Subud Vision - Discussion

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

Comments on your replies to the feedback so far. From Sahlan Diver, December 11, 2010. Time 15:12


I thought I'd take some time to comment on your recent article and feedback comments. Because I have a lot to say on separate topics, I am going to make several replies. Here is my comment on some of your feedback replies.

You suggested in a feedback reply “… a job for a volunteer within the executive team, to read all these exchanges, subudvision, sububforum etc....and extract things that can be seen as membership concerns which we may not be hearing through our other channels and pass it on to the council”

Your idea is an excellent idea and I hope that the executive will act on it soon. However my guess is it will not be so easy to find a person who has both the time and enthusiasm to read through all the material, and the skill to produce a good summary of it. Also, you will probably need more than one such person, won’t you, if there are any non English-language forums or web sites that have worthwhile material?

Regarding your comment that replying to feedback can take up a lot of time, this is true and it is appreciated when authors take time to do so. The small amount of feedback received for your article so far should not be taken as any indication of lack of interest – it may be that people agree with what is being said or find the article to be sufficiently informative, and therefore have no comments to add. Sometimes articles get no feedback for months, then they get feedback. Other articles don't get feedback on Subud Vision but may get discussed on other forums that members prefer. We have published over 100 articles and the editors try to encourage in-depth writing, well supported with example and argument, so these are not light reading and people need time to think about them before commenting.

I have two things to say about your feedback response that “...Subud vision will never have participants who are non-anglophone if an effort isn't made in that sense.”.

Firstly, we would obviously like to publish in other languages, and did have one of the articles translated into Spanish by a Subud member from Cuba –- it subsequently appeared in a Spanish-speaking Latin American journal. But, as you will be aware, for a web site to support multiple languages it needs more than just translation, it needs an administrator and editors who can communicate in those language, to handle technical support and other communications from readers. There was an idea to get sponsorship for a Spanish language edition of Subud Vision, but this was abandoned due to the difficulty of obtaining funding in the current global financial situation.

Secondly, you were complaining that Michael was asking you to closely define the meanings of the words “moral” and “spiritual” in English, which I gather is not the language you are most comfortable with. However it was you, not Michael, who introduced these words. Michael's point was that these words represent concepts which in ANY language are too vague and subjective to be guidelines for action, and that it is solely the WSA constitution that should both guide and constrain the actions of the WSA members and officials. Which brings me to a question. -- do precise translations of the WSA constitution exist in languages other than English, e.g. French, Spanish, German, Japanese? If not, why not, since the constitution should be fundamental to the operation of Subud? We should never have a situation in which volunteers acting on our behalf are not properly cognisant of the guidelines under which the organisation operates.

From stefan, February 15, 2011. Time 14:37

Dear Maya,
re: "a job for a volunteer within the executive team, to read all these exchanges, subudvision, sububforum etc....and extract things that can be seen as membership concerns which we may not be hearing through our other channels and pass it on to the council”

But I was invited to play exactly that role by the previous WSA team (which included yourself). It was part of a broad international enquiry about Subud's organisation and culture, and my brief was to co-ordinate a fearless and honest look at our current ways, how we might improve as a learning organisation. Like yourself -and I really do empathise -to do this well involved me in many late nights and put considerable stress on my work, marriage and personal life. For this reason I very much appreciate you making the time to respond in depth to individual's questions and suggestions on this site.

But I did feel in the end that the project was to some degree a "token" exercise, just as congress discussions about - say - the applicant period happen time after time but tend to result in no change. This is intensely discouraging.

I don't blame WSA, who (at least during "my" term) were hungry for change. There is a vehement resistance by some vocal members to changing anything that involves the way Subud is presented, the "hiring and firing" of helpers or the applicant process. This tends to undo the careful research and devoted work that more progressive members do. I am not blaming individuals, and respect that everyone has a right to their viewpoint. But it does mean that MUCH time and work goes into reports, and discussions which eventually get squashed and lead us back to the stuck place that first inspired the reports.

I am frankly in awe of you, Maya, and those who are able to keep pouring your positive energies into Subud comittee work in such challenging conditions.

From NY, March 12, 2012. Time 14:26

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