth as long as he lives, because he is always trying at one.  Keats

The more you talk and think about it the further astray you wander from the truth.  Sen-t'san

It is better to make a complete and perfect sacrifice of metaphysical speculation, and simply to adore the unknown mystery of God's grace. You cannot believe how profitable is intellectual silence in regard to these things and how well it holds the soul in freedom, humility and simplicity.  J.J. Olier

This Soul is so well established that if she possessed all the understanding of all the creatures who ever were and who are and who are to come, so it would seem to her as nothing, compared to what she loves, which never was understood, is not now, and never will be.  Marguerite Porete

How canst thou say: 'I know Atman', or 'I know not Atman'?  Avadhut Gita

It's not that one dismisses all that feeling/thinking/intuition as worthless because it is insubstantial. It's hugely valuable inasmuch as it leads -- by scores of routes -- into breathtaking wonder and mystery. Just as I couldn't appreciate my headlessness if I'd never been 'headed', I couldn't appreciate my Ignorance if I'd never had all sorts of 'knowledge'. Ignorance is not productive of astonishment.  Douglas Harding

All I know is that I know nothing. Socrates

Eventually, all that one has learnt will have to be forgotten. Ramana Maharshi 

Only don't know. Zen Master Seung Sahn.   

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Headless on Youtube
Click here for workshops with Richard Lang
Click here for details on the American Gathering


Click here for information on online hangouts
Click here fora free e-course
The Youniverse Explorer is now available
Click here for our online shop
Click here to get the free Headless iPhone app
Click here for downloadable videos of Douglas Harding
Click here for the Latest News
Click here to Donate