Subud Vision - Discussion

Helissa Penwell - The Introductory Period

Grace runs my life. From Julian Spalding, November 23, 2008. Time 17:11

Dear Subud members,
I was opened in LA about the same time as Helissa...1967. I waited 3 months, quite willingly. I like the idea of testing for each applicant. I left Subud in the early 70s, but Bapak's April 28, 1976 talk sums up my belief: "It is clear the latihan...will never leave us once we have been opened." The latihan is God's grace, which is coming through now with increasing intensity in many forms: Deeksha Oneness Blessing, Grace Light, both of which I have received and transmit. In early 70s I received initiation of illumination with Holy Order of MANS, another form of Grace. I have no doubt the Latihan opened the way for grace to appear in other forms. All comes from God and all opens us to a greater reality beyond the nafsu of this world. I am grateful for the Latihan even though I no longer practice it. I know my life has been guided by Grace and by the Latihan. many blessings, Julian Spalding, Albuquerque, NM

From Sahlan, November 23, 2008. Time 19:18

Hello Julian,

I am interested to know how you came across our Web site, as you say you left Subud some decades ago. Was it just a chance encounter or do you often keep in touch on the Web with what Subud is doing?


Sahlan Diver

From Julian Spalding, November 24, 2008. Time 14:50

Sahlan, I receive Subud News and, since I have friends in Subud, I like to stay in touch.


From Sahlan Diver, November 24, 2008. Time 15:4

For the edification of our readers, I found this on :

Deeksha does not belong to any religion, or any particular belief or spiritual path. Deeksha is given each day to people all over the world, people of all races, all religions, all spiritual beliefs or no spiritual beliefs, and to people of all nationalities.

and this on:

Grace Light Empowerment
The receiving and transmitting of Grace Light is done through the medium of the human body. Grace Light empowerment is a profound experience that involves opening various energy centers within the body to infuse the body with light, and stimulating neurobiological changes in the brain to awaken divine intelligence. This process diffuses old sorrows and conflicts, and ignites the heart with new levels of compassion, joy and sense of connection. Once the Grace Light process is initiated, you become a conduit of the light capable of emanating peace and joy into the world.

Sounds familiar?

Julian, I wonder whether you would be interested in writing an article for us comparing your experiences of these other ways with your experience in Subud?


From Sahlan Diver, November 24, 2008. Time 15:34

Following on from Helissa's article and from private discussions that the Subud Vision editors have had amongst themselves, I propose the following shortened and simplified procedure for anyone who wants to receive the latihan.

1) Drop the term "applicant" which has unfortunate connotations of an application needing to be vetted or approved.

2) Our web sites should have a page that makes available all the information that a person needs to know about the latihan before practising it. All optional and ancillary stuff like the structure of Subud, Bapak's explanations of the forces, and so on, would be omitted, the page will only give information about practising the latihan.

3) The web page, and/or equivalent printed leaflet, should have enough information on it that someone can turn up and "enrol" to receive the latihan without further ado.

4) Centres should also of course provide the opportunity for enquirers to meet with members and helpers and ask questions, but it should not be compulsory that they do this.

5) People have suggested that the latihan should be demonstrated to enquirers, but recognise there is the difficulty that someone might be involuntarily opened during the demonstration. Here's a way round that - video some latihans with the participants' consent and put the video samples up on the web site on the information page. In particular video someone starting and stopping their latihan so it can be seen there is no particular ritual or induced trance that preceeds or follows the latihan. Videos like this would also help to lessen any impression that we are hiding something. Are we going to say that a video is equally as likely to open people as the live presence of someone doing latihan? It seems much more unlikely.

6) Finally when the person turns up to be opened they should be asked to sign a piece of paper saying that they have read the introductory information and wish to be opened. Subject to legal advice, this may all that is necessary to protect Subud against the risk of being sued for negligence or whatever. (It may also ne necessary to ask the standard question of whether the person has suffered from any mental illness at any time)

7) Ensure that we have first class support in place for people in the first months after they have been opened. This support should be monitored and vetted to ensure that the helpers or whoever are responsible are not failing in their duty of care. On the other hand if the newly opened person is quite happy with the latihan and needs no help or advice, then we shouldn't intrude either.

From Philip Quackenbush, November 24, 2008. Time 18:51

Hi, y'all,

While I agree with Sahlan's suggestions as a means of progressing from the way things are done in most Subud groups at this time, they still seem to me to not address adequately the fundamentally fear-based attitude that newly "opened" members are subject to the "care" of the "helpers," in case they should "flip out."

Until this is resolved, IMO the organization will remain a dinosaur in relation to the other manifestations of this "new" form of energy in the world, since all of them seem to me to be driven by the current positioning of the planet in the galaxy and all these "cautions", while perhaps legally advisable, have the unmistakable whiff of fear about them, which, again, IMO, is what the "latihan" (or whatever it may be called in other forms or venues) energy seems to be dissipating, and its effects on the general populace cannot be stopped, and that's a "good thing," is it not?

