by Varindra Vittachi
On the occasion of Subud World Congress 1988
As a very young journalist two colleagues and I interviewed Jean Paul Sartre. In the course of the conversation I asked him for his definition of existentialism. His answer was a surprising question, ‘Do you like war?’ I said, ‘Of course not.’ The other two journalists said the same. Sartre went on, ‘Neither do I like war. But there is war. Let us go out and ask the first one hundred people you meet, “Do you like war?” Everyone will say of course not. But there is war. That is what existentialism means to me.’
When I next met Bapak I asked him, ‘Bapak, why is there war?’ Bapak said, ‘Because there is war in yourself.’ And this is what we have been discovering in these Congress sessions. If we are honest enough to admit that, we begin with ourselves. That is why we are here in Subud – because we have already declared to ourselves that we are aware of the need to change and are willing to make an effort to change.
(From Fruitful Droppings. Download a copy of this and other Vittachi works from Subud Publications International IMAGE BY PICASSO)