Bapak’s Guidance for the Direction of Our Association

Bapak’s Guidance for the Direction of Our Association

An introduction to a thought provoking new paper by Rashad Pollard and Stuart Cooke with the full paper available to download.

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Harris Madden previews this new paper from Rashad Pollard and Stuart Cooke with the full paper available for download.

In this compelling and sometimes provocative paper about the role of enterprises in Subud, Rashad and Stuart have compiled extracts from Bapak’s talks interspersed with their own narrative and summary explanations. At eight pages, the paper is too long to reproduce on a web page. A brief introduction follows and the full paper can be downloaded here.

The condition for something to succeed is that the people who undertake it together are harmonious and honest.

The paper begins with extracts from Bapak making it clear that the purpose of the latihan kedjiwaan is to worship Almighty God with an attitude of patience, acceptance and submission – and free of any hopes or expectations including the desire that Subud will bring success in life.

In addition to worship, we all have a responsibility to work. Further, we all have a responsibility to collaborate together to fulfil Subud’s mission. Enterprises are the key for us to be able to do this. They will provide the economic basis for us to meet the needs of the Subud organisation and its members and also, thereafter, to undertake social works that contribute to society outside of Subud.

There is no such thing as ‘not getting on’ among us, there really isn’t, because what we receive in the latihan is one current from God to human beings.

The way in which we do our enterprises and what we do with the proceeds should become an example to society of the content of Subud. The prerequisites of success in enterprise are harmony and honesty. The main source of failure in enterprise is self-interest. Differences arise between people when they are led by their desires rather than by the latihan.

Bapak recommended we create large collective Subud enterprises with many shareholders and using the expertise of many members: so that we could work together in harmony; so that the collective nature and partly social purpose of the enterprise could mitigate against self-interest; and, so that the scale and financial returns of these enterprises could be larger. He also gave us examples of how.

Part of your responsibility as helpers is also to give explanations and to guide members regarding enterprises: how to start and how to do them. The helpers should be the pioneers…

Committees at all levels, local, national and international have an essential part to play in starting enterprises. It is crucial for Subud to create the ‘infrastructure’ that Bapak recommended. This includes an active SES (national and international) that can provide experts to guide (and supervise) enterprises. And also provide the funding needed. An essential part of the responsibility of helpers at all levels is to inform members about the role of enterprise and to play their own part in enterprises.

A brief explanation can’t do justice to the paper, so the forgoing is perhaps just ‘a taste’. The paper is based on a selection of extracts chosen by the authors and it is therefore to some extent ‘selective’. It has a particular focus on the relationship between the Subud organisation and collective, hopefully large scale Subud enterprises. Bapak was encouraging of individuals being enterprising as well, so perhaps the reality of that is ‘and and’ rather than ‘either/or’.

The enterprises Bapak means are joint enterprises, undertaken jointly between you, not by just one or two people only but by a lot of people forming a company,

Nevertheless, the paper is a very important reminder when it seems we have lost the will to start or support large collective enterprises. Indeed, our major organisational bodies appear to be shying away from being directly associated with enterprise. We need to find structures and ways to put Bapak’s advice into practice.

It is hard not to be moved reading the paper. Indeed, it concludes with extracts about enterprise from Bapak’s final public talk in which he added ‘courage’ to patience, acceptance and submission – almost as if he sensed an essential weakness we would have to face putting Subud into practice.

Go here to download and read the paper.


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