lördag 19 juli 2008

Celebrating Dina McIntyre's teachings

Dear Dina

I am ALWAYS interested in your writings.
This is also why I am perhaps a little bit too pre-occupied with what you write. If you find me too observant, then excuse me for being so.
I expect only but brilliance from you, I suppose.
But then I always considered you - despite your humble disagreements - as one of our very best and most prominent scholars. Your postings on the various Zoroastrian fora deserve to become a book in the near future.

Alexander/also agrees with Dina on the sacred but secondary role of Scipture in Zarathushtra's philosophy (in the posting addressed to Kamran on Community); for Zarathushtra our own critical thinking is the most important, which is precisely why a Zoroastrian textual fundamentalism is self-contradictory and totally against the spirit of Zarathushtra's thinking, where Cyrus The Great would have agreed wholeheartedly with such a mind-worshipping rather than text-worshipping approach...

2008/7/18 <DINAMCI@aol.com>:

Dear Alexander,

You never cease to amaze me. My sincere respect and admiration for a beautiful post below (even though I may disagree here and there).

Some time back, I did a piece for Hamazor called The Paradox of the Individual and the Community. I attach it herewith, in case anyone is interested.

Wishing us the best,

Dina G. McIntyre.

-----Original Message-----
From: Alexander Bard <bardissimo@gmail.com>
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Cc: Zoroastrian Friends <zoroastrianfriends@yahoogroups.com>; Zoroastrians <zoroastrians@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Fri, 18 Jul 2008 10:26 am
Subject: [ZFriends] Religion and community in Zoroastrianism

Dear Kamran

Community is absolutely essential to Zoroastrianism.

When Zarathushtra reacted against the short-sightedness and irresponsibility of the nomadic tribes that attacked the agricultural Iranians, he took the first known stance in the history for UNIVERSALISM as opposed to tribalism. To Zarathushtra, the primary responsibility in all ethics is towards The Community, and the community is in extension global and universal rather than local and tribal.

This is the foundation on which later Zoroastrians such as Cyrus The Great built the principle of human rights, an innovation which Cyrus and his co-religionists deserve full credit. Community takes PRECEDENCE to dogmatic ideology! This, as we all know, 2,000 years later became the foundation of Democracy in Europe and America! But what to politics is merely a pragmatic necessity, is to Zoroastrianism in itself a SACRED phenomenon.

I would say that the progress towards religion-ness (the healing of social bonds) in Zoroastrianism is equal to the progress towards complete human community. By coming nearer through our social bonds (and reconciling ourselves with strangers and those who differ from us in appearances and opinions), we create not only a community but also manifest Ahura Mazda in human beings (Ronald Delavega would equal this process with us becoming more god-like, which I agree with, since it is the same thing seen from the opposite end and a correct reading of The Gathas).

Christianity picked up this idea in the concept of The Holy Spirit (as the third leg of The Trinity). So in a way we could say that Zoroastrianism gets rid of the father and the son and only keeps The Spirit from The Trinity. This is Ahura Mazda, becoming manifest (and thereby creating "religion") through the successful aliance of The Community. What use is then "the father" and "the son". Everybody is included!

Merely the fact that Zoroastrians get together socially is therefore IN ITSELF a sacred activity.

Alexander Bard

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