Subud Rocky Mountain Region Creatives (Reynold Ruslan Feldman)
In the latest in a series, SICA-USA Board Member Lawrence Pevec talks with longtime Subud member Reynold Ruslan Feldman, a teacher and writer.
Reynold Ruslan Feldman is featured in episode five of Subud Rocky Mountain Region Creatives. Also known as Ruslan and simply “Ren” he has been a Subud member diligently practicing the latihan for nearly sixty years. Reynold was opened in Chicago in 1961 and later moved back to New York where he grew up. I met him in the Midwest region shortly after I was opened in Columbus, Ohio, we’ve been friends ever since. Reynold moved to Boulder in September of 2009, a year later he married Psychotherapist and author, Cedar Barstow.
We started our interview with a hike beneath the flatirons outcropping in Boulder’s Chautauqua Park on a beautiful winter afternoon. Ren’s vast life experience includes teaching in several universities as well as serving as an academic administrator and dean. He has traveled extensively on teaching jobs, as well as for various Subud committees. Over the years he authored and collaborated on twelve non-fiction collections of proverbs, stories, and blogs, most of which are related to his focus interest; wisdom.
Ren became interested in the subject of wisdom through conversations and the writing of Dr. Jonas Salk, the developer of the Salk Vaccine which led to the eradication of polio. Dr. Salk’s inspiring words: “Evolution favors the survival of the wisest” suggests the importance of our shared responsibilities to each other; Salk continues:
“What is … important is that we — number one: Learn to live with each other. Number two: try to bring out the best in each other. The best from the best, and the best from those who, perhaps, might not have the same endowment. And so, this bespeaks an entirely different philosophy — a different way of life — a different kind of relationship — where the object is not to put down the other, but to raise up the other.”
Reynold’s spiritual quest led him Subud at an early age. His search for wisdom and truth in religion has never waned. Born into a non-religious Jewish family, he first converted to Lutheranism, then Catholicism, later embraced Islam, and then settled into the Episcopal Church. As a scholar and teacher, he has researched and collected the wise expressions of those and others that point us to understanding the Human character; what is most noble about our species. Ren’s understanding of the scope of wisdom is broad and it can be found in all cultures.
“Usually when we think of wisdom we think of expression in words, but that is really too limiting. Wisdom can be expressed in music, can be expressed in the visual arts, in cooking, in behavior. Anything that is done well can be an expression of wisdom.
Just the right word in the right place, the right smile on the Mona Lisa’s face. “
I hope you enjoy this brief profile of Reynold Feldman. Please let me know what you think of this and the other profiles in the series by leaving a comment at the end.