The august perfection of this place; this realisation of self, of absolute location, of who and where, standing in the centre of a vibration that reached out to and was the power in the sun and stars streaming back into this centre, this Heart, a vibration and a force that has no equivalent here in this earthly dream, a completeness, a desire-less perfect resolution of all questions, a compounding of all desires at once met, realised, the end and beginning: the thunderous vast pounding wonder of it, a consuming, boundless, unbound. I cannot begin to reach what I would want to say for language cannot climb the first step and I fall back, again wordless, feeling myself nothing but a confounded apple tree, knowing only the vagaries of the wind and rain. ß
Then came a sensation, growing in force, not unlike standing straddling a railway line, your back turned, when you know the 600-ton Super Chief is barrelling down on you at a hundred miles an hour. My back rippled in expectation. It hit. I must say, having no other choice, that I disappeared with the shock of that collision – referring here to ‘I’, that whimpering clot huddled near the left ear hole. Nevertheless, something remained to be a witness to what then transpired.
In what followed occurred the understandings and spoken things that were later to be taken away from me. I will call myself here ‘Him’ and ‘He’ as there is no other way to do it. It would not be right to say ‘I’. So let it be understood that what ‘I’ had become, what I was experiencing as ‘me,’ was utterly alien to my whole life’s experience of ‘me’. His eyes burst open with the shock. He did not know this place. He did not know what the ‘latihan’ was or ‘Subud’. Everything was made out of a living force, and this living force was the flesh of all appearance.
Standing directly and only inches in front of Him was another man, with his eyes closed. He did not know the man, who was quite asleep, asleep standing up. He thought it curious that this man should be asleep like this, standing up, and He placed His hands on the man’s shoulders and gently shook him to wake him up.
Slowly, very drowsily, the man’s eyes opened. It was then, looking into the man’s eyes that a terrific shock took Him and He cried out in surprise “My Brother! My Brother! Not since the Days of Adam have we met and now I have found you!”
I must stop and describe this. In front of Him/me, was my/His brother. This was as confounding and as real a meeting as if here in this life one were to be introduced to someone as the long lost brother whom we had not seen since a childhood, or a brother we never knew we had - a lost and forgotten brother.
He in fact called him His ‘long lost brother’. He did not know this was ‘Robin of Sydney’, or even that there was a Sydney or a ‘Robin’. He (and I) were in the realm of Adam, under the footstool of the Lord of Heaven. This man in front of Him was His REAL, true, and original brother, the feeling and the force of that relationship making pale anything previously portending to be “brother”. The ‘brotherness’ of this being before Him shattered home; a transforming delight like some reconciliation after a thousand lifetimes, a millennia of search ended.
Although at this stage ‘I/Him was to speak things about the ‘Days of Adam” these words have been lost to me, these secrets. Not to be taken from the place, I presume. For that is where I was, that Place. That I utterly knew, little blood clot though ‘i’ was. All of this was still taking place in an aura of consciousness being easily a hundred times more ‘aware’ than this awareness we think we have in this dream in which we swim now, dwarfing the awareness produced, say, by LSD. This was a Real world, and the place of returning. That I knew.
He, that spirit now occupying me, spoke in a thundering voice. Ruth would later remark that she was worried that the neighbours would call the police. It was truly loud. And this blast was mostly into the ‘sleeping’ face of the man standing in front of me, and upon his awakening. He spoke not in modern English but in the thee’s and thou’s of the King James version of the Bible. A stilted, inspired, and, truly thundering prophet-like voice that was certainly not mine. But this was not the end of things.
After the awakening of ‘my’ brother - and those thunderings of the things of Adam - we were now standing peacefully in the front room, in silence. For me, it was the ‘front room’ that I had dragged hundreds of light years through space to
this distant and gigantic ‘world of Adam’. For the Him occupying me, it was a place He was visiting. I don’t want to even begin to try to explain this. Now, suddenly, I knew ‘who’ I was. And where; and that this included that far far place, Sydney, and that vacuous dream I had lived and called my life. Further, I knew that standing within my being now was another.
Robin moved to the hallway and then turned to me and spoke his first and only words: “I am so glad you have come again.” An odd choice of words without pretext. I was standing as he spoke, my hands (His hands) folded in a gentle X over my heart, rather suggestive of something. I said nothing but moved closer to him and bowed my head, my hands still crossed upon me. As I looked down at my bare feet I saw, not my feet, but His. Tears fled silently from my eyes at this sight, the most beautiful feet I have ever seen. His feet. I realized He had come again and was with us. My experience, as I would later confirm, was the coming of the Lord, (for me Christ Jesus) into my body. That is what had blasted the smithereens out of me.
