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Latihan(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Latihan is the name given to the major spiritual exercise practiced by the Subud religion. Subud emerged early in the twentieth century as one of a number of new spiritual movements in Indonesia. It was founded by R. M. Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo (1901–1987), generally called simply Pak Subuh. It was brought to the West at the end of the 1950s through the efforts of English linguist Husein Rofé and John G. Bennett, a student of George I. Gurdjieff. Bennett took seriously Gurdjieff’s admonition to watch for a teacher to come from Indonesia, then known as the Dutch East Indies.
The latihan follows the impulse of Pak Subuh’s original experience of the power of God and is described as releasing the primordial power that is latent in everyone. When the power manifests, the body will react. It might cause any one of hundreds of different body movements, from the graceful to the grotesque. The manifesting power might also lead to various vocalizations or emotional expressions. Initially, the manifestations may be cathartic and assume their more unpleasant forms. However, over time the movements become a manifestation of tranquility, joy, and oneness with the divine.
The latihan is seen as completely spontaneous. It cannot be taught or learned, but it can be transmitted from one person to another. Any person wishing to receive it (termed “being opened”) will stand in the presence of someone who has been opened previously. The new person assumes a receptive state and allows whatever occurs to occur.
Adherents of Subud generally gather twice a week to experience the latihan with fellow believers. Generally, men and women meet separately.