Cases and Orientation
In this chapter, cases will be cited to illustrate
various of the techniques described above, and
also to present the applied outlook of Sumarah in
relating to various issues and problems. The
presentation will be divided into three sections.
In the first section, the cases will illustrate
variations on the theme of checking. In the
second, an example will be presented which
demonstrates both accompanying and bearing. The
third section will present various examples of
Sumarah outlook, that is, the application of the
principles involved to various problems and
In this section examples will be given to
illustrate the use of checking. The first is an
example of checking in the past. It also discusses
the process of maturation.
Bambang [fledgling guide]: At eleven o'clock this morning, how was I?
Wondo: It was related to the ones close to you.
Bambang: At that time there was a problem in my family; but what I want to know is if I was confronting it properly.
Wondo: For you it was right for the time being.
Bambang: By that you mean it wasn't right.
Wondo: What's right has different levels. For example, what's right for me would be wrong for Pak Hardo. It's the same thing you know. (Keratonan 6/19/80)
The following example illustrates the detail and
prescience potential in checking and the problems
it can cause. In it, one of the regular members
asks Suwondo to counsel her son who is despondent
about what he says to be his rejection by a
The Javanese tend to be very secretive about such relationships. For example, our servant had a cousin she had been raised with. Her cousin planned to marry a man she had been seeing for nearly a year but she had never introduced her intended to her "sister". This is common. Young people do not talk about their boyfriends or girlfriends and this reticence is probably partially a result of the impermanent status of such relationships. If they do not work out, it can be a source of great embarrassment in a community as tightly drawn as the Javanese.
In the case of the young man, Suwondo first gives a few seemingly standard remarks about letting it pass and not getting so involved in such relationships because it can interfere with other aspects of your life. However, Suwondo then brings out another factor that he received in checking the young man's condition. He asks if this were not, in fact, some sort of love-triangle problem. The young man admits that it is and then comes in for a great deal of kidding from the group.
Suwondo seems quite pleased (improperly by Sumarah standards) to have received this information in checking. He gloats about it a bit, which further offends the young man, who left abruptly. Suwondo then goes on to discuss the process of reception in checking and expresses regret for is insensitivity in handling the situation (this was repeated a number of times in the weeks that followed). He then talked about the importance of experience in developing proficiency in the fine art of handling such situations and gives himself a rather poor grade on this one. He goes on to give the Sumarah philosophy of male/female relationships and their place in life.
Sudibiyo [young man]: She's already lost, but when I was trying to win her it was intense.
Wondo: That's right. When you just let it be as it is, it passes. Like when you go to sleep, it will calm down quickly.
Sudibiyo: Calm down quickly.
Wondo: In time you will become enemies. So your love becomes anger. Look, you tried to win her. It's important now that all that just be put aside for awhile. Girlfriends are all right, but don't get carried away. That way leads to broken hearts. Just let it go. There's no need to dwell on it any more. Broken bones, broken hearts, broken . . . broken legs. [laughter] That problem seems to have three sides though.
Sudibiyo: That's true.
Wondo: Apparently the quarry had been rather elusive, so you shifted to another prey. It looks like you've been running around in circles. Have I smoked you out or not? You haven't even told your parents. [to Sudibiyo's mother] This is what I couldn't explain before. How do you explain love tangles like this? Anyway, he's been running around in circles, so now I report it to you. He hadn't told you yet, had he?
Arini [mother]: No.
Wondo: Apparently the problem is just coming out.
Anonymous: Stealing love! [laughter]
Anonymous: How could you be so sneaky?
Wondo: You didn't know, did you? When you invited him, you didn't understand.
Arini: Not too quick about putting things together.
Wondo: Apparently this running around involved liking this one but her not liking him, while in the meantime another likes him but he doesn't like her. So he goes around in circles.
Anonymous: He's a person who...
Anonymous: That's not a person, that's an unidentified life-form.
Arini: He says school comes first.