Bapak had said once. “The ‘Second Coming’ of Jesus Christ is when he comes into you personally (or maybe ‘to you’).” The Lord said nothing, my tears falling on to his utterly beautiful feet. We walked silently back into the sitting room. But it was not I who walked. Now I knew the meaning of what Jesus said, in full: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
We sat quietly for a while in the still house. Finally Robin got up and took out the trash. (Well, it was trash night!) Then he said good night. I was left alone. But certainly not alone. An angel flashed through the corner of the room. The One spoke and I learned many things of the Christ. He explained what I was feeling - an utterly indescribable sadness: “That which I suffered, they know not of, and what they think I suffered, that I suffered not.“ I learned too of The One; the nature of the True Human Being. I learned that there is only one. And it is this within us all that binds us as one family, the child of the Father. Only one.
Within a half hour the ‘Christ state’, which was definitely too much for mold wineskins, had mercifully begun to drop off but I was still enjoying abilities I did not know we could have. I was able to turn my awareness inwards and see the interior of my body and keep going till I could see at the cellular level, down to the very shining single cells of my flesh. With His eyes I now saw all things. And there was opened to me every secret and everything spoke. But not only did every little thing in that room speak, and speak of secrets, of my friends, and of the handling and creation of those things and their authors, but also, in the corner of the room was a suit case, belonging to ‘Luke’. To me. And it was enough to look at it and its contents to know more about myself than I could bear to know. I had to leave the house, which was now becoming a cacophony of horrors calling out to me, the horror of our lives, the dark curling livery of the unforgiven to which we were usually oblivious. That He had to suffer. I left the house and left the door ajar, not having a key of my own to get back in and not wishing to disturb my friends. I would spend the rest of the night roaming, sleepless, and knowing the real meaning of “the birds have their nests, and the foxes their holes, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head, and to rest”.
Sleep, in the sense of ‘losing consciousness’ simply could not occur. At dawn I was made to pray in the nearby park, near a tree I had been talking to earlier. I had ‘come down’ a lot since the condition of that ‘Second Coming’ and in fact longed to be ‘normal’ again and just me. But it was not to be. Not yet. And there was something else in store for me, that which gives me the purpose for this writing.
Brothers and Sisters, I have been reluctant to include this part of the story when telling it for it involves a terrible shame that, to this day, I have not shaken off. I tell it as a lesson, as much to myself as to anyone who would wish to understand more of ‘who’ we are. I saw his question, as clearly as if it were written on a neon signboard. Words rose in my throat, and would be spoken. “It is alright, You will find what you are looking for. Have faith in your inner voice. It will guide you, within the next two months, to a path. Listen to that voice.” I did not let such drivel come out, rather I bit my tongue
and said sensibly and with an offhand disinterest, “Well, Bordertown heh? Right then, see ya,” striding away to avoid further communication.
I assure you I did not get more than ten meters before I was accosted with a massive attack of shame that sent me running to the toilet like someone suffering from severe dysentery. There I burst into tears of disgrace, even of grief, spending the next 15 minutes asking for forgiveness for such behaviour.
In brief, I returned home in full blown crisis, not knowing whether my ‘true self’ or my ‘ordinary self’ would move my body or my speech at any moment as they struggled for position. This condition was something that I was more familiar with as I was the professional ‘crisis case’ in our group, having, lets say, had a few.
My wife, Fidelia, picked me up at Adelaide station, and was immediately aware that I was not my usual self. On arriving home I was feeling extremely vulnerable, like someone without a passport caught in an airport security check. These were lovely children I thought, but they weren’t ‘mine’. I immediately sat in the living room of this family’s home, on their sofa chair, fixing myself in its secure comfort. There then occurred something that remains a puzzle to me to this day. As I sat, my five children came into the room and sat down cross-legged at my feet in a perfect semi-circle in front of me, formal, silent, and with veneration, a quality of feeling I cannot recall normally receiving from them. I must presume that it was not I to whom they were drawn but another.
I was not able to speak immediately of what had happened to me. An early attempt was stifled by a powerful clutching of my throat by a force that literally took my voice away, physically preventing me from speaking. But Fidelia, who knew there was something going on, wanted an explanation. Nothing clenched at my throat during this attempt. I proceeded. We were sitting up in bed. I had told her of the events I have described here, but this first recounting of these events caused, I can only say, something new to occur. Suddenly, as I spoke to Fidelia, my forearms - my hands to my elbows - began to buzz and burn in etheric flames, and as they ‘burned’ I began to speak, not of the things that had happened, but of things that had not yet happened.
Bapak’s picture, which was in the room, spun faces, not his face, but the faces of thousands of people, taking the shape of what I believed to be every member, every child of his. The voice spoke of many things. Among those things was something pretty close to this: “There is shortly a time coming when Subud will be locked away in a shell; this shell shall form over the next five years and this will harden until finally the real Subud will be locked away. It will be replaced by a False Subud, and this False Subud (that was the term used) will reign for seventeen years. Only then, after this time, shall the True Subud break out from its shell and come out again, reborn.” The voice also said that the experience I had in Sydney was not unique to me and that fourteen other people had also been given this experience, and that by the late nineties a total of 45 Subud members would have had this kind of experience. And it spoke of new souls, real human souls, coming into the world. For prophecy and channelling buffs you can calculate that the year of ‘rebirth’ of the ‘true Subud’ should be 5 plus 17 years after 1987 or 2009 or immediately ‘after’- that is 2010.
