Serat Centhini is one of the most prolific New Javanese literary works that is also often called as Javanese cultural encyclopaedia that is very rich with situation and event details that contain deep philosophical values where readers can relate to.
“The Centhini story raises philosophy,” said Elizabeth D. Inandiak in a monthly discussion at Laboratorium Filsafat Nusantara (Lafinus) on Friday (21/10) at Faculty of Philosophy UGM. The French writer rewrote the Centhini book in Centhini, Hidden Lover.
“I’d always been told by my philosophy teachers in France that philosophy only exists in the West because in the East it is blended with religion and beliefs. I was brought up believeing this until I went to Indonesia and found that the Eastern philisopohy may go deeper,” she said.
She compared the questions in the Centhini with those that are the essence of Western philosophy. The West is more on the meaning of life, while in Centhini there are deeper questions.
“The Western philosophy questions the meaning of life, but in Serat Centhini there are others such as “what is reality’? said Elizabeth.In the discussion, she described the concept of reality behind the allegory of mask dance, shadow puppet, and magic that are part of Serat Centhini. For her, these means deeper than mere entertainment.
She also saw this book presents interesting views on how high philosophical thoughts come out from figures that are considered unimportant or indecent places. This signifies that philosophical value is not only learnt by higher learning scholars but also among general people.
“What is important is how philosophy is utilised in the life. It can be discussed at univesrity, but it is implemented among daily life, too, and Serat Centhini proved this,” she concluded.