Wondo: Yes, that's the way it is. -- So in this kind of thing we can receive vibrations and they inform the guide in inner-communication. They let me know about the problem. Then I ask about it the same way, using inner-communication. This problem is a kind of rebellion. Here, there is something offered that isn't wanted. Here, there is what is wanted but it isn't attained. This is a problem of the young. [laughter]
Wondo: Sometimes people from the East keep this kind of thing under wraps, but we have a kind of radar that can pick it up. Sometimes it reveals itself. This is like using psychology; there's no need to ask because it reveals itself. Right here. [chest area] This is an art too. This knowledge can be studied. I'm still not particularly proficient, but if there's a vibration and I receive it, I ask the vibration to explain itself. This is an art you must be clean for, then you can receive these things. Nothing is said openly, but inside there is something that tells. That's what is picked up. Sometimes it's a secret. His mother wasn't told, but I found out. Sometimes when it's really top secret, I don't dare reveal it. It wouldn't be proper.
Anonymous: You don't dare?
Wondo: No, it's not right. Because then it can disturb or hurt him and he gets angry. But then I ask again, "May I reveal this openly? Will he become angry and close himself off or not?" If not, and he will just be mad for a minute, that's all right. [laughter] Embarrassed? That's all right too. But this is needed in order to change or improve him. There is the risk that the anger will become hate. This can happen. But if it doesn't get to the point of being dangerous, it may be revealed. But if it's not the right time yet, it shouldn't be said.
Anonymous: For me, that's right.
Anonymous: Yes, that's it.
Wondo: Here there is a wave and if its frequency has been received precisely, there's no further disturbance and it is clear that he can't lie about it.
Anonymous: But get real mad?
Anonymous: You can't lie about it?
Wondo: Yes. The reason is clear. This is just me over here. What's the real reason I can receive these vibrations like this? Sometimes I myself don't know. I'm not 100% sure. This thing I picked up, is it true or not? But then I ask to find out if it's real. When you come out and ask, the proof is reality itself.
Hartati: Like here, behind my eyes, why was it throbbing?
Wondo: You were holding on there... Holding on is all right, you know. It's like when I'm embarrassed but I want to be found out, so I hold on to it. It's true that there's a feeling of embarrassment, but it's nothing. This area [eyes] sometimes gets a shock, is given a shock -- zap!
Hartati: The eyes are what get the shock. The eyes before...
Wondo: Yes. So with a paranoid person, you sometimes must have exact timing -- then it can be released. It has to be exact though, because if it's not precisely right, it can be dangerous. Sometimes you get the timing right. But if you miss, it can backfire on you. That's what is hard. This is the real art. Sometimes I'm not as precise as I'd like to be, because I'm still learning too. One learns from experience, and in time one gets more accurate. That's how you become more proficient. But, as for me, my intention is good; but in truth, I can't do it very well yet. But I do my best. Later, after he has calmed down [Sudibiyo had left] I hope he will see that this was something to help not to get in his way. He was going to continue being unsettled and questioning: "Living like this, what's the point?" But it's not like there's no purpose, because there is a purpose, but he has let it go and life is empty now. Life itself must be studied. Why is he unwilling to learn. What doesn't he want to see what he should do with his life? This can be used as a spur, not to weaken his resolve, but like a spark. And your life is why you're thankful for her rejection. You grit your teeth -- like this -- you grit your teeth and apply yourself. What are you? Later if you attain a degree, a good job, try it, isn't that what you want? And you can try to attain more than her, with the Grace of Tuhan. That's the way to do it -- not just getting a girl and concentrating only on her and eventually ending up quarreling. In the long run, you're sure to get bored. It's like when you buy a new car: how you pamper and polish it! But when it gets old, you just let it go. To be sure, when it's new you shine and polish it whenever it gets dirty. It's the same with husbands and wives. If you've just gotten engaged, it's like wow! But it's different when she's already your wife. It's like a new car: when it's new -- wow! Wives are like that too. [laughter] So what we strive for when a couple gets married, first it's a physical marriage, then it becomes a marriage of feeling, then it becomes a marriage of the spirit. That's what it is to be married. When you have a child -- or with your own body -- even if your body is ugly, it's your body -- you love your body. When it's sick, you take care of it. You should love your wife like your body. Even though she may look old and ugly now, you still love her. But often it's not like that. When she starts showing the miles, you start looking at other women. It will kind of... apparently it's a kind of attraction, someone who looks pretty to you, pleasant isn't it? But in fact, it's agony. Imagining something beautiful like that causes suffering because it's not reality. [pause] When I found him out now, I didn't know beforehand. I didn't know before. I wasn't thinking that, but then, suddenly it just came to me like that. Was it true or not? But he hadn't said anything to you? [his mother]
Wondo: But now you know all.
