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Bapak’s ‘Forgotten’ Book

In this issue we bring you extracts from Bapak’s almost This is the first extract, translated by Mansur Medeiros…
unknown first book, Trikandha, in a translation by Mansur

The first I heard of this book was in an email from Luthfi TRIKANDHA / THREE TALKERS
Dixon telling me that the book first appeared about 1930,
before Subud was even formed. Kawêdalakên dening / Published by
Now it was being released for the first time ever
(together with English translation) and appearing Cap-capan kapisan ing SÊMARANG /
extract by extract on the web site ‘Free Subud Forum’. First printing in Semarang [circa 1930]
These extracts were first posted on Subud Talk… Canto I In the dhandhanggula stanza

Trikandha ingkang minangka tulis,

Mansur supplied this introduction to his translation…
kapêthik kinarya marganira,
Around 1930, a small pamphlet in Javanese letters klulut sinêksen anane,
appeared. Its title is Sêrat Uran-Uran TRIKANDHA kawê- warsita ingkang kasbut,
dalaken dening Sumahadiwijaya, Wignyasuparta, jroning srat Trikandha kang jilid,
Atmasuwignya, cap-capan kapisan ing Sêmarang (A kapindho kang wus ana,
Treatise in Javanese Song: The Three-Sided Discourse, dadalane kawruh,
published by Sumahadiwijaya [the name Bapak used on ilmu kiyasing jiwangga,
this title page], Wignyasuparta, Atmasuwignya, first print- ngluluri dhawuhing luluhurira kaki,
ing in Semarang, no date). utamaning panêmbah.

Over the years it pretty much disappeared, though some [Our] three-sided discourse is [here] written down,
members have versions that they wrote out by hand. One a selection, to be made your Way,
refused to let me see his. He said it was too high for me beloved. The reality is witnessed [here]
and would probably kill me to see it. of the instructions given
in ‘Three Talkers’, Volume Two,
A copy of the first printing is kept in the Subud archives. A which is already in existence,
mimeographed version appeared in 1970(with the names a way of knowledge,
Wignyasuparta and Atmasuwignya removed). The con- knowledge contrasting jiva and body,
tents of the little book are a lot like those of Susila Budhi perfecting the commandments of your ancestors, young men,
Dharma, but much, much shorter. the best way of worship.

Kawruhana wong urip puniki,

There were actually three authors of this, the first-ever
publication that Pak Subuh was involved in. parsudinên kalamun kuwasa,
uripe angganira ngger,
wijangira sadarum,
wit tan bênggang lan ananeki,
nadyan ta lumaksana,
skabehe wus jumbuh,
lair trusing batinira,
mula-buka trus aneng pungkasaneki,
gya wus rêksa-rumêksa.

To understand how human life is,

seek seriously, if you are able,
life of your selves, young men,
all its distinct parts.
If [you're] not far from your true nature,
in whatever [your] actions may be,
all will fit together
from the outermost through to the innermost,
from the very beginning to the very end,
The earliest known photo of Bapak aged 26 [each element] then nurturing the others.
cont on P2 >

Mungguh tranging pamarsudi kaki, Cêtha cithakanira wus keksi,
ywa kasusu lan adaya-daya,
wit tan kêneng den-sêngkaké,
yêktine elmu iku,
amung sawiji kasing wadi,
tan kêneng sinêmbrana,
dupeh bisa ngimpun,
3 sak nggon-nggone tan kacakrabawa,
amung katut ing pangrehe,
saobah polah katut,
linuludan* sinung wêwadi,
wadi adining tama,
ingkang tumanêm wus,
ing yêkti saya nglêmpara, aneng jroning awakira,
lamun durung winênangkên sira kaki, nanging dudu bangsa akal lawan pikir,
têmah growah saya tuna. binudi nora kêna.

For clarity in your efforts to reach the goal, young men, It is not permitted to seek them [the secrets] with mind or
don't be in a hurry, and don't try to force the process, method.
for progress cannot be speeded up. Once you've clearly seen its way of working,
Truly, spiritual knowledge everywhere, beyond expectation,
is only one, and truly secret. [you] merely follow its leading,
It may not be treated carelessly, follow each change of movement.
[or] opportunistically accumulated. Made [inwardly] harmonious, [you are] given secrets,
In reality you'd go even further astray. secrets of the sublimity of perfection
If it's not yet been opened to you, young men, which are already implanted
you'll cave in, losing out further. within your self,
but not any kinds of schemes and thoughts.

Tuna luput ancase tan yêkti,

wit tan baud mikating utama,
utamaning manungswane,
anane ngudi kawruh,
satuhune manungswa kaki,
angel ing êmpanira,
gampang kang tinêmu,
4 Mansur Stopped Translating
Then it was announced that Mansur had stopped trans-
lating Trikandha, since someone criticised the standard of
translation. Here's what he posted:

‘Well, I've decided to stop Trikandha. How's that? It isn't

awit wis kadhung winênang, sumbut (Javanese: worth the trouble), if I have to listen to
wênang mrabot mbobot sakabehe wadi, uninformed critics. I said at the beginning that it was very
dadine tan den-sêdya. badly written. I also said it was written by three people.
There's no way of knowing who wrote what.
Losing, failing, your goal unreal,
because [you're] unskilled at capturing excellence, From Paul Stange's dissertation (he had access to the
the excellence of your humanity. book apparently): ‘Pak Subuh did continue his contact
As for striving for knowledge, with the group for some time. In fact his own first follower,
humanity, young men, truly Wignosupartono (one of the three co-authors of the 1932
is hard to find. Subud book Trikandha had been the senior pupil of the
It is the easy that's met. Sufi Seh Abdurrahman from the Blora region.’
Because it's already too late to have the authority,
the authority to, fully developed, hold all secrets, Mansur passed away in August 2007. For a tribute to this
[finding one's humanity] comes about unintentionally. very individualistic Subud member, see Page 14.

Elmu têmêne kang den-ulati,
Ascot and Beyond
dudu pikir lawan budidaya,
amrih mundhak pakolehe,
ing yêkti amung manut,
manut anurut ing papali,
sadarma kawasesa,
ing Hyang Kang Maha Gung,
5 Emmanuel Williams, USA, gives us some of the texture of
the ThankYou Gathering and life in Lewes…

I live in a Californian suburb which is basically a-commu-

anane amung sanampa, nal. I've been here for nine years and have no real friends.
tampa-tinampan wus datan pisah yêkti, I do latihan at the dwindling San Francisco group with
anglela saya cêtha. two, maybe three men.

The true aspect of knowledge is seen, At The ThankYou Gathering I rediscovered my place in
not thoughts or methods the world of human beings. I'm back now in the
for increasing receiving. Californian suburb remembering how it was to sit at a
In reality [you] only follow, table with my species telling stories, unfolding memories,
follow, obeying the prohibitions of old, cracking jokes, laughing.
fulfilling [your] duty to be ruled
by God the Most Great. And, especially, I'm remembering long one-on-one con-
It is nothing but receiving, versations , sometimes with someone I've known for years,
receiving already unseparate from truth, sometimes with someone I'd just met. These conversations
very clear, with ever-increasing clarity. were like journeys except that, unlike journeys across a
landscape - the desert, the mountain, continued on p 3 >
the forest – they went deep, they presence and the writ to get out supplied by Subud
moved between outer and inner
These Britain’s solicitors. But the callousness of my brothers and
dimensions. sisters making me the scapegoat for all the group’s ills
conversations after ten years as devoted caretaker still pained me.
They were exchanges based on
trust and love. They ended with a
hug and a smile and the feeling (in
went deep, they And even though it happened two years ago and most
of the protagonists have stormily left the group, I still can’t
me at least) that ‘Here is a person I go back there for latihan, despite only living a mile or so
can say anything to. This person is moved between down the road. Yes, I was hurting still alright.
my friend. We love each other.’
outer and inner So we found a room, drew up some chairs and they both
After the Thank You/National just let me talk. And, as I poured out the whole story,
Congress I went to Lewes for a few Raymond and Hamilton just listened, non-judgementally,
days and had more long conver-
dimensions empathetically, making no comment beyond urging me
sations with my fellow human beings. I felt as though I was to continue when I worried I was taking up too much of
in heaven. their time.

