The Basis of Subud

Behind the superficial longing for security that originates from fear, there is the deeper and more real need felt in our heart for true happiness, such as can only come from within and which cannot be attained by the satisfaction of material desires. The realization of true happiness, then, does not depend on, nor is it restricted to adherence to any particular religion or philosophy.

This is why Subud is not a religious or philosophical practice. Rather is it meant to bring about a wholesome way of life, in which the motive for action will not be personal advantage at whatever level. One has to let go of old habits in order to develop a new sense of right action. And, since death is a radical, though, inevitable process, it is hardly surprising that the transformation may in some cases involve serious crises.

The Basis of Subud

Those who have been through such crises know how spiritual redemption accompanies moments of travail. When the thinking mind is truly stilled, there remains a profound silence in which conflicts appear to dissolve, and the right course is spontaneously sensed. It is this sense of inner guidance on which Subud practitioners learn to rely and to which they adjust their behavior.

Therefore, those who embark on a mystical quest should always remember the need for Self-reliance. The Teacher may provide the student with techniques for spiritual growth; but the Teacher’s opinions should not over-rule the student’s own discernment in all fields simply because he is the student’s Master in one specialty. Certainty is to be sought within, never externally. It is not a matter for theorizing, and can never, co-exist with belief in the opinion of another, which evades the problem of finding conviction for ourselves.


Reference: Rofe, Husain, 1960: ‘Reflections on Subud’. Humanity Publishing Company: pp. 11; 15.

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