Arini: What was hidden fast now is revealed.
Wondo: But he was good. He accepted and didn't fight too much.Actually he fought it, but he didn't reject it.
Anonymous: But you've been left behind, haven't you?
Anonymous: What'll happen later?
Wondo: This art is like that. When his business is finished, he can go out and be spiteful. For example, if he doesn't go right away -- too late, he's gone. He's gone now. [motorcycle starts off]
Anonymous: Why did he leave so fast?
Wondo: I don't know. How about that though. I didn't think he'd take off that fast. I don't know why. (Grogol 6/1/79)
Problems of maturation in the Sumarah practice are
discusssed in the following two examples.
Martono [middle-age member]: As for me, is it that I have strong beliefs or am I just very stubborn?
Wondo: You're basically trusting, trusting by nature. You believe and you trust, but you're afraid to try things on your own. So it's like this, you already believe, so if you can, you should sort of make experiments. You should try things. If there are mistakes, that's all right. This way you'll be able to get some experience.
Martono: When I do that, I get scared.
Wondo: What you lack there is just the capacity to be aware of your fear and go ahead anyway.
Wondo: Your state is already good, but your deficiency is that it will take you a long time to progress. Flirt with danger a little bit every time, just don't do it too much. This way you will have experiences and you will be able to learn from the mistakes you make. So I advise you to be a bit bolder. Later when you make errors, all right, you'll change it. So when you receive something, ask, "What the heck is this?" and then try to pursue it. That's what's lacking. You're not following through on things. When something hits you, you should inquire about it. Try it, try it so that you get some experience. For example, when you hear my explanations, that's what is said, that's what is said, but how do you put it into practice? What do you have to do? So just try this and then you will get some experience. Don't just follow along. Don't just be obedient to the guides, and then you can get some experience too.
Martono: It's real hard for me to do that. Why can't I just accept it and let it happen, you know? That's what's hard.
Wondo: So your reception of reality is right. It's already all right. But for the proof, proving to yourself whether it's true or not. You're very trusting. But being that trusting is no good because than all you get is what other people tell you. This is more, you know. Being that trusting is no good. You can't believe so strongly. If you haven't experienced it, don't be willing to believe it first. It's no good if you do. So you say to yourself, "Okay, but I'll try it first. There is proof, but those are just words. So what's my proof? My proof is getting an experience like that, but I haven't as yet." So that way you grumble, but you don't block out the experience, do you? There's a difference. This way is all right, but if you say, "Later when I die it will be revealed..." That's different. It's all right to believe, but then you should try, try to find proof. (Grogol 6/1/79)
The following example concerns a similar problem
but with a more advanced member.
Harno (another guide): How was at twelve o'clock last night?
Wondo: The feeling was good. What were you examining?
Harno: Well it's like this, last night I was meditating when everything -- I think the term is "transcended." Was this releasing transcendence in the unconscious or what? So this came out. I just went along with it and fell asleep in the chair.
Wondo: That was an explosion in the unconscious but since you were aware of what was happening, it became an expression of the unconscious. Just let it go. Just confess to it. This is a very profound experience. In the study it's as if you were examining yourself. Then afterward, when you have been given the material, you can see, "Oh, I was wrong, that wasn't my intention. It would have been better if my intention had been this. What must I do to correct this?" The investigation goes like this.
Hartono: So this was an explosion below consciousness.
