Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2000
“Never for one second have you been face to face with anyone in your life. It’s always been face to No-face…face there, Space Here.” Meaning, Harding is pointing first to his own self while speaking, and then to a different person he is seeing in front of him. This book begins with simplistic exercises of Harding’s philosophical axiom: that a person may look out and see another human being’s face, but is actually looking out of a kind of big picture window, but not a visually seen face. The author’s voice, presented through these collected workshops and interviews, is philosophical, learned, and has a cozy conversational British accent. Harding has written seven books and numerous articles, was a professor at Cambridge University, and spent his early years as an architect and then a major in World War II.
His theoretical views denote extensive research in virtually all religions, and include poignant quotes from famous spiritual leaders. Lang edits together four main aspects of Harding’s belief system entitled: The Big One and the Little One, Death, The Mystery of Self-origination, and Surrender. The rest of the book consists of question and answer sessions from workshops and conversations.
This book is filled with philosophical truths about Consciousness, Being, Awareness, the Center, and so on, constantly bringing the reader back to Harding’s simple exclamation of existence as a profound, amazing gift. Although much of the philosophy is abstract, he does use physical examples to bring to light his concepts. Often, the reader will have to assume an idea based on the print style of capitalizing the larger philosophical concepts and must infer meaning because the translation from Harding’s informal speaking is sometimes obscure. For example: “Who I am really is Who I am Here for myself, and for me it’s the Big One. The face is my temporary appearance.”
The editor has a tough job organizing this philosophy and presenting it to today’s literal and fast-paced society. Essentially, the book emphasizes the human being’s oneness with God and what these basic words mean in their most esoteric sense. Here is an author where collecting all his writing would be a benefit. There is much spiritual enlightenment available through careful study of his work. The reader must be ready and eager to explore this logical, yet metaphysical model of self-discovery.