A Timely Opening
In the early 1960's, after being in Subud for only about two or three years, my uncle by marriage began to express an interest in Subud. He had a very bad heart and had already experienced a major heart attack.
The night he died, he and my aunt were visiting our family and my uncle came over to me, stood by my chair and took my hand and held it - something he had never done before.
That night he had a fatal heart attack and died. In those days, in our family, no one even thought of cremation, so my uncle was to be viewed by the family at our local funeral parlor.
As soon as I entered the room where his casket was I felt his spirit totally engulf me to such an extent that it was hard to breathe. He was clearly terrified.
There was a chair at the head of his casket that I was to sit in and the latihan started so strongly that it rocked me to and fro. I saw the looks of concern from the other people in the room but had to go on.
Finally the latihan began to slow and then stop. A great feeling of relief swept over me because my uncle had been opened and was able to go his own way.
Being so new in Subud, I was very shaken by the experience and for some time thereafter, whenever I had to go to a funeral home, I sort of crept in with a great deal of caution.
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The Cleansing Goes on.
I was at a selamatan in Indonesia recently for a Subud lady who had died one year earlier. The deceased who had been in her eighties when she passed, had done the latihan for more than fifty years. At the selamatan, her daughter came to me and said that there was something which she wanted to share. It seems that while she was in a state of latihan at the selamatan, she'd been visited by her mother, who let her know that she was doing well on the other side and also told her that "the cleansing goes on."
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I was seven years old and had the best kite in the world. At least that’s how I described it to myself.
It’s now 2013 and, at 78 years old, it is obvious to me that that the story of my kite is a story of spiritual experience. It represents a dream that I experienced many times over four years: I always rode on this magnificent, though invisible, kite in the black of night.
I was living in the world of feelings and felt very good. In the second year I began to desire a female companion, and after a few months I was joined by her. We blended together as one and I was totally satisfied. A short time later I was able to see her in the dim light coming from her body. Her outer body was a translucent sphere with inner parts that were spinning. Though she looked strange my feelings toward her were unchanged. I couldn’t tell if she
was a giant or the size of a molecule, but it didn’t matter.
This dream continued until I was eleven years old, after which I never saw her again. Two years later, at age 13, a yearning for her became evident and continued for thirty six years. During my visits to Wisma Subud between 1970 and 1980, the yearning was amplified tenfold.
In 1984, after the thirty six years of yearning, I met Jeanie, the love of my life. It was only after several weeks and the possibility of romance, that I found out that Jeanie was a Subud member, having been opened in 1962. We married in 1989 and have had a good life with adventures and lovely years of dancing.
Jeanie dearly loves and completes me. Unfortunately she has recently had to move to a very nice assisted living group home, where she maintains her sweet disposition. I visit her daily.
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Following What Arises
I don't usually go public about 'experiences', but just an hour or so ago, I had one of those wonderful experiences, so simple, that confirm how infinitely precise and pro-active is the wisdom of the Creator, no matter what appearances may suggest to the heart and mind.
Yesterday, a friend of mine here in Sevilla asked me to buy some medication for her, as she cannot easily leave the house. This morning I realised that it is a public holiday here in Spain, and so I rang to tell her that I couldn't go and buy what she needed because the chemists are shut. She reminded me that there is always one chemist open in each local area, and asked me again to get what she needed because she really needed it.
It is very hot, well over 30 degrees and it is only just mid-day. I stand in my apartment and deliberate, a typical conversation between two voices, the cooperative one and the other.
"Well, I'd rather not go out in the heat, because it's only going to get hotter." (The temperature rises very quickly here - we have already had one day of 50 degrees +) "So why not let's go around 6 p.m., or 8 p.m."
"Yes, that's a possibility - you'll be going out at 10 p.m. anyway - but it's better to make sure that she has the medication so that she can get better."
"True, but it's hot..."
As always, I then leave the choice - there is always only one: Yes, or No - in the basket of possibilities and wait for my body to move. And straight away I find myself changing and getting ready to go out, feeling like a mad-Englishman because it's noon and the streets are deserted.
I head to a chemist I know is always open, 24/7, even public holidays. It's stinking hot, so I hug the walls in the 30 cm of shade. Inside the pharmacy, there are two counters and one is busy. The guy who is not busy gives me a 'good day' greeting and I approach his part of the counter, and explain what I want. He looks at me with a big smile.
"So it's you I have been waiting for." And he lifts his hand, underneath which is the very packet of the very stuff my friend needed - and there were several options available, with various numbers of doses, strength of medication etc. He explained that he had been meaning to put the packet on the shelf but hadn't been able to do so for several minutes.
The situation is trivial in a way, but to me it demonstrates the pro-active meaning of 'surrender' and why 'surrender' always, but always, produces a confirmation of the endless and fathomless presence of the love and
caring guidance of the Power that created us. We do have free-will, but in
only one regard: Yes or No. Do we sincerely wish to surrender or not? Do we sincerely mean well, or not? Is it time to go, or not? Asking the question and then waiting for the guidance to flow. It always does flow, even in what appear to be trivial moments. And if something is true on the minute level, it is true on every other level as well.
And it feels so good to witness the wisdom of the Creator in the very smallest of daily actions.
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Concerning the angel experiences recently reported in Reminders of Reality, perhaps the following would also be of interest, although the most powerful can't really be written about, except to say that they were felt as enormous whirlwinds of guarding energy (a pair of pillars accompanying me on either side) during a time of mortal danger.
Another had to do with presences experienced in a matter-of-fact way at the time of my mother’s death. They presided in the room for a few days before she 'left' and it felt as if it were simply their job to assist people through the death transition, making it feel like 'no big deal' actually.