I remember a young woman who worked with Subud After, we sat quietly. ‘My head’s in a whirl. Can’t think of
members at three Tuning In arts camps for kids this year anything to test,’ I offered.
saying that she sensed some kind of deep bond between
Subud people; it wasn't expressed in any overt way, it was ‘Let’s just do latihan then,’ they suggested. So we did.
simply there, and she'd never come across anything like it. And during the exercise I had two very important, and
linked, understandings.
My experiences working with Subud people and – more
strongly - enjoying their company in England this summer The Same Old Pattern
leads me to conclude that this bond is real and alive. I First off, I remembered many other instances in my life
think of it as one of the greatest gifts of the latihan. I'm where I’d been ‘chucked out’ – from a Subud business, a
deeply grateful for it and - back now in my a-communal marriage, a band, even a gang at school.
Californian suburb - lost without it.
The quality that each incident shared was that the minute
Quality and Exuberance some doubt about the relationship was aired, or my con-
The other great gift of the latihan I enjoyed at the Thank tinuing role was questioned, and the second I felt unap-
You gathering and afterwards in Lewes was the quality preciated, not wanted, surplus to requirements, the fami-
and exuberance of our creativity. It knocked my socks off. ly pattern kicked in. ‘Right. If that’s how you feel – ****
you, I’m off.’ I’ve witnessed my Dad, my Mum and my
My brothers and sister creators of England, you are doing brother doing the same thing.
very good stuff and I salute you. Highlights for me include
the Brecht/Weill performance given by Adrienne Thomas I next realised that I enjoyed
and Hayward Slater; the seven member band ‘In Bob We a kind of glee in removing Finding
Trust’ singing and playing Dylan with a wonderful blend of myself there and then, or as
technical expertise and sheer joy; Miranda Hampton's fast as I could. A kind of rue- solutions with
exquisite poetry; Adrienne and Maya Cockburn's riotous ful, bitter-sweet joy as
Yorkshire housewives duo, and brilliant short films by David expressed in the old song, considerably
Anderson and Leo Sedgley. ‘You’re really gonna miss me
when I’m gone’ and then,
better payoffs
Oh yes, and Edward Mackenzie's paintings. And oh yes
the role Adrienne Campbell is playing in working with oth-
later, when things all went
pear-shaped, an ‘aprés moi,
than the
ers to turn Lewes into a ‘Transitional Town.’ le deluge’ exultation of pointless
So, yes we have much to be thankful for.
• sweet retribution (to this day I
remember the ‘Yesss!’ feel-
ing when the business went
bust some six months after I’d
exultation of
A New Kind of Testing? been booted out, I’m
ashamed to admit). And, after (this is the really embar-
rassing bit) the richly rewarding, but two-faced, attitude
Marcus Bolt, UK, writes about some really illuminating and summed up in the old saw, ‘Compassion is the best
helpful receiving he had at ThankYou… revenge’.

ThankYou was pretty low key for me. Being inundated with And that sense of retribution was my reward, my payoff. The typ-
work, I couldn’t be there much, but the event will always ical ‘passive/aggressive victim becomes persecutor’ syndrome.
stand out in my memory for one radiant moment.
In the next section of this latihan, my mind as CD player ,
My old buddy Raymond and my even older buddy lines from the classic Bob Dylan number played out...
Hamilton (we shared rooms at college and joined 'You're gonna have to serve somebody, it may be the
Subud together) approached me and simply said, devil, or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to
‘We both think you’re not over Loudwater yet, that serve somebody...'
you’re still hurting.’
I’ve always thought it would make a greatSubud
This was true. I’d got over the ‘testing me out’ without my anthem, because we are all either 'serving cont on p4 >

Lord' (by surrendering to God's will) or ‘serving the Devil’
(through our lower force driven nafsu, in Subud terminology).

And then it hit me. Although passivity may be a pre-requisite,

it is not the goal. Surrender is not in itself a passive statel. It is
more to do with living out what I have been made for, by
being my true self – the self that Bapak says is stamped with
the manufacturer’s identity, just like a Mercedes engine is.
And that’s serving the Lord. Serving the Devil (with my lower
force driven nafsu) is, in reality, that living out of my child-
hood traumas, my neuroses, family patterns; getting my buzz
from sweet revenge…
Children of YUM’s Children’s Village
Other Ways of Dealing with the Situation If you have already given a donation perhaps you could
I was then told that what I should have done when test- forward this appeal to your friends. Thank you for taking
ed out of the enterprise was to have said, ‘OK, guys. Take the time to read this – Ala Sulistyono, on behalf of the
your point. Why don’t I take a sabbatical? Or maybe just Board of Yayasan Usaha Mulia.
come in a couple of days a week and you pay me a con-
sultancy fee while I sort myself out?’ for example, instead Your donation earmarked ‘Children’s Village’ can be sent
of clearing my desk and walking there and then. through credit card to Susila Dharma International at:
Similarly, at Loudwater, I should have said something like, or, to the orphanage’s bank account at:
‘Sorry Guys. Don’t accept testing about me that I wasn’t Bank Niaga,Jakarta Fatmawati Branch, Jl. RS. Fatmawati
present at. Let’s get the National Helpers involved.’ Or, No. 20, Jakarta 12430, Indonesia SWIFT code: BNIAIDJA
‘Fine, but we’ll have to have a proper redundancy In the name of: Yayasan Usaha Mulia – DAA
agreement and a phased withdrawal…’ Or whatever. In A/C number: 917.01.00619.00.6
other words, simply have gone for the practical, down-to-
earth, non-emotional stuff, finding solutions with consider- About our orphanage, the Children’s Village: Last year
ably better payoffs than the pointless exultation of the Children’s Village was selected as the best orphan-
revenge. That’s surrender. age in the Regency of Cianjur, West Java. During the
same year, an Alumni Association was formed by the for-
The latihan finished and I sat down and absorbed this bun- mer ‘graduates’ of the orphanage to further assist the
dle of information. During the quiet, I realised that I had Children’s Village as their way of saying ‘thank you’ and
tried testing about this conventionally, but it hadn’t worked to provide a mechanism to further support alumni as they
for me. I’d also spent a few hours in therapy with my old step out into the world to establish their own lives.
tutor, and that hadn’t scratched the surface, either.
The Children’s Village is located about 100 kms (63 miles)
But the way Raymond, Hamilton and I had approached from Jakarta, in the hills of Cipanas. It is a home for chil-
this, actually ‘realising’ the issues first, then simply doing dren aged 6 – 18, and currently accommodates 54 chil-
latihan in a mutually supportive, non-judgmental atmos- dren. The children are either orphans, from broken homes
phere, free of Subud ‘High Jargonese’ seemed, to me, to and very poor homes, or from troubled families who can-
be a new way, a new kind of testing. not support their children emotionally or financially.

These two new takes on the old clichés gave me some- About us: The Foundation for Noble Work - Yayasan
thing real to say ‘Thank you’ for. And in a strange way, I Usaha Mulia (YUM) was established by a group of
felt they were a thank you to me, too.

Lebaran Appeal
• Indonesians and expats in 1975 to aid the poor and des-
titute in Indonesia. YUM is a registered charity in the
Republic of Indonesia, and is also an associate member
of Susila Dharma International, which has consultative
Yayasan Usaha Mulia (Foundation for Noble Work) writes status with the UN Economic and Social Council
on ‘Over Thirty Years of Caring at the Children’s Village’… (ECOSOC) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

We have the children and they are doing great. We have Vision: to improve the quality of life of the poor.
the place they can call home. We have the people to Mission: to engage in community development activities
really care for them. But we always need support to pro- and to establish and manage educational facilities,
vide for their practical needs… vocational training and health services, and to care for
orphans and the elderly, in cooperation with other social
We have received a lot of support, year after year from organisations and individuals.
so many people and you may have been one of those
who have given donations in the past. That support is Besides the Children’s Village, YUM manages a Learning
essential to continue providing the care these children Centre for poor children in Jakarta and 4 small children
need and deserve. If you are able to make a donation at libraries in Java, Aceh and Kalimantan; a Community
this time it will allow us to give these children the kind of Centre in Aceh, a Microcredit program, Malaria Control
Ramahdan/Idul Fitri that other more fortunate children and Clean Water projects in Central Kalimantan.
will experience. We shall very much appreciate your kind-
ness and generosity, whatever you are able to do, espe- For more information on our YUM projects and how you
cially at this time of year when I am sure you find yourself can help, please visit our website at or
already helping many of the less fortunate people around you.

contact: Ms. Ala Sulistyono at:


Build and They Will Come pants and the performers started to advertise it and at
the same time we decided it should be a free event.
Methir Merrick writes about ‘Subud Fest in The Close’ at Norwich…
As the day approached lots of cakes, made by Subud
There is no doubt in my mind that there exists in people ladies, and tea and goodies were prepared to sell.
today a hunger for a spiritual dimension to their lives. Unwanted stuff started to be collected by Hermia to go
on a bric-a-brac stall for Susila Dharma. We didn’t do
Recently we staged, what we proudly proclaimed to be, much contingency planning in case it rained. We just
‘Subudfest’ at the Subud house in Norwich. This mini-festival trusted the weather would be OK. The date had to move
came about because in the spring, Brand had responded from the end of July to the beginning of August because
to Hamilton’s question ‘what shall we do in this end of the musicians in Elton Goodlady weren’t going to be available.
garden?’ with the response ‘we should build a stage!’
We Were Blessed
Brand loves the garden, and he’s got a band that I like to Great we thought we were ready. As the day approached
call ‘Brand’s band’, but which is actually called ‘Elton we watched the skies hoping things would brighten up. The
Goodlady’ (I’m not sure why, you must ask him yourself). I original date would have been wet but when the new day
would describe this as a Kevin Costner moment, imbued dawned it was absolutely beautiful weather, the most per-
with the faith that if you build it fect day of the summer. We
they will come. were blessed.

