Welcome fellow travelers.
This website provides a space for me to develop and share a collection of selected writings and illustrations relating to spiritual experiences I encountered from late 2016 through to late 2018, and to a lesser degree into 2019 and 2020. There are approximately 50 images and associated descriptions I aim to complete over the next 12 months. From July 2020-June 2021. My intention is to complete one new post and illustration each week. You’re welcome to join me on this journey and share your comments.
My experiences appeared to be associated with a form of spiritual training I began 25 years ago, called the latihan kejiwaan of Subud. Latihan kejiwaan is an Indonesian phrase that translates to spiritual exercise or training of the soul, while Subud is the name of the organisation that facilitates its members’ development and growth. The aim of Subud and the practice of the latihan is for its members to become of humane, noble and excellent character through surrendering to the power of God that that lies within each of us.
While traditionally our training is conducted in small groups at designated times, there is also the potential for spontaneous receiving and experiences to occur. When I use word receiving, I mean intuitive movements that may arise while in a spirit of relaxation and surrender. In normal training these spontaneous movements are often physical e.g. walking, singing and dancing. From a Christian perspective it could be said that we are being moved by the holy spirit or the great life force that guides of the whole of creation. Yet, during my soul journeys my receiving and movement was much more subtle i.e. while lying down or resting my consciousness was spontaneously guided into vast realms, that appeared to lie within my inner being.
The further ‘within’ I traveled, the more connected I was to the whole of the universe. My experiences of inner soul journeys and spiritual visions occurred mostly during the night and persisted for approximately 3 years. During this time, I witnessed and experienced a procession of extra-ordinary events. While bewildering, confronting and testing at times, slowly I accepted the validity of these experiences and identified a number of recurring themes, including four over-lapping yet distinct phases of spiritual and personal insight:
2016-17: Shamanic: Earth, Moon, Sky: Spiritual experiences revealing the nature of base level forces, demons and earth spirits associated with various religious truths.
2017-18: Abrahamic: Planet, Sol, Galaxy: Soul Journeys into the nature of the underworld, planetary forces and experiences in local celestial realms.
2018-19: New-Age: Gaia, Universe, Cosmos: Soul Journeys into the nature of creation, re-incarnation, karma, technology, and upper heavenly abodes.
2019-20: Life-World: Body-Mind-Spirit: Mental and emotional reliving and healing of personal, cultural and social trauma and karmic justice.
For those unfamiliar to Subud, I should clarify that the nature of the latihan or spiritual exercise is unique to each member and tends to be undramatic. The development of an individual’s latihan is a life-long journey and not all who practice it have ‘spiritual experiences’ as described on this website. As in everyday life, we receive what we need in order to heal and grow as a human being.
In my case, I suspect my passion for healing along with 25 years of wanting to know the truth about where we come from and go to after death, combined with skepticism and judgement towards religious teachings – led to me being bombarded with vasts amounts of ‘evidence’ supporting various religious and new age thought. I think the universe has a healthy sense of humour.
I would also like to clarify that, despite the extra-ordinary nature of these mystical experiences, Subud members such as myself usually live very ordinary lives. E.g. While being taken on these grand adventures in the evenings, my ‘day job’ has included working as a primary school teacher, finishing a Masters of Education and keeping busy as a stay at home dad and house husband. I would also like to add that having these experiences did not make me enlightened – if anything I became more reactive as I became increasingly sensitive to my own poor conduct and misperceptions.
Now-a-days I’m completing an graduate diploma in counselling while developing a business around emotional intelligence. When I awake in the early hours, while I do not go on incredible journeys anymore, I do feel an immense peace and powerful vibration. Sometimes, as I lie in this vibrant space, I appear to be under vault of stars. At other times it feels like being in a vibrant blanket of love – listening to messages and insights, and learning lessons from the day and visions of tomorrow. It’s a magical space to be in – though still largely a mystery to me.
Why share these experiences?
Besides the amazing nature of the journeys in of themselves, there are a number of reasons why I’m inspired to share these experiences with you:
• Personally: it allows me to piece together a very complex collage of events into a cohesive whole, hopefully giving myself and others a greater understanding of our spirituality. I also wish to normalise such events so that if other people experience such things, that they will not be too afraid. At times a found the strangeness of these events quite confronting, and was fortunate to have a few good friends I could confide in without being judged or disbelieved.
• Organisationally: it provides fellow Subud associates with a complimentary perspective to our founder’s own spiritual journey regarding the potential and purpose of the Latihan. While I can never truly know the nature of Bapak Subuh’s experiences, many of my journeys seemed to have parallels to his own.
• Socially: It provides people with a way to affirm, contextualise, and integrate the wisdom received in various religious scriptures with new-age thinking and philosophy. It provides some evidence that we may, indeed, live in a multi-dimensional universe and that there may well be a light within us that can travel in mysterious ways between lives on this Earth and other heavenly realms.
I’ve noticed within myself and my wider community, there has been a tendency to form schisms between scientific, religious, conservative and new-age thinking. I believe these splits cause pain and dysfunction to our individual humanity and society as a whole. I hope the experiences shared on this website may help bridge some of these gaps.
I wish you all the best on your own life’s adventure. For Subud members interested in the practical aspects to the nature of our spiritual practice, please visit www.livingsubud.org
18 July 2020.