Wondo: Yes, so if you can, your intention should be to let this stuff go and not let it split off and fill you up again. It's like developing a new character, but your apprehension should be reduced. What are you worried about? Let's see, what are you worried about? Why are you so apprehensive? You know that being afraid isn't good.
Hartono: I'm afraid of losing control.
Wondo: Yes, there's fear there. When you let go, there can be fear there. But, in fact, this can change your character.
Hartono: I was with Pak Sri the other day, and he said not to let things get out of control.
Wondo: It's not that you shouldn't let go, it's that you should be unwilling to let things get out of control. But they're two different things. Of course you're unwilling to lose control but that doesn't mean you don't want to let go. That's the fear right there, "If that happens I won't be able to handle it, it might overwhelm me. I'm clear about where I am, but if I let go, my ego won't be there."
Hartono: A lack of faith.
Wondo: Yes, Wiryotanoyo got stuck there for a long time. "If I let go, then I will be gone and I won't be aware of anything." This is the expression of the ego. The comfort of the ego comes when it feels it can understand. When you let go, it generally opens a tool that's like clairvoyance, but you have to let go first. Formerly I was very gifted at that, but nowadays I'm not. When I need it, it comes; when I don't, it doesn't. (Grogol 6/1/79)
Accompanying and Bearing
In the following example both bearing and
accompanying are discussed and illustrated.
Wondo: You should realize that your duty is not just to your own body. That's because meditation is an effort to help. When you try to help, it's good, isn't it? This meditation isn't just for your own body. When you meditate, your children should be included as if they were gathered in your arms.
Dewi: In fact, when I go out at night I always...
Wondo: That's not what I mean. I mean to take them in your arms, to be holding them in your arms before you go to sleep but to do it in rasa.
Dewi: But isn't this being improper and requesting something of Tuhan?
Wondo: No, they were born as part of you. "Here, Tuhan, me and, how about it, me and my little children." So when you lie down to sleep, you meditate and recall your children, think about them. I don't mean to cradle them physically, but encompass them within your rasa.
Dewi: How about it, Pak? How is this done?
Wondo: You can just do it like that or you can also bear your husband along with your children. It'll be heavier with your husband, but you can try. If it's too heavy with your husband included, then don't. But try it with your children, try it. Just now you thought, "Well, with my husband, I don't know about that." It actually would be harder, you know.
Dewi: I'd like you to show me by bearing me.
Wondo: When you're going to bear your husband and your children, you don't use your arms -- that would be heavy. They are born in your rasa, you bear them within your experience. Let's try it. Let's meditate together. No, no, that's wrong, not like that, not like that. Not yet, not yet, don't mutter to yourself like that. Try to relax. Be empty, no, no, not... that's all right, be empty. Yes, like that. That's firmness there. Just relax, but not that much. Relax, relax. It's heavy if you do it like that. Hold on, wait a minute. Now please, you and me together now please. Recall your husband and your children. Yes, all right, here there was a change in feeling. Try not to respond. Just receive it, just feel it. Surrender to Tuhan. "This is my duty as the mother of my children. What must I do so that they will be healthy and safe?" Surrender, surrender. [long silence; at one point Suwondo does the full exhalation, heavy breathing] All right, that's enough for now. Slowly now, take your time. How about it? Tell me. Please tell me the truth now. How was it?
Dewi: My true feelings?
Dewi: I just felt steadfast.
Wondo: And before you felt steadfast?
Dewi: I didn't enjoy it.
Wondo: How was the meditation itself?
Dewi: My meditation was very . . .
Wondo: It was rushed. But the steadfastness was right. That's the way you bear someone. Like that. That was bearing.
Dewi: I felt like, "This is meditation, why do I feel weighted down?"
Wondo: It's heavy bearing people. Your body feels heavier when you meditate bearing someone. The feeling is like that. It's heavy bearing people, you know?
Harno: Was there a hot feeling?
Wondo: There sure was. In this case there was a feeling of heat, but it isn't always like that.
