You wrote: “Righteousness is not doing a physical act as the first line describes so clearly, so why then would the Quran direct you to do a physical act if salat is such a thing?”
This need be understood in the context first appearing in 2:142. God is simply stating the physical direction “east/west” in itself does not provide the guidance or righteousness, rather the guidance and righteousness is following God’s commands. One such command is to do Salat facing ka’aba. Mecca. The same east/west is again repeated in 2:177, now expanding it to include other commands as well along with the Salat.
You wrote: Do you just stand in prayers? Or do you do stand up for what you learn:
Why cannot you do both? How standing in prayers stop you from standing up for something? What is the relationship of “stand up” and 64:16. There is no Arabic word “Qaim” in 64:16.