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Merin Nielsen - Absurd Subud

Hope?. From Edward Fido, January 9, 2009. Time 23:52

I think Merin, the sad thing is that, in what is the Postchristian West, what I call Parody Subud has become classified as a New Religious Movement, thereby placing it well in the loony fringe category to many who might otherwise be interested.
Mainstream Christianity, Judaism and Islam seem to have been somewhat underwhelmed by its advent. It usually passes under their radar. When it does come to their attention the reaction is usually unfavourable.
There are a number of reasons for this. Subud really came out of left field as far as English speaking and most other cultures go. Javanese spirituality, apart from possibly a few Dutch researchers, was virtually unknown outside its place of origin in 1957/8. The Gurdjieff Fourth Way of John Bennett, who hosted Pak Subuh's first visit then, was notoriously secretive, inbred and hierarchical and communicated in an almost unintelligible spiritual gobbledegook.
Most religions also have their own spiritual ways, such as Christian mysticism; Hasidic Judaism or Sufism. A new spiritual way would be regarded with great suspicion. Particularly if it were considered to have anything to do with Magic or the Occult.
There are few members of Subud Australia involved to any extent in religion. Most who are tend to keep it quiet for fear of ridicule. Most 'Subud Muslims' in Australia do not know how to wash themselves prior to prayer, let alone pray. Every normal practice (the Sharia) seems to be bypassed on the understanding that Subud members possess the inner reality (the Haqiqa).
Anyone claiming to possess the inner reality of a religion would be regarded with amazement by its normal adherents. Particularly if they seemingly came out of nowhere.
Jesus was, I think, regarded in similar fashion by the religious authorities of his time. But Jesus had the goods. He showed that. I am unsure Subud, as displayed in many places, does currently do so.
Christianity would probably not have spread amongst the Gentiles and become a major world religion were it not for St Paul.
My personal feeling is that Subud collectively needs its Damascus Moment. It is only when one is blinded by light that one can, metaphorically, absorb it and be totally renewed.
The Subud of the laager - tiny, enclosed, incredibly defensive, hierarchical and secretive - is being found to be wanting. Has been for years.
The objections to it you and others raise in Subud Vision and elsewhere are all perfectly valid.
Pak Subuh seemed to be working on the old Sufi adage: 'Do not look at my outer appearance but take what is in my hand'. What is valuable, enduring and life changing in Subud is not the pseudo-religious construct built up over the past 50 years in the West but the latihan. The spiritual exercise itself. That needs to be set free.
It seems that people need to free themselves first before Subud collectively throws off its shackles.
Damascus has, I think, occured. Quietly. It needs time.

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