Harno: No, I mean in Dewi just now, how about it?
Wondo: Yes, there was a heat.
Dewi: If my children have a fever, would that do it?
Wondo: Yes, that could be. But how about it, like before for instance? While I was accompanying you, it was just going along and then suddenly the feeling got really claustrophobic, stuffed (suseg). And you know that when the feeling gets constricted like that, I go into the heavy breathing to clean it up. As for my role in that, in a contact like bearing, the linkage is mutual and you should try to help.
Dewi: I felt very constricted too, but I didn't do the breathing.
Wondo: When you hear me breathing like that, you know something is stuffing me up, thunk, like a weight, so I tried to do the breathing to see if that would help. It was funny though. I myself didn't have anything going on but then suddenly, thunk, this disturbance hit.
Dewi: So the feeling was coming from my children.
Wondo: Your children and your husband.
Harno: Do they have a fever?
Dewi: Yes, all three of them are running a fever.
Wondo: I didn't know; then bearing them is your duty.
Dewi: Actually, during times like these, I try to meditate as best I can.
Wondo: You meditate, but you don't bear them. Didn't I ask you?
Dewi: Yes, you did.
Wondo: It's different. You're looking for an easy way, but that's called cheating.
Anonymous: Unwilling to bear, she asks to be born herself.
Dewi: But it's hard.
Wondo: Now then, if it gets too hard, just do the best you can. When you receive something like that just try the breathing to see if it helps. So the meditation isn't just for you yourself, it's for all you are a part of and in contact with in your experience. It's a service.
Anonymous: So even here at this meeting.
Wondo: It's a service.
Anonymous: This is a kind of service.
Wondo: It's service. The children were given to you or rather, to us all, to be taken care of, to be raised, to, ah, you know...
Harno: When you've studied it yourself, you're sure to see it that way.
Wondo: There should be no personal motive to acquire something. This is an exercise in giving service.
Dewi: I was in a quandary last night. I couldn't sleep; so instead of bearing them, I just tried to meditate.
Wondo: No, no, just try this. For a fact, when you bear your children it will be heavy. I can't say that it won't, but how about it mom? What's your part in all this? But you should ask, "Does it really do any good?" This next really happened; it was an experience. My son came down with typhus fever. We hadn't been to the doctor yet and I questioned inside, "How about it, what should I do?" I was quiet about it, but then suddenly it came to me what I should do. So I gave him water I had meditated on to drink. He started getting better, but we still went to a doctor. I gave him over to the doctor, but the fever was already broken. I was running a fever myself, but that was all right. (Grogol 6/1/7)
The following citations do not depict applications
of technique but, rather, give examples from
Suwondo of how Sumarah practice is used to
interpret incidents and problems. In the first,
romantic love is considered. In the second,
Suwondo takes up the topic of girl-watching. In
the third, he discusses responsibilities in having
children. In the final citation, Suwondo describes
the death of his uncle who was a mystic adept.
When you're like that, when your passionately in love, it has to influence your studies -- when you're called to concentrate on your studies, you can't. Even during a test, you're still thinking about your girlfriend, your fiancee. You can't concentrate. This disturbs the powers of concentration. When you try to think about something, your attention is split. But this isn't just the result of lover -- hate is like that too. If you hate someone, just by meeting him the emotion rises, the emotion comes out. It's just the same. Love influences and hate influences too. Actually, this is generally common among young people. But there are old people too. But generally, especially among us Javanese, we are repressed, restrained. Women here, even though they may have a thought like that, they repress it. It's not expressed because women here are not generally aggressive. But in other places it's common. Sometimes even to the point where the men are less aggressive than the women. Everyone has their own customs.
