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Rosalind Priestley - Will the Real Bapak Please Stand Up

We cannot know the real Rosalind Priestley. From Chan Rasjid, January 14, 2011. Time 16:44


What I see after a reading your article is that, first and foremost, it expresses knowledge 'from-the-mind'.
I expect this would elicit immediate reactions from many that I am from the 'Bapak-says-camp'. I indeed can be slotted into that camp which believes in Bapak. I have my reasons to and, at this moment of writing, is unaware that it simply is because Bapak said so.

When we are first born, we learn about the 'real' world around us - react to it, to adapt to it and to communicate to those around us. So if we trace the reality of our adult knowledge, it is not too different from 'I-hear-or-read-someone-said-so' - nearly every iota of knowledge that an ordinary person has is of this nature; even 'original-research' done through empirical investigations are of no exceptions as the basis is from an acquired sets of logic rules. Bapak described this form of knowledge as from the 'heart and mind'. In general Man do not have original knowledge. Most of the things people normally say do not differ in much from words prefaced with "Bapak says ..." - their essences have origins that usually do not trace from our 'true' self.

If the real Rosalind Priestley stands up, not many can know her. If the real Bapak stands up, the situation is rather similar - not many people can know him. We may ask a worldly question and, no matter how difficult, an answer could usually be found in the end. But ask a question about the nature of life and death, it 'breaches-the-profound' - and everything said can rightly be called a personal opinion; but the 'spiritual significance' of words of people may differ very much; it all depends on the persons spiritual experience, not how much a person thinks about a problem or how many book references have been quoted, but more related to the person's total amount of attentiveness spent in life to living. The more we think and read books to search for an answer, the less 'attentiveness' we spend on 'living' - we acquire more knowledge of the heart-and-mind and less about the true spiritual world.

It is not without reason that Bapak stressed that the heart and mind should be directed properly - that is to worldly pursuits. Directing the heart and mind to questions about human nature is the same as trying to delve into the meaning of life and depth through thinking - the answer can never be found as it is beyond the realm of the heart and mind.

As not many of us can see into the future, it is difficult to say whether if Subud keeps going in 'this-same-manner' it will simply die away.

Chan Rasjid,

From Rosalind, January 14, 2011. Time 20:32

Dear Rasjid,

I'm not sure how what you are saying differs from what I am saying. My point is that all opinions of Bapak are a matter of personal judgement. Perhaps you are suggesting that someone, such as yourself, has the spiritual experience to set himself above other individuals and judge their capacity to judge. I don't see how anyone can claim that kind of superiority and authority. We would not relinquish our right to make our own decisions in any other area of our lives, so why would we uniquely do this when forming an impression of a spiritual leader? We have an obligation to ourselves to examine all questions carefully and make our assessments based on what we can learn from every part of ourselves: mind, heart, intuition, inner feeling, as well as from any outside sources that are available. No one can tell us we are wrong, because no one is walking in our shoes. For some people, the figure of Bapak has great importance and what he said was highly significant. For others, what he had to say created serious problems, and they would have been more comfortable in Subud without the presence of a 'teacher'. That's how it is. Subud has lost a lot of members because of Bapak. Maybe it's time to recognize that fact and explicitly offer members a real freedom of belief where Bapak and his teachings are concerned.

All the best,


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