Month of Ancestors

Subud Voice June 2015From Subud Voice. Download the latest edition here.Repairing

ANCESTORS

International helper, Isti Jenkins, sent us this information about the Month of the Ancestors…

For those members who practise the Ramadan Fast, the month preceding the fast has special significance; it is the Month of the Ancestors. This month is the time when all the ancestral stuff comes to the surface and can be a special time for work on this level. Ancestors! Like it or not, we all have them. Some of your ancestors may have led good lives, and some not so good. Unless you are on a very lucky break, it is likely that you have some real work ahead of you to repair the mistakes of your ancestors. Your inherited baggage, going back many generations, is a heavy burden on all of you. “…If there has been some impurity in an ancestor, it will be carried on and will even increase. If your grandfather had some fault, it will be handed on to his son, your father, and the existing fault will become greater… So a fault grows even bigger and is multiplied. The fault that comes down to you is doubled – these faults may have descended through many generations.” “Not only your own mistakes, but also those of your ancestors can be repaired with God’s help. It is difficult to say how long it will take – this purification can be a long and difficult process. But with the latihan it is possible to repair your ancestral damage, even if it has accumulated over 1000 years. “That is why, when you do your latihan, you must pray to God, ask God to give you a latihan which will purify your sins, purify the traces of the mistakes that have been handed down to you from your ancestors. It is much easier if you have a couple of generations in your family doing the latihan and working at your ancestral inheritance, because it spreads the load. “You are part of a chain connecting back to your ancestors and forward to your children and their children and so on. You are affected by your ancestors and can rectify the mistakes by living a good life, doing your latihan with diligence and receiving the help of God. In the same way you and your ancestors can be helped by your children, if they lead good lives. Hence the latihan you do does not affect you alone, it affects the parents who gave birth to you and also the children born of your marriage. “As a bonus from this whole ancestral process, if you can really understand your parents and grandparents while they are still alive, while you still have a chance to talk with them, then you will come a long way to being able to understand and love yourself.” How to improve your life Prihatin/fasting can be a great way to go! Prihatin is an Indonesian word meaning to restrain yourself from enjoyment of pleasures. A reduction in eating and sleeping, marital relations (sex) and all kinds of pleasure is very necessary, for it is in fact a way to make it possible to obtain an improvement in your fortune in life. Everyone wishes for a life of ease and abundance, but if you will not follow the path of prihatin, such a wish will remain no more than a hope.

HOW TO SURVIVE THE MONTH OF THE ANCESTORS

By the editor of Subud Voice, Harris Smart…

I’m writing this on Saturday night, May 16. The last few days, I’ve been feeling a bit strange. So what else is new?, you ask. Well, I’ve been feeling stranger than usual. Up one day, full of energy; down the next day, barely able to drag my carcase around. I believe that tomorrow night will be the beginning of the Month of the Ancestors, and I associate these mood swings and disturbances with that event. I am grateful to the international helper, Isti Jenkins, for providing us with that document about the meaning of the Month of the Ancestors. But I would like to add something about what is my 12 JUNE 2015 ” Repairing the mistakes of your ancestors… > “ • 13 JUNE 2015 actual experience during this month. And I know that, at least in some respects, it is what is quite often experienced by other Subud members. The simplest way to describe the Month of the Ancestors is that it is the month when things commonly go wrong. That is how I recognize it. That is how I identify it. I know that other Subud members have a similar experience. It is a month when it is very difficult to accomplish anything. Is a month in which things will not come together. It is a month in which you get sudden unexpected shocks. When your world, which seemed so secure, suddenly opens up and falls apart. If we put it in traditional religious terms, for me it is like the month of being shriven, that is, an intense episode of purification. I must say that it is not as bad now as it used to be. Perhaps this means that some of my more gross faults have been purified or reduced so that now I don’t suffer as much turbulence as I used to. Actually, that is a good metaphor for the Month of the Ancestors. It is like you are flying along in the a plane and it is a fairly smooth ride and suddenly the pilot tells you to, “Please fasten your seatbelts, we have some turbulence coming up, it could get a bit bumpy.” A Call to Live More Inwardly My experience of the month is a call to live more inwardly. And it’s not something I have a choice about. I don’t decide, I’m going to live more inwardly this month, it just starts to happen to me, and whether I like it or not I have to go along with it. There would be no point trying to fight it. At first, I resist, I want to go on with my life as it is, strongly involved in colorful worldly activities, but inexorably, these things are taken away from me. My energy is reduced and I have no choice but to focus more quietly on my inner life, such as it is. I can’t deny it. I have to give in to it. I have to “surrender” to it. I think it is a month for lying low and letting the storm blow over you. A month of battening the hatches. You can’t fight this month. You have to learn to get along with it. Befriend it if possible. Best of all, fall in love with it. I know it is commonly said that Ramadan is not a good time to initiate things, and I suspect that the same might apply to the Month of the Ancestors at least to some extent. It is a month for withdrawing from the world rather than engaging with it. Of course I am generalizing very much here, mostly just talking about my own experience, or things that have been echoed in the experience of other people I’ve talked to. Giving Two Months to God But maybe not everyone is affected by the month of the ancestors. Most of the humanity around me seems to go on quite oblivious to it. Is it only we, who for some reason or another have chosen to engage in this spiritual process, who become subject to these particular spiritual rhythms? The way I see it is that maybe in these two months, God encourages us to withdraw a little from the outer world, to give perhaps two months of the year to our inner life, and for the rest of the year we can go for it in our worldly life. It is a time of sobriety rather than exhilaration, of getting back to basics rather than exuberance, of consolidation rather than expansion. My energy is low and has to be carefully marshaled to accomplish those bare essentials which have to be done, rather than striking out into bold new directions and splendid vistas. I know that for me the Month of the Ancestors is often a time of shocks and humiliations. Very often I am so battered and bruised by the end of the month that I barely have the energy to crawl into Ramadan. In this way the Month of the Ancestors is a preparation, a “softening up” for Ramadan. I am so beaten up by end of the month that I just have no choice about doing Ramadan. I have to do it. > A time for getting back to basics… “ ” Please forgive me for anything I’ve said out of place here. This is just my experience. Please don’t take it as a prescription for what might happen to you during the Month of the Ancestors. You might have a completely different experience. Blessings to you all for the rest of the Month of the Ancestors and for the Month of Ramadan for those of you who fast.

About Paul

A Subud member since 2004, a local helper and the Rental Agent for Subud Greater Seattle since 2011, Paul manages the Subud Greater Seattle website, is a poet with 4 published books on poetry and poetics and is father to two beautiful girls. www.paulenelson.com
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