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Machmud Fiedorowicz: Faith, Hope and Charity

The meaning of religion

Machmud (now Rohan) was originally a Geordie from Newcastle-on-Tyne. As a young man, he became a heroin addict. Fortunately, he found a program through which he was able to overcome his addiction. Soon after, he also found Subud. Here he tells of an experience in which he was shown the relationship between Subud and Christianity and the essential unity of all religious experience.

After I'd been doing the latihan for six months, I was told I shouldn't do it at home. But I couldn't stop it. I'd go home and it would just keep coming back. So I went in search of Subud. I visited almost every group in the country to see if there was any difference from what I knew in Newcastle. There was some difference, not a lot, but where there were more people, it seemed less calcified. But I hated the way people surrounded Subud with mystery and storytelling. I knew it was normal, ordinary.

In the early part of 1981, I experienced many difficulties in my personal life and felt myself left with absolutely nothing. Everything I had worked for seemed to have disappeared or been taken away.

At this time, I tested with some helpers and I received that I should work on a Subud farm building in Edinburgh. I began to travel to this building on weekends. At first many people worked on the building, but gradually fewer and fewer people came, until one day, I found myself working alone. It was a very cold day and pouring rain. I was smashing concrete with a sledgehammer. My hands were cut and bleeding and swollen. I felt utterly depressed.

The voice said: "Machmud, stand up."

I stood up.

"Now put your hand in the air. Be honest, how does it feel?"

I said aloud: "If I am honest, it feels like having my hand in the air." I couldn't say more than that. That was all I could say.

The voice said: "Now move your finger, how does that feel?"

I replied: "It feels like I am moving my finger."

The voice continued: "Next finger, how does it feel? Next finger..." And went through the various parts of my physical body.

When this finished, the voice said: "This is the latihan kejiwaan which is completely normal: you are responsible for every movement you make in your life. The latihan has been with you 100% from the time you were opened. Stop waiting to be moved, move in any direction you choose. The latihan will guide you."

Then the voice said: "Machmud, experience Susila."

Here I felt nothing special, simply being normal and healthy.

"Now experience Budhi."

There was a slight difference. I became aware of something greater, something outside myself.

Then the voice said: "Experience Dharma."

Here I experienced a real difference. The only word I have to describe it is "incredible" and I don't like to use that word because I don't like to exaggerate. I began to move around the room, giving everything I had to the latihan, until there was nothing left. I wanted to stop, but the voice said: "Keep going, find people, ask them for what they need, and help them find what they need."

For the first time, I felt who Machmud was.

The voice said: "This is Susila, Budhi, Dharma, Subud. In Christianity it is known as Faith, Hope and Charity. Susila is Jesus, a man of perfect faith, the Son. Budhi is the Power of God the Father who fills the universe, before whom you can only hope, and the Holy Spirit is the power of love, charity."

Then the voice asked: "Machmud, how many Gods are there?"

I said: "One." And became afraid.

"No, Machmud, be honest, how many Gods are there?"

I answered: "None."

Then felt: "Allah, Allah, Allah, this is God, God is."



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