• Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 11,131 hits
  • Page Rank

    Google PageRank 
Checker - Page Rank Calculator
  • Advertisements

Was Pak Subuh a dukun?

Was a Pak Subuh a dukun?

A dukun is, in Java, a traditional healer. There’s nothing wrong or disgraceful about being a dukun. I can remember when I lived as a kid in Cilandak, and I got a sore on my back—I had to spend several days lying face down—Pak Subuh kindly sent over a poultice, consisting of some black mixture of herbs, to help the healing. Whether he made this himself, or ordered it in, I don’t know. Whether it worked or not, I don’t know!

Inez Mahony has written some useful research reports on dukun practice:


According to Mahony, dukun are a normal and accepted part of Javanese society:

Dukun [are] traditionally… sorcerers and curers, predominantly male practitioners of Javanese mysticism from the various subcategories of santri, priyayi and abangan, who practice a variety of dukun specialties yet may be more skilled in a particular area. Literature suggests dukun regularly played a central role as priest, spirit contact and respected elder in the many traditional Javanese rituals and ceremonies and that dukun were generally consulted as curer and helper in alleviating physical, mental and spiritual problems.

Being a dukun is therefore consistent with Pak Subuh’s social origins and social class—priyayi—and his calling: spiritual guide. Continue reading


You can now subscribe!

You can now subscribe to this blog via email. Just press the link at the top of the right-hand column.

Half of humanity?

Our Subud literature frequently asserts that the latihan kejiwaan is for “all of mankind”, or—to give it a more modern expression—”all of humanity.” Our literature also asserts that Subud is not a religion, and that in Subud people follow their own religion.

How well do we honour this promise in the way we speak? Are we speaking to people of all religions, or just one or two? In order to understand that question, we need to appreciate what are the world’s religions. The diagram below gives us a picture of the major religions. Continue reading

Subud and Islam

Our Subud literature says that membership in Subud is compatible with any religion. (In making this claim, Subud is not alone among the mystical movements to come out of Java. Pangestu, Sapta Darma and Sumarah also promote themselves as being compatible with all the mainstream religions, to be practiced in conjunction with a religion.[1])

Our Subud literature says that Pak Subuh was a Muslim.

If these statements are correct, then we would expect Subud to flourish in Islamic countries. However, the evidence seems otherwise. Subud is poorly represented in Islamic countries. In Malaysia, it has been declared a “deviant sect” of Islam.[2] In Indonesia, the country of its origin, Subud is classified by anthropologists as a kebatinan movement. Officially, it is registered at the Ministry of Education and Culture as a “faith”, along with movements such as Brahma Kumaris, Ananda Marga, and The Family.[3] Continue reading

Why explore Subud?

“Exploring Subud” is a collection of short articles, each exploring some key aspect of Subud’s history, thought, language or culture. This collection is part of the Subud Vision initiative, which aims to question aspects of Subud’s past and present, with the intention of creating a broader, more successful future.

Whereas the main Subud Vision site holds long articles which articulate an author’s point of view, the main purpose of Exploring Subud is to help you—the reader—undertake your own exploration and questioning of Subud.

Each short article will examine an aspect of Subud language, history, culture or belief. Each article will contain links to other sites and sources, so that you can undertake your own journey to find out the history and context of these ideas. Continue reading