What followed was extraordi- It started at 2pm (on the dot)

nary. Brand knew Ed from the with music from local musi-
old days and Ed is a remark- cians, bringing together a mix
able creative building engineer of Eastern European and
who works for himself and has Romany music, talented singer
fond memories of the Subud songwriters, topped up with
house. They proceeded to plan funk and jazz from the 70’s. The
the stage construction. One music was really good. It
day a load of reclaimed oak ended with a large part of the
planks arrived. audience up on their feet
dancing to funk.
A group of Subudians met up
for a construction day. It Andrew had supplied the
SubudFest at the Subud House in Norwich’s
worked out that the men dug sound system, and it started to
Cathedral Close
the holes, put in cement and get a bit loud. It was great. It
steel poles. The ladies helped varnish the planks and kept kind of upset the neighbours, but to be honest, most of
us in food and tea. Things didn’t go as well as we’d the neighbours had come to the event, so we got away
hoped, so we arranged to meet in a couple of weeks with it.
and finish the job.
The cakes went great. The cake stall was able to
When we reconvened there were more of us, as When we send £434 to Susila Dharma from their efforts. I think
Stephan, Pavol and Frank joined us for the wood- this includes the proceeds from the jumble.
work. The weather was great and Ed gave us make music
excellent instructions. We made amazing it is an At any one time we had up to 150 people in the
progress and built a really sturdy stage that is garden. Yet, people came and went throughout
about 4 m x 3 m. Ed added some really nice expression of the day. Some stayed for the whole event and
touches to the design by incorporating two the divine in those who did were well rewarded.
beautiful ornamental stones. People always com-
ment on the stones when they see the stage.
us There was a degree of water madness probably
because everyone was so happy the weather was hot.
Once we had the stage built we had to organise the actu- There was water-pistol fun directed at volunteers in return
al festival. Sebastiana is our social secretary who herself sings for charitable donations. Our MC Stash invited people up
and plays the accordion, and didn’t take much convincing on stage to talk about their charitable work. Hamilton
that we should organise a day of live music in the garden. talked about Subud. Stash kept the whole thing moving
on nicely.
She has good connections with local musicians and so set
about trying to put together a day’s musical entertain- It was a terrific experience for Subud Norwich group
ment. As the months rolled by the band list started to come because we all worked so really well together and enjoyed
together. People wanted to play in our garden as It is a doing it. It was first-rate fun. We are all really happy about
very beautiful place after all, and perfect for a concert. it and we brought Subud to lots of people’s attention.

Apart from the entertainment we also invited a few char- I was asked, ‘What is Subud’ many times. I’m never sure I
ities to take part in our fest and raise money for their have the right answer to the question but I always have a
cause. After a few months of approaching local charities go at answering. It helps when the conversation is against
we ended up with 3 guest stalls: Norfolk Organic Group, the background of a good party.
Christian Aid (manned and organised by Subud member
Lucy) and Domestic Violence Awareness. So, we want to do it again. When we do we’ll tell everyone in

advance! I believe that when we make music it is an expres-
When we had a clear idea about the day, the partici- sion of the divine that is in us. It is very affirming. Praise God.

And then we say to that member, 'We felt this the first time,

and we felt that the second time.' For instance, somebody
says, 'I had movements of joy', or 'I had pains around my
shoulder.' This is the question for Bapak: are we supposed
to give some indications in our answer to that member?

Talk For instance, to say to them not only that 'I felt this and
that', but, 'You should do this,' or 'You should move your
shoulders in the latihan,' or 'You must move your heart,' or
'You must do this or that.' This is the question, Bapak.

