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Latihan

Latihan

A spiritual exercise that is a basic feature of the Subud movement (the term is Indonesian). The object of the latihan is worship of God. In a state of submission, contact is said to be made with the divine life force, resulting in a process of regeneration.

In principle the latihan can be practiced individually, but usually a number of individuals gather together for this purpose. The preliminary stages of the latihan are characterized by marked physical reactions. Urges to cry, weep, dance, or speak in tongues occur, but these may be stopped if need be. No particular stress is laid on such manifestations, but they are said to cause a release of tension that culminates in a state of inner quietude, in which communion with God takes place. All this is believed to have a strong resemblance to what is supposed to have occurred at the original Pentecostal scene.

In contrast to other spiritual movements and sects involving Pentecostal phenomena, there are no anticipatory stimulating speeches, music, ceremonies, or rituals; the ecstatic state emerges spontaneously. The cathartic quality of the latihan is said to manifest in a gradual integration of the entire being. In conjunction with the latihan, the problems of members are "tested," and answers are received in a state of inner receptivity.

The characteristic physical features of the latihan compare with the spiritual exercises of earlier religious movements such as the Shakers. The backwoods revivalists of Kentucky and Tennessee in the early nineteenth century often acted out "the jerks," similar to the physical convulsions of the early Methodists in Britain, who sometimes jumped and danced until they became insensible. In Hindu yoga practice, the onset of kundalini, or divine force, is also accompanied by jerking and twitching in the body.

Sources:

Van Hien, Gordon. What is Subud? London: Rider, 1963. Revised, 1968.

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Latihan

Latihan (training, exercise): see SUBUD INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD.

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