Is the latihan and testing used when professional counselling is really needed? : LUSENET : Subud Canada Discussion Board : One Thread

Subud is a very small community so it is delicate to talk about personal crises, but I feel that some of what I have seen over the past few years deserves a thorough discussion. Are people using the latihan and/or testing to confirm their fantasies? To convince themselves that they really should leave their marriage and take up with another person? Or to try and heal the very deep psychic wound of abuse, when professional counselling might be more helpful?

What do others think?

-- Anonymous, October 13, 1998


I believe both testing and counselling can and should be used as appropriate for the person. Tough to have a rule on that but each case could be discussed and may be tested upon among people concerned.

-- Anonymous, October 14, 1998

For me the problem posed by the question is really that testing may be seen as replacing therapy. When that occurs testing becomes magic and as such has no place in Subud. Magic is an act of the will manipulating non-physical forces in an attempt to produce a result. When testing is an attempt to make the spiritual force produce a cure, it is magic. Because it uses the will, testing as "magic" is directly contrary to the process of the latihan which is a technique for becoming aware of the spiritual by NOT using the will.

I believe the spiritual force can affect the lower forces but not the other way around. I also believe that unless total surrender is a continuous state, the lower forces can act on their own. Because total, continuous surrender is not yet attainable by us, we can treat discomfort in the lower forces on their own level through a willful treatment of which counselling is one. At the same time, we seek to increase our spiritual sensitivity by practicing the latihan, and through testing, ask that it assist, at its own discretion, in solving the problem in the psyche. If it does, we can only be grateful. We must not assume that because we ordered it up by initiating the testing that it obliged us with a cure. Grace can not be commanded.

If testing is seen as practicing receiving in a focussed way so that received guidance can be recognized and not ignored when it does occur spontaneously, then it is truly a "testing" or a "checking", "a trial" or an "attempt". Testing seen this way is a sensitizing process so that we can recognize received directions in ordinary life and not miss them because we did not sense them. Seen this way it also follows that not all testing will be correct, and should not be expected to be correct. With this attitude, would not an increased sensitivity to receiving possibly aid in the therapeutic process? Thus better receiving may assist therapy but therapy can not assist receiving.

-- Anonymous, October 27, 1998

Thank-you to Michael and Jan for their comments.

I guess what I am wondering is whether there are circumstances where testing is not appropriate. For instance, should group testing ask the question "How am I to be sexually towards my wife?"

Bear in mind that, in a group, this means that single people and young people who have not even been in a marriage are being asked this.

How do helpers respond to this? Do they test any question that is posed or requested, or do they determine if testing is appropriate for the circumstances and the person? Have their views over time changed on this? Do they feel that testing has been misused, over relied on or abused?

-- Anonymous, October 28, 1998

I am truly sorry that there has not been much life here. MI

-- Anonymous, February 09, 1999

Well, so am I. I'm not sure how to address it. Perhaps people prefer not to start a conversation but react to what others post, and it takes someone to post a longish piece that gives others something to react to.

In general, people may prefer not to talk about specifics since Subud is such a small community that it is easy to identify individual cases from generic descriptions. This is understandable.

In some cases, people may not want to put things down, especially when they are too fresh. For instance, the Western Region has just completed the second of two intensive weekends (the first was held in November) dealing with conflict among the helpers and committee, very intense sessions that had international helpers in attendance. The only things written about these in SCAN (up to the most recent issue whichis just being mailed next week) was done by women helpers. If it was up to the men, there would be nothing written and therefore shared with the rest of Subud Canada. Too bad but I don't want to appear too critical, I just don't completely understand this.

-- Anonymous, February 10, 1999

Well, Stephen, the question is really too general. Obviously one can receive benefit from both Testing and Counselling. I can tell you that in the "old days" we definitely used to think that the latihan would solve all problems; we were obviously wrong, and I think nowdays there is a much more open attitude about the proper time for testing etc.

As to your more specific comment about doing "group testing" ( I assume that is what you meant) about "How to be sexually with my spouse". It is pretty obvious that it would be inapropiate to do that as a "group test", though not necessarily inapropiate with an individual who felt he/she needed guidance in that area. I can well imagine that it COULD be a very useful and helpful test for someone.

I believe that many helpers can definitely gain something from "kedjiwaan type meetings" , that is, testing how to be better helpers. I have been part of many such meetings and felt the results were very positive.

-- Anonymous, February 15, 1999

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