An Amazing Evening with Bapak in Bapak [without waiting for the question to be interpreted
into Indonesian]: Brothers and sisters, what you are asking
Paris may be what Bapak is about to talk about anyway. If the
rest of your questions are similar to this one - that is, about
PARIS, 17 JULY 1964, Recording: 64 PAR 5 the latihan - then Bapak might as well start with his talk so
that, besides what you have just asked about, you will
Copyright 2007, World Subud Association. All rights reserved. hear other things that will be very useful for you.
This talk was given for people practising the spiritual exercise Brothers and sisters, Bapak needs once again to explain
known as the Subud Latihan. For those not practising this exer-
what he has probably said something about – or a lot
cise, reading the following talk is not recommended as it could
be misunderstood.
about – in talks you may have heard already; that is,
about the spiritual training or latihan.
Usman [to Bapak]: The problem concerns the actions of a
couple, both of whom are helpers. They are complaining The latihan is a training that does not come because of
that this couple are causing a lot of trouble and behaving us. The meaning of 'not because of us' is that it does not
badly. Sometimes they borrow money from the members come because you want it with your heart.(2) It is just the
and don't pay it back. In fact one member lent them all opposite: every time you are about to do the latihan, it is
his savings and they haven't paid it back. Then one of the very important that you get rid of any wishing, and empty
members invited them to live in his house, but as a result your imagination, your thinking and your heart, which are
his household became chaotic. In fact they say that one groping for all kinds of understanding. You need only to
of his daughters became confused, she sort of went crazy. feel whatever arises within you.
And they accuse this helper couple that they took in . . .
In this way it becomes clear that the latihan is a training given
Bapak [interrupting]: Make them non-active as helpers, so by God, in a way that we can receive it. The fact is that if it
that their actions are no longer the group's responsibility. was not given by God, and helped by God, we human
They should be asked to return their helpers' cards and beings could not possibly stop the influence of our desires(1)
these should be kept by the organisation. If they are not will- that has penetrated so deep into our heart and thinking.
ing to return them – if they hang on to them – make a note
in the register that they have been made non-active and It follows from this that the guidance in the latihan, or the
have been asked for their helper's cards but would not give One who guides us in the latihan, is none other than God.
them back. And this kind of procedure applies not only to Therefore it is certain that you cannot ask the helpers or
this couple but to any helper who behaves in this way. anyone else about what you have received in your lati-
han, unless the person you are asking has already
In fact such behaviour is too much; it is really serious. If advanced in his or her receiving; has understood about
something like this ever happens again, first you should the relationship between human beings and God; and
talk to the people concerned. Don't take any strong can distinguish between what is free of the influence of
action before you find out the true situation. Are they will- the desires within their own heart and what is still filled with
ing to change or not? But if they are unable to change, desire. At the moment none of you, including the helpers,
and continue with such behaviour, then you have no has reached this level. Because this is so, if the members
choice but to take that kind of action. receive something in the latihan and then ask what this or
that means, it is of course a burden on the helpers,
That is it, brothers and sisters. The helpers' group needs to because they themselves are at a stage that is not far
have guidelines or standards to serve as a reminder that beyond the rest of you.
we in our Subud association, and especially the helpers,
should set a good example to society, meaning towards The helpers, those of you who have been appointed as
people outside. Therefore we really need to avoid this helpers and whom Bapak has approved, are in fact
kind of behaviour - it should not exist in the helpers' group, helpers in the sense of servants, who are serving the mem-
nor in the Subud association as a whole. bers in the latihan. The meaning of serving is not leading.
It means, for example, restraining someone who wants to
Are there any more questions? leave the room while still in latihan or someone who is
shouting too loud. In short, serving and being attentive, so
Question [from the floor, in English]: We intended to ask that nothing happens that would not look good to peo-
questions of Bapak about the testing of the latihan, ple in general. So, the helpers do not lead in the latihan.
because we tested many latihans before Bapak's arrival No. For, as Bapak just said, it is only God who leads in the
and wanted to ask whether our testing was correct or realm of the soul, which is something you are not yet
not. For instance, when we test the latihan of a member aware of, not having reached that level.
we put a question first: 'How is the latihan of so-and-so?'
Then we say, 'How should the latihan be of so-and-so?' That is why the existing helpers are an emergency meas-
ure; they are just channels for the contact cont on p7 >
with the greatness of God for those who wish to join knock on this it goes: [Bapak knocks on the ashtray.] If I
Subud. Indeed, this is a preliminary stage, where all you do knock on this it goes: [Bapak knocks on the microphone.]
is convey the contact. You do not yet know, nor do you So this [ashtray] cannot be like this [microphone]. It is
need to know, what is going to happen later. Therefore impossible. The direct and the straight path that this
the kind of testing that the helpers have been doing is [microphone] can believe in is this: 'clack, clack, clack . .
actually out of place. [more knocking]. That is its path. For this [microphone], the
path that it needs to follow and that it can be confident
What Bapak meant when he asked you to test was some- in following, no matter how far, is the one that goes,
thing else. If there is a question from one of the members: 'clack, clack, clack'.
'Would it be right for me to do this kind of work or that kind
of work?' or 'Which would be better for me, to move to this That is it. That is what is called one's individuality. In Islam
place or that place?' and other such questions that have it is called dhat wajib al-wujud. Dhat means power,
only to do with this world - those are the sorts of questions power that is adapted to one's nature, to one's being. So
that should and can be answered by the helpers through if it is a goat it must go, 'Ma-a-a'. If it's a cat, it goes,
testing together. And when you test, let go of your think- 'Miaow'. If it is a dog it goes, 'Woof, woof, woof'. How can
ing, let go of your wishes, so that the answer comes from you tell a dog to go 'miaow'? It cannot. Or a cat to go
within, from above, and can be received by all the 'ma-a-a'? It cannot; and that is as it should be. That is how
helpers in the same way. That is what Bapak meant, not God looks after, educates and leads human beings: one
testing the members one by one. Do not do that, and do by one. And even though they are all different, they will
not comment on what each member receives. each progress towards Almighty God, each by their own
As you know, each person is different in the Therefore, when
development and progress of their latihan. So, All this is actually logical - meaning that it is real.
you are This [ashtray] here is real. This [microphone] is
the development of A is not the same as that
of B. That of B is not the same as C. And C is dif- experiencing the real too. And they represent a straight path. But
ferent from D, and so on. Therefore if A receives you human beings are not yet like that. You are
in the latihan and asks B, 'What's this that I have
latihan and are human beings, but what you have within you is
received?' B cannot answer, because his or her being cleaned, not yet human. This [ashtray] looks like this, and
development is different. How could B answer? its content really is iron. Likewise this [micro-
you are made to phone] looks like this, and it really is made of . .
Well, it could be that they are the same, but that die, brought to life . what is this called? . . . ebonite or plastic. But
is very rare. You can answer that question only if not you. You look like human beings but your
you have already arrived at the summit, where again, made to content is not human. So you have not yet even
all those individual paths are united. That is still reached the level of this [ashtray] here. If you
rarely encountered. Bapak is not trying to pro-
die, brought to life, are tested, you have not even reached the
mote himself, but if there was someone here like made to die, completion of the material level yet.
Bapak, then maybe they would be able to
answer that, because Bapak has reached a brought to life – So you still need a lot of cleaning; and the only
level where he knows all those paths. He knows always through one who can do that, who can clean what is
how A is, how B is, and how C, D, E and F are. He within you, is God. This is because 'cleaning'
knows all of that. So if A asks, Bapak can answer God's grace. means changing this into this, changing A into
like this. When B asks, Bapak can answer like that. B, white into red, red into white - and that
means dying.
But for all of you, you are still far, far away from that. Even
when Bapak does tests with you night after night, many of Therefore, when you are experiencing the latihan and
you still do not receive accurately. It means that your are being cleaned, you are made to die, brought to life
state at the moment - even if you have been doing the again, made to die, brought to life, made to die, brought
latihan for four years, five years, six years, seven years - is to life - always through God's grace. Yes, that is the path
that you still need purification. You are still being cleaned. you have to walk, that is what you have to go through.
Your heart is being cleaned, your brain is being cleaned; So, for the moment - Bapak says for the moment, mean-
everything is still being cleaned. ing for a few years - you have to be extremely patient. Do
not think about it a lot, because for now what you are
When that purification is already progressing well, only then experiencing is the movements involved in cleaning what
comes the growth of your soul; and that is sure to be differ- is wrong within you.
ent for A and for B. That is why the Subud latihan is suited to
your individuality, because this is carried out by God. To illustrate this: as human beings your latihan ought to be
human, oughtn't it? Bapak was decreed by God to be a
Therefore it is not required that this person has to be like Javanese, in Indonesia, so his latihan ought to be that of
that person - that they should be the same - as, for exam- a Javanese, an Indonesian.
ple, if you follow a mystical path. For example, some of
you here may have followed a path like that of [Bapak demonstrates:] 'Allah, God Almighty.' Emptiness.
Ouspensky and Gurdjieff, where they have a system: 'It is Once Bapak is empty, he is quiet, still, at rest. I am waiting
like this. It must be like this, whether it is white or black.' So for what God will give me.
everybody follows the same system.
In this still, arrested state, within his being Bapak feels a liv-
From the human point of view that is right, because there ing entity standing there, vertical, like a pendulum.
is one approach. But from the point of view of the power
of God, it is wrong, very wrong. Because how can this Once he is experiencing that, Pak Subuh no longer exists.
[Bapak points to the ashtray] be like that? It cannot! If I All that exists is this, right here. Allah. cont on p8 >

say that you are not a Christian, that you are not a
Having got to this point, now what? Having got to this Muslim, that you have no religion, still you will be con-
point . . . Oh! It goes like this, for example. So, this is the ori- vinced that this [gesture] exists within a human being -
gin, the beginning. Here is this . . . it has no attributes yet. No indeed, not only in a human being but also in every being
ears, no eyes, no nose, nothing. There is only this and this created by God. However, it is still deep inside; you have
[Bapak makes the sign of alif (5) [Arab.] and the sign of the not reached it yet. Therefore, for you who have received
cross]. So Islam and Christianity are the beginning of life on the latihan, here is a path that will take you towards that
this planet. Yes. And after that . . . oh, yes, then the head place deep inside, so that you will be able to feel and
appears. Yes, the head. Oh! The head! So this is an attach- receive it as a reality. And having received it, everything
ment. It is added on. that is hidden, everything that is still secret, will be
revealed to you.
And after that . . . oh, then this. Oh, the body appears. . .
yes. And after that . . . oh, the legs . . . yes, this is different. Because this is so, once you have reached that point, if
It is an addition. you are a Christian your Christianity will be more real to
you. You will not be someone who just believes what peo-
And after that . . . hmm . . . oh . . . here, the ears have just ple tell you; you will believe in what you have received
appeared. And then . . . oh, the eyes have just appeared. from Almighty God. The same is true if you are a Muslim:
Then . . . oh, the mouth just appeared, and the nose. And once you have been able to receive that, you will not just
now, this . . . the sex organs have just appeared. Wow! believe what people tell you; you will actually be able to
After all that, now I can see; I have eyes, I can use them prove to yourself that God accompanies human beings
to see. I have ears; I can use them to hear. I have a . . . and everything He has created.
mouth . . . for speaking. And other things . . . oh, look . . .
So this is how I am put together . . . That is how good and excellent the result is of the lati-
han. But that is also how far away it is from where you
So, at the moment, all this doesn't yet exist; so are now. Therefore Bapak advises you all to
it is very hard for you to be aware of the cross. At that be truly harmonious, truly patient and
You aren't able to feel it. You cannot know it accepting, and be willing to let go and sur-
with this [gestures to various parts of the point of render to God. The reason why this is impor-
body]. Nor with this. You cannot know it with tant is because you will not then constantly
anything. completion you be disturbing the process of purification
that is going on within you, and you will
'Then with what?' will begin eventually reach the point where it all
'Allah. God.' makes sense, the point of completion. At
'Oh, so it is God who will let me know?' to get lessons that point you, as a human being, will have
'Yes.' a human latihan; and not a latihan where
from God you go, 'Oink! Owoo! Woof, woof, woof!'
Now having got to this point, since Bapak is a Javanese,
an Indonesian, what will he do next? How is it that a human being has a latihan like that? What
is the reason? It is because their content is still wrong. Who
[Bapak sings.] When Bapak makes that sound, why does knows? Outwardly they are human, but they have a dog
he go like this? inside them. Yes, so they go, 'Woof, woof, woof.'

