Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The body as a temple*

She wants to get a tattoo too, but she wants it in Mandarin script**. Why? Because in Arabic, it sounds too...'obvious'. I ask her what she wants it to say – her answer, "The divine is." In Arabic, that would be Allah hu.

Of late, I've become increasingly wary of religious people. This isn't religion-specific – almost all of them spook me out now. There's a certain I-am-right-and-you-are-wrong-ness that apparently comes with the territory.

But I can't help feeling a little sad for her. She has faith, but she cannot declare it in the language of that faith. Because it would be too 'obvious'.

The world is a weird, sad place.

*Or denomination-specific house of worship of your choice***.

**Does anyone know the name of this script? Does it have one?

***A question to the believers; have any of you actually chosen your religion? Have you ever thought of switching?


DewdropDream said...

I have a Ganesh and I'm painfully conscious that everytime I go home I will have to try and not make it too obvious. Sigh. Even considered getting in modified.

I wanted to take up Buddhism once upon a time... it still intrigues me.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Dewdrop: I'm confused. Why would *you* have to hide it?

And yes, I'm with you on the Buddhism. It just seems so...peaceful, for want of a better word.

Scherezade said...

I have been practising Buddhism for a while. Don't let them fool you with their mysterious "equanimity" and beads - those root eating zen roshis can snuff outChristopher Hitchen's wig* in the bat of an eyelid. No, really, I kid you not.
Though aside from this, it's mostly peaceful.
Unless you misinterpret the koan. Then the baton lands on your back.
Then it's back to being peaceful.

* Working under the assumption that he wears a wig. That can't be his real hair.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

I too bar organised religion.

And the word verification is "demon". Who's watching us?!


Diviya said...

Yep, I tried Buddhism, it was not very different from Hinduism. So, I went back to my original choice - atheism!

DewdropDream said...

I think I misunderstood why you friend doesn't want to make it too obvious. Still floundering, explain pliss?

I said I might have to hide it becasue god alone knows (oh now isn't that ironic?) what kind of religion-obsessed nutjobs one might encounter on the street who would take exception to a god being abused and insulted in this manner by being etched onto the skin of a human — that too a female who, for all you know, is *gasp* modern and liberated, and does god know what, socialises with god knows whom... I'm just saying it might attract unwanted attention and lead to unwanted situations. Am I wrong?

wiseling said...

One is back and blogging. How goes?

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Scherezade:You know, that somehow makes it sound even more awesome. I love it when awesomely calm people, just for moment, turn into these Hitchens’-wig-snuffing super monks!

How *do* they do it?

J.A.P:Well, if it IS a demon, then he sure ain’t getting his money’s worth.

(By watching me, I mean. I wouldn’t know whether watching you is, erm...value for money, so to speak.)

You know, this whole buffet of choices worries me a little. I mean, surely picking something that (to some small extent) defines you, shouldn’t be so...*easy*, should it?

I’m as guilty of it as anyone else, though. I’d actually define myself as a wannabe believer. Got a religion? Sure! Bring it on! I’ll give anything a try once.

DewdropDream:Ah. That would be because the religion she belongs to hasn’t been getting the, er, best press since 9/11. And a tattoo that declares your allegiance to the abovementioned faith might lead some people to think that umm...the tattoo-bearer is as firm in her faith as, well, certain other people of that faith who fly airplanes into buildings.

Okay, that sounds *awful* but I hope you get what I meant.

As for the unwanted attention and uncomfortable situations, the way things are now, I’d say you’re right. My mom would probably love you though. I’m not sure how much / if that helps. :)

Wiseling: I went, I saw and all I have to say is a big, fat ‘Awww!’

Young lurhve! She so purty! :D

*waves wad of money around both your heads*

(As in, yours and Reno's. I don't mean to imply you are two-headed. Just in case anyone reading that was wondering. I'm sorry! I'm a compulsive explainer! Somebody, prise my fingers away from my keyboard! Now!)

Xeb said...

I feel bad for her too.

Scherezade said...

It's the years they spent listening to Leonard Cohen espousing half baked poetry. Either that or Zazen, though one must go with the former. Nothing makes people more rabid than years of listening to Cohen's poems.He was (is?) a practitioner and was holed in a monaestry for a while.

DewdropDream said...

Ohhhh!!! Ah yes, I get it now! I was under the impression your friend was afraid of being confronted by the religious police was daring to sport religious symbols on her body, but her reason is certainly... compelling. Your mum would love me? :) That does help! I haven't met many people who reacted well to the inking... assuming that is what we are talking about!

P.S: word verification 'senti' ... ironic AND funny.

Anonymous said...

language of that faith? does any faith have any language? anyway, its a lot of humbug, so mandarin with its pictoral scripts would probably look better. And anyway, anyone who tattooes any religious thing on their body would have 'that' kind of faith only.

Anonymous said...

You are supposed to be rolling out inspiration. Bitch, banter, gossip, discuss, or just blabber, post something new.

It's been a long time.

a patron

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of organized religion myself.. find that I'm attracted to the mystical/philosophical strain in religions.

As for the kooks - as Bob (Marley, not Dylan) said: Who the cap fit, let them wear it!

- long time listener, first time er..poster?

Sougata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sougata said...

Hello, anybody home?

Anonymous said...

Your writing has cured my insomnia.