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Links appear below for articles that have been published since October 2011. For back issues from January to September 2011, click here.

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Sixteen Steps by Harris Smart

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Another bumper issue for y'all this month...



A LETTER FROM CALIFORNIA… from long ago and far away

Harris writes...

THE MIRACLE OF THE ANTS… an experience from Imron Comey

Imron Comey's recent article about his experiences in Kalimantan and the “Generosity Factor” aroused a great deal of interest. Here he writes about another experience, a Subud gathering in Australia in 1987...


PUEBLA REPORT from Maya Korzybska…

Report from Maya Korzybska, WSA Executive Vice-Chair, on her working trip to Puebla (January 5th to 24th 2012 )  Read more...



WHATEVER HAPPENED TO…? (Part 2) … Ilaina Lennard writes…




FAVOURITE PHOTO… cat jumping

Harris Smart writes...

MY LIFE (IS) IN SUBUD…from Melinda Wallis

My Life (Is) In Subud


THE MOTTO BUSINESS… rise and fall of an enterprise




FINDING THEIR WAY BACK TO GOD…compiled by Emmanuel Elliott

Finding Their Way Back to God

BAPAK TALK… Bapak talks about his mission






Download and print out this digest  for members of your group who do not have access to a computer. Read more...

EDITORIAL… February 2012


LUKE VISITS AUSTRALIA… WSA Chair at the Sydney Congress

Harris Smart writes...





WHERE WERE YOU THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED?… Livingston Armytage was in Pakistan…


A NEW SEWING PROJECT… Isti Jenkins has a project for Mexico




A TEST WITH BAPAK… From Rozak Tatebe’s ‘Subud – A Spiritual Journey’

A TEST WITH BAPAK…From Rozak Tatebe’s ‘Subud – A Spiritual Journey’ (Page 143) Read more...

MEETING THE KING… a story by Sharifruddin Harris

Meeting the King an account by Sharifruddin Harris of an extraordinary dream experience... Read more...

MY GUIDANCE…by Renee Goetz

MY GUIDANCE... by Renee Goetz

Renee Goetz has long been a pillar of Susila Dharma in Australia and has played an important role in bringing ICDP to Australia...

I suppose that my today’s vision has developed from a colorful past.

Apparently I refused help from the age of 2. Nobody was going to carry me up or down a mountain!

My grandfather together with a business friend, created the first cement factory in Switzerland. When they did the first tests in a wooden building with very hot furnaces, the noble friend drank a cold beer, which was lethal. On his death bed he called my grandfather asking him to look after his family.  My grandfather was the centre of the community. During the European general strike he called the village together, announcing that they would work and not strike. His sons would take horse and cart and get food for the whole village. Grandpa was also high in politics in Bern. He is in the “Book of Pioneers”. He was at the root of the Swiss Cement Industry which today is involved in the cement industry all over the world. He was “a man of honor”, yet he was always humble. I was very fond of him and we were true friends.

My mother was of French tongue, my father from the German part of Switzerland. We were raised bilingual. In September 1938 we immigrated on a German liner to Argentina. On that journey we learned the difference of civil rights. A Jewish family was emigrating from Germany. We played with their children. Before the waters of Spain a low boat stopped next to our liner, the Jewish family was taken back to Germany. We know what happened to the Jewish people in Germany at that time.

In Argentina we learnt Spanish. At the beginning we stayed with the family whose father had enticed my father to emigrate. The children had a bike, one bike to 6 children! When it was my turn I broke away, chose to follow a tram line to help me find the way back. I ended at a wall, which must have been the wall around the oasis. I lost direction, which had always been my weakness. Not knowing what to do I cried. A man came and must have asked me questions in Spanish, I did not understand. He brought me to a house where a family with two children were having lunch. They gave me a drink of water, they spoke German and asked me to write the name of the family we were staying with. Welkerling was difficult to write, as it was German, and my schooling had been in French. However the children went to the same school as our host’s children. I am still today convinced that at the wall I met my guardian angel.

Argentina did not work out for my father. We went back on a French liner. We toured Paris and witnessed that the precious stained glass windows in Cathedrals were being packed away as the war was imminent.  Back in Switzerland we first stayed with my grandparents while my father was trying to find a new situation for us.

During that time a hotel company was trying to acquire the meadow at the Lake of the four Cantons, where in 1291 the Swiss people of the first three Cantons by night met and “swore in the name of God” that they would stay free and never bow to the power of people”. A solution had to be found to protect that land that it could never be individually owned. It was decided that the schoolchildren would buy the land with their pocket money, to which my sisters and I proudly contributed. There will always be schoolchildren, they will grow up while other schoolchildren will come along and that will never end.

My parents decided to move to the German part of Switzerland, as my father, who was an architect and Master Builder was asked to urgently takeover the construction business in which he had worked after the first world war. The owner had had a stroke. It was July 1939, the war was moving closer and Switzerland was going to be surrounded by warring nations. We had no access to ports to import food. We could feed ourselves for 9 months. Storage facilities had to be built in the mountains . Our business had to surrender the lorry, the car, the petrol, copper, tyres, etc to the government while there was so much work to be done! The men had to go to military service, all the parks and flower islands in the cities were starting to grow wheat, potatoes, etc.

My father was Catholic and my mother Protestant. In the French part of Switzerland Sundays were very special, as the whole family went to the Catholic Church for Mass and afterwards to a coffee place for a croissant and hot chocolate. In the new village, Sundays became a problem as people started to ask my mother whether she intended to convert. She never came to church with us again. I had religious problems as my inner revolted. At my first communion I really felt my bond with Jesus. However, in the afternoon we had to go back to the church and “re-state” our attachment to the Catholic Church by promising to go to confession and communion every month. I understood that if I promised that I would be burdened by a bad conscience for life. I was 9 years old!

In the course of time the family had grown to 7 children. My father started to collect stamps, art, books, French Wine, you name it. The church exploited him for money etc. One day we had the visit of a business gentleman from London. He was a Russian Jew who after time became my mentor. Before the war he had lived with his wife and daughter in Berlin.  As of 1938 the Hitler regime became very scary, he decided they had to move. His wife insisted to go back to Russia with the daughter. Boris decided to go to London. When he visited us, we took him to a beautiful mountain. There Boris gave me his newspaper that contained an article about the Russian writer Pushkin. I started to take Russian lessons and cherished that newspaper. I believe that I reminded Boris of his beloved daughter he missed so very much. He said to me:”If I can give you something for your life it is “give”. If you have time give time, if you have money, give money, if you have love, give love. You will always be looked after.  This gift has accompanied me through life.  To a top Swiss Banker he wrote a poem for this man’s 60th birthday. One sentence I remember: “In pursuit of the glitterings of life we are often bypassing life”.

My father’s interest in paintings, brought us children into precious contacts for life. For me one painter and his wife became a very important shining light in my life. Cuno Amiet had been member of the French and German art circles. He had walked all through Switzerland to find his wife. In a small village away from the big roads, with lots of meadows with apple trees, a very quiet atmosphere, he walked into the local pub for lunch. Towards him came a young woman in Swiss National Costume. In her he recognized his future wife.  They settled outside the village, where they bought an old farm house.  From there he created the most beautiful paintings. By that time I was around 16 years old. I was twice invited to spend a summer holiday with them. With them I experienced what a valuable partnership they had. That is what I wanted in my life. I had to pray 23 years to Almighty God to guide me to the husband he had chosen for me.

All my siblings studied with financial support from my parents. One sister went to Art school where she did very well. But then she chose music and did one degree after the other, piano, organ, carving and teaching bamboo flutes, dancing etc. until she was 35. I decided to go my own way, earning my money first. I finished my school years with a business course. My first job was in my father’s construction business. I loved it. We mainly did industrial building. My father travelled frequently and said I had to learn to take responsibility. We had a large number of workers, many Italians so I learnt Italian. I had a very good relationship with our workers. After two years I took some time off to study English in London. I had an uncle in London’s Swiss Bank Corporation. After a while I told him that I was learning nothing in the English course for foreigners I had attended.  He had a client who was looking for an au pair for his family who was in the country. I saw this as a brilliant opportunity, as I know that children will not accept an English that is not perfect. After nine months I went back to London to study business. After a few months the main professor in the English business course asked me a tax question which I could not answer. He scolded me in front of the whole class, saying that my father would be paying taxes to the English Crown and I had no answer to this question!  I apologized telling him that I am an overseas student. He could hardly believe me. Thanks to the children my accent at that time was perfect.

I went back to work with father. I enjoyed the building atmosphere. I was on all the building sites. My father owned a fairly big garden near the railway station. It had beautiful fruit trees. It was originally owned by Nestle who started to boil milk in our village. When the farmers decided to raise the milk price, Nestle moved their enterprise to Vevey, on the lake of Geneva. Their shares are still registered in my village.

As the garden was not managed very well I asked my father to let me use it. I bought sheep, learnt to shear them, asked some workers to build a stable for the winter. The rest of the year the sheep enjoyed pulling the branches of the trees to enjoy the peaches, apples and pears. This garden gave a lot of pleasure in the vicinity.

Private Secretary

After a few more years in business with my father I became Private Secretary to Stavros Niarchos the Greek ship owner who was developing the biggest commercial fleet in the world (he was the brother in law of Onassis). I was confronted with the very big international business, the shipping crisis in the Suez Canal, the stock exchange reports that would arrive at midnight from the US. I spent time in his Chateau in Paris, where Mrs. Niarchos unpacked the furniture of Marie Antoinette she was collecting. During the Suez crisis we received telexes as long as our office!

During that time my Swiss home town decided to introduce a land tax! The tax register was open to anyone to consult. The main industry was a very low tax payer. But their finance manager held the finance department and their Industry manager was head of the government’s development department. At that time only men had voting rights. I was convinced that the men would say that this tax would be ok because it would punish the rich. They did not see that the set up in the local government was preventing a work choice. Any major employer was rejected from setting up business there. Not having a vote I occasionally used a locally sounding male name to make my views known in the newspaper. I did so from my Paris Office. The land tax was blown out of the way!

Stavros Niarchos also had a 30 room villa in St Moritz, Switzerland, the playground of the world’s richest people. He had bought this villa, situated at the foot of the mountain, from the Prince of Romania. One of my tasks was to renovate this house. In that house was a large room that had been used as a bar. It looked unfriendly so that nobody wanted to use it. I invited a Swiss artist painter who had created some exquisite interiors.  He turned the room into a “commedia del Arte”,  painted on a light grey background. His brother who was a cabaret artist, he painted the frames around doors and windows. With specially designed and printed light rose silk curtains with a pattern of guitar ribbons and falling leaves, an orange silk covered sofa, on the floor white shepherd rugs, the room had been turned into a treasure.

It was the most beautiful autumn. We sometimes went all three into the mountains, just to enjoy the scenery, often waiting for the appearance of a very shy marmot. We felt so wide and blissful. A very special treat for the housekeepers was an afternoon collecting buckets of blueberries!

Alois, the painter, owned his family’s house in another valley. He invited me to spend an occasional weekend there with him. He explained that this house was very special for him. His family had a number of unmarried aunts. He had made up his mind to keep this house “clean”. When he invited a woman she would know that she would be respected in memory of these aunts. The house was close to a slope, up from the river. Sitting outside we could hear the waters flow, the bells of the cows that spent their nights outside, candlelight, bread and wine on the table in an atmosphere of peace, and freedom without boundaries.  Did something in me remember the poem Boris wrote for the top Swiss Banker’s 60th birthday: “In pursuit of the glitterings of life, you are often bypassing life?”

I said goodbye to the ship owner. He said to me: “If you ever need me you know where to find me”.

I moved to Zurich, where a five day job with free weekends was very difficult for me. I started to take singing lessons every day including Saturdays, and a ballet lesson once a week. I decided to become an opera singer. However, one day at singing we had the visit of the Buenos Aires’ Theatro Colon Intendant to whom we auditioned. I was the last one to sing for him. His comment for me was: “How long has this lady been singing?” That is when I learnt that one does not always get the right guidance from a teacher (with self interest). I had been told that if I was not exceptional she would not teach me!

But the five years were not all wasted. At Ballet I met a young mother who was in Subud. I joined. One day, after latihan, we all went to one of the helpers where we met Varindra who was visiting. I was asked to serve him tea. He looked at me and said: You should go to Wolfsburg!  I went and a new development started.

In Zurich I had worked with an international bank. I had even introduced new clients to them. With a top quality interior decorator I created two very elegant reception rooms for clients. I learnt a lot from him. When I left that bank for Wolfsburg I was given my own bank stationery and business cards as well as a brand new red IBM typewriter (and a brilliant salary) to attract clients for them. It was the time when Bapak’s talks came directly from Belgium to Wolfsburg to be transcribed and then published in German. I had brought with me a recording machine (a gift from Dean Dixon, the conductor who at that time had proposed to marry me) I used this gadget to transcribe the English translated talks to then be translated into German. However, after a few months I remembered that the typewriter was really meant to be used for business. I had a few clients in London. I spent maybe a week there. One day, in Oxford Street I felt very queer. It was my indication that I had to leave the bank. The only work at the time in Wolfsburg, according to the helpers, was to be Lienhard Berger’s secretary. Lienhard was fairly new at Volkswagen, starting a career there. His office was behind glass and I sat in a very large office with lots of people working at individual desks. That was my total purification, with all the sleep deprivation in the Subud Group.  Maybe it was my purification before my marriage. It was all worthwhile for me being given the world’s best, kindest and very creative husband.

I met Ludwig in the 1973 summer camp the Wolfsburg group organized in beautiful countryside. Ludwig and his young colleague one year built a huge tent city. I was asked whether I would like to hold the coffee shop. And how I would! Ludwig had a very difficult building site some kilometers away. He came to the tent only at night and weekends. I realized that sometimes I served him quicker than others in the queue as I thought he must be tired. The National Helpers sometimes put the two of us on the last night watch together. We were so tired. We sat in the grass and when we opened our eyes we saw that the cows were watching us. One night I said to him: “you are so quiet. He said: “yes, I am thinking whether we should get married”. It was so clear to me that Ludwig was the Man I had been waiting for. We did not have much time to get to know each other. His young partner refused to take care of their very difficult building sight even for three days so that we could go on honeymoon.

Wedding Day

I said to Ludwig:”we do not need a honeymoon, when we will be married we will travel and every time we will say:”we are going on honeymoon” and that is what we did.

Ludwig and I spent years together in Saudi Arabia, where I was very lucky to be given a job as secretary to the Swiss Ambassador. Ludwig had a gigantic commitment supervising the creation of a huge Olympic size swimming complex. Every weekend, with his colleague who was in charge of the sports complex, we packed our cars to spend a weekend (Thursday lunchtime to Friday evening) at a totally intact reef, deep see diving. Occasionally some overseas Subud friends visited us to do the pilgrimage to Mekka from our house. After the project was finished in Jeddah, we had a similar project in the mountains of Mekka. When our commitment in Saudi was completed we had a short three weeks before Christmas in war torn Iraq. We were promised to go back to spend Christmas with family. We had to return to Bagdad on January 3. The taxi was at the door to take us to the airport when the telephone rang. The German Company said that I was not to go back to Bagdad with Ludwig. Within seconds we were literally torn apart. Almighty God has so many ways to conduct our lives!

At the end of January news reached me at my mother’s in Switzerland that Bapak would like Ludwig to guide Anugraha to completion. In Bagdad a German Subud couple managed the Meridian Hotel. I had their telex address. Ludwig went there at weekends for a rest and some food, as food in Bagdad was hardly available due to the war. Had we both been in Bagdad, Bapak’s message would not have reached us. Ludwig returning to Switzerland first needed hospitalization to fix his intestines as food during the week in Bagdad for him was simply not available.

During Anugraha I was Sharif Horthy’s secretary. Every morning I went to Villa Rahayu to pick up the work Sharif wanted me to do. I entered through the kitchen. Mostly Bapak was there with Sharif and members of the family. I said “Good Morning” and quickly walked on as I did not want to disturb Bapak’s environment. Today I am sorry that I was not friendlier.

After Anugraha we planned to spend a few weeks with my mum while we tried to find a new project. My mum, widowed, was quite well and happy, although now alone in a house that had been home to a large family. Ludwig, on the third floor started to design a cluster of hexagon building units. I spent my days mainly with mum. We were not allowed to invite friends. We occasionally went to have a beer at a pub!  I am still admiring Ludwig’s patience and acceptance. After 7 months mum was able to pass away peacefully. I told my siblings that I needed to inherit the house as we were homeless and practically also penniless.

We renovated the interior and turned the house into a very successful gallery. We even had “Mr. Aldi” flying in from Germany, renting a car at the airport, driving to our gallery situated in a village a good hour away, choosing 4 oil paintings from his favorite Swiss painter, drinking a cup of tea with us, driving back to the airport, flying back to Germany! We were able to create an extraordinary atmosphere in the gallery and it became very successful, while other galleries were folding.

Ludwig had a Subud Helper brother who came once a week from 75 km away to do latihan with him in our house. One evening he arrived, entering the house he said to Ludwig:”it is heavy here”. Ludwig returned:”tomorrow I will go to Lausanne”, where there were three helper brothers, all of French tongue. I worked in the town next to us where Ludwig had to change trains. I met him at the station and said to him; “go as far as you need, I am attached to nothing as long as we stay together”. Ludwig came back, almost with tears in his eyes he said:”the test said that it is Australia!” When it was in the papers that the gallery is closing the bank manager came all upset saying: what happened, you are leaving? We came on a one way ticket to the Sydney World Congress 1989!

We settled ultimately in Redland Bay.  Ludwig created and built a house consisting of octagon shaped units around an octagon shaped swimming pool. We had a majestic view. In 2006 we travelled to India to take part in the Bangalore Subud Event. He came home with a terribly painful attack of shingles all over his face. I had to hospitalize him. That experience changed him. He became very peaceful; he still worked on renovating and extending the neighboring building. At night he would listen in the dark to his favorite classical music. At Easter 2007 we sat on our terrace, quietly looking over the sea when Ludwig said:”Aren’t we lucky, God has guided us so well, we have reached everything”. He had said to Victor Boehm who visited us after the Byron Bay Congress that this house would be his last project.

Three days after Easter he fell from a very high ladder at this building site, and he peacefully passed away at the hospital. Before, two doctor’s had come to see me in the waiting room. They said it was very serious (telling me really that they could not save Ludwig). They said that they would do anything I wished. I said “that my husband pass away in my arms”.  But when I held Ludwig I felt that he was not there anymore, he was simply breathing through cables. I said to the young doctor that she could unhook the cables. Afterwards I said to her:”This is not an accident, this is an act of God”.  She said: “I know”. Why do you know?  She said:”he did not fight!” 6 months later he would have celebrated his 70th birthday. He had a son from a previous marriage who I had a very special connection with. He came over from Germany as we had planned to surprise Ludwig at his birthday. He asked me whether I would consider adopting him! What a blessing and a big gift to both of us.

Soon after Ludwig’s departure, Rukman Hundeide, the creator of ICDP, invited me to take part in a three day introduction course for ICDP that was planned to take part in Norway. I  knew Ruqman when I lived in Wolfsburg. He had come to introduce his concept of ICDP. Already then I had the feeling that I would like to take part in it one day. I went to Norway with Alex, son of Roland Blauensteiner. He is a business developer. At the time he had his first baby and was very interested in learning about ICDP (International Child Development Program).  With his business skills he was very instrumental in setting up ICDP in Australia. We now have a fully equipped Trainer, very busy using her skills within the TAFE institution. As I am a Board member of Morningside Care, we were able to install ICDP as a project of Morningside C.A.R.E. which has Sine Cera as another arm. That gives Subud Australia a tax deductible social project.

Two years ago, in a creative weekend in Gunebah, we tested: ¨Who am I? I received that I am a pilgrim!

Ludwig and I were founding members of the Kalimantan School. Ludwig developed the Brisbane Subud House, also adding a house for the children, so that men and women could do simultaneous latihan. We created the Subud Sunday Soup table as an ongoing Susila Dharma project supporting the education of 5 children at the Mithra Foundation in India.

Some time ago I had some internet trouble connected with fraud. Usually money wants to come to me. But suddenly it simply went “walk about” in quite large slices. Trying to find what it wanted to tell me I was on the way upstairs to my computer when I suddenly wondered what had happened to all the Wayang work we had done in Wolfsburg. In my library I immediately found my collection. I opened my book at the page of the prayer: “God, let me be a Wayang in Your hands”. I changed my email address to be reminded of it every day, several times  and very often to:

Wayang29@gmail.com (1929 is my birth year – the best wine ever and the biggest financial crash worldwide!)

MOMENTS OF INSIGHT… a new book by Kuswanda Wijayakusumah…

Moments of Insight by Kuswanda Wijayakusumah...









HAPPY ENDINGS… a film by Myrna Jelman






EDITORIAL…Some the “best of” Subud Voice 2011


A YEAR OF NATURAL DISASTERS… messages from New Zealand and Japan…


SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES AND THEIR OUTCOMES… …revelations, prophecies, near-death experiences and one of the strangest love stories ever told…

It all begins with our experience of the latihan... 4 articles – The Generosity Factor by Imron Comey; The Story of Sumiko by Rozak Tatabe; Embodied Light by Emmanuel Elliott and Latihan Experiences and the Ancestors by Rohana Darlington...


IMPORTANT EVENTS IN 2011…the gathering in Wisma Subud, WSC meets in Rungan Sari, and Luke Penseney’s ‘State of the Union’…

Subud Voice always tries to cover the most important Subud events in any year, such as the annual WSC meetings and the world congresses, of course. This year without question the most important collective events were the Gathering held at Wisma Subud in June followed by the WSC meeting in Rungan Sari. Your intrepid reporter was there...

Our WSA chair, Luke Penseney, has also been reporting vigorously about his travels, experiences and reflections on the state of Subud. Here we republish his “State of the Union” article... Read more...

LIFE JOURNEYS…how the latihan plays out in the world over the course of a life

Simon Guerrand's transformative brush with death and interviews with Mansur Geiger about his Kalimantan experiences...and the life journey of a family in Kalimantan... Read more...

YOUTH TO THE FORE…inspiring stories about younger members

We all hope the young people going to do better than us, right?. Are there any signs they might? Yes, many... here a few to show that at least some of our young people already run successful enterprises and have an instinctive, natural capacity for Susila Dharma.

We ran the story about Chandra MacDonald...and then Chandra's story about Herni Listiani and Hanafi Fraval. Read them and decided to start BRIGHT FUTURES...an educational initiative to help underprivileged kids all around the world... Read more...

REINCARNATION…experiences and a message from a member…

One day about 25 years ago, I went with R. to view an exhibition of Turners at the Tate Gallery in London. She was studying architecture at that time in London. She was just out of her teens. Her father, Abdullah, had told me that she had had a remarkable experience of past lives and I was hoping that she would tell me the story...

Read more by clicking on:

Past Lives/Reincarnation

SUSILA DHARMA…stories of charity and generosity

Surely, Susila Dharma, the charitable and humanitarian side of Subud, is the strongest and most developed of our “wings”, and in many ways it is the best face we have to show the world. It shows we are really doing something, we are actually making real the ideals we hold. It is evidence that it is not all just talk. Generosity and charity and the wish to help others truly are outcomes of the latihan and collectively we have been able to make them manifest in the world to some degree.

Susila Dharma has been for many years a strong, efficient, professional and mature organization. Its communications are excellent with its own newsletter bringing news of its projects. It's extremely good web site is a mine of well-presented information about the work and achievements of people practising Susila Dharma all around the world.

Subud Voice's contribution to documenting Susila Dharma's work, was best expressed throug the long articles detailing the histroy and current activies of the YUM projects in Indonesia, an article about a school in Jakarta we have not reported on before and an article about BCU school in Central Kalimantan (we have included education under the heading of “Susila Dharma”).

There is also story of  “Susila Dharma in everyday life”. Susila Dharma is not just an organization way off in Canada; it is not just a collection of excellent projects all around the world, it is an opportunity offered us, every moment of our lives... Read more...

EXPERIENCES WITH BAPAK… two Subud members tell their stories…

It all began with Bapak, and he was not only the channel for the latihan, he also explained it. And he outlined a grand vision, the mission of Subud in the world.

Over the last couple of years, we have published many stories of Subud members' experiences with Bapak, including some from that excellent book An Extraordinary Man, produced by Emmanuel Williams and Ilaina Lennard. Here are two others... Read more...

FAVOURITE PHOTO… photographs and stories from around the world

Favourite Photo...one of my attempts to inject a new liveliness, contemporary and youthful feel to Subud Voice. And to take advantage of the fact that our online format permits the display of photographs in colour at reasonable size and quality.

A new feature in Subud Voice this year, since we went online, is that in every issue since February we have had a “favourite photo'. Both staff and readers have contributed photos and accompanying stories. We could republish them all but have restricted ourselves to just two... Read more...

ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF POP…three brushes with fame

Here is another of my attempts to broaden the range and tone of what we publish in Subud Voice. It doesn't all have to be solemn and serious. Here we have some light-hearted holiday reading if ever there was such. Just like you would find in a real magazine.

I felt a bit daring when I published these articles. Would people enjoy them, or would they fulminate, “how dare you publish such rubbish in the pages of Subud Voice”? But nobody protested; either you liked it or you couldn't be bothered writing about it. At least, you were not too offended...

I find these experiences of brushes with fame, particularly brushes with Mick Jagger, extremely at amusing, but perhaps the also more than that...perhaps they are also illuminating... what do you think? Read more...

SICA AND THE ARTS…two artists called Emily (Emilie)…

2011 saw a big resurgence of  energy in SICA (Subud International Cultural Association), our “cultural wing”, under the chairmanship of Latifah Taormina. Latifah is an extremely interesting person and one day I hope to add her to the list of people with whom I have done in-depth interviews.

We received two really interesting stories about artists this year, both named Emily, although one is really called Emilie, since she is French (how few articles we get about that wonderful country!)  Thank you very much Lynnelle Stewart, one of our most loyal supporters, for telling us about Emily.

And what can I say about Emilie... surely one of the nicest and kindest people I've ever met...how supportive she was of me in Rungan Sari.... She teaches French and Art at BCU school...and she is one of the very few people I Have heard of who has penetrated to the heart of Javanese art and mysticism... Read more...

ENTERPRISE… stories of effort

Enterprise, enterprise, enterprise. How many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times have we heard that word? I have been told that the correct translation of the Indonesian word is really 'effort', so anything we do, not just business, can be considered enterprise.

But then there is enterprise in the big sense, where it does mean business. No doubt our biggest 'collective enterprise', supported by many of us, is our mineral exploration in Kalimantan. Here is an interview with Faldi Ishmael, the new chair of KG.

Isaac Goff in California offers us a model of enterprise. Not only has he sustained an enterprise over more than 40 years, he has used that enterprise as a base for carrying out humanitarian work in Ecuador. This is exactly what Bapak says is supposed to happen... Read more...

GROUP LIFE…the story of Colombo

What's happening in Subud groups all around the world. It would be intersting to know. Citadels of peace and harmony or riven by confilct? Active and dynamic or indifferent and exhausted?

Here is the story of one Subud group...

STAY ALIVE AT 95… stories of the ageing process and how to avoid it (or enjoy it, or at least learn from it)…

Getting old is not for sissies... you can prepare for death, they say, but nothing can prepare you for old age... Lola Stone disagrees and I had a revelatory experience at some rocks... Read more...

FROM THE HISTORY…a pioneering welfare project and “whatever happened to the miracle baby?”

History... where would we be without it? And we must keep from repeating it, we are told. But of course that's only the bad things we must not repeat. The good things we must keep on repeating and doing even better. Here is an example of a pioneering welfare project along with a revelatory  article by Deana Sinatra. Yes, that 'miracle' baby who was such an  event in the history of Subud has grown into a woman... Read more...

SUDARTO…memories of Sudarto and his own book


Memories of Mas Sudarto

Articles by Harris Smart and Ilaina Lennard

Download by clicking on: Memories_of_MasSudarto


The Experiences of Mas Sudarto

Download the FREE booklet by clicking on:  Experiences_of_MasSudarto

BAPAK TALKS…Bapak talks about the earth

SPEAKING ABOUT THE EARTH... from a talk by Bapak

Since Subud Voice is now once again available in full to the general public, we no longer publish talks by Bapak or Ibu Rahayu in their entirety, because it is felt that, generally speaking, these are really only comprehensible and of value to people who already practise the latihan.

Bapak always insisted that his talks are “explanations” for people who already follow the latihan. One of his oft-repeated maxims was, “First the experience, then the explanation!”

He compared the latihan to eating a mango. There is no way you can “explain” the taste of a mango to someone who has not tasted one. First, you must experience it for yourself, then you can talk about it.

At the same time, brief quotations from Bapak, the founder of Subud, and his daugther, Ibu Rahayu, are often comprehensible to anyone, and may contain wisdom or advice that is akin to what is said in religion or other spiritual traditions.

So what we will do in Subud Voice from now on is generally suggest a talk which relates in some way to the contents of the issue and include a brief quotation of general interest. Subud members may then go to the www.subudlibrary.net web site to read the talk in its entirety... or click 'Read More' for an extract... Read more...

About Subud and How to Contact Us

WHAT IS SUBUD?… in words and video

This magazine is produced by members of the spiritual movement known as Subud. Recently the magazine became available free and online to the general public as well as to Subud members.

Because  there will probably be some new readers who are unfamiliar with Subud, it seems a good idea to provide a few words of explanation about the movement.

Subud is a spiritual movement which originated in Indonesia in the 1920s and spread to the West in 1957, first to England and then all around the world.  It has always remained fairly small and inconspicuous, with perhaps only about 15-20,000 active members worldwide, although it is represented in close to 80 countries.

The central spiritual experience in Subud is called the latihan. “Latihan” is a commonplace Indonesian word which simply means exercise or drill. It is short for the Indonesian phrase “latihan kejiwaan” which means spiritual exercise.

Although it originated in Indonesia, and although the founder, Bapak Muhammad Subuh, was  a Muslim, Subud is not Indonesian or Islamic. Everyone in Subud is encouraged to follow their own nationality and beliefs. Subud is not a system of belief but an experience available to everyone regardless of race or religion. It does not contain  any particular culture or religion. It is open to people of all religions, political persuasions, nationalities and ethnicities.

Subud members are encouraged to be active in the world and endeavour to give form to what they have received in the latihan. Activities include setting up businesses and humanitarian and cultural projects. There is a democratic international Subud organisation, the World Subud Association (WSA) which unites the various national organisations in Subud which meet together at World Congresses usually held every four years. A more compact body, the World Subud Council (WSC), looks after the affairs of Subud between Congresses.

Other important organisations in Subud are Susila Dharma International (SDI) which co-ordinates the social welfare projects of Subud members; the Muhammad  Subuh Foundation (MSF) which funds a variety of Subud projects; Subud Enterprise Services International (SESI) which supports the work of Subud entrepreneurs; Subud Youth Activities International (SYAI) which works with young Subud members; Subud International Cultural Associaion (SICA) which supports cultural projects; and the Subud International Health Association (SIHA) whihc works in the area of health.

This is a very brief sketch of Subud. Those wishing for a more detailed explanation should go tohttp://www.subudvoice.net/whatissubud/home.html. There is a link to it on the left hand side of our home page. There are also links to the web sites of the various organisations mentioned above which also include explanations of Subud. See for example the official web site of WSA, www.subud.com.

If anyone would like to make contact with a Subud group near them, they should check the telephone directory to see if there is a group in their locality. Or they should go to the web site www.subud.com where they will find contact information for the WSA and the various national bodies.

VIDEO ABOUT SUBUD…View it now right here

FINDING SUBUD” is a 9 minute documentary by Sam Mulgrew (not a Subud member), a student at the Christchurch Broadcasting School.

“As a class film assignment, we have to make a documentary. I’m making mine about Subud. I was searching the internet for what’s been happening recently in Christchurch looking for ideas, and I came across an article about the Subud World Congress event held locally, attended by 1700 people from all around the world. I’ve never heard of this thing called Subud… so I became intrigued.”

See it for yourself on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snJfaHQeevE




Editor in Chief: Harris Smart, subudvoice@gmail.com

Editor: Marcus Bolt, marcusbolt@easynet.co.uk

Send all submissions to Marcus

Contributing Editor: Ilaina Lennard, ilaine.l@blueyonder.co.uk

Spanish Edition: Andres (Samuel) Prez Morillas,  banque@grannet.grm.sld.c

Webmaster: Kitka Hitula

Special thanks to Max Potter for provising Easy to Read Digests.

Subud Voice is published monthly and the English edition is issued on the 1st of each month at www.subudvoice.net. A Spanish facsimile edition usually appears a little later on the same web site.


Send articles, photos, cartoons etc. to Marcus Bolt, Editor Subud Voice, email: marcusbolt@easynet.co.uk

Please send only email text plus photo attachment (as jpg) and/or Word.doc documents (rtf acceptable), plus the original jpgs of any embodied photos as well.

Submissions are invited which relate to Subud life or are from Subud members. We cannot guarantee when, or if, a submission can be published. Preference will be given to articles of about 2000 words or less accompanied by a photograph (if applicable), well-written in English and dealing with the activities of Subud members, or expressing a Subud member’s perspective on a subject

Articles should be written in such a way that they are intelligible and interesting to both Subud members and the general public. Sometimes this means providing an explanatory introduction or notes for the non-Subud reader. Articles and photos should be submitted electronically as requested above.

There is no payment for submissions. Correspondence about articles will generally not be entered into. Submissions to Subud Voice may be edited for a variety of reasons including the need to shorten them or improve expression. If you do not want your submission to be edited in any way, please mark it clearly NOT TO BE EDITED, but we cannot  then guarantee we will publish it.

The opinions expressed in the various articles are the sole responsibility of their authors and cannot be seen as representing the opinion of either the editor or the World Subud Association.

The name Subud ® and the Seven Circles Symbol are registered marks of the World Subud Association.


Classifieds and Display rates on request. (Developing countries – no charge).


Harris Smart writes...

This time last year I went for a very grim meeting with Bradford Temple in Wollongong.

It looked like we would have to shut Subud Voice down. Dang! And we were so close to our 25th anniversary. Read more...

THE STATE OF THE UNION…WSA Chair Luke Penseney reports

WSA chair Luke Penseney writes…

Exhausted, I was seeking shelter from huge storms and rain at 5000 feet up in the Canadian Rockies surrounded by 10,000 ft mountains. I was driving 2500 miles across Canada to set up my new office in Vancouver. To begin a new chapter in my life... Read more...

FALDI ISMAIL…introducing the new CEO of KGC

Ridwan Lowther interviews Faldi Ismail. Ridwan writes...

LATEST FROM KGC…forest permits granted


2012:THE GENEROSITY FACTOR – A Message from Borneo by Imron Comey


LATIHAN EXPERIENCES AND THE ANCESTORS – remarkable experiences from Rohana Darlington…


A VISIT TO THE SUNSHINE COAST… Rohana Fraval meets a sunny group

Sachlan and Rohana Fraval.

 Rohana has an experience of “knowing all there is to know about one another''... Read more...


How to become invisible and still be photographed…

WHATCOMBE HOUSE – Britain’s pioneering project…

Within a short time of Subud’s first establishment in England, two pioneering “Susila Dharma” projects were set up. One was the nursing home, Brookhurst Grange, and the other was Whatcombe House (also known as the Sushiela Community), a home for maladjusted boys in Dorset.

In this issue of Subud Voice we recall something of the vivid life of  Whatcombe House. Our thanks to David Barker for writing an overview and helping us gather material. Our thanks also to Roy Preston, a “graduate” of Whatcombe House who went on to become a leading graphic designer.

David wrote, “Believe me, life at Whatcombe House was not roses all the way! No sir! However, it certainly did have a most powerful message for those who lived there…”

Origins and Philosophy

The project was set up in 1960 by Patrick Harding and Derek Inwood, both were schoolmasters who had attended the first Subud International Congress, which was held at Coombe Springs in 1959.

Whatcombe House

Following the gathering, a Board of Governors was formed and Derek and Patrick found a suitable property near Blandford in Dorset, an elegant 18th Century house set high in a beautiful parkland setting.

Patrick was a radical educationalist in the A. S. Neil (Summerhill) and George Lywward (Finchden Manor) traditions. He and Derek were experienced teachers accustomed to working with teenage boys, and able to gain their trust.

Derek held a broad vision of education and was a fine painter. Carl and Denny Sleath, came as Bursar and Nurse. Myriam Bryans taught pottery. Many other Subud members served on the staff or as Governors.

One of the bedrooms at Whatcombe House

I joined the staff in 1961 and the community had an immediate impact on me. We followed Bapak's advice to do latihan every day and this took place following afternoon tea, in a large room on the first floor! I remember one boy walking round and round outside the house singing hymns whilst we did latihan He became a most gifted model maker and worked in this capacity for the BBC for a number of years.

Whilst he was at Whatcombe this boy claimed that he was guided by St Nicholas of Ely, a Cathedral Builder of times long past. Who were we to argue, the model churches he made were exceptional?

The Games Room

The regime was one of openness, and encouragement to find and develop one's skills and interests. These included the arts, farm animals (we had our own cows) and music. Some boys sat their GCE 0 level exams.

After the evening meal an informal meeting was held, to ask if anyone wished to raise any points or comment. This helped to create a very inclusive feeling. I mostly felt that the community was protected.

The majority of the boys came via Social Work Departments in London. Generally the boys were unable to fit in with school or family or both, and needed a different form of care and environment - which we were able to provide.

The Green Room

Bapak Comes to Visit

One of the most vivid memories was when Bapak visited bringing Muhammad Usman and Edward Van Hien with him in the mid-sixties.

We gathered in a large room at first floor level, overlooking the Dorset countryside. There were just a few staff members and myself, a visitor by then since I had left the Community in March 1963.

Bapak invited questions and also enquired about the community and the educational approach adopted. Various activities were described including art, pottery, music and farming. Bapak emphasised the importance of keeping these activities going for the boys, but added that it would be the presence of the latihan that would truly help them.

Bapak also suggested we keep records of the progress made by the boys individually, especially if Social Workers wrote letters or reports. These records could be shown to visitors, such as inspectors from the Home Office, if it was appropriate.

Bapak asked who paid the fees - which were mainly paid by County Council Social Work Departments. He remarked that we should seek to be financially independent of the authorities.

The Warden, John Fulcher, offered Bapak a Player’s cigarette.  Bapak laughingly declined saying that he preferred a stronger tasting kretek and he offered one to John.

Before leaving the room, Bapak walked over to the window and looked out across the parkland. He then turned and said that we should purchase the property. Edward asked, “Where shall we obtain the money, Bapak?”

Bapak beamed the most radiant of smiles and majestically raised his right arm skywards. Bapak then drove back to London to give a talk to the members.

I attended the talk and Bapak asked for a committee to be formed to raise funds for the project. Simon Caradoc Evans promptly went into action in a number of enterprising ways and a steady stream of funds flowed towards the Community. This continued right up until the project closed in 1968.

Whatcombe House: Bapak tells a story

From: Bapak’s meeting with UK National Bodies April 2nd 1967

Mas Usman to Sharif Horthy: Will you tell us the story you told Bapak last night?