[Bapak begins to move.] Oh, then that kind of voice You are a person. As a person, when you do latihan you
makes one move. should be able to move like a human being, and under-
stand and know what you are doing because you have
[Bapak sings some more.] Oh, this is moving me like this. reached the stage of completion, where it all makes
sense. So far you have not yet experienced that. You are
So there is already a structure, because Bapak has still on your way towards that point where it all makes
already completed the course. If you compare him to a sense, where all is complete. At that point of completion
child at school, he has gone from A to Z, or from the first you will begin to get lessons from God. Now, you cannot
grade to the sixth or the seventh grade. yet get them; you cannot yet receive lessons from God.
Why is that? It is because even though you have a head,
Because he is already at that point, Bapak knows what his its content is not human. And God will not teach some-
movements mean. one who is not human.

'Does Bapak feel good here in Paris?' That is the point, brothers and sisters. That is why Bapak
'No, he doesn't.' hopes - because, well, it is for your own good - that you
This is the answer. will act and be in harmony with each other. There is no
'Why doesn't he feel good?' point in saying, 'You are wrong, I am right.' 'I am wrong,
'Because here so many of the members use their thinking.' you are right.' There is no point. All that is just your thinking.
'Oh, yes?' Oh so that's it.’ You have not yet reached completion. Only when you
have reached completion will you be able to know
The fact is that Bapak does not feel comfortable in Paris [Bapak knocks on something]: 'Ashtray!' [Bapak knocks on
because so many of you are still using your thinking and your something else.] 'Oh, no, this isn't an ashtray. Its nature
heart. So, Bapak can understand the answer immediately. must be like that.' [Bapak knocks on something else.] 'Oh,
no, this isn't an ashtray either. This is a glass.'
You can't really translate this. Well, maybe a little. That's it. You haven't reached that point yet. You are still
very far away from it. Therefore do not quarrel and fight
So you will be convinced, brothers and sisters. Even if you cont on p 9 >

over a bone that has nothing on it, for that will in fact
interfere with your own well-being, with your progress,
and with the development of your own soul. I N N E R
So, Bapak hopes that you will be in harmony here in Paris,
and in France in general. If there is something wrong, then
certainly you have to give and take: 'What is wrong here?
Very good, let's figure it out together by worshipping God, Edited by Ilaina Lennard
so that we can receive the reality that we have within us,
as far as we can receive it.' Which means, yes, that you Inner Voice welcomes new stories and letters
are in the pre-school. Compared to your distance to
God, you are in the pre-school. NOTE: Ilaina’s new e-mail:

Therefore: 'How do you show that you are a soldier?'

[Bapak demonstrates.]
So: 'How do you show that you are a businessman?' Simon Monbaron, USA, found some miracles at the
[Bapak demonstrates.] ThankYou Celebration…
'What is the sign when you are being told what to do?'
[Bapak demonstrates.] I always thank God for the miracles I have received.
That is the way. That is already enough to test what is right
or wrong for you to do. I believe that it is God's job to make miracles and I also
believe that God wants to make miracles. God would
But something deeper, like: 'What is the content of this per- make more miracles if people would believe that God
son?' For now, do not do that; you haven't reached that can make miracles for them.
stage. You haven't reached the point of completion. So
right now you need to be in harmony in order to . . . yes, one Bapak explained that it is we ourselves who make it
can say, in order to pursue or to reach that level of comple- impossible for God to do many things. We think: Oh God
tion. Once you are complete, then it will go by itself. Your cannot do such and such, so that makes it impossible for
growth will go on by itself, and you will know everything. God to do what God could do.

That is the end of Bapak's explanations concerning the However, I personally have found that through many minor
realm of the soul. This was really deep; so if you can truly miracles I have been able to go around the world, to
understand it, it is like a line that doesn't deviate from Japan and to Indonesia three times, and to Europe as well.
God's decree. Therefore Bapak asks you all really to put
into practice what you have obtained in the latihan, and So as soon as the information on ‘Celebration 50th’ was
also the advice he has given you. available I became open to finding a way to attend this
event, even though I do not have a lot of money. In
Because the time is up and there will be another meeting England there were some surplus funds from a prior event
after this one, Bapak will end his talk. And he thanks you and one could apply to get a 50% discount to go to the
for coming and for your attention. Merci. Celebration. I applied - and Miracle No 1, the discount
was approved.
1. Heart: the word hati, which is usually translated as heart, is the feel- I had saved my frequent flyer miles for years for some
ing that is limited to our mortal nature. Literally, hati means 'the liver' good purpose so I got an airline ticket from Portland to
and is considered to be the seat of the feelings, emotions and
Heathrow in London. The ticket cost was for airport taxes
desires. 'Heart' is not a perfect fit however, for in Bapak's usage it is
also the place where imagining and daydreaming take place. only – just US$129, about 65 GB£. That was Miracle No 2.
Therefore in some places the word 'imagination' has been consid-
ered to be a more appropriate translation.The content of the human So I flew to Heathrow, took a taxi and arrived at the
heart is the images of all that a person has experienced from child- school in Ascot. I was given a room quite a way from
hood, throughout their life and into old age. Bapak, Paris 1959. [Vol.
where the main events were taking place. But the organ-
6, 59 PAR 3 p239]
isers were not providing any transport because they said
2. Desires: the word nafsu, which is usually translated as 'desires' or ‘It’s only 10 minutes up the road.’ Well, I am 77 years old,
'passions' depending on the context, refers to the motivations within and someone was kind enough to drive me and my lug-
a person that are influenced by the low life forces. The content of the gage to the sleeping place on that first day (Miracle No
desires is the wish to be capable, the wish to be good, the wish to
3) but the next day I had to take the ‘10 minute walk’
receive more quickly, the wish to be cleverer than others, not want-
ing to give in, not wanting to be called stupid, and so on. Bapak, Paris which took me more than 45 minutes. But later there were
1959. [Vol. 6, 59 PAR 3 p239] minor miracles as to getting to and fro, and I attended
the latihan and these latihans were very strong.
5. The Arabic letter Alif is the first letter in the Arabic character set,
and has the numerical value of one. In Islam it has particular signifi-
Driving blind for Bapak
cance as being the first letter in the name of Allah. The hand sign of
the Alif is a single downward sweep of the right hand from the top of At that time I began remembering many past experi-
the head down the body. ences that I had had when I went to see Bapak in
Indonesia or other places. And I remembered how on
This talk is included in B A P A K ' S T A L K S VOLUME 12 one occasion when I was Bapak's driver in Montreal I got
1 July 1964 - 16 August 1964
into a kind of crisis. What happened to me at that time
Available from: Subud Publications International
Loudwater Farm, Loudwater Lane, Rickmansworth, Herts. WD3 4HG UK was extraordinary.
When Bapak arrived in Montreal, Mas Usman had picked
Copyright© 2004 by the World Subud Association. All rights reserved. my car to be Bapak's car. So I became cont on p10 >

Bapak's driver. During the day I had to be available in case When I boarded the plane I thought that since I had the
Bapak decided to go somewhere, so while I was waiting I last seat I might be sitting in the middle of a centre row.
also became the official doorman and bouncer. My job (My boarding pass did show 37 E and that is a centre
was to stop anyone from seeing Bapak who had not got seat. There are two seats on either side of that seat).
an appointment. I also drove Bapak to and from the lati- Anyway I thought ‘Maybe there will be another of those
han place. So I was very close to Bapak for about a week. small miracles.’

On the last day, the day that I had to drive Bapak to the So I sat in seat 37 E.... and waited. All of a sudden the
airport I realised that I was in a very strange state and that plane began to leave, and I quickly moved to seat 37 G
I would have a hard time finding my way there. So for two (aisle seat). So I flew London to Chicago in seat 37 G with
hours while waiting for Bapak to be ready I rehearsed in no one in either seats 37 E or F. How lucky can one get?
my mind over and over again, where I had to turn, and
where and how I had to go to the airport. It seemed that by attending Celebration 50 I was able to
receive many small miracles, and I was also able to feel
Finally Bapak and his party came out and Bapak sat Bapak's presence. I would not have missed it for the world.
behind me, with Ibu Siti Sumari (Bapak's wife) next to him.
Ismana was sitting next to me in case a translator was Albert Einstein said ‘There are only two ways to live your
needed. There were two other Indonesian ladies in the car. life. One as if miracles do not exist, the other as if every-
thing is a miracle.’ I live my life as if everything is a miracle
Bapak said something in Indonesian and all the ladies and most of the time this works miracles.
laughed. Ismana translated: ‘Bapak said go to the airport
not to the latihan hall!’ Read: Subud the Coming New Age of Reality. That book
took 12 years to compile and write. The book would let
I began driving and as soon as the car was in motion this me know what I had to put in it and very often at 3 AM I
extraordinary thing happened. I became unable to see would wake up with the understanding that I had to
anything at all. But as soon as we got close to the first inter- change this and that. The book wrote itself through me,
section my sight was restored, and as I had rehearsed what despite myself. Love to all, Simon Monbaron
to do I was able to steer the car in the right direction. But
when we passed the intersection I became blind again.

