Harding, Douglas E. (1909-)

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Harding, Douglas E. (1909-)

British mystic whose teaching resembles a very practical application of Hindu jnana yoga and Zen Buddhist teachings. Harding was born at Lowestoft, Sussex, England, into a fundamentalist Christian family, his parents being members of the Plymouth Brethren. He studied architecture at University College, London. After breaking with the Plymouth Brethren, he was disowned by his parents and suffered a loss of religious faith until he spontaneously rediscovered the secret of mystical identity taught in various religions.

His own awakening was a matter of patient trial and error, which he went through while still pursuing his profession as an architect in India and Britain, as is described in his books On Having No Head (1971) and Me, The Science of the 1st Person (1975). Harding pursued the method of direct first-person experience of "headlessness," involving exercises in achieving identity and awareness. In this endeavor, Harding recalled the classic Hindu mystical question "Who am I?" expounded by Sri Ramana Maharshi and other sages, but beginning at a pragmatic level of physical awareness and culminating in a kind of Western-style Zen insight.

Harding lived in Suffolk, England, but spent time traveling through Europe and the United States lecturing and conducting experiential workshops.


Harding, Douglas E. The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1979.

. On Having No Head. 1971. Reprint, Boston: Arkana, 1986.

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Harding, Douglas E. (1909-)

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