Sharif Horthy: There is only one Whatcombe boy I have been in contact with – he appealed to the Almoners some time ago – and this boy was in Whatcombe quite near the beginning. He had a very difficult home background, his parents were separated and remarried, and he had been accused of stealing and sent to Whatcombe. While he was in Whatcombe he was opened. He was one of the few pupils who were opened. When he left he got a job and worked for about two years, after which he became ill. His illness was diagnosed as cancer, of a form that is incurable, but one which progresses very, very slowly. He couldn’t work after that; he just lived with a friend.

At about the time when he came to the Almoners – as a result of one of the people who take an interest in Whatcombe House having kept in touch with him – he started to come back to the latihan and do his latihan regularly. Shortly after that the doctors suggested that his illness was getting worse, and that it would be good for him to have an operation, which is a very risky operation but would have a hope of curing his illness. Well, I advised him to write to Bapak about this, and also I advised him to ask about his work, because he wasn’t sure whether he should study, as he couldn’t have a job. His answer from Bapak was that he should not have this operation and, for the moment, until he recovers, he should not have a job; but he could study acting, which was what he wanted to do.

Well, shortly after he wrote to Bapak he had an experience, where he woke up in the middle of the night and felt he was dying and that Bapak came and went away to get an injection. His landlord rang me in a panic. I didn’t feel worried at the time, I just did latihan. The next morning I rang up to see how he was. Well, it appears that after about two minutes he recovered, and the doctor couldn’t believe it. But he still had this illness, of course, at that time.

Well, since Bapak arrived in this country, this young man rang me up and said he was beside himself with joy because he had been to see his doctors and there has been an enormous improvement in his cancer condition, an improvement which from the medical point of view is actually impossible. And at the same time he just heard from one of the recording companies that a recording of pop music he made with a friend of his will be published next month – although he has only just started studying. He asked me to tell Bapak this and especially to point out that he had been at Whatcombe and came to Subud through Whatcombe.

Bapak: This also needs to be publicised. It is a proof of what happens in Whatcombe House. But not many people know about it, so they think Whatcombe House doesn’t serve any purpose. Yet what happens there is truly miraculous. Bapak asked the other day and it seems that sixty per cent of the boys have been helped and have improved.


The Effect on the Boys

The boys instantly recognised that Whatcombe held some value for them and co-operated with the general running of the community to a greater or lesser degree. Shortly after arrival a boy's behaviour might alter to become helpful and co-operative as though we were obtaining a glimpse of the boy's future progress.

This did not last long and soon extraordinary levels of regression were experienced by some. The road back to normality (whatever that is) was often hard for us all.

Some boys went out to work each day from Whatcombe House and successfully held down jobs.

Roy Preston became one of the leading graphic artists in this country, winning International prizes and designing for top UK companies. Roy told me that Whatcombe had rescued him from what would have been a life in Mental Institutions in London. He also said that Whatcombe had remained with him always and he was writing his own experiences of living there for three years.

Lester Beedell has remained a close friend and has worked with me in business on various projects. He often reminds me of the Whatcombe “effect”. When I asked him what the Whatcombe “effect” was he replied, “learning to think for oneself and make one's own decisions.”

Sadly there have been some tragedies in later years but no one can say that Whatcombe did not touch the boys deeply at the time.

The community closed in 1968 in spite of Leonard Openshaw Stayner's valiant efforts to keep it going.

The lovely old house has once again become a family home. It has changed very little and still casts its serene gaze over the beautiful Dorset parkland. I wondered what its thoughts are about those events long ago in the sixties.

David Barker, UK


Stories about Whatcombe gather like moss on a stone. But these few at least are true.

One afternoon one of the lads noticed the arrival of a more than usually nervous looking visitor. He rushed across, shook the newcomer warmly by the hand and said, “You are a stranger here just once.” Reprieve from the gallows could not have produced on the guest's face a smile of greater beatitude.

Linda Fordham's composure in adversity rapidly became a legend. She had reason to deal very firmly with a boy who, beside himself with rage, menaced her with a chair apparently intending to annihilate her on the spot. Linda batted not an eyelid but observed in a voice that was only perceptibly aggrieved, “Oh, Eric, do put the thing down, it's so expensive to keep renewing them.”

On another occasion the chairman delivered a discourse on morality.. One flinty character was even less impressed than his companions. “If you're so smart,” he rasped in a voice of withering scorn, “How come you aren't rich?”

The mother of one of our charges heard that her son had been involved in a punch-up and, under the erroneous impression that he had been seriously hurt, descended upon Whatcombe. With eyes blazing and breasts heaving, she looked the acme of righteous indignation and outraged maternity. (There was irony here; her concern for the boy in the last ten years has been, not to put too fine a point on it, spasmodic.)

A lesser man would have fled but not John Fulcher. He received her courteously in his office from which, not many minutes later, she emerged beaming on all and sundry and apparently quite mollified. She sat at the piano and played “Bless This House”. John smiled in his wry and quizzical fashion. “It's the soft answer that turneth away wrath,” was all he said.

Apart from the commonplace problem of remaining solvent, Whatcombe’s basic and endless dilemma was how to get boys to subscribe to regulations to which they were by definition allergic. Boys who come to us are officially classed as being mal-adjusted, i.e. those in whom the acute sufferings of adolescence have been unnaturally prolonged.

Each has a desperate desire to discover some framework of established order in which he can see himself as both secure and important. Screwed up in his own prison, each boy was at the outset sullen, suspicious, torn by a persecution complex and quite unable to bestow upon anyone the trust that in his experience had always been betrayed. In the undemanding, and cordial and dependable 'climate' at Whatcombe, there was the possibility of an astonishing transformation, albeit a long and painful one, and from it a balanced and undivided human being.

From the 1966 Sushiela Communty Annual Report

The art room at Whatcombe was a converted shed a few yards away from the main building. The first task in preparing this room was the removal of a reinforced concrete block eight feet long, three feet wide and two feet high, upon which had rested a diesel engine for providing electricity to the house. This took two weeks to remove, and three, foot-long cold chisels were worn away in the process. This experience established an atmosphere of work within the room which was cherished in the rule that said once in the art room you had to work. It was the only rule and was strictly adhered to. A further aid in helping the boys to draw and paint lay in the idea of the art room being the studio of a practicing painter. Most of the boys had acquired a dislike of anything that smacked of school, but to work alongside someone who gave no formal lessons and who would only help you if you asked, was another matter. Thus they were able to witness and share, in the struggles that are a part of all creative work.

As a protection against further emotional wounds and personality
suffocation, most of the boys had built up high and sometimes
impregnable walls between themselves and other people. The task of the staff was to help take down these defences and the many ways of doing this revealed the personality of each member of the staff.
But underlying their actions, was an inner calm and a refusal to react aggressively to the endless provocations.

It was through the relationships built up in this way that the boys were able to work through their problems. But trying to maintain over long periods this state of inner surrender, was a strain. One's own lower forces were continually champing at the bit, demanding to be unleashed, looking for an opportunity to discharge their energy under the disguise of legitimate excuse and righteous cause. Under these pressures and the added difficulties of being new to each other, new to their new roles, new to community life, and in some cases new to the problems of teenage maladjustment, it was not surprising that relations amongst the staff were at times very difficult. But when things were going well there was at once a real sense of community, of purpose, and a feeling of brotherly affection which made the whole experiment worthwhile and a blessing.

Derek working in the art room

When we are young we spontaneously drag a stick through the sand to make zig-zag lines, breathe upon the window-pane, and draw through the mist, add moustaches to photographs, fork the mashed potatoes into plough-like furrows, doodle on fingernails, carve the school desk.

These primitive instincts were encouraged in the art room; the hardboard was covered with areas of colour, the paper criss-crossed with lines, this surface scratched, that one smoothed, until the boy gained enough confidence to make images - strange landscapes then emerged, skeletons, violent death scenes, ghosts, haunted houses, crucifixtions, gallows, monsters, each boy working out his inner problems in his own way and in his own time.

As in the latihan we experience an obvious process of purification with violent movements and much noise, so the boy goes through a catharsis, a purging of the emotions by expressing them in pictures. Having achieved a better internal condition, he is then more able to look outside himself, to contemplate the variety of nature and even begin to learn the simple facts of picture making. In a state of freedom from fear and inner tension, he can appreciate the world around him and want to take his place within it.

To a boy, Whatcombe as a whole, was the most valuable thing. Up till then he had found that rules and regulations were regarded as more important than himself, appearances were valued more than reality, examination successes more than understanding, thinking more than feeling, having more than being, conforming more than developing
one's own sense of direction. Now there were no laws to hide behind, no group to do his thinking for him, no one to tell him how to dress, what to read, what even to do.

Do nothing. . . Or join the cook and learn how to make a rice pudding, go with the ten or so others on the weekly trip to Bournemouth swimming baths, learn to drive the boys' car, climb trees, play the drums in the group, throw a pot, play tennis, table-tennis, billiards, the piano, join eight others in the fencing club, learn French, Maths, English and Geography, join the all-night ramble, play Stickland at football, the staff at cricket, milk the cows, help grow the vegetables in the walled garden, do a
correspondence course, feed the chickens, and then at the evening meeting bring up the subject of birthday parties and whether beer should be allowed; what was next week's film to be and who was going on the boat trip to Holland. What about another summer art course in Weymouth this year?

Do nothing. . . Or get a job in a local farm, work in a shop, go to the local tech. and learn to be a clerk, take a commercial art course, a ballet course, a drama course, drive a taxi, go to Germany, back to France, back to the United States. Do nothing, until you are bored to the bone and then any kind of activity becames a sweet relief. But certain duties were compulsory and each boy did his turn at washing up, sweeping the floor, or clearing away the tables. It was the duty member of staff who had the task of seeing that the boy did the job. . .

But life at Whatcombe must not and cannot be captured by a list of outward activities. Indeed, the casual visitor would find few of these compared with the more conventional establishments for maladjusted teenagers. A list of inward activities would be nearer the truth of how it was at Whatcombe, for the inner condition is the reality behind appearances: outward action can be a cover for inner stagnation. But this is a subject we all know something about since joining Subud.

The latihan did two obvious things. It bound the staff together by providing a point of contact with a communal source of inspiration, and it provided a means of throwing off the heavy states that one experienced and replaced them with a condition of calm openness. This in turn affected the inner state of the boys and helped to heal them of their illness. But if Whatcombe was of value to the boys it was as much if not more so to the staff and all those who have been in contact with it. But that is another story.

We all have a Whatcombe inside us, a strange and magic place built upon a Himalayan height way above the clouds. There v/e can become all that our fantasies wish us to to be, a cowboy, a poet, a painter, a general, but a few have been fortunate enough to have found their Whatcombe in Dorset.

From Subud Journal


Rachman finds his father's grave and also a rich experience of brotherhood 'beneath the skin'...

It is nineteen years ago and I am on a night train from Chennai to Salem where my father lies buried. I am with Ravi, who has done so much to arrange this journey, and as the wheels of the train rumble and rock rhythmically under us, I ask him why he had joined the spiritual way of Subud. “To be able to face the difficulties in my life,” he says.

Ravi who is a high caste Brahmin, works as a petrol station attendant. He, his wife, his mother, brother and sister in law all live in a house the size of my sitting room. The floor is of mud polished with cow dung. I ask about the principles and practice of Hinduism. We share our ideas and experiences of life. His deep brown eyes radiate warmth, kindness, and caring and for the second time in my life I feel I have found another brother, yes another brown brother. In fact his letters to me are addressed Dear Brother Rachman.

My father died in April 1947 in India, four months before Independence. I was twelve, and I silently grieved for many years until I had an Inner Experience that healed me ten years later -see the story in the last Subud Voice.

In the mid 1970’s the wish arose in me to search for his grave. I had no idea where he was buried. All I had was a photo. I asked the Embassy in Jakarta where I worked, to make enquiries. A month later I had a letter from the British High Commission in India enclosing a letter from Mr Chandra Chetty, Head of the Forestry Department of the Republic of India. He said that he had been the assistant to my father when he died and that he was buried in Salem in Tamil Nadu and that I had a warm invitation to meet him should I come. 

A map of the cemetery was enclosed. The following day an Indian visitor came to my clinic with a note from his doctor to give him an in injection of B12. As I was withdrawing the needle from his buttock, I asked him where Salem was. “That’s strange. That is my home town,” he said” Come and stay with me and I will take you to your father’s grave”.

 At the Cemetery

Time and circumstance caught up with me and it was not possible to follow up on this generous offer. It was not until 1989 that I met Ravi, Ashwin and Mansur Sultan in Sydney at a Subud Congress. They immediately said that they would arrange the visit.

So back to my train journey to Salem. We arrive as a red dawn is breaking. The sound of the crows and the minah birds are echoing in our ears. I feel as if I am back to 42 years ago although I have never been here before. The Forestry Office smells of camphor and I learn that my father had written a small treatise on that particular timber, which is still used.

Mr Chetty is waiting for us, with breakfast ready at the visitor’s bungalow. He has been brought all the way from Bangalore by another set of Indian friends. He is a tall Karnataka man with a military bearing. He is now retired but is Chair of the Wild Life Fund for India. He looks me in the eye and says he can see my father in me.

He describes how my father had prepared him for his forestry exams and taken the exams and passed him. “ Not really tough enough on me “ he says.

I do not realise that my father had reached the top of his profession as a Conservator of Forests with an area the size of Wales to look after and that he had been invited to stay on by the Indian Government in waiting.

After breakfast we make our way to the cemetery, entering between two little wooden kiosks beside the road past some pigs rooting in the ground.  This cemetery is where the British from 200 years of the Raj have been laid to rest, some with enormous blocks of stone to commemorate their lives. The words of grief and sadness engraved on these stones of those who have died far from their homeland are now only witnessed by the sun, the wind, the rain and the long unkempt grass.

That is, all except my father’s grave, which is now newly whitewashed, with garlands of flowers around the granite headstone, clean as if new with the words Commander JEM Mitchell beloved husband of May (my stepmother). He had not wanted to live to an old age and his wish had been granted to him.

Two forest officers stand at attention by the side of the grave and I almost expect them to salute. I am not sure why I am choking with emotion. The grief has long gone but I am aware that this is a ceremony to honour both my father and the forestry service, in which he served It is now part of the Government of the Republic India and no longer part of the British Empire.  The honour that has been bestowed on my father and for me is also to be a witness to this fact and to the change.

Where my Father Lived

We go on to see the house where my father lived. It is now a girl’s school with fifty desks in each room. The upper veranda looks out over the Nilgri hills in the distance. There is a white wall around the eight acre grounds.

I view the stairs where he fell, and the red tiles, where his head hit before he died. He had got up in the early hours of the morning after a party when he heard a noise from downstairs. I know now the how, and the where of his death. The why of course alludes me. But I know for certain that he was and is a happy soul. He lived by his values of honour, service and love and respect for his fellow human beings even through the hubris of Empire. The people around respected and loved him enough to ask him to stay on after independence.

The whole episode is written up in the local office files. I am not too insistent on reading them and Mr Chetty is glad that I don’t press him. I know that a surfeit of whisky may have been a contributing cause. He was a bon viveur and enjoyed life to the full.

Mr Chetty explains that the house is so run down now. It used to have polished teak wood everywhere and he later lived in it as well.

We wander around town, drink some coconut juice and have a meal.

Later in the evening Ravi and I go back together to the grave and as I stand in front of it I am overcome with gratitude for the healing  of the grief that I experienced as an adolescent and for the care and love of my friends , especially my Indian friends for bringing me here and for the bountiful Mercy of the Almighty. I am in awe of the extraordinary set of coincidences that have led to my being here.

Five years ago Ravi had a sudden headache and was taken to hospital where he died. Many mourned his death including myself. I helped to raise money for his widow who is a teacher and young son, who I have heard are doing well. I feel privileged to have known this man who showed such love and care for his fellow human beings.

THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO…Murray Forbes asks, ‘Spritual path or endurance sport?’

We have received this interesting article about the pilgrimage to Sanitago de Compostela from Murray Forbes...


I recently walked the Camino from St. Jean Pied de Port to Sanitago de Compostela.  I know other Subud members have done the same and following the Pollo Gathering in Spain many of us walked the last 10 kms and attended a service at the Cathedral where the priest was paid to read a scripted account of Subud.

This was much touted in Subud World News and Maya had masterminded it and the event was held up as a shining example of Subud in the world with some substantial spiritual significance.  My own "pilgrimage" was not a positive experience and I ended up doing it rather fast to get it over with (21 days).  I am attaching what is meant to be an amusing account of it.  I am not sure that this is the type of material that fits in your magazine but it is another point of view for consideration.

Following in the Footsteps of the Pilgrims of the Middle Ages

I believe that to get the most out of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela one must approach it as closely as possible to the manner in which the pilgrims of the Middle Ages did.  That is to say in order to really benefit from the pilgrimage one needs to follow the example of our forefathers and try and keep as closely to this spirit as one can.

This unfortunately I did not do but can definitely see the merit of it.  For them the most important focus of the pilgrimage was to get to Santiago de Compostela in the most direct way (the Roman road) and the most comfortable manner that they could afford – carriage, horse or on foot if necessary.

Google maps tells me that one can get from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela in 8 hours 26 minutes and there is a comfortable Parador in Santiago de Compostela.  One might even follow the “Camino de Santiago” autovia which I got to see a lot of from the dreadful gravel footpath that wove in and out of it.

I, like thousands of other born again pilgrims, chose to stagger down a vague approximation of the original pilgrim route in great physical discomfort on foot kept well grounded by an overloaded rucksack.  So what is the attraction and why do so many Camino writers claim that the experience has changed their lives?  The only thing it changed for me was my feet.

Wet Conditions Dampen Enthusiasm

My personal conviction is that as the human race evolves it does so with a certain nostalgia for its former condition.  There were a few wet sort of days on the camino including one where Noah would have felt quite at home but swimming it would not really be a reasonable option.

Crawling or even loping on all fours would be even more uncomfortable than walking it and would certainly look very odd and take a very long time, but also one would probably get crushed to death by the hoards of eager walkers and bicyclists.  For an understanding of normal evolutionary nostalgia one needs to look at more recent developments.

In more recent times humans have evolved through Homo Erectus (standing and walking upright on two feet), to Homo Sapiens Sapiens (using one’s brain) to more recently Homo Sittingeasis (sitting around in the office or at home in front of the television, in bars or in fact just about anywhere).

So by simply skipping any semblance of sapiens sapiens one can partake of a past life experience by tramping the 790 odd kilometers on foot standing vaguely upright.  I appreciate that there may be some scientific flaws in this argument but it is the only rationale I can come up with for this exponentially growing surge in enthusiasm for what is, for the most part, a very dull walk.

Physical Discomfort

However in case my conclusions are not universally accepted let us consider some of the other possibilities.  The one thing that everyone seems to agree upon is that it is accompanied by a large amount of physical discomfort.  However if this is your reason for doing the walk then I seriously suggest that you consult a psychiatrist.

I am therefore going to assume that this, along with uncomfortable lodgings, bad food, rain and mud, endless expanses of boring flat countryside, carbon monoxide from the steady flow of noisy traffic from the highways that one walks beside, stifling heat concentrating on the back of the neck and other plagues like blisters, tendonitis, painful ankles, stabbing pains in the shoulders and so on are all tolerated in pursuit of some deeper quest and are not the quest itself.

Validity of the Pilgrimage

One possible reason for the pilgrimage is Religious.  The story of how apostle James got to be buried in Spain with his head attached would strain credulity one would think. Assuming that it is not a fib set loose by Protestants or Moors to discredit Catholics, it is said that he arrived in Spain by stone boat. I initially considered limiting my inquiry into the validity of the pilgrimage to studying the flotation qualities of stones off a beach in Finistere.

But even if Saint James was buried under a church in Santiago de Compostela to justify a pilgrimage to his decaying bones one would need to assume that, contrary to the general belief that the soul is released from the body on death, in the case of Saint James it sort of got tethered to the bones. In fear of triggering another crusade it is not clear to me how God the omniscient and omnipresent is cleverly held captive by some strangely dressed gentlemen in a church in Santiago de Compostela.

Uncomfortable Nights and Bad Food 

Nor can I understand how they can intercede on one’s behalf in persuading this captive God to expiate one’s sins (it is best to do this late in life anyway when one is either uninterested or incapable of most of the cardinal sins).  I am bewildered by the strange ceremony in which these oddly dressed gentlemen get to swing an enormous incense burner over the heads of the congregation, historically as a form stench control but now a mediocre tourist attraction.

Furthermore I do not see the connection between this and walking 100 or more kms. Are there rules other than the walking part in this devotion sport?  Is one more likely to be absolved of sins if one is carrying a heavy backpack or one does the trip in competitive time?

Does it matter how uncomfortably one spends one’s nights or how badly one eats during this period? In any event I speculate that the majority of participants in the camino olympics are not practicing Catholics and many may not even be Christian.

Meeting Other Pilgrims From Around the World

Could the true meaning and life transforming experience lie, as some writers have suggested, in the comradery of the route.  The true value therefore is through meeting with fellow pilgrims from all over the world.  A deep inter connectedness is said to surmount the babble of tongues and meaningful human contact is made.

It is possible that this deep human contact only occurs across the grunts and snores of comrades in dormitories of the albergues – which I cannot attest to as I strenuously avoided them.  Of course if one has the disadvantage of English being one’s first and therefore probably only language then the camino cocktail party leaves one out a bit at the drinks tray as most people speak German, French or Spanish – not to mention Korean and Japanese.

I may however have caught a brief insight into this spiritual connectedness by pure accident.

At the end of a ridiculously long day I happened to be sleep walking on automatic pilot behind a middle aged lady from Paris talking to middle aged man from Brittany who was wearing full pilgrim look alike regalia including a fine pilgrim hat that blew off with each gust of wind.

As it turns out I can sort of get by in French and understand it reasonably well (until they start telling jokes none of which seem to me to be at all funny).  She spent at least half an hour without taking a breath complaining about her husband who was apparently deficient in every known way.

However one probably does not have to go on a pilgrimage to discover that.  I suspect that every married woman shares with every other married woman the total inadequacies of husbands, as a race, and their failure to do anything right. There must be an even deeper sharing that somehow escaped me.

Discomfort of a mini Gravel Road

So is it the walk that is the attraction?  There is no denying that, other than gross overcrowding, some of the stretches are attractive, assuming that it is not raining or oppressively hot.  This is so notwithstanding the fact that much of the way is on road, whether tarmac or gravel, and nearly all the rest is on a special trail built to have a surface similar to a mini gravel road.

But most of the trail weaves in and out of and within earshot of major highways.  Some awful stretches actually run along the side of them and for long distances.  Then also one has the endless stretches of dead flat, dead straight, dead landscape where the charms of nature are difficult to appreciate.

There are so many excellent long distance hiking trails in the world this seems an awfully poor choice for a hiking trip.  Not to mention the life threatening descent of packs of cyclists all dressed in spandex uniforms vaguely modeled on Star Trek.  These spandex spectacles come in all shapes and sizes some with vast expanses of spandex holding up gigantic bellies from getting caught in the spokes.

Enormous men with enormous spandex covered bottoms blotting out sun and moon – or perhaps just moon – come tearing down hill at one with no visible control over their machine, terrorizing walkers.  From them “Buen Camino” means “Move over or die” or more literally “Buen” meaning “Get out of” and “Camino” meaning “The Way”.

A Convenient Form of Escapism

Well there is obviously something appealing to a lot of people to spend sometimes months on end following yellow arrows through towns and villages and industrial suburbs and across countryside.  No doubt there are as many reasons for doing this as there are people.

For some it may be a convenient form of escapism from even harsher realities at home – lost jobs, broken relationships, isolation and so on.  For others it might be a personal challenge to see if they are capable of walking in a sustained way week after week.

I dare not suggest that fashion or competitive one upmanship plays any part in encouraging this endurance sport. Whatever the reason for making this pilgrimage it is hard to understand the connection between walking for weeks and spiritual sustenance.

Meaningful human relationships are more likely to occur between people speaking roughly similar languages.  There are much more attractive and enjoyable long distance walking trails if the motivation is exercise.

Restaurants and Cafes along the Way

So what of the trail itself?  Well this may be some of the attraction.  A whole industry of camino tourism has developed around the mass of humanity tramping through formerly dying villages and backwater provincial towns.  Albergue owners compete vigorously with each other to attract pilgrims to stay in their establishments.

It must be a pretty profitable line of business because pilgrims are packed into dormitories cheek and jowl in rows of double bunk beds, with no overheads such as sheets, blankets, towels or toiletry and some access to mediocre and often inadequate toilet facilities at six to ten Euros a head.

Then additional money is made from providing uninteresting and basic “pilgrim menus” and bar food, drinks and so on at inflated prices to an audience that is not inclined to move too far having walked themselves out during the daytime.  Restaurants and cafes have sprung up along the way to cater to exhaustion breaks.

Local shops have started to sell backpack sized packages of food and to open at unfashionable hours such as siesta time to capture passing backpackers.  Nice little casas rurales and hostales have sprung up to cater for those for whom collective snore fests are not their idea of meaningful communications. And of course the camino trappings such as unwieldy wooden staffs and shells can be bought along the way if one inadvertently arrived under dressed.

Misleading Yellow Markings

In spite of the challenges of routing this many walkers as close to the original pilgrim way as the highway system will allow the route does manage to take in some pleasant countryside.  The official markings are clear and normally, atypical in Spain, placed at decision points.

Much money has in fact been spent diverting walkers over and under dangerous highways rather than sending them into the arena to joust with trucks.  Although I do not happen to enjoy walking on flat gravel road like surfaces it does provide a safe surface for walkers who are not using hiking boots.  With some notable exceptions it is possible to follow yellow arrow way markers without even carrying a map.

There however is an awful lot of vandalism on the route.  In addition to graffiti and personal messages over all writable surfaces, there is some obscure repeating “joke” the humour of which is hard to understand that involves trying to erase, bend or add yellow arrows to point walkers in the wrong direction.

Often it is clear what the route is but at other times it can be quite misleading.  Also in commercial centers many of the merchants use yellow arrows to try and divert walkers to or past their establishments, which can lead to serious confusion.

Finally there are on occasion alternative routes both of which are marked with yellow arrows so a map is necessary to pick the one that best suits one’s preferences.  In general though the markings are good and clear and the route makes the best of the terrain across which it passes.

A Once in a Lifetime Experience

Finally, why did I go on this pilgrimage.  I had no very clear idea when I left and I have no very clear idea now that I am back.  What I can say now that I am back, is that it was not a positive experience on any level although there were enjoyable moments.

For me it is definitely, so to speak, a once in a lifetime experience.  I did not enjoy pounding away day in day out along roads and well manicured paths in a constant trail of other pilgrims, burdened down with a heavy back pack.

I got no enlightenment or insights that I could not have got from my armchair at home. I met a lot of very nice and interesting people who I talked to briefly, but the connection was not profound and the conversation was often mundane.  Above all it was a lot of discomfort for no tangible benefit.

HOW I CAME TO UNITARIANISM… Myrna Michell writes about her beliefs

Myrna Michel is a Minister wit the Unitarian Church in York...

Myrna Michel (portrait by Michael Scott)

I rejected organised religion, mentally, when I was 14, but was somewhat forced by my mother to keep attending the very retrictive Baptist chapel which her ancestors had all been part of for generations!

I saw Jesus as a special human being, not an aspect of God, and I sensed that the adults dared not think of him as human. This obligation to keep attending church and Sunday School put me off for another 14 years! I had felt when I was about 12 that religions are 'looking in the same directions as each other'. When I found Subud at the age of 21, I recognised that it offered me the essence of what the religions always spoke of.

Whilst bringing up children, I attended two local churches but felt frustrated at Christianity's 'confusion between Jesus and God', as I explained it to myself, and I would feel quite angry about that, but I was not drawn to Islam. I decided at 32 to become baptised, whilst I was the organist at a small Methodist chapel in our village.

Two Dreams

A couple of years later, I had two dreams a few months apart, and which later I understood to be related. In the first, I was standing in my kitchen and holding a phial of Jesus' blood, when I experienced a sort of 'time-tunnel', after which I saw that the blood was now almost dried-up and corrupted. It seemed to be 'unusable'.

My mind swivelled between using it 'as it is' to keep it pure, or diluting it because in truth it was no longer usable. It was yes, no, yes - and then I re-filled it with water from the tap. During this process, I sensed that this was the most important decision I ever had to make. I should say also that during those rapidly shifting thoughts, I noted that other people were just going out of the door - so I could not consult them.

In the second dream, I was standing in a stone cellar, alone as before, where I noticed a loaf of bread left there with no-one using it. As in the first dream, some people were just going out of the door and I could not ask them. I considered leaving the loaf there, but realised it would moulder away, so I placed it by an air-vent where it would 'last longer'.

Same thought came to me - what was the point of that? It would not be used. I picked it up and took it around the corner into another stone cellar, where I found some Libyan men sitting around a stone table: at that time in the mid '80s, Libya held associations for me of 'trouble' and also of politically slanted Islam. I gave the loaf to them, and the dream ended. If that dream said anything to me, it was that I could offer the essence of Christianity to those not of my faith

Clearly, the blood and bread represented my upbringing in Christianity, though it was many years later that I understood the people who were 'going out of the door' as the generation just gone, whose responsibility was now done. I suppose Christians would say they had been witnesses to their faith.

A Call

Not long after these dreams, on the eve of my 36th birthday (also the 10th anniversary of my father's death) I had a distinct 'call' to start taking chapel services. Until then, I had never considered it for a moment. It's notable that during his last illness, my father had become Christian, quietly and inwardly. He had opened up considerably as a person during this period - my husband Hadrian and I had been in Subud then for four years and a lot had happened to us

I followed this prompting and started preacher-training, but my overall life - as well as my theological understanding - did not match its requirements, and it was an incident on my birthday exactly two years later, which shut it all down. After that, I assumed the 'pulpit thing' would never return. I could see no way that my mind would ever find enough breadth within a Christian framework, but I felt I would not change my religion.

The Cambridge Subud group met for some years at the Unitarian Church. I did not have good assocations with the building and so did not enquire about Unitarianism. However, around 1997 I read a book called 'Jesus: A Prophet of Islam' which had belonged to the late Michael Scott, a Subud member living partly in Cambridge and partly in Tangiers.

This book was written by a Muslim historian. I swallowed it all up with great interest, as the subject matter fitted exactly my own understanding. He spoke of 'Unitarians' down the ages who had objected to any emphasis upon Jesus as worthy of worship for his own sake, or of Jesus as an aspect of God from the beginning of time.

At this time I was poverty-stricken to a degree! I remained dissatisfied with my work, and wanted to find how I ought to earn money. After a latihan at home, I asked if I could be shown what this could be. I found myself 'in the pulpit' but I was not expounding the Bible as such, but was offering to people all around me a feeling of the wonder of life and the world. This surprised me, as I thought the 'pulpit thing' had gone never to return.

Turning to Unitarianis

By 2000, I turned to Unitarianism, and recognised the feeling returning, to 'lead worship' and to support individuals by accepting them on their own terms. By 2004 I was in a position to follow this prompting, and have now completed two periods of study alongside both Unitarian and other denominational students, and am in my second appointment.

This study was contextually based - some of it was Biblical but all of it grounded in contemporary life. It also accepted the validity of other faiths (for those who could accept this). Unitarian respect for all faiths, philosophies, poetry, literature, arts and science meets my creative needs as a musician who has an interests in the arts, as well as a sense of wonder at cosmology. Unitarians are willing to ask questions rather than to offer clear-cut answers. In my chapel community in York, I am more likely to speak of words as 'tools' rather than to expect them to be the end of our exploration.

I currently know of only two other people in Britain who are both Unitarian and Subud members! I do know of others who are in Subud and are Christian, and in ministry. They may or may not accept my Unitarian stance, but I have never doubted - as child or adult - that all of us seek the same being or source, however we describe the Eternal.


SUBUD AND THE QUAKERS… Stefan Freeman finds some similarities

George Fox, founder of the Quakers

Quakers hold several aims in common with Subud members.

• They emphasise direct experience of God rather than ritual and ceremony.

• They believe that priests and rituals are an unnecessary obstruction between the individual and God.

• They believe that our connection with the Divine is expressed through everyday actions and human relationships, as much as during a meeting for worship.

I heard that Bapak once said that the spontaneous cries and vibrations which gave early Quakers and Shakers their name was the same force as the latihan.

Elders and Helpers Face Similar Issues

Quakers have “elders”, the rough equivalent of our helpers. Apparently their egalitarian community has faced similar issues, such as elders who some perceive as domineering.

Having so much in common with Subud, including a non-evangelising policy, I wondered how Quakers dealt with enquirers. In Time Out - a London What’s On magazine - I spotted a small ad offering a free introduction to the Quakers every monday. The meeting was called Quaker Quest. I rolled up without needing to contact anyone first.

I was greeted by a smiling woman who was looking out for new people. Feeling slightly shy, I was grateful to be welcomed and asked if I knew what to expect from this introductory meeting. I did, as I’d looked online. She then invited me to have some tea – they had fruit teas too, which suited me, and some simple finger food – and then introduced me to some other enquirers.

No charge was made (just a donations bowl) which added to the sense of hospitality. There were about 21 people present. A third of them were Quakers who wore QQ badges to make it easier to identify them. I discovered that some “non-Quakers” there had already been to quite a number of these introductory meetings. This intrigued me. There is no official applicant period and no requirement to do this before attending Quaker meetings. What brought people back again?

Seeking Guidance from Within

After tea and informal chatting we were invited to sit in one circle while three speakers each gave a short talk (5 - 6 mins) about their “faith”. The first speaker was a woman in her early twenties.

The second, an agnostic scientist, who said he didn’t think in terms of “faith” but appreciated the silence and the inclusiveness of Quaker services, which accepted people of all beliefs. Quakerism – the third speaker explained - is contemporary because our world is continually changing, and the response arises from going within and seeking guidance from a place of stillness. So it is always appropriate to today.

This was followed by a question and answer time in which any Quaker present could respond. I was impressed that the various Quakers, including the speakers, gave different perspectives and yet seemed comfortable with this and with each other.

Finally we broke into small groups where we each shared something personal about where we were at in our spiritual quest. Unexpectedly, I enjoyed the whole process. Each week the short talks have a different theme and I can easily imagine – if I lived in London – coming back for more meetings and feeling a growing affinity with these open-minded people.

Validating New People without Judgement

I am not a Quaker, and hope that Subud members who attend Quaker meetings will comment on anything that’s incomplete or inaccurate in these brief impressions.

It seems to me we can learn from the Quakers, particularly from the forward looking websites and their open meetings called Quaker Quest. From Christian roots they’ve broadened into a multifaith organization.

They’ve successfully transformed their community from a seemingly “fuddy- duddy” and ageing group to a younger, contemporary one. This is partly due to Quaker peace programmes. But also because of the skillful way they welcome and validate new people, giving them an opportunity to express their own feelings and views without being “corrected” or judged. The result is a whole new generation of keen, active members.

HOW TO STAY YOUNG AT 94… Lola Stone tells all

Harris writes...

The other day I received an email saying that my yoghurt lacked quality and authenticity.  It said..

Dear Sir/Madam, Today I tried your “Greek” yoghurt. It was thick and creamy as you noted on the container. However, having lived in Greece, it was not at all up to their standard in taste.

This  was strange, as I do not manufacture yoghurt. It was all a mistake, but what a happy accident! What a serendipity! As it put me in touch with Lola Stone, that remarkable woman who at 94 has the vim, vigour and enthusiasm of a teenager.

I asked her to please write me an article about how to stay young. Where is the Fountain of Youth to be found? Of course, Lola is not the only one. One of the great things about Subud is that it keeps us going when most people are shutting up the shop, and who knows? We may yet do remarkable things.

Lola lives in Bangkok. Why? “It is because I have an 'adopted' Thai daughter, Bunny (Supasiri) who went to High School with my daughter on Long Island and lived with us a couple of years had invited me.  My daughter lives in Boston area which would be too cold winters and my son lives in Texas which gets too hot summers and who travels much for NASA so here I am....

Lola Stone on her 90th birthday.



Recalling all the temples, mosques and churches I have visited over the years, I recall that each kept a light burning on their altars. often candles, oil lamps or some other flame. I’ve come to believe this is a symbol of the Eternal Light and that each one of us is born with a spark of it within.  It burns most brightly in the faces of children, lovers and enlightened ones.

In ancient temples this flame was never let die and was carefully tended by special priestesses.  A reminder to devotees to keep their inner flame of joy aglow.  Today it seems we need vivid and often painful shocks to free ourselves from hypnotic attraction to the material world and to be forced to look within.

This may explain why so many of us experience a period of  “dark night of the soul” at a crucial period of our lives.  For some it is in the early thirties, for others not until around the age of fifty.  With very rare exceptions, these periods seem to be our only chance to get rid of all the negative flotsam and jetsam clinging to us like the chains Marley’s ghost is fated to drag along.

Like Dante expresses it: “In the middle of life I found myself in a dark wood in which the straight past was lost.”  It is easy to blame ones’ mate, or one’s parents or children. Perhaps it is the boss or someone else in the workplace whom we think is responsible for our crisis.  If we are fortunate, our inner will guide us out of our self-constructed maze onto a higher plateau of maturity.  If not, we may remain stuck in old patterns, forgetting the difference between a rut and a grave is only a question of depth.

As to why this happens at all it is, I believe, that most of us go sleep-walking through our lives.  We have forgotten who we really are and what our unique mission might be on this earth.  Our planet has proven itself to be the home of powerful material forces from which we must free ourselves so that we can use these forces and not become used by them.

Our crisis experience, once we get through it, wakes us up.  If we can manage to stay aware, we remember to tend the flame of joy which though dampened, still burns within us. This is our second birth and from then on all goes well.  We can get on with our life work.

That which seemed a curse, turns out to be a  blessing.  All that has happened to us has the purpose of us realising we are living in a training ground.  For many it seems a purgatory, for some a hell, for no one an easy passage.

But it leads on and up and demands courage, compassion, inner strength and an awareness of the Divine Energy in which we are all floating. You may prefer to call it, as the physicists do, the “Non-Local Mind” but by whatever name, it is our source and our ending.

I recall these lines from the I Ching, the ancient Chinese book of wisdom:

“So long as a man remains inwardly richer and stronger than anything offered by external Fortune; So long as he remains inwardly superior to Fate, Fortune will not desert him.”


Looking back at my long and mostly satisfying life, I ask myself is it luck, fate or chance that at almost 95 I am still feeling well, fairly energetic and am keeping active and interested in life.

Could it be because I always said YES to Life, never got depressed, unless I count the over three years of  “dark night of the soul” experience with its ups and downs or my shock at my mother’s unexpected passing  when I was  twenty-two?

It might be because, from my early twenties on, I became aware of healthy eating plus positive thinking, believing that the body responds to one’s thoughts and feelings. I had always been active physically and began at that time to study dancing and yoga, practising both till very recently.