Five months after I had this experience, Bapak died.
The flaming arms thing was to happen to me on a couple more occasions. The second time was when I was working ad hoc to the organising committee of the Kalimantan Congress. I was visiting Bachtiar Larot at Wisma Subud in Jakarta. He innocently asked me how the Congress plans and so forth were going in Palangka Raya, where I lived at the time. This was November, some three months before
the Dayak-Madura War, and seven months before the planned World Congress. Suddenly I felt a change come over me and my arms lit up, burning, as in 1987, in those gaseous electrical flames.
In a changed voice, my vocal chords no longer mine, I uttered: “There shall be no Congress as they plan.” Then this ‘voice of prophecy’ continued, getting darker, adding that every enterprise of Subud in Kalimantan would sooner or later come to naught. I can’t prevent myself here from also adding that as the voice spoke I seemed to see Michelangelo’s Hand of God, in a kind of mixture of Divine Glee and Anger, smashing all our work up there. And I should mention that one of the enterprises was my own. The flames died away from my arms, the voice left, and you might say I was left feeling a little awkward. We finished our cups of tea. And indeed subsequently every single enterprise that was on the go at that time did, in fact, come to naught. Current enterprises are more successful and were established after that time.
Note: I am certain that a number of people had experiences similar to my own at the very same time as I. Daniel Jansse was one. He was to tell his wife Rosanna and friends that some shatteringly powerful event had happened to him around the time of the Sydney gathering, seemingly well beyond anything he could have expected to exist within the Latihan. Through the remainder of his life he remained unsure that he could ever share this story. Finally, not long before he passed away, Daniel told Rosanna that if God did not take him through his illness, that he would share the story with her. He was to pass away feeling the experience must have been for himself only, and he and God know best.
Postscript (April 2019): I wrote the above back in 2007. I have often thought about what it might be that is missing or changed about Subud after Bapak’s death. The latihan is certainly still with us and its potential seems unchanged. What many agree has changed is that which we might call ‘The Family Feeling’; that unique sense of real relationship that still bonded us to one another so intimately in the days when our father, Bapak, was still with us. Many feel that it was just this that has been lost or taken away. The awareness of this and an emerging focus on finding a way to return to it seems to have become very important in the last couple years.
This ‘special relationship’ was never a policy or a practice when we felt it in the old days, rather it was a condition of being that came naturally. I suspect that it is unlikely that policy or practice can return it, but rather that it will be returned to us within the fold of changes already occurring, or those shortly to come. These changes I explore in a small book entitled A Time Soon to Come. which the interested reader can find on Amazon.com.
Featuring strongly in this change is ‘mawas diri’ or self-inspection. Bapak in fact made it clear that the latihan was not a useful tool without the support of our own reflection and conscious willingness to change. Ibu Rahayu has strongly emphasized this too recently.
As for the prophecy stuff mentioned. I was to realise in reflection that the 17 years was spoken of as after the millennium. And recalled Bapak’s rather bizarre talk in which he spoke of being with us until he reached the age of 117. That would be 2018. I recall thinking of the unlikelihood of that and that he was perhaps getting a bit silly. Poetically, however this would mean that Bapak has, as of last year, left us to our own devices. Interesting to consider. Poetically.
All up, I am convinced that the egg has cracked open and the Real Subud is about to re-emerge. This sharing will earn me perhaps deserved ridicule. But I can live with it. The key being honest surrender and having everything to do with restoring ‘harmony’, not from an effort of will, but of willingness.
Did Bapak once say, “So when you do your latihan do it with love. For if you don’t then it will only strengthen the nafsu.”? This I contend I read once. But cannot find the reference. I used to often quote it until someone pointed out it couldn’t be found, and that the reference I gave, Wollongong, 1982, was a talk that Bapak never gave, it having been cancelled.
But perhaps there is help in Bapak’s advice. “And if you ask: how many years do I have to do the latihan to get that far? Bapak only answers that time isn’t a factor, that it entirely depends on you yourselves. The wishing of the heart, the wanting of the heart and the thinking of the brain can in no way hasten the progress of the work of the soul, which is within you; they can only slow it down. For this reason, Bapak has just one answer to all your questions concerning progress. Bapak’s answer can only be, Make your hearts pure and honest, have faith that God is All-powerful and surrender everything to the greatness of God. Do not think about this and that for God. God knows all of it. This is the way for the receiving in your inner self to go smoothly.”
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