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Thread: Writing home to Java

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    Writing home to Java

    Dear Pak Wondo,
    Mamayu hayuning bawana
    Mamayu hayuning jagad

    Serve the harmony of the world
    Serve the harmony of the universe

    I am writing to report in after some 16 years out here in the Western world. I remember that when I left Java in July 1980, at my farewell dinner Pak Sri Sampoerna remarked that I would be "as if a stranger in a strange land" on returning to the West. Truer words have rarely been spoken and my experience both in the United States, where I finished my Ph.D. studies and produced Sumarah: A Study of the Art of Living in an incredible and virtually inexplicable rush (I finished up in about four months), and then in Brazil, have often reminded me of one of the things Pak Hardo used to say, "When God says 'go west,' you go west; When God says 'go south,' you go south." I hope it has all served some purpose but what a horror nonetheless. I can remember that when I left Java you remarked to me that you were "jealous" because in Java things are so easy and the people are so dear that it is difficult to obtain experience concerning the harder face of being. Believe me I've gotten plenty of experience out here so I guess you were right though I have often felt like I was "swinging like a hanged man in the wind" or Anoman in Alengkadirja, oh, they do love pain, as long as it's ours. Sooth! They are just so absurdly sadistic as well as insanely pusillanimous and obtuse -- sigh -- "Some days the bear gets you!"
    It all comes down to Tekading Ingsun, to wit, "I didn't make this mess but I sure am going to clean it up!" As my dear Hecate used to tell me when I was a child:

    "Look for causes in consequences; look for purposes in what actually happens; don't get caught up in details and the apparent ignorance of the times: most events and situations in this overdefined, involuted universe are the result of someone's need or desire for something and their application of whatever it takes to get it at whatever cost to themselves and the rest of us. Humans are all hiding from themselves and us in the largest sense and that's about all they end up doing. Their biggest nightmare is being caught and half of the character of the being is designed to make this impossible by flashing through their expression on this world like a prairie fire or a plague of locusts."
    "But they sometimes say they are so noble," I objected.
    "Just talk. They destroy this world they are able to define in a bigger and bigger hurry every time in order to cover their tracks and steal off into the dark. That's the character of his karmically loaded being. Nothing to be done about it but hope we can catch up to them someday and make them pay for all this pain and confusion. That's the sad lesson we have for you and the situation will not change until they are brought to justice for their crimes and release us all from the nightmare they are to us."

    I remember you and Suhardo used to say that Sumarah could be adapted to any locale and that being a pamong, a guru, is very different in different places. One day a pamong visited us from Jakarta. He said he was direct and kasar and described his pamong techniques:

    I just tell them, "If you don't believe, don't bother coming." I don't worry about etiquette, I just clobber them, "Brother, you're just here trying to amuse yourself. When we meditate we have no mother, father or children but only Tuhan to relate to." (Tipes 4/10/1980)

    If pamonging was like that in Jakarta, imagine what it is like here in the land of Carnival and rampant hedonism. I started a group here but found it impossible to deal with the escapist tendencies of those that were coming and also found it virtually impossible to get cooperation in "grounding" the interference those who came were getting due to opening up in the practice. Brazil floats on a cloud of petty distinction (with everyone glowing happily with mutual hate and practicing pass-it-along abuse) and the virtual imposition of emotional being. The tendency is to defy Reality rather than seeking to resolve problems or disputes by opening up to God or Nature: incredibly irresponsible, but there you are.
    You used to say that a pamong can perform his service and then go back to "normal" afterwards, but Pak Hardo then added that when he started practicing he became a full-time pamong and was always in the openly receptive, rasa murni state, or, in my case, I have ended up in rasaning lair batin. This heightened sensitivity is not notably pleasant in a place like Brazil and is a bit destabiliziing at times but all in all became inescapable.
    In Pak Kino's terms, I came to Brazil basically in jinem and then popped out in junun in December 1991 due to the shock of falling in love -- can you imagine my surprise when that happened? Essentially as a result of that and the bale that arose, I finally moved into what he used to call suhul and pure association with the kabir (natural) realm of being (as opposed to the perversely sahir (human) perspective in this society) as of October 1995. Sometimes I have missed the tranquillity of jinem during the often tumultuous transition to suhul and to the open, direct and personal management of my own experience this implies, but obviously there is no going back at this point. Anyway, things are calming and steadying now.
    That's about it, really. I hope this letter finds you well and that Paguyuban Sumarah continues to thrive. I often miss Java and am frequently consoled by my knowledge that beauty like that of the Javanese people really exists. My loving best wishes to everyone.
    Last edited by Juniper; 04 Jul 2021 at 21:26. Reason: Made edits per Author's request.

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