The Petrified Vision

“It was all, quite literally, breathtaking. I seemed to stop breathing
altogether, absorbed in the Given. Here it was, this superb scene,
brightly shining in the clear air, alone and unsurpassed, mysteriously
suspended in the void, and this was the real miracle, the wonder
and delight) utterly free of ” me,” unstained by any observer. Its
total presence was my total absence, body and soul.”

So, D. E. Harding describes the moment of his “enlightenment” in
“On Having no Head.” From this vision, he goes on to conclude
he has no head, and with this idea, the petrification of the vision
begins. From this petrification, he now assumes that the cause
of the vision was the realization that he has no head, and he
offers this shiny stone to others as a talisman to hold. A talisman
that if properly held, will bring about the same insight in others.

It is worth noting that at the time, he was hiking in the Himalayas
and the view itself was quite grand, and the physical exertion
intense. I have had similar visions on many occasions facing
different natural settings. In some occasions I was walking, in
others sitting, or even resting supine on the ground. Incarnating
the view, the absence of self, the sensing of voidness, all came
unsolicited, and probably uncaused, or for causes unknown to
me. Of course, I have worked with various practices for many
years, but I can’t offer no particular sadhana as a cause.

Mind altering as such events are, we should resist the temptation
to petrify them with explanations. Not that the temptation is not
very hard to resist. Below is one of mine poetics petrification of
one of such visions.

Watching the sky last night,
someone forgot to watch.
Alone and alive was the night,
Teeming with stars.

Author: Pete

View Comments