I also was an active protester, joining the then small groups trying to halt construction of atomic plants, writing  letters of protest which appeared in publications around the world: in Soviet Union, The New York Times, The Miami Herald, a few in Long Island newspapers and in The Bangkok Post.  The only letter rejected was one I sent the St. Petersburg Times regarding Blacks having to sit in the back of buses and having to use separate drinking fountains in public places.

It seems that getting involved with life around you, besides family, helps keep one young and healthy, as does utilising all the talents and abilities that life has given. Learning new skills to keep up with our ever-shrinking world helps us stay healthy in mind and body as does heeding one’s inner guidance.

How fortunate I have been to have travelled to almost 60 countries due to the popularity of my husband, Robert B. Stone, PhDs books and his teaching of the Silva Method which gave me the opportunity of meeting many Subud brothers and sisters as well as other people of every colour and race and feeling I met no strangers.

How blessed I was to find in Subud the connection for which I had searched for twenty years that made this possible. I am most grateful for having close friends of all ages and for remembering often to thank the Universe for its many blessings. And finally, postponing is for the young.  Do what your want/need to do to now!

PS: SUBUD VOICE RECIPES...a new feature...delicious deserts with a spiritual meaning

I wrote to Lola...

I am glad you sent me this “protest” about yoghurt because  it gives me an opportunity to tell you of the best, quickest dessert in the world…The 30-second dessert introduced to me by my Sri Lankan wife.

In Sri Lanka of course it is what they call “curds”, buffalo curds, rather than yoghurt per se, but yoghurt will do just as well.

Into a bowl pour yoghurt. Add Sri Lankan “kibble”…palm sugar syrup (available from your nearest Asian grocery).

Stir the kibble into the yoghurt…makes lovely patterns of swirling brown in the  creamy white.

Eat, enjoy, delicious. Sweet and sour (which as Bapak always reminded us if the nature of life. Enjoy what life brings, sweet and sour, as you enjoy the kibble and yoghurt). God is always sending us messages… as it says in the Qu’ran “the world is full of his signs”

Lola wrote back...

The dessert you speak of it would be divine.  However, to me there is nothing in the world that can compare with buffalo curds in the little earthenware bowl it comes in that one can get in Sri Lanka!  Just to eat it plain is heaven enough for me.

Good idea about a cooking column though I am not much into cooking.  I do however have one dessert that is quick easy and delicious. Bake a banana, then split it, add a touch of rum and top with ice cream or it could be yoghurt.

Yes the world is full of God's signs.  Getting an answer to my inquiry re yoghurt and finding you is  miracle enough for me.

Lola with a hug.

WORKING FOR SUBUD… being indispensable from Simone Melder

Simone Melder says, ‘Go for it’…

Receiving the latihan has been the most important, the most precious thing that has ever happened to me in my life.  From the moment I was opened and felt the first stirring of the vibration of life within my being, I felt I had to do something to repay God for this incredible blessing.

Despite many personal hardships in my purification process, I found working for Subud most rewarding.  For the first couple of years of my Subud life, I worked as Librarian of the Melbourne group and then went on to becoming the Group Secretary – which position I remained in for close on twelve years!  I cannot count the many blessings I received as a result of doing this work.

Throughout this time I always looked up to the helpers who had given me so much of their time, patience and understanding and hoped someday I could be a helper too, so I could share the great love that God had bestowed on me.

Simone among the tulips.

I joined the helpers group after sixteen years of being in Subud – and it was a “baptism by fire”.  I spent the first few years of my candidacy in tears, as I was told by one of the helpers that I was not fit to be a helper and should have stayed on as Secretary!  (Looking back, I can see that this helper was probably right, although it hurt at the time! We have both moved on since then, and can now laugh about it! )

I plodded on with God’s help and staying in this role was a huge learning process for me.  It gave me added strength to face the harsh world outside.  Bapak said that “work that is difficult to do is precisely what one needs to face, for its difficulty forms a test.  If you are afraid of difficulties, you will always be unable to make progress in anything you need to do.  Thus, these difficulties are exactly what you very much need, in order to be able to learn from them, so that you can know their causes, and the various reasons for them”.

I am now no longer able to be an active helper, due to family constraints, but I try to do the best I can, with all the love in my heart, and that’s all that matters.  I cannot always be right and I do acknowledge my mistakes and ask forgiveness of all those whom I have hurt, unwittingly.

To those of you contemplating taking on a Subud job, I would say “Go for it -  give it all you’ve got!  The rewards are immeasurable and you gain much more than you give!  In closing I would like to reproduce a  poem I wrote many years ago called “Indispensable”.

I know I am not indispensable

But it would help if I were loved and appreciated

for what I am and what I do 

and what I give of myself, while I am here.


I know I am just a cog in a wheel

And when I am old and rusty

and of no more use

I will be dispensed with – and replaced

  with another  shinier,  ‘more excellent’  cog!


I know I will not be missed when I am gone

But while I am here, I give of my best

I put my heart and soul into all I do

I do not seek reward

I try to help the wheel spin round

happily - and in harmony.


God made us all individuals

There’s a time and place for us all

He sees us – every cog – whether big or small, whether old or rusty

He loves us – no matter what we are!


He will gather us in His arms, nurture and cherish us

when we are not wanted by anyone in this world

In His eyes – we are INDISPENSABLE

We are all very important cogs

In the wheel of life.


ICDP IN AUSTRALIA… inspiring developments from Anne Moore

Renee Goetz has pioneered the introduction of the ICDP program in Australia. She has sent us this report by Anne Moore who is now looking after the implementation of the program. Anne writes…

Hi Renee

I am sorry I did not get back to you I have been away delivering training in Gympie and just got back.

I am delivering another program at Moonyah starting in 2 weeks and there are 20 participants. This is the first opportunity I have had this year as I am now delivering workplace training and I am all over Queensland.


Anne showing the ICDP Diploma she received personally from the late Rukman Hundeide, founder of ICDP.

There is some good news though, I got a phone call from one of the ladies who completed the course at the end of last year.  She had her children taken away from her by Child Safety because of her drug problems.  She had overdosed and passed out on the floor of the house.  Her 8 year old daughter found her and ran to the local shop to get help.  She was taken into hospital and then sent to Moonyah.

When I had her in the program she had only completed about 6 weeks of the 10 month program and I can’t begin to tell you about the shame she felt that it was her 8 year old daughter who saved her life and had to deal with such a traumatic event.

During the ICDP program, she made a mural for her daughter telling her how strong she was and how grateful she was and said all the things she felt she could not say to her face but managed to convey in pictures. As a result of the rebuilding of the relationship and strategies she learnt from participating in the program  she was given supervised access to her children.

Child safety monitored her progress with her children (she has 3 , her 8 year old a six year old and a 4 year old) and she has now in recovery and has all her children back with her.  She wants to do the Community Services Program at TAFE so that she can help others who have been in addiction.

She is the 4th person who has come from Moonyah and the ICDP progam to make a full recovery and come back into education in order to work in the sector and help others.

The blessing of the ICDP program is that it teaches people not to be judgemental of others, to feel empathy and understanding and makes them want to get into our services and work rom the ICDP framework of empathy and gently leading, not the jackboot mentality that is sometimes demonstrated in our sector.

I am eternally grateful to have been part of the ICDP family and to have the opportunity to use the skills I learnt in all of my training which includes mental health, disability, aged care, youth work and alcohol and other drugs, homelessness and social housing and community services.

Workers across all of these disciplines can use the ICDP framework to inform their practice and work holistically with people on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.

I am blessed, thank you so much for having faith in me and giving me the opportunity.

Much love



BRIGHT FUTURES… Hanafi Fraval writes

Bright Futures is the name of a new program, now supported by Susila Dharma International Association (SDIA). It builds on the success of a small fundraising effort to send Herni Listiani, a graduate of Bina Cita Utama School in Kalimantan, on to higher education. The following outlines the concept and strategy for fundraising to send deserving children with potential on to higher education. The object is to allow the kids to realize their potential while positioning them for leadership, and contributing to their communities and country. These young people might not otherwise be able to go on to college (or even high school for some of them!).


Bright Futures is a story-driven concept. Everyone loves a story. Everyone loves to hear about talent development against a background of challenge and adversity, the will and character to overcome and develop, and tantalizing opportunity. It's a pretty individual approach that requires more communication than would be needed for a general fund. The test will be whether this more connected; communication-rich approach will ultimately produce a larger fund.

We all know that stories about individuals really touch people's lives. Subud members have schools in Kalimantan (BCU school), Colombia, Mexico, India, Indonesia, DRC (Dem. Republic of Congo), Nigeria and other African countries, and even in Moldova, where SDI has just organized an English Language Summer camp for disadvantaged youth. This is SD in action.

The concept has two legs: a personal story and the merit of a candidate. It is an individually tailored program for individual recipients and specific groups of donors who become connected with the student they sponsor. It's a little more work to administer but easier to market and more rewarding for donors.

There are many of these kinds of great initiatives aimed at providing education to children who might otherwise experience the stunting of their potential. Bright Futures aims to do something that is a bit different, or something with a twist to it. The next section describes a model that differentiates Bright Futures from other programs.

Finding/Identifying Students

Herni Listani.

We have made a start with sending Herni Listiani and more recently, Erpan to university. Now Bright Futures must repeat the process for other students at other SDIA-supported schools. We can ask them to identify students who have coped with challenges like those that Herni overcame. We send Chandra[1] McDonald’s story about Herni, along with a half a page or so added. That sets the scene and shows what Bright Futures is looking for.

These students may have faced physical, environmental, domestic, or any other set of circumstances in which they have shown a willingness and ability to overcome. Or the candidate student may merit support through further education either because of their situation or circumstance or for some other obvious reason that would surely touch the hearts and feelings prospective donors. The school must also be convinced of the child's potential. He or she should possess the capacity for further education through sponsorship. The question is, will the education realize the child's potential for personal development, benefiting his/her life and the lives of their family, community, and country? It takes two: the student's commitment matched by the donor’s commitment to the student.

One last point; how many times have we looked at what seems a promising grant application only to find that the fine print excludes all but a few that just happen to fit the mold, according to the minds of the grant writers. By having a fairly open brief, Bright Futures doesn’t narrow the field simply because a student doesn’t fit a mold. Here, the story, the content, the compelling case are what count, so we leave room for the unexpected and the unpredictable. If the story is real and touches donors, they will respond.

The Story

Next is the all-important story. The story is the lifeblood of the program.  A writer guided from within can truly touch a reader in a unique and powerful way.

Bright Futures  will ask the school(s) discreetly to identify possible candidates for the program. While teachers and others associated with the school are quite likely to identify candidates, that is not always the case. Herni was identified because Chandra McDonald, herself a student, wrote an article on Herni for Subud Voice.

Bright Futures invites volunteer writers to write the stories of one or more selected students who have been identified by the school or in some other manner (you never know where an initiative may arise). These invitations will be through Subud publications such as Subud Voice, Subud International Writers, Subud USA News, Subud Britain News, and similar journals, as well as through SDI Germany and other active likely organizations.

The writer is as much a donor as any financial contributor and should be acknowledged as such.


Each student writes a brief report/letter every six months telling about his or her life, studies, etc. (essentially the next chapter in the story). The school may offer the student help with the language and editing of these reports. The quality of the story writing is important in the context of the sponsorship model. As we build an engaging, interesting, inspiring story, and that child demonstrates the capacity and commitment to benefit from education, so Bright Futures builds its marketing material. Each report can be put up on group notice boards, along with earlier ‘chapters’ (reports, plus the original story). The idea is to build the connection with students and enthusiasm of the donors. The same material in edited form can go onto a web site. Donors can be updated through sending them website links for reports. If the reality matches the dream, two or three dozen students later might yield a great little book!

Mechanism for Getting People to Donate

Bright Futures should allow one-time lump-sum donations, annual payments for a defined number of years, and monthly payments for a defined number of months. Funds should be routed through SDI to provide solid confidence to donors. SDIA has added a website section and donation options to the Donate  section of their website, showing the three payment options together with a pull-down menu of individual students for whom funds are being raised. Once a fund is ‘sold out’, its selection should flag a message indicating that student fund may be fully subscribed and offer the option to support other candidates.

Each donor should fill in their contact details, if only an email address, so that a (tax) receipt can be sent.

Student photos together with a synopsis are on the same or easily accessed clickable link.


SDIA records the receipt of funds and the acknowledgement to donors. Bright Futures keeps a separate list for each student so that we can keep tabs on the process. I also plan to communicate directly with the donors, at least for the first few. And then I'm sure I'll need some voluntary help! Later, maybe we can find more automated ways of communication, as long as we never lose that direct contact with the donors – because that is what works.

Hanafi Fraval

1015 S. Hayworth Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90035

Tel: (323) 272-3323 * Mobile: (928) 245-0454 • Fax: 323-272-4539

Email: fbeco@me.com



AFTER SUMMERHILL…a book by Hussein Lucas

We are publishing Ilaina Lennard's review of Hussein Lucas' book about Summerhill along with one of the many reviews of the book published in the mainstream press.

AFTER SUMMERHILL – a review by Ilaina Lennard

Summerhill – many will have heard of this pioneering English boarding school, the first of its kind, which was founded in 1921 by A.S. Neill. Hussein Lucas – a Subud member – has now put together a series of fascinating accounts of what it was like to actually be a pupil there.

One of its pupils was Leonard Lassalle, who later became a Subud member and an International Helper. Hussein devotes a chapter to his years at Summerhill and to his life afterwards. Leonard speaks in glowing terms of the vitality, happiness and interest of life there. In fact, he said, children enjoyed Summerhill so much that they often did not want to go home for the holidays.

Of Summerhill’s founder A.S. Neill, Leonard remembers one unforgettable incident.

“One day Neill called me to his office. The first time he’d really spoken to him alone.

“You seem like a cheerful sort of boy.”

“Oh yes, Neill, I am.”

“Are you happy here?”

“Yes, very.”

“But you cry at night, don’t you?”

Leonard was astonished that anyone should have discovered his well-kept secret.

“How do you know that?”

“I‘ve seen your paintings.”

Leonard was shaken to the core. “I immediately burst into tears and a great flood of gratitude and warmth welled up inside me. It was as if Neill had entered into the deepest part of me and understood me. From that moment on I felt him as a secure presence. I loved him like the father I’d lost and never known. And I never again cried at night…He had an astonishing gift for being able to understand, enter into and love other people…There was no self-interest left in him, only love for others.”

However, Summerhill had its difficult periods. Ethan Ames describes times  when instead of the weekly democratic meetings, in which all the children as well as the adults participated, the meeting’s  rules and decisions  broke down. He remembers an occasion when one of the pupils was elected dictator.

“On the whole I’d say the General Meetings worked very well, but, and I gather it happens in any generation, there comes a point where it falls apart and breaks down. More and more people were breaking the school’s laws. It happened a couple of times while I was there, where they just dropped all the rules, except the health and safety ones. ..you’d get these zombies walking around because they’d stayed up till two in the morning. Usually what happened was you’d have a week of that and then people would say, ‘Please bring back the bedtime laws.’

“Everybody had learnt the lesson that you needed to have rules and regulations, but this time it didn’t improve. So a dictatorship was declared and Albert Lamb was the dictator. Al was trying to prove something politically, that this is what it would mean if you weren’t self-governing – the alternative was despotism. I sided with Al, because we felt we had to do something and make people understand the consequences. I think what brought it about was there was a lot of non-participation going on... People weren’t coming to the meetings. It was a very unpleasant, horrible time.”

Be that as it may, Hussein’s in-depth interviews with former pupils clearly show  that in general this very unorthodox  school produced people who not only enjoyed their years at Summerhill, but went on to make a considerable success of their lives. Hussein’s clear, impartial style is admirable throughout, and the book is not only very informative  but a great pleasure to read. .

The following paragraphs on the back of the book summarise it so well that there is little more to add:

“One of the big questions surrounding a radical educational establishment like Summerhill is whether parents might be limiting their children’s prospects by sending them to a school where the child is not forced to learn.

“Founded by the legendary educator A.S. Neill in 1921, Summerhill is notable for the fact that it does not require any of its pupils to attend lessons. Furthermore, the school is run by a council of pupils, teachers and houseparents where questions of discipline are decided democratically. What, one may ask, is the likely outcome of sending a child to such a school?

“In ‘After Summerhill’, Hussein Lucas investigates these and other questions in a series of extended interviews with people who were educated at Summerhill throughout its history.

“The former pupils who emerged from this radical experiment talk about how they coped after they left the idyllic environment of Summerhill and went on to face the harsh realities of the world at large, and how their experience of the school affected their lives subsequently.

“‘After Summerhill’ is also in part an oral history of the school, told by those who were there: a vivid and illuminating picture of what it was like to be a member of this remarkable educational community. It also reveals how throughout its 90 years Summerhill has undergone a number of changes, yet never lost its basic ideals.

“Most of all, this is a book that deals with the actual outcomes of an approach to learning and education that seems to fly in the face of accepted wisdom.”


From The Independent & The Independent on Sunday

At Summerhill, lessons are optional and pupils make the rules. In 90 years, it's caused huge controversy. What sort of people do its alumni become? Sarah Cassidy finds out...

It is one of the most famous schools in the world; a place where every lesson is voluntary and where youngsters can vote to suspend all the rules. Founded by the liberal thinker AS Neill, Summerhill turns 90 years old this year.

Famous alumni of the democratic or "free" school include actress Rebecca de Mornay, children's author John Burningham and Storm Thorgerson, the rock album cover designer. Now a new book, After Summerhill, tries to answer the question: what kind of people do Summerhill's pupils become?

Author Hussein Lucas describes the 68-pupil Suffolk school as "a small place but a big idea". At its heart is the thrice-weekly school meeting, at which laws are made or changed by majority vote; staff and pupils have equal votes. For such a small school, it has sparked huge controversy. In 1999 then-Education Secretary, David Blunkett, issued the school with a notice of complaint, demanding mandatory lessons. Failure to comply with such a notice within six months usually leads to closure; however, Summerhill chose to go to court. The Government's case collapsed and a settlement was agreed. This not only annulled the notice of complaint but also made provisions for Summerhill to be inspected using unique criteria, to take account of its special philosophy.

AS Neill himself described his vision, saying: "I would rather Summerhill produced a happy street cleaner than a neurotic Prime Minister." His belief was that conventional schooling and anxious parents caused immense emotional damage to youngsters.

After Summerhill follows the fortunes of 15 former Summerhillians, recording their memories and charting their progress. Mike Bernal, who joined in 1932 aged six, is the son of J D Bernal, an eminent Cambridge physicist well known at the time for his Marxist views. Mike spent much of his eight years at the school doing arts and crafts and playing sports. After leaving school he got some academic coaching and went on to get a first class degree from Imperial College, London. Now emeritus reader in mathematics at Imperial College, London, he recalls: "I was incredibly lucky to have gone to Summerhill and I don't seem to have suffered academically because of the fact that it wasn't a traditional school. Quite the reverse, I would hope. It may be that anybody who's not been put off subjects wants to go on finding out about the world. It's forcing people that puts them off. Neill was always seen to be very keen that we shouldn't do Shakespeare, for example, because he was afraid – I think quite rightly – that if you did it would put you off."

Hylda Sims, now aged 79, attended Summerhill between 1942 and 1947, and was always drawn to academic subjects. She believes that the school liberated her from a "tendency towards priggishness" which she believes a traditional girls' grammar would have developed in her. After leaving school she went to ballet school, worked in a bookshop, trained as a teacher and became a folk singer. Aged 35, she read Russian Studies at university followed by three years as a postgraduate at the LSE. She then founded a therapeutic community with a fellow Summerhillian, taught English as a foreign language and has written three novels, poetry and songs.

She told Lucas: "I feel saved. I might well have become insufferable and even more opinionated had I gone to a traditional girls' school. I can envisage myself as having become a priggish headmistress. But Summerhill encouraged a sense of fun and spontaneity. Above all, Summerhill has given me a fundamental sense of well-being."

Freer Speckley was a self-confessed problem child when he attended between 1955 and 1963 from the age of six. He left school unable to read or write but went on to become consultant manager to an international charity and run an art gallery in Herefordshire. He said: "Summerhill is a therapeutic community more than a school. It's principally a response to bad parenting, which is actually getting worse. It's needed more than ever today."

But not all former pupils believe that their alma mater prepared them adequately for the challenges of the outside world. Lucien Croft struggled with learning difficulties and attended few formal lessons during his time at Summerhill between 1970 and 1977, preferring pottery and reading. Since leaving school he has held a variety of jobs, working in music technology, as a thatcher and as a pub landlord. He said: "Summerhill prepares you well in certain things, but it actually de-prepares you for a lot of it. There are certain areas in which you mature more genuinely through Summerhill... Equally, in other areas it makes you incredibly naïve."

But he added: "What it did was put me off conventional schooling, but it sure as hell left me with a childlike thirst for knowledge."

Clare Harvie left Summerhill early to attend another more conventional and academic boarding school after being bullied, and later became a teacher herself. She believes Summerhill makes it difficult for some former students to integrate into society because they cannot stomach the "hierarchical and petty" nature of many work environments. "It's all very well to be independent, but you do need to be able to play at the game if you're in a company or a particular set-up," she said. Zoe Readhead, Neill's daughter and Summerhill's principal since 1985, says: "In society as a whole you would be considered 'more successful' if you studied maths and sciences than if you took art, woodwork and drama. Who can define success? The only person who knows if they are successful is the person themselves. We produce people who feel in control of their lives and have the courage to follow their interests."

Hussein Lucas concludes: "The key feature that sums up the distinctive nature of the Summerhill experience is the virtual absence of fear: fear of failure; fear of authority; fear of social ostracism; fear of life and the consequent failure to engage with it with a feeling of optimism and a positive outlook."

AS Neill would have been pleased.

After Summerhill by Hussein Lucas (Pomegranate Books, £9.95)

Modern methods: Summerhill today

This term, there are 68 pupils and 15 staff at Summerhill, which occupies a large Victorian house set in 11 acres of woods and fields, two miles from the Suffolk coast.

Bankers and bus drivers send their children to Summerhill, says principal Zoe Readhead. It is primarily a boarding school where fees range from £8,568 and £14,889 a year depending on the age of the pupil, although there are some day pupils,.

Yes, the school produces lots of creative people, says Ms Readhead. But past pupils also go on to become doctors, biomedical scientists and electronics experts, she says.

"I think the school gives people with an artistic bent, the space to follow their inclinations. Perhaps in conventional life these things would perhaps be discouraged. But we also produce people who go into lots of other fields."

The school was jubilant in 2007 when it received a positive Ofsted inspection following the controversy surrounding the 1999 inspection which almost saw the school shut down. But since then the difficult global economic situation has affected recruitment. Pupil numbers have dropped over the last two years. In 2000 more than 90 pupils attended, last term there were 64 students."I think there is a tendency at the moment to depict Summerhill as a rather quaint hippie place that was big sometime back in the Sixties," says Ms Redhead. "But Summerhill is more relevant today than it has ever been."



Since Subud Voice is now once again available in full to the general public, we no longer publish talks by Bapak or Ibu Rahayu in their entirety, because it is felt that, generally speaking, these are really only comprehensible and of value to people who already practise the latihan.

Bapak always insisted that his talks are “explanations” for people who already follow the latihan. One of his oft-repeated maxims was, “First the experience, then the explanation!”

He compared the latihan to eating a mango. There is no way you can “explain” the taste of a mango to someone who has not tasted one. First, you must experience it for yourself, then you can talk about it.

At the same time, brief quotations from Bapak, the founder of Subud, and his daugther, Ibu Rahayu, are often comprehensible to anyone, and may contain wisdom or advice that is akin to what is said in religion or other spiritual traditions.

So what we will do in Subud Voice from now on is generally suggest a talk which relates in some way to the contents of the issue and include a brief quotation of general interest. Subud members may then go to the www.subudlibrary.net web site to read the talk in its entirety.

This issue we are suggesting a recent talk by Ibu Rahayu...no one has their finger on the pulse of subud more than her...

11 BGZ 1

Ibu Rahayu’s Talk to 25th Indonesian National Congress


18 February 2011

Recording 11 BGZ 1

Final Translation by Raymond Lee

Copyright 2011, World Subud Association. All rights reserved

An extract from that talk...

If you have not understood or you feel you have not progressed, it does not mean you are stupid or that you do not surrender enough. Many of you do not realise or are unable to realise that we get lessons from within in everything we do. However, most of those lessons, most of that guidance from within, is drowned out by our self-interest, by what we want. That means, as I said, the latihan is not something you can be taught how to do. For example, I cannot teach you: this comes from God; that comes from God; or this is controlling you. You have to become aware of that and find that out yourself. Indeed, it is not easy. It is not easy because, being human, we too often pursue our self-interest that is closely related to desires that will block our progress on this spiritual path.

Here is one example. Many members feel inadequate since everything they do is wrong. They get to a point that they feel that God has deserted them. Then, because they feel that God has deserted them, they ask for help, ‘Please pray for me.’ Well, that means they do not value their own self. Given that all human beings are created the same, if we have something wrong with us, God is not to blame. God gives everything to human beings fairly. It is the person in question who is still unable to conduct himself or herself as a human being.


FROM IAN AND ROHANA BOURNE...adding forgiveness

Dear Harris,

This last issue of "Subud Voice" has been totally absorbing. Unfortunately, it does keep going off line on my computer, and I only managed to finish reading it yesterday.  It has disappeared again this morning.  I wonder if you are under a cyber attack as there are some very strange URLs popping up at the same time?  Also, I cannot print out any of the articles other than the first page. I see that you are archiving "Subud Voice" in the Boston Subud Library, but haven't done so since January last.  That is such a good idea and hope you get your recent issues safely there.

Hi Rohana, thanks for this feedback...there has been a problem with the server...we're trying to build Cadillac in a factory made for producing hyundai... always cutting corners... so some might say, perhaps quite rightly, ‘well stop trying to build cadillacs ands make Hyundai. stop trying to do so much, too much…still, I have some overpowering urge to build Cadillacs… we need so much more in terms of staff and resources... still, soldier on, soldier on

Have been reflecting on "living Susila Dharma every day": from your correspondence with Pak Kuswanda. Agree with all you both concluded so delightfully on the subject.

Thank you... I treasure this story

Could I suggest we add  "forgiveness". It is such an important element in this gift from the Holy Spirit: making it possible to live Susila Dharma every day. To forgive and to be forgiven is so healing.   I always like to look for the context:  here the whole process  begins and can only continue with standing before God and emptying oneself with the only wish being to worship the Almighty One. To do this regularly and with an attitude of sabar, tawakal and ichlas.  Bapak defines these so clearly in his Second Talk in Hamburg 28 Sepember 1983 (83 HAM 2). The second half of this talk was distributed by ISC and the international helpers to Subud national committees worldwide in the early eighties - and in those days, with Bapak's approval, no doubt.  This talk has been a compass for me and more recently, Bapak's definitions of amal in many of his Talks. I am so happy about the resurgence of Sine Cera - and Gunnebah has developed so well too (they, together with Subud Brisbane,  are mutually beneficial as far as I can see from my remote location).

Thank you...may I publish your letter?

Thank you for your last message, especially that you would love to come up for a visit. It would be so good to see you!  We are having a low key morning tea on Christmas Eve for the family and would love to see you then, or if you prefer to wait until late March, we could also take you up to a property and bush retreat on the mountain range behind Tallarook.  We suggest this time of year, as bushfire season worries would be over then.

Mmm Christmas Eve seems nice... will confirm...t hank you...love, Harris


FROM HUSAIN CHUNG... an exuberant proposal

Harris and Piata (just heard your beautiful voice singing the lovely Ipanema on your cruise holiday in the south pacific).
I wrote a gawd long email on the Voice feedback, but being a computer retard I somehow
must've hit a wrong key and the whole f@#k stuff vanished - puff!
I am Subud, you are Subud  and we all Subud members and ARE THE NEW HUMANITY of mankind! So - have we been spreading Subud to mankind? We certainly have.  So now let us prove what Subud really mean by OUR REALITY ACTIONS --

So LETS US ACT and WALK-THE-TALK and SPONTANEOUSLY SURRENDER, SUBMIT and COURAGEOUSLY FOLLOW OUR INNER JIWAS...releasing our talents, gifts and skills to wherever, whichever, whatever means at our disposal IN TODAY'S WORLD.
We live in the digital age of internet-networking global world, so lets make use of our incredible technology and reach out to the world NOW, TODAY IN THE HERE/NOW
tech experts in the world can come together and set-up a central H.Q. to create, manage
and monitor a live real time global communication social network like a facebooklatihan
Example:  Subud members all over the world can participate. We all have cellphones with cameras and everyone can speak English (some can do instant language translations). Just   China and India combined makes up over a billion people with cellphones -- add the rest of us and it is trillion tomorrow. So - this can be a live Youtube pics on cellphones and iPads.

We can cellphone shoot you, Harris, interviewing me or Mansur Geiger or any Subud person doing their thing.  We can have youtube of other Subud businesspersons tell their Subud experiences in their own work when they surrender and let the inner latihan power move their outer actions.
I am in the process of submitting a T.V. and Cable proposal:   A NEW WEEKLY docudrama TALKSHOW PROGRAM FOR TV OF A REALITY CELLPHONE FILM TALK SHOW.  (Did you know 50% of Berekley University CA students are Asians? Practically all countries in Asia have students at Berekley today. Here at Stanford U. we have students from every major country in the world. We can create "tomorrow's news". How? The  latest news is about OWS - Occupy Wall Street, which is happening all over the world. And the recent hot one is the Republican candidates suggesting how they would deal with the Iranian nuclear bombdevelopment. We tape the Republican candidates like Romney, Perry & Cain their remarks of American military options, then we interview Iranian and Israelian students on Stanford and Berekley campuses of their reactions to the Reb candidates. Then some of the OWS can give their youtube cellphone reactions to all the above. We then send these scenes to celllphones in Iran, Israel, China and wherever.
This will demonstrate what can happen when a country can let people be free to express and be themselves. Knowing that the Iran or China would not permit their citizens to speak out, we would conceal the Iranian, Chinese or Syrian foreign student faces if they are speaking on the US. college campuses. By having U.S. college foreign students from top IVY universities, MIT, Harvard who will be returning to their native lands as tomorrow's citizens and leaders -- this will give great credibility. I would love to do globle psychodramas with this template. The production cost would be cheap because we have Subud members all over the world with cellphones/ipads, the every countrys' foreign students right here. For certain if you can pay one dollar to Husain, I guarantee he would help psychodramatically act, co-produce and co-direct this globle psychodrama-interactive social cellphonefacebook reality show.
We should do gigantic really homongus out-of-the-box roadshow enterprise projects that will create huge awesome, godfearing impact. I have found in my life when I follow beyond my mind inner vision as they suddenly pop up spontaneously and have the
guttsy balls to go full steam ahead  whatever theconsequences, only then my inner heart willexpand as wide as the ocean and then, SUDDENLY THE FORCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD REALLY HAPPENS and I just SURRENDER AND FOLLOW the miraculous RECEIVING of the my inner Jiwa with outter direct reality actions with absolutely no fear and hesitation in absolute and total submission and complete surrender. Everyone is welcome to join this  latihan-in-action globle circus roadshow -- NOTHING LIKE ON THIS PLANET.
So - I found your old email address and hope you'll receive this missile.  I have  attached also what I wrote to Rosalind at VISION.

Love & blessing


WHAT IS SUBUD?… in words and video

This magazine is produced by members of the spiritual movement known as Subud. Recently the magazine became available free and online to the general public as well as to Subud members.

Because  there will probably be some new readers who are unfamiliar with Subud, it seems a good idea to provide a few words of explanation about the movement.

Subud is a spiritual movement which originated in Indonesia in the 1920s and spread to the West in 1957, first to England and then all around the world.  It has always remained fairly small and inconspicuous, with perhaps only about 15-20,000 active members worldwide, although it is represented in close to 80 countries.

The central spiritual experience in Subud is called the latihan. “Latihan” is a commonplace Indonesian word which simply means exercise or drill. It is short for the Indonesian phrase “latihan kejiwaan” which means spiritual exercise.

Although it originated in Indonesia, and although the founder, Bapak Muhammad Subuh, was  a Muslim, Subud is not Indonesian or Islamic. Everyone in Subud is encouraged to follow their own nationality and beliefs. Subud is not a system of belief but an experience available to everyone regardless of race or religion. It does not contain  any particular culture or religion. It is open to people of all religions, political persuasions, nationalities and ethnicities.

Subud members are encouraged to be active in the world and endeavour to give form to what they have received in the latihan. Activities include setting up businesses and humanitarian and cultural projects. There is a democratic international Subud organisation, the World Subud Association (WSA) which unites the various national organisations in Subud which meet together at World Congresses usually held every four years. A more compact body, the World Subud Council (WSC), looks after the affairs of Subud between Congresses.

Other important organisations in Subud are Susila Dharma International (SDI) which co-ordinates the social welfare projects of Subud members; the Muhammad  Subuh Foundation (MSF) which funds a variety of Subud projects; Subud Enterprise Services International (SESI) which supports the work of Subud entrepreneurs; Subud Youth Activities International (SYAI) which works with young Subud members; Subud International Cultural Associaion (SICA) which supports cultural projects; and the Subud International Health Association (SIHA) whihc works in the area of health.

This is a very brief sketch of Subud. Those wishing for a more detailed explanation should go to http://www.subudvoice.net/whatissubud/home.html. There is a link to it on the left hand side of our home page. There are also links to the web sites of the various organisations mentioned above which also include explanations of Subud. See for example the official web site of WSA, www.subud.com.

If anyone would like to make contact with a Subud group near them, they should check the telephone directory to see if there is a group in their locality. Or they should go to the web site www.subud.com where they will find contact information for the WSA and the various national bodies.

VIDEO ABOUT SUBUD…View it now right here

FINDING SUBUD” is a 9 minute documentary by Sam Mulgrew (not a Subud member), a student at the Christchurch Broadcasting School.

“As a class film assignment, we have to make a documentary. I’m making mine about Subud. I was searching the internet for what’s been happening recently in Christchurch looking for ideas, and I came across an article about the Subud World Congress event held locally, attended by 1700 people from all around the world. I’ve never heard of this thing called Subud… so I became intrigued.”

See it for yourself on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snJfaHQeevE


Subud Voice is published monthly and the English edition is issued on the 1st of each month at www.subudvoice.net. A Spanish facsimile edition usually appears a little later on the same web site.


Send articles, photos, cartoons etc. to Harris Smart, Editor Subud Voice, email: editor@subudvoice.net Tel: + 61 3 95118122

Submissions are invited which relate to Subud life or are from Subud members. We cannot guarantee when, or if, a submission can be published. Preference will be given to articles of about 2000 words or less accompanied by a photograph, well-written in English and dealing with the activities of Subud members, or expressing a Subud member’s perspective on a subject

Articles should be written in such a way that they are intelligible and interesting to both Subud members and the general public. Sometimes this means providing an explanatory introduction or notes for the non-Subud reader. Articles and photos should be submitted electronically by email.

There is no payment for submissions. Correspondence about articles will generally not be entered into. Submissions to Subud Voice may be edited for a variety of reasons including the need to shorten them or improve expression. If you do not want your submission to be edited in any way, please mark it clearly NOT TO BE EDITED.

The opinions expressed in the various articles are the sole responsibility of their authors and cannot be seen as representing the opinion of either the editor or the World Subud Association.

The name Subud ® and the Seven Circles Symbol are registered marks of the World Subud Association.


Classifieds: 50 cents a word. Minimum charge AUD$15.00. Display rates on request. (Developing countries – no charge).
























Americas gathering

Hi Everyone.
Please share the attached information about the 2012 Americas Gathering in Vancouver, Canada.
It provides contact information, so that you
 can participate in creating the gathering.
We look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
Dave Hitchcock
Zone 7 Rep, on behalf of the Organizing Committee

Americas Cultural promo



From Raphaëlle, French SICA coordinator.

Dear Harris…Could you give all the SICA websites address in the next issue? And speak about them? If someone do not understand the language, it is possible to ask automatic translation to help.
I know four: www.subud-sica.org , www.subud-sica.fr , www.sicabritain.co.uk, www.sica-deutshland.de , there are certainly others…Love. Raphaëlle, French SICA coordinator.

Hi Raphaelle, thank you for this suggestion. Please send all sites you think you should be included. Love, Harris


Hello friends of ICDP!

Just want to inform you that we are now on facebook, so please join us there for latest updates and info!

We also want trainers and other participants to send "field notes" from projects that you are working on. Pictures is also nice to share (make sure that ppl represented on theese agreed to be on the webpage) . If you have someting to share with the rest of the ICDP family send the notes and pictures to me at: storkas@stud.ntnu.no and I will post it on the facebook page!

We would love to hear how you are doing.

Link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ICDP-International-Child-Development-Programme/284229031606874

Best Wishes, Marianne Storkås

ICDP, Marketing manager


















REAPING THE HARVEST…a musical editorial

The editor writes...

Dear Readers (I mean it! You are not yet many, but you are quality),

Sharif Horthy once told me, unless I have invented the memory (we all sometimes do), but I believe he told me that he had a dream or vision not long after he came into Subud, in which he was told, “You will live to see the harvest”. (Dear Sharif, please correct me if I got the details wrong, or perhaps you might wish to communicate the experience in full detail. It is so important!)

Subud has been a hard road. Long the way we've travelled and hard the way we've come. But now I am seeing it. Around me I am seeing people bringing in the harvest of their lives. Soon the barns will be full to overflowing.

Are we about to have a dawning, a precious morning?

Years ago I wrote a song called “Precious Morning”. It goes…

Haven't we seen how dark it can get, Haven't we know the night?

Haven't we felt how cold it can get, Haven't we know its blight?

Hard the road we've travelled, And long the way we've come

And if there's to be heaven, it’s because we've known that hell

Some there've been who've fallen, And some have lost their way

But we pray they'll join with us on this happy day

 Because this is the end of the old world's waning,

This is the start of a new day's dawning

This is the day you'll see us walking

New and well-born in this precious morning

To hear the song, click here.


BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME…Part 3 of “My Kalimantan Adventure” by Mansur Geiger

Bapak in Kalimantan during his visit in 1980... it all goes back to him.

The final part of an Interview with Mansur Geiger by Harris Smart. Mansur talks about some of his extraordinary experiences and future prospects for our mining venture in Kalimantan now that a partnership has been formed with Freeport, one of the biggest mining companies in the world...


Harris: Your whole Kalimantan endeavour has been very much based on following Bapak's advice hasn't it?

Mansur: 1981 was the first year I started working in Kalimantan. If I had been an accountant I would have never gone. Bapak was a hugely courageous and surrendered man. He understood and received the truth and the need into the future.  He said we would require billions of dollars, well, those billions are now available through our partners, but if I had thought about what we were embarking on back then I would never  have started.

Back in those days when I first went to Kalimantan it was mostly mythological Dayak tales about where the gold was. It really wasn’t meaningful geological data. The Dutch had done some remarkable work in some places – they had a gold mine in a place called Tewah on the Kahayan River - but much was still uncharted territory. We were certainly the first white man explorers who went into some of those places.

