Dan has got it exactly right!!!
Which is why I have so often brought up the historical and philosophical connections between Mazdayasna and Sufism (and also in extension the Mazdayasna origins of Chan and Zen Buddhism). We are indeed "praying" to those built-in capacities within ourselves to be civilized, human, modest, humble, listening, in general good people.
Parviz has also a good point here, Mazdayasna is NOT the religion with a book which is to be hit in the head of the infidels. We should instead remain firmly rooted in the HUMANNESS of all human beings. Mazdayasna is the religion of the little person who struggles in life and with the meaning of living. Not the religion of self-obsessed narcissistic preachers who aim to force their beliefs onto others (if only to cover up for their own doubts). We do not have the finished answer (other than to hold firmly to the belief that the answer remains unanswered, our worldview is never finished, never complete).
Please remember this extremely important fact about Zarathushtra: Zarathushtra is the ONLY prophet ever to address his message as a series of questions, not as a series of answers. Mazdayasna is the religion of the doubt, the religion of the question, the religion of openness, and not the religion of the perfect and finished answer. This is why Mazdayasna takes time to understand and will only spread and grow slowly. But it will always win in the long run. Because Mazdayasna puts the conditions of truth even before the belief in truth itself.
2007/9/6, Parviz Varjavand <email@example.com>:
Dear Alex, Dan and friends,I am sorry that I have not lost my ability of at times putting others down. Who am I to tell anybody else what proper prayer is or is not? We each develop our own ways off passing through the dark nights of our existence and hope for the dawn of the bliss and Ushta that we crave so badly. All I have shared is what works for me, otherwise I am sure that the Mass or the Namaz has been the source of comfort for countless human beings.If Mazdayasna needs NOT to be one thing, it would be the need to point finger at others and call their ways wrong (as long as like circumcision, they are not hurting the young without their permission).Dan's explanation of prayer works for me. I used to ask the divine outside myself for help a lot and it became very much like begging. I would become less and less in self worth and the divine outside from whom I was requesting things would become colder and more and more impersonal and out of reach. Now I try to ask the divine within me for help and it listens a lot better. I ask it to get up and take me for a walk as my health needs it, and guess what, it gets off its ass and takes me for a walk!Ushta,Parviz Varjavand
Dan Jensen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Alexander, I'm with you on prayer, as I grew up
reciting canned prayers and became very tired of
begging. Yet I'm struggling to keep my mind open to
different ways of approaching "worship" (yasna).
Here's an attempt:
What if we regard prayer as an appeal to the divine,
universal Power within us? Would that be acceptable in
the context of Mazdayasna? I might reach even further
and quote the Persian Sufi mystic, who said "I am
God", much to the consternation and perturbation of
his fellow Sufis. Would it be begging to appeal for
help from the divine within us?