The Freedom to Love
‘During the last years we would just sit together… We didn’t have to talk. We would sit on the terrace and look out, just being together. Each of us was the world. And we were the world together:
the trees, the ground, the church, the sky, the birds, the deer, everything.’
Catherine had already experienced a rich life when in 1991 she met Douglas Harding. She had lost her beloved father in World War II, and a few years later, in Paris, she fell in love with Driss Chraïbi, now one of Morocco’s most renowned writers, and raised their five children. When the marriage ended she went to India to study under the yoga teacher Iyengar. On her return to Paris she was persuaded to attend a workshop on The Headless Way …
As a teenager she had realised, ‘There is another reality here which is luminous Light and silence’, and through Douglas’ experiments she learned how to access this at will. Together, she and Douglas introduced countless people to the art of Seeing, conducting workshops throughout the world till his death in 2007.
Karin met Catherine in 2014 and their conversations inspired this book: ‘More and more,' Catherine tells Karin, ‘I realise that I am not Catherine, the little Catherine. I am the eternal universal consciousness, experiencing life in the form of Catherine, just as you are the universal consciousness experiencing being you. At the root of ourselves we are this clear universal consciousness.’
What readers say about the book
"Every so often we come across an extraordinary person, someone truly beyond the ordinary, a role model for what human beings are capable of. In this short book Catherine Harding's vibrant spirit shines through as she tells own her story in fresh and vivid words. "Love is the only thing that counts”:
Catherine's message is in our age of individualistic self promotion the exact opposite. Love might seem too hard to define and too difficult to do but the appendix contains instructions for simple experiments which demonstrate (provided we try them and don’t just skim over) that we’re built this way already: we all have the capacity to be open awareness, to give attention — the foundation of love. We just need to practice trusting it."
Much more than 'just' a biography
"I knew a little about Douglas Harding and the Headless Way when I came across this book, but nothing about Douglas’s French widow, Catherine. I found this account of her life absolutely fascinating. This is much more than ‘just’ a biography: alongside Catherine’s charismatic personality, the truths Harding uncovered, simply and clearly explained, take centre-stage."
Listen to Karin being interviewed about the book
Catherine's life story provides a backdrop to the direct and practical experiments
of perceiving who we really are, included in this book
developed by Douglas Harding.
A review in the Dutch Non-Dual magazine ‘InZicht’
The life and vision of Catherine Harding, the widow of the famous English mystic Douglas Harding, is described by Karin Visser in a biography that is also a handbook for Seeing who/what you really are. The new dimension that she adds to the concept of “biography” is as fascinating as the life of the gentle woman she describes: It is an emotional and practical book.
Read the full review here