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Cenred Harmsworth - What Happened?

Mas Totok's view of the spiritual From Hassanah Briedis, July 7, 2007. Time 21:42

Dear Cenred,

Thank you for writing about your experience of your time with Mas Totok. I found it interesting to hear your personal recollections of him. You describe his views and approach to the spiritual life, and something in particular resonated with me. That is the view that the ‘spiritual person’ is normal, behaves in a normal way and doesn’t seek to elevate themselves above those around them. I suppose that is usually described as ‘humility’. And secondly, that the ‘spiritual person’ loves all of creation. It is good to hear those values being mentioned, I never tire of hearing them.

Much is often said, by all of us, about how we all should be and how we should behave in order to advance the original aims of Subud. But I’m coming to the realization that there is a huge gulf between being told by my religious organization to behave this way and that way, and being able to do it because it’s actually a true expression of who I am. So, to be told that I should love all creation doesn’t mean much. But when it happens, and that love – a deep, utterly passionate love for creation – becomes how I am, then it’s just . . . there! How is the work done to arrive at that? That’s a fascinating question. I’m not sure that I can answer it. But I can say that as my belief in a patriarchal, male, punitive God evaporated and disappeared, so my love for everything else seemed to come to life!

So, as you can see, your descriptions of Mas Totok struck a chord in me, so thanks for writing about it.

From John Elwyn Kimber, November 27, 2010. Time 0:52

Intriguing stuff - why have most of us never heard of it?

There seems to have been rather a lot of buried or suppressed material concerning the early stages of the development of Subud, and kindred movements. Material that might have offered alternative contexts or perspectives in which to view the Latihan.

Heaven forfend that any of us should suspect that deliberate deception might have been practiced on the non-Indonesian membership. But there is a feeling of discrepancy between what the Latihan appears to convey as an intimation of the nature of the Divine, and what the Subud orthodoxy appeared to impose as a kind of 'tax' on access to group Latihan: this is so ubiquitous a perception among the more free-thinking Latihaneers as to demand a true explanation of all the ins-and-outs of Subud 'spiritual politics' in those early years - something that has never yet been revealed in full.


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