Subud Vision - Feedback

Marius Kahan - Making Claims

Realism is needed, but let's get the balance right also. From stefan, July 30, 2007. Time 0:20

Hi Marius.

You say: "Back when I was an applicant, the sentiment most often expressed was that Subud members were on the receiving end of a miracle...Today, that enthusiasm seems to have all but evaporated and many people seem resigned to the idea that Subud is a niche movement."

I think that was our honeymoon phase. Since then many have joined and left. Large enterprises attracted huge investments of effort, time, money and - above all - hope. Then (as many business schemes do) our enterprises and the hopes and dreams they represented fell through. The world appears to be as troubled and divided as ever, and where is the visible sign that the latihan is making a difference?

So isn't it you and I, as much as anyone else, whose optimism has been dented?

But the positive side of this is perhaps a humility and a quest for a realistic review of what we can expect from the latihan. Rather than "we are the new spiritual elite" there is more of a questioning attitude arising. I see more open-ness to learning from others or teaming up with them.

I appreciate the desire for honesty in our presentation expressed in your article. I find it so tempting, in my enthusiasm to see the latihan reach more people, to lean towards presenting the most positive aspects.

I'm still not sure where a balance lies. I'll never forget one applicants meeting when I lived in London when one of my fellow helpers turned to a longstanding applicant with a deeply anxious look and said "Has anyone covered runaway latihans?" and went on to describe in vivid detail the dangers he felt should be honestly addressed. I don't remember seeing that applicant again, which seems a pity, because during 37 years of regular latihaning (in many groups) I've never come across anyone who's personally experienced a runaway latihan.

I'd like to find a balanced way of describing Subud. I find a lot of value in David Weeks introduction and would be very interested to hear your view about that and also about my "Alternative Introduction". Are we still painting Subud rosy? If so, how can we say it more truthfully without producing "runaway applicants"?

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