Bapak 1975

A few years ago Subud Greater Seattle Chair Jim O’Halloran passed along part of a talk by Bapak given in Toronto in 1979 which has become mythic in some Subud circles. Jim photographed it at the Subud-Los Angeles house and I thought I would transcribe that photo and have a nice, clean edition of the quote, as it is really perceptive and a guide for these chaotic times in which we live, in which so many are polarized and the temptation to be less than loving is strong.

It is normal for the heart of man, if he is criticized, is he is blamed, immediately to feel upset. This is the course heart, the heart that belongs to this world. And this can be symbolized by comparing the state of this heart to earth, which if you strike it, or tread on it, leaves a trace. There is a crack, or hole, or something in the earth. This is the symbol for the heart, which, whatever it encounters, leaves a wound. This is because our heart is no longer clean, no longer pure. We are still in a state of vulnerability. Anything that comes to us can leave a hurt.

There is another kind of heart which is symbolized by a man who has a heart like water. And when you hit this heart, there is a wave, a ripple. But when you remove what is hitting it, it settles down again to being flat and clear. There are no traces left. This is the heart of a man who is truly patient. 

There is again a heart which can be compared to air. A man who has a heart like air, no matter what you do to his heart, nothing happens. On the contrary, if you attack a man like that, he is totally unaffected by it, but the attack returns to you. You are the one who is struck by your blow. And this is the nature of the heart of the Messengers of God because they are totally accepting of anything that happens to them. This is symbolized by Jesus Christ, who taught his followers: “If someone hits you on the right cheek, then offer him also the left cheek.” 

There is still another, the heart that can be compared to light or radiance. When a man has a heart like that, someone who wants to attack him, before he can hit, already feels: “What is the point of attacking?” He immediately feels love instead of hate. The hate has been turned to love.

Bapak – Toronto 1979


Heart of Light