On my first trip I just had an insane time for two months in the jungle.. I went back to Jakarta and the minute I arrived, I thought I was having a heart attack. I just collapsed. I was a strapping lad of 27, at the peak of my physical condition, and I suddenly couldn’t breathe. I managed to pull myself together and it gradually passed. So the next day I went to see Bapak who always knew when I came back and liked to hear the latest stories.

It was 7 o’clock in the morning and he called me to his bedroom and he was in his pajamas. So I told him the story. And he said, “Now you understand the strength of the material forces. You went native. You enjoyed every minute of it and you dropped all your material defense’s, the forces that most people use to operate in the city, the big commercial world.

So what you’ve experienced was the flooding of those forces back into you. So you’ve learned a good lesson and it won’t be so bad next time. But yeah, you need to be aware.” “In future you will learn to deal with all these forces.”

But it was on the Rungan River that I got really sick. A young Indonesian Subud guy who liked to dabble in magic with me got possessed and the Dayaks had a selamatan for him, including a shaman, a dukun.

They tried to exorcise the spirit which involved the sacrifice of a couple of pigs and ten white chickens. I had to be smeared in pig’s blood, being a Muslim that wasn’t entirely cool and it went on and on and on.

Then a bunch of renegade Dayaks who wanted to seal the gold dredge shot at us, I was attacked by a large snake and things got worse and worse. My entire body got covered in little pimples in each pore. It was a very jinnie place and as though jinn and man literally co-inhabited the same space.

Harris: Good God!

Mansur: Yeah, shocking. This shamanistic ceremony was three days long and I wasn’t allowed to go home the whole time.

Harris: Did the ceremony do the possessed Subud member any good?

Mansur:  It helped, but he had to go home, which meant I was left in the middle of the jungle alone with two pretty wild Dayaks.

The Jinn in Kalimantan acknowledged us. At least, they acknowledged Bapak according to what he said and I have no doubt about it whatsoever. And I had my own experiences about that, that they considered Bapak, the Jagad Guru, the Teacher of the World.

Bapak always loved to hear my adventures because it was kind of like I was his experiment. I knew it was like that. And, of course, those were my very special times with him. And he said one time, “Yeah, just remember whenever you're there and off in the jungle, just repeat within your inner self, you are Bapak’s son. And everything is fine because the Jinn are looking after you anyway.” Apart from anything else, his attitude showed a deep respect for local beliefs and customs.

I once met a dragon; it was huge, about 300 meters long. He was living in an unexplainable clearing in the far north of our concession, known as The Mohot, which is steeped in Dayak mythology and considered the land of the Jinn. There are no people there. I was in a helicopter and we intended landing in this rare clearing, which so happened to be the dragons resting place.

As we approached, he reared up and was about to shoot us out of the air with a fire ball. Then we connected inwardly and he said, “Oh it's you,” and just went back went  to sleep. I screamed at the pilot, “Don’t land there we can land on the sand bar in the river, it’s much better”. This huge green and red creature knew who I was.

After that Rungan incident, I went home to Bapak, and I told him the whole story. I said, “You know the remarkable thing? If I think about it now, I almost shudder with what I went through. But when I was there, I just felt like an observer. I felt in no way as if I was really a part of it. Sitting on the floor and being smeared in pig’s blood. I kind of felt like I was in some drugged state, or like I wasn’t really there.” I never felt heavy or frightened.

Bapak stood up and walked around the room and sort of gazed into the beyond and then he said, “So you’ve been really blessed. What you came to experience during these two or three months was how to live, breathe and work continuously in the state of latihan. And the fact is that’s the real purpose of Kalimantan.” It doesn’t mean others have to go through what I did.

For all of us who are willing to go there with the right kind of attitude, that state is available. Of course, we should be able to tap into that anywhere in the world, but I think everyone who presently lives there, or who has been there, feels this special pull to Kalimantan. There's a state, or an environment, that’s available to us, an inner and outer environment that allows us to be continuously in latihan. As long as we have, the right attitude.

If you go over everything Bapak ever said about Kalimantan, it really was like grandpa talking to kids. He never really made any great designs. He gave indications, but it’s up to us to develop it step by step.

Really it’s a very logical process. What he said to us was go there with trust, surrender, submission and courage and work and work our butts off. And if you are able to do that and be in that right state, then God delivers. Your opportunities are open. And there are things that you can never expect. You can’t plan it. You can’t think about it. You just engage with what you believe is the right thing, and work sensibly.

That’s certainly been my 30-year experience. I mean the people that we needed to work with us just came; it didn’t take huge salaries or a big corporate profile to attract them to us. They liked the project and they liked the people. And I've seen that so often. Bapak went on and on about it. “You are your own capital.”

You don’t need the money necessarily. Kalimantan has taught me our greatest potential lies in our ability to be open to All of Mankind.

The daily proof of the latihan is in my work, walking the walk. Not thinking about it. Towards the end of his life Bapak added courage to his “Trust Surrender and Submission. I believe the courage he meant was to truly have trust surrender and submission in every moment of our lives, like him. These qualities are action qualities not qualities of discussion.

Of course today times have changed dramatically from when we first started. But that component still is there. We could have only survived through Bapak’s guidance, and through belief and persistence. Just keep going. It’s not a dream. And I think finally after 30 years, the acknowledgement of Freeport, which is possibly the third biggest mining company in the world, confirms it.

KGC drilling in the pioneering days.


They certainly have the richest, most profitable mine in the world. It produces more than $6 billion a year.  And they are saying they are so excited about our project. But you know it took a long time. I talked to Freeport 20 years ago. They said, “Man, we aren’t interested in anything outside of Papua. Why would we be? We have the richest mine in the world.”

But then 18 months ago we started talking to them again, and they were starting to think otherwise. We had this new very high-end geophysical data that they did for us, through very sophisticated computer generation of magnetic data.

And even then they said, “Wow, yeah, it’s looking really good, but we have one very large super-profitable headache in Indonesia and we don’t want another one.” That was a corporate decision back in America, but fortunately we got to know the guys here in Indonesia, and one of them was particularly excited about it and he generated the continuing interest.

The work they have done for us looks deep below the surface of the earth and shows the potential mineralizing intrusions we have known must be there all these years. It’s been a bit like an unveiling of the beautiful lady below.

We knew that what we had been finding must have something driving it, a driving mineral body that we were finding big surface expressions of. And that’s entirely normal. So this guy from Freeport insisted on having the data redone to six kilometers deep.

This is something they had done in Papua, and on a number of other already existing mines, and a very specific model comes out of it. It happens that these big copper and gold deposits in this part of the world, the Southwest Pacific Rim, correspond to this magnetic model.

They all have a very high magnetic signature, whereas in America, they don’t have any. It’s the opposite and that’s just the wonderful way of geology and nature and the way things are. Why it should be like that no one really knows. It’s a mystery of nature. Only in the last few years has this been fully understood.

Just five years ago we had a joint venture with another company but they simply didn’t drill deep enough. They proposed that they were going to do that but they never did, which was a huge disappointment. But they claimed that if it was not sticking out of the ground, it’s not economic.

That was when copper prices were $1500.00 a ton. Now it’s $9,000 a ton. And Freeport happened to be the company that invented a method of mining where they mine in these huge deposits underground which conventionally and historically could only be mined downwards. They go deep, deep down and they mine it upwards, and they can do it at similar cost to an open pit mine.

So you know we all wonder why and why now. The struggle of hanging on for 30 years has been a super tough one. The sacrifices of everyone involved in the project, even our staff has been enormous. Working for minimal or no salaries is hard when you have a family to feed and educate. It has been hard for Subud members or non-geological people to understand.

I mean, these types of ore deposits are really huge. You need to find one that is economic, meaning its grade is high enough to make a profit at the current price. You start off with a big gamble, and the price is cyclical; it goes up and down, up and down. Right now we have an all-time high on both base metals and precious metals. These high and maintained prices are largely the result of demand created by China, India and other developing nations.

We’ve taken a lot of criticism from some Subud members who feel we haven't done what we should have done, but they have never really understood the size of what we are doing and the resources that are required. That's the reason we went to Canada because there are people in the market there that understand high risk exploration.

Some think Subud should have a bigger piece of the pie, well if you don’t put up the money needed to cook the pie you cannot  expect to eat it all.. and I can assure you the pie is very large. Armchair critics and Subud snipers produce very little that is positive or realistic, just distrust. Bapak used to say, “Never talk about something unless you have experienced it. Otherwise it’s just hot air”.

Murray (Clapham) God Bless him was always a big help to us. He was my pillar of support from almost the beginning. I started working in Kalimantan in‘81 and Murray joined us in about ‘85. He helped us organize our first joint venture with people in Melbourne. At that time, Australia was looking at Indonesia as an investment opportunity. Rahman Connelly who has recently resigned as CEO was a driving force in our successful negotiations with Freeport. Both these guys contributed millions to the project for no reward and little gratitude.

So it’s been an entirely linked-in, step-by-step process which we could have never mapped out, though good times and bad times, but now we have the enthusiasm of Freeport to really get on with it and drill these mammoth holes. There are only a very small handful of companies who have the resources to do what is needed. And that’s what I don’t think some Subud members have ever quite grasped.

We're going to be seeing more of these.

Harris: You mean you’ve never really had those resources before that you really needed to do the job?

Mansur: Yeah, we've hung on and hung on, but up until now it's been underfunded. I think we've spent to date a total of something like $18 million, but now this year alone we will spend $5 million and next year if we have the encouragement we hope for it will be an open book. It might be $20 million, it might be 30. It will all depend on whether we get the excitement in results that we all hope for. We sure need lots of prayers to bring that home.

It has never been and still isn’t a foregone conclusion that we will succeed, but now we will be drilling holes 1500 meters deep which cost in the vicinity of $800,000.00 to a million each. It sure isn't junior stuff anymore. We have reached that point. Freeport has absolutely acknowledged that everything we have done is exceptional. They were very surprised, because often junior companies lose their data or move on to other things.

Mining people are always asking, “Why have you stayed there for so long?” And as a geologist I said, “Well, when I see mineralization over an area of 50 kilometers by 50 kilometers, and I've walked all over it and it’s everywhere, why look anywhere else. I know that where you find smoke, there's bound to be fire.” It has to be down there it’s a matter of the cost to find it. As a Subud member I have simply believe in what Bapak told us.

A copper mine is different from a little gold project.  You're looking at expenditures of maybe initially a total of $20 million in feasibility studies and a total of maybe $100 to $200 million to develop a gold mine. The things we're looking at now a copper gold mine, well, the feasibility alone might cost $200 million. And the development costs may be $5 billion or $6 billion. These type of mines last 20 or 30 years.

And as it turns out, this new analysis work we've done with our partners has showed things that Mathew and I worked on and discovered many years ago. In fact, , things we discovered in the first five years, But now we have the capacity to drill  million dollar  holes, to have a helicopter at $250,000.00 a month to run things up and down to the site.

It's no longer for small players. The other huge benefit we get from the project is that it will fund our YTS programs, which embed most of our Subud development goals. This could translate into many millions annually in the coming years.

These types of mining projects create whole cities and underwrite the development of a region like Central Kalimantan. That’s the opportunity ahead. I do hope Subud members are able to participate and benefit from such a development. It will require more walking than talking.

So the next year will either give me a happy ending to my book with a big future, in fact a new beginning, or otherwise it will just be an adventure story of 30 years. Either way the journey has been great, for that I’m truly grateful.

Harris: Bapak's words have always been your guiding light haven't they?

Mansur: I was reading a talk Bapak made in Germany in 1981 in which he stated...

So if you want to fulfill Bapak's hope for the lives of all of you here, then Bapak hopes that you will really make enterprises.

Brothers and Sisters, the enterprises that are required by the jiwa of each of you are not small enterprises but large ones. Are you really capable of setting up and running large enterprises? Are you really able to do that, when one can say that you are on a level that is not so high or so strong, materially speaking?

The example for this is Bapak himself. The project Bapak is organizing in Kalimantan will require, if we work it out in the way an accountant works it out, capital or money amounting to at least a thousand million dollars. Where will Bapak find that money? If you calculate it, it is impossible for Bapak to do it.

Then why is Bapak doing this? Because he has received the order from Almighty God.

This is something of which Bapak has really convinced himself and Bapak has truly understood how it works. In Kalimantan, for example, everywhere there is gold, in the rivers which flow there is gold, silver, copper and diamonds and precious stones. It is everywhere. So it's clear, Brothers and Sisters, God provides for all the needs of man, it only depends on man as to how he works and acts.

So, don't be fearful. God is Almighty and All-Great. If we are truly convinced of this, then it is from there, from the latihan kejiwaan, that we will find something that we can use, a way that we can follow, so that eventually we can become people who have a value in this world.

So Bapak's prayer for all of you is: Do not ever cease to think of enterprises. We are already beginning to pioneer the way in this direction. We are beginning to discern the way by which we have to go: the way to happiness for all Subud members who have received the gift of God Almighty through the latihan kejiwaan of Subud.

To develop Subud, Bapak does not need to make propaganda for it, explaining to people how good Subud is. Brothers and Sisters, we should more or less be able to demonstrate that by means of our worship we can build. It is this which will make people stare and will make people surprised; "How can you people build these things, from where do you get the money? "From God."

This is what will attract the people. For, in general, society, and not only society but all of you, cannot progress if there is no money or material wealth.

But you Subud members are not like that. The richer you are, and the better your inner feelings, the more you feel love towards your fellow human beings, the more compassionate you are. You have to express this compassion so that society can draw a conclusion from our actions, from the fact that we use our funds to help others through charitable undertakings for the benefit of mankind.

Such action is expressed nowadays by the words "social democracy."

But don't forget that social democracy should not be only on one's lips, but must be put into practice. Such is God.

The enterprises Bapak is constantly pushing are not for pursuing wealth and money, but for organizing our own selves.

This concludes this three part series of interviews with Mansur.

ENTERPRISE…Leonard van Hien outlines a vision


Leonard van Hien continues his critique of aspects of the Subud organization and presents a vision to rejuvenate enterprises in Subud... 

I haven’t attended World Subud Council Meetings for a very long time. In fact not since the one held at Escorial near Madrid which was chaired by the late Varindra Vittachi. We stayed in a convent. I recall some of the nuns slipping secretly into an upstairs gallery in order to listen to Ibu Rahayu’s talk, probably not understanding very much yet enthralled by her voice and her aura.

An overall impression is that the greatest success stories in Subud these days occur at local level especially the efforts to establish group premises where members can do latihan.

Meanwhile the WSA appears to be frittering away Subud’s international reserves. It might be better to treat those reserves as endowments considering that they were derived mainly from the proceeds of sale of Bank Susila Bakti and PT S Widjojo.

Since then, contributions to WSA from enterprises have dwindled to almost nothing. I don’t see this as an unwelcome development in the short term, if it encourages members of the World Subud Council to reform WSA from within. WSA has been running chronic deficits ever since the Christchurch world congress. WSA honorariums need to be thoroughly reviewed.

Not enough is being done on high priority matters that WSA was asked to address. Too much time and effort is being spent on things that WSA was not asked to do or that are low priority. At the current rate of burn there seems to be a real prospect that WSA will have depleted its own limited financial reserves by the time of the next world congress.

Included among various potential solutions to this inconvenient state of affairs are to:

  • cut WSA spending
  • boost WSA’s income through fundraising
  • call on the Muhammad Subuh Foundation to subsidize WSA

I am in favor of an independent mid-term performance review of the WSA Executive to evaluate its progress on world congress resolutions (such as those related to Archives, improved governance, international centers, consolidated financial reporting and so forth). Perhaps such a review will conclude that the WSA Executive team needs to be changed or strengthened.

Some things are going better than others. One arm of WSA that comes across as being both task-oriented and cost-conscious is Subud Enterprise Services International (“SESI”). SESI has recently set up a website www.subudenterprise.com and has taken an initiative in exploring the establishment of an enterprise to support Subud endeavors in Kalimantan. We have yet to see how that develops. At least one can see a bona fide effort to get something moving.

SESI’s role is mainly to provide a supporting environment for Subud enterprises, rather than to set up enterprises itself. It can do this by developing a network of experts. That is easier said than done. SESI has this important task on its agenda.

In the forty years since Bapak Subuh set up Bank Susila Bakti and PT S Widjojo in 1971, much has changed in the world and in Subud. To state some of the most obvious changes: Bapak is no longer with us, the bank and the building have been sold, only one widely held enterprise remains (Kalimantan Gold Corporation, a speculative work in progress in which non-Subud interests might soon take control), whilst the worldwide membership of Subud has at best remained static or more likely it has shrunk.

There are several, albeit not enough, enterprises owned and successfully run by Subud members. Stand outs are the businesses founded and run by Isaac Goff and Marcus Hoff-Berg. Maarten Giel’s and Samuel Simonsson’s businesses were success stories in times gone by, as was Connelly Temple. These are the ones that usually come to my mind although there must be others flying under the international radar that make significant contributions quietly and locally rather than internationally. I can think of at least a couple of examples here in Indonesia.

Mainly what are needed to get enterprises going are encouragement, inspiration and motivation.

When Bapak set up the Subud Bank, so many countries still imposed exchange controls. These days the movement of financial capital across frontiers is much easier. However, banking regulations everywhere have become more rigorous and rightly so. Occasionally initiatives emerge to find a path back to a Subud World Bank. In 1971 there was a specific and pressing need for such a bank. The construction of the S Widjojo Center would have been so much harder to accomplish had the bank not been set up. Bapak’s vision was, of course, much broader than that. However, the regulatory environment and the small capital that could be mustered at that time placed some very real constraints on the scope of its activities. Things have not gotten any easier in that respect.

Given that the worldwide membership of Subud is probably no more than 15,000, of which relatively few are business minded and that the only real shared experience is the latihan kejiwaan, two threshold questions that SESI will probably have to address are:

  • what is it that Subud business-minded members actually wish to do together at this point in time?
  • does that require a Subud Bank?

What sort of bank is needed? Should one begin with development banking? Or micro credits? Is community banking the preferred direction in developed economies? Is virtual unlicensed banking a step too far? Clearly different countries and communities have their own needs.

Is there sufficient unity of purpose within Subud to justify setting up one “world” bank?

Two types of Subud member of whom I am particularly wary are those who are prone to “bashing” the establishment and amateurs who come up with half-thought-through ideas and then expect professionals to do the heavy lifting.

I have been privileged and fortunate over many years, as must others in Subud, in having met so many people from different walks of life – businessmen, politicians, religious leaders, academics, artists and musicians, diplomats, bureaucrats, technocrats, environmentalists – who, with only very rare exceptions, have an as caring, socially conscious and intelligent an approach to their work as anyone I have ever listened to in Subud in these fields.

For example, I was astonished to discover, when I met him, that the immediate past world chairman of one of the largest global banks was concurrently an ordained priest and had written a book “Serving God, Serving Mammon”.

If Subud is to make a positive influence, we will have to learn to work with not against the establishment and vested interests, whatever their shortcomings may be. Too often one senses that the problem is not “with them” but more likely “with us”. What is it that we in Subud can offer that isn’t already available in the marketplace?

There are some outstanding experts in Subud. For various reasons most of them will not come forward unless encouraged and approached personally.

Part of the motivation will have to come from the World Subud Association. Its Executive needs to provide a better example on governance and needs to improve the manner in which Subud’s international affairs are currently being run. Helpers can play an important leadership role.

More needs to be done to motivate talented members to come forward and to register themselves with SESI.


LvH   Pamulang, Indonesia, 27 September 2011



" I was delighted to read your article dated 5th September 2011 in Subud Voice.  I very much agree with your second to last paragraph. This is certainly my view."

" I also agree with you with regard to small inexperienced investors - and would add that having investments of this kind is a nightmare to manage, and if priced realistically, is exceedingly expensive. "

" Incidentally, when the bank was established, Bapak said that the senior persons involved - directors and so on - should receive a lower than average remuneration, while the lowest paid workers should receive more than the average."

“Thank you for your article.  I read it on the SESI website.  It is good to have a clear-eyed, well-informed 'watcher' like you around.”


ENTERPRISE NEWS… a start, a site and ‘where to from here?’

Harris Roberts writes from Indonesia about a new venture...

Several months ago, SES Cilandak undertook to establish a Subud Members Enterprise for Central Kalimantan.

The 23 shareholders, commissioners and directors of that company are happy to announce that today 10-10-2011, the company PT United Dharma is officially established.

Domiciled in Tengkiling, Palangka Raya  with a medium tier capital investment of  1.1 billion Rupiah, the company is authorized for general trading, services provider and contracting.

Directors have been appointed for three initial activities: Agriculture, Transportation and Property Development.

Vision and Mission Statements have yet to be written. The purpose of the company is to progress and assist the wish and intention of Subud members to actively participate in the development of Central Kalimantan in accordance with the vision expressed by YM Bapak Muhammad Subuh and under the principles of susila, budhi and dharma.

The current company profile states as follows:

United Dharma is established as a multifaceted company participating in a variety of industries in Indonesia's Province of Central Kalimanan.

Our core businesses are Agriculture, Transportation and Property. Further diversification is envisioned.

Our emphasis is on business partnering and strategic partnering where we seek to connect individuals, groups, communities and organizations for the development of existing human, physical, natural and technological resources. We are interested to create and implement practical models for equitable economic development where the Who and Why are important factors to us in determining our What and How.

The diverse range of professional and cultural backgrounds embodied in our shareholders and board members assists to empower us for this challenge; to create economic development for improved quality of life based in the sustainable harmony of human values.

Certainly this will not be accomplished anytime soon, but we have made a start. We are not in a hurry, not working to deadlines, but we are clear in our intentions and are prepared to see it through, see where it takes us.  At the very least we can be a catalyst for Subud members to channel their aspirations, and for some to build a new life for themselves and their families in Central Kalimantan.

We ask for your blessing on our shared intention and your prayer that Almighty God will bless that intention with harmony and the capacity to carry it out every day.

With best wishes,

Harris Roberts

Director Corporate Governance

pt United Dharma



Are you interested in

- Bapak’s Advice on Enterprises, a definitive must read paper
- 40 photos of Bapak and quotes on enterprise
- What SESI is doing
- A new Subud Enterprise to finance enterprises in Kalimantan
- Sinar Investors Association for Kalimantan Gold Corporation (KGC) shareholders
- How to seek support for your enterprise or project
- How to list and find products and services offered by Subud members and Subud enterprises
- Profiles and contact details for SES National Representatives
- Reading blogs and forums about enterprise or becoming a blogger
- Anything and everything about Subud Enteprises?

Go to the new SESI website at www.subudenterprise.com and register.

The registration process takes only a moment or two. If the website doesn’t recognise the e-mail address you use to log on with, to verify you are a member it will ask you to supply the answer to two questions (to which the answers are Jiwa and Rahayu). Once registered and logged in, you will have access to all the content and services on the site.

We at WSA hope you will find the site useful and make your own contribution.

Visit the newly launched www.subudenterprise.com

Maxwell Fraval, CEO, WSA Executive
Ruslan Morris, Coordinator, SESI
Harris Madden, SESI Board and Website Editor
Rashad Pollard, SESI Board and PR Manager


SUBUD ENTERPRISE...report by Stuart Cooke

Stuart Cooke writes... This document was developed as a background paper to help fulfill a resolution passed at the 13th Subud World Congress to summarize and embody a common understanding of Bapak´s advice regarding the meaning, importance and role of Enterprise to Subud. After an exhaustive, one-year review of Bapak's advice and guidance concerning being enterprising and the meaning and purpose of Subud Enterprises, the following summarizes the paper's findings. ..

  • As we make progress in our inner lives we need to balance that with progress in our outer lives. We need to each understand who we are; what our true talents are, and how we can best develop these talents and put them into practice in the world around us.
  • At the same time, if Subud is to grow and find its right place in the world, we need to finance our Association's internal needs – for communications, latihan premises, care for our membership and the work of our Committees, Affiliates/ Wings and helpers on all levels.
  • We need, also, to contribute to the world around us through the development of substantial social projects.
  • To be able to significantly and sustainably fund the above needs we should develop collective Subud Enterprises, from which a part of the profits is allocated to these financial needs. These Subud Enterprises should be substantial projects, and while it is the responsibility of our Subud Committees or Affiliate Boards to motivate their establishment, they should be set up as independent, limited liability companies with significant numbers of Subud investors who would appoint their own, paid Boards of Directors.
  • There are significant differences between large, collective Subud Enterprises, the kind of enterprises Bapak referred to when speaking about how to fund the organization and social projects, and the enterprises of individual Subud members.
  • While the motivation to start Subud Enterprises always rested with our Association and Committees on all levels, SES was charged with the task of establishing a method for providing a professional supervisory function that would guide and direct the enterprises. This SES service was not fully implemented in the past. It is the intention of SESI to develop a capacity to provide this service now.

Bapak’s guidance to Subud members regarding Enterprise

  1. Through enterprises we can worship God in our work.
  2. Our work in the world, if it is in accordance with our nature, is our enterprise.
  3.  If we own a business that is an enterprise of a Subud member.
  4. A Subud Enterprise is a corporation that is endorsed by Subud, a majority of its stock is collectively owned by Subud members, and it contributes 15–25% or more of its profits to Subud.
  5. The mission of Subud to bring peace and harmony to humankind through the latihan kejiwaan will only be achieved when large Subud Enterprises and the significant social projects they finance are well established across the globe.
  6. Subud Enterprises will create the conditions where helpers and committees can do whatever they need to do and travel whenever they want to; where every member can go to latihan, meetings and congresses; where everywhere in the world there are large latihan halls with accommodations, Subud-sponsored schools, Subud clinics, hospitals and homes for the aged.
  7. Part of the brief of the helper/committee dewans (councils) – center, regional, national, zonal, and international as well as our Affiliates and Wing organizations within their respective fields – is to spur the development of Subud Enterprises by providing leadership.
  8. SES and SESI are tasked with helping to provide experts for feasibility studies and to  review the studies.
  9. If a plan is approved, SES will recommend that the committee concerned assist the Enterprise by encouraging members to invest (as allowed by law) and to support the Enterprise in general.
  10. SES will help with financing until a new Subud World Bank comes into being.
  11. One or more of the SES experts who advised it, or other experts at the business’s choosing, will be appointed to a Supervisory Board to ensure that the Enterprise meets its goals and obligations to its stakeholders and to Subud.

To read the complete report containing much advice from Bapak click here

Stuart Cooke Report

FAVOURITE PHOTO…on the river with Andrew Clague

On the river.


Andrew Clague writes from Norwich...

I am attaching a pic for your consideration as 'my favourite photo'. Some may recognise the hills in the distance. It was taken from Lorna's boat as we approached Tangkiling village towards dusk.  It's a reminder of the black waters and the sights & sounds of the creatures in the forest.

Andrew is active in the Kalimantan Support Group and has recenlty built a house in Rungan Sari. Years ago he was in a famous band called the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and still plays mean bass guitar. Furthermore, he is a  very amiable fellow.

His reference to “Lorna's boat” is of course to the inspiring eneterprise effort of Gaye Thavisin and Lorna Dowson-Collins, their riverboat business  in Kalimantan.

SHORT STORIES… a quake, the spread of Subud and an eye-opener

A WEIRD ADVENTURE… from Maynard MacDonald in Christchurch

I had a weird adventure. There is a Chinese film called Aftershock which is about the quake in 1976 that killed 240,000 in one city. I had just put the film on and the little girl sitting in their old truck remarked to her daddy how strange it was that there were suddenly thousands of locusts in the air. You just knew that this was the peaceful family scene before the disaster that was going to come any minute, and sure enough it did. The TV set was rocking back and forth smashing into the wall and I was being thrown about with my chair. For one astounding moment I thought the roar was coming from the speakers and the whole room was shaking in response (great speakers) and then I realised it was the real thing - not special effects leaking out of the TV.


THE SPREAD OF SUBUD… from Emmanuel Elliott

He writes…Clearing out a stack of old compter files, I came across the following, which you may well find of interest:

A couple of days ago, a dear old friend in the U.S. had an experience of the presence of Bapak, in the midst of which the following understandings arose within him; that back in the late 50s, when Subud first came to the west, there was a place already prepared for it in the shape of the Bennett/Gurdjieff movement. Right now, however, the world had become so systemized that there was no place in it for Subud and that for that reason it was very, very hard for it to spread. Another reason for its rapid spread at the beginning was that the Gurdjieff followers had earned it with the preparatory work they had done. People nowadays also need to earn access to the latihan.

AND AN EYE-OPENER…from David Likas

David Likas as a child.

This is my account about how the origin of an old eye problem was resolved after editor Harris Smart published my article 'Experiences with Bapak' - (in Aug 10 issue of Subud Voice). This eye mystery began to unravel because Harris had decided on his own volition to include a photo he already had of me as a child. e)

This unfolding mystery continued after Rita Langer from Subud Vancouver had sent me an enlarged e-mail copy of the S-V photo, where we could see in more detail that there was no sign of a left eye problem that appeared only later.

One night as I pondered about this, I heard a thought in my head - "You can ask!" I did ask and vividly remembered being vaccinated at age 4 by a country doctor in Lithuania, who used a scalpel dipped alternately in 3 different open saucers, then made 3 separate ‘X’ scratches on my left shoulder. My left arm became infected with running sores and the left side of my face became inflamed, also the hair on the left side of my forehead fell out. I recovered and soon came to Canada when the left eye became painful at age 7. By age 12, I was finally diagnosed with a mysterious 'juvenile glaucoma'.

Last year, I mentioned my vaccination history to my Aviation eye specialist Dr. M. Miller who approves my vision for a Pilot Licence exam. He remarked "That would confirm a vaccinitis infection - you are lucky it did not get to your brain!" He then said the left eye is still working fine enough to pass a pilot licence eye exam at 82. (Except I lost interest in flying and went back to much slower sailboats!).

I recall taping Bapak's talk in Montreal, in May 59. I had stopped my recorder to change the tape when Bapak looked straight into my eyes and appeared to 'see something'. In a later talk he suddenly said "Once the knife is used, it may have to be used again... but the hand of the physician can also be guided by God."  I was never sure what knife he was talking about until now.

The 'first knife' was the vaccination that  caused the 'eye problem', and the 'second knife' was used 30 years later by Dr. S. Adams, an eye surgeon recommended by Bapak, who found a way to fix the eye with a technique not found in any medical textbook, also as confirmed by Dr. Miller.

Now I have my proof that problems caused by mankind, can be corrected by human beings who can receive help from God. My story also confirms that in the Association of Subud, we are all connected to the same spiritual dimension.

SUSILA DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE…can we be Susila Dharma every minute of the day?

Pak Kuswanda, cowboy of Cilandak.

Harris Smart tells a story...

What is Susila Dharma?

Often we think it is a substantial organization somewhere in Canada that does marvellous social welfare work, supporting humanitarian activities all round the world.

It is our most successful “wing”, our flagship and our shop window to the world. Something to be very proud of. We hear all too often of our “failures”. Here is our success.

But what can I do that is Susila Dharma? I don't run a social project. Well, of course, I can support others with my good will, my prayers and my money.

But what else can I do? I believe that the secret is to try and live every moment of your life as Susila Dharma. The world is constantly presenting us with opportunities to express Susila Dharma in my everyday life. Susila Dharma is an attitude, an attitude producing action.

I want to give you one example of this.

A few months ago I went to Wisma Subud for the Gathering and I was most fortunate to stay with Pak and Ibu Kuswanda who live a few minutes walk from the compound. They live in a charming cul-de-sac where the three houses are all owned by Kuswanda and members of his family. I call it the Kuswanda Family Compound. Wisma Kuswanda.

Kuswanda is a marvellous man. Three times chair of Subud Indonesia and very close to Bapak, he also rose to a high position in the Indonesian Department of Forestry. He is extremely warm, friendly and humorous. He knows lots of jokes.

He has written a very good book of incidents and insights from everyday life. It will be published soon and to accompany the publication I intend to do a long article about Kuswanda.

But right now I just want to write about one event, one relationship, which exemplifies for me what I mean about Susila Dharma being an “every moment” attitude and action in our lives.

Pak and Ibu Kuswanda gave me a lovely room all to myself and then I asked Kuswanda, “What should I do with my clothes that need washing?”

Kuswanda said, “Give them to the maid.”

So I wandered around but could not find any maid. There was a boy there, but no maid.

I went back to Kuswanda and said, “I could not find the maid. There is a boy there, but no maid.”

Kuswanda said, “That is not a boy, that is the maid.”

Kuswanda's maid is quite a tomboy. She always dresses in jeans, has short hair like a boy, rides motorbikes and hangs out as one of the boys. When she goes back to her village in Central Java, to see her family, she rides her motorbike there and back.

I grew to like this maid very much. She was always so helpful and I saw how wonderful she was in so many ways. How caring she was, for example, in looking after Kuswanda's grandchildren.

Recently I wrote to Kuswanda and I said, “Kuswanda, I must ask about the maid? How is she? She struck me as the most wonderful and interesting person. I am sure that in all of Java no on else has such an unusual maid! At first I thought she was a boy. It took me a while to figure it out. She is so kind. What a nice maid! Love, Harris"

He replied..

Dear Harris,

I have conveyed the content of your letter to my tomboy maid, Kartika. I am sure she is very happy about it and appreciate what you said about her. She did not go home for the Idul Fitri holidays, knowing that all of our maids (including my daughter's) went home. She preferred to stay and take care of us.

Now that all the maids have come to work again after their holidays, she is still undecided about when to go to her village and see her parents. Seems that our house has become her home.

I replied...

Dearest Kuswanda

I was most touched by your message and so happy that you passed on my message to Kartika. She has really become part of your family hasn't she, with love on both sides.

Many people would reject her because she seems eccentric - they could not imagine what a good maid she would make - but you saw her value! It shows how we should not judge people by external appearances but always look for the gold within them. love, Harris

And so it goes...

I smile at the poor harassed girl at the supermarket checkout and she smiles back and for a moment feels a little less worried, a little more cheerful, a little more hopeful, a little more relaxed. Someone has noticed her. Someone has taken an interest in her. Someone has cared enough about her to smile at her. Someone has acknoweldged her, not as a robot behind a cash register, but as a human being

The world is constantly presenting us with 1000 opportunities to commit acts of Susila Dharma. Every act of hospitality, every kind word, every generous gesture, every friendly smile... acts of charity, acts of love, acts of Susila Dharma.

PS: I wrote to Kuwanda asking his and Kartika's permission to publish this story and for a photo of Kartika. He wrote back...

Dear Harris,

I've made a printout of your draft and give it to my wife and tell Kartika about it. Both, as well as I, are very happy about it

I have to find a way of transfering Kartika's photo from her hand phone into my USB so that I can send it to you.

Your writing inspired me. Up to now I have only one interpretation about the Latihan, that Subud is me. Now, you introduced me into a new dimension I have not been aware of, that Susila Dharma is my daily actions as a Subud. Yes, I have been doing it all the time withour being aware about it. I just noticed that my love for everyone has grown and so has theirs to me. Thank you for giving me the chance to discover it. Love, Kuswanda

I wrote back...

Kuswanda...you are my inspiration! So glad I am yours too! Look fwd to the pic, love, Harris

A final word from Kuswanda...

Dear Harris,

Herewith a picture of Kartika taken by my daughter with one of her two retriever dogs. Taking care of the two dogs is one of Kartika's routine, sometimes giving their breakfast first before serving mine and my wife's. Love, Kuswanda





The Board of Mornigside Care: Back row l to r it is Renee, Leonora, Stephen, Muhsin, Arif thumbs-up, and front row Roland, Hayden, Irma with Joshua, Tony with Lukas.

Nearly thirty years ago a charitable foundation called Morningside C.A.R.E. (Child, Adult, Rehabilitation Endeavour) was created by Subud members in Brisbane, Australia.

This foundation started out as a home for old aged people in the Brisbane suburb of Morningside (hence the name Morningside). It was conceived by our late Subud sister Munawaroh English and her husband Labasir and over the years has been supported by many people who volunteered their time and money.

One of Morningside’s key objectives was to provide support for the aged, infirm, youth and low income families to provide opportunities for education, recreation and healing.

In the 1990’s the old people’s home was sold and two 100 acre blocks of land were purchased in Cougal which is situated in Northern N.S.W., about two hours drive south of Brisbane.  Grady’s Creek, where the property is located, separates this land from the adjoining World Heritage Listed Border Ranges National Park. During the preceding years Munawaroh, Labasir and many supporters worked to build a large and significant Rainforest Retreat named Sine Cera.

After Labasir’s passing in 2001, Munawaroh ran Sine Cera predominantly by herself.  When she passed away in September 2008 Bachrun and Amanda Waite were at Munawaroh’s side for support.  As close friends and board members they took on the responsibility of working out how to continue Sine Cera as a viable retreat and how to help those in need. At the National Subud Congress in 2009 a new Board of Directors was formed and Tony and Irma McDonald’s proposal to manage Sine Cera was accepted.

For the next two years, significant work was undertaken to repair and modernise the facilities. During this time modest income was achieved and more importantly patronage and reputation were re-established and developed.

Morningside Care now has an active Board of Directors which meets on a monthly basis. Community groups are now regularly using the facility again and bookings have increased. Although the operating costs are higher than the income the project is now getting much closer to financial breakeven. Generous donations and loans for large repairs and improvements have been gratefully received, and more are welcome.  Today the facility is well presented and much appreciated by those using them.

The Sine Cera Retreat now consists of three main buildings which provide a range of accommodation options for up to 90 guests. The facilities include a fully equipped commercial kitchen adjoining a large dining/conference room. There are also two houses situated on the property that accommodate the managers, their family, staff and volunteers.

Through its peaceful and tranquil location, healing atmosphere and caring staff, Sine Cera is providing its guests with wonderful experiences and is proving to have great potential.

Sine Cera Rainforest Retreat is now completely open for business and can be seen on our soon to be upgraded website: www.sinecera.org.au or search and become a friend of Sine Cera Rainforest Retreat on Facebook.

Morningside Care also has another registered project called ICDP (International Child Development Program). Anne Moore recently became the first certified ICDP trainer in Australia. The aim of ICDP is to educate the community and givers of care to children on how to look after children in a loving way.

Anne and the Australian ICDP team have achieved significant success with the program here in Australia and are now affecting activities in the Asian region through the certification and accreditation of ICDP courses delivered via Queensland TAFE courses and students. More information can be found on ICDP on:

http://www.icdp.info/ or http://project-activities.susiladharma.org/location_europe/icdp_full.shtml

Today, Morningside Care continues to strive to provide public benefit through its activities by assisting children, families, groups and charitable organizations through its subsidiary organizations of Sine Cera Rainforest Retreat and ICDP.

Morningside Care has a Gift Deductible Recipient status which means that donations made by Australian taxpayers can be claimed as a tax deduction.

This information was created by the board of Directors of Morningside Care: Stephen Armytage (Chair), Renee Goetz, Arif Matthee, Muhsin and Leonora Raven and with the help and contribution from Roland Blauensteiner, Tony & Irma McDonald.

WISH GRANTED…from Gibran Ohri

Gibran Ohri writes…

It was in early January 2009 that I decided to test if I would be attending the 13th Subud World Congress in Christchurch

(N. Z.).  My receiving was a positive yes!

By the middle of February I made my travel arrangements.  On 20th March in the evening I was watching a T.V.  program, when I suddenly lost consciousness, I do not know how long I had been in that state.

