One of your contributors says ….” at 63, much of your “nafsu” is passed on to your offspring...."
My understanding is that their soul (not their nafsu) becomes the responsibility of their offspring. The soul has a relationship with God, but nafsu are merely instruments for living which belong to this planet, and may be under the control of the soul, or continually smothering the soul depending on the condition or changing states of the person.
To elucidate - just as your children are catered for within your own latihan until they reach maturity (adulthood immediately post adolescence) when responsibility for their spiritual condition passes directly to them, so also do parents become the children’s responsibility once they reach the onset of the age of decline (63). That is, the latihan of the offspring (automatically) also provides for the spiritual needs of the parents.
Indeed many reported experiences (on your website pages) tell how their deceased parents have received a spiritual change through the offspring doing latihan, and some who report these experiences had no prior awareness that this could happen.
I am not aware of nafsu being passed on – or Bapak ever saying this was so. Nafsu are instruments for living which weaken with age.
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I pray regularly for people who are departed and feel very strongly about this.
Years ago my grandmother died. I felt like praying for her, which I am still doing.
About two or three months after she died she appeared to me in a dream. She looked younger, was dressed in a white dress and surrounded by a blue light. Her face looked happy and radiant and she said to me: "I am so happy that you and your mother are praying for me and making my grave look so nice." (My mother had been putting a lot of effort in her grave.)
The next day I phoned my mother and asked her if she had been praying for Gran. She said "Oh yes, ever since she died." So I passed on the message.
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I had a dream in New Zealand where I saw this round rainbow in the sky and in the middle of it someone was sitting in a white robe in a very casual posture. As it came directly above me hanging over a volcanic mountain across the bay called Rangitoto, I saw that it was Jesus. I said to my companion in the dream, Leanne, the daughter of Hassan Vogel. “Do you see what I see?” Then, I was getting off a plane with some Indonesians and some people were asking me how is it that I saw this, and why, as a non -Chrisitian, would I see this? I knew inside that the answer was that Jesus does not belong to Christianity; he is for all mankind, just like Bapak was for all mankind.
Then about five years later I had another dream: in this one I saw a Tibetan wall hanging with the image of one of the great Rinpoches and below him, below his seat, was a radiant round ball which kept vibrating from glowing saffron to glowing green, and then it began to rise towards his chest, turned into a glowing red heart and disappeared into his chest. I turned to my companion in the dream, Latif Ismail, and said to him: “Do you see what I see?” In Hawaii, I had a lot of connections with people who were in the Tibetan Buddhist community, and a handful got opened in Subud.
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During 2006, I wrote to our Australian Prime Minister, requesting that he make moves to preserve the forests of Tasmania, Borneo and Amazon because they are the lungs of the Earth. I definitely felt as though I’d drawn a blank there. Then someone inside me said, “Pray for the Earth.” I did not know how to do this and asked to be shown.
Soon afterwards, I joined a prayer healing group but because it didn’t feel like the right one for me, I left it, but not before giving my email address to just the right person, who later sent me information about a kind of prayer I had not encountered before. I was certain that this was meant to come to me for the purpose of praying for the environment. The way I used it went like this:
”Mother Earth, I’m sorry for the damage we’ve done. Please forgive me. I love you, God bless you”.
As though to give me encouragement, snow fell on our worst bushfires the very next day. In summer! I kept it up for six months and then the impetus to do it just went…I had the impression that it had become someone else's duty after that.
I’m a therapist and I went on to use it silently and effectively for clients, adjusting the words to “Sorry for the suffering of your life.” In fact. I use it at the drop of a hat now, as soon as I notice something not right with my fellow man. Here are two more examples:
A tattooed and pierced young waiter who’d been impolite and surly when serving my friend and I, after we both did the ho'oponopono for him while he was in the kitchen, came out smiling and gave us free dessert! This was my first proof of the miracle of this Hawaiian healing prayer.
The second proof was connected with a lady’s inability to overcome a feeling of chaos and shame. I knew that she lived in rooms filled with mess and rubbish which she could neither sort nor clean. Within hours of my doing h'oponopono for her, (about four times) she went through the place singing with joy and overcame the mess accompanied by a great feeling of being lovable. Although I didn't tell her I'd prayed, the following day she sought me out, feeling that she wanted to tell me all about it and give me a hug.
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There are times when our lives can take an unexpected twist – and bring a blessing which is as surprising as it is precious.
In May 1983 I received a phone call completely out of the blue asking me to come over to Sydney on the other side of the world to do some work with a bunch of Subud members who were working on a project to develop one of the inland harbours in the city – Darling Harbour – and three days later found me under the wide blue skies and wider possibilities of ‘down under’ as a temporary member of the ‘ Project Sunrise’ team.
Three or four weeks later I arrived in Cilandak (the Subud compound in Jakarta, Indonesia) on the return leg of the trip to spend the next four weeks there for the Ramadan Fast. This was an unexpected bonus – my Garuda airlines flight to Sydney allowed this stopover in Indonesia on my way back.
To fast there, with Bapak, was a powerful experience and in those days many members from around the world would come to be together there during the Fast. During this time I experienced a very clear receiving which left me feeling somewhat puzzled since I had always consigned the subject of circumcision to the ‘pending tray’ in my mind. However I looked at it, I found it hard to understand how this traditional [in the Jewish and Islamic faiths] operation could possibly have any spiritual effect despite having read
Bapak’s reference to it as being connected with ‘purifying the ancestors’! I could understand the possible health benefits but nothing more and felt amazed that any adult man would consent to such a procedure!
