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Edward Baker - Answers On a Postcard

Is remaining forever a requirement for membership?. From Philip Quackenbush, March 19, 2008. Time 6:9

Hi, Edward,

You said:

"Within a relatively short timescale we would be finding out the reasons why people leave something they should stay with forever."

While the methods you suggest for finding out why people leave Subud have merit, the assumption that someone "should" stay in it "forever" has no basis, other than assertions by the founder and a few members that I know of. In fact, I left it a few years ago, found more of what could be called "spiritual progress" outside its (rather confining, in my opinion) confines, and returned only because a local venue was nearby. Much of my life had been spent in the organization which meant that I had several people in it whom I could stay in contact with whose company I enjoyed and the available venue made it possible to participate in the spontaneous phenomenon in a group setting. It was just such an assertion (that one would be unable to be "closed" by a "helper") that turned away a person I recently brought to the organization as an applicant (the first I had ever brought to it despite over four decades of membership, including two decades as a "helper"), so it might be reasonable to assume that others would be put off by such an attitude when applying to be "opened," if not after being "opened."

Peace, Philip


From bronte, April 17, 2008. Time 0:27

What a pity that you friend was not opened Philip.
All it takes to be "closed" is to stop doing latihan, and the effects diminish to either nothing noticable, or an occassinal background blip, just as we'd get from having been a Quaker, a Catholic or a lapsed atheist. The impression remains. The content is re-accessible. But the organisaton rushes to take ex-members off the list sometimes.
I happen to believe in Subud being something permanent in our lives, and something that no one should be afraid of. So no one should worry that they can't be "Closed".
This mainly because the latihan is an opening within the individual not an intrusion from the opener into the individual. Why am I so dogmatic in stating that?
Because my latihan experience did not need someone with me when it first happend in a conspicuous way, for one thing.
Secondly, because I believe latihan is a natural thing for all mankind. It's just that I can't prove that agrument, when everyone knows(?) that each person has to make a choice before they get "it".
I also believe that the latihan is a necessary kind of "soul food", which we need forever, whether we "attend latihan" or not. That is another belief that maybe stems from the Christian upbringing I had, as much as from reading and hearing some of Bapak's talks, and, when I was allowed to, doing latihan with the group.


From Philip Quackenbush, April 17, 2008. Time 7:40

Hi, Bronte,

I thought I made it clear that she already "had" the "latihan", and she could "do" it whenever she wanted, just that she had no desire to join the cult. Maybe not. We all have to follow our own noses to find out what's cooking. My nose is currently leading me out of the cult (I remember many years ago asking "God" to lead me to something "better" than the "latihan" if it existed [back in the daze when I still believed such a "God" existed], and I smell the authenticity of a superior "soup" in something I encountered just two daze ago), also, though I may still have friends within it.

There's only one ocean (though the miniscule personal mind likes to label sections of it for easier identification), but rots and rots of rivers and streams leading into it. The problem is that most of them are polluted these daze, and the ocean (the real one as well as the "spiritual" one [or memeplex of humankind]) has only a limited capacity to absorb that much pollution before the entire species becomes extinct or severely crippled, both physically and psychologically. I think I may have found a pure stream, and I intend to drink from it to find out. IMO, the purity of the "latihan" was contaminated from the very beginning of its organization under the "explanations" of its founder, and it's very difficult, if not impossible, to find a group to practice with that hasn't been influenced by those verbalizations.

Peace, Philip


From bronte, April 17, 2008. Time 8:49

I think I may be more prejudiced about the latihan than I am about Subud, if that's possible.
I have endlessly complained about the inhumanity towards each other of Subud people, many of whom are actually wonderful human beings.
I also endlessly speak of the "contact" given in Subud as a contact with the "soul", or with "God", and there can only be one such contact, which you either have, or do not have. In fact, I think of it not as a previouisly absent contact, though that it may be, but as a dormant contact, like a light switch that must be turned on, when the power is already there.
So your lady friend and I may be able to agree, if it was relevant to do so. Even you and I might agree, as long as we can separate the contamination of "life" from the "contamination of the latihan", which I do not think can be contaminated, just as electricity can't be contaminated.
Well, I do have a few prejudices about what is happening when a person is "responding" to the spirit, just as all the Christian dogmatists may say we, in Subud, are just opening ourselves up to satanic forces. Not an opinion I share, and I blame all my faults and failing on myself, not the latihan, and all my disappointments in Subud on the frailties of people, not either Bapak, or the latihan.
Am I really wrong in these view? I hope not
I will only ever know if there is life after death, at which stage it will be too late to correct my mistakes.
Peace and Love to all.
Bronte


