In the early years of my Subud life I went through what you may call a "Subud crisis" and fortunately it lasted only a few weeks. It was also the only real crisis I experienced in my entire Subud life. I became very sensitive to people around me, family members, Subud members and even strangers. I found myself unable to pay attention to the normal things of life, e.g., going to work, and preferred solitude.
Once I was travelling by train to the City and there was this young man who was seated across from me and there were hardly any people in the train as it was not the commute time. I suddenly became aware that this young man was seriously contemplating suicide. Without any hesitation I spoke to him and advised against it, saying that nothing is permanent in this world and soon this phase will pass. Nearly a year later this same young man came running up to me during the rush hour and thanked me profusely for the advice.
My dear brother Mohamed Rusely Siddiek (who passed away in the late nineties) was aware of my crisis and confessed much later how he loved to spend time with me at this time period as he sometimes experienced every emotion I was experiencing and felt an extraordinary sense of the latihan. What I recall most is that I was in a state of latihan most of the time and felt very detached from the normal world.
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Our youngest daughter moved to Nova Scotia in 2010. She bought her first house in a very small town, and my wife and I went to visit her in the spring of 2011. She had three bedrooms so we each had our own room. One morning, as I was waking up, I saw the face of a beautiful little girl, about five years old, peering into my face from the side of the bed. She had brilliant blue eyes, blonde hair tinted reddish, lovely facial complexion, and was very, very cute. She didn't remind me of anyone I had ever seen before. I think she had been looking into my face before I started to wake up and didn't expect me to see her, because she disappeared quickly once she saw me looking back at her. Seeing her made me feel good. I'm sure it was not a dream. I have never dreamed anything of that nature before or since. She's not the sort of person that an elderly man in his 80's, like me, would ever dream about.
The same day I told my wife and daughter about the little girl, but none of us could do more than guess who or what she might have been. Was she an angel, perhaps there to look after my daughter, or had she lived in that house in the past and came back to check us out? It's a puzzle. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.
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That was an interesting experience concerning the young girl looking at the writer as he awoke.
I had a similar experience once before the birth of our first daughter. My wife was about 3-4 months pregnant, and one day I opened my eyes and looked down the bed to see a young girl, about 5 – 6 years old, standing there looking at me. She had big blue eyes and very short fine hair, almost boyish in cut.. At the time I assumed the experience was related to the child my wife was carrying, and indeed after our daughter was born and when she was about 5 - 6 she looked exactly as she had in my experience.
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In response to a recent sharing of an extract from Lorna Byrne’s book Stairways to Heaven:
I had an angel tap me on the shoulder once, to keep me from falling asleep while driving a carful of us Subud loonies back from a Bapak visit. THAT was way cool. I had convinced myself I could drive with my eyes closed.
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One of the Semarang Subud members drove out to visit Pak Mus, and stopped to buy some cigarettes for him. A very attractive young woman served him at the warung (small shop), and being attracted to her, he lingered talking and enjoying being with her. Then he set off again, but couldn’t get her out of his mind. So he stopped his motorbike and sat at the side of the road quietening himself, until his feelings were settled and he felt ready to see Pak Mus. When he arrived, Pak Mus's first words were, “Who was that you left at the side of the road back there?”
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Once I was driving on the Nepean Highway, the busy motorway that cuts through Melbourne. It was a stormy autumn Saturday morning, and the rain and wind were lashing my car, when suddenly a feeling of compassion came over me. I felt warm and loving towards my fellow human beings and a thought came up in me: "If only I could help someone today, someone who needs help in this miserable weather."
I drove home, and when I came through the door my wife asked if I could get some bread. So I turned around, got back into the car and drove to the supermarket. By that time I'd forgotten about the experience I'd had. After a short while, I remembered seeing a bakery sometime ago that I hadn't tried before and I felt the urge to go there instead of to the supermarket. This bakery was just off the busy highway I'd been on. The weather was still terrible and I remember thinking how dangerous it must be for pedestrians to cross this road, with cars racing by and such poor visibility.
