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Confrontation - The Suicidal Lie

Douglas Harding

[A leaflet produced by Douglas Harding in the 1970s]

The lie is that you are what you look like. That your reality there for yourself resembles your appearance here for us. That right where you are is some-thing which is shutting us and everything else out, instead of no-thing which is taking it all in.

For our part, we can check that you are no-thing by gradually going right up to you with a camera, fitted with increasingly powerful lenses. Our photographs show you vanishing finally into Space.

For your part, turn to anyone present (your face in the mirror will do) and check that you are Space for that one. Examine the evidence now, as if for the first time. Observe how the given set-up is face to no-face, two little eyes to one immense "Eye", coloured-shapes to no-coloured-shapes, opacity to transparency, sound to silence, motion to stillness, strife to peace, content to container… Always asymmetry, non-confrontation - for the 1st person singular, present tense.

Every animal and infant - no matter how naturally combative - lives this way, unconsciously, from its Space, its no-thingness.

Only Man contrives to thing himself, to block his Space with a This to set against every That. Confrontation is his game, the million-year-old stroke of imaginative genius to which he owes his survival, his astounding success, all he holds dear…

And all that now terrifies him. For, like other fallacies, Confrontation eventually lets us down - in the course of our life as individuals and as nations, and now as a species. It has become counter-productive. Its survival value is turning into extinction value. Ignorant of the cause of our plight, of our basic error and its basic correction, we despair.

The human sum can be put right only by going back to where it went wrong: by re-discovering and consciously living from our no-thingness - from the Space which (like a mirror) is unstained by what it's taking in, yet one with it. A few extraordinary people - seers following various religions or none - have, over the past 5,000 years, been doing just this. And now at last, as the saving truth becomes de-mythologized and obvious, it is available to us ordinary people - in sufficient numbers and in time (we trust) to reach our leaders before imagined Confrontation ends in real Omnicide.

To help break the deep-seated habit of overlooking our Space - which is our common ground - let us share the seeing of it, and actively participate in Humanity's second (and more realistic) stroke of genius, its new and even more challenging evolutionary adventure.

If a lie could work such wonders, what could the truth not do?
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