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.
Sources
Harding, Douglas E. The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth.
Gainesville University of Florida Press, 1979.
———. On Having No Head. 1971. Reprint, Boston Arkana,

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