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Victoria LePage - Subud Needs Intellectual Growth

Hierarchy and other thorny issues. From Stefan Freedman, April 13, 2008. Time 18:3

Hello Victoria,

I very much enjoy hearing your "voice" as I read this thought-provoking article. I'm glad you share something of your experience as well as your thoughts, though I feel sad to learn of another member with initiative and autonomous ideas being alienated rather than supported by their spiritual peer group. What a waste of potential and a loss for Subud.

Like you, I'm very interested in the intelligence of the heart and how it can be integrated with the intellect, and I echo what you say about this. In fact, for me, integration is the keynote of the latihan's potential benefit.

You mention three tendencies in Subud which could turn off new or younger members:

1. An elitist class structure.

2. A personality cult.

3. Absence of intellectual stimulation.

I wholeheartedly agree about 2 & 3

As for no 1 it seems to be a tendency in every group I've encountered- even egalitarian leaderless groups such as an intentional community in which I lived for 2 (intensely difficult) years! My questions about this is -

a) if we don't have helpers, what can we do instead to provide a support system for enquirers, new groups etc. If anyone and everyone is equally eligible won't there still be the problem of dominant personalities who (perhaps unintentionally) throw their weight around?

I would like to add one more issue to your list of deterrents

4 an unacknowledged system of beliefs which an applicant or new member is presented with (life forces, purification, God) while at the same time being told that there's no dogma in Subud

Thanks for raising vital issues in your article,

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