Just before the next intersection my sight returned and I

My web site:

was able to steer the car toward the airport but after that BELIEF IN
I again became unable to see anything. AN OMNIPRESENT POWER
Afterwards I thought that in a way it must have been Halstein Stralberg, Norway, writes…
Bapak who drove the car to the airport but since he did not
know the route, whenever there was an intersection or a I had decided in my early teens not to believe in God and
turn, Bapak would let me see the road so that I could steer that God could not possibly exist. But some 'experiences'
the car toward the airport, and then, as soon as the car was convinced me that there must exist something more than
going straight Bapak would render me blind again. what we can see or hear and this led to a desire to seek
for spiritual reality. When I heard of Subud at age 18 it
I began driving It was a powerful and weird experi- seemed so important that I decided to travel to Coombe
and as soon as ence and I had not remembered it Springs, from Norway, to be opened.
for years. But then, in Ascot I felt the
the car was in latihan very strongly and I felt Before the opening Bapak said that he could see our
motion this Bapak's presence there with us. After thoughts and desires and that he was there to witness our
extraordinary thing my return home (USA) my wife wish to worship God. This worried me since I did not
Marcella also told me that when she believe in God and if Bapak really could see what I was
happened – I was thinking about the Celebration thinking and feeling he must know that I was not really sin-
became unable to in England she felt that Bapak was cere.
see anything at all there with us.
But the next day, while I kept myself busy working in the
In Ascot I tried to be empty of mate- Coombe Springs garden, I suddenly understood that all
rial or physical things so that I would feel the latihan. I my reservations about believing in God had to do with
went to be in touch with the spiritual and to remember the concept of God as a person, who sits somewhere
Bapak so I kept to myself but nevertheless several people and controls everything and doles out rewards and pun-
talked to me to see if I was O.K, which I appreciated. ishments. I realised that what Bapak had
referred to was a universal omnipresent power of which I
The flight home had been given a small taste during the opening.
During that time, however, when checking my airline
reservation, I saw that my flight home was on Monday I felt the need to assure myself that what I had felt was not
and not Sunday as I had thought. Being in a half crisis simply due to Bapak's physical presence, so despite hav-
state I had made my arrangements for the wrong day. ing been warned not to try the latihan alone during the
first weeks after my opening, I went to my room and
So I asked United Airlines to get me on the flight to asked for evidence that the latihan would work also
Chicago on Sunday instead of Monday. The agent told when I was alone. It started immediately – and I asked for
me that all seats were taken on that flight, but there was it to stop in less than a minute since all I needed was proof
a later flight and there was still one seat available. So I that it would work without the presence or influence of
took that seat. another person. cont on p 11 >

I went on to study mathematics and science, and The Shock and Trauma of Catastrophic Events
practiced in the field of mathematics for many years, From my experiences in previous latihans, I have surmised
but I have never had any problem with the concept of that she never got over the shock and trauma of these
God since then, although I prefer not to use the term catastrophic events which shook her life in those few short
too much, especially when talking about Subud to years. And because of the huge responsibility of support-
someone new.

• ing my mother and raising a young child as a single par-
ent, she never had the time to process the trauma she
had experienced and from that point move on. Instead
Nana never remarried and worked almost all her life in
small dead end jobs to support herself and my mother
Halimah Polk, USA, writes about the deeply moving expe- while she was young.
riences of her Ramadan 2005…
Despite these horrible traumas, Nana was by far the
Last year marked my 34th year of doing Ramadan. Not favourite grandparent in our family, invariably sweet, sup-
perfectly, never perfectly, but the sincerity was there for portive and pleasant. I found pictures of her before her
sure. Over the years I’ve noticed that these Ramadans life had been shaken by these traumas and the pictures
almost glide together. I might experience something the reveal such a spirited lively woman compared to the quiet
previous Ramadan only to have the same experience and sweet Nana of my childhood. Clearly, something had
start up exactly where it left off at the beginning of the been broken in her during these years of disaster.
next Ramadan. I’ve often joked that God must have a
bookmark! But it is quite remarkable, nonetheless. It was the weight of this brokenness that I felt in my latihan
during that night early in Ramadan. Those distressing loss-
During previous Ramadans, like many of us, I’ve been es had been so hard for this woman who had loved us all
aware of a heightened sense of com- so unconditionally. How I wept for her
passion for the suffering of others, that night and how deeply my heart
accompanied by a desire to help allevi- ached for her.
ate that suffering. This undertone of com-
passion surfaced again during Ramadan And it seemed as if that weeping itself
2005 – but with a more personal twist. In was a release for her, the kind of release
latihan one night during the first week of she had not been afforded in her own
the fasting, I felt the presence of my lifetime and also a release for me
maternal grandmother, my Nana. She because I too carry the weight of this sor-
had come to me before and once row from my maternal line. Strangely, I
again, I was made aware of how difficult was also aware from her presence, of a
her life had been. sense of gratitude that someone loved
her enough to bear witness to this enor-
From 1918-1922, my grandmother Nana mous unacknowledged suffering.
lost every member of her family, except
my mother, in the Spanish Influenza epi- On a Night of Power
demic. When many soldiers returned As the Ramadan unfolded in the way
home from the European battlefields, that Ramadans do – so that it seems as
they unwittingly brought with them this vir- Halimah Polk if you live a mini-lifetime in 30 days – this
ulent influenza, sparking an outbreak in experience that I’ve just described completely vanished
the United States that actually caused many more deaths from my consciousness. That is, until something remark-
than those of all the American soldiers killed in the First able happened during one of the Nights of Power. Like
World War. my grandmother, I too had suffered a series of traumas
and major losses in my own life that in the same way,
My grandfather Harold had returned from Europe to occurred during a short space of time. We know how
Reading, Pennsylvania, in time for the birth of my moth- these ancestral traumas repeat themselves in subsequent
er, Dorothy, in 1918. By 1920 he was dead, followed generations.
soon after by the death of my Nana’s father and moth-
er. Her brother Calder and sister Anna also died soon On this particular night the deep residue of pain from my
after that. An entire family had been decimated by the own losses tore through my Ramadan quiet, as if the
Spanish Influenza. Nana was left completely on her power of the latihan within me were pushing this gigantic
own with my mother to provide and care for, with no thorn of unexpressed sorrow out of my bodily memory.
family support. Now I know in my head this is a good thing, (it’s hap-
pened quite a few times before) but I have to tell you,
Out of necessity she and my mother, then a tiny toddler, when it hits, it hurts like crazy and can be very scary
moved in with her in-laws, my grandfather’s family. because it mimics a heart attack. So I lay down and got
Unfortunately, they were not very welcoming or support- quiet, maybe the word is ‘surrendered’, but I really didn’t
ive; my great-grandfather apparently never worked again know what else to do.
after the death of his son; the word was ‘he went mental’.
After a few minutes, I ‘saw’ in my bedroom where I was
My great-grandmother on my grandfather’s side, resting several familiar female spirits praying for me, one
according to the few stories that survive, was harsh of whom was my daughter, Mariama, who died over 18
and tyrannical. So at the age of 26, my grandmother years ago. It was so touching. I felt such quiet love and
was abruptly thrown into this hostile familial environ- compassion emanating from these spirits praying for me.
ment, while she struggled to work and support herself
and my mother. Suddenly, Mariama started to weep for me
cont on p 12 >
in exactly the same way I had everyone WAS celebrating Idul Fitri. I saw many older
How I wept wept for my maternal grand- Subud members who had passed on lots of familiar and
mother in that latihan at the happy faces.
for her beginning of Ramadan. I
could feel her heart aching I do remember Bapak and Ibu Sumari, particularly. I
that night for me just as I had felt my
own heart aching for my
slipped into the long line of Subud members waiting to do
Sukum to Bapak and remember going through the line
and how Nana. Her love and heartfelt
empathy washed over me.
and asking Bapak's forgiveness.

deeply my Lying there on my bed after When I snapped back to my ordinary conscious-
ness alone, I felt completely satisfied with my