I've been observing a slow transformation taking place not only "inside" Subud but "outside" which is gathering momentum and seems destined to sweep up the entire planet in a feeling of love, cooperation and compassion instead of fear by perhaps the fabled date of 2012, and the Subud organization is only one tiny part of that picture, so I'm not sure that it matters much at this point if the organization undergoes much change, since it seems to be surrounded by other manifestations of the "latihan" energy that tend to make it largely irrelevant in the overall picture. It now seems to be becoming increasingly possible for people to access this energy by simply "standing in place" with no particular desire to do so.

For what it's worth, I 'received" at the Spokane World Congress that Subud as an organization might cease to exist in a few years from shrinkage or attrition but that it wouldn't make any difference, because the "latihan" energy would continue to spread through other means. I believed at the time that it was the "will of God" that it do so [spread]; I realize now that it is a "mere" matter of the geometric positioning of the planet in the galaxy which no person on the planet, to my knowledge, has the ability to alter to a sufficient degree, which allows this "new" energy (call it "latihan", call it "Grace", call it something else, it is what it is) to flow into this sphere with less and less impedance as the geometric positioning of the planet, indeed the entire solar system, becomes more precise in relation to what may be called the galactic equator, and everyone can either "go with the flow" or suffer to the degree that they try to resist it. What, me worry?

Peace, Philip

From Sahlan Diver, November 24, 2008. Time 19:53

This is an important point that Philip has made in his first paragraph. Fear needs to be addressed. With most issues for change in Subud there will probaby be a mixture of specific fear (as, in the example above, the concern that new members need protecting in the early stages) and a more general fear of changing anything from the way it has been done for the past 50 years, especially when this also involves changing a procedure recommended by Bapak.

I agree with Philip that this underlying issue needs resolution, but this is best not done in a vacuum. It is better to have one or more reasonable, specific alternative suggestions on the table, so we can say "why not try it this way instead?",


From Philip Quackenbush, January 7, 2009. Time 19:27

Sahlan writes:

For the edification of our readers, I found this on :

Deeksha does not belong to any religion, or any particular belief or spiritual path. Deeksha is given each day to people all over the world, people of all races, all religions, all spiritual beliefs or no spiritual beliefs, and to people of all nationalities.


Further exploration on the lo-cal site netted this:

What happens during Deeksha?
Deeksha initiates a neurobiological change in the brain that when complete enables the senses to be free from the interference of the mind. When the senses are unclouded by the mind's interpretations, a natural clarity of perception occurs with accompanying spontaneous feelings of joy, inner calmness and connection to the Oneness in everything.

How is Deeksha transferred?
What might I experience? Deeksha is transferred by the deeksha giver normally placing his or her hands onto the crown of your head, usually for about 1 minute. Experiences during the deeksha vary, sometimes strong, sometimes subtle, sometimes delayed until even days later. The recipient may experience a tingling sensation in the head, or blissful energy flowing through the body, or sometimes nothing at all. Whatever the experience the recipient can trust that the process of enlightenment has begun, a process designed by Divine Grace for your own nature that will lead gradually (or sometimes spontaneously) into your own Awakening.


This conforms to several "talks" given over the years, some of which I attended, except for the method of transmission, which is induction by the presence of other(s) in "latihan" rather than laying on of hands, assuming it is the same "force" (or farce), which seems to be the case. It even conforms to Prio's book, in which he said that the "opening" was tantamount to enlightenment (or the beginning of the process, if gradual, which it seems to be in most cases, if there can be said to be such a thing).

Peace, Philip

PS- Deeksha, like Subud, seems to be free of cost except for donations, but, unlike Subud, appears to suggest or require no further group participation in "exercises". At least one of the founders (if she's who I think she is), called "avatars" for the Hindu-minded, is quite successful at transmitting whatever it is to, perhaps by now, millions of people.

From Walter Segall, January 10, 2009. Time 16:8

Oy vay iz mir! If you like Deeksha so much do Deeksha, but if you are a Subud member and are satisfied with the Latihan Kejiwaan of Subud you might weant to avoid wasting your time (and my time) with extraneous discussions of other spiritual practices.


From Philip Quackenbush, January 10, 2009. Time 21:42

Well, Walter,

The info, for those that wish to compare "systems", is available now, on this site.
Whether anyone wants to do so is up to them. BTW, the other one that Sahlan cited I didn't comment on or give further info about, because I thought it was gurucized, much as some in Subud like to treat the founder as a guru, or infallible. I've found, personally, that there is no uniqueness to the "latihan" except in its self-imposed boundaries, for example, the belief that it is unique, or that any of the "systems", including the latihan, is "spiritual" (whatever that overused term may mean to the person using it). Enjoy whatever you prefer.

Peace, Philip

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