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I came out of the bakery with my bread in a plastic bag, got into the car and was just about to start the engine when someone knocked on my window. It was an old lady, a tramp by the look of it. She was wearing old worn out clothes and looked dirty. I opened the window and then she said to me, "Please, sir, could you give me a lift? I live across the highway but I don't dare to cross it because of the weather." I have to admit that I am ashamed of my initial response which was a feeling of "Hmm, I am not sure if I want a dirty, wet tramp in my car." Then, suddenly, I remembered the experience I'd had earlier and the feeling of love and wanting to help someone came back. So I opened the door for the old lady and drove her home. After a while, she said to me, "I've been waiting for nearly an hour there looking for someone to give me a lift. When I saw you I thought, "This one, he's got an honest face, I can trust him. God bless you."
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The following three responses are extracted by Latif Tinker from his spiritual autobiography My Christian Rebirth.
During a Bapak visit to San Francisco I saw Lawrence Brantic across the room. I knew that he lived in Wisma Subud (the Subud compound in Jakarta) and I crossed the room to talk with him but was unable to find him. Some months later I talked to him at Wisma Subud. He informed me that he hadn't left Jakarta, had been at home when Bapak was traveling.
A few of us were interested in having a new center in San Jose, Ca. MK from Carmel Valley wanted to help us get our new center, so he suggested that the Carmel Valley Center would travel the 100 miles to San Jose to have latihan and dinner. Our group made the arrangements and what M K suggested indeed happened. It was a grand day with many people present. In playing with my children after dinner I noticed that they had been elevated to a higher level. They confirmed that they did indeed feel very good. They were six and eleven years old. Their lives had been improved and I was very happy for them.
On the drive to a summer backpacking trip in the High Sierras, I stopped to buy gas at Gilroy and noticed a hitchhiker at the curb. With gas in the tank we headed to the high country. After many miles of silence I got him to tell me about himself. As a young teen his parents sent him to a camp for truants in a remote area of Texas. His parents hardly ever visited, the food was bad and the campers were guarded by toughs. He had been in three such camps. The story was really sad and we were both crying as I drove. One night he looked across the small river that ran along one side of the camp and saw a bright light shining around the figure of a man. This inspired him to escape, which he did at the first chance. As we drove he confessed to having a loaded pistol in his lap covered by his jacket. I asked him to please remove the bullets and put the gun in the glove box, which he did. The last 100 miles were enjoyable as we'd become good friends.
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My receiving last Saturday was a bit of a lark, really:
The old ways of religious fundamentalism and ideology:
We Are Right
The new way of latihan, harmony, worship, and surrender:
We Harmonize Ourselves
We Harmonize Advancing Thanksgiving
We Harmonize Every Now
We Harmonize Every Region Everywhere
"It is better to be harmonious than to be right."
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I’d like to share with you my latest experience in an opening in our group. First I should caution that this is not a very “special effects” experience. No blue lights, no visions, just an ordinary opening latihan. And yet... In the latihan preceding the opening itself I tried to be as sincere as I could, all too aware of my frailties, the aches and pains of age, of being distracted more than I should by the latihan around me and, eventually, finding help in a beautiful inner feeling as if I was swimming under water, experiencing the peace in its ebb and flow.
Anyway, then it was time for the opening. The opening statement was read and I was deeply touched, as if I had never heard it before. But it was really about the latihan that followed. There was such a sharp difference between the previous latihan and this one. For it was about, literally, experiencing the Power of the Almighty within and without; now, in this opening latihan, my trusty, familiar inner ‘I’ was nullified. There was simply no personal me. And I didn’t feel the energy of the latihan within me, as I always do, but outside of me, coming at me, hitting me so that it just about knocked me over. Like standing under a waterfall unable to escape its pummelling
So much for a great experience. Oddly enough, afterwards, when I had to face the world again I found that I had become very peevish....quite a bitch....and for the next few hours worked hard just to keep my mouth shut since nothing good was coming out of it. I see this reaction as a manifestation of the great sense of humour of - shall I call him? - my angel. He is always laughing at me, teaching me not to take myself too seriously: as in, “So you think you had a great spiritual experience - that, maybe, now you are a step closer to a more lofty state? Well, my dear, why don’t you have a look at yourself in the mirror?” Or something to that effect.
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