What we are studying is an art for conforming to the true nature of the desires and making our tools neutral so that they tend to a more positive aspect. The meaning of positive here is not necessarily connected with good or bad but with that which conforms to natural law. This is an art... it's badly needed by young men and women who wish to achieve a goal -- a provision for later life. These capacities must be harnessed, but they cannot be dissembled. Eventually it will be revealed. When the youth is advised, he will resist -- that's the way youth is. But eventually most of those who compromise their future end up with broken hearts. When a youth has a problem like this, usually he is easily offended and angered. The outcome isn't just that you love Miss A, but rather the problem extends far beyond Miss A to your family and other things as if it were a kind of up-rising. The problem is simply that you're not happy; but the result is very general, like being unwilling to study, not wanting to try, as if you had given up. But the giving up is not acceptance, but a protest of the spirit. True or not? You can behave like that; it's not forbidden. But be aware of the ground-rules. As far as achievement is concerned, if I love some girl this should be seen as a whip, a stimulus. I have her as my ideal, but how can I achieve my ideal with what I have? I must study hard in order to get a degree or something. How about it? If I want to achieve that, these are the necessary conditions. Sometimes kids are in love but they don't fulfill the necessary conditions. They don't work, they live on charity. In a love like that the young woman is bound to be easily influenced by others because there are lots of conditions that can affect her love. That's the way the world is. For example, someone who has lots of this, who has lots of money -- she has to be attracted. Sometimes the girl is blamed for running away -- her love is not true love. But can you get along without eating?
There are lots of other conditions to love too. It's not just heart to heart, living and dying together -- that's a magnificent ideal, but it's a fantasy. When you die, you die alone. If living and dying together were serious, the graveyards would be full of couples where one died and the other went along. It that were the case, funerals would be for two. So even though people have been married for years, when one dies, the other doesn't want to go along. (Grogol 6/1/79)
Here Suwondo talks about girl-watching and the problem of sexual attraction, basing it on his own experience. In a humorous fashion, Suwondo depicts the seriousness of the obstacle of girl-watching (mata kranjang) to receiving the world accurately and maintaining a balanced perspective.
Being a guide isn't easy. Formerly, when they first started to practice guides usually dealt only with men. Even when you were mature enough to be guiding regularly, you still weren't allowed to guide women. It was considered dangerous.
Before I was allowed to guide women, I had to be cleared first -- to enact an oath. My most powerful attraction was always girl-watching. Even though I didn't do anything but look, there was a strong urge. When I looked at a pretty woman, I got a certain glow. Even after I started guiding, I still wasn't complete. Pak Hardo forced me to deal with it. "Are you going to change this habit or not?" "I can't change. I can't. I still like looking at girls." So he said, "The way that you change that is to enact an oath in your life so that you'll stop." At that point I said to let me think about it for awhile. "Later for that." So I thought about it for a month. Very ponderous. Then this came to me spontaneously from inside, "You dare to do bad things; how is it that you don't have the nerve to do something good? You accept the consequences of doing bad things. For example, when you get angry, you accept that later on you will pay for it. How is that you don't dare to do what is proper? If that's the way you are, there's no need to surrender to Tuhan at all. There's no need to study."
That impressed me. When Pak Hardo came over from Yogya I told him I was ready. So with Pak Hardo witnessing I swore to Tuhan that I wouldn't do that inside or out. "But I can't do it myself. I humbly request a change, Tuhan." From the outside it may look like there's no problem, but inside Tuhan will always know. I could fool other people, "No problem now. It's just like with my little sister." Yeah... but inside it's different.
So I swore first.
One day I was coming home from the meeting at Pak Beisastra's house. It was eleven at night and there were two girls walking down the street. I wanted to look, "Are they pretty or not? When you're by yourself it's all right to look, isn't it?" While I was arguing with myself, this truck came -- zoom. If I had been looking at the girls, I wouldn't be here now. That would have been it.
That was the first time. I confessed this openly to the group and got bawled out, but the struggle went on. One day I was riding my scooter and there was a girl walking, "Hey, she's pretty. I'd like to take another look. Why is it I can't even look? There's nothing wrong with just taking a little look, is there?" So I looked and got a crick in my neck. I couldn't move it. I went to Pak Wiryo's house and he said, "Yeah, that's real good. Just keep it up." But after I confessed to it, the pain disappeared completely, just like that. I was very surprised.
