15 Mar Bapak’s Guidance for the Direction of Our Association (Updated)
Rashad Pollard has added a new executive summary to the SESI paper.
A link to the full document, including extracts from Bapak’s talks, is included at the end of the executive summary that follows here:
In considering Bapak’s guidance for our association it is important to first reflect on what he stated about the purpose of Subud membership. Bapak told us many times that it is necessary to approach the latihan through an attitude of patience, submission and surrender. This means to be free of hopes, expectations or wishes concerning the latihan.
This is quite different from the purpose of a ‘spiritual’ or religious practice, which usually promises certain benefits to its members. We can make no such promises in Subud because doing so would contradict the meaning of the words ‘patience, submission and surrender’. It is through this attitude that the primary aim of doing the latihan can be realised; that we may be truly blessed and we may be seen to be a people who are truly noble in nature and character.
Over time, the latihan becomes not so much about our individual selves but involves those with whom we do the latihan, with the entire Subud membership and eventually with the whole of humanity, free of any personal wishes or desires. In this way we can be given perfect harmony in our lives and between each other.
A recurring theme within Bapak’s talks at Congresses and elsewhere was how to express that attribute of ‘oneness’, of unity, of purpose and harmony that we experience in the latihan in the outside world. The way we should aim to accomplish that is through undertaking outer works collectively together. Through doing tasks together in the world we could learn, and then demonstrate, the true meaning of harmony.
Our Association saw the need for a framework to accomplish this. Subud projects were defined as Subud enterprises and social work implemented through public Subud companies, cooperatives or non-profits that would be initiated by our Subud Committees on all levels, through bringing Groups of experts together. This was seen as so important that Affiliates (Wings) were established and tasked with the job of making sure our experts in Subud were registered in databases so that our Committees, companies, and non-profits had the technical resources they needed to ensure projects were professionally implemented and overseen.
This task was so essential to the growth of Subud in the world that Bapak stressed we cannot succeed in accomplishing it if we work independently of one other. Of course we have to look after our own needs in life and to do that we engage our self-interest in the work we do in the world. But if we are to succeed in working for Subud where it is essential that we work together collectively as well as harmoniously, we could only succeed if we did so in a way that was free of our personal individual self-interests.
SESI’s document “Bapak’s Guidance on Enterprise”, pointed out that Bapak suggested that self-interest was a key factor in the demise of our major enterprises, meaning they faltered and failed when their collective meaning and purpose became lost. In learning this lesson we can avoid the failures of the past and create projects that truly support the best interests of our Association as a whole. Bapak also stressed that these projects must be designed to look after our own members first: to provide better latihan facilities; to create collective enterprises through which we may fund the organisation, to establish social projects which focus first on the needs of our own membership — schools for our Subud children, care for our elderly in Subud, support of members in financial need, and so on. Once we are financially strong, Bapak said we should expand these services and facilities to serve those who are not in Subud.
The Role of Helpers in this is central. They are the pioneers who guide and assist Committees to implement projects on all levels. Committee counsellors are vital too, as they have the role of “supervising” national efforts within their zones to create Subud enterprises and social projects, and to report on the progress and condition of the national bodies in their Zones. Needless to say, today, there is little to report but if we wish to put Bapak’s advice and guidance into practice we need to come together and find practical and realistic ways to put this into practice.
To read or download the complete paper Bapak’s Guidance For The Direction of Our Association please go here. Note: As it contains extracts from Bapak’s talks, this document is only available to Subud Members who are registered and who have logged on to the SESI website. If you are a Subud member and have difficulty obtaining a copy of the document, please contact the editor.