When I came to, I realized that my two sons, Matthew and Ramon, were carrying me up to my bedroom.  The next morning I managed to get ready with some difficulty.  I decided to visit my doctor.  He examined me and said that he was making an appointment for me to see a cardiologist at the local hospital.  On the 22nd of May an appointment was made for me to see the cardiologist.


Open Heart Surgery

I had to undergo certain tests at the hospital.  On 13th June, the cardiologist, after having seen my test results, suggested open heart surgery.  An appointment was made for me at the Cardiac Unit, King’s College Hospital (London) on 10th September at  8.a.m. for an Angiogram X – Ray.

On arrival, I was allocated a cubical for me to deposit my belongings and put on a hospital gown.  I was wheeled into the X – Ray room.  The doctor in charge started to take X – Ray pictures of my chest.  After completing the procedure, I tried to transfer myself from the X – Ray table to the trolley, but I lost consciousness.


Unexpected Heart Attack

When I came to, I realised that an oxygen mask was placed on my face to facilitate my breathing.  I had arranged to meet my son Ramon at the hospital at midday, on the assumption that the procedure went well.

He was surprised and worried when he was told that I had suffered a heart attack.  I was in the casualty unit awaiting a bed in the cardiac ward.  It was about five o’clock in the evening, when a bed was allocated to me in the ward.  There were about six patients in the ward.


The Blessings of the Month of Fasting

It so happened that it was also the month of Ramadan.  I had been in the ward about five days, when a Pakistani doctor attended me. I do not know the reason - what or why?  I asked the doctor if it was the end of the fast.  He replied that it was the 29th day of the fast.  I prayed and asked God’s blessing and forgiveness.

That night, as I settled down to sleep, I felt that a blanket of cloud covered me.  I have never had such a wonderful and relaxing sleep.  When I woke up the next day I felt energetic and good.  The interesting thing was that the experience was also felt by the other patients in the ward.

I had been in the ward about two weeks.  I was told by one of the consultant surgeons that after reviewing my case, at the joint meeting of consultant surgeons, the decision was reached that it was not possible to perform ‘open heart surgery’.

The only alternative solution was to implant a ‘pacemaker’.  I asked how soon a ‘pacemaker’ could be implanted.  I was told that it would be about two months.  It was the beginning of October.  My flight to travel south was on 14th November.

I told the consultant that I would like to postpone my decision with regards to the ‘pacemaker’ until I return from the World Congress in 2010.  I also informed my doctor about my decision.  He gave me medication to last me for six months and wished me Good Luck!


My Travel to Malaysia      

I left London on 14th November 2009 and arrived in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia on 15th November. I stayed in Kuala Lumpur till 19th December.

In Kuala Lumpur, I telephoned brother Michael Alfonso, whom I have known for about 30 years.  I visited the Subud group and joined the members for Latihan.  There was great excitement as the members, who were attending the World Congress, were busy making preparations to travel.

I arrived in Melbourne, Australia on 20th December 2009, stayed in Melbourne and celebrated Christmas followed by New Year 2010 with my son David and his family.


The Subud World Congress in Christchurch

It was a wonderful feeling that David, Louise, Emmaline and Beata Ohri were also travelling with me to the Subud World Congress.  We arrived at Christchurch on the same day at the start of the Congress.

It was a memorable time for me.  I enjoyed every moment of it and hope that all the Subud brothers and sisters also had joyful experiences. I took part in all the testing sessions held and talks given by Siti Ibu Rahayu.


Return to London with the Power of the Latihan

We left for Melbourne on 19th January 2010.  I stayed in Australia until 19th March 2010 and left for Kuala Lumpur on 20th March 2010 arriving on the same evening in Kuala Lumpur.

I left for London on 21st April 2010 and arrived in London on 22nd April 2010. I realised that with my heart condition it would not have been possible for me to make the journey from London to Christchurch (N.Z.) and back but for the Latihan Kejiwaan of Subud.

I thank God for giving us  Bapak  Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo

My WISH WAS GRANTED.  God Bless us All.

With love and best wishes to all

From your brother in Subud

Gibran Ohri


ONE CLICK IS ALL IT TAKES… Leonard Wells finds a woman on the Internet

Leonard Wells and companion in Romania.

It was way back in 1969 that I started having the feeling that I wanted to speak to audiences. I took this to indicate a talent for politics and this was confirmed by a letter from Jakarta a little later. So I gave up my job with the Inland Revenue Surtax Office where - in those days - the UK rich were taxed at a top rate of 97.5%, and I went to work in Oxford as the Liberal party agent.

A Subud brother, Simon Caradoc Evans, was standing as the Liberal Party candidate in North Berkshire and invited me to help. We lost our deposit! Nuff said! Sounds like a typical Subud undertaking!


Living in a Nightmare

My mother's serious mental illness killed off that dream and I had to return home to Warrington in 1972 to take care of her. She would literally not eat and refused medical help so I had to lace her nightly Horlicks with Complan (a powdered food full of vitamins) and try to surrender it.

Luckily my expertise in Taxation got me a job in Manchester with Grant Thornton and I commuted the 40 mile round trip for the next 8 years. To say that this period of my life was like living in hell is to diminish the nightmare that it was. One day in 1980, I could take it no more. I drove to the Liverpool Subud House and fell to my knees in the empty latihan hall. 'Father, I can carry this cross not another step!' I called out - at last able to totally surrender. She died within 36 hours.


The Arab Connection

I then cast caution to the wind, bought a caravan and an old London Black Taxi and set off south to work as close as I could to what became the Anugraha project. I wanted to help. By all kinds of magic, the only 2 paid jobs in Subud were offered to me on the same day, and later I was asked to join the Anugraha team and became the Company Secretary of that Titanic like enterprise.

From 1986 onwards I have worked for Arabs. There are some 12 great trading families in Saudi Arabia and I was taken on in a humble capacity by one of them. I stayed looking after their palatial country estate near Heathrow for 18 years and during that time their daughter married into the Bin Laden family - the one that was to become famous after 9/II. When they sold the house in 2004 I was asked by the daughter's husband if I would like to work for him and I am happy to be so doing for such an honourable and honest man.


An Eligible Bachelor Finds a Woman

All this time I had been alone - making a complete hash of every attempt to lose my bachelor status. Sachlan Fraval referred to me once as 'the most eligible bachelor in Subud', but it did not seem to make much difference.

By 2008 I was getting desperate, to put it mildly. In a way, like that day in the Liverpool Subud House, I called out one night to ask in a 'Why has thou foresaken me' moment. Two days later I was looking at a very pretty lady scientist on an International Dating agency website on my PC.

She is Romanian and lives with her immortal 97 vear old aunt in a small flat in Bucharest. I did not appreciate when I clicked my mouse in her direction where it was going to lead me. After some months of emails I arrived at the airport into Bucharest, knees knocking, heart pounding. She told me later that she was so excited that she took tranquillisers before coming to meet me.

I have now made six visits in all to Romania and have travelled extensively. We love each other very deeply and I have come to love Romania - not the land of Gypsy beggars as some might think, but a very religious, friendly people. They are still blinking in the bright light of freedom since Christmas Day 1989 when they executed their hated dictator Ceausescu, lifting the dark shadow of communism which had fallen across their country in 1945.


A  Beautiful Country Involved in War

This beautiful country has been invaded by almost every nation in Europe at one time or another, whilst during the Second World War it had the dubious honour of being bombed by the Americans and the Germans! They wanted to make peace in 1944, so Hitler bombed Bucharest and Romania declared war on Germany. This changed history and shortened that great war by six months.

I have a great sense of humour and had got into the habit of telling funny stories in video clips on Youtube. I had several hundred by this time. One day, in a hotel in the far north of Romania in 2010, I made a clip about Romania. Suddenly I had this uplifting feeling that here was a way of 'talking to audiences' about politics and have made over 100 clips in similar vein since.


Unity and Strength

It came to me one day that for 2000 years we Europeans have butchered each other by the millions - maybe as many as 100 million have died needlessly. For most Europeans, Hitler was the last straw and they decided to make war within Europe impossible in the future by locking everyone into the dream of a United Europe and so today 27 countries participate in the EU.

God Willing, we may now have 2000 years of peace ahead of us, during which we may rebuild Europe into the greatest power for good on earth. Do not forget that it's GDP is almost equal to that of the USA and China combined - a staggering statistic!

I am ashamed of the way Britain has pussyfooted and shilly-shallied around the edge of Europe like a delicate damsel on her honeymoon night. It is time to stop insisting that we be allowed to play golf with a different sized ball to everyone else!

To this end I have been making little broadcasts on subjects like the Schengen Treaty and the Euro. Whilst most commentators here have been prophesying gloomily that Europe was disintegrating, I have felt to oppose them with all my strength.


Surrender only to God

The little Englanders are actually succeeding in keeping us just that - little! This morning I awoke with the words 'United States of Europe' on my lips and knew at once what I have to do. I shall start by building a website www.useu.net to attract all those with a similar dream.

I don't know if it is significant but whilst typing this article the postman delivered a letter to me from 10 Downing Street - responding  no doubt, to one of many complaints about our pathetic insularity!  So, at the age of 70 I am at last coming to grips with my talent. Never give up or give in.

Never surrender, save to Almighty God ! Tally Ho!




THE DEATH OF MY FATHER…from Rachman Mitchell

Rachman Mitchel writes...

This took place in the April of 1947 when I was on holiday in Scotland visiting my Aunt Rena in Pitlochry.

Our parents had divorced at the beginning of the war. Their marriage had long been inharmonious and had suffered one of the worst things that can happen to married couples, the death of their first child, John or Jackie at the age of about eighteen months from diphtheria. Their second, my sister Sheilagh (now Roanna) did not satisfy their longing for another son, hence my conception and birth.

Taking me back to be seen by my maternal grandparents led to long periods of separation between my parents, and the resulting infidelity of my father was the final straw that broke the back of their marriage.

Changes in My Life

My mother returned to England and soon married my stepfather Frank Clause, someone about 10 years older than her.

My father, still a lieutenant in the RN, joined up immediately the war started and soon became a lieutenant commander with the duty of escorting convoys taking guns and tanks to the Soviet army up around Bear Island to the port of Murmansk.

He visited us almost every leave he had, although he had remarried. He enjoyed being a father and we both felt his love and care for us.

Bonding on My 12th Birthday

At the end of the war he spent almost another year ferrying Commonwealth troops back to their home country and he was demobilised in July of 1946.  We met him in London for my 12th birthday before he was to return to his previous or pre-war work in the Indian Forestry Service.

We had a great day, at least it was for me, as he took me shopping at Gamleys, the big toy shop of London, and bought me a board game called ‘Dover Patrol’ that played out the old Battle of Jutland that he had been in as young man of 23 or so, and also a small pocket chess set which I was into then. My sister spent the morning with our stepmother “Auntie” May and we all met up at the Cumberland Hotel, where they were staying, for lunch.

It was here that Daddy talked about his father and how proud he was of him, enrolling at the age of fifteen in the great sailing clippers that raced from Shanghai to London in the middle of the nineteenth century and how after 3 years of that he enrolled in the Royal Navy as an ordinary seaman and worked his way up to being a captain. (I later found out that he was probably not commissioned as a captain)

 My Father, the Hero

My sister and myself had probably not spent more than 4 weeks in the whole of the war with our father as there was little leave time that he had, and most leaves he did spend with us. He was our hero and I never had the adolescent revolt against my father, which most children go through as they witness their parent’s weaknesses.

He was an expansive man who, when travelling in a railway carriage, would be talking with everybody, making an interesting social gathering of it.

His second wife said he would give the shirt off his back if someone else had greater need of it. He liked a drink and tended to stand other people drinks when they could not afford it.

It was a very full and happy day with him that last day and we would ever see him again.

The Premonition

The premonition of that was very strong as we got onto the bus at Hyde Park corner to go to Victoria station and catch the train home to Sussex.

I wept .

Not long after this episode I had gone to Ascham, which was the new building for our Prep School having been boarded at one of the Eastbourne College house for two terms before that. We had a new and excellent Headmaster, Henry Collis, an outstanding educationalist and one with a very civilised mind and heart. I owe him a great debt of gratitude, as I do for many of the masters at school.

Dream about My Father

After moving there I had a dream that my Father’s belongings had been taken to the school after he had died. I woke up feeling both sad and guilty over the dream and my apparent desire for his belongings.

Henry Collis set us a task of writing to absent parents every Sunday and my father replied in his neat handwriting with photos of the elephants that he now worked with as a Conservator of forests in India. I was always delighted to see these letters with the king’s head on the stamps, but with the amount marked in annas.

In the Easter holidays of 1947, I went up to Scotland and stayed for a day or so in Edinburgh. I cannot remember whom with. As I was walking along Prince’s Street quite near my maternal grandfather’s old shop, an old lady accosted me and said, "Whatever happens to you. Remember to believe in the Lord”

I forgot all about this and one day I was standing in the central hallway of my Aunt Rena’s house when I heard her crying in the bathroom. I wondered what all this was about and when she came out she was waving a piece of paper which was a telegram from my stepmother to say that my father had died after a fall in India. Both of my aunts had felt that my mother had been lucky to marry my father. They were bridesmaids at the wedding and both felt that they could have made better wives than my mother!

The Finality of Death

Part of me denied the death and believed it  all a lie and that he will suddenly turn up from the jaws of death, as he had done many a time during the war. There was no mourning process to go through. Everyone lost relatives in the war and one just accepted – the “Stiff upper lip”, or the “grin and bear it”. In fact, what happens is, that sadness is just driven underground or under one’s day to day consciousness.

I found I could not talk about my feelings much with anyone. The only one who seemed to make sense for me was Ludwig van Beethoven. When I first listened to the slow movement of his ninth symphony, it spoke to me of another world perhaps a heaven where people may reach after much struggle and suffering.

Subud and New Connections

Actually the feeling of sadness did not go until I was opened in Subud ten years later, when I first experienced for myself the vibration of the soul within me and the connection with my father.

I was travelling in the Underground railway in London when suddenly I felt my father sitting next to me.

Later one evening in Wisma Subud Cilandak in the old latihan hall Bapak began to test the state of our fathers and I received he was truly happy.

LIFE AFTER DEATH…Levi Lemberger writes about death and beyond

by Matthew Levi Lemberger

It was my father first. He had sent for me and I flew across the country to see him lying in a hospital bed. He had suffered from Parkinson for five years, the stiffening kind, and although his body had betrayed him, his mind was always perfect. Towards the last few years he had difficulty speaking.

When I arrived at the hospital he was either in a coma or a deep sleep. I immediately got quiet and sat in silence in a chair next to his bed. I don’t know how much time had passed but suddenly he awakened and saw me. We talked for a while and he asked me to do one or two things, one of them was to promise to take care of my mother. I said I would and not to worry about it.

Then he said the last thing he was ever to say to me,” Thank you for coming”. I can’t explain why that affected me the way it did, but it was the approval I had been seeking my entire life. With those words I had reached completion as his son.

I flew back home and he passed away soon after. I flew out again for the funeral and my brother and I covered the grave after the services were over.

It was a few days after that. I was staying in my mother’s apartment and that afternoon I was alone when he came to me. How can I describe it? I did not see him but I knew he was there and with my inner eye I could see that he no longer was afflicted.

He didn’t speak but he appeared and I understood that it was to show me that there was this other world. He had not been a religious or spiritual man in any sense of the world. He believed that you need to act in this world to help people. That was all there was to do, but now he came to me perhaps to show me that there was more and that he was all right. I don’t ask you to believe me.

My brother was next. The circumstances of his death are shrouded. He had been ill with heart disease for a few years. He was missing for three days. His wife had called to tell me. A second phone call a day later told me that he had been found in a neighbor’s empty house.

I had the job of telling my mother and this was one of the hardest things in my life. I could not tell her the truth. I lied. I told her he had died of a heart attack. I don’t think she completely believed me but she had to in order to survive without more consuming grief than she was left with.

He was her youngest son and for all he had done in this life, she loved him unconditionally. He had a military funeral since that is what he wanted, for he had been in the army. I suppose I was sort of numb, having many mixed emotions.

Where was I when he came to me? Was I in my mother’s house or back in my own? It was three or four days after the funeral and like my father, he did not speak, but he appeared to me and I knew that what his appearance meant was that he had passed through something and was now all right and that whatever it was that took his life was passed. I was happy to know he was all right and it resolved something for me about his passing and I was now much more at peace about it.

My mother’s visit was different. I was with my mother when she died. My aunt, her sister, had called me to tell me that my mother was not doing well. Her heart was giving her trouble and that I should come if I wanted to see her. I caught a plane the next day and stayed with her for two weeks.

We had watched a travel show one evening and after I had fallen asleep, in the middle of the night she woke me and said,” I think you better call an ambulance,” which I immediately did and I didn’t have time to dress so I just stayed with her.

When the ambulance came, I dressed and caught a cab to the hospital. When I got there they said at the front desk, “Your mother isn’t doing well.” I said, “ You mean she died?” “Yes,” they said.

I went outside to the courtyard and cried. I wanted to cry in private not in public. Then I went back inside and asked where she was. They had put her in a bed in a room and I pulled up a chair and sat next to her. In the ambulance, they had placed a wooden peg in her throat to keep her breathing. It was probably best that I wasn’t there for I would have tried to prevent them doing that. I held her hand and sat with her for a long time. I didn’t cry, but just held her hand. Then I went back to her house.

After the funeral I waited for her to come to see my as my father and brother had but she never appeared. I thought to myself that it was all right. That was just the way it was.

It was a few years later. I was at the end of my divorce, staying with a friend for I no longer had a place of my own. It was on the Sabbath and my friend had gone out for the afternoon. I was reading a book and suddenly felt my mother’s presence. I doubted that the feeling was real, but then, there it was.

She asked me about the divorce. She didn’t use words and I couldn’t see her. I told her that my wife and I hadn’t been getting along for a while, but that I was giving my wife a lot of money. That seemed to end the discussion for she knew that would make my wife happy.

Then I asked her how she was. “I’m with your father and your uncle Yetta and Uncle Ben.” I knew that this meant she was very happy. Then the conversation ended and I wondered if you really could be with your loved ones in the next world.

I don’t have anything more to add. Perhaps I had made a place inside myself for their visits. For myself, I don’t doubt the reality of these experiences. They have helped me enormously to be at peace. They are as real for me as my experiences in this world.

First posted in Subud Creative







GOD THE THERAPIST… new book from Husain Chung

Husain Chung

Harris writes...

He is a rebel and a renegade. He is not your usual, conventional Subud member. He is “the most unforgettable character I ever met”.

I owe him my life. It was through him I found Subud, and if I had not found Subud at that time, I had painted myself into such a black corner, that I would probably have done away with myself (as my sister did).

It's possible that he has brought more people into Subud than anyone except Bapak. In the 60s he brought hundreds in.

Husain Chung, a remarkable man. Now he has published his book which is his autobiography, his unique take on the nature of the Creator, and his enthusiasm for the potential of  Subud.

He has suffered more than anyone else I have ever met in my life. He was born without hips and as a two-year old had to be sent away from his home in Shang-hai to llive in a hospital in Hawaii. He was totally isolated. An alien, Chinese, speaking no English, encased in plaster.

In this suffering and isolation he found God whom he called the “entity”. And out of this tremendous suffering, he developed tremendous power. In certain ways, he is the most powerful; human being I have ever met.

God became his therapist, his refuge, his solace, his inspiration. To some extent we all define God in our own image and Husain is a therapist. Some day I am going to write a complete account of my relationship with Husain and of the extraordinary “happening” he produced in the 1960s as a master of psychodrama.

But for now you have Husain's story in his own words. An extremely lively and colourful story, I can assure you. You've read no other “Subud story” like it. He may be a rebel and a renegade but he has lived the Subud life to the hilt. l. He has run enterprises, he is a real helper, his commitment to Subud is total.

There is a story I have heard, perhaps apochryphal. But the story goes that someone went to Bapak to complain about Chung, and Bapak asked this person, “How many people have you brought into Subud?”

About 40 years ago, Husain called in on me as he passed through Melbourne on his way to Cilandak. But Cilandak was intended to be just a stepping stone to his real purpose.. And what was his real purpose? Nothing less than to “open China”. Well, he hasn't done it yet. But there is still time to make a start...

To read all about this amazing man, click the .pdf.






TWO LOVE STORIES… by Arifa Asariah

This month, Melbourne visual artist Arifa Asariah releases not one, but two books – A life Worth Living and Eve and Lucifer. They are both available from .lulu.com in print (and soon in electronic versions). Go to www.lulu.com and search Arifa Asariah's name or the titles of the books.

(Last week a scientist in Australia was awarded the Nobel Prize for proving that the universe is not only expanding, it is expanding at an accelerating rate. If there is one aspect of the universe that this is true of, it is in the production of books by Subud members. Not only expanding, but expanding at an accelerating rate. Every month, new ones. A flood, a veritable flood. One can hardly keep up.)

Arifa is one of those around me whom I see, as I said in my editorial, is reaping the harvest. Reaping the harvest of a long and often very difficult life. This woman has suffered. She has been visited by loss and grief more than once and recently she has struggled with life-threatening illness. But she has come thru! And all that struggle, all that suffering has paid off. It has produced fruit, flowers. (Arifa has not only produced these books but has a BIG painting exhibition is coming up at the start of next year.)

Arifa's two books are very different from each other. One is a love story, and the other is a love story, but what different LOVE stories. One is about the love of a mother for a child and the other is about the love between man and woman, sensual love, erotic love. And above all, COMPANIONSHIP, EQUALITY!

The Story of Rahman

Arifa had four children and then she had Rahman, her son born severely disabled. She was offered the option of abortion but chose not to. It was not thought that Rahman would live beyond birth, or at most for a year or two, but in fact  he lived until the age of 19.

The heroism of mothers! Is it possible to ever say enough about it? The unsung heroism of mothers. Of every mother, but this particular mother is an extraordinary example of love and devotion.

We will never know Rahman as Arifa and her family knew him but we can know him through her account of him. We can see the cover photo, showing what a beautiful being he was. It shines through, even a feeling of profound peace and serenity. (The book has been beautifully designed by Marcus Bolt.)

Arifa says of the book...


The morning of my son's death I heard a voice in my head saying, clearly, "When I die, write my bookand call it "A Life Worth Living."  I knew it was my son.  What I didn't know was that he was in the process of dying.

Rachman was born profoundly disabled, not expected to survive birth. He lived a massive 19 years. If I'd known he was going to live when I was pregnant I would have been so worried that I couldn't cope with such a special needs child. 

As it so happens I didn't know and I'm so glad I chose to have him. Yes, chose, because when an ultrasound showed his deformed head the doctor immediately offered me a 'termination'.  Had I chosen the termination I would have missed knowing such a beautiful soul. 

My life has been deeply enriched by our relationship and the journey we shared. 

He taught me that all life is valid. This book goes out especially to those who have to make a choice to keep or not, an abnormal foetus and to those whose journey with a disabled child is beginning.

I feel that this is a book that could break through and become, if not a best seller, at very least a big seller. It  will be an inspirational story for all parents who find themselves in a similar situation. I feel that Arifa will get not only many sales but many speaking engagements because of this book.

Eve and Lucifer

We might call Arifa's second book the first feminist tract in Subud. Well, not a tract, more a dissertation. A dissertation in the form of a story, a dialogue. She has retold the traditional Jewish creation story as a chat between Eve and Lucifer. She has turned the whole story on its head.

It is of course an attack (a loving attack! A gentle attack! An attack in the form of a story!) on the foundations of the patriarchy. And why not? Isn’t it about time we abandoned this rotting shell of the patriarchy? This system that has kept women abused, subservient, oppressed, repressed for thousands of years? That has turned them into chattels and denied them their full humanity? We are living in the age now (as Bapak said) in which men and women become equal partners in the enterprise of life. And about time, too. All that talent, all that capacity, which has been denied, dammed up. Release it! Arifa says of the book:


Translated from the Original Manuscripts by Arifa Asariah

For most of us there is only one version of the happenings in The Garden of Eden.  In it Eve betrays Adam with a snake by eating the forbidden fruit.

About 15 years ago Arifa Asariah uncovered a set of manuscripts written by Eve and Lucifer.   She is, to this day unable to divulge the how and where of her findings, but the story, with some editing by herself, is laid out for you to read.

In it you will discover a very different story... a story of love not evil, of loss and pain, not rejection by an angry God. Through Eve's eyes we meet Lucifer as a beautiful, loving, compassionate Angel.  Through Lucifer's eyes, Eve has grown up manipulated and bullied by Adam, who professes to know God, but for Lucifer it is Eve that shines with innocence, love and inner light. 

But read on for yourself...Eve and Lucifer

The book is illustrated by Arifa's own line drawings. (And is again beautifully designed by Marcus Bolt. These covers should be winning awards!)

The illustrations are of naked people, mostly women, but also men and women in loving embrace. Shock! Horror! Can this be a Subud book? Hide it before the children see it.

Well, I expect the children have seen much worse these days with the Internet. And there is nothing pornographic about Arifa's work. It is beautiful, elegant.

Sex and Subud

Sex and Subud! There is a subject we could devote some time to. Despite all our years of doing the latihan, there is still a lot of squeamishness, embarrassment and inhibition around the subject of sex. Let's face it!

We have produced one set of very enlightening, dare one say penetrating, writings about sex. Sudarto's... as published in the collection of his writings, which you got as a bonus with September issue (download it here if you missed out!.

The Experiences o Mas Sudarto

Extraordinary writings about the sublime, the ridiculous and the miraculous of sex.

And there are of course Bapak's passages in Susila Budhi Dharma.

But most of the writing I see in Subud about sex takes the form of “I did it, but you mustn’t”.

(Marcus Bolt tells me that he and Dirk Campbell once ran a workshop on sex and more people than could fit into the room turned up. This shows there is no lack of interest in the topic.)

The best discussion I ever heard about sex was at a Meeting of the Americas held in Brazil about ten years ago. This was when Daniel Cheiftetz was WSA chair and you may remember that one of his things was to encourage long open-ended talkfests.

So the young people got together to talk about sex. A few older ones (me!) sat in. One girl expressed the “problem of promiscuity” with a turn of phrase I will never forget. In a way she was saying exactly the same thing Bapak says in Susila Budhi Dharma but with her own particular salty flavour. This is how she summed up the inadvisability of promiscuity. “When I drink coffee,” she said, “I drink coffee. And when I drink coke, I drink coke. I do not mix the two!”

Bapak and the Patriarchy

Recently Arifa and I ran a workshop “Discovering your Destiny”. Many interesting things happened in it, but one in particular was this.

When we had all gathered there was one empty chair. Some asked, “Who is that chair for?”

I said, “That is Bapak's chair.” Because of course it has become a common practice at Subud gatherings to have an empty chair, Bapak's chair.

Arifa immediately objected, “No, that is Elijah's chair.”

She explained that it’s a Jewish myth that you always leave one chair empty for Elijah... who is called an Immanent... because he’s always present.

For some reason, the incident called to my mind that many of us, men and women, for our different reasons have “a problem with Bapak”.

I have a problem with Bapak. I have never found completely my right relationship with Bapak. I am sure that often it comes down to our relationships with our own fathers. My father died when I was five and before that I felt he did not approve of me. I still struggle with all that at the age of 69. And I am sure it influences my attitude towards Bapak. And then who knows what else comes into it. Nationality, ancestry...

For women in particular, it is of course that he represents the male principle and many of us, men and women, are having problems coming to terms with what the male principle means at this point in time. Many women are of course in the process of overthrowing the patriarchy and it can look like Bapak represents the patriarchy. He is of course a most paternal figure. His very name proclaims it. Bapak, father! And many have problems coming to terms with this.

So many women (at some level of their beings) are caught in a paradox, a conundrum, a tight place, a conflicting place. They want to devote their lives to overthrowing the patriarchy and they want to give their lives to a spiritual movement, which issued from a father.

An interesting discussion for another time...

For the present, get on your computer and order Arifa's books from www.lulu.com - available in print editions (and soon as ebooks).




READER FEEDBACK…more response than in the previous 10 years put together

In the October issue I asked for reader feedback and I got it. In abundance.

Thank you to the many people who have already sent us feedback about October Subud Voice with your appreciation, criticisms, suggestions and reports of technical issues. Thank you especially to those who wrote to say you don't want your subscription back.

This feedback exceeds by far any previous response to an issue of Subud Voice. In fact we got more letters this time, many more, than we have received in the whole of the last ten years.

I have written individually to each of you I hope, but am also writing this collective response.

Many people wrote to complain of various things. Mostly gentle complaints, intended to be helpful, pointing out where we had fallen down.

According to Murphy’s law, things must go wrong when you least want them to. And so our web site, usually so well behaved, went mad, just when we were going into our completely new way of presenting Subud Voice.

Just as the previous month, when we had launched our new “subscriber initiative” Paypal decided to shut us down. Not only were we not allowed to transfer any money out of our account WE WERE NOT ABLE TO RECEIVE ANY!!!!!!!!!! Just at the very moment we were hoping to get all your lovely subscriptions.

Is the Hand of God at work in all this? Are we supposed to have no choice but to go out free to the world?

Anyway, here is a selection of some of the feedback we got...

Of the many responses, one which interested me particularly came from Haryanti Stuart. Her email touched on economic problems in Europe. Here is what she wrote to me.


From Haryanti Stuart 

Hi Harris, As always, I love reading SV. As a subscriber since its inception, except for the last request to renew, I just thought you might like my input. I thought long and hard about renewing, knowing I would miss SV enormously.  But Australia has been largely insulated from the worst of the world recession - it is hard to imagine how hard it has hit over here. I have retired friends whose income has been cut by 60% as the value of shares plummeted and bank interest on savings is currently 0.05%. One couple I know have cancelled their life-long subscription to the Guardian, others are cancelling magazine subs – anything to claw back money... I’m trying to save everything I can to get back, but will have lost at least $150000 when I sell, due to the currency exchange. Europeans too are having a pretty rough time. I also know that some have teamed together, say two or three and shared the cost of a subscription to SV that way, which wasn’t much help to you.  I wonder if asking for a subsidy of $10 a year, even $20 per person would help to get back more money from some of those 10,000 who read SV in the short time it was free? $35 was too much for many. The Guerrand Hermes Foundation would then be able to lessen its incredibly generous subsidy.

My very best wishes to you personally, and everyone else involved. Haryanti

Dearest Haryanti, thank you for your most interesting feedback. First, the good news! Now Subud Voice is free to everyone.

But your email with its comments on desperate economic times in Europe raises for me much more profound questions. It is true that in Australia we are still, it appears, the “lucky country”, compared to almost anywhere else in the world. Yesterday I spoke to two Subud members recently arrived in Australia from Spain, refugees from the desperate economic climate there.

I often attend Subud Congress and meetings of WSC etc. See the reports of the one held in Rungan Sari in June, reported in August Subud Voice. And it always strikes me how our gaze is still turned inward trying to sort out our own issues, rather than addressing the problems of the world. In saying this, I attach no blame to all the wonderful, dedicated, hard-working people in the Subud organization. No, it is a collective issue of all of us.

Subud has come into the world to make it a better place. First, to make all of us better and then to use this inestimable gift to make the world better. We should be turning our attention to helping solve the problems of the world. This is not a wild dream. We can start now. It is our responsibility.

We have enormous capacity and unique understanding. How do we solve the economic problems of Spain, Europe et al? Let’s think about it. Of course we are not going to solve them overnight, but at least we could start turning our attention outwards rather than inwards.

You know that Bapak received a book that was blank because on its pages were to be written the answers to whatever questions he asked. Lately, I have begun to receive this. I do not mean I receive at Bapak’s level or anything like that. But I do have a book in which is written the answers to my questions. Maybe now, they are mostly just questions and answers relating to my immediate situations, but they really work! I am sure other Subud members must be having the same experience.

So why don’t we now begin to ask BIG questions? What is the solution to the world’s economic and political problems? Europe, the Middle East?

Let us begin to ask. Love, Harris

PS:  On mortality. I awoke today at 5 am. I did latihan and went to a nearby MacDonald’s for breakfast. They have WI-fi there and I started work on responding to all your e-mails. On the way home I saw an accident. A woman in a car had struck a man on a bike. Each day we set out with our hopes and dreams and plans assuming we are going to make it to the end of the day. Sometimes, some of us don't. Life always hangs by a thread.


From Ian Bourne and Rohana Bourne

Dear Harris… You are doing such a great job with Subud Voice, just wanted to say a big "Thank you!"  I especially enjoyed Sharifin's poem and photograph. Would be interested in more news of Bardolf Paul and his work. We certainly don't want our sub. back - and will send a donation by cheque and post…

Loving regards from us both, Ian and Rohana

Dear Ian and Rohana, thank you for your appreciative response. Most appreciated. We have a big article about Bardolf and YTS in the pipeline. Love, Harris


From Rohana Darlington

Hi Harris

Just to let you know I found the October issue really interesting as usual, particularly the latest instalment of the amazing Mansur Geiger’s adventures. I think it will be better now SV is free online again, as I had difficulty in getting our members at Manchester to subscribe. I was shocked that only 100 people agreed to subscribe, yet 10,000 apparently accessed it free. How do these people think SV can survive if nobody pays? Anyway, I had a meeting with our committee and they have agreed to pay for an annual group sub for the same price it was before (from group funds), and I’ll organise this shortly as well as continue to pay for my own subscription when it needs renewing. Then you’ll have 2 subs from us in Manchester, and I’ll print out the group copy myself and they can  borrow it from our library. I’ll have another go at getting PayPal up and running.

I think the rock’n’roll articles will interest many members especially the young ones, and they contrasted well with Leonard Van Hien’s comments about the management of various enterprises. As an investor in all the former major Subud enterprises most of which are now defunct I’ve learnt a lot about how projects should have been run! Oh, the wisdom of hindsight! I agree with his comments that the shareholders were not sufficiently kept informed or their smaller investments sufficiently respected in comparison with those of the fewer major investors.

Yet at Anugraha for example there were 5000 smaller investors from all over the world and their needs should have been held in more respect as jointly they added up to a lot of money. I also always thought that it would have been more in keeping of the community spirit of Subud to have structured them as Co-operatives but this idea was never seriously considered at  the time. The trouble was we did not have sufficient sensible personnel to manage so many international projects effectively simultaneously.

Well, you asked for comments, Harris!

Dearest Rohana

My cup runneth over. You are the perfect reader, the reader an editor dreams of. Thank you for your appreciative comments. Love, Harris


From Edward Mackenzie  (to Leonard van Hien)

Many thanks for your article in the recent Subud Voice. It is a timely cautionary reminder to most Subud members, myself included, who are not investment literate to take care of where and how they put their money in Subud endeavours. I particularly appreciated your comments on good governance which as you point out is not always evident. For me if good governance is not at the heart of the endeavour it is best not attempted at all.


From Leonard van Hien (responding to Edward MacKenzie)

Dear Edward…Many thanks for taking the trouble to write.

I had that "here we go again" feeling when at its last meeting the WSC approved that the WSA Executive / SESI could explore launching another widely held Subud enterprise - this time a business for financing Subud enterprises in Kalimantan.

I am all for people "having a go". Without that there would be no progress. Without pressure there is no development. At the same time we should try to avoid the disappointments and sorrows of the past. One could write chapters on governance failures within our worldwide association.

The WSA itself should, at this early stage of Subud's development, be lean, effective and relevant. If members perceive it as expensive and ineffective, WSA will be considered irrelevant. That would be a shame. The international component is essential to our organisation.

The present WSA Executive - and the Council itself - risk finding themselves sitting on the cusp. Since last world congress the Executive has run up chronic deficits. It has never presented its audited financials on time. This renders ineffective one of the essential checks and balances provided in its constitution. There are too many excuses.

If it continues at the present rate of burn WSA will have eroded all of its reserves by the time of the next World Congress. Someone needs to sound the alarm…Cheers, Leonard.

Thank you Leonard and Edward for continuing a most interesting and important dialogue. Cheers, Harris


From Hanafi Fraval

Hi … How do I download SV? I don’t want to sit in front of a computer and read it. I want to have a pdf to print or more likely transfer to my iPad!

By the way, do you want to read about the new Bright Futures program I got started? If so please read the attachments to get the idea, and if you think it's newsworthy, please feel free to do an article on it…Best, Hanafi

Hi Hanafi, I am not sure who Peter is. Peter Jenkins perhaps? But anyway he is not the editor whoever he is. Subud Voice is now accessible from the home page. At the top of the home page is a photo of Peter Jenkins and the Rolling Stones and a blurb about the issue. Underneath in blue is a list of the content. Click on any title top get the article. There may be some glitches as with any new internet endeavour. We will fix.

I look forward to reading the material about Bright Futures you have sent. Cheers, Harris

Later…you can print it all out or just particular articles that interest you.


From Hanafi again

Sorry – glitch of the keyboard. I should have addressed it to you. I don’t like the option of selecting articles. What if I want to read it ALL, as Levana and I usually do, and more recently on the iPad? Can I download the whole thing? Or do I have to laboriously download each one, save it as a pdf, and then stitch the pdf's together? I don’t think so…

What do you suggest?


Hi Hanafi, this is the way the world is now...this is the best way to publish an online magazine...you are such a modern chap always up with the latest technology I am sure you will get used to it and realise its many advantages as an online publication...

You can still read it ALL... you can still PRINT IT ALL... it is just a much better format for online... and now you can select and print what you want rather than have to print the WHOLE THING... as was the case with the .pdf... it is now much easier to read both online and in print... thanks for your feedback... love to be in contact with you. And always interested to know what you are up to...

And longing for the day I will get your article about your Anugraha experience... do you know I pursued Richendra Pope for 25 years to get her reincarnation story.... and Mansur for 20 years to get his Kalimantan story... I am merciless and relentless once I get my teeth into something... but you must get me your article before I turn 90 or 95...

Cheers, Harris


From Ilaina Lennard

Harris there is something very strange happening to SV October on line. I have only read a couple of pages, but it is already repeating photos and large chunks of text. And there are also other corrections that should be made to the text. I don't think this is working. Have a look, it is chaotic. You will be shocked. You need to go back to the old format and I hereby offer to do the proofing again. ! – Ilaina

Hi Ilaina... Shocked! Appalled would be a better word! It was all lovely when we first put it up. There will always be some glitches as with any new Internet endeavour. Just to mention one recent example… Recently SESI announced its new web site, to be quickly followed by the announcement it was down, followed by the announcement it was OK again. We will fix our problems.

Later… I cannot understand what you are talking about. I just went to Subud Voice and it is all OK, just the way we put it up. Perhaps some problem in your browser settings or something needs attention. Some things are in our control, some aren’t. But by all means let me know of proofing corrections. With our new system we can continue to correct after publication.


From Emmanuel Elliott

Thanks for another great issue, Harris. I notice that a lot of older people email each other in a rather larger point size than the rest of humanity. Would it be possible for the text of SV to be slightly larger?

Hi Emmanuel, I will look into this. Cheers, Harris


From Raphaëlle, French SICA coordinator.

Dear Harris…Could you give all the SICA websites address in the next issue? And speak about them? If someone do not understand the language, it is possible to ask automatic translation to help.