36 years of latihan and 34
heart ached years of fasting, some barri-
cade within me and within my
Ramadan gift.

for her maternal line broke open so

that I could actually feel
great love and compassion
not only for my dear Nana, but now for myself as well. Sunny and
Surprising Twists and Turns
I’ve thought quite a bit about this experience, because it
was so dramatic. Obviously, occurring as it did during
those last nights of the fast, such a luminous moment con-
tained an important message.
Harris Smart reviews’ The
On some level, I’ve always felt that observing the fast Great Life Farce’ by
would somehow make me a ‘better person’. Am I a bet- Campbell and Bolt...
ter person now? I’m not sure and perhaps that’s quite
beside the point. Isn’t wishing to be better in some cases It is not often in Subud
another kind of passion, or perhaps a way of avoiding that someone succeeds
who we really are? What I am is happier! in being both sunny and
This ‘spiritual path’ we follow in Subud has surprising twists
and turns, so perfectly calibrated to our particular needs. Generally, if someone takes against Subud, they
For me that night offered a vital lesson in self-love, self-care get all bitter and twisted about it, dour and melan-
and compassion. Despite myriad imperfections, I was cholic, not to mention choleric. So we have people
beloved just as I was. Who I was, was how God made me. who ‘leave’ Subud, yet still continue to bombard the
list servers with their angry e-mails.
Additionally, I was given a poignant reminder that – as
‘alone’ as I may sometimes feel, I am tenderly watched Marcus Bolt and Dirk Campbell are amongst the few
over — as are all of us. The grace of this Ramadan expe- who can be both sunny and subversive. (And also silly,
rience opened my ‘inner eyes and heart’ to a reality that of course!)
had been hidden from me.
They’ve just published a fourth collection of cartoons
So as I have whirled, often blindly, through the ups and and prose pieces which poke fun at some of the
downs of my outer life this year, I feel buoyed up by those sacred cows in Subud. But generally, they do it lightly,
loving unseen ‘presences’ confident they are with me, and even with love. They are often exasperated by
whether I am in a place to see them or not..

Subud, but they still haven't given up on it.

Perhaps in Subud we are still too pious, too solemn

And here is another Ramadan experience of Halimah and too sanctimonious. I've heard it said that when
Polk’s from last year… Bapak got together with the boys he did not mind
telling a risqué joke or two.

A RAMADAN GIFT Perhaps sometimes we take ourselves a bit too seri-

ously and it is good that Dirk and Marcus are around
to give us a good kick or pinch.
On the night of the last day of fasting during a lonely
Ramadan in 1998, I went to latihan hoping to do ‘minta
I once asked Dirk and Marcus where they got their
ma'uf’ with my brothers and sisters and celebrate the
ideas from; where did they observe all these funny atti-
ending of the fast.
tudes and customs in Subud that they made fun of.
No one else in our small group had done the fast that par-
ticular year and the strange thing was that no one in our ‘Mostly by observing ourselves,’ they replied.
very sincere and diligent group came that night. Even so,
This shows an encouraging humility. Marcus and Dirk
I went ahead and did my latihan by myself and as I was
are not above us, looking down. They are right here
sitting quietly at the end of my latihan, (perhaps feeling a
bit sorry for myself) I had this experience: with us, sharing our foibles. And I believe there is a
good heart behind this collection, even if it’s all a bit
Suddenly I was ‘transported’ to the next world where subversive. cont on p 13>

Only One Like You
Mansur Maderios passed away in August 2007. Rasjad
Tarantino, USA, writes…

Ah Mansur…

Who now gets to enjoy your laughter and your wit and

When we got to know you in Cilandak as you lived in your

monkish room stacked with books and periodicals and
newspapers, always a dim light on to read by in the wee
hours of the night, you were already special to us. Always
a new revelation concerning historical Subud, its mem-
bers and founders.

Between you and Hanafi Troncellitti we enjoyed many

‘Subud outreach’ – from The Great Life Farce hours of laughter and interesting story-banter.
There are many very funny cartoons and mini- Twenty–three years later finds us both within the same
essays in this collection. I believe it is as good vicinity on the East Coast USA. You in Fall River & Mardiyah
as their previous collections – the famous & I in Rhode Island.
Bletchley Handbook, A Laugh Within a Laugh
and The Great Laugh Force. You were so enthusiastic to do latihan together that you
arranged a side room in a Catholic church in Fall River
Some new themes emerge, reflecting changing times. where we could meet twice a week. This lasted for almost
For instance, there are some cartoons on the subject a year until my work as a resource teacher for blind
of ‘gayness’. ended and I took a consulting job in R.I.

As editor of Subud Voice, I have to say of course We resumed latihan in my house where an arrangement
that my favourite cartoon is the one which appears was made to pick you up from the bus stop in Swansea,
on Page 31 in a section called Subud Outreach, MA. We enjoyed many a fine lunch prepared by
which shows a lady (could that be Ilaine Lennard?) Mardiyah following latihan. You never were interested in
offering Subud Voice in a pub, the way the Salvation joining any group latihan such as the one in Boston.
Army distribute their War Cry. Oh happy day when our
sales will be increased in this way!

Just above it is another cartoon I like very much. It shows

a man in a hotel room opening the drawer of the bedside
table and finding within, not the ubiquitous Gideon’s
Bible, but a copy of Susila Budhi Dharma.

This book is full of good jokes. You’ll have a good laugh.

In my opinion, the more robust and well-grounded Subud

is, the more we are able to make a little fun of it (while still
being a loving and respectful). To me the very finest thing
that happened at the Innsbruck World Congress were the
daily feasts of often very cheeky videos that were made
by the young people there.

It gave me confidence that a generation of young Subud Mansur Madeiros in the 1970s at the doorway of his ‘hermit’s room’ in
members was coming along who were so well grounded Cilandak where he lived for many years.
in Subud that they could make fun of some of our sillier (Photo by Sylvia Destombe)
and more fuddy-duddy attitudes. This is a good sign. And
the firm of Campbell and Bolt are showing the way! When you got interested in something you went whole-
hearted into it. Such as when you were given your own
PS: Adam and God are pictured on the cover of this book office at Harvard to do your researches using all of the
in a parody of a detail from Michelangelo's famous Sistine Universities resources.
Chapel ceiling. Are there any prizes for guessing who
Adam looks like and who God looks like? Hint: check out You plunged yourself into Islam and grew your full-on
the photos on the back cover. beard and learned all the prayers which you practiced
with all intensity, until I feared you to have been taken
For more information and to buy a copy, contact over by the Imam extremists.
Marcus Bolt at + 44 (0)1923 777750

or Suddenly, 9/11! You were so horrified that this act could
or go straight to cont on p 124>

be perpetrated by Muslims on your beloved New York web for all the world to read for free.
and its citizens that you immediately threw Islamic religion
and all new Muslim friends and Imams far away, refusing I am personally indebted to them, for ‘My Stairway to
to have anything more to do with Islam and its advo- Subud’ would never have re-appeared without their
cates. help. First of all the whole text was placed on their site,
and subsequently Stephanie worked with Page Maker
It was interesting to us to witness the beginning and end long hours to make my book into a form that was acces-
to what we considered an extremist viewpoint from you. sible by BookSurge. Furthermore she also encouraged me
We were glad you shaved off you Santa Claus beard. Still in my writing of verse and indeed said that I was a 'poet',
you were on the search for something that could fulfil the which was praise indeed. Her son in England also did the
need for something you could believe in. book cover of My Stairway.

You had many qualms about Subud and the latihan, So Rachman this is my letter of condolence to you, as you
although you always maintained that you experienced and Stephanie have trod an independent way. As you
many benefits from practicing the latihan. can see I have tried in my reply to you to include and
inform some of the best of friends, who like me may never
About the time when we felt to make a move to the West have met either of you and yet are indebted to both for
Coast you really hurt me by saying you didn’t want to see the work that they have done.
us anymore because we ‘stink too much of Subud’. We
lost touch after that for a couple of years until something I can think of no better monument to Stephanie
came up whose answer you would know. You of course than that we should include in our emails to our var-
didn’t remember making any such remark that would ious friends during this Holy Month of Ramadan a
hurt as much as it did. link to the site
as in this way we can perhaps spread the work to
When I realised that you felt friendly towards us I was able
to toss the negative impression out of my system.
which Stephanie devoted herself.

