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03.09.2019 03:43:45 1308x read.
My experience of living and studying in The Netherlands.

My experience of living and studying in The Netherlands.

My sincere and heartfelt thanks, first of all, go to the General Council in the Netherlands and the Provincial Council of Indonesia in particular for granting me the opportunity to study spirituality, with the expectation that completing this study would benefit the spiritual life of members of the Congregation and the people entrusted to us.

On 14th May2011, I left Indonesia for the Netherlands with two missions in mind: replacing Bro. Anton Hadi as a house keeper of the General Council community and studying spirituality at the Titus Brandsma Institute. When Bro. Yos Baskoro later took over the task of house keeper, I had more time to concentrate on my PhD research on the topic "Bhîma's Mystical Quest As a Model of Javanese Spiritual Growth".

Undertaking this project in the Netherlands, with the help of the expertise in mysticism has a special advantage, besides having the best collection of Javanese culture. The focus of this study is on how Bhîma's quest, as presented in the Book of Déwaruci and in the Déwaruci wayang performance, articulates the phases of Javanese spiritual progression. Bhîma's quest for the tirta pawitra ends not with finding what he is searching for, but in the encounter with Déwaruci which is considered "a mystical grace" and has become a reference model for achieving a perfect life. The quest is based on the three divisions of the horizontal tripartite of the Déwaruci play, and of the vertical tripartite of the wayang kulit cosmology and makes use of spiritual theology, in combination with the Javanese concepts of lair, batin and rasa. The finding and examining of Bhîma's mystical quest reveals the three stages of Javanese spiritual growth. These stages can be systematically summarised as the purification of corporeal feelings, the purification of emotional feelings and the purification of intuitive feelings. This culminates in the union with God, the so-called manunggaling kawula-Gusti.

Unfortunately, none of the three supervisors knew Javanese culture, and also Javanese wayang kulit in particular. Therefore they needed more time than we expected, particularly for the process of editing and finishing the manuscript. Finally my hope is that this study would strengthen the praxis of spiritual transformation, and of the socio-cultural realities we live in.

In terms of my living environment, I started by learning bit by bit, for instance, how the kitchen set works, how to do shopping and cooking, how to open the entrance door or main gate electronically and manually, how to reinstall the central internet connection whenever there was a connection error, among other house-chores. With the help of community members, I was able to adjust to the living environment in Emmaus community and beyond. I also joined a Dutch choir group called Gemengd Koor Sjantée in order to improve my Dutch and to learn how to live in the Netherlands. In general, I love the Netherlands. The only problem I have is the irritation of my throat because of the heating system. Therefore, since the second year of my living in the Netherlands, I have switched off the heater in my room, even during winter time. Lekker koud, zogezegd!

Bro. Petrus Suparyanto

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