Subud Vision - Feedback
Ragnar Lystad - A Spiritual Democracy
Helper Democracy a Possibility. From Bronte, November 8, 2009. Time 3:8
A comment on this sentence from your article on Subud Democracy.
"What is not satisfactory, if we look at the present situation, is the disproportionate influence of the helpers, who have not been chosen democratically."
My experiences and observations about the appointment and function of helpers varies from some, and suggest a type of democracy even with the helper structure as it is.
Firstly, the choosing of helpers is usually influenced by the members, who need to "like" a person, or "respect" a person before they are given the "Job" of Helper.
Secondly, the helpers are supposed to encourage members in their Subud life, and help them in their Subud life.
In this, there is a degree of room for the member to decide for themselves what the outcome will be, and certainly to "receive" for themselves the response they use to act upon.
In this sense, only the unnecessary interference by the helper stops the process being democratic. If I test, and feel "have nothing to do with that person", and the helper conducting the session tells me to "embrace that person, he is your brother" then I am not testing, I am play-acting out the helper's wishes. That actually happened to me.
So the purpose of helpers is, really, to be doing what the members wish, not doing their own thing.
Another example of non-democracy thwarting democracy. The group helpers told me to apply for a helper card, because they wanted me as a helper again. So they chose me for the job, democratically, you might say. The fact that the top-down structure of kejiwaan councillor, National Helpers, regional helpers, decided to override the wishes of the group, who knew me well, is just an un-democratic aberration of an almost democratic function.
After all , the new helpers have to be chosen from the members, and have to be willing to serve the members.
And there will always be some members willing to serve others without being helpers.
These people are de-facto helpers in reality.
And Subud needs to accept more involvement on "spiritual" matters by members, which I suspect it does now.
Members do not have to always feel bound by group-helper advice and decisions, if they want to they can avoid or ignore them. That is their democratic right.
We are all, I believe, supposed to be learning how to find out what to do for ourselves, not by submission to helpers or anyone else.
That is the basic nature of Subud, which could distinguish it from all other organisations of every type.
How much more democratic can you get?
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