A recent receiving - at the WSA meetings and Camino Gathering in Spain – came about in response to a group test about the content of the upcoming
World Congress. What came to me in a flash was a vision of immense light and energy pouring in from above over that particular geographical portion of the earth's curved surface, with very tall angels in a connecting circle protecting the Congress. They were all around it, facing outward to the earth, with their backs towards the Congress area and with white doves flying out from the Congress in all directions all around the World.
There was also a receiving in another group latihan in Spain that seemed to be from Mary, who was assuring gently that "All is well...all is well," with that blessed ease and holy feeling which accompanies her. The experience seemed to communicate that ' It is time for the sons and daughters of GOD to stand up and take responsibility for the stewardship of the Earth.'
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The recent Car Crash Angel story reminds me of an experience of my own.
On the day I went for the cat scan which led to my finding out I had a terminal bone cancer diagnosis, I dreamed of an angel showing me what I believe to be my Akashic Record (the book where our lives are all written). I was shown a long scroll written in a language I didn't understand with my mind – although my inner knew! I woke up from this dream feeling really upset, fell asleep immediately and experienced the same dream a second time. This time, I woke up feeling inconsolable and sobbed all day.
The scan led to my having a mastectomy and also to being diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. Later, I understood that these two greatly traumatic events were shown to me by the scroll being displayed twice.
As you know, – already written about in an earlier edition of this newsletter - Christ appeared to me on a beach and rescued me from the terminal condition. The cancer just disappeared!
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The Red Shoes
A few days ago I was in that 'which way to turn next' state. I rang my friend and sister, Hillary (formerly Star) Kennedy, who used to be Chairman of Subud Central London. Oh dear, ten things to do - all in different parts of this mighty metropolis. North, South, East or West? Hillary said, 'A five minute latihan, then test. 'We put down the phones. Short latihan, then we rang and tested , 'May we each receive for ourselves, what is the most important thing to do today?'
My receiving was, 'Go and buy some red shoes.' I had seen some the previous day in Hammersmith. Regardless of other worries, I took the bus and went to Primark. There were the shoes, reduced to £4. I bought them and returned to Kensington, slipping the shoes on, while still on the bus. My ancient knees and ankles relaxed. I jumped off the bus, no longer an old Granny, but a girl of 18. By the time I reached the passage by St Mary Abbotts Church, I was dancing. For respectability I slowed to a walk. By the time I reached Hornets, the rather posh Gentlemen's Outfitters, where there is a low wall upon which people often sit and rest, my feet started dancing. I was a little ballerina, aged about five. Everyone laughed and felt happy. Thank you, God.
Moral: if you test, Brothers and Sisters, always follow the testing.
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Finding a house (1)
Moving house is an important decision, and I’ve heard some wonderful stories about how people were guided towards the right place to live. Quite often these stories seem to involve a test in faith and patience for those involved. Here are two of my own experiences with finding a house.
My wife and I were renting a flat in a small apartment block in Melbourne. It was a nice place in a quiet area. After two years the landlord told us and our neighbours that we all had to move out in three month’s time because he was going to renovate the flats. So we started to look for another place. Straight from the beginning, my inner guidance seemed to tell me to wait and not to make an effort yet because the right place for us wasn’t going to be available until later that year. Whenever we went to estate agents I experienced a feeling of emptiness and seemed to be getting the message to be patient and to
trust in God. This was alright at first but by the time the three months were
nearly over and we still hadn’t found anything we started to feel pretty tense.
We had looked at many places by then but hadn’t found anything that we felt
happy with. My inner guidance seemed to keep telling me not to panic and stay calm, although by that time all our neighbours had moved out and we had been sent two letters from our landlord telling us to get on with it.
The day after the three month’s notice expired the builders moved in and all around us building activities started to take place, accompanied, as you would expect, by a lot of noise and dust. We were looked upon by the builders as oddbods, being the only ones still occupying a flat while all the other flats in the block were vacated. Our friendly landlord, who had been remarkably patient with us until now, came over for a chat. He decided to give us one more month, and if we were still not out by then he would have no other choice than to take us to court. Of course we were as apologetic as we could be and felt really embarrassed. After the extra month had passed we still hadn’t found the right place, and my inner guidance still seemed to keep telling me that there was a lovely place waiting for us and that we needed just a bit more patience. A letter from our landlord’s lawyer duly appeared on our doormat summoning us to be out of the flat in a week’s time, otherwise court action would follow and we would be liable for the costs.
By then we felt that we had come to the end of it, feeling really bad towards the landlord. We concluded that this whole thing of trying to follow what seemed like guidance must have somehow gone wrong - or maybe our
nafsu had played a trick on us. We decided that we had no other option than to
take the first reasonable place available and go for it, inner guidance or not.
We soon found a place and although neither of us were at all happy with it and
knew that this wasn’t the right place for us, we felt that we had no choice
but to sign the lease and go ahead with it.
That evening, on our way home from the supermarket, both feeling really down, we passed by a lovely small semi-detached house in a beautiful street with a ‘to rent’ sign in the front garden. We hadn’t seen this house before; it must have just come on the market. We looked at each other and instantly knew that this was the place we had been waiting for!
The next morning we contacted the estate agent who looked after this house, who happened to be the same estate agent we had just signed the lease for the other place with. We couldn’t believe how cheap this house was, well below the market value. We had a look at it and absolutely loved it, we knew for sure that this was the house we’d been waiting for. Luckily the estate agent was easy about setting aside the lease for the first place and for us to sign the lease for this new house instead. After many apologies to our previous landlord we moved in soon afterwards and spent four happy years there, always grateful to be able to live in such a nice place.
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