I know four: www.subud-sica.org , www.subud-sica.fr , www.sicabritain.co.uk, www.sica-deutshland.de , there are certainly others…Love. Raphaëlle, French SICA coordinator.

Hi Raphaelle, thank you for this suggestion. Please send all sites you think you should be included. Love, Harris


From Peter Jenkins

Hi Harris, You probably know by now that the first page of SV on line is repeated. I guess if this is your last issue as Editor, you've gone out with a wham bam!... Peter

Hi Peter, Yes, yes, glitches, glitches! See responses to Ilaina, Hanafi above. What did you think of the pic of you with the Stones? And as for this being my last issue... do you know something I don't? Anyway thanks for the bam! I like bam! Cheers, Harris


From Julia Hurd

It’s good news that SV is free again, but what happened??  And so WSA does not need to look for additional gift subscriptions... Best, Julia

Hi Julia, what happened is explained in the editorial. We no longer have to worry about gift subscriptions since now anyone anywhere in the world can download it for free. Cheers, Harris


From Harfiyah

Great News! Peter Jenkins must be getting on a bit by now! You forgot to put a link in your email but never fear, I haven't forgotten it. Harfiyah

Hi Harfiyah, I am not sure which link you mean in which email. Please let me know.

PS No you didn't - it just lost its colour in this version!

Oh, good!

PS - great to have the links to the sounds!  I first met Top Topham in 1970 and had never heard him play until now!  Great music! Not to mention the Stones! Keep up the good work! Harfiyah

Thank you for this encouragement which is very very much appreciated. Glad you like the sounds links. Love, Harris


From Benita in Paraguay

Dear Harris, This is really a great relief for me, to be able to read SV online for free, even without a password! Thank you so much everybody who has made this possible! Now I am going to read the OCTOBER issue (not September, right?) and promise a feedback. Benita, Paraguay

Dear Benita, Lovely to hear from Latin America! Thank you for your good wishes. Yes, a few glitches here and there. October/September etc. We will fix! Cheers, Harris

Later…I am not sure what you mean about October/September. It all looks Ok to me. The next Spanish edition to be published will be September. It is always at least a month behind because of the need for translation by our hard-working Cuban team. September Spanish will be there (I hope) on October 3


From Ilaina Lennard

Harris, I think you meant Subud Voice Online October 1st ! Don't worry the world will not end and I am sure we will all realise what you meant to put!! – Ilaina

Hi Ilaina, yes, glitches, glitches! Will fix! Cheers, Harris


From Robert Raymond

Hi Harris...Your editorial is New York New York and 1st October has become 1st September. But you had the courage to take SV on.  I don't want my subscription back. Best wishes for SV and God bless.

Dear Robert, Yes, glitches, glitches. Thank you very much for keeping your sub in. Cheers, Harris


From Hardwin Blanchard

I love Subud Voice, and I am delighted not to have to get my money back!  (And God bless Simon Guerrand!) Aloha, Hardwin

Hi Hardwin, thank you! This is what we like to hear. The perfect subscriber. Cheers, Harris


From Max Potter

Dear Harris..Sorry to have to say this but it is a real mess. Bits repeated all over the place and there does not seem to be any way to get a printable version, apart from cutting and pasting chunks into a Word document, which I do not have time to do.

I have two subscribers in Oxford who do not even have computers and rely on my producing printed copies which I am happy to do for them. I also like a printed copy myself. PDF files are just handy as far as I am concerned.

I am pretty sure that all three of us would be happy for you to keep the subscriptions if we could get copies which I could print out. There must be other subscribers in a similar situation Please let me know what you suggest.  Kind regards... Max

Dear Max, I am particularly upset about the glitches which have accompanied our new way of publishing in your case because you have been such a wonderful supporter. It was all lovely when we first put it up. I guess there will always be some glitches as with any new internet endeavour. Just to mention one recent example…Recently SESI announced its new web site, to be quickly followed by the announcement it was down, followed by the announcement it was OK again. We will fix our problems today I hope. Cheers, Harris.

Later…As I have said in my replies above to Ilaina Lennard, I have just tested Subud Voice and it works fine for me. I will discuss with web mistress to see if we can identify your problems.


From Floriane Syfrig

Hello Harris, Thanks for the new version of Subud Voice and the good news... for many members... to get it free. As far as I am concerned I am quite happy with your decision, thanks to the Guerrand Hermès Foundation, and I certainly do not want my subscription fee back. So good luck for the future !! Love to you all

Dear Floriane, thank you for your encouragement and for keeping your sub in. Amen, to what you say about GHFP. Hearing from you brings to mind so many lovely memories of contact in the past. Love, Harris


From Haryanti again...

Thank you for your very thoughtful response Harris. I couldn’t agree more.  Even the earth seems to be crying out. I was present once when Bapak said that when the level of anger in the world is high, earthquakes and other disasters are the outcome. It’s a sobering thought. And many times Subud has seemed to me to be so inward-looking – not the wide, all encompassing, compassionate body it could be - there are still members who look slightly askance at non members. It’s crazy. Although I do think that aspect is changing, thank heaven.

Bapak also said that if just 2/3rds of the world’s population were practicing the latihan, there would be peace in the world.

As a unique collective of people that contains those with insight, imagination and intelligence, and  religious and cultural experiences from all over the world, let’s hope we can together find a way forward.

Take care, with love, Haryanti


Dear Harianti... Thank you for this, most interesting... I guess all we can do is soldier on, soldier on... love, Harris


From Dawn Ives at Wisma Mulia

I usually print 2 copies of Subud Voice for our residents to read here at Wisma Mulia Residential Home, but I cannot find a printable version. Will I now have to go into each article individually and print from there?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Dear Dawn,

Yes, that's right, you print the individual articles.

We will keep on improving and responding to reader feedback. For instance, some people have companied that the size of the print is too small both online and when printed out. We are looking into this for example.

I can imagine the small font especially when printed is a problem for the folks at Wisma. Trouble is if we increase the font size, then it is bigger to print out, then I will get lots of complaints about that. People seem to think I am the New York Times with vast resources and a vast staff instead of one little guy in Dingley Village, Melbourne, subsisting on the old age pension. Perhaps you better issue them all with magnifying glasses until we sort out this conundrum.

 Some of the advantages of the present method are...

You no longer  have to download a .pdf which some people always had trouble with. It’s now immediately available and accessible to you on the home page.

You do not have to print out the whole thing. You can if you want to, but you can also just print out the articles of particular interest to you.

You will of course end up with a sheaf of papers rather than a "magazine". But you see this is the best way to produce it online. You have to get out of the mindset of how things were in the days when magazines were just a printed thing. This is a magazine designed for the Internet, which you can also print out.

This method enables us to print much longer and more substantial articles than ever before as we were always limited by the size of the .pdf. In the olden days we were limited by the size of the magazine we could print. The .pdf enabled us to include more and now this method of presentation enables us to produce much more in much more depth.

Furthermore,  it has many additional features. It opens up the whole vast world of interconnectivity with the vast resource of the Internet. It enables us to include photographs in colour in a much better way than we were able to before. It also enables us to include sound and video right there embedded in the articles, a greatly enriching experience.

I hope this explanation is of some use and reassurance to you. Love to all at wonderful, wonderful Wisma. How I love and admire that place. Especially give my special love to special Patricia my special friend! Did you all see recent articles and marvellous pics in the Voice about wonderful Paulette and her wonderful lions? Did the residents love that? I would love to know.

Dearest Love to you and all at Wisma and David Barker, who made it all possible, and all of you who carry the torch. We need 100 Wismas! Love, Harris


From Hanafi Fraval again

Yeah, but it seems I'm still too far ahead. I wanna use an iPad! And it's a piece of cake to load the whole pdf of each month's SV at once. I spend the whole day on the darn computer. I read stuff on the computer with my head. I read magazines, books, and my iPad from somewhere else. I have a suggestion:

Why not include an option for those who would like it to download the whole SV edition?

And by the way, what happened to Ilaine's section – the best part of SV and the main reason to get it in the first place? Although I do like the other stuff too, Ilaine's section is special.  :))

Why can't you call up the web site on your Ipad? No different form when it was a pdf except it is now more immediately accessible.

It is not possible to put it all in one down loadable file.

It's true we don’t have Inner Voice as we used to. I mean the concept of Inner Voice really only made sense when it was print or .pdf and Ilaine was actually in the "inner" of the magazine. We still carry the same material not just labelled as Inner Voice. I often used to supply it anyway. See Rachman Mitchell's piece as an example of "inner voice" material, that is spiritual experiences... or going back a bit to Rashida (Richendra's) pieces etc etc.


From Rohana Darlington again

I think you’re really good trying to help the disaffected youth you mention below. I could never do that kind of work myself, but have worked as an art therapist with psychiatric in-patients for many years so I guess we all have different talents. My son-in-law Gary is an eminent academic in London who is advising the police on how to plan security for the Olympic games next year, worked with the Met Police advising on strategy during the London riots a couple of months ago and also flies to countries round the world setting up sports projects for young boys. Despite all this high powered stuff he still finds time every Monday to run a youth club in inner city London and has set up two football teams for youth in inner city London which he attends every Saturday with my young grandson. I do admire people like him and yourself for engaging in this work. Gary says football is the ideal way to get the boys involved in teams and it is an alternative from gangs.

We’d love to see a Ron Crumb cartoon if you can dig any out.

Yesterday I put up a poster at Subud telling people SV is now free online again and will keep trying to promote it and will send our group sub as soon as I can master it!

Dear Rohana

How dramatic and even frightening. The chaos in our world. Especially economic, which has so many roll-on effects particularly in the growth of a disaffected youth, which seems to be such a problem in the UK.

I am about to start working with disaffected Polynesian youth in my area. They come from the pacific islands usually via New Zealand.

Recent immigrant groups to our multicultural society are having problems settling in. There is crime, violence, amongst them and towards the society in general. Much needs to be done. Especially amongst the Polynesian and the recently arrived Africans from such places as war-torn Sudan.

Yes, Ron Crumb! I might try to find the cartoon and send you. Warning, in case you search him out on the Internet or in bookstores: many of his cartoons are "adults only"! (But fortunately not "keep on trucking".)


From Rohana Darlington again

I’m flattered! I know how hard it can be to keep a Subud project going, so keep on trucking...

I love keep on trucking...do you know the cartoons of Rom Crumb who invented this

concept and made beautiful cartoons of it:?

No, I haven’t seen his cartoons; I’ll have to investigate them! I never knew the phrase came from Rom Crumb. We used this phrase a lot in Manchester when vandals were trying to burn down our Subud Centre, as we needed to encourage ourselves while hunting for the pleasant Subud House we have now. A couple of months ago we had riots in Manchester and were really glad we did move out in time as the area the Subud House used to be in had the nickname  Gunchester because there was so many shootings in the area!

I hope all is peaceful again.

POET’S CORNER… a rave and a rant from Emmanuel Williams

Singing in the car                    
 For Adrienne Thomas

Cruising down 101 S., long smooth continuum of freeway, on and off ramps
steering wheel hands, left foot on the accelerator
white clouds adrift over the Peninsula
fine hairs shining on my forearm

This is another nowhere like suburban shopping centers
stacks of bottled water outside supermarkets
multistorey office blocks whose sheen is empty sky
discarded territories under freeways
places where the spirit flutters like a crimson butterfly and finds no place to land.

It's time to sing.
Yes it's time to sing.
Low notes. Deep rich man sounds.
Here it comes… guts full of breath and it’s AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
yes that's a good note more please AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH
Sing it sing it sing it from the liver yes liver in there open up now
sing it from the unkempt toenails yes all 10 of you
seeing it from the buttocks and the bollocks oh yes there’s a sound
sing it from forgotten chakras and hollow reverberating bones and all the blood the going out of it the coming back AAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUU
Sing it from the brain the brain miraculous inside the skull
Here’s a tune, a solemn pattern, ancient chorus, aboriginal maybe or Russian
wish you were here could hear it
melody always sounding
sounding out from deep within the onwarding of everything
so big it sounds from all my being
all except the steady auto pilot checking speed and watching out for cops
It’s changing my goodness yes I love it!
And now yes I am singing for the world, no for humanity
for we who seem intent on digging an enormous grave we can all jump into
yes this is for us for all of us, a big theme singing from my deep big bass
oh God it feels good!
This is for everybody driving south on 101 today
the lady in the Lexus, the man in the Mercedes, the Asian family in the SUV
and for everyone who isn’t
and I'm thinking as I sing I'm wishing you were singing too
yes you and you and you and all of you
singing as you drive down 101 south,
singing from your toenails and your unseen fluids
singing from the life that lives inside you
everyone on all the freeways in America, singing for the world.

Emmanuel Williams


You who reap without sowing
you who are possessed by the need to possess
who are controlled by the need to control
you for whom compassion is a character defect
for whom moderation is an unknown town
30,000 feet below you
you who despise those who obey you
and destroy those who defy you
you who are obsessed by endless power games
you who gamble with tribes and eco-systems
you who jump the cosmic line .


Ours is the planet you are pillaging
Ours are the leaders you buy or bypass.
Fat as lava, you boom behind the bulletins you own
behind the darkened windows and the guarded portals
of your parasitic universe
impose the brute momentum of your insatiable appetites
bleed the wetback in your toxic fields
and slam the factory gates on anyone who cries

Blind as cancer
loyal as a psychopath.
your system swells and spreads
draining Gaia with its huge prehensile gob
You who think you own it
you are owned.
You who think you are its master
are its servant.
You are a victim
as we will never be.

Beyond the hum of Lears and cyber-cash
Eve and Adam sniff the wind
And scream for all their children
And their dreams.


Emmanuel Williams

These poems were first posted in Subud Creative


WHAT IS SUBUD?… in words and video

This magazine is produced by members of the spiritual movement known as Subud. Recently the magazine became available free and online to the general public as well as to Subud members.

Because  there will probably be some new readers who are unfamiliar with Subud, it seems a good idea to provide a few words of explanation about the movement.

Subud is a spiritual movement which originated in Indonesia in the 1920s and spread to the West in 1957, first to England and then all around the world.  It has always remained fairly small and inconspicuous, with perhaps only about 15-20,000 active members worldwide, although it is represented in close to 80 countries.

The central spiritual experience in Subud is called the latihan. “Latihan” is a commonplace Indonesian word which simply means exercise or drill. It is short for the Indonesian phrase “latihan kejiwaan” which means spiritual exercise.

Although it originated in Indonesia, and although the founder, Bapak Muhammad Subuh, was  a Muslim, Subud is not Indonesian or Islamic. Everyone in Subud is encouraged to follow their own nationality and beliefs. Subud is not a system of belief but an experience available to everyone regardless of race or religion. It does not contain  any particular culture or religion. It is open to people of all religions, political persuasions, nationalities and ethnicities.

Subud members are encouraged to be active in the world and endeavour to give form to what they have received in the latihan. Activities include setting up businesses and humanitarian and cultural projects. There is a democratic international Subud organisation, the World Subud Association (WSA) which unites the various national organisations in Subud which meet together at World Congresses usually held every four years. A more compact body, the World Subud Council (WSC), looks after the affairs of Subud between Congresses.

Other important organisations in Subud are Susila Dharma International (SDI) which co-ordinates the social welfare projects of Subud members; the Muhammad  Subuh Foundation (MSF) which funds a variety of Subud projects; Subud Enterprise Services International (SESI) which supports the work of Subud entrepreneurs; Subud Youth Activities International (SYAI) which works with young Subud members; Subud International Cultural Associaion (SICA) which supports cultural projects; and the Subud International Health Association (SIHA) whihc works in the area of health.

This is a very brief sketch of Subud. Those wishing for a more detailed explanation should go to http://www.subudvoice.net/whatissubud/home.html. There is a link to it on the left hand side of our home page. There are also links to the web sites of the various organisations mentioned above which also include explanations of Subud. See for example the official web site of WSA, www.subud.com.

If anyone would like to make contact with a Subud group near them, they should check the telephone directory to see if there is a group in their locality. Or they should go to the web site www.subud.com where they will find contact information for the WSA and the various national bodies.


VIDEO ABOUT SUBUD…View it now right here

FINDING SUBUD” is a 9 minute documentary by Sam Mulgrew (not a Subud member), a student at the Christchurch Broadcasting School.

“As a class film assignment, we have to make a documentary. I’m making mine about Subud. I was searching the internet for what’s been happening recently in Christchurch looking for ideas, and I came across an article about the Subud World Congress event held locally, attended by 1700 people from all around the world. I’ve never heard of this thing called Subud… so I became intrigued.”

See it for yourself on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snJfaHQeevE


November 2011

Subud Voice is published monthly and the English edition is issued on the 1st of each month at www.subudvoice.net

A Spanish facsimile edition usually appears a little later on the same web site.


Send articles, photos, cartoons etc. to Harris Smart, Editor Subud Voice, email: editor@subudvoice.net Tel: + 61 3 95118122

Submissions are invited which relate to Subud life or are from Subud members. We cannot guarantee when, or if, a submission can be published. Preference will be given to articles of about 2000 words or less accompanied by a photograph, well-written in English and dealing with the activities of Subud members, or expressing a Subud member’s perspective on a subject.

Articles should be written in such a way that they are intelligible and interesting to both Subud members and the general public. Sometimes this means providing an explanatory introduction or notes for the non-Subud reader. Articles and photos should be submitted electronically by email.

There is no payment for submissions. Correspondence about articles will generally not be entered into. Submissions to Subud Voice may be edited for a variety of reasons including the need to shorten them or improve expression. If you do not want your submission to be edited in any way, please mark it clearly NOT TO BE EDITED.


The opinions expressed in the various articles are the sole responsibility of their authors and cannot be seen as representing the opinion of either the editor or the World Subud Association.


The name Subud ® and the Seven Circles Symbol are registered marks of the World Subud Association.



Classifieds: 50 cents a word. Minimum charge AUD$15.00. Display rates on request. (Developing countries – no charge).





From Raphaëlle, French SICA coordinator.

Dear Harris…Could you give all the SICA websites address in the next issue? And speak about them? If someone do not understand the language, it is possible to ask automatic translation to help.

I know four: www.subud-sica.org , www.subud-sica.fr , www.sicabritain.co.uk, www.sica-deutshland.de , there are certainly others…Love. Raphaëlle, French SICA coordinator.

Hi Raphaelle, thank you for this suggestion. Please send all sites you think you should be included. Love, Harris


Hello friends of ICDP!

Just want to inform you that we are now on facebook, so please join us there for latest updates and info!

We also want trainers and other participants to send "field notes" from projects that you are working on. Pictures is also nice to share (make sure that ppl represented on theese agreed to be on the webpage) . If you have someting to share with the rest of the ICDP family send the notes and pictures to me at: storkas@stud.ntnu.no and I will post it on the facebook page!

We would love to hear how you are doing.

Link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/ICDP-International-Child-Development-Programme/284229031606874

Best Wishes, Marianne Storkås

ICDP, Marketing manager


SUBUD WILL LAST FOR 800 YEARS… a talk by Bapak

Since Subud Voice is now once again available in full to the general public, we no longer publish talks by Bapak or Ibu Rahayu in their entirety, because it is felt that, generally speaking, these are really only comprehensible and of value to people who already practise the latihan.

Bapak always insisted that his talks are “explanations” for people who already follow the latihan. One of his oft-repeated maxims was, “First the experience, then the explanation!”

He compared the latihan to eating a mango. There is no way you can “explain” the taste of a mango to someone who has not tasted one. First, you must experience it for yourself, then you can talk about it.

At the same time, brief quotations from Bapak, the founder of Subud, and his daugther, Ibu Rahayu, are often comprehensible to anyone, and may contain wisdom or advice that is akin to what is said in religion or other spiritual traditions.

So what we will do in Subud Voice from now on is generally suggest a talk which relates in some way to the contents of the issue and include a brief quotation of general interest. Subud members may then go to the www.subudlibrary.net web site to read the talk in its entirety.


From Pewarta Vol.14, No.1  November 1979
Copyright © 2007 the World Subud Association. All rights reserved.
Published by Subud Publications International

Code Number : 79 CDK 2
Provisional Translation

Delivered at Wisma Subud Jakarta, Indonesia January 7, 1979…

The fact is that Bapak is only a pioneer in Subud. Bapak is not the one with authority. The only one with authority over you and in your lives is God Almighty who can bring you to heaven. And Bapak has set up this dewan of helpers so that gradually they can learn to feel the certainty and the conviction of their own relationship with Almighty God and their own guidance that they receive from Almighty God.

Bapak is here with you to give you advice and so on. But you have to understand that Bapak is a human being and although now Bapak is fresh and healthy and strong, nevertheless Bapak is a human being like all of us, so that one of these days, after some years, Bapak will no longer be with us. And if by that time we have still not leaved learned to stand on our own feet, how to look after, how to receive for ourselves and how to express in reality what we have received from Almighty God, then Subud will be limited to Bapak’own life span, the and Subud will begin and end with Bapak.

But that is not the Will of God Almighty. The Will of God Almighty is only that Bapak should be a pioneer, that Bapak should bring to us something which will bring us into contact with God’s Power. And once we have received this, once   Bapak has brought us face to face with this, then we can carry it on ourselves. So if the helpers can carry out their duties, if the helpers can put into practice what Bapak has told you, then Bapak has received that Subud will last for 800 years, and only after 800 years will there be some change, will it turn in some different direction. This Subud that Bapak has brought will only last that long, provided that during Bapak’s lifetime the helpers have begun to feel for themselves the reality of with what they have received through the pioneering of Bapak.


EDITORIAL…Why we have changed Subud Voice again

Subud Voice editorial team. Editor-in-chief, Yo-Yo, on right. Good-looking but rather young and inexperienced, Yo-Yo is responsible for any mistakes that occur such as typos, objectionable opinions, uncalled for remarks etc.

As from this issue, October 2011, Subud Voice goes back to being free to the whole world.

Bit of a shock? Those who have already subscribed may well be thinking, “But I paid! Why should I be supporting all those freeloaders?”

Think of it as supporting the mission of Subud, part of which is to make ourselves available to “all of mankind”. Not to advertise, not to evangelise, but at least to make it possible for people to find us.

But if any subscriber feels hardly done by, please email me at editor@subudvoice.net and I will happily refund your sub. I know that many of our subscribers will want to contribute to the continuation of Subud Voice. You will still get all the value you paid for, but you will be helping a lot of other people get it too.

When I lived in America, I used to watch the Public Broadcast TV channel. It was so much better with its excellent dramas and documentaries than the commercial pap.

Every so often, in the middle of a program someone would come on air and say, “We're desperate. Send money right now! Please subscribe!” You got the feeling that unless you sent some money right then the channel would go off air and disappear before your eyes.

I subscribed. I did not mind that millions of other people who watched, did not subscribe. I was glad that my subscription kept it going and that I was helping to make it available to “all of mankind”. I was happy to do it. It felt good.

I am hoping that those wonderful people who have recently subscribed to Subud Voice will feel the same...


Why the change back to free? We didn't get enough subscribers. Not enough people are interested in paying to follow the unfolding chronicle of the development of Subud. There is no point in us doing all the work of producing Subud Voice for about 100 people. Past experience shows that if it is free a lot of people come to it (about 10,000 a month).

Thank God, that the wonderful Guerrand Hermes Foundation for Peace who once again came to the party with sponsorship - otherwise we would not be able to continue at all. And thank you to that wonderful band of people who did subscribe and who combined with the Foundation will enable us to continue.

Nowadays, I live in Melbourne and I subscribe to several non-commercial radio stations that provide niche broadcasting in things I am interested in, things I value, things I am glad that they are there. One is a classical music station, the other plays jazz, blues etc.

I am happy that I help support them to go out to everyone. I do not mind that I am helping a lot of people to get it for free. I feel no resentment about that. I feel joy.

And these days, through the internet these little radio stations in Melbourne do go out to THE WHOLE WORLD. People in Vladivostok listen to them. People in Singapore, people everywhere.

I hope you'll feel; like doing he same for Subud Voice.

New Format

I know that many people still long for the days of getting the Voice in the post, but those days are gone. This is the way the world is moving and I believe that we are offering more and better than ever before.

You will have already found that this month's Subud Voice has a new and much better online format. Many people complained about the size of the .PDF as taking to long to download, downloading badly etc, so our new system solves that.

Also makes it easier for you to read and print out the articles of particular interest to you rather than having to print out the whole thing and use up your colour cartridge (another frequent complaint!). We can publish more content than ever before and display photographs more powerfully.

Hendrih Horthy formed a band called Ozone which has recorded a song called "Kantong Plastik" with an anti-pulltion message. They recorded a video in Rungan Sari using children from BCU School as actors and dancers. The video clip was made by Borneo Productions International.

Our new format also carries a lot more interconnectivity so the vast resources of the internet are made available. Click here www.subud.com  and you go instantly to the site. Click here editor@subudvoice.net and you get an email to me (saying how much you like Subud Voice and how happy you are not to want your subscription back).

The new format also gives us the capacity to carry video and audio right here as part of the magazine. For example, here is a video clip in keeping with the rock 'n roll tone of this issue. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YuKTYqiU8o

To read all about Borneo Productions International and see more of their films go to www.borneoproductionsinternational.com

The Talks

Being free to the world means that we cannot publish Bapak and Ibu talks anymore as these are “for Subud members only”. We know that in the old print days people always liked to get their talk in Subud Voice and we used to be an important conduit for the talks.

But no longer so. There are now many ways the talks can be accessed. SPI prints many volumes of them and regularly emails talks And then we have Subud Library, a vast treasure house of, I think, almost every talk ever given. New talks by Ibu come out by email as soon as they available and are often available on video within days of having been given (at Subud Library www.subudlibrary.net).

We will select a talk which perhaps has some special relevance to articles in the issue of SV. You will have noticed in the September issue, when we had material about Sri Lanka, we published a talk from Colombo.

In this issue there is a bit of an emphasis on talent, so we suggest a talk touching on talent. We publish a brief extract from the talk and suggest you go to Subud Library to read the rest if you wish.

In This Issue

We might call this the “Rock and Roll” issue of Subud Voice as there are several articles touching on Subud members' experience in the music industry. But of course there is much more besides... the solid gold of the ongoing interviews with Mansur Geiger on Kalimantan and Olvia on YUM, for example, and others too numerous to mention.

Love to all

 Harris (and Yo-Yo) for The Subud Voice Team




We would love to have your response to Subud Voice.

Were there any articles in particular in this or recent editions that resonated with you? Were there any that particularity entertained, informed or enlightened you? Were there any that made a difference to your life, brought new insights or valuable ideas and feelings? Were there any that caused you to reflect on aspects of your own life?

We are interested in building a community of like-minded souls, of people who like to communicate and share experiences, both their inner spiritual experience and how this plays out in their daily lives - in their work, their relationships and so on.

Do you approve of the general direction in which we are going of opening Subud Voice up more to the diversity of experience in Subud and the diversity of experience in the world? Do you find it strange, odd or even disconcerting to find articles about rock'n'roll in Subud Voice (complete with video clips) or do you understand and applaud a greater openess and variety of experience? Does it open some windows and let some fresh air in?

Or what did you think of Sudarto's book which you got as a gift with the September issue? Was it full of intersting and illuminating things, just as relevant as when he wrote them 50 years ago? Did it excite you, open your understanding, get you thinking, or was it all “ho-hum”?

We are trying to reflect the diversity of Subud and the diversity of life. The September issue was a real “return to the pure source of Subud” with articles about the recent Subud gatherings in Wisma Subud and Rungan Sari. October issue is more of the other side of things, the energy and colour of the outer life. I guess these are the poles between which all of us swing, inner and outer life, the interplay between spiritual and material experience.

Not just for Subud members buit bring subud in all tis variety and vitality to the whole world.

The Mission of Subud Voice

I take Subud Voice quite seriously. I really believe we have a purpose and a mission.

For me, Subud Voice is based on a talk that Bapak gave in 1984 which has since become a guiding light in my life. People are always saying listen to Bapak's talks and pay attention to what he says. Well, I may have failed to listen to many of them (I was probably asleep at the time), but at least I heard one and have tried to put it into pactice in my life.

I took this to heart and produced a book and several since. I do not delude myself that I have produced the book Bapak was talking about. It remains a goal to which one constantly aspires, and constantly falls short of. But as we say in Australia, aim for the stars and you might hit the back fence.

To me, Subud Voice is like a book, quite vast book, which has been unfolding for 25 years; millions of words, a vast comependium of Subud experience in all its aspects. In the talk which Bapak gave in March 1984 - in his house, delivered to a fairly small group of people who had been attending meetings in Wisma Subud - he urged that someone should write a book about Subud for the general public.

It is clear that he is talking about a book which focuses on Subud members' visible activities – enterprises, social welfare, culture etc.He said that the book should show “the proof, the evidence and the reality” and that “Subud has every kind of thing in it”. In this talk he also talked in general about how SICA could play a really important part in attracting people to Subud.

This is the spirit in which we are producing Subud Voice. Not a book of course, but a periodical – a book in serial form - but we think the same message from Bapak applies. Of course it still goes mostly to Subud members but gradually we hope that it will also reach the general public.

Here is a quotation transcribed by Muchtar Martins from that talk...

The world at the moment is looking for a way out, a way by which a limit or constraint can be placed on man’s passions, the expansion of man’s passions. Everyone is wondering about this and looking for a way that it can be done.

And we have a way, a way that can relieve people of their anxiety, their depression when they survey the state of the world today. The book Bapak is talking about is what is happening now. It contains proofs, realities, evidence, which demonstrates the scope or scale of Subud. There is every kind of thing in it. It is very broad and wide.

It is a book about the way Subud has developed and what it is. As Bapak is talking, Bapak can see pictures of this book in front of him that he wishes to convey to you.

...the book..embraces all aspects of Subud...Is one that speaks about reality. It describes what has happened, what is happening and the direction things are actually going...

Very best wishes and hoping to hear from you,

Harris Smart, Editor Subud Voice


JENKINS AND THE STONES…Peter Jenkins and the Rolling Stones

It is not generally known that Peter Jenkins, founder of the YES Quest,  was once offered the opportunity to manage The Rolling Stones. This is the story...

It was the early 'Sixties, the dawn of 'Swinging London', and Jenkins was a young man making his way in the world, seeking fame and fortune in publicity and promotions around show biz and the media.

One day he was invited to go and look at the new decor of a club called “THE SCENE”, which was owned by his friend and client, Ronan O'Rahilly, the man who started the pirate radio station Radio Caroline.

The club was in a cellar and the decor seemed designed to render the effect of a subterranean cavern, an interior of fake rocks covered with silver paper.  The cubicles where people sat to drink their coffee were made to look like little caves.

“What do you think of it?”  Ronan asked.

“It looks like Santa's grotto,” Jenkins said.

While Ronan was digesting this remark and figuring out if it was a good thing or not, a large, untidy figure came looming out of the shadows saying, 'Hey, baby, I like the way you think... we can work together.”

Giorgio Gomelsky.

This man was Giorgio Gomelsky. He was about 30 years old and very good-looking in a dark, rumpled, cavalier, fashion. He looked like one of the three musketeers gone to seed. He was surrounded by a cloud of fumes from the Gauloise cigarettes he smoked incessantly and he kept spilling ash down his suit as he gestured wildly with his hands.

He and Jenkins hit it off instantly and they went to have a drink together, leaving Ronan to contemplate his grotto.  They exchanged life stories.  Giorgio was originally a Russian, from Georgia, but he'd been brought up in a little village in Italy.  He'd come to England about ten years before which accounted for his sometimes erratic English. He'd been a film editor, but now he was moving into managing rock groups and producing records.

He was very enthusiastic about one of his groups in particular. “Going to be the biggest  group in the whole world, baby,” he kept on saying.

The name of this group was The Rolling Stones. Jenkins had never heard of them. However, he allowed Giorgio to persuade him to come along and see them perform at his Crawdaddy Club at the Station Hotel in Richmond where they played every Sunday night.


Jenkins swings in London. Photo by his friend Jeremy Fletcher, paparazzi and documentor of the London scene.
When Jenkins arrived at the hotel, the  Stones were already playing.  Giorgio was on the door collecting money.
“Go on, baby. Go on in,'” Giorgio urged him, and so he went inside.


There were about twenty rather bored-looking people in the room and this five-man group playing up on the stage.  Jenkins doesn't remember exactly what number they were playing.  It was some rhythm and blues thing, might've been “I'm a King Bee, Baby” or “Walking the Dog” or “Little Red Rooster”. Jenkins took the scene in at a glance and went outside again.

“Well, what do you think of them?”  Giorgio asked.

“I can see why you sit outside,” Jenkins said.

“No, baby, seriously.  Can't you see the  potential? They're going to be the biggest group in the world.”

Sure enough, the audience grew and grew and  Giorgio’s Crawdaddy Club moved to the much larger Richmond Athletic Club where a huge queue formed before each performance.

Because he and Giorgio became good friends and worked together for a number of years, he had quite a bit to do with The Stones.  They had a nickname for him.  They called him 'Scarlet'.  Why they called him 'Scarlet', and whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, he never knew.

The Management Contract

With all this success it was time for Giorgio to sign a formal management contract with his group. So one day Giorgio and Jenkins went to the Rolling Stones' flat in Edith Grove Fulham, contract in hand. Giorgio noticed a little red plastic bucket on the doorstep.  This was his little red plastic bucket which he had loaned to The Stones on a temporary basis for them to use when they went around pasting up notices about their forthcoming performances.

The bucket was full of congealed paste on top of which some mould had grown and other disgusting objects had been  deliberately added to the mix to create the foulest possible concoction.

This was a terrible affront to Giorgio’s sensibilities. “These nincomidiots”, he protested, “have been cultivating growths in my plastic bucket. I will not sign a contract with ninicomidiots”. He turned on his heel and stalked off.

As they walked towards Giorgio’s car, a sudden thought came to him. “Jenkins”, he said, “you don’t have a group, do you”.

It was the shameful truth. Jenkins did not have a group. Not even one. He hung his head.

“What about the stones, Jenkins? How much will you give me for the stones?”

Jenkins thought quickly. He really ought to have a group. Everyone else did. “Ok Giorgio, I’ll give you two hundred pounds.”

“Oooooh Jenkins. They may be nincomidiots, but they are good boys. two hundred pounds is not enough.”

So they left it at that and a couple of months later, Andrew Oldham picked up the contract. The rest, is history.

Jenkins Emigrated

Jenkins eventually emigrated to Australia where, at the time he told me this story, he was living on a hill in Dapto near Wollongong. He once told me that he'd had one hundred and twenty jobs in his life and been fired from sixty of them.  He could also name a number of jobs for which he'd applied and not been accepted and these include street sweeper and tram conductor.

On the other hand, he'd had a number of very good jobs. He had been Promotions Manager with Rupert Murdoch's organisation, and Publicity Director for the Festival of Sydney, but he'd retired from all of that now to his house on the hill in Dapto with his wife and three children and the fourth one on the way.  He'd become a mature-age student at the University of Wollongong, right at the leading edge of the post-industrial society, a pioneer in the land of the education/leisure nexus, a toiler in the vineyard of the social impact of the new technology.  In other words, a drop-out.

Did he ever feel a twinge of pain when he read in the newspaper that The Rolling Stones have just grossed another $200 million from their  tour?  That a good chunk of that money would have been his? Did he ever wonder if he made the right decision?

If he had regrets, he hid them well.  High on his hill above Wollongong, he could afford to be philosophical.  In the evening, as the sun went down behind the escarpment and the kangaroos hopped through his front yard, he could reflect that money isn't everything after all. Surrounded by wife and children, secure in hearth and home, content after his day of honest toil writing essays, he could conclude that he had a very narrow squeak with destiny indeed.

Think of the sheer hell his life might've been, the unrelieved torment of it all, the endless counting of the money, the squabbles, the needles and the alcohol, the suicides and the overdoses, the interminable watching of cricket with Mick Jagger, the frenetic activity, the absolute boredom. The unendurable ennui and grinding toil of ploughing through the endless queues of  panting groupies. The stress, the tension, the temptations. Ah no, a narrow squeak indeed.

Giorgio went on to manage other groups, including the Yardbirds, and on their record, “Still I’m Sad’ can be heard supplying a kind of Gregorian chant background in a rich bass voice.


Around twenty years ago, Harris Smart interviewed me about my time in  the music industry in London in the sixties, and wrote several articles about my experiences with the pirate radio Sation, Caroline, Polydor Records and this one about the Stones. Two of them were published by Billy Blue magazine and we shared the money.

These events were all happening around the time I joined Subud. In those early days of latihan I could hardly remember who I was or which way was up and which way down.

Shortly after the Stones episode, I scored a lucrative five year contract with Ronan O’Rahilly to run  ‘Caroline Promotions Pty Ltd’, the merchandising arm of Radio Caroline. But after a few months it was all too much, so I got a job sweeping leaves in Kensington Gardens.

Giorgio turned up at the Gardens one day and said, “Jenkins.....I’ve got a job for you”.

I said, “Leave me here with the leaves, Giorgio. I’m happy.”

He said, “I’ll pay you whatever you want”. So I left leaf sweeping to join him in Paragon Publicity, a company financed by Polydor Records to promote their product, which included the Track and Atlantic labels with Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding. I struggled to balance the initial round of Subud purification and the fast lane, but most days I went home at 2pm, laying down on the back seat of a taxi.

“Jenkins was one of the brightest young men in London,” Giorgo told a friend some years later, “And then he joined Subud.”

When I got my Subud name from Bapak, I decided to cut off all contact with my old friends and my old life. Not long afterwards, another letter from Bapak sent me to Australia, where for seven years the only work I could manage was cleaning, gardening and very basic clerical jobs.

But a couple of years ago, I felt an urge to make contact with Giorgio again, after a gap of 38 years.

It wasn’t too hard. I got onto Google and followed his career in the music industry from London to Paris for a number of years, and then New York.

It was lovely. We chatted on-line and Giorgio, who had just celebrated his seventy fifth birthday, suggested we write a memoir of those days together, as an email conversation.

I wrote several episodes and Giogio loved them. He has promised to provide his contribution soon, but I am still waiting.

The urge to contact Giorgio and the resulting exchange was strangely satisfying, drawing a line under an earlier life.

Peter Jenkins' current life - running the YES QUEST amongst other things.

The life that Jenkins drew a line under...


SNAKES ALIVE!.. Mansur Geiger in Kalimantan Part 2

King cobra.

Harris: You talked about an experience with a python. What about encounters with poisonous snakes? 

Mansur: One of the worst was in the Katingan River which runs through to the west of the Kahayan River, way, way up river, actually where Bapak told us to live. This was one of those jungle latihan experiences.

We were going off to work along a jungle path, and we had a young guide who was our out-front guy. I had wandered off the path and he turned around and called me. And as he did that, not looking where he was going, he trod on this huge king cobra. It was about four meters long and I was next in line.

It was one of those moments that just went into sort of freeze frame. I've seen it in the movies, but this was real life. The snake was raised to strike, and this was a tiny little guy, the snake was literally taller than him striking down at him. He was trying to avoid it with kung fu-type moves; they all know a kind of martial art defence.

