Subud Vision - Discussion

Marcus Bolt - What I Like about Subud

What I Like About Subud - Yes, me too!. From Daisy, January 25, 2009. Time 18:15

Marcus, I have just read your article 'What I Like About Subud' in The Journal and wanted to say that I really like and completely agree with what you have said.

I joined Subud 30 years ago and except for a few early years have been mainly out on a limb, detached from the organisational side of things, indeed seperate from a group of any size. It is only in the last few years, living in SE England near a large group that I have really got involved with the social and organisational side of Subud. While, I now am very much enjoying the social side of Subud, going to meetings and conferences etc I am very pleased to have had many years of simply doing latihan with one or two others, a spiritual practice uncluttered by group politics, social attractions and distractions, well-intended (although not always helpful) advice, reading of Bapaks talks and so on. I feel it has given me a bedrock of the essential latihan experience which is my own, rather than something strongly shaped by someone else's words or writings. So now, when I rub up against the debates, issues, problems and wrangles, inherent in the larger Subud world (indeed in any organisation) I can reconnect with what Subud means to me - it is my own internal experience of the latihan, that wonderful indescribable place/state. I agree with you that THIS is what it is really about, and what keeps us practising it. And yes, let's dip into any or all of the rest of it as much, or as little as one wants, but not forget to keep in touch with the real heart of it.

To you and all the other Subud Vision authors, I say - keep up the Subud Vision writings and discussion! It is healthy for us to question what we are invovled in, to offer constructive critiques and considered debates. Many thanks.

From marcus Bolt, January 25, 2009. Time 20:30

Hi Daisy

Thank you for your warm contact and sharing your experiencing.

Part of me feels, 'let everyone do their thing; hang loose (like we are) or make the whole thing into 'a 'belief system' or anything in between- what does it matter? We're all stretched out on a road, all where we are... The other part feels to do that allows the 'religious' (in a pejorative sense) to narrow Subud down into a new religion with a prescribed set of beliefs. So, sometimes I feel free and just get on with my life, othertimes, I write articles!

Thanks again


From David W, September 9, 2010. Time 20:34

Hi Marcus

We haven't had the chance for the beer yet.

You write:

"This new state of affairs is mainly due to the concept of self-funding clubs (such as ‘The Bapak Talks Group’, the ‘Kejiwaan Day Society’ and ‘The Ramadan Association’ for example), which cater for most members’ predilections while enabling ‘Subud’ to remain nothing more than a neutral ‘latihan delivery system’."

But that's not realistic. You are judged by the company you keep. If the Society for Human Equality had self-funded clubs called the "Save the Gays from Damnation" and "Separate But Equal: Save the White Race", no-one could, or would, take them seriously.

People who say "we have no guru" (cool, groovy man: great marketing) but for whom "our founder is a messenger from God whose every utterance is divine revelation" will not, and cannot, be ever taken seriously. And they know that, because they broadcast the first statement, while keeping secret the second.



From Michael Irwin, September 13, 2010. Time 1:26

David wrote: "But that's not realistic. You are judged by the company you keep. If the Society for Human Equality had self-funded clubs called the "Save the Gays from Damnation" and "Separate But Equal: Save the White Race", no-one could, or would, take them seriously."

The Society for Human Equality obviously has a POV with an agenda so of course it would not tolerate "Separate But Equal: Save the White Race". If the core organization had only the job of setting up and serving requirements of the latihan, why would it matter if a club called "Separate But Equal: Save the White Race" existed? Club or not club would they deny the latihan to some one who wanted to "Save the White Race"?


From Philip Quackenbush, September 15, 2010. Time 7:49

Well, you guys,

For what it's worth, back when I moved into the wilds of Spokane (several years before they took my advice and checked the site out for a world congress), I was greeted by a "chief helper" and another guy who would spend all of the time during the putative 'quiet period" discussing right-wing politics, with an emphasis on anti-semitism. This was rather ironic, in that I later found out that one of the members was Jewish, and they did all that talking in his presence. When I would travel back to Spokane to see the ex-wife and kids (after the world congress there), even in the new house, which was heavily financed by the same "chief helper", I think (though there was another helper who had sort of taken over that rôle, having a more "commanding" personality) they still talked politics before and after latihan. It seems that it's just one of those characteristics of some people that one learns to accomodate over the years, hopefully without getting too bent out of shape by it. When I went to latihan last night, there were a couple of guys talking there talking during the "quiet period", and I remarked that I didn't have to worry about being late for latihan, because there apparently wasn't any quiet period I could have attended. One of them just said, "well, we can start one now", and we ended up talking anyway through most of the allotted time, waiting for the women upstairs to start before bopping away. Incidentally, Spokane is close to the US center for the white supremicists, so there may be a few in the group there, as well as a possible côterie of gay-bashers, but I haven't been back there for a few years, so I no longer know what the group dynamic is (or even if there's still a group there; I think so, but who knows?). Enjoy.

Peace, Philip

Peace, Philip

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