Only by Destroying Subud Can We Achieve its Goal


Ryan Smith


The Problem:

Subud literature claims to provide no teaching, yet there is much teaching. This is extremely dishonest and leads members to adopt the teachings and customs of Subud for fear of rocking the boat, not because of any genuine experience in the latihan. Members quit doing latihan because of this.


The Solution:

Remove all teaching from Subud. Members should be able to experience these things for themselves, and if not then these things clearly don't matter.


With all teaching removed, the only thing that remains for Subud is to facilitate the transmission of the latihan, and this should done in a way that minimizes anything that could be misconstrued as teaching.


The Details:

Subud either has teaching or it does not.


If we accept that Subud has any teaching at all, then the door is open for elaboration on that teaching with more teaching. Further teaching follows, and Subud becomes what it is now: a low-grade religious cult loosely centered around the latihan.


If we deny all teaching, then the only thing that remains is the one thing that cannot be taught but must be experienced: the latihan, aka the exercise.


Steps to achieve this goal:


1. Recognizing that Subud itself cannot be changed, members interested in not following teaching must leave.


2. Create a new group that omits all teaching such as the talks, separate latihan for men/women, the latihan schedule and time limit, the symbol, the waiting period, the jargon, the designation of helpers, the name. Give the new group a nominal name, since people will have to talk about it somehow.


3. Create a publicly available constitution that prevents teaching from taking over. The form could be a web site, a pamphlet, or simply a card given to all members upon initiation. The constitution need only contain what a current member says to a new member upon initiation:


I am going to show you an exercise that I find useful in my life. I hope you can make use of it yourself. Feel free to ignore anyone, including myself, who tells you the exercise should be like this or should be like that. Ready? Here we go.