So he’s brushing it off, and everyone else ran away, and then the snake looked around and there I was. I instinctively turned to run, but managed to fall in a hole and completely dislocated my back. I couldn’t move. And as I fell I thought, “Oh dear, here it is! Death, by King Cobra!” In my mind’s eye, I could see this fanged thing coming cheek-to-cheek with me in the next five seconds.

I had a big mandau knife that I always used to carry for cleaning the pathways and stuff. I thought, do I want to go arm-to-arm with this bugger? And I thought, there's no point, l ain’t going to win. So I just went completely limp. The thing sure enough came up and pretty well kissed me on the nose with his huge, long, flicking tongue and looked at me as if to say, “OK. Yeah, you’re not that interesting.” And went away. The strange thing was I felt entirely calm through this whole encounter.

 Harris: Wow!

Mansur: I gathered myself together. I managed to stand up, but I realized something really bad had happened to my back. There were about five of us who had all scattered, and we came back together and walked down to the river about 50 meters away where I found the young kid on the riverbank. He was sitting there very calmly and he said, “I’ve been bitten”, and there were these two enormous puncture marks in his groin.

Then the interesting thing that happened was that we all instantly went into prayer. And this kid was completely calm. And then my original guide, Pak Sumbin, disappeared into the forest and came back about two minutes later with a chunk of wood which was oozing white sap,its called a pohon kupang. So we tried to wash the wound and then rub this sap on. You couldn’t cut the bite, it was right in his groin, and you couldn’t tourniquet it.

I pulled Pak Sumbin aside and asked, “So what's the story?” And he said, “Well, if he’s conscious in 20 minutes, that’s a good sign. And if he isn't dead in three hours, he might well make it.” We were days from anywhere. We had no means of calling up a big company helicopter for support or evacuation. I went back to the little kid and he said, “Yeah. Well don’t let me be a bother to you. You need to go on about your busy day I’ll just lay here and die.” These people have a remarkably surrendered nature.

I went back to the others and said, “Listen, I'm not capable of watching someone die from a king cobra bite.” It destroys the nervous system and you just suffocate as your lungs don’t operate anymore. “So I'm going off. Let's make a stretcher and take him back to camp, make him comfortable. And I'm just staying away for three hours. You know better than I what to do with this. Use some of your local magic and remedies, guys, because I sure ain’t got any.”

But that’s not the end of the story because when they looped the stretcher and put him on it, and we’re going to carry him out, we walked past this huge clamp of roots, one of these big Baringin trees. The snake had gone in there. So we all walked by it, and then the snake came straight up and went lunging at the same guy on the stretcher.

Harris: The same guy again?

Mansur: Same guy. I didn’t know why it didn’t bother with anyone else, but he was just pissed with that guy. Maybe because he was the one who had trodden on it? They must have some kind of primitive memory.

A real memory bank like, “You’re the bugger who trod on me. I'm not interested in that big guy.” Cobras are very concerned about the use of their poison. A cobra doesn’t have the most deadly poison but it will surely kill you, it has the most volume. It has enough to kill 33 grown men. I’ve done a little research on snakes over the years

Harris: But you mean it doesn’t like to waste it?

Mansur: Yeah. They look after it. Anyway, I went on with work, but I couldn’t think about anything else but this guy dying, and there was this horrible day of wondering what was going on. I went back to the camp in the late afternoon and the kid was sitting up eating a bowl of noodles. He had a very swollen leg, and a big smile in his face and someone said, “Oh, yeah, he’s probably OK.”

So the next day we took him straight down to find a hospital, and I was realizing more and more that something was really wrong with my back. By the time I got back to Jakarta I was really in a bad way, I couldn’t move, and I ended up having horrendous back problems for a year.

Harris: And the boy survived?

Mansur: Yeah, he came back about two months later and said, “I want to go back to work.” And we all looked at each other and said, “Well OK.” And he came back but every day we walked up a river I noticed that if he was in the front, we’d meet a snake. So we ended up calling him Snake-Bait. “Okay, Snake-Bait if you're coming with us today, you go way up front. We will follow way behind.” Eventually, we found some other work for him to do.

But the closure to that whole story was almost exactly a year later, about 200 meters from that spot. I was still in pain from my back although it had got a lot better to the extent that I could sort of walk. So one afternoon we were out in the jungle looking at different rocks. And I was climbing up a really steep cliff and it was getting dark.

And the camp was just over the back of this steep ridge. There was one guy gone ahead of me who was cutting a basic path through the vegetation which was mostly small saplings on the jungle floor. I was crawling up this big chunk of roots. And as I pulled myself over the top of the ridge and there right in my face was this cobra poised to strike.

I spontaneously threw myself backwards and I must have gone down quite a long way. I was sailing through the air backwards thinking, “Oh dear. I'm going to stake myself on one of the saplings”, because they cut them with a real spear point at the end of them.

Fortunately I landed on my two feet and screamed out, “Snake!” All the guys shot off in every direction. And then this little bugger of a snake came down from three or four meters up the cliff and chased me.

I got a super blast of adrenalin and ran up the hill and beat every bush Dayak going to escape the snake. Exhausted, I stumbled back to camp, fell in the river, cleaned up and went to bed. And then the next morning, I woke up sleeping on a little mattress and said, “Oh, something is really different. What is it?” And the ache in my back that had been particularly acute in the morning had gone.

Harris: How amazing!

Working with the Dayaks

Mansur: Yeah, so all the Dayaks were joking, they love these kinds of situations, “Oh, you know, so it was the big snake's little brother who came to fix you up.” For them life is constantly under threat and the way they cope with it is to joke about the extraordinary circumstances under which they live. They’re the most self-entertaining people I've ever met.

They’re not yet disturbed by the material forces and wanting new hand phones or TVs or whatever. They are just totally accepting of their situation, “This is what we've got, let's have fun.”

And we used to have a lot of fun while we worked hard and they work really, really well. Many times over the years, people from different mining companies would ask me, “How on earth do you get these guys to work? We have a nightmare. We just can't keep them there. They sign on and five days later they disappear and go home.”

And I said, “Well, do you have a kind of typical white men professional, authoritarian, procedural-based program in place?” And of course most of them said, “Yeah.” I said, “Well, you got to realize these guys have never worked in that way.”

And do you think they just accept your authority, and acting like a big boss telling them, 'Listen here you dumb little bugger. Grab this thing and carry it up the hill otherwise you're fired.” And are you surprised when they say, 'Well fine. Goodbye?'”

So I was always on the same level with them. I don’t know how I learned the trick. I mean it was very easy because I lived my life in their houses, ate their food and travelled in their canoes, they were my exploration team.

So we were all on equal terms and I certainly never had the kind of managerial systems in place to be clocking in and clocking out, but we've managed it very much on that basis and now here we are wanting to start again and haven't had anyone at work for four years other than our core team, but they're all flooding back and all keen to work again. These people are black and white. They either love you or hate you; they don’t know our world of compromise.

Bapak once said to me, “The important thing with these people is that you feed them really well and treat them well and then they’ll do anything for you.” I mean we all still have to learn and adapt on both sides, and gradually of course we have brought them up to safety regulations, for example. I mean early on they wouldn’t want to wear shoes or a safety helmet.

Gradually we've introduced these things and they're very quick to learn. But again, it's simply the way of delivery. If you talk it to them not in an authoritarian way but actually say “please” they will do anything for you. I always used to say to these companies and different people, “Did you ever try using ‘Please?’”

Oh yeah, they'd say, “But that’s kind of odd. As the boss of exploration, why would I ask my employees with please?”

I said, “Well, I think you’ll find you’ll get a lot better result.”

Kalimantan Kids Club

Harris: And from the earliest days of the mining there was always an informal kind of social welfare aspect, wasn't there? You always used to do things like helping with their education, didn't you? So, it wasn’t like there was a big community liaison program in place but you spontaneously tried to help.

Mansur: Those really early years were quite a dilemma for me, being the first guy going up the river. It was like, “Oh-oh, here I am Mr. Coca Cola.” Because they started asking for things like watches, and I used to think about that - what is it that we can do to really help these people into a future that’s destined to come?

I mean, there's going to be development whether anyone likes it or not. Frankly I knew they're far better off with us in Subud as the people with a greater vision and mission, Bapak’s vision and mission for Kalimantan, than with anyone else. So that was the justification for me for being there.

But then it just came to me, well, the single thing that we can do is give them education because I’ve came to see how unbelievably smart they are, how uncontaminated their intelligence was. You can take someone who has never seen a water pump before in his life, and you say, “This, this, and this and you start it like this, then you do this.” And they’re like, “Oh, OK, fine.” They're very quick because they have survival instincts and survival logic. These are real bush people constantly living on the edge of survival.

So we started what we called the Kalimantan Kids Club which was initially funded by Murray and I and then others joined, such as Michael and Mariam David, and Susila Dharma. We started giving scholarships and that’s now been absorbed into Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta (YTS), the foundation that Bardolf Paul runs, and I think over the years we helped something like 150 kids through varying levels of schooling and higher education.

Yeah, I really came to that singular thing. The only one thing we can give here is education. Because only then they’ll have means to really participate in whatever unfolds. And be real participants and not just observers. They will have the means to do it. So one thing led to another and we actually set up the foundation. We started Kalimantan Kids Club about 1990, and then we setup YTS in 1997.

And then in 2002 we managed to attract Bardolf to come. In 2006 we established Bina Cita Utama which now schools 100 kids and has become greatly appreciated and valued by local people and government, it’s done much for Subud’s image in Central Kalimantan. More than 400 Subud members have financially supported BCU over the past 6 years and helped it to a near breakeven point. Our next project is to build a school campus that will accommodate 350 students. Hamid da Silva has donated 10 hectares of land to help facilitate this.

Bardolf came in with a new approach and built YTS up to what it is today, recognized internationally and by local government as a community development approach which is quite unique. Which actually brings about real measurable successes, and everyone these days is looking for measurable results.

YTS has developed collaborations and funding from more than 20 international Aid Agencies including UNDP, UNIDO, UNTAD, Ford Foundation, AusAid from the Australian Government and the Global Environment Fund. YTS is a world header today in reducing the use of mercury by local miners. Freeport, who of course have social problems with their mine in Papua, like everyone these days acknowledge just how important community relationships are.

The mineral project will fully fund and support all our YTS community programs this year and that funding will dramatically increase along with exploration success into millions of dollars annually. This is a massive bonus for us as YTS embeds most of our social development objectives and vision.

Our partners recognize that this social asset is as valuable as our mineral prospectivity. We started really early on this aspect of relationships. It began with my very first years going up the river in their boats and in their canoes and eating their food and developing a trust and a genuine respect..

I mean, these guys still ring me up, and if the word goes out that we’re back at work, they’ll be saying “Oh, we heard you're going back to work?” “Yeah.” “What can I do?” It is basic human nature to want to be appreciated.

 One guy last week, I haven’t seen him for like four years, he said, “I want to be a rock stacker and a night watchman.” So, this is an area where we’ve been jostling with our new partners a bit, because they don’t normally engage local people directly, they use contractors. So they think, “What? You’ve organized all these guys?”

Usually they just contract with an outside company to do the job. We believe that in the long run there are far greater benefits by training local people to do the work and directly benefit from the project. My friend who wanted to work as a watchman is now in Jakarta training as a lab assistant so he can help in preparing all the rock core drill samples we will produce for analysis.

At the end of the day, people living in remote and underdeveloped regions firstly want the opportunity to have good livelihoods, education and health services. What many environmental groups and agencies don’t seem to realize these days is that if you actually provide these things you have a far better likelihood of establishing meaningful environmental conservation.

If people have a good livelihoods they are far less likely to cut down trees or dredge up rivers for gold to feed their families. Its these activities that are most destructive to the environment in remote places..

In the final article in this series, Mansur talks about the prospects now that KGC has joined with Freeport.


YUM IN JAVA…Olvia Reksodipoetro on the history of YUM

Street clinic in the early days of YUM.

Olvia Reksodipoetro is the chair of Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) one of Subud's longest running social projects working in several different areas Indonesia. Here is Part 2 of her interview with Harris Smart...

Harris: In the last interview you told me about YUM's projects in Aceh and Kalimantan. Could we backtrack now and talk about how YUM started and what projects you are doing in Java?

Olvia: Well, actually YUM was set up legally in 1976. There was a priest, Father Wilbert Verheyen, who was doing some work with Sister Rina Ruigrok and Ibrohim Wesells, all from Holland. They were doing social work and then they became Subud members. So Bapak recommended the setting up of the Yayasan.

Harris: So the seed of it was with these three people?

Olvia: Yes, and Sharifin Gardiner was one of the Directors and Murray Clapham was Treasurer for a number of years. So it was a mixture of Indonesians and ex-pats living in Indonesia who set it up.

And it was excellent for 10, 15 years. I have found in old records that, for example, in 1985, they had five clinics. They were serving almost 100,000 patients a year. They were assisting over 1,000 children with sponsorships. They were doing fantastic work.

Harris: Would you just run through some of the projects that YUM has had over the years? There was a tuberculosis hospital, wasn’t there?

Olvia: It was in Cipanas in hills a few hours drive from Jakarta which is still an area with very high tuberculosis. Indonesia is the place most affected by tuberculosis of anywhere in the world. So there was a clinic in Cipanas, where they were treating people but I had to close it because it had been operating without a license and without a doctor. They had no funding. So the only thing they had was Aspirin, Panadol, these kind of things. And it was no longer needed because there are now four or five different clinics there.

YUM also started an orphanage in Cipanas know as The Children's Village. What had been realized when the hospital was operating was that because not everybody survived, there were lots of orphan children. It remained an orphanage until last year, because now the Ministry of Social Affairs, UNICEF, and Save the Children are all saying that we should look after the children within their own families.

A huge survey was done of 500 orphanages, and only 5% of the children had lost both parents. Maybe another 20% or 30% had lost one parent. But the big majority staying in those so-called orphanages were children who came from very poor families, who could not afford to feed all their children, nor put them through school. So we had a number of these over the years in the orphanage; they were the only ones who got an education in those families.

So last year, because UNICEF and Save the Children and other big organizations were saying, “look after the children in their own homes”, we could not find funding anymore to keep 50 children. So we had to return the majority to their families after talking with each family and the children themselves.

So we only have eight left who really could not be looked after by their family, and they have almost finished their studies, I mean they only have a few years left. But the others have been returned to their families and the government has given us funding to look after those children who have been returned.

In fact, the funds are sent directly to the children; they have to open a special account, and the Health Ministry has lent us three social workers to visit the children regularly and make sure that everything is all right and to talk with relatives to make sure that the children are kept in school.

Harris: And there was also vocational training, wasn’t there in Cipanas?

Olvia: Yes. So we have now expanded our activities a lot in Cipanas. Instead of being an orphanage for only 50 children, our library is now open and we have 1,000 visitors a month, because all the kids from the neighbourhood come. They have nowhere else to go. So we have a playground. We also have a teacher coming every afternoon to help them with their homework.

Those who want to can learn to play music and on Sundays they come to do aerobics. So cute! 50 little kids coming to do aerobics on Sunday morning. And then they help us clear up the grounds, in case there are papers or empty bottles. And then, as a reward, they get some milk. We get free milk from Nestlé.

And we have also established a vocational training center, because like everywhere in Indonesia, it’s very difficult for young people to find work here. So when they finish high school or technical school, they need added skills in order to have a better chance to find a job.

So we have a number of computer classes there. I think it’s 16 every month for different levels; same thing for English. We also have a job-seeking class and we work with the Hospitality and Tourism School to improve the English of some of their students; we prepare them for working in the world.

We also have a sewing class, and last year we established a sewing workshop to provide employment for local women, and now we have orders from the International School, JIS, to make 700 folders from recycled material. So we buy the recycled material from scavengers, and then we purchased special sewing machines, strong enough for these recycled materials. So the ladies are sewing these folders and making bags and other materials.

And we have an organic farm there. Actually it was started three years ago. The idea being that since we had more and more difficulty to find funding for the orphanage, we should grow our own vegetables, but it was really only done on a very small scale for the first two years. It’s only early last year with the new project manager that things really started to develop. We had an excellent volunteer who helped us and it’s working very well.

So we are invited every two weeks to sell our vegetables at the International School. They have a farmers market. So we sell these, and our bags and everything we produce, at the International School. So that is running very well.

One thing I should mention is that we have a very good relationship with AUSAID, the Australian aid agency's volunteer branches. So we get quite a number of Australian volunteers for one year or more and in general they are extremely helpful. So we apply for volunteers for specific activities. Next month we will get two for Cipanas; one to help us with the marketing of our organic produce, the other to help us develop the library into an information center.

Another major problem here in Indonesia, is that the government has programs for poor people, but nobody knows how to access them. So since we have a good network and good relationships with the different government institutions in the area, what we plan to do is to put people in contact with these programs. They can learn what programs are available, and then we will put people in touch with these different institutions, so that they can access their programs.

Harris: There was also a tuberculosis hospital in Pamulang, wasn’t there? Is that still there?

Olvia: No. That was the land that we sold, two-and-a-half hectares which had lots of problems. Yeah, we had to sell it. There was no way to restart the projects there. They had been abandoned for 10 or 12 years.

Harris: Are there any other projects that we haven’t talked about?

Olvia: Yes, sponsorships. We also had two preschools in Jakarta. Again, these were not properly run at the time I became Chair. The staff could not be trusted. We did not own the premises; we were renting.

So first I had to change the staff to people who could be trusted. And because we were renting we always had to find the funding for that and to pay the staff. And it is often the problem with donors that they don’t understand that we don’t only need equipment and buildings and furniture, but we need to cover our running costs such as staff. And if we can’t find funding for running costs, then the project cannot go on.

And also those preschools were serving children of scavengers in the area. There were three scavenger locations in the area, but then in the huge Jakarta flood of 2008, the scavengers were displaced. The land they were using was totally flooded and the owners decided to get it back and build a supermarket. So they are no longer there and we are no longer in that area.

And since we had so much difficulty funding running costs, we decided to close these preschools, but we continue to assist the children through sponsorships, to cover their education, as long as possible. What we hope is that once a sponsor starts sponsoring a child, that child will continue to be sponsored until he or she finishes her studies, because it’s useless to assist the child for one, two, three years and then not continue, because the child cannot get any work; you can’t do anything without proper education.

Harris: So you try to support them through to the end of high school?

Olvia: Yes, at least until the end of high school. There are a number of big companies nowadays that offer scholarships to university for poor families. So through the Muhammad Subuh Foundation (MSF),we also got some funding to help some young people go to university. We also hope that once the children we are sponsoring reach that age, we can help them to connect with these big companies. If they are bright enough to continue to university, then they have the possibility of doing that.

Harris: You mentioned that there is currently a problem finding funding?

Olvia: Yes, well, with all the problems in the world, such as the financial crisis in the developed countries, it's more difficult to attract funding.

Last week I was meeting with an Australian donor. He would like to establish a pre-school in Cipanas, because there is a need. There is no preschool for poor people in the area, and also because he himself has a lot of difficulty to attract funding. So he wants like a flagship project that he can show to potential donors, his friends, to show, OK, this is the kind of project our organization sponsors.

Harris: Is funding from Subud members still significant?

Olvia: Yes, it's only a small proportion of the funding we need, but it's still very helpful. But because we have grown quite a lot, our budget is in the range of $400,000 a year. So what we get through the various Subud organizations or individuals is maybe a fifth of that.

Harris: So still very significant.

Olvia: Yes, but that’s why we constantly need to look outside to companies and big organizations.

Harris: Yes, you mentioned you now have a permanent staff of 26,

Olvia: That is spread across all of the projects, but besides these 26 permanent staff, we have half-a-dozen part-time teachers for the vocational training centers, and we have part-time staff also here in Kalimantan working on various projects. And we have the Australian volunteers. Altogether we have 40 people working regularly here on our various projects, but it's still not enough.

 For more about YUM go to http://www.yumindonesia.org/index.php/en/

GUITAR HERO…Interview with Top Topham

Top Topham in 1963.

Emmanuel Elliott writes...

Did you know that one of our longstanding Subud brothers here in the UK  just happens to be a legendary 'guitar hero' who helped launch the original Yardbirds?

As the sleeve notes to his Complete Blue Horizon Sessions says, "Thousands of guitarists have walked in the footsteps of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page - but only Top Topham can claim that they walked in his."

That's right, Topham - better known to us by his Subud name Sanderson.

I was delighted to come across a recent interview with Sanderson in Guitar International and thought it might interest you too - see below. I hastened to get the Blue Horizon collection on Amazon, at a very reasonable price, and felt very 'cool' when my son-in-law admired my taste in blues guitar! I love playing it: this is a guy with a real inner affinity with his instrument.

Top Topham: The Original Yardbirds Guitar Hero

By: Matt Warnock

Before there was Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, there was Top Topham. The original guitarist in one of the most famous, guitar-hero filled bands in rock history, Topham was the guitarist who started it all. Though his tenure with the band was short lived, being only 15 years old at the time his parents had issues with his late nights spent jamming in clubs, his influence can still be felt to this day. A blues lover at heart, in the same vein as Eric Clapton was when he was with the band, Topham has continued to record and perform stellar blues-inspired music after leaving The Yardbirds back in 1963.

A true Renaissance man, Topham is also a highly successful painter, and experienced interior decorator, alongside his envious resumé as a guitarist and recording artist. Though most people who left a band like the Yardbirds before they were famous would be haunted by the question, “What might have been?” Topham has instead focused his creative energy into his art, creating a musical legacy that will live on for generations to come.

Guitar International recently sat down with guitar legend Top Topham to talk about The Yardbirds, his inner creativity and his love of Fender Telecasters.

Matt Warnock: The world that I grew up in and learned to play guitar in is vastly different from when you learned to play back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, including the rise of popular music programs in Colleges and Universities. How do you feel about the current system where students learn to play rock guitar by going to school to study, as compared to solely learning in clubs as you did when you were cutting your teeth?

Top Topham: It’s like another universe really. My feeling is that technique has become such a predominant thing, and I think it’s human nature to want to gather as many techniques as one can and then put them all together in their music. I think that as we go further on down the road we’re producing amazingly technical people, but I’m not sure about that element of Soul in their playing.

I heard records that absolutely changed my life when I was growing up, as I’m sure happens to people today, but to me it wasn’t about the technique that the player possessed, it was about an overall sound and something that personally moved me inside. That was so foreign to British culture and British folk music, which is really boring actually. [Laughs] When you heard a guy bend a note on a blues track something happened to you. It was that quality that you wanted to emulate and that inspired you to push forward with your playing.

Matt: How do you feel about the commercialization of music that has gone on over the past 4 decades? It seems that when you were growing up it was more about being creative and artistic, but now, music is only deemed “good” if it sells a lot of records, at least in the pop-rock-radio world that dominates the music scene today.

Top Topham: Well, I think we have people in this country that are responsible for the demise of the music industry. These sort of ataman cows that just sit around and watch X-Factor where we see all these young kids queuing up to try and become famous. On top of it, their musical references when they sing are of course equally bad people that they’ve emulated. They’re not listening to what I call “classicism” in Soul music, and I think that’s what I miss with the younger generation of performers. When I see somebody playing I want to feel their life experiences. That’s what really grabs me.

One of the guys that I really feel this coming from is Jeff Beck. I have to tip my hat to the man. He’s never resting on his laurels. He’s always pushing himself and you feel that every moment is a total commitment to what he’s doing. That’s something that I used to really find attractive in a player, but I’m not sure I hear those qualities in the newer, younger players. What I hear, is a lot of people trying to emulate blues-based music and getting the whole point of it wrong, really.

But I think it’s interesting for guys like myself, who’ve done it on or off over the years. It’s not really about trying to emulate anyone else at this point. It’s just about finding one’s own sound and trying to be as creative as possible within that framework.

Matt: In your career you’ve been a very successful painter, interior decorator and of course worked with The Yardbirds, Peter Green and developed your solo career. It seems that sometimes when people rely on music as their sole source of income, the pressures that come with that situation prevent them from being able to reach their full creative potential. They take less risk because they need to have steady work to keep things going. Do you feel that because you’ve had a diverse career that that’s helped you keep your creative fires going, as a musician and in your other endeavors?

Top Topham with Gibson guitar.

Top Topham: I think so, in a way. The thing is that the painting was a way for me to make a living. I got to a point in my life where I had a family, I had children and needed to make money, and the painting allowed me to do that. I went back to music when I was about 40. I sort of rediscovered it after a number of years away from that side of my life. That was interesting, but I think creatively, I’ve been fortunate enough in my life that through my painting I’ve always been able to be creative, whether I was involved in music or not.

With the music thing, I still really never feel like I fulfilled what I could have fulfilled. I never felt like my true voice was able to fully come through. Though, when I play now I am completely myself and I feel it’s very creative with the band that I have. We don’t rehearse at all. We just get up and do it. I think you’re probably quite right, if I had done music full time, which I would have loved to have done, I would’ve been affected by the commercialization at some point. Whether I could have sustained that admirable quality that Jeff Beck does in his music, I’m not sure if I could have done that, no one really knows really.

Matt: You’re obviously a big lover of the blues, but you also like Jeff Beck, who went in different musical directions after he left the Yardbirds. You also had to leave that band very early on, because you were so young and your parents had issues with you being in clubs late at night. How do you feel about the direction that the Yardbirds took after you left the band?

Top Topham: It’s interesting really. I saw them, obviously, through those years with all those different aspects, with Jeff Beck in the band, with Jimmy Page in the band, with both of them in the band at the same time. I think that they produced three or four really good records and wrote some really interesting material, some very beautiful songs. I can’t say that I ever loved the music particularly. If I’m going to be absolutely honest, it wasn’t my kind of band.

If I had stayed in the band, I think I would have been pushing, like Eric Clapton did, to keep the blues as the focus of the band. You have to bear in mind, that in those early days we hadn’t even heard B.B. King. [Laughs] If you haven’t heard that music before and then you hear Live at the Regal, you can’t really be the same after that.

Matt: Because you’ve continued to perform over the years, your playing has grown and sounds absolutely great today. What do you think is the biggest change that your playing has undergone since your early days with The Yardbirds and later Peter Green?

Top Topham: I think that when I was younger I was very limited in my guitar style. The access to decent instruments was fairly depressing. [Laughs] I mean, I played a Harmony Sovereign in that band. Then I played a Strat-o-Tone, and I didn’t get my first Gibson until a few years after that.

It was hard to get good guitars in England back then because of the embargo on selling American goods. So, we were pretty starved of things. There were a few people who had the money and could get those things, but money back then was few and far between.

The main difference, musically, is that now I can get up and just hear things and let them flow into my playing, and I don’t think I could do that back then. I could definitely do it around the Blue Horizon days, but that was in a live situation.

Matt: Speaking about the Blue Horizon days, you recently released the Complete Blue Horizon Sessions . What inspired you to rerelease this collection of recordings at this time in your career?

Top Topham: I had no part in that project. Unfortunately, Sony is releasing all of that stuff and not paying anybody. It’s a sin really. They were going to release it and gave me the opportunity to be involved, which I took because I’d rather be involved than not involved.

I’m glad it came out, because I think it’s a good project and sets things straight in a sense, because the person that owns all that music bought the whole catalogue and has been raking in money over the years. He’s been licensing it to different companies over the years, and guys like myself have never seen a dime from that music.

Matt: How does that feel to know that someone else has ownership of your art, that they have control over something that you created years ago as part of your artistic output?

Top Topham: I mean, I suppose I read many stories about blues guys never getting paid for their music, and I think it’s always been a little bit like that. I think that there are some players who were very smart about this side of things, the Peter Green’s and Eric Clapton’s of the world. I feel resigned to it, but I think it’s very unfair really. But it’s something that has always been a part of that business.

Matt: Moving on to a more positive note. [Both Laughing] You’ve played a number of different guitars over the years, what is your number one guitar of choice these days?

Top Topham with Fender Telecaster.

Top Topham: My main guitar these days is a Fender Telecaster. I have a very lovely ’66 Telecaster, absolutely fabulous. Tom Principato was jamming at a festival with me and he turned around and said “That’s a ’66.” I said, “How do you know?” He said, “Because I’ve got loads of ‘em.” [Laughs] Mine is very doctored, I have to say.

I bought it when I was working at Andy’s guitar workshop. A friend told me to check out this guitar, so I went down and found this guitar in pieces. It had been run over by a Taxi. I had the guys put it back together, put some P-90s in it, with some Hot Rails in the middle with a 5-way switch.

If I use the Hot Rails and the neck P-90 I can get that woody, Wes Montgomery sound. It’s a very expressive guitar. I don’t use any effects or pedals at all, just run it through a Fender Super Reverb, an old one from the ‘70s. There’s nothing more to it. I love that sound. People come up and ask about my sound, and it’s just the guitar through the amp, nothing special, just a great sounding guitar.

Matt: Now that you’ve gotten back into music, what’s your musical future hold for you? Is there a new tour or new album on the near horizon?

Top Topham: To be honest with you, I find it difficult here to get any gigs these days. You can try for months and not find anything. There are very few venues to play here right now. There’s nothing that I like to do more right now than play gigs, but they’re hard to find. We’re all finding it very hard going in this country to make things happened these days. Ideally, I’d love to be out playing more and so hopefully the opportunities will come back and we’ll be able to make that happen.

To hear Top play go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1FnkQqWaD4&NR=1

Originally published in Guitar International magazine. Thank you for the permission to republish.

DAWN OF A NEW AGE…Rachman Mitchell on Bapak

Bapak and Ibu Siti Sumari with John Bennett at Coombe Springs. (Photographer unknown)

 Rachman Mitchell is a medical doctor and was for many years Bapak's personal physician. He writes...

We live in extraordinary times with the pace of change ever accelerating, especially in the field of science, technology and communication. Our minds are sometimes overwhelmed, and it becomes more and more difficult to be connected to one’s Essential Self and through that to All that exists, or as some put it God, Allah, Brahma or whatever language tries to express the inexpressible.

As an adolescent and young man, I could only dimly remember that connection, I say dimly because I had mostly forgotten it and believed in my conscious reasoning mind that it did not exist. However deep within me, perhaps in my subconscious Inner feeling, was a longing for that connection to come alive again.

The coming of Bapak to Coombe Springs in June 1957 was heralded for me six weeks earlier by an experience which woke me in the middle of the night, and which I now recognise as my Opening to the Love and Power of the Almighty.

I was suddenly very wide-awake and became aware of a ball of bright light above the French doors in front of me.

It moved first into my head and then filled the whole of my body. It was accompanied by an intense blissful happiness and a feeling of being in my real home.

My heart felt itself expanding but it knew it could not expand enough to contain it all. I heard my own voice telling me to follow what the Man from the East had to bring. A few days later walking along a path I found myself leaping in the air saying “ Eureka, I have a soul”.

I began to be happy. One reason for this was the healing of the grief over my father’s death 11 years earlier. I experienced him sitting beside me sharing my happiness while on a train in the London underground.

That a human being can have a set of experiences which includes hardly sleeping for a thousand days while he is taught about the structure of Man’s being, has an Ascension and is given the task to open Mankind to the Love Power and Guidance of the Almighty is already a miracle many times over. That this experience can be handed to others who need it through, what we call the Opening (a most revealing word) is another extraordinary miracle.

His hopes for us all were expressed in a few simple words “ All you need to do now is to put it into practice” and “ Everything that you need is there from A to Z” “ The latihan is a continual learning from your Inner Self”.


I confess that there have been many times when I feel that I have disappointed his hopes for us and me in particular through not being enough of an example of a true Subud person to attract people to the miracle of the latihan. Thinking and words always get in the way. But when this feeling comes to me I try to feel what I can do to meet the real need of someone in some way that is within my capacity.

Because of how I was at that time of life and I guess how many of us were we regarded Bapak as something like the return of Jesus Christ, someone who knew and understood everything and who had power over events, such was the wonderful atmosphere of the miraculous around us. I certainly was in awe of him. He did his best to disabuse us over that and to say that he was only a channel for the Power of the Almighty.

Later when he asked forgiveness at the end of a Ramadan and someone said that he did not need to ask us for forgiveness, he became quite stern and said he was a human being who made mistakes and again asked us for forgiveness. This was a great comfort to me later. BUT what we witnessed at Coombe was a man who walked and talked like no other we had yet met.

When he walked there was a visible sense of Presence and Self Awareness. When he spoke about spiritual matters there was a sense that he was talking directly from his experience rather than talking learnedly about something. His words had the deep ring of truth and somehow made me quiet as they found their mark in my inner feeling.

They were such contrast to the words of the highly charismatic and intelligent Mr B who had held us in thrall for the previous five years. Bapak was always keen to hear from us what was or is the Proof of what has been the benefit of the latihan in our lives

If I try to answer that question now I would say that I know I have the power of choice. To be miserable and complain about what I don’t have and this list is actually very small, or to be happy and be grateful for what I do have and this list is very long and top of it is what we call the latihan.

I could go on about the proofs and I like many here have had many proofs. We need to remember them on this day that we thank the Almighty for the Gift of Bapak to this world and the Opening and the Contact that he brought to our own Inner Selves.

FAVOURITE PHOTO…A happy accident

Like so many great photos in the history of photography, this one was a happy accident. My wife was preparing to take a picture of the sea with her Iphone but instead she shot herself in the foot.

Serendipity, happy accidents, play such an important part in life. My wife is from the island of Sri Lanka which was once called Serendipity.

But I like the photo, not only because of its accidental quality, but also because it says so much about life. The sea and rocks which take up the bulk of the photo look like the boiling swirling chaos of life.

And there is a little foot, venturing out into the chaos, as we all do, as we are all required to do.

This mysterious chaos, leading us to ask so many questions. Why am I here? Why am I  the way I am? Can I do anything about it? Who made all this? Did someone make all this? What am I supposed to do next?

It all makes me wish I could write a wise book called Footsteps about the mystery of life's journey, just so I could use this photo for the cover.

Harris Smart




Leonard van Hien writes...

The autobiographical parts of what follows may not be of interest to many members, but for those who don't know my background I believe that to leave those parts out somehow leaves readers wondering what authority I have to be making the observations that are in the rest of the article. 



When I first came to Indonesia for the historic Fourth Subud World Congress at Wisma Subud I was twenty one years old. I had qualified as a chartered accountant in the City of London and, having started work aged seventeen in a medium sized firm of accountants, I already had under my belt four years experience as an audit clerk.

Although this clerical work appeared mundane, it brought me into first hand contact with people who ran a large variety of businesses. I was at liberty to ask lots of questions and to try to understand how these businesses worked and sometimes why they failed.

I was on the audit teams of, inter alia, a brick manufacturer in Sussex, a textile manufacturer in Glasgow, a citrus fruit importer on the Liverpool docks, restaurants in Piccadilly, a prime city-centre real estate developer, a hotel management business, a merchant bank in the City of London and a business syndicating television programs world wide, whose office premises in London West End’s fashionable Sloane Street, turned out to be a front for gun running by the founder of Britain’s SAS.

In the early nineteen seventies I sat on Subud Britain’s National Committee as its Treasurer and oversaw the affairs of  The Subud Human Welfare Trust. Four years later, in 1975, I was asked to take unpaid leave from my office in London to come to Jakartafor a few weeks to help improve internal control systems at PT S Widjojo, where the S Widjojo Center was under construction.

At the 1979 Toronto Subud World Congress, I was appointed to a consultative committee for Bank Susila Bakti. Based in Singapore, I flew into Jakarta at weekends, sometimes as often as fifty times a year, usually staying as house guest with Wayne Lerrigo, Sharif Horthy and Rashad Pollard.

Five years later, in 1984, I was asked to join a team led by Lienhard Berger to review Project Sunrise, which was at that time involved with devising plans for the redevelopment of Darling Harbour in Sydney. I then spent six months in a cabin on the construction site at Anugraha looking after the one million dollars that Adam Albright generously provided to ensure that all building contractors were paid off.

Later, after spending three years inHong Kong, I sat as a shareholder representative for PT S Widjojo. Lienhard’s team handed over a clean company at the end of 1996, only to see the company run into problems created by its new board.

I founded a company called Kalimantan Investment Corporation (“KIC”) in order to acquire, for only one dollar, an Indonesian mining contract of work that an Australian company called Molopo wished to sell. This provided a formal corporate investment structure for those Subud members whose money, which had originally been sent for plots of land at Tengkiling, had, without their consent, been diverted to the mineral exploration project.

Others in a tight circle who wished to risk new money in the exploration could also invest in KIC ordinary shares. This was the fore-runner for the present company Kalimantan Gold Corporation (“KGC”) which is publicly listed on both the Toronto and London Stock Exchanges. Neither KIC nor KGC has ever had debt on the books.

I have also sat on the management board of the Indonesian foundation Yayasan Muhammad Subuh and on the board of trustees of its US registered counterpart, the Muhammad Subuh Foundation. Following Bapak Subuh’s passing, his heirs found themselves as owners of a small company called PT Pancaran Cahaya Bahagia (“PT PCB”) established by Bapak Subuh, a few years before he died, in order to pioneer Subud’s involvement withKalimantan.

The company had the rights to over 600  hectares of land at Tengkiling promised by the then Governor of Central Kalimantan to Bapak Subuh. It also held a significant number of shares in the mineral exploration endeavor. Bapak’s heirs duly donated all of their shares in PT PCB to Yayasan Muhammad Subuh. I have the impression that most Subud members are unaware of what Bapak’s family gratuitously handed over to Subud’s institutional interests.

Having spent eighteen years as a partner in an international accountancy firm in Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia and a further ten years as country chairman for a public listed company with over 130,000 employees in Indonesia engaged in everything from auto assembly to palm oil plantations, consumer finance, supermarkets, luxury hotels, coal mining, banking and heavy equipment, I have a reasonable grasp of how global businesses operate in Asia - and Indonesia in particular.

I have sat on the boards of the British Chamber of Commerce and the European Business Chamber of Commerce and have been invited more than once to the Palace to act as a spokesman in order to brief the President of the Republic on the concerns of foreign investors ahead of his attendance at G20 meetings.

I have also brought a twelve man multi-disciplinary group to meet with the present Governor of Central Kalimantan to discuss the establishment of a Regional Development Authority coordinating the plans of all four provinces in Kalimantan. At the Governor’s request, the meeting was held at the Muhammad Subuh Centre at Rungan Sari.

This was a milestone of sorts. Years earlier, when there was nothing to see but sand and bushes, I had attended the laying of a foundation stone by Ibu Siti Rahayu at the site of the Latihan Hall at Rungan Sari. The place has come on a long way since then.

To date over twenty five million dollars has been invested by Kalimantan Gold Corporation in the mineral exploration endeavor. It remains to this day a speculative venture on an ever shorter time fuse with only one year to run in its exploration phase before it will be required, under the terms of its contract of work, to move to a feasibility phase. The “one year” clock starts running as soon as a long awaited permit has been received from the Department of Forestry.

Separately, thanks to the initiative of two Subud members, over one million dollars has been privately invested in putting in basic infrastructure and a small hotel at Rungan Sari complete with a swimming pool, tennis court and meeting facilities. The Subud community there, so far as I can see, remains a faith-based community.

The houses are of good quality and the development is clean and well managed. Apart from the residential properties, the hotel and a well-regarded, Subud-run school with ninety pupils, there is little else of significance to talk about.

