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Salamah Pope - After Fifty Years: What I think is Needed

Sinking Ship?. From Edward Fido, November 29, 2007. Time 22:50

I guess the cycle of life is what is facing Subud, Salamah.

Death of the amazingly inbred Subud culture is probably priority one. It is already happening. As some of the self-elected illuminati fall off their trees behind the carefully erected mental walls to the total disinterest of the real world I would say it is right on target.

Some of the carefully groomed future leaders of the second and third generation will, I fear, also go obscurely into the night in their own time. On autocue.

After more than enough years wearing out floorboards at various places of latihan in this country and even in hallowed Cilandak; reading a lot of the now-out-of-print literature, some of which, including yours, then convinced me to stay on; being a mainly silent, 'suffering' member I think it will not be a reorganisation (by the same old people) of things, or a touch up (new PR and outreach) which will save a rapidly sinking ship.

In my thirty or more years 'inside' Subud I met many of the great and famous of the organisation.

The ones who impressed me most were usually the humble and nondisfunctional ones: the late Rhoderic McClelland; Lavinia Sinclair of Perth and the Winkler family spring readily to mind.

What impressed me most of my Subud years was Pak Subuh's first visit that I witnessed in 1971 in Melbourne. Ditto meeting him personally. Just once. Also some members of his family and some rare gems amongst the members.

Something passed or still possibly passes which is rare, valuable, beyond words and unquantifiable. If, in future, it passes into real art or music - that of Zen and Sufism come readily to mind - that will really be proof of the pudding.

Only having been an observer of the New Age in the 60s and 70s I think it was mostly conformist crap of a different variety. Long usage of the ganja weed and other such substances over a period does seem to permanently affect the brain. I fear we are already laden with exmembers of the drug culture, some still raving on in the old druggie language. Who would new recruits from this culture impress? Drug rehab, I fear.

I think there are a lot of old lags from the early days who want to see results.

Fifty years in the wilderness?

Maybe the Israelites got time off for good behaviour?

Most of what passes for Subud life, thought, action is, in my humble opinion, spiritual guano.

Guano is, in the right circumstances, excellent fertiliser.

If people in Subud can really grow, seemingly despite being up to their eyeballs in the stuff, we might be able to show something to the world that it sees as a worthwhile alternative to the acquisitive, drug addicted culture of our current society.

Without bullshit. Without drumbeating.

Pak Subuh, I suspect, said something similar.

You're a brave woman to continue saying what you say.

But I fear it's off cue.

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