Saturday, April 10, 2021

Prayer and Nonsense

Checking up on the exact spelling of the Indonesian word generally used for Muslim prayer here---it's sembahyang. I hear it but I haven't seen it. I'll call Mudik for an electrical or plumbing problem and he'll say he'll be over after sembahyang. I should ask him about the five times a day thing. In Dubai in the hostel where  Clay and I stayed, all staff would go to the neighboring mosque periodically, leaving the hotel staffless for twenty minutes or so. But I've not seen Muslims quit work or even shopping to pray or noticed it anywhere in Indonesia or elsewhere. I see mushola, prayer rooms, in airports and other places but I don't notice them being used much. In checking for the spelling and thus the correct pronunciation of the word, I first wrote sembayan which came up as nonsense in Malay. Indonesian is based on Malay. I have no idea about the etymological relationship between those words, but I do see prayer as nonsense and all spiritual practice as nonsense--not nonsense as a bad thing, nonsense as transcendent, lifting the anchor that ties us to the world we can understand with rational thought.

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