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Marius Kahan - What the...?!

More Testing Please! There Must Be!. From Bronte, October 15, 2010. Time 9:22

Believe it or not, I feel offended at the remarks made about testing.
Being too sensitive, aren't I!

Why should I, you may ask.
Well, from the first day I saw Bapak, in 1963, I was shown testing, in that case by Bapak, of a member present.
Well, it is likened to simplistic lack of reasoning in Marius's article.
I find that approach too dismissive of all that Subud is about, being that latihan is very much a feeling thing, not a thinking thing.
And in all of life, my feelings dictated how I thought and behaved.
I really believe that is true for everyone, no matter how little we accept it.
So testing is about finding the feelings that fit the subject, not the thoughts.
We have thoughts about most things, and as Marius suggests, thoughts can work out many situations in life, such as how to prepare for death. Well - you did choose to include that subject so I start there, at the end.
I maintain that testing, which some prefer to call "guided receiving", is necessary to explore the possible alternate feelings that may apply in any situation. Without saying more, I most definitely welcome, and wish others cold welcome, the chance to explore, by Subud testing, the feelings which may relate to any topic in my life that I have either sorted out or I am still bewildered by.
If only the conflict I have found in my local Subud world - Australia's Subud in total, had been dealt with by Maarius, AND testing, perhaps it would not have been something which I, and many others, left, in my case many years ago.
Marius, I must reject your whole hypothesis on this.
Bapak wanted us to do more testing, not less.
So do I!

From Marius, October 26, 2010. Time 11:24

I tried to answer this about a week ago, but my feedback failed to post... Anyway, here goes:

I’ve been very busy lately, hence this belated reply. Well, Bronte, yes – if you are offended by what I write, then I feel that you are being too sensitive; it’s only my opinion, after all (which is, of course, correct). If you reject my entire hypothesis, that’s really fine by me – I’m not responding out of any special need to defend my position, just by way of clarification.

The mere fact that Bapak suggested doing more testing, not less, does not of itself hold any sway with me. He said, often enough, that we were under no obligation to believe what he said, that humans were flawed, and that he was an ordinary man. Effectively he seemed to be saying ‘this is my view, it might be wrong, go forth and discover your truth through your own experience of the latihan.’

If I had the time or inclination to trawl through the archives, I’m pretty sure that I could dig out a talk by Bapak in which he exhorted the membership to do less testing, not more. I certainly seem to recall his hinting that testing was a subtle instrument, not to be abused. The tricky question, of course, is where that line is crossed. A friend once told me about some testing in the early days when the men tried to get an insight into the state of a member’s gearbox and rear axle. That might be a little over the top, don’t you think?

But my point here is that Bapak championed the heart and mind too. Use the heart and mind to draw logical conclusions, use the inner world to uncover the mysteries. I have no problem with any of the testing I ever saw Bapak do with me or others – it always seemed geared towards expanding our understanding of the world around and within. So, testing things like ‘what is the nature of a stallion?’ seems quite legitimate to me – the more so when contrasted (as it was) by ‘what is the nature of a mare?’ I would go as far as to say that I find it regrettable when transcriptions of talks are punctuated by the word ‘testing’. If we had more records of Bapak’s specific tests, we might have some good material to work with, instead of the namby bunch of tests at which I was levelling criticism.

I stand absolutely by what I wrote because it is born of ‘my’ truth. Since you mention it, death, for example, is something I have drawn my own conclusions about without testing and my only real comment on the matter is that there’s not much we can do about it. Along with taxes, it’s the one certainty, not much more to say. I’ve faced it a couple of times in my life and, for what it’s worth, I was rather depressed to think that my time had come before I was ready – then the moments in question passed and I was relieved. I just don’t think that any amount of testing beforehand would have changed my reaction in the face of it. But if people really fear death, perhaps it would help them to test about it – my view though, is that the latihan can reveal the reality that we are just incarnate beings and instil a very real sense of the transitory nature of this world, all without recourse to testing. I have rarely, if ever, felt transformed by a test – generally I’m ‘back to normal’ within 24 hours. Yet the latihan itself, as well as the experiences visited upon me as a result of its presence within – that’s something else.

I hope that clarifies my position a little. I still believe that less testing and more commonsense is what Subud needs and that most of the tests in question could be answered by the handy little accessories of the heart and mind. And if that’s the case, isn’t there a real possibility that the heart and mind might get all mixed up by the process of testing and, by extension, end up even more confused and anxious than they were before? Couldn’t it work just as well – or better – to examine these issues, to understand more fully the emotional dynamics that drive them, and then to ‘surrender’ them?


From Bronte, November 4, 2010. Time 0:22

I think I must not indulge myself in many more arguments about this.
I have found Subud such a hostile environment, with no reasonable application of common sense, justice, or any Subud tecniques Bapak may ever have recommended.
I just hope some people will gain more from it than I have, and I think the process called "Testing", whatever it really is, must contain an essential tecnique for connecting Subud to life, if that is possible. Why "Do Subud" if it does not connect to life anyway?
I too have found that the effects of testing can both fail to produce a long-lasting result, and can produce unnecessary anxiety and confusion. Obviously I have much less experience of Subud, despite my almost fifty year association with it, than you, and that's fine by me.
The testing done by a little group of us at the group's hall once, in 1998, was so ridiculed by one of the more objective members that it traumatised us all into finally leaving Subud forever after, having nearly done so several tinmes before. All he said was that we were just receiving all our answers from vivid imaginations. That may be true for then, and many other times. I have merely been a Subud Fringe Dweller, if that, ever since.
So much for "Testing". I still believe it is training of the feelings in a way that our western world denies is possible.
And so I think it is necessary.
I do not think the intellectual resolution of even simple worldly problems should always be regarded as adequate, in the way that you seem to advocate.
This statement of my opinion is more in accord with my religious beliefs, from more than one religion, than just a Subud thing.

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