September 11, 2009

I spent all morning house-cleaning. And then all afternoon and evening in a planning meeting for a potential new project. And now I'm trying to battle with intense tiredness and intense feelings of guilt while I 'try' to will myself to stay awake and go to the mosque to pray. For tonight, according to the calendar 'we' follow, is the night of prayer, the night where my sins could (potentially) be wiped away and my destiny - for whatever period of time it may be - is written. Religious guilt is a strangely interesting phenomenon. Specially in moments like these, when the analytical thinker inside this emotive head realizes that I truly don't want to go. And as much as I pray my soul will be spared eternal damnation, I have lost more-than-a-little bit of my fairly nebulous religious faith after my father's death. Not because I blame God etc etc, but more because as far as spirituality goes, he was the staunchest of all of us. And a large part of anything I did was to make him happy. And those-who-proselityze-about-these-things-and-inevitably-piss-me-off-by-doing-so will tell me that all the more reason I should indulge in activities of the pious kind. And I hear them (even though I wish they didn't feel the burning need to point out the obvious over and over again) but I wish they'd understand that something I'm intensely conscious of is that left-up-to-myself, without any sort of pressure whatsoever, I'm not a religious person. If-you-asked-me, and you don't so I'll just have to volunteer this information, I'd say I'm spiritual, but I'd firmly deny any tendency towards religiosity. When its manifestations are worthy of it, I respect all religions. As an anthropologist I cannot deny the value of organized religion to human social organization. But as a person, I'd have to say I'm not the strongest believer in institutionalized religion. Which is why, when a person like me, despite all the baggage, on a night like this, suffers from religious guilt it's both perplexing and somewhat annoying. Sigh.

9 comments:

Deepak Iyer said...

Isn't that just institutionalization ? Albeit religious.

Lonely Perverted Soul said...

Okay i know u may think of this as another line to hit on u :P but i think u and i have alot of things in common... pointing to the fact of religious guilt on a night like this while im watching the 2nd season of CHUCK....

Xeb said...

D: It is, doesn't make it any less annoying though! :P

LPS: Had fun watching CHUCK? :P

Lonely Perverted Soul said...

Haan it was fun... u tell hows house cleaning going? :P

Xeb said...

LPS: Lets just say, volunteers to help with the house-setting cause would not go amiss! :P

Lonely Perverted Soul said...

hey i always offered my help.. :)

Xeb said...

Okay then, I shall take you up on it! :)

Lonely Perverted Soul said...

okay then tell me where to come... :)

sharbet said...

aww you two. lonely perverted soul - i can't believe that worked! anyway, on the guilt thing i've been feeling it for a couple of days now, and u may have hit the nail on the head. i would say i am of a similar religious persuasion as you are and somehow the month of ramzan is causing the guilt?... hmmm