Now you are truly gone, dead, true to the end of being
the loner scholar monk. You who said what a relief it is not
to feel the sexual drive anymore.(and I expressing what a
Harlinah Hamer
loss that has to be).
Harlinah Hamer passed away on the morning of Tuesday
July 24. She will be remembered by her many friends all
You are unique, only one like you. In some unexplainable
round the world. She was an outgoing and vibrant per-
way, you have made yourself to be lovable. A perfect
sonality beloved by many.
and always interesting companion and friend to have
near. I will always remember you Mansur.
Harlinah was also a model of the enterprising Subud
woman. For many years she ran her own business where
I truly hope you will be with companions in another life
she designed clothes, had them made in Java and
who are as intelligently searching and honest, mirthful
imported them to Australia where she sold them through
and witty, as you have been in this life.
a shop in Perth. It was an ingenious little business as it
Goodbye my dear brother, goodbye.
• enabled Harlinah to spend long periods of time in
Cilandak where of course she was a fixture in that well-
known house of single women known as ‘The Nunnery’.

Stephanie Healey & In more recent years she became a travelling saleswom-
an. She packed up her station wagon with the clothes
and artefacts she imported from all parts of the world and

Services to Subud drove around to the many festivals and carnivals that are
held in Australia. There she set up a stall and sold her
wares. She managed to combine being a business lady
with her love of the music festival scene.
Anthony Bright-Paul, UK, writes…
She died after a painful illness but her last months were
I have received an email from Rachman Hopwood that also marked by joy as she married the psychiatrist Andrew
his partner Stephanie Healey has passed away after a Firestone who had been her partner in working with the
long illness and a month's stay in hospital. victims of trauma in East Timor.

Now I have never met Rachman Hopwood or Stephanie Even though confined to hospital, she had never seemed
Healey, but many of us are indebted to them for having more alive than in these last months.
put together one of the most beautiful sites on the web -
the Undiscovered Worlds Press. A splendid evening of Remembrance for Harlinah was
held in the Melbourne Subud Hall in September. It was
It is there that one can read works of Prio Hartono, which attended by more than 70 people including friends, rela-
otherwise might be lost, and various other authors, as my tives and Subud members. It was an evening of both tears
friend Raymond van Sommers and Siti Muti'ah Lestiono. and laughter as we shared our memories of Harlinah.
Of course there are also the contributions of Stephanie
herself. We are also indebted to them for negotiating with May she sing and dance in heaven as she loved to
the Bennett family to place ‘Concerning Subud’ on the

do on earth.


Obituary for Halimah Halimah passed away peacefully on Saturday morning
17th March 2007 just hours after suffering a heart attack.
Our last memories of our mother are of a woman strong,
Jones calm, gentle, and graceful. She was a person who lived
her principles; and through her steadfast faith she
Halimah Jones was born Ursula Linke on 10th July 1941.
Her family was riven by the war, and she lost her father at
the age of two and a half.
achieved a genuine peace and acceptance.

She grew up to be a beautiful woman, always poised and
elegant, someone who made heads turn, and had a
much commented-on aura of mystique and glamour. NOVEMBER 4
She studied languages at the Sorbonne university in Paris
and could speak English, French and Italian fluently. 10.00 (GMT)
She lost her mother to cancer, after several years' illness, DECEMBER 1-2
in 1963. During the 1960s and 1970s she worked as a trans-
lator and for a while in the airline industry and enjoyed 20.00 (GMT)
travelling and seeing the world. In 1970 she found Subud.
She attended the 1971 World Congress in Jakarta and To find the corresponding time in your part of
moved to Cilandak to live in the mid ‘70’s - where she
met Robijan Jones and they married in June 1977. They the world go to
moved to the UK that year, and their son Hardwin was
born there in 1978, and daughter Lilian in 1982.


Stefan Freedman’s
new laugh aloud book
‘heaven for cat lovers’
Lost Cat
You put signs up
For miles around
With my picture
And a reward offered
You dingaling!
I don't do that
Every time you go off
On holiday

‘an ideal gift’

Orders /more details

Ilaina Lennard, former editor of SUBUD MUSIC BY
VOICE, is looking for paid work, proof PRICES (Incl p&p) UK £13 • Europe £14
reading / editing. Reasonable rates, SUBUD ARTISTS • Other £16
excellent references. • Yamba Yamba Orchestra
Rainstorm £11.00
Pay by UK bank cheque or Credit Card SPI
E-mail Subud Publications International
• Robert Millard Loudwater Farm, Loudwater Lane
or tel. +44 (0)1344 451851.
NOTE e-mail address is ILAINE not ILAINA Piano Recital 2 (Chopin) £11.00 Herts WD3 4HG Subud
• Adrienne Thomas tel: +44 (0) 1727 762210 Publications
Speaking In Tongues £11.00 fax: +44 (0) 1727 858080 International
BOOKS AND CDs BY • Harlan Cockburn
Ship Without Rudder £11.00
HARRIS SMART • Leonard Paice
Harris’s Smart’s book Destiny is still available. It The Ashgrove £11.00 SUBUDVOICE
contains three great Subud stories. Arifin Prices include postage anywhere.
Konrad’s description of his ascension; Lailah is published monthly.
(Credit Card option on website)
Armstrong’s story of how she was led to do her DEADLINE FOR NEXT ISSUE:
work with ICDP; and recollections of times
DJC Records
spent with German artist Richard Engels. See 104 Constitution Hill, 31 November 2007
below for prices and ordering information. Norwich, NR34 BB UK.
Harris also has some song and story CDs… Send to Harris Smart, Editor Subud Voice,
Precious Morning is a collection of 10 original
songs performed by Harris and some top musi- preferably by email to or by post to:
cians and singers.
22 Holland Ave, Dingley,
Stud in her Tongue is another collection of VIC, 3172, Australia.
songs including some satires on contem- MUSIC & THEATRE Tel: + 61 3 95118122
porary life.
Ipanema is a story with original songs about a
Bradford Temple, PO Box 311,
visit Harris made to Brazil a few years ago It New Year’s Music and Theatre Dapto, NSW, 2530, Australia
features some singing by Harris's wife Piata. Jamboree at La Source French Email:
Pyrenees… Tel: +61 2 42615566
Foolish Things is a satirical Christmas story with
Fax: + 61 2 42621725
carols and popular songs sung by Piata. What We welcome you again to La RATES WORLDWIDE per 12 issues:
a superb Christmas gift! Just the thing to get Source for the New Year’s Music Groups AUD$70* (incl mailing)
you through the post prandial stupor after the and Theatre Jamboree. We have
turkey and plum pud. Individuals AUD$80* (incl mailing)
added theatre as we have learnt OnLine AUD$50*
People are really talking about Harris's music many theatre games this year *10% discount for pensioners over 60
these days. For instance, while attending the that we can all play together as PAYMENTS: (Australian Dollars only)
cricket the other day, Sir Mick Jagger was well as making music, dancing preferably by Credit Card – please provide
overheard to say, ‘These songs by Harris are and having fun… your name, address, card number, card
really good. If I had written them in 1965, they
expiry date and your signature
would now be world-famous. The dates will be from Saturday as on card and fax to the
‘People would have made love to them, bro- the 29th of December to Saturday subscription fax above. International Bank
ken up to them, been reconciled to them. the 5th of January… people who
Drafts and Money Orders should be made
People would have heard useful little philo- wish to arrive earlier must let us
payable to SUBUD VOICE and sent to the
sophical messages in them that they would know…
subscription address above.
have applied to their own lives. They would
ADVERTISEMENTS: 50 cents a word.
have permeated the texture of millions upon The special New Year’s jamboree
Minimum charge AUD$15.00.
millions of lives, just as my songs have done. price is 30? per person per day, all
(Third World countries – no charge).
inclusive, with everyone helping in
‘Unfortunately, they were not written by me in SUBMISSIONS MAY BE EDITED:
1965, but by Harris in 2005, and consequently
the kitchen, so come along and
Submissions to Subud Voice may be
nobody has ever heard of them. Harris is very bring your instruments and your
edited for a variety of reasons including
talented, but somehow lacks timing and posi- good humour.
the need to shorten them or improve
tioning. But his songs and stories are at the top expression. If you do not want your
of my ipod at the moment.’ For those wanting to ski there are
many resorts one hour away, and submission to be edited in any way,
All books and CDs are AUD$25 (EU15, £10, as ever the wonderful thermal please mark it clearly NOT TO BE EDITED.
US$20) Including package and post anywhere
in the world
baths await us in Bagnères de
Bigorre.Contact Maya at
Contact The opinions expressed in the various articles are the
sole responsibility of their authors and can not be seen as or representing the opinion of the World Subud Association.
to order by phone : + 33 (0)5 6240 9857
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registered marks of the World Subud Association.