I thought to myself, "How would it actually be to look at a pretty girl without that attraction?" Take my word for it, it's very pleasant. When you look at a woman who's with her husband, it's not like you want to get in a fight with him, "I'm just looking; you see I have this urge." It's a source of tension, and when you're free of it, it's very relaxing, very pleasant. To be able to look at a pretty girl and feel like you do with your own child. It's like looking at your own daughter.
It's very pleasant not being pushed and pulled by it. The compulsion is actually a form of suffering and it can be dangerous. That's why you can only start to guide women after the change has taken place. The problem is that is you have become sensitive but have not yet attained selectivity, when you're confronted by a pretty woman you can't receive it and remain neutral. If she's putting out heavy sexual vibrations and you receive them, it can be very difficult. As long as you're not clean, it's like your radar tells you, "Hey, she likes me!" This awakens your desire. That's what's dangerous. Sexual contacts can be very hard to handle.
When it comes, the change is really very pleasant, and afterwards I truly gave thanks. But while it was happening I was afraid I wouldn't feel like a man or something. But after I had gotten used to the change, it was very pleasant. I could look at a girl and it didn't influence me. The old way was like being hungry and not being allowed to eat, you know? Like when you've just come down with typhus and, in fact, you want to eat but it's not allowed. That's what's real hard; you just sit there and drool.
But you have to learn to watch yourself, to be self-critical. Like before the oath, I would be walking along with my wife and there would be a girl over there. Actually I was no longer with my wife; my attention had jumped over to the other woman. Of course, I didn't want my wife to know so I'd be sneaking a peak out of the corner of my eye without moving my head. When you're able to stop doing that, it's very pleasant. After you've stopped your wife can relax too and can trust you more. When she gets jealous or something you can confront and correct it.
One time I was coming home from a meeting at Pak Darso's. I had just taken the oath. I was giving a pretty Australian a ride home on my scooter. Pak Wiryo is getting old now, but back then he was still very strong. So as I was taking her home, Pak Wiryo was spiritually accompanying me, monitoring my condition all the way home. He didn't tell me he was going to do it, but he went all the way home with me. The next day Pak Wiryo greeted me by saying, "How'd you do it? I couldn't have done that myself."
The sexual capacity remains but it is tuned to your wife. That's called instinct or primal urge. It's not desire but instinct. They're different. For instance, you can do birth control without using any pills, tools, kitchen appliances, anything. Sex is instinctual but the instinct is not something you feel every minute; that's desire. Like when you don't get it and you get angry. It's not right. "I'm busy dear." "Aaarhh, what do you mean?" That's not right, that's desire.
When you fully accept your responsibility, that's the primal aspect. It's like when I go out, my family goes with me. In my rasa I'm always with my family. So when anything comes up, I'm with my family. It's very pleasant.
In the following, Suwondo presents the Sumarah
perspective on sex and the responsibilities of
There are three kinds of marriage: marriage of desire or physical marriage; marriage of feeling which is when the rasa is linked and the two feel as one; and marriage of the spirit.
A marriage of desire is unstable. When you're attracted to this person, all right; but when you get tired of them you want another, and so on. That's marriage of desire.
The danger of all this is to the children. Much of what is done in meditation is dedicated to pre-natal education. As our elders used to say, "When a couple wish to have sexual union they should take a cool bath first." The idea is that the coolness of the bath brings calm. You should also put good pictures on the bedroom wall. This can help through the influence of seeing the pictures. But the main thing is to be in a state of meditation during the act because if the whole situation is calm, it will attract a good soul if there is conception. If this is done before birth, then it's easy to teach the child after birth because the spirit is mature and good.
We are all confronted by three kinds of sin: the sin from before our birth that our spirit carries on from before; the sins of our father and mother that is the sin of the family we are born into; and our own sins after we are born. Before we are born we still have the sins of the soul from previous incarnations.