From Philip Quackenbush, April 17, 2008. Time 9:19

Hi, Bronte,

I guess I didn't make clear after all that she had been "opened" (in the UU church where she lived before). And you CAN know if your beliefs are correct before death if you give them all up and search for the truth inside yourself [as awareness or consciousness] diligently enough (along with the rest of "Jesus' " "Kingdom of Heaven", otherwise known as eternal bliss). Only one in far more than a million has ever successfully done that, though it will become more common on this planet as the species continues to evolve if it doesn't destroy itself first. Barring that giving up of all beliefs and the concentration for as long as possible on the search within, watching your awareness, the second best choice is to continue with just your "latihan," IMO, ignoring all explanations from others (including mine) as to what it is or what it can or will do for you.

Peace, Philip

Peace, Philip


From bronte, April 17, 2008. Time 12:16

The often made claim that someone has been "opened" outside of Subud, as the lady concerned, is not an easy one to cope with, for me and many Subud people.
At least not for me, despite my solitary experience of latihan which Bapak confirmed to me was latihan, prior to my being old enough to "join Subud".

If a person experiences strange latihan-like experiences, I would not be totally at ease that they claimed they were doing the same thing as I am and so "should not need to be opened officially." I find really different experiences in Quaker Meeting, and some other groups, from the latihan I feel.

It is one of the things helpers have dealt with in various ways over the years, and I fortunately have never been personally confronted by anyone claiming they are "opened" wanting to "do latihan" with me.

I have far more trouble, having been opened officially and unofficially 43 and 47 years ago, trying to get to do latihan with the official Subud people, who have advised me in so many differenet ways and at different times, that I can't, don't, may not or otherwise shall not do latihan with them.

There's my starting point for trying to discover, if not create, some sort of harmony and rapport and acceptance of differences between people actually "officially" in Subud, where Brotherhood and Humanity are supposed to be if not the "Big Drawing Cards", then at least the "Big Selling Point".

And is that point about acceptance well made? Not to me it isn't!


From Philip Quackenbush, April 17, 2008. Time 18:39

Hi, Bronte,

Well, you're far from the only one who's been "opened" outside of the cult. I personally know of at least three people that I know pretty well and have heard of others, and I'm sure there are plenty more. There's is absolutely no way to know whether someone is "opened" or not, short of being "God" (which we all are, of course) and being conscious of such (which is far rarer), and one long-term member of the cult who knew the founder for years assessed him as being the worst judge of character he'd ever met, so whatever you've taken as the "latihan" is probably what it is for you, but assuming that it is only that or exclusive to cult members is only that, an assumption. I wish you well in your further adventures in this life, but personally expect that this will be my last post on this forum, since I'm being drawn to "other folds", as "Jesus" might have said (if he actually existed, of course-I remain skeptical of all claims and try to discard all beliefs for maximum "enlightenment" [or expressed in other terms, the ol' Subud saw that you can't use an ashtray until you clean it out]).

Peace, Philip


From bronte, April 18, 2008. Time 9:6

Boy could I do things with those comments!
You sound every bit as put-off by Subud as I am, and then some.
My trouble is that I want to see Subud as RIGHT, and GOOD, and be part of it. And I am coming up soursops and not roses with that wish (soursop is an Australlian weed, originating in South Africa)

If you have found something to move-on to I can't but wonder what.
Even you wrote that "the answer lies within" - almost.
And that is, to me, also the essence of Subud.
And as to those who insist Subud is a"cult", well, it does upset me. Perhaps I have trouble trying not to define anything as a cult, just because it(any religious/spiritual/mystical something or group)is so big that everybody treats it as a religion; and you may name anything you like in that.

What I cling to is
1) The latihan is a valuable, if infrequent help to me
2) If I am with another person open in Subud, I feel the latihan as part of the interaction
3) The latihan of Subud is the contact with the Inner Life that is the only reality for all spirituality, no matter that no one else uses the same names, or follows the same teacher.
4) The founder may have had more flaws than the Twin Towers had (flaw=floors) but he had a job he did as well as he could, and I don't envy him all the hard work and sacrifice he put into it. And he won't be demolished as easily as those towers either.

Hence, for me, there is no other "place" to "move on" to, although I have indeed had to move on to associate with more friendly people who do not put so much effort into destroying my self assurance and self confidence as the people in Subud have done these last 20 years plus.
Happy travelling.


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