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Maya Korzybska - What We Do and How We Do It!

Who holds the ultimate authority?. From Sahlan Diver, December 1, 2010. Time 8:52


I have a number of comments I'd like to make on your article but first I have a question.

Suppose there was a Subud group, let's say in Britain, who decided to abolish the waiting period and open applicants immediately after their first meeting with the helpers. I'd imagine that Subud Britain would not be happy with the situation of one group having a radically different procedure from all the other groups in the country. However what would happen if in fact Subud Britain decided that all their groups should abolish the waiting period and open applicants immediately? Would this decision then have to get the agreement of their Zone? And let's say all countries in their Zone also voted to abolish the waiting period, would this decision then have to get the agreement of all the other Zones through WSA at World Congress?

In other words, what I am asking is, for any major change in procedure who has the ultimate authority to approve it? Can Subud countries act independently of each other or do all such major changes have to get the agreement of WSA?

From Maya Korzybska, December 4, 2010. Time 9:30

Dear Sahlan,

Well that's quite a question and of course a very hypothetical question.

WSA has a very loose legal structure (some say too loose)and we only sign Memorandums of Understanding as opposed to any more binding legal agreements. If Subud Britain decided to abolish the waiting period they have legal independence and can do so.

The democratic process I talk about is because the member countries share a direction, it would mean that IF Subud Britain thinks that this would be a good idea, they would make this proposal to their zone and on to the council and World Congress to see whether this is something that everyone should adopt. That's what being a 'member' of an association means, it's not a question of 'permission' or authority, it's a question of shared vision. If at the end of the day, the majority voted NO, and Subud Britain decided to do so anyway, then there might simply be a division that would certainly not be very constructive.

Still something would never happen like that because in truth it is rare that countries have such fundamentally opposing views on issues related to the kejiwaan...there tends to be fore and against as well as people in the middle.

Sorry I cannot be more precise than what I have said which is the reality to the best of my knowledge.

best maya

From Sahlan Diver, December 4, 2010. Time 9:42


I think you have answered my question precisely. You have said that a country can act independently on an issue if they internally decide to do so. That is what I was interested to ascertain. As I said, I will provide more detailed feedback on your article in due course.

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