Unlike the situation several years ago when it was hard to access credit in Indonesia, banks and other financial services companies now compete strongly with each other to provide loans and other forms of credit all across the archipelago. Any well run business, especially one serving a mining joint venture in which a reputable mining major has invested, should have no difficulty accessing working capital loans.

Any business that is unable to access credit in today’s Indonesia is, almost by definition, a high risk credit. It is important for Subud members anywhere in the world to understand this, especially if they are in due course approached to invest in a Subud-run financial services company such as the one which the World Subud Council has recently encouraged to be established.

Any such financial services company should, in my opinion, be owned and run only by a small circle of experienced people who are willing to risk their own capital. It should not be owned by hundreds of small unsophisticated investors.

The standards of governance in Subud have, for several years now, fallen well short of where they should be. For example, the World Subud Association and the Muhammad Subuh Foundation have for many years failed to present their audited financials within the time limits specified in their respective constitutions. Accountability of organizations is a key component of democracy. Without competence, integrity is overvalued.

Apart from the aspect of governance, I am not convinced that there is currently sufficient experience in the World Subud Council to act as an effective brake on the enthusiasms of the WSA Executive. This makes it necessary for Subud members not directly involved with the World Subud Council to remain vigilant and to do whatever is required to protect Subud members everywhere from investing in any venture just because it appears to coincide with the general wish to become involved withKalimantan.

My own view is that for the time being investment into Kalimantan remains high risk and, as such, it is not something that hundreds of small unsophisticated investors should be encouraged to invest in. Instead, a courageous few with deep pockets who are so inclined can take up the challenge.

Over the course of many decades businesses can develop and reinvent themselves. For example, one day Kalimantan Gold Corporation might, with an expanded board of directors, be restructured and extend its remit beyond the present dedicated focus on mineral exploration.

That would enable KGC to become a vehicle for future investment in Kalimantan on a broader plane. As a public listed company, KGC is required to comply with the regulations of two reputable stock exchanges. Therefore, one expects that the standards of governance would be better than what was experienced in the last few years at PT S Widjojo.

Even so, KGC’s reports should be read carefully. Using the mainstream Subud media, KGC has consistently emphasized its commitment to community work. However, from a careful scrutiny of the company’s latest interim statements, it is clear that more has been expended in the six months to 30 June 2011 on executive stock options than has been spent on community development in the entire history of the project.

No doubt this is an inconvenient truth. Disproportionate remuneration is one of the issues that have to be watched, especially in a community such as the one we have in Subud, where so much of the early foot work is done on a voluntary unpaid basis.

There are many reasons why large scale Subud enterprises have failed. To me the one that stands out as being the most obvious is that they were brought down by an inability to manage debt obligations. In some cases this was because the businesses were under-capitalized and consequently relied too much on bank loans, which in the end could not be repaid.

In other cases, the terms of loans provided by one or two Subud members were unfairly biased against shareholders in favor of the lenders. In effect the lenders had positioned themselves for personal advantage at the expense of the bulk of the other investors.

My sense is that for many years to come Subud investment into Kalimantan will, for the most part, have to be mainly in the form of shares. Otherwise our endeavors will continue to be at the mercy of lenders.

LvH: Pamulang, Indonesia 5th September 2011



Christchurch Cathedral before and after earthquake.

Maynard MacDonald, Chairperson of Subud Christchurch, sends this touching and informative letter. He includes financial information on donations and expenditures. We are extremely grateful for Maynard’s excellent reporting and for the outpouring of donations to assist our sisters and brothers in this devastated city, home to our not-so-distant World Congress.  Here is an excerpt from Maynard’s letter; you may read the complete text, write to wsa@subud.org.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This letter is to thank you for your generous support and indicate how we are now. Many of you who came to the World Congress will remember the wonderful testing and latihans in the Convention Centre with Ibu Rahayu. We heard this week that the building will have to be demolished, as well as the Crowne Plaza Hotel where Ibu and party stayed. This loss is emblematic of our situation. It occurs again and again throughout the city as the familiar, the useful, and the beautiful, are reduced to rubble.

Looking back, the first big earthquake in September caused terrible damage and changed the cityscape forever. There was a sense that, yes, we had been through something awful, but actually since the damage was so huge, and the loss of life so small, there was a sense that we were lucky... The 3rd big quake in June was a vicious jolt that brought down more buildings and wrecked big areas of the Port Hills suburbs. City wide, much that was repaired had to be repaired again. From this point, for many of us, the new normal became a state of bottomless fatigue, if not actual depression.

We have to fight this. And it is becoming clear to our Committee that our best weapon is to encourage the members to take breaks. With the money you have sent us we support respite intervals for families to get out of town and escape the constant aftershocks, to escape the fear that the next one will be another big one, to get a good night’s sleep, to see a another landscape with its own sweetness untainted by destruction. We sincerely thank you for this practical blessing.

So how is the group?… I have a secret list of active members. To make my list, one has to do any of the following things: come to latihan regularly, contribute money to the group, or come to working bees. Before the quakes - by my admittedly ruthless reckoning - we had 59 active members. By the time everyone leaves who is leaving, we will lose 13 members and be down to 46 active members. In other words the quakes have cost us almost a quarter of our membership. So to be blunt, it is very hard to live here. It is scary, expensive, and depressing. But however uncomfortable it may be, we are witnesses to God’s Power and would rather be here than anywhere else in the world. So thank you for helping us stick it out.




An interview with Maya Korzybska. Harris Smart writes...

While I was in Kalimantan, I was fortunate enough to do a long interview with Maya Korzybska, who as we know is the Deputy CEO of the WSA Executive Team (used to be called ISC). Part of that interview dealing with her Subud work has already been published. This part, in keeping with the theme of this issue, is mostly about her life in the music industry. But first, some background...

Her ancestry is interesting. She has been able to trace it back to the 16th century to a Portuguese sailor, named Bernardes, who washed up in Scotland following the ruin of the Spanish Armada.

Maya - along with her twin sister Osanna of course - grew up on the island of Jersey in the English Channel, because it was a good environment for their father who had been seriously injured in the war. Then, when the twins were 10, the family moved to Spain because their father needed a dryer climate.

She went to high school in Spain, but did not finish. (Children, although Maya has turned out well, you must not follow her example in not finishing high school.)  Instead, aged 17, she went off to join Osanna in Paris where, because both girls are tall (somewhat gorgeous and vaguely capable of dancing !!!), they became dancers at the Lido.

But she really wanted to be part of organizing rock 'n roll concerts, and through a series of events and contacts was able to achieve her ambition. Then followed several years when she worked for the major rock and roll concert promoters in Paris.

During this time she met and married Thierry and they had two children; Giome whom we know because of his tendency to thrust microphones in people's faces at World Congress and ask them provocative questions for Congress TV, and her daughter, Angelina, who has completed a degree in Cinema at the Sorbonne University in Paris, but is more interested in following her mother into the concert business.

For a time Maya and Thierry lived a very creative and successful life, setting up companies and coming up with all kinds of original schemes and ideas related to music, art, entertainment and culture, “ we were probably one of the largest employers of Subud Youth, selling t-shirts at concerts “, but then the marriage came to an end. Some years later, Maya met Halim Korzybski, an architect, who had bought and renovated La Source, the retreat center in the Pyrenees, where many exciting youth, cultural and family, Subud events have been held.

Now Maya and Halim live in Kalimantan and they are both particularly involved in the development of the Rungan Sari Resort Hotel. In the meantime Maya continues her role with the WSA Executive Team. If you ever want anything done or sorted out, go to Maya. You will be met with clarity, common sense, directness and decision (along with a nurturing quality).

When I interviewed her, I asked her about famous people she had come in contact with in her role as a concert organizer. She told me...

“John McLaughlin the avant-garde guitar player is one of my favourite people from that time, we used to talk about Subud and other spiritual things... I am still in touch with him, the other long term friend is Carlos Alomar 20 year band leader of David Bowie. Paul McCartney was very friendly, and Carlos Santana and many others.

Bill Graham the concert promoter was not only a powerful and influential figure in the story of rock ‘n’ roll but also a very fair and decent human being. You know he created these venues like the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, which was one of the launching pads for all those great bands and artists like Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and so on.

Once, while I was working with him on a Santana concert; it was an important concert because it was being televised; two groupies had attached themselves to members of the band and had got themselves up on stage where they were dancing, flailing their arms about and so on. It was not appropriate, and the stage manager asked me to stop them.  They were not part of the act.

“I went and told them, very politely, that they should desist and watch quietly. They said, very rudely, 'Who do you think you are to tell us what to do.  We are with the band. Get lost.' Or words to that effect. It had been a long tiring week and I was so upset, I was reduced to tears.

“Bill Graham came upon me crying and asked me what was the matter and I finally had to tell him what the girls had said to me while I was trying to carry out my job. Later, when everyone was gathered in the dressing-room and the two girls were present, Bill Graham said to them, “No one treats people who work for me like that.  Get out.” and they had to leave

“Some years later, Bill Graham, like others in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, died tragically, in a helicopter accident, piloted by the above mentioned stage manager Steve Killer Kahn, another good guy.”


I was particularly interested to hear of any encounters Maya might have had with Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones. Maya told me that at her lowly level, she did not always have a lot of personal contact with such illustrious figures as the Rolling Stones.  Nevertheless, she had had two experiences with them.

“On one of their visits to Paris, the Rolling Stones wanted to have some Parisienne showgirls on stage with them for their opening number. I was given the job of finding these fascinating creatures.  The budget was 250 francs per dancer, not a big sum.  I searched around and I was told that for 250 francs I could have the dancers, or their costumes, but not both. Still I persevered and I found, not just ordinary showgirls, but the Can-Can dancers from the Moulin Rouge.”

But the performance did not go well. It turns out (here is some secret knowledge) that when the Rolling Stones go on tour they take with them a special stage that is tilted and has a slippery surface to enable Mick Jagger to accomplish his famous moves. (Once the great Russian ballet dancer Mikhail  Baryshnikov remarked,  "There are two great dancers in the world, myself and Mick Jagger.")

But when the Can-Can dancers tried to perform on the surface, it was a disaster; they could not keep their footing and went slipping and sliding and slithering all over the place, even ending up on their ‘behinds’, and the experiment of showgirls on stage was not repeated.

“My other exchange was with Mick Jagger himself, the only time I got to speak to him personally. The Rolling Stones were performing at night in an open-air stadium in the South of France and Mick Jagger told me that he wanted a ceiling of light over the stadium (the next day).

“I found out that there was an air base nearby which possessed extremely powerful searchlights.  The searchlights that are used to locate aircraft in the night….. I began to negotiate, to obtain some of these lights, but in the end I was unsuccessful, not enough time for the permits and authorizations. I had to go and tell Mick Jagger that he could not have his ceiling of light.”

Thus, Maya, a Subud member, enabled Mick Jagger to experience a human emotion that is all too commonly felt by the rest of us, but which is probably only rarely experienced by Mick Jagger: That human emotion known as disappointment.

Maya adds, “We can save the story of my wild night with Diana Ross and party at the Lido for another time….”


LIFE…A Review of Keith Richards’ autobiography

Harris Smart reviews Keith Richards autobiography, Life, and thinks there may be some lessons in it for us all...

There may be some people who think that the name of a reprobate like Keith Richards, guitarist with the Rolling Stones, should not even besmirch our pure pages. But I think that everyone and everything in the world has something to teach us. After all, the example that Bapak often held up as the way to do business was the ruthless and hard-headed Chinese, not the spiritual Indonesians.

The point of this brief essay about Keith Richards' autobiography is not to say that we should emulate aspects of the life of Keith. It is not to say that we should drink alcohol excessively, use drugs, carry guns and knives or do any of the other outrageous things that have made Keith the ultimate Rock‘n'Roll outlaw survivor.

No, but it is to say that there may be lessons to be learned about enterprise by contemplating the story of the Rolling Stones. Because curiously in that story we find precisely much of the advice that Bapak oft repeated about enterprise.

I found that this book greatly illuminated my incessant endeavour to try and understand the mystery of life. I believe that it raises interesting challenges and questions for anyone endeavouring to follow a spiritual path.

I was once in a seminar in a Pentecostal church when the subject of the Rolling Stones came up. The preacher said that the Rolling Stones were satanic, by which he meant literally that they were worshippers of Satan. They had made a Faustian pact with the devil, who had guaranteed that, in exchange for their souls, they would be given every good thing on earth. Fame, wealth, more women than you could shake a stick at etc.

I do believe that the preacher's only evidence for this assertion was that the Rolling Stones once released an album called "Their Satanic Majesties” and they also had a song called "Sympathy for the Devil". I do not believe that these represent evidence for a pact with Satan. No doubt the Rolling Stones like to play with these ideas in their effort to confirm their image as "very bad boys", which image of course they cultivated to differentiate themselves from "those very nice boys", the Beatles.

The Devil has no Sense of Humour

One thing I think the devil lacks is a sense of humour, whereas the Rolling Stones have a lot of self-irony and good humour. For this reason, I refuse to believe they are of the Devil's party. They have played around with the idea of being very wicked, but I do not think they really are.

The paradox of the Rolling Stones is best exemplified by the lead singer, Sir Michael Jagger. He is destroyed by nothing. While all around him are consumed in the flames, he walks away unscathed. He is a model of control and physical fitness. (His father was a teacher of physical fitness, and Sir Michael seems to have inherited these good genes.) He has cultivated the reputation of being a rascal and a rebel and a libertine, and at the same time he is a knight of the realm, the epitome of respectability. He loves cricket and is always to be found at Lords when there is a game on.

He embraces all contradictions. He has made a fortune out of being a broken-down, Mississippi blues-man, channeling the music made from want, suffering and despair, while amassing a fortune of more than ₤380 million. He has slept with every supermodel from Buenos Aires to Budapest. These days they are usually younger than his daughters and yet his daughters, whom these days he often takes on dates to movie premieres and suchlike, adore him. I saw a documentary about him in which it was plain that his daughters think he is great. Probably most of us would be quite happy to make a pact with the devil, if it was guaranteed that our teenage daughters would think we are terrific.

He must be in league with the devil. How could any one person have so much worldly success of every possible kind? Art, wealth, fame, women, the love and admiration of his children. He has everything.

And Keith Richards has done almost as well.  Probably, he has not been as canny with his money as Sir Mick, but no doubt he does not lack two pennies to rub together. The money, the fame, the women, the artistic success, and not only all that, he too is now happily married with lovely daughters.

It is unfair! It is outrageous! It is not just! It is not supposed to happen! How can anyone be so bad and do so well?

Talent and Enterprise

More than anything, the Stones illustrate many of the principles of enterprise as described by Bapak. (1) The aim of enterprise is to make money. Subud enterprises do not always succeed in this area but the Rolling Stones have. The group has made billions quite apart from the personal fortunes accumulated as mentioned above. (2) Talent. Bapak suggested we should try to find our talent, the thing we love, the thing we are good at, and of course the Stones have done that. (3) Prihatin. At the early stage of their career the Rolling Stones really “did it tough” living in poverty and squalor for the music they believed in. (4) Harmony. Perhaps most important of all they illustrate the principle of harmony.

This does not mean, of course, they have always got along well, nor has everything in the garden always been rosy. On the contrary, there were periods of intense feuding, private and public sniping, years when the “Glimmer Twins” (Mick and Keith) did not speak to each other, but through their many trials, tribulations and ups and downs, they somehow hung in there together, reconciled their differences and forgave each other. Keith speaks of Mick as his “brother”. And so the most enduring and successful rock‘n'roll band of all time has stuck together, a model of enterprise.

Wild horses, it appears, could not drag them apart.


MICK JAGGER AND SUBUD…A final word from Latifah

Latifah Taormina, Chair of SICA, writes...

When we had out improv company back in the 60s, CBS was going to do a sort of hit parade type show, and our company was going to host it. We were sent to UK to do some teasers and also some television shows there to prime us for hosting.

It was great fun, we were put up in nice digs, and a chauffeur came every day to take us to the studios in the UK. We were on some shows there with the Moody Blues and others. I can't remember it all.

And then we did some sessions with Mick Jagger and also Janis Joplin. And we did some midnight performance at some theater the Beatles liked. And we did some other TV shows in the states -- all to groom us to be the hosts.

And then someone in the company made some stupid political remark on a late night radio show about the then President Nixon, and boom, we were dropped and did not host the show at all. But I have this little memento...

GOD THE THERAPIST…Husain Chung’s autobiography

Lusiah Rott writes...

Dear friends, colleagues, and family,

I would like to announce the publication of a wonderful book that I have had the great privilege of working on, called 'God the Therapist', by Husain Sam-Tio Chung.  It is available through online booksellers.

The book is a memoir of an amazing and fascinating life that centers around the author’s personal spiritual quest, the road to becoming a master psychodramatist and his work with thousands of individuals. The book is in turn poignant, funny, and inspiring.

It is Husain's search through the tribulations of his life, so beautifully and nakedly expressed in his book, that brought him to the mature ripening that he displayed in his psychodrama sessions in which I participated 45 years ago.

"I can honestly say that my spiritual journey began in earnest with my meeting Sam-Tio. He was a pivotal catalyst in my journey, without which I likely would have had a very different life trajectory." Julian Spalding

Get the book from...





DANCING THE ROUNDS…Rasunah’s poems


Of North American Aboriginal descent, Rasunah is a much anthologised poet in her native Canada. Some of her best and most beautiful, inspirational poems are included in this book. The reader or listener senses the deep but subtle aura of spirituality, transcending all ethnic, religious and international boundaries, which emanates from her work. The poem which gave the book its name: Dancing the Rounds, reflects the traditional “round” dancing to be found in so many lands and ethnic communities, expressing an unspoken veneration of the elements and a mystical sense of communion with timeless universal forces.

Rasunah writes...”My personal objective is to write poetry with distinctive qualities which might have an appeal which is truly borderless. Many of the poems may be seen as ‘responses’ to literature (such as Kinanti as a response to the Ozymandias poem). Some of the shorter poems are simply vignettes or 'statement' poems. Another theme is that of 'voices' or speakers from past or present centuries. Those of earlier times embody the timelessness of archetypes, or possess archetypical elements: Cup Woman, Isti's Sutra, Hyacinth, I Point the Ways, Kartini and Kinanti are examples. Another theme is the narrative element, either subtle or obvious. Finally, while most of the poems are contemporary in style, those with lines which begin with capitals are intended to be understood as formalized, where the subject tone might be grave, prayerful, eulogistic, or ceremonial.”

Paperback...191 pages...£12.00

The book can be ordered directly from the publisher, Dreamstairway with visa or mastercard. http://www.dreamstairway.co.uk/html/poetry.html

Cover illustration by Laura Marsden.


AFTER SUMMERHILL…New book by Hussein Lucas

Aftert Summerhill

What Happened to the Pupils of Britain’s Most Radical School?

by Hussein Lucas

ISBN: 978-1-84289-052-3
Paperback 216 x 138mm
224 pages plus 4 pages of colour photographs

Buy online at http://www.herbertadler.co.uk/aftersummerhill.html after 26th July 2011

One of the big questions surrounding a radical educational establishment like Summerhill is whether parents might be limiting their children’s prospects by sending them to a school where the child is not forced to learn.

Founded by the legendary educator AS Neill in 1921, Summerhill is notable for the fact that it does not require any of its pupils to attend lessons. Furthermore, the school is run by a council of pupils, teachers and houseparents, where questions of discipline are decided democratically. What, one may ask, is the likely outcome of sending a child to such a school?

In After Summerhill, Hussein Lucas investigates these and other questions in a series of extended interviews with people who were educated at Summerhill throughout its history.

The former pupils who emerged from this radical experiment talk about how they coped after they left the idyllic environment of Summerhill and went on to face the harsh realities of the world at large, and how their experience of the school affected their lives subsequently.

After Summerhill is also, in part, an oral history of the school told by those who were there: a vivid and illuminating picture of what it was like to be a member of this remarkable educational community.

It also reveals how throughout its 90 years, Summerhill has undergone a number of changes, yet never lost its basic ideals.

Most of all, this is a book that deals with the actual outcomes of an approach to learning and education that seems to fly in the face of accepted wisdom.

Well-known Subud member, Leonard Lassalle, is one of the people interviewed in the book.

For further information please contact John Adler at

telephone/fax: 0044 (0)117 9241766
email: publishing@herbertadler.co.uk

INSIDE STORY…Picture-poems exhibition online

Mutahar Williams writes...

Years ago I gathered my best nature poems and asked UK Subud artist Sofiah Garrard if she’d illustrate them. She produced a series of exquisite etchings which went in a book - “Witness.”

Last year Sofiah asked me if I’d be willing to write poems for her silk and paper collages. I said Yes. She emailed me a batch and the process began. I love her pictures. They’re richly colored, whimsical, and ornamental. I found them very inspiring. The exhibition is hosted by Green Chair Gallery, online only with global reach. It runs from 1 October to 18 November 2011, and you can find the advance link in our Forthcoming Exhibitions section. On 1 October it'll come onstream automatically from http://www.facebook.com/l/aAQA4O50BAQAsTA984YmmLotqSr1rv6Lr84FBK-LLG7izGg/www.greenchair-gallery.co.uk

“Picture-poems, An Inside Story” features thirty of these picture- and-poem collaborations. It’s hosted by Green Chair Gallery, an online gallery with global reach. It runs from 1 October to 18 November 2011. You can find the advance link in the Forthcoming Exhibitions section. On 1 October it'll come onstream automatically from http://www.facebook.com/l/aAQA4O50BAQAsTA984YmmLotqSr1rv6Lr84FBK-LLG7izGg/www.greenchair-gallery.co.uk
I hope you visit and enjoy the show.

Alley cat

When windows click black
When ticking cars return to stillness
When dogs twitch in their sleep
When lovers kiss
and melt into one another’s dreams
then the city, it is mine. It is my kingdom.

I am the shape at the back of the shadows
the lean mean thorn-clawed spy
licking the wrappings on sidewalks
crumbs on your patios, rats lured by garbage.

Think not of me as I slink past your windows.
Think not of me as the night rain drenches my fleas
as winter numbs the streets with its breath.
Think not of your kin
sprawled in doorways
booze for warmth, and memories
the only ones in this dark world
who know me.

Mutahar Williams writes...

Years ago I gathered my best nature poems and asked UK Subud artist Sofiah Garrard if she’d illustrate them. She produced a series of exquisite etchings which went in a book - “Witness.”

Last year Sofiah asked me if I’d be willing to write poems for her silk and paper collages. I said Yes. She emailed me a batch and the process began. I love her pictures. They’re richly colored, whimsical, and ornamental. I found them very inspiring. The exhibition is hosted by Green Chair Gallery, online only with global reach. It runs from 1 October to 18 November 2011, and you can find the advance link in our Forthcoming Exhibitions section. On 1 October it'll come onstream automatically from http://www.facebook.com/l/aAQA4O50BAQAsTA984YmmLotqSr1rv6Lr84FBK-LLG7izGg/www.greenchair-gallery.co.uk

“Picture-poems, An Inside Story” features thirty of these picture- and-poem collaborations. It’s hosted by Green Chair Gallery, an online gallery with global reach. It runs from 1 October to 18 November 2011. You can find the advance link in the Forthcoming Exhibitions section. On 1 October it'll come onstream automatically from http://www.facebook.com/l/aAQA4O50BAQAsTA984YmmLotqSr1rv6Lr84FBK-LLG7izGg/www.greenchair-gallery.co.uk
I hope you visit and enjoy the show.





Alley cat

When windows click black
When ticking cars return to stillness
When dogs twitch in their sleep
When lovers kiss
and melt into one another’s dreams
then the city, it is mine. It is my kingdom.

I am the shape at the back of the shadows
the lean mean thorn-clawed spy
licking the wrappings on sidewalks
crumbs on your patios, rats lured by garbage.

Think not of me as I slink past your windows.
Think not of me as the night rain drenches my fleas
as winter numbs the streets with its breath.
Think not of your kin
sprawled in doorways
booze for warmth, and memories
the only ones in this dark world
who know me.

SOLSTICE 2011…Poem by Sharifin Gardiner


The still point of  midsummer’s rising sun

Brings  Gaia’s promise of good things to come.

With warmth and rain, the ripening ears of wheat

Ensure at least most Britons have enough to eat.

Our ancestors sought solace from their fears

With Bronze Age bardic rituals and prayers.

Though we may join them, we delude ourselves.

  Our harvest sits on supermarket shelves,

Dispatched by air from Egypt, Kenya or Peru,

Covered in plastic, sprayed, all fresh and new,

 Drenched with carcinogens, releasing CO2,

While forests flame and arctic ice sheets shrink,

Six  billion hungry  humans teeter on the brink.

And so we call on angels and the Source

Of all creation for forgiveness, in remorse.

It could be that the cycle of destruction ends.

Maybe there’s yet some time to make amends.

Perhaps our anxious hopes are not forlorn

And through the turmoil, a new age is being born.

Sharifin Gardiner wrote this poem after attending a Solstice Ceremony.



On the passing of Professor  Rukman Karsten Hundeide, founder, chairman and leader of ICDP for over twenty years...

Dear friends,

Yesterday, the 7th of September, we lost Rukman Karsten Hundeide, the founder and leader of the ICDP family. While we mourn our friend and brother, we also reinforce our commitment to carry forward his message of compassion and humanity by continuing to work together, spreading the ICDP progamme in the world.

Rukman provided guidance to us all, which we will sorely miss, not only because of his impressive academic contributions, but even more because of his human sensitivity and friendship, his tireless dedication to ICDP work, his continuous inspiration, personal warmth and sense of humour. We will try to "keep the flame" alive.

Lailah Armstrong, on behalf of the ICDP international team

And Nadeem Mohsin writes from India...

The only way that we can pay tribute to this wonderful human being is to carry forward his dream project by spreading it in different corners of the globe. I, for one, would be really thankful if you all can guide me to spread ICDP in different parts of India. I have had some intitial correspondence with Karsten on this subject and he was very keen to put India on the ICDP map.

Lailah, I know Karsten's demise would particularly mean a great loss to you. Believe me, I am with you at this moment of trauma and would be willing to devote my services to the cause of ICDP.

Once again I offer my deep condolence to Karsten's family, all his colleagues at ICDP and all his freinds and well wishers.

And Renee Goetz writes from Australia...

Dear Lailah

For me Karsten's and your work is based on love or simply is "living love". Love never dies.To give love and spread love is our fulfillment, is our timelessness. When we look into Karsten's work we can feel attached to something truly big, something that will feed our feelings, creativity and time for a long time.

Thank you God for sending us Karsten Hundeide with your very special guidance for the children, the needy, and all of humanity.

To find out more about Rukman Handeide's legacy, ICDP (International Child Development Program), go to  http://www.icdp.info/



OBITUARY: MIRIAM KARIN…An unforgettable sister

Mariam Karin, seated in front second from the right, with ladies attaending the Thursday morning latihan at Subud Clarinda in Melbourne.

Miriam Karin passed away in Melbourne on Friday September 16 after a long illness with cancer.

She was a deeply beloved and highly respected woman in many parts of the world, particularly in Israel, where she spent the early part of her life, and in Australia where she spent the last 30 years or so.

She was a woman of the greatest integrity and dignity.

She was born in Israel. She once explained to me that people born in Israel are called sabra, which refers to a tough plant which grows in the desert, a kind of hardy cactus (prickly pear), meaning that people like that can survive, and thrive, in the most difficult and desperate circumstances.The allusion also contains the idea that the thick hide of this tenacious, thorny desert plant conceals a sweet, softer interior.

I only knew her after she came to Australia, so I'll only speak of that. Others may wish to add about her Israeli years.

I believe that the first contact with Australians came about with members of the Wollongong group and she first spent time with them after she came to Australia. The Wollongong group at that time had a great pioneering attitude, and Miriam and that group found kindred spirits with each other.

I well remember that during the time she was in Australia, and Bapak came around, he very frequently tested with her. It was a sign of how highly he thought of her and held her up as an example.

She was a woman with very fine artistic tastes and her home was decorated with many excellent paintings and artifacts. She was extremely intelligent and cultured with broad interests and sympathies.

In recent years she was extremely ill with cancer but lived with this illness with great courage and without complaint.  The illness reached a point where she was no longer able to live by herself and her last years were spent in an excellent facility for ageing Jewish people. She was still attending latihan with the Melboure group right up until her death.

It was a shock to hear of the death, because though I did not see as much of her in recent years as I had done in the past, she was always there.

Our sympathy to her son, Sean Adelrod.


Who could ever forget Miriam once they had met her? Her strong accent and witty charm made even a scolding seem like a love pat.

I met Miriam for the first time when she came to Europe some four decades ago. We bonded when she next visited England. She loved Sachlan dearly for his dedicated work for Bapak and Subud, and was delighted when we married some 38 years ago.

When we moved to Melbourne from Loudwater Farm, we expected the same strong Subud family connection. There was no dedicated Simon Sturton here to set the tone of the group. We had reckoned without Miriam. Being an experienced old helper of Bapak, she set the bar in the helper group. Sometimes she was sharp and prickly, yet when she was your friend, it was for life. As helpers we were invisibly guided to follow Bapak's guidelines.

When we bought our first home, our closest neighbour was Miriam. So on her way to the shops she would stop off for a cup of tea and a chat. My children loved Miriam. Her love for them would flow freely and they reciprocated. She came in one morning and spontaneously we had a house warming party with a table cloth in the centre of the huge dining room floor, with food that we all shared. "Why wait for the furniture when you are living here, it needs to be blessed" was her opinion. She latihaned and prayed in every room so there would be no "negative energy" from people who had lived there before.

She was one of the few people who understood Aramaic. I recall a testing session we witnessed when one of the candidates being tested was speaking what we thought was gibberish. No, not so! Miriam strode purposefully to the Chairman's table and explained the meaning of the Aramaic words. The atmosphere was electric as it dawned on us that the words were of worship and purity.

On another occasion, in the middle of a wedding celebration, one member took umbrage that 'Amazing  Grace', which she disapproved of, was being sung to the bridal Jewish couple. Miriam was quick off the mark saying "thank goodness it is not your wedding, my darling, I am sure the couple will love that song" and the celebrations continued without a hitch. No offence was meant and none taken. That was Miriam.

At the Melbourne group that I went to, we had a Thursday morning latihan. Miriam dubbed it 'The Thursday Morning Club'. We were a close small group of women. Miriam often held court with her stories about the time when she was the Principal of a school in Israel and had to protect the students from enemy gunfire. Her exploits were always full of drama. Her charm was in the way she handled us all. She was the wise older sister who came up with all the answers. So as she started taking time off for hospital visits and surgery, our group was not the same.

When her illness took hold of her, I often visited her both in hospital and at her home. Instead of me comforting her, she would regale me with snippets from Bapak's visits. She was very fond of Vernon (dad) and Sandra (mom) Fraval. She made the effort to visit him even though her health was failing. There was one particular story when Bapak had asked Sandra to show how she reacted when Vernon was cross with her. Miriam's acting kept us all in stitches. She was an amazing mimic.

As she battled cancer and the pain associated with it became unbearable, she never complained. Instead, she would laugh at my gently massaging her spontaneously and joke that I could not resist her arm! "Now you have to stop all this show of affection" she would chide. She was in constant pain, and would plainly tell me not to visit as she felt very weak. Her strength was in her honesty. There was no back stabbing.

I saw Miriam a few weeks before the end. She was tired but still full of cheer. She firmly planted two big kisses on my cheeks and forehead. "This one is for Sachlan. Tell him I love him." From the day we met her to the day she physically left us, she left a big impact on us. Her lifelong dedication to Subud was to be seen to be believed. She would walk tentatively to latihan on the Sunday morning with a walking stick holding on to Sean's arm. Dear Sean, it could not have been easy, yet his dedication and committment to bring her to latihan was exemplary. She loathed missing her latihans. She was very sad she could not come to the Thursday Morning Club. It was not the same without her, and gradually whittled down to something that was totally different.

On the day of her funeral I was with another sister up in Kilmore doing a latihan and praying for Miriam. We shared some early stories of Miriam and laughed at all the funny things she would say like "leemon". There was no sadness, only joy that she was now free.

Miriam, we salute you. You brought so much joy wherever you went. We pray you are safely journeying to your destination free of the pain that was your constant partner all these years. We thank Almighty God for your presence and friendship that had no room for judgements and criticisms. You were truly Subud. May God bless and keep you safe, dear sister. Rest in peace.

Loving embrace,

Rohana Fraval



Bapak (extreme right) talks to some Subud members. His wife, Ibu Siti Sumari, is seated in the chair beside him.

Since Subud Voice is now once again available in full to the general public, we no longer publish talks by Bapak or Ibu Rahayu in their entirety, because it is felt that, generally speaking, these are really only comprehensible and of value to people who already practise the latihan.

Bapak always insisted that his talks are “explanations” for people who already follow the latihan. One of his oft-repeated maxims was, “First the experience, then the explanation!”

He compared the latihan to eating a mango. There is no way you can “explain” the taste of a mango to someone who has not tasted one. First, you must experience it for yourself, then you can talk about it.

At the same time, brief quotations from Bapak, the founder of Subud, and his daugther, Ibu Rahayu, are often comprehensible to anyone, and may contain wisdom or advice that is akin to what is said in religion or other spiritual traditions.

So what we will do in Subud Voice from now on is generally suggest a talk which relates in some way to the contents of the issue and include a brief quotation of general interest. Subud members may then go to the www.subudlibrary.net web site to read the talk in its entirety.

This issue has a bit of an emphasis on talent, so we are suggesting a talk given by Bapak in Sydney on May 17, 1982.

The context of this talk is that it was given at a time when Subud members were developing an enterprise in Sydney called Project Sunrise which led to the development of the leisure and shopping precinct Darling Harbour. During this talk Bapak tested various people as to their suitability to be directors of this project. The talks includes this passage...

The enterprises that Bapak talks about are very different from enterprises that are done by those who do not have the kejiwaan meaning those who do not receive the latihan kejiwaan.

The enterprises that are carried out by those who have received the latihan kejiwaan of Subud are enterprises where we pray to God Almighty that in all our actions and work which we do, we should not be separated from the guidance of Almighty God.

So, to be clear, while doing the work of the enterprise in the way people ordinarily work, we do not separate ourselves from our worship of God. This is a grace and a good fortune for us that while we are close to God we do not forget the world. Normally, from long ago till now, there are many people who practice some sort of spiritual way while, as it were, putting aside the needs of their life in this world. This is wrong in reality,  but right according to the belief of those who do it.

Code Number : 82 SYD 6. Sydney, May 17, 1982
Translation by Sharif Horthy

To read the complete talk go to Subud Library www.subudlibrary.net

Please note that this talk is Copyright © 2010 the World Subud Association. All rights reserved. This talk was given for people practising the spiritual exercise known as the Subud Latihan. For those not practising this exercise, reading the talk is not recommended as it could be misunderstood


This magazine is produced by members of the spiritual movement known as Subud. Recently the magazine became available free and online to the general public as well as to Subud members.

Because  there will probably be some new readers who are unfamiliar with Subud, it seems a good idea to provide a few words of explanation about the movement.

Subud is a spiritual movement which originated in Indonesia in the 1920s and spread to the West in 1957, first to England and then all around the world.  It has always remained fairly small and inconspicuous, with perhaps only about 15-20,000 active members worldwide, although it is represented in close to 80 countries.

The central spiritual experience in Subud is called the latihan. “Latihan” is a commonplace Indonesian word which simply means exercise or drill. It is short for the Indonesian phrase “latihan kejiwaan” which means spiritual exercise.

Although it originated in Indonesia, and although the founder, Bapak Muhammad Subuh, was  a Muslim, Subud is not Indonesian or Islamic. Everyone in Subud is encouraged to follow their own nationality and beliefs. Subud is not a system of belief but an experience available to everyone regardless of race or religion. It does not contain  any particular culture or religion. It is open to people of all religions, political persuasions, nationalities and ethnicities.

Subud members are encouraged to be active in the world and endeavour to give form to what they have received in the latihan. Activities include setting up businesses and humanitarian and cultural projects. There is a democratic international Subud organisation, the World Subud Association (WSA) which unites the various national organisations in Subud which meet together at World Congresses usually held every four years. A more compact body, the World Subud Council (WSC), looks after the affairs of Subud between Congresses.

Other important organisations in Subud are Susila Dharma International (SDI) which co-ordinates the social welfare projects of Subud members; the Muhammad  Subuh Foundation (MSF) which funds a variety of Subud projects; Subud Enterprise Services International (SESI) which supports the work of Subud entrepreneurs; Subud Youth Activities International (SYAI) which works with young Subud members; Subud International Cultural Associaion (SICA) which supports cultural projects; and the Subud International Health Association (SIHA) whihc works in the area of health.

This is a very brief sketch of Subud. Those wishing for a more detailed explanation should go to http://www.subudvoice.net/whatissubud/home.html. There is a link to it on the left hand side of our home page. There are also links to the web sites of the various organisations mentioned above which also include explanations of Subud. See for example the official web site of WSA, www.subud.com.

If anyone would like to make contact with a Subud group near them, they should check the telephone directory to see if there is a group in their locality. Or they should go to the web site www.subud.com where they will find contact information for the WSA and the various national bodies.


VIDEO ABOUT SUBUD…View it now right here

FINDING SUBUD” is a 9 minute documentary by Sam Mulgrew (not a Subud member), a student at the Christchurch Broadcasting School.

"As a class film assignment, we have to make a documentary. I’m making mine about Subud. I was searching the internet for what’s been happening recently in Christchurch looking for ideas, and I came across an article about the Subud World Congress event held locally, attended by 1700 people from all around the world. I’ve never heard of this thing called Subud... so I became intrigued.”

See it for yourself on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snJfaHQeevE


Subud Voice is published monthly and the English edition is issued on the 1st of each month at www.subudvoice.net. A Spanish facsimile edition usually appears a little later on the same web site.


Send articles, photos, cartoons etc. to Harris Smart, Editor Subud Voice, email: editor@subudvoice.net Tel: + 61 3 95118122

Submissions are invited which relate to Subud life or are from Subud members. We cannot guarantee when, or if, a submission can be published. Preference will be given to articles of about 2000 words or less accompanied by a photograph, well-written in English and dealing with the activities of Subud members, or expressing a Subud member's perspective on a subject.

Articles should be written in such a way that they are intelligible and interesting to both Subud members and the general public. Sometimes this means providing an explanatory introduction or notes for the non-Subud reader. Articles and photos should be submitted electronically by email.

There is no payment for submissions. Correspondence about articles will generally not be entered into. Submissions to Subud Voice may be edited for a variety of reasons including the need to shorten them or improve expression. If you do not want your submission to be edited in any way, please mark it clearly NOT TO BE EDITED.

The opinions expressed in the various articles are the sole responsibility of their authors and cannot be seen as representing the opinion of either the editor or the World Subud Association.

The name Subud ® and the Seven Circles Symbol are registered marks of the World Subud Association.


Classifieds: 50 cents a word. Minimum charge AUD$15.00. Display rates on request. (Developing countries – no charge).


This issue has been generously sponsored by the Guerrand Hermes Foundation for Peace.


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