Anyway, my receiving was that I should be circumcised and I knew that this guidance did not arise from my own will - actually this was quite obvious – and despite my efforts to ignore it, it would not go away. Eventually I asked a close brother to test with me about this and sure enough it was clear that this was a very significant step for me to take.
That same night, in the early hours, I went with this same brother to do latihan in the large domed hall. I had an experience which was unusual in that at some point during the latihan I felt someone approach me from behind and this ‘person’ removed from my shoulders what might be described as, or felt like, a very heavy overcoat and the experience of being uncovered was accompanied by the most exhilarating feeling of freedom and joy. It was at this point that any lingering doubts about being circumcised were removed as it was clear to me what this experience was about.
At that time an elderly and very dear Subud helper called Mas Sudarto used to arrange the circumcision operation for any men who so wished, usually because they wanted to embrace Islam. This operation was not performed during the Fast and so it was arranged to take place a day or two after the end and so it happened that this particular morning I arrived at the clinic – actually an ordinary house not far from Cilandak - with chickens running around the yard, washing hanging on the line etc. accompanied by Mas Sudarto and a couple of other helpers who were living in Cilandak at that time. As a result of the month of fasting, I was feeling very calm and quiet at this point, waiting for my turn. However just before the doctors were ready I [apparently] passed out!
The first thing I remembered was coming back round and repeating the words ‘Allah, Allah’ in a state of latihan whilst Mas Sudarto was massaging my feet and the doctors were looking on quite concerned! I think I had been ‘out’ for a few minutes. I could feel they were worried and they suggested that we delay the operation, but I knew it was fine and said to carry on. I can’t possibly describe how I felt at this point – the previous quiet or calm state had been replaced by a feeling of such bliss and surrender and during the operation, whilst the others were in latihan, I felt such happiness and remember laughing with the doctors who were calling me a ‘brave man’! But the fact was that I was in a completely ‘other’ state of being which was quite extraordinary, where I knew no fear or separation from all that existed.
Over the next few days this feeling gradually receded but I experienced, immediately after the operation a highly sensitive state and had to be very careful whom I was with. I can assure you that this is far removed from my normal ‘thick-skinned’ insensitive condition!
To end the story – the following day I met Mas Sudarto walking in the compound and, feeling a little bemused by the experience, asked him what had happened to me. He laughed and said, in his halting English, that I had surrendered too deeply and that my nafsu had left me and that this is what happens when one dies. And so I passed out or ‘died’. But he also added that actually for me this was a great blessing because it had enabled me to experience the circumcision on the human level.
I can’t really comment on that but can only say, as I did at the beginning, that this experience was a truly unexpected blessing and I felt that Life had somehow engineered the whole situation to bring me to that point…and that I am also looking forward to becoming more truly ‘human’!
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On the day of my circumcision I had a dream that woke me up between 4 and 5 in the morning. In the dream I was laying in bed and I saw a large head of an old man coming out of the ceiling above me. His face was full of anger and he shouted at me, “You are not going to do this thing that you have planned to do today! I forbid you to do this!” After I'd woken up I felt quite disturbed and for a moment I considered calling everything off. Later I calmed down and felt fine to go ahead with it. My feeling was that this old man was an ancestor who felt uncomfortable about what I planned to do.
In my Subud group at the time, the protocol for circumcision was that during the time of the operation the helpers would do a special latihan in the Subud house for the brother who was being circumcised. Perhaps this was why I felt in such a strong latihan state all the time. While on the operation table, I sometimes felt as if I was just about to leave my body. I felt truly blessed during the whole experience. The next day when I went to my group for latihan, several brothers and sisters told me how clean and 'innocent' my face looked.
After I'd come home from hospital I had two phone calls. One from my sister and one from my mother. They had been worried about me because both of them had had a dream that night in which they saw me in hospital. (I hadn't told any of my relatives about the circumcision.) They'd spoken to each other that day and had shared this. They were very surprised that they both had had the same dream, which had made them worried. I told them I was fine and some months later, when I felt it was the right time, I told them what had happened that day. These phone calls were another proof to me - as I have so often experienced - that we are much more connected to each other than we realize.
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I was scheduled to be circumcised on the last day of a month-long sales competition – I was working for an insurance company at the time – so didn’t want to cancel my last few appointments, even though I was due to have the operation under full anaesthetic. The op was slated for 10 a.m. and I had three sales meetings scheduled for the afternoon and early evening. I could always cancel them at the last minute, I told myself. In the event, I came out of that hospital like a man reborn, as full of energy as I could ever recall being; wherever I went the air was charged. I was unstoppable and easily sold all three prospects. I also won the competition!
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I heard this story from Francis von Kahler's own mouth in his beautiful, aristocratic Austrian accent when he addressed a gathering at Subud New York upon his return from the 1971World Congress held in Indonesia. I laughed until my sides ached.
As the Congress was coming to an end, Francis decided he wanted to stay in Indonesia for another month. There were many booths set up around the compound to handle the various needs of the members without their having to leave the congress site. So Francis asked if there might be a place he could extend his visa. Someone pointed out a line to him, and he went to stand at the end.
So now picture this: Francis, a short and round man of Austrian origin, perhaps in his 70's at that time: a raconteur and storyteller par excellence, he quickly fell to entertaining the men standing in the line. It was a long line and it took quite a while for Francis to get to the front and he was absorbed in his storytelling the whole time.
When he got to the front he turned and was confronted by a man in a white coat asking him to drop his pants.
His confused reply is now preserved for us in the archives of famous Subud quotes.
He stuttered, "Yyyyou dddon't understand. I came for an extension."
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