Once a week I go to two places at the same time. One is the Subud House in South Liverpool and the other is inside myself. I go to find what words can’t know. My upbringing made the spiritual stuff inside me go underground. The Latihan puts me in touch with it. Everything around me keeps changing, but inside me is a place to come home to, even if poorly lit and in need of rewiring.
I’ve tried to find my meaning in the world through words, but they’ve built me castles in the air. What I have is an inner power that I was born with. But where is it? The Latihan helps me unearth this lost treasure. At the Subud House, I leave worries, fears, desires at the door, step out of all that ‘I’, ‘me’, ‘my’, ‘mine’ and receive what words can’t know.
The Latihan takes me beyond religious traditions to where we all are the same. It’s for us all, no matter what our beliefs. Many Latihan people believe in a god. Religious beliefs are personal to individual Latihan receivers. All are at their own place of spiritual unfolding. Christians perhaps see the Latihan as a gift from ‘God’. Others with no religious leanings may see it as a de-cluttering and rewiring of their whole ‘being’.
I am careful about using the word ‘God’. Do I, by giving a name to what is beyond word and thought, morph it into a benign father-figure that will see to my every need? Isn’t this a ‘magical belief’? The sort that can bring us money or guarantee us good health? I do not pray to a god to do things for me. Can I ever know what I’m asking for is truly what I need? All I can do is live – make choices, make mistakes, receive the Latihan, notice a difference.
I’ve noticed that what turns up inside me often has a subtle effect on what turns up outside me. After a Latihan I feel a deep well-being, as if bathed from inside with light. The Latihan is not a science with results that can be measured or a new religion with churches and temples. If received without expecting anything it is like coming home. The Latihan seems to work randomly. I let it take its course. That’s all. No techniques, no rituals, no controls. It happens.
I’m saying it as it is for me. Except, what I’m saying somehow isn’t me; it feels like so many words wanting to be heard. As I’m listening to them, I feel I’m getting further away from the heart of the matter, as if what ‘trips off my tongue’ is not what ‘is’. Words say: ‘Subud is a spiritual movement’. Even if I could switch the sound off, it’d still be the words shaping my lips. Words say: ‘The Latihan is an inner awakening.’ Maybe a blank page would’ve been more to the point than words having a bash at what is beyond them.