“Zen and the Art of going to the Lavatory” was a made up book in the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy universe. However, religious thought regarding the toilet, and in particular materials used during, are a real life matter played out either in protest, custom or trying to start a shit-storm:
Conversely, you might become a pawn in a global inter-faith propaganda war when, in the course of occupying the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, you are accused of applying pages from the Bible to your soiled anus, even though you deny it: “I am not ready to hear these dirty accusations” was the response of Jihad Jaara, former Bethlehem chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, to the 2002 charge. “It is completely untrue. We believe in the Bible and cannot do such a thing.”
It’s easier to get away with that sort of thing if you’re a puckish knight of the realm – like Sir Ian McKellen, who told a magazine interviewer that he keeps torn-out pages from Leviticus (you know the ones: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination) hung up on a string in his toilet. “But it’s too much of a curiosity to actually put to use,” he added, disappointingly.
Breaking the laws of man is one thing. But get your bum-wiping really wrong, and you might end up pissing off God. In the Islam tradition, the hadith – a collection of stories and sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad – are second only to the Qur’an in religious authority. Certain hadith can be seen to represent a typical attempt by religious authority to codify a custom that already exists: in this case, the custom is bottom-wiping, and the key hadith can be found in Kitab Al-Taharah (The Book of Purification) by the 9th-century scholar Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj.
A summery of the custom would be the right hand does know what the left hand has been doing.
Picture from Whitewolf
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog