Re: To read up on Subud
Date: November 07, 2007 01:31AM
*Bashes head against the wall*
Bronte, I didn't say you were speaking bullshit. I said you were perpetuating it.
You still really have no idea of my own particular views, faiths, beliefs, interests... nobody does. Because if it's not "Subud," it must be somehow wrong. You're not saying anything different to all the helpers I've grown up with. The only difference is that they were around all the time, to say the same on every word I ever said, to turn round and tell me:
"You can't read tarot / do martial arts / take a yoga class / go with your friends to Beltaine festivals, because those things are against God / the Latihan / the evolution of the soul. You can't wear jeans / buy certain books / eat Chinese with your friends at Camden market because that is the Material Force choking you. You can't go out with a certain guy because it is just the Animal force deceiving you. You can't be a scientist, because physics is wrong. You can't go running, because an interest in health and fitness is just for the weak. You can't volunteer in a Buddhist centre, because the Buddhists just want to go sit under a tree and meditate and in order to be truly human you have to live in the world."
No, that wasn't Bapak who said those things - just my parents, or the helpers around me. Those things and THOUSANDS of others, all of the time. Remember I grew up in a Subud house. Remember, I grew up in a Subud house with parents who saw themselves at the centre of the Subud universe. There were always people coming and going, who "just felt" to raise their, um, concerns about my welfare. My father nearly disowned me when I cut my hair short when I was 16. Two years later he burned all my personal belongings when his company was taken over by other Subud members, who got us evicted from our house so they could buy it cheap and sell it at a profit. Those same people sold all my personal belongings - including my piano - and kept the profits. Anything they couldn't sell went to their new Subud house. My old towels, our old kitchenware, ended up there - to just be casually used by anyone, and if I dared make a squeak about how weird it was to see my own personal towels being used by anyone who stayed at the house, I was just told that's what happens when businesses collapse, and that I shouldn't be so attached to material possessions.
How can any sane and rational person NOT think this is organisation is full of utter BS!?
What you say about anger is precisely the same. I quote from Bapak:
"Once you arrive at your own wisdom, of course you will have understanding, and you will be able to verify it through your own actions and experience. If your inner feeling has been really cleaned, so that you have no feelings of dislike and no feelings of jealousy towards anyone, and you don't feel different from anyone else, this cleanness of the inner-feeling is like a mirror. Whenever you are with people, they will like you, and love you, and feel close to you."
This is a man who said women should wear make-up to not bore their husbands. That the role of women is to cook, and clean, and be beautiful - "man is channel and woman is vessel." That the woman has no role in the world, aside from raising a family and maybe running her own little art company. That animals are not equal to man and therefore the concerns about animal welfare aren't important. That people from China are all poor because they eat too much rice which is grown in wet soil and therefore their souls are wet and lacking in human fire. That members should "donate" lots of money to build Bapak a big compound, to start their own bank, to run dodgy enterprises which cause members to lose all of their savings and end up homeless, "Because Bapak dreamed it."
The lies of statements like this are at the heart of my total loss of self esteem. That you are only worthy of the love of others if you are perfect. That if you have a poor "inner feeling," you will be unwanted. That if you follow your own moral compass you will end up lost (I believe that all people are born equal and that eating meat is wrong). That if, in fact, you have any extraneous emotion whatsoever, you will be condemned to a life of misery and an eternity of staring over your shoulder at your own bones, or whatever. You seem to believe something similar - that there is no role in human society for anger. That someone who is angry at 22 years of manipulation and lies is obviously nothing but a storehouse of demonic energy. That she can have no desires and ambitions of her own. Incidentally I CAN believe in the rationale of both Science and God all at once.
Do you want to know what I REALLY believe, Bronte?? That all this rubbish, all the crap from Bapak about there being worms on Jupiter thousands of km long (there aren't - if he had seen them from his "ascension" in 1925 then the Voyager spacecraft would have seen them too), that all the Gurdjieff stuff about sacred dances, that all the spout by Jung and Crowley and Maharishi and all the helpers and Oprah and Fred Hoyle and, well, you know, ANYONE who SAYS for definite that something is definitely true, is quite probably wrong. I believe, not in these MYTHS, but in the value of having myth in society. I believe that it is the stories themselves which have the ability to illuminate our lives. That, if the stuff that "Bapak said" was told as just a story, as a set of beliefs from a dying culture, then I wouldn't be so damn angry at them. I don't believe in Santa Claus but the myth of it has a great value on earth - that Christmas is a time of charity and giving, and it's because many people believe it to be the birth of someone who was prepared to give their life to end all suffering on earth. I don't believe in Cerridwyn or Astarte but I'll still light candles for them when I feel vulnerable - they are not physical entities, but myths which represent an undiscovered part of ourselves. It is the same with Tarot - it is a system of archetypal representations, a map of the human condition. Each different deck has come from a different person - one who has their own interpretations and ideas on what each archetype chooses to represent. I find this far more useful than the kind of "rules for living" laid down by the insufferable "in-Subud-there-are-no-rules-but-Bapak-said" brand of helpers who took my childhood away. At least I can get the benefits from it without being asked to sacrifice anything for its cause.
If people stopped acting like every new silly and inconsequential thing that they believe in is absolute truth, or nit-picking with each other trying to get the moral high ground over some philosophical low point, and choosing faith like people choose what novels to read or films to watch, then this whole world really would be a much safer and interesting place to live. I've learned far more about the human spirit from reading Huxley and Tolkien than I have from reading another tedious collection of Bapak's yakking from the 1950s which bears little relevance on my life and point of view. The value of myth is to highlight a beautiful - or unwanted - quality of life and put it in the context of overcoming adversity. Cults, NRMs, Gurus, prophets... they just yak, preach, intone, undermine and encourage abuse in those who do not understand. Myths cannot be misunderstood. Stories are written, as stories, and viewed as such, so the abuse does not occur - but they still communicate precisely, without any contradiction or ambiguity.
If everyone in Subud turned round overnight and said, "oh yeah, sorry for all the abuse J, we didn't realise that we were barking up the wrong tree. Now lets all meditate and worship God together, without you being hauled up in front of the national dewan for doing the wrong thing in an exercise which is supposed to be totally unique and individual in an organisation which is supposed to exist without any dogma or specific rules," then my feelings towards the organisation would be very different indeed.
As I've said, or hinted at a million times - I'm not angry at God, and I still believe God can be present in the Latihan, as He is supposed to be. But I DO still think Subud is bullshit, I'm angry at the situation which has turned good, intelligent and creative people into paranoid, unemployed, lonely people who can't hold down a job, marriage, mortgage or any kind of interpersonal relationship and yet still use the justifications of Bapak that they are much, much better people than those who want to just work for someone else without running a business (the biggest crime I think you can commit in Subud!!), who just want to go about their ordinary business without being judged or judging others, and who want to choose the free will to trust in their own actions without having each choice voted upon by spiritual committee, and who don't think that standing in a circle asking questions about the spiritual significance of a gluten allergy or what it means to walk like a flipping Mexican.
I'll face my creator when the time comes and willingly accept any punishment for the beliefs I hold which are misguided. I'm still pretty sure that it's less misguided to prefer peer-reviewed scientific rationality than the words of someone who said that he turned into a white tiger at night.
On that note...
Om shanti shanti shanti.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/2007 01:38AM by Jupiter.