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Marius Kahan - Subud and the Art of Automobile Maintenance

Take the next step?. From David W, September 9, 2010. Time 20:57

Hi Marius

I like your generally iconoclastic view. The old religions told people not to worship idols. Good advice for communities, in my view.

But I don't feel you take the final step. You write:

"In my opinion the latihan is exactly that; a power source, pure energy — super-consciousness if you will."

But the question is: what kind of being discerns what is "pure energy" and "super-conscious", over and above the perceptions of his (non-Subud) fellows. A super-being?

And if this community of 10,000 or so has such access, and such fortune... why the mediocrity. Why the averageness, or even, in some cases, the sub-averageness?

I really admired the Master of the Dominican Order when I read a talk of his, in which he said, quote: "Christians are not usually much better than other people. Jesus came to call sinners and not the just, and in this he continues to be highly successful."

I think if Subud portrayed itself as not more fortunate, but less fortunate, than others, it would improve 300%.

Perhaps the LK (latihan kejiwaan) is like Vitamin 7. Most people in the world have the natural ability to generate Vitamin 7. A rare few, due to historical circumstance, perhaps, lack that ability. Come those rare few, then, to Subud, to get your natural supplement.

I am reminded of a story I heard about caffeine. Apparently, caffeine is addictive. If you are a coffee drinker, since you are not drinking coffee while you are asleep, you go into withdrawal overnight. In the morning, you brew your first cup, and think you are getting a "lift" from the coffee. But in fact you are just returning to normal: the unaddicted state that most people feel all the time.

So, let me ask you: From an external view (evidence) is Subud really a community of the super-conscious? For me, I would have to say, honestly not.

From an internal point of view, what is the source of your belief that you have something that other people lack? More generally, what is the source of the belief "I have, and they have not"?

The final step in iconoclasm I'm suggesting might be interesting is to drop the claim to have, access or be anything special at all, since there is no evidence—either objectively, or from what we know of human psychology—that this is a true or good kind of belief.

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