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Sahlan Diver - Blueprint for Change

Husk or Content?.. From Dirk Campbell, July 8, 2007. Time 15:56

'... what should we do if it turns out that the majority of members have locked themselves into a passive, rigid mindset from which they have no easy escape route?  Then, I see no reason why Subud should continue to enjoy its current monopoly over the spread of the latihan. Hence, Plan B. The new organisation unfettered by the mistakes and prejudices of the past may be able to make a much better job of it.  After fifty years we can hardly claim that Subud hasnšt been given a fair chance.'

Radical stuff and I can quite see why you buried it at the bottom of one of your articles. I don't think Plan B would work, however.

The Sufis talk about the departure of the 'real component' from higher initiatives. They say that once the inner content is gone, what remains is the husk. Adherents of the husk imagine that they are engaged in elevated practice. Some of them, vaguely aware of the problem, even start new sects attempting to re-establish the original, but only end up founding variants of the husk. You cannot breathe new life into a flower once its lifespan is over: all you can do is press it.

The Sufi solution to this problem is not to attach oneself to any particular form, only to the Truth. Subudists believe in the growth of Subud; Bapakists believe in the talks of Bapak; Latihanists believe that the latihan is the be-all and end-all. All three types of Subud member are attached to something other than the Truth and will not find it, therefore.

(Radio announcement) 'This is a message for drivers travelling towards Oxford on the A25: The A25 doesn't go to Oxford.'

I nowadays suspect that the people who gain most from Subud are likely to be the ones least attached to it, in other words, psychologically integrated people. But then of course they can benefit from anything.

From Sahlan Diver, July 8, 2007. Time 21:41

Dirk, If someone read your feedback before reading my article, they could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that I was proposing some kind of new spiritual variation on Subud, whereas in actual fact I am very much a Subud "traditionalist" and do not suggest any radical departure from Bapak's advice on matters such as helpers, enterprises, and so on. The main thrust of my argument is that we should look across the board at all aspects of Subud and be prepared to devise and carry out improvements where we find Subud lacking. The majority of my suggestions are organisational - even my suggestions for improving the helper system are straightforward organisational changes.

Has Subud become a husk and lost its content? The "inner content" of Subud is surely the latihan. Has that changed or diminished? In my opinion, it hasn't, and I would guess that the majority of the Subud Vision authors (and also of Subud members in general) don't think it has either, however strongly critical they might be of other aspects of Subud.

You say of Subud members that, of the categories of members -- Subudists, Latihanists, and Bapakists -- which is a loose categorisation I used in a recent editorial, none are attached to the Truth, but you omitted to say the interesting bit -- what you consider to be the Truth of Subud that we should actually be attached to - or is this one of those conveniently vague esoteric concepts where it is easy to say that people have gone wrong, but impossible to say how they should do it right?

I was very grateful for the story you quote at the end of your own article, about the man drowning in the flood. I believe it is fully compatible with Bapak's advice that man has been given the tools for this world, heart and mind, lower forces and so on, and now additionally has the latihan - all that we have to do is to make use of it all. Do we need any more truth than that?

From Dirk Campbell, August 10, 2007. Time 14:23

Hi Sahlan - 'the truth of Subud'? Actually, I said 'the truth'. If you require a separate truth for Subud, you are a Subudist and you will never find it!

By the way, I invented those three categories myself years ago, ask Marcus. Which is not to imply that you copied them from me, just to put it on record that I didn't copy them from you. It was clearly morphic resonance.

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