I've investigated this with my four children and tried to relate it to their characters; "Oh, when this one was conceived I was like that and now it shows up in her." For example, when the first one was conceived I was doing the kungkum form of self-discipline and she came out strong willed. When the second one was conceived I was kind of doing what I felt like. I was just playing badminton and wasn't thinking about my responsibilities at home. I argued with my wife all the time back then because I played badminton while she worked. When I was told to help with the work I just wanted to get my own way. Now the second child tends to be lazy and self-indulgent. The third child died. After the fourth, who became the third, had been in the womb for three months I started having phobic attacks. The child was timid and frightened. Afterwards, when I started to study Sumarah, I meditated on him to try to give him courage and he got better.
While I was sick Pak Hardo forbid me to have children, it wasn't allowed. The children had been planned. The first child came one year after our marriage. The second was born two and a half years later. The third came three years after that. He died and we waited three more years before having another. At that time I got sick and Pak Hardo forbade me from having any more children -- it was prohibited. When the desire would come I would hold it. After I had recovered Pak Hardo said I could have another child. That was after five more years. We haven't had any more since then.
When I was going to have sex with my wife I would be in contact with Pak Hardo. Inside I would be in contact with Pak Hardo, "What should I do?" And afterwards I would ask him to check it, "Was my meditation proper while I was with my wife?"
It's funny, isn't it? But I did it because I knew that this is very important. As a result of that we gave our fourth child the name Kesnabudisanyata: kesna means good; budi means kindness; and sanyata means reality. Some people objected to the name because sanyata isn't used much in names, "How about santoso?" "No, sanyata, reality."
For those who are young and will be having children, this practice can help improve the coming generation. It can help bring peace to the world starting with each child. This is an art; this meditation is an art of living so that we can face life.
In the following, the issue of death is considered. This recollection illustrates what the Javanese would point to as the experiential basis of their belief in the "journey of death" (perjalanan) and the nature of death in general. It concerns the passing of Suwondo's great uncle, who was a mystic adept, though not, to my knowledge, connected with Sumarah. The story was presented in a humorous fashion but is no joke.
This happened when my great uncle died. He was one of my teachers and this took place back when I still had the phobia, the fear of death. I was summoned, "Please come pay your respects because I going to die in an hour or so." I got so scared I felt like it was me that was going to die. Boy I was scared! What a situation and here I was right in the middle of it. I was there with his two children. He told me to watch, so I watched. I watched the show. A little while later, wait a minute, wait a minute, he's gotten real still. It looked like he was passing away. Was I ever scared! I was watching but you know I was scared. Then he told me to hold his hand. So I held his hand in order to help -- and then he let go. That was it; he died. He died. That was the final match. Then my mother came and started crying, "Please don't die!"
He came back. What a situation. He came back to consciousness and chatted with us. "Actually this coming and going isn't very pleasant." This was because he had been drawn back by my mother's crying. He hadn't made the full separation from his body yet. Then they started chatting away like nothing had happened. So they talked for awhile and then I said I had some things I needed to take care of and asked to be excused. He told me to be sure to be back by four when he was going to start to go again. I said, "Yes, of course." I said I would be back but I was scared and when the time came I didn't want to go.
The time came to return and I didn't want to go. I decided to go visiting. I was scared so I went to a friend's house and told her about my experience. I was watching the clock, "Now he must be starting again." At that point I was in a great deal of pain; I felt like I was dying myself. I told my friend about it and said I wanted to go home. I felt there must be a connection between his dying and my feeling like this. I went home. Then suddenly it just stopped. I was still scared because if the pain was from my connection with him, its stopping was trouble too.
My heart had been beating tik, tik, tik, tik, I was so scared. I was afraid of having a heart attack. Then all of a sudden the pain just stopped and I wondered, "Maybe he has passed on." I was still scared but the pain was completely gone. I still had to go back there though. So I was slowly getting myself together when one of his grandchildren came in and said, "Grandfather is no longer with us." "When did it happen?" "Just now." So he was gone.
He was conscious when he died. Even afterwards, though, I didn't have the nerve to go back there. He just chatted away like nothing was happening, conscious throughout the whole thing.