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End the "dog and pony show" of testing for committee positions.. From Hadrian, March 31, 2009. Time 10:20
First, we should no longer use the term "testing" That word is an old, old, old mistranslation of M.S. Sumohadiwidjojo by John Bennett. More accurately, the practice is "focused" receiving. The focus is provided by the question we pose before doing the exercise.
Next, our exercise and our receiving is a personal process. We need not require committee candidates to go through the dog and pony show that is public testing for a committee job.
Want a "test" before a vote? Then do a focused receiving about who should receive your vote.
Want to "test" before you stand for a vote? Do a focused receiving privately about doing the job.
All we need do is bury old practices that do not serve us well and are founded on a misunderstanding of the role of receiving in guiding our actions.
Oh my god. We are doomed. :)
Well,not quite so fast.
There is the more fundamental problem of what testing, or bettern focused receiving, should be used for. In my opinion, testing is only useful for helping in the understanding of the latihan and only then for the benefit of individuals. This is a statement about helper vs committee work, the difference between decisions about spiritual and temporal matters. Since, again, in my opinion, helper work is about the individual and his/her latihan and only about that, then testing is useful for helper work. If we must cite Bapak (and why not?) he made a repeated distinction between helper and committee work. The distinction was admittedly fuzzy but as far as I'm concerned the helpers have invaded committee work hugely and usually through testing and committees have weakly acquiesed, all in the name of 'certainty' which has demonstrably never existed.
I'd like to add my two cents' worth to this pile of opinions. As a "mid-term" "helper" who was added to the "old guard" when the founder of the cult decided it was necessary to increase the number of helpers globally by "at least 50%" and I was tapped as a gullible body, and quit when my status as a lone male "helper" in the group was sufficiently "covered" by a coterie of "returning" "helpers", I could say that I've "seen it all", but that's not entirely true.
However, I was present when the founder apparently was not in agreement with the "receiving" of the "helpers" at major gathering to choose a new chair of some sort, and that's apparently when he instituted the testing of committee members, again apparently, when I look back on it, as a way to get his way, which I noted more than once, when, for example, Varindra was "tested in" as world chair in virtual perpetuity seemingly because the founder had him wrapped around his little finger and could manipulate him more easily than some other members who might have been equally, or even more, competent in that position.
In regard to what Hadrian calls the "dog and pony show," I remember attending a national congress a few years back in which the only thing I "received" that seemed to be of any significance during the "latihan" preceding the "dog and pony show" was that so-and-so would become national chair. And it was so (with a bow to Cap'n Picard). But not without an incredible amount of fairly-obvious personality clashes among the "helpers" during the "testing" ("I want this guy"- "No, I want THIS guy" - all, of course, "said" without saying so), during which one member got up and pointed out that the "helpers" were not following their own avowed procedures, at which point he was shouted down by the assembled members who were unwilling to acknowledge that he was right. All of which could have been avoided by taking a simple vote, which the assembled members were patiently or impatiently assembled to do for at least a couple of hours. But there are drama kings and queens everywhere, it seems.
Just a bit of somewhat foggily-remembered Sue Buddhist hiss Tory, for those who are interested in continuing to flog a dead or dying horse. IMO, if the cult doesn't die first, which might not be such a terrible thing since there are many other manifestations of the same phenomenon in other groups throughout the world that might "do the job" far better than Subud, the younger members may "save" it by gradually instituting some of the reforms suggested on this forum and elsewhere. But I doubt that I'll be one of those who lives to see it. And it still may not happen, if there are still a few members with ossified brains or petrified attitudes "leading" the cult from the apparent perpetual-until-death "seat of power" that the current